They Were Always Faster

Jul 30th, 2019
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  1. [10:16] Moving a finger up to scratch his cheek, he just watches as the kids leave. What was the problem with kids these days? Even when he was young, he didn't do any weird things like that. Walk up and question adults, it was always wiser to grab someone else first.
  3. Yet; a confused look is given to Siegfried before the Dragon shrugs his shoulders. ''Well, they are little kids asking us what we are doing here. With oddly strange intent behind their words, yes? Some people deserve to hear things how it is, like how they should go play with rocks and not question people.''
  5. Similar to how Keitaro deserved to hear the truth, of how he whined and cried about people hating him. Then running away to learn under the sin of pride, thinking Adrian was stupid for not agreeing with or supporting his choices?
  7. Strange, really.
  9. ''My uncle is dead.'' Blunt, but he wasn't in the mood to tip-toe around it. Instead of weeping, his eyes just seem tired. Half-lidded slits, while his body slouches a little. ''He was killed by a Mori, who now runs around with his sword on his back. I am going to end their life, be it good or evil. They are going to die, no matter what.''
  11. Was it worth even speaking about anything else? About what he did with Samael? About Aurora? No, nothing else even mattered in comparison to his uncle's death.
  13. ''Godfrey is also a traitor, so I have to deal with that too. It's very annoying... And things just keep piling up. I assume my other uncle is going to leave too, most likely retire to a place where I can't visit him often. Not like I can now... And I don't blame him with Taiga being gone.
  15. Ever since I was young, I don't hold up Siegfried. I push on even with such heavy things weighing me down. I don't hold, I move... Constantly.''
  16. (Adrian Rowan)
  17. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19. [10:29] My uncle is dead.
  21. What?
  23. The news stuns to the core. It impacts like a shot to the chest, fired from a gun. He's immediately hit with a wave of vertigo, fist clenching as he attempts to rationalize this away...
  25. "..."
  27. His uncle...wasn't...couldn't be...
  29. He had another uncle. Taiga was going to come from behind a tree and throw his sword at Siegfried's head. He was going to come out with Dan and laugh. Dan and Taiga would make fun of him for looking like he was about to cry. They'd all go to a tavern after that and catch up, toasting mugs.
  31. Taiga, unbeatable, standing at a zenith of strength, neither beast nor man. Always behind him, chasing just to be able to even so much as compare to the ungodly might he'd revered since childhood.
  33. The boy doesn't even say anything at first. He just stares at Adrian. And then, slowly, his hands dig into his pocket. A rather old, mottled piece of parchment is held up, and he reads, before the question could even be asked:
  35. "Dear Siegfried,
  37. It's Godfrey. I know we've been friends forever, and I look up to you like an older brother. The one I always needed. You've helped me through so much here in Levengard. You were the only reason I never killed myself through thick and thin. I want you to know that you literally saved my life twice over when I was just recovering from the depression my mother's death left me with.
  39. I've titled this paper the way I have because I don't see myself seeing you here in Levengard ever again. I fought my Uncle today, and everything.. Kind of clicked. The Oscuri aren't meant to be rugs for Levengard. I'm not meant to be a virtuous soul who strays from death and violence.
  41. My life here has been hell. You are one of the only two people who have shown me amazing, wonderful kindness no matter when I needed it. I'm writing this now to tell you that I'm sorry - Because by the time you read this, I'll have left Levengard to join Dusk in their pursuit to wipe out Agartha, and by proxy, Eternia.
  43. Life was never meant for suffering. I want to change what the word life means to the living. I want Levengard to feel just as hurt and ruined as I do right now. I want the Elisheva name in cinders. I want Aurora and Ilui buried six feet under.
  45. I want to be happy. I want to be free. I want to stop hiding behind my mask of white-winged Azraelism.
  47. I am an Oscuri, and I was made to kill and bring us one step closer to Azrael's great dream. Death to All. It's time that I stop pretending to be someone I'm not.
  49. It's time.. That I apologize for being so weak, and dumb, and foolish. Levengard is made of liars and fools who cascade across the country to fight the evils not realizing the greatest evil was inside of them all along.
  51. I am no liar. I am Godfrey Vishkar. And I am not Levengard's pet."
  53. As he continues onward, further and further into this letter, his voice gets shakier and shakier, and, eventually, he sounds like he could crumble at any given moment.
  55. For the first time in his life, tears begin to well in those eyes.
  57. I was made to kill.
  59. he could see them, now.
  61. Godfrey and Taiga, A boy and his adopted father, so different, and yet so alike. Both marching ardently into battle, until it killed them...
  63. When had he began hyperventilating?
  65. His breathing becomes uneven, his shoulders shake, and every moment is a constant fight to maintain his composure. And eventually?
  67. he loses.
  69. Siegfried falls to his knees, clutches his head, and screams bloody defiance into a sleeping world, demands the eyes and ears of those who had never heard of a Taiga Rowan, because he was fucking sad.
  71. In the face of Adrian, big, bad, Adrian, refusing to cry, refusing to grieve, insisting that he must remain resolute?
  73. The twenty two year old man bawls like a bitch.
  75. ---
  77. You had to know it'd end like this.
  79. ---
  81. (Siegfried)
  82. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  84. [10:48] He expected it, honestly.
  86. And was it bad of him not to even shred a single tear? His uncle was always reckless, and Adrian always made him promise to come back safe. And Taiga always avoided ever accepting those promises, but he never let him down.
  88. Now, he would never hear that voice again. He would never witness the man running away from sensitive subjects, or rushing off to get into more trouble. He would never get to drag chairs across Agartha with him again, from Crafthold and back to their home.
  90. No more tours of the caves below Briar Locke, no more advice to be given about love or learning wayfinding. No more hearing people call his name out or Cordelia to try and push him to go bowling with her.
  92. Nothing, not even a whimper. No tied back white-hair, with that large sword on his back. No more Dhampire that was taunted and belittled by others, seen as bad while he only ever did good.
  94. Adrian opens his mouth, but only air comes out. Siegfried crying so loudly and screeching, it simply wouldn't suit the large Dragon himself. And as much as he felt that strain in his chest, that pulling on his heart. A shaky hand moves up to be placed flat on his chest and then moving out for him to look down at.
  96. Shaky... From anger, from regret, from losing something dear to his heart. Because with Taiga gone, it means he loses both his parents. Both the people that had raised him his entire life, protected him and guided him. People, he woke up to, he searched so desperately and aimed to make proud of him.
  98. Was Taiga proud of him before he died?
  100. ''Ahh...'' He drops both arms at his sides, making sure to show that stern look of his. A fist clenched, causing nails to breach his skin and blood to drip. A grip so tight, to keep himself from exploding.
  102. ''He wouldn't want your tears, you know. He would agree with what I am doing, to keep moving forward. To not stop and stagger at his lost, but let it fuel me to become something more. I know he may have not wanted me to chase for vengeance, but I guess I will only have to let him down in that aspect.
  104. He's not going to be coming back Siegfried, you need to come to terms with that. At least you got to hear it from me, not overhearing it amongst disgusting humans smacking their lips together casually. That's all they ever do...''
  106. Keeping his bloody hand at his side, he raises his other to slash through the air idly. ''I already have read the other version of that letter, and even if Godfrey hates me I understand his pain. I understand it more than anyone will ever realize, and the times where I pushed or tried to prevent him from doing something... Was only for his own good, only to make him better.
  108. I didn't go to risk my life at the face of Fallen Angels to retrieve him when he was young for nothing. Even if he got back safely without me, I was willing to risk myself for an Oscuri. But now he's disappointed me, disappointed everyone that ever gave him a chance.
  110. He spits in the face of my uncles, my parents. Niklaus and Taiga were my parents. And I would die for them, but he's gone and returned to the place that hunts one of them. And would have killed Taiga too... Because he felt cornered?
  112. That excuse is disgusting. As most of my life, I have felt cornered and isolated. Death isn't ever an option, as suicide is just an easy way out. And I will only give Godfrey a few months to return to me, otherwise, I will take his fucking life with no hesitation.
  114. People are going to die, so many people. Something in me has awakened and no one wants to find out what it is, no one wants me to prove them right about the Rowan name.
  116. So get up, stop weeping... And move forward. Save Godfrey or kill him, because I don't have the patience for it. I am sorry if I sound cold, but that's simply how my father's death has left me feeling.''
  118. Cold.
  119. (Adrian Rowan)
  120. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  122. [10:55] hmm stinky.
  123. (Ashalle)
  124. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  126. [10:55] slow ass
  127. (Adrian Rowan)
  128. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  130. [11:27] The anguish tore into him deeper than any knife.
  132. Even sovereign to your mortal coil, the soul can be permanently infringed upon by things we experience in life. A tumultuous storm of raw emotion simmered in him that brought shivers to his toes and fingers, like electricity conducted through his limbs. His eyes momentarily flash with raw energy, and he stumbles back, one step, two...
  134. And again he screams, and it does not stop. It is not pretty. Snot dribbles down his nose. Tears coarse down his face.
  136. ---
  138. He wouldn't want your tears, you know.
  141. please, taiga. forgive me. just this once.
  143. I promise.
  145. ---
  147. In his heart and in his head, everything throbbed. He rocks with waves of emotion that send his body jerking into spasms, like he'd been put to the electric chair, and then, delirious on the pain, not here, but somewhere infinitely far away, lips part and spew feelingas they hadn't in years.
  149. "The stars in the sky,
  150. In vain
  151. The tragedy of Agartha,
  152. In vain
  153. The key in the lock,
  154. In vain
  155. The sleeping mother,
  156. In vain
  157. The lamp in the corner,
  158. In vain
  159. The lamp in the corner unlit,
  160. In vain
  161. Levengard,
  162. In vain
  163. Dusk,
  164. In vain
  165. The writing hand,
  166. In vain
  168. His life..."
  170. There's a great sob, and a heave, but that tells you not what storms through his heart. Instead, he aims to tell you what flows through his heart, lacquered with such emotion that one would swear the stimuli was killing him.
  172. "...And you raged and screamed and reached into the world to crush the shadow who destroyed you, before it can destroy others, like it can unmake what was done to you. But you are so far less now than what you were, more monster than man, you are like a painter gone blind, a composer gone deaf, you can remember where the power was but the power you can touch is only a memory, and so with all your world-destroying fury it is only ants around you that implode, and you enforce only laws, and through this, you are given the illusion that the table on which you were strapped shatters, but in the end, you cannot touch the shadow. In the end you don't even want to. In the end, you do not even want to. In the end, the shadow is all you have left. Because the shadow understands you, the shadow forgives you, the shadow gathers you unto itself — And within your new purpose, you burn a new flame, until it smolders at last."
  174. Still, he rises, a hand on his forehead as he rocks with the exertion of every syllable he spews.
  176. "Your justice, you carved into the world until the day you died. You ask others if they'll do this, that they have a choice, knowing that you made yours long ago."
  178. He looks into the distance, now, and even while they still dried on his face, the tears are like a bitter memory, of someone so far away and so long ago...
  180. ---
  182. In another world, you died old, in Niklaus's arms. We cried, but you lived a long, happy life. You hung up that sword a long time ago.
  184. But you never really cared for that, did you?
  186. As long as that sword was there on the wall, you'd have picked it up.
  188. There was never any other end for you. They just didn't know you.
  190. This is who you are.
  192. ---
  194. His head is still raised, and from his eyes still flow tears, but it's like he isn't even aware. He's like a machine...
  196. Siegfried faces forward, eyes smoldering with power.
  198. "I'll finish what you started..."
  200. Bereft of divinity, absent of faith in any construct of man, even the Gods.
  202. A raw force of nature had just been born, forged in the dragon's flame. He talks like Adrian isn't even there.
  204. ---
  206. Standing in the flames is Taiga. Handsome, and smiling, but in those eyes, always bubbling a storm. A man who would never, ever be at peace.
  208. It cuts to black. Gone are the flames. Gone is Taiga, without a trace, not even a whisper on the winds.
  210. Siegfried stands in his place.
  212. ---
  214. "My parents were shit, you never even told me how the Hell to do any of this, and no one is going to think I can do this. But I have to."
  216. It was written.
  218. "So I will."
  219. (Siegfried)
  220. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  222. [11:46] It still worried him, to consider that maybe he should be the one weeping? But the most someone will get from him, is a frown.
  224. And he's been frowning for a long time, even though his smiles there's sorrow. And the times he felt happy, were always tore away from him. And now, he had lost someone special to him.
  226. Siegfrieds little act is observed, but Adrian doesn't say anything to intervene. Was this his way of honoring the Dhampire? Which Adrian can only respect silently.
  228. Until it comes to the very end, the talk of his parents being shit. It does cause Adrian to think of his own, where Esme Rowan and Ramsey come to mind... He only wipes them away to bring Niklaus and Taiga into view. The only people he wanted to see smiling, to be proud of him.
  230. ''That's enough...'' He sighs, as icy wings move into his back. Such a tall, bold, and strong Dragon. Yet; it was clear he was smaller than he ever was, trying to find what he had lost.
  232. ''What do you even expect to do now, Siegfried? I already decided that I will end the Mori's life... And most likely even hunt down his family until the very last one.
  234. And with Godfrey, if he doesn't come back to me. He will have to die too, as Taiga didn't die for someone like him to put the man's efforts in vain. To run back to Dawn and claim to only exist for killing, even if you don't agree with me...''
  236. He couldn't stand it, he had seen too much weeping already. And he already knew that he would have to see his broken father next. To see such a high and mighty Dragon, fall down into the deepest depths.
  238. ''I have had enough... I am not good at giving closure, I am not good with words. But all I can tell you is to keep moving forward.''
  240. The Elisheva tomb of Wayfinding, would he dabble in its arts? Now that was the heaviest question he's asked himself over the past few months.
  242. ''I just... Don't want to think about it.''
  243. (Adrian Rowan)
  244. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  246. [11:57] Without hesitation, he springs forward. His arms wrap around Adrian, unsolicited, unbidden. It's very sudden, and very invasive of the dragon - and without him uttering a word, the action speaks.
  248. It says thank you.
  250. The human squeezes the Drakanite affirmingly, holds him close...unless, of course, Adrian was of the immediate inclination to pry him right on off. And then, when the moment has passed, he slips away, just out of reach.
  252. "I'll kill Mori and everyone like him," he says simply, with absolutely no sort of qualms in any capacity.
  254. Afterward, he turns on his heel, back to Adrian.
  256. "I'll bring Godfrey back to Levengard...and we're going to have a talk. Me. You. Him. Cal'. Maybe Cordy. Dunno. Afterward, we'll have to see what happens."
  258. One hand goes in his pocket. The other remains out. A hand outstretches, and two fingers are extended - they form a symbol.
  260. "...Adrian, I would never tell you how to live your life, 'cause I respect you too damn much but I will tell you one thing.
  262. You were not breathed into Eternia by whatever forces or magics or Gods may exist to refuse your emotions. Move forward...but not in resistance of everything that you are, my friend.
  264. Being a hero is a dying art...
  266. It's a work of heart."
  268. Like the wind, he is gone after that, flickering out of being in the breadth of seconds as he charges unto Dusk, in dawn, after night.
  270. That symbol he'd made had been for peace.
  271. (Siegfried)
  273. [23:05] What is your purpose?
  275. If you sought to live you had naught but run and hide yourself away. But then... what does it mean to live in truth? To wage war against the passing days? To pray to the unseen for a few breaths more? To raise grand cities from stone, and spawn new life in turn? Mankind has done this, yes, and more. But is the tapestry you weave truly of your own design?
  277. Siegfried's energy magic has proven difficult for him to control over the past several years - until recently. And it is only recently that he has come closer to being at peace with himself.
  279. It isn't too difficult to stitch together that which he found likely - that the two went hand-and-hand. That the rationale for all that he'd struggled to do with magic came from the constant state of inner turmoil that he was in. That same desire to leave, to panic, to flee, to fright.
  281. And so, in order to thrive in the war that was to come...
  283. He must master that desire.
  284. (Siegfried)
  285. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  287. [23:21] Some are easy to fathom, they go on living from simple fear of death. But not all. Some welcome the end with arms outstretched, while others come to face death incarnate, arms in hand.
  289. I ask again, what is your purpose here?
  291. Siegfried's combat speed is the only notable aspect of his fighting style. Nothing else was even remotely noteworthy. Examined from nearly every angle, he is simply someone who aims to strike very quickly, and respectably hard. At the young age of twenty, the strength that he is able to invoke is commendable. There were thousands upon thousands of Agarthans, and many of them never reached this level - if they were even of magical talent at all.
  293. But those that hover above, those that reign above all, they are greater. And they are all that matters, when one sought to change the world. To challenge the masters of all that currently was, and cow them with superior strength - that was the failsafe, when words would fail.
  295. The energy magic that he so struggled to properly utilize all of this time flares to life...slowly. Deliberately. Blue kindles of flame occupy his orbit, willed to life by his magic circuits, and are given cohesion, given form.
  297. The chaotic sparks that had battered and singed at his skin are reigned in. That which had flared with his emotions, saved him and also condemned him in the heat of deadly combat, is suppressed. Brought down to reasonable levels...and then below.
  299. Clara...
  301. Siegfried forgets love.
  303. Ethan...
  305. Siegfried forgets the lost.
  307. Taiga...
  309. Siegfried forgets his life.
  311. All that there is is the fight. He has to keep moving. To stop moving is to die. He is dancing - in the plains, in an empty field, he moves with a streak of afterimages behind him, but no visible aura.
  313. Mastery over self...Absence of fear.
  315. Calm, deliberate movement, fast as the winds.
  317. ---
  319. He sees Taiga. And he is running, running, unable to catch up to the man, even as he merely walks. Every time Siegfried has this dream, it ends the same - Taiga slips into an infinite expanse of blackness, no matter his efforts...
  321. But now, long after Taiga is gone, he does not stop. He is still running, running.
  323. So you know that we're out there,
  324. Swatting lies in the making,
  325. Can't move fast without breaking,
  326. Can't hold on or life won't change...
  328. ---
  330. With speed that breaks the sound barrier, he leaps off of a cliff, like a bullet fired from a gun, against the infinite backdrop of the skies. Nothing is left in his wake - nothing but him. Phantasmal images, the sheer speed at which he moved conjuring the fable that he was everywhere at once.
  332. The sun is rising. It is a new day.
  333. (Siegfried)
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