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Blue_XIII Jan 1st, 2016 (edited) 83 Never
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  1. Arsenic looks up at the tremendous arm, absolutely, completely, totally unaware of what in the hell he is actually supposed to do with aforementioned menacing, oily, blackened appendage. Whether he was accepting this opportunity or taking his chances bolting as far and as fast as he possibly could, there wasn't much regardless a nine-year-old-boy could do with a hand bigger than a grown man.
  2.  
  3. No, really.
  4.  
  5. He does look at that hand an uncomfortable amount of time. He doesn't know what to say for some time. Or rather, he does. He knows what he wants almost immediately. He is young. He is rash.
  6.  
  7. And he hates losing.
  8.  
  9. "Will you...not tell anyone?"
  10.  
  11. It was the most childish of things, said so quietly, it was only just above the rabbits scraping by the leaves in volume, barely more audible than the wind rustling the branches, and barely louder than the flowers crushed beneath his boot. It was, in the grand scheme of things, the same level of cosmic significance.
  12.  
  13. Afterall; He was nobody.
  14.  
  15. His head looks up, the picture of innocence, utterly uncorrupted, and with absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into.
  16.  
  17. "Please?"
  18.  
  19. _______
  20.  
  21. There was no pretending that whatever Arimanes spoke of came to him naturally, like instinct swelled at him and, all at once, he understood exactly what the yokai meant as if he were destined to his whole life.
  22.  
  23. No.
  24.  
  25. That was not who he was, nor was it what he did.
  26.  
  27. "How?
  28.  
  29. Arsenic was a boy for whom everything came naturally but what mattered, who possessed unrivaled talent in everything except what he actually wanted to do. And so, he was the tragic figure with a tragic flaw, on a course set for tragedy, as we have all seen so many times before. His eyes are half-lidded, his eyes are terrified, he looks on the verge of breaking out and running away, even now...yet there is more to it.
  30.  
  31. He looks more alive than he has in years.
  32.  
  33. There is life in those eyes, and there is a future. A future that is grand, and great.
  34.  
  35. One could only hope it wasn't also terrible.
  36.  
  37. _______
  38.  
  39. Something was stolen from him this day, in a secluded corner of a forest, far, far from home.
  40.  
  41. His parents really should have watched him better.
  42.  
  43. Darkness took hold of a little boy out there.
  44.  
  45. He wanted to back out now that the sickly tendrils of ichor were inching their way toward his "heart."
  46.  
  47. The temptation to scream became overwhelming.
  48.  
  49. But the myriad of emotions that he felt, all at once, the various conflicting shouts and screams and the jumble of thoughts and impulses are too much, they're far, far too much. He needed to leave now, he had to back out, no, he shouldn't back out, only cowards back out, his parents had told him that, his parents were always wrong, good boys listened to their parents, he wasn't a good boy, he wanted to be a good boy, being a good boy meant his friends wouldn't like him, caring what those losers thought would disappoint Levi, Levi, Levi....
  50.  
  51. Oh no...
  52.  
  53. What would Levi think?
  54.  
  55. He should've stayed home.
  56.  
  57. The pianist opened his mouth to scream, but he'd already committed. Arsenic had chosen his fate. He gripped a hold of the darkness as it came, being swallowed by it, being molded by it, body shuddering as it enveloped him in it's cold, cold embrace, but he didn't dare scream out. He didn't dare protest, not even a syllable, not even for an instant.
  58.  
  59. The 'heart' that manifested, the one Arimane's arm would gluttonously 'devour', he knew nothing of such things. He knew nothing of any of this, and therein lied the tragedy, that all of this was for a boy who simply hadn't had any idea what he was getting into.
  60.  
  61. He was going to have a bad, bad time. But for now?
  62.  
  63. He felt nothing.
  64.  
  65. _______
  66.  
  67. Arimanes: Now that you don't have emotions in the way...
  68. Arimanes: What do you want to do to those who rejected you?
  69.  
  70. _______
  71.  
  72. Arsenic's head raised, mechanically. It was like watching an animated doll, the way his features, once so animated, once so alive, had been set into a mask of lifelessness. His prior indifference, by comparison, was infinitely more expressive.
  73.  
  74. And his voice. When he opens his mouth, lips slowly parting, and then, after a moment's hesitation(not via indecision, but rather, purpose,) he'd speak. Crisp, simple. Not out of his previous haste to end conversation, but rather, a complete disinterest in even drawing breath.
  75.  
  76. "..."
  77.  
  78. He looked up at Arimanes, the occult pervading his mind. It whispered in the hollow recesses of a consciousness forever damaged, new impulses, new desires pouring in without end in sight. And yet, he, still so drained, so tapped out, so empty, he was no more capable of articulating them than he'd ever been.
  79.  
  80. His answer was the darkness.
  81.  
  82. The field beneath their feet lit with dark, writhing, pulsing energy. This was his manifestation, something he had already known how to do. In it's confines, he stood unaffected, and, with how weak it was, Arimanes surely was as well.
  83.  
  84. But the child's haunted face, gaunt, bags deep as they had ever been, lit by the tide of occult energy he now expelled.
  85.  
  86. Well, that was an answer all in itself.
  87.  
  88. __________
  89.  
  90. "Now."
  91.  
  92. It was sudden. Oh yes, it was sudden. It was also vague, but, given a few seconds- or was it a few minutes? Time was such a normal thing. He didn't like normal things. Or atleast, he didn't think he did. It was hard to know, at this moment, what he liked, if anything at all.
  93.  
  94. "I want to learn something now."
  95.  
  96. It was utterly empty in delivery, but it was the most assertive he had ever been. The violet and black embers that'd effused from his very being distilled to nothing, and he was left little more than a bratty child.
  97.  
  98. A bratty child with a very, very monotonous voice.
  99.  
  100. "If that's quite alright."
  101.  
  102. _______
  103.  
  104. Arimanes: I will.
  105. Arimanes: ...But I need rest now.
  106. Arimanes: I hope you don't mind.
  107. Arimanes: <*passes out both ooc and ic zzzzz*>
  108.  
  109. _______
  110.  
  111. Arsenic promptly vanished. He'd leap off from the crates he'd been mounted atop to leverage the height gap between himself and the youkai, and then, promptly, he'd sprint off, arms behind his back as he left a scorching trail of violet and black magic in his wake. Eventually, this'd die down, but that flame burned just as bright within.
  112.  
  113. Where there was now a hole, to never be closed.
  114.  
  115. _______
  116.  
  117. Arsenic spots another tree house, one far aside from the fateful one in which he had battled so many others. and, for a time, he hangs out here. There is a tall man with goggles that he spots, initially, and a pair of wolf ears- an ookami, then- but he vanishes, quick as if he'd never been.
  118.  
  119. The boy blinks, twice, and then, promptly, he turns on his heel and walks right back out.
  120.  
  121. _______
  122.  
  123. Arsenic hadn't moved in hours.
  124.  
  125. Those who knew him would have observed this to be an uncommon phenomena, the boy usually skittish as all hell and prone to darting around the place like a madman possessed. Instead, however, he was reduced to little more than a glorified lamppost, emitting the occasional spark of azure electricity as if he couldn't even be pressed to repress his every minor impulse to occasionally send out a jolt of magic.
  126.  
  127. When he's addressed by Sylvare, it's as if he hadn't even heard it. Not a word escapes him for several moments, but eventually, his head cranes to get a better look at the relative stranger he knew to be an acquaintance of Nerissa, something he had to actively press to remember- nothing really seemed to be worth remembering subconsciously- given his current state.
  128.  
  129. "Who are you?"
  130.  
  131. He was prone, now, to speaking in questions. He clutched his head right after he asked, shivering. He exhales, a long, guttural thing, an uncomfortable thing that draws on longer than it should and makes a large cloud of fog directly infront of him.
  132.  
  133. "Where? Why? When?"
  134.  
  135. _______
  136.  
  137. Arsenic twitched.
  138.  
  139. It wasn't anything mild by any stretch, but something from head to toe and back around again, a sudden spasm that encompassed every muscle in his body. He'd hunch, afterward, remaining like that, hair shadowing his face, inches from Sylvare's hand.
  140.  
  141. It was as if he were examining it because he didn't believe it existed.
  142.  
  143. "Why do we have hands?' He asked, suddenly, the emptiness in his tone conveying his disbelief Sylvare would have the answer. No one had answers. No one. Especially not himself. He returned to his prior stance, spine straight, eyes looking straight ahead, as if he were not here, as if he had somewhere to go but something stayed his feet.
  144.  
  145. "What is the point of names?" He continued, pushing only more and more endless rhetoric, asking only questions to which the answer was only subjective or he believed were beyond those he asked. It was a unique sort of despair- except not really. It was highly common. But the extent he took it to bordered satire:
  146.  
  147. The humor present wasn't likely appreciable by anyone but an emotionless drone like him, though.
  148.  
  149. "Do I have a name?"
  150.  
  151. Arsenic is still, as he'd been for some hours now. He slowly raises his hand to the sword on his back, fingers gliding unto the hilt, clasping around it, like a baby feeling with it's hands for the first time. Eventually, his hand lowers, arm returning to his side, and he resumes complete and total quiet. Sylvare's (understandable) childish ignorance, were it observed at all, would go completely unnoticed, it seemed.
  152.  
  153. Arsenic, after minutes of this, were Sylvare to have remained so long and so patient, would finally direct only his eyes to the other boy, giving no other indicator he was aware of the other's presence at all. And then he would outstretch his hand, turning to Sylvare for the first time.
  154.  
  155. _______
  156.  
  157. It appeared the other boy had addressed a vital 'need' of Arsenic's that the swordsman had been neglecting as of late.
  158.  
  159. His stomach let out an audible grumble as he nodded into his scarf, full attention on Sylvare for the first time since the very onset of their conversation. The other hand, the one unraised, would be utilized to adjust aforementioned scarf, flicking it so that the 'tail' of it was behind him, rather than in front.
  160.  
  161. It wouldn't be good to die.
  162.  
  163. "What food? Why are you offering me it?"
  164. ___________________________
  165.  
  166. Arsenic looked to Sylvare as his hand was grasped and, as he had every other attempt at breaking his emotionless demeanor, he merely stared. Upon the abrupt end of the handshake and the subsequent reveal of the succulent wolf...ass...that he was offered, the boy'd, faster than prior reactions, frown thinly at the unusual(for him, who'd been raised on his mother and father's homecooked meals,) course.
  167.  
  168. "Hunt. Kill."
  169.  
  170. They were the first things he'd said that were not questions since their interaction had began, and the boy wandered off immediately after. Just like that, he merely went to exit the vicinity, as if Sylvare had in some way offended him. There was a strange urgency to his steps, made all the more queer by the still bland facial expression that one could only guess masked true emotion.
  171.  
  172. You couldn't be more wrong.
  173.  
  174. Something stolen from him, Arsenic moved and acted not a boy sad, but a boy without feeling. Childlike wonderment, humor, cheer, sorrow- all noticeably absent, and, without the guiding force that was emotion, the human moved, acted, spoke like nothing else around him, trembling as he left Sylvare but unable to vocalize what, exactly, about the food had rattled him so deeply.
  175.  
  176. )What did she do to me?)
  177. _________________________
  178.  
  179. When he vacated those walls, what came next was only to be expected, if only for a silent narrator who'd spectated every action prior.
  180.  
  181. Every step he took was slow. Measured. Calculated. With no motivation to move, with no will to live, he had to be completely deliberate, completely aware of his every breath, in full awareness of his every motion. Beneath him, the snow'd begun to melt, and his dark eyes looked as if a storm'd begun to brew beyond their iris...
  182.  
  183. "Hunt. Kill."
  184.  
  185. His blade was withdrawn in a flash of steel as the beasts howled, and the first sign of emotion on his face was displayed after his rebirth.
  186.  
  187. A downright sadistic smile.
  188.  
  189. The wolves didn't stand a chance.
  190.  
  191. Arsenic stormed through the Frostvale mountainlands, cutting creatures down en masse, wolves chopped to bits by magic-augmented strikes so forceful their severed chunks would be blown in all directions in bloody gore. Creature after creature fell to the combination of might and magic, and he, he stood in what had became the wreckage of a warpath carved by a boy encased in a sickly purple, black, and red aura that shone like a dying nova.
  192.  
  193. And then it blinked out, and he walked away.
  194.  
  195. _________________________________
  196.  
  197. Arsenic stood stock still, in the distance, not approaching them any further than he already had. His eyes are wide, as if he'd seen a ghost, but they're not affixed to anyone in the vicinity in particular. Rather, his gaze is unfocused, and the surface of his eyes glazed over, as if no one was home within the confines of his head.
  198.  
  199. And that was all there was to it. To the outside world, there was just a boy who looked as if he hadn't slept in days, clothes filthy, armor matted with dried blood in places, and hair absolutely stark raving mad, staring into space. The expression plastered on his face was not unlike one of someone just waking up from a rather forgettable dream, and he does not utter even a syllable. He does not move. If not for the occasional rise and fall of his chest, one could even presume him to be a statue.
  200.  
  201. Something is wrong.
  202.  
  203. ______________________
  204.  
  205. Tachanka wouldn't notice much.
  206.  
  207. By all external appearences, he was fine. The blood on the armor; It was obvious it wasn't his. The boy remained rooted to the spot, staring into the same region as he had been as if Tachanka or the guards had never even acknowledged his existence. His monologue would rage on, ranging from spoken word to words so quiet they barely qualified as a whisper, near unintelligible.
  208.  
  209. By far the most eerie thing about it all was his eyes.
  210.  
  211. He had a glazed over look about him. The most apt comparison is the lack of light in the eyes of the deceased. He looked like a walking corpse, going only off his face and eyes. This could not be mistaken for sorrow- rather parallel, even. He just appeared as if he genuinely no longer held emotion, in any capacity.
  212.  
  213. Like the ability to feel had been stolen from him by...
  214.  
  215. Something.
  216.  
  217. ______________________
  218.  
  219. Arsenic wouldn't respond well to the 'slap'.
  220.  
  221. Not even a little bit.
  222.  
  223. The moment that King attempted to touch him in such a matter, his head'd snap in his direction. After the second 'slap,' however, his entire disposition darkened.
  224.  
  225. Heavily.
  226.  
  227. Levi, who knew Arsenic, would know how uncharacteristic he was in this moment:
  228.  
  229. He reached for the sword on his back in an instant, a distinctly sinister presence overcoming him in that very instant. His fist tightly clenched the blade in his grip as he lurched forward, intending to slice off King's hand for his insolence; Presuming this failed, and missed, the blade would return to his side, but pure malice would emanate from him, as if he weren't himself but rather the host for a malevolent entity that held far more murderous intent than a nine year old could ever contain.
  230.  
  231. The boy backed away, eyes moving between each of those present in turn, specifically Tachanka and the red stick. His knuckles had whitened from the intensity with which he clutched his sword, a tension in the air usually never present-
  232.  
  233. And then he'd attempt to bolt out of the vicinity.
  234.  
  235. __________________
  236.  
  237.  
  238. Eventually, Arsenic manages to escape Levi, taking up residence in a house within Brighthold. There, he remains posted up, staring into a mirror without uttering a word. Those tendrils of depravity, of occult magic, waft in the air around him, but the boy just looks into his own eyes.
  239.  
  240. Silent.
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