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I. The End

Blue_XIII Aug 1st, 2019 (edited) 188 Never
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  1. For the ingame experience of Siegfried's flashbacks with Clara at the end of this paste:
  2.  
  3. https://gyazo.com/d1068f70e28c86a15411e59c90b50135
  4. https://gyazo.com/ce152a309853144875fb0e5fc4ddd576
  5. https://gyazo.com/4b0e64629f269844e4aa6d9230b0771d
  6. https://gyazo.com/d54e4cb029dd45a30a1129f65b70aabe
  7. https://gyazo.com/20bd5dc7dbfd4ca8742e00fd466952d1
  8.  
  9. (Anyway, the scene kicks off with Godfrey, Siegfried, and Declan, speaking in the cell. It's a long scene. I feel like I want to grab the most pertinent posts:)
  10.  
  11. [12:22] "Locked to the Worldscape.. I imagine I'll be there soon enough, myself." He brings a hand to pitter-patter fingers across his chin and jawline. If Order and Chaos had been lost on Siegfried before, they were likely found within him at Declan's mention.
  12.  
  13. "It's more than the lifestream, though we use it as a source. It's more about -why- you use it because it lets you, or why you break it because you have to." He doesn't have much more to input, staring long at Declan.
  14.  
  15. He states one final thing.
  16.  
  17. "If Levengard can house evil masquerading as good, why can't the wilds house good masquerading as evil?" He closes his eyes now and coughs a little more blood, perhaps ruining the romantic way he put his plight.
  18.  
  19. ".. After all.. I want nothing more than Aurora Elisheva removed permanently, and I want Levengard to be made the bastion of peace and good it was -meant- to be. Yet Aurora rapidly rises the ranks. She's a Sage now. This place ruined me. I do not want it to ruin another soul. My dream?
  20.  
  21. To prevent another Godfrey Vishkar being spawned from life-ruining event after life-ruining event. But I am the villain, hm?"
  22. ".. Sorry I've been acting all crazy, but- It hurts. It hurts a lot, brother."
  23. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  24.  
  25. ___________________________________________________________________
  26.  
  27. "I don't think everyone from Dusk is a bad person, and I advocated against killing them all. Ilui and Aurora are kind of..."
  28.  
  29. He pauses, trying to think of a diplomatic way to frame this. This was his brother, so he could be blunt.
  30.  
  31. "I think someone's needed to beat their asses for a really long time, but it kind of just didn't happen, so they've gotten so caught up in their own bullshit that it's like, stifling."
  32.  
  33. There's a sort of shrug after that. That was how he genuinely felt about this. It was casual, it was almost fucked up, really, but Siegfried had been raised on the roads. Honed in his travels. A citizen not of any one nation, but Agartha itself. He couldn't help but think that the primary thing wrong with Ilui and Aurora was, frankly, just...
  34.  
  35. Unchecked egoism.
  36.  
  37. "Bein' from Levengard don't make you good. Bein' in Dusk never made ya' bad. It's the decisions and choices you make that make a person bad." His fist bumps his own chest, right over his heart.
  38.  
  39. "It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story."
  40.  
  41. He stares dead at Godfrey.
  42.  
  43. "I can tell that you're not all yourself anymore," he admits, in a voice that sounds emanating with pain. "But that's alright, because none of us really are, hm? But one thing I don't want you to start doing, something I keep hearing you doing, is seeing yourself as the bad guy in your own story. I don't care if you raise the dead, as long as it's not against someone's will. I don't care if you kill, as long as you only kill to defend yourself, or you kill those who kill others, Godfrey."
  44.  
  45. He takes a deep breath.
  46.  
  47. "But don't let yourself become everything that made you into what you are.
  48.  
  49. Don't become someone else's Aurora Elisheva."
  50. (Siegfried)
  51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  52.  
  53. [12:53] Godfrey Vishkar says, "..."
  54. [12:53] Declan Caelum says, "Big."
  55.  
  56. [13:00] It hits him like a ton of bricks. He's left to sit and listen to every word as it's hammered into him. The youth's eyes close when he hears it all, and he's left to take in every last drop of explanation. "Something tells me.. They'd be worse if someone put the fear of god into them." He starts to laugh looking up towards Siegfried and Declan with bright, expressive eyes. "Could you imagine if they had something to justify their ways? It makes my skin crawl."
  57.  
  58. Godfrey stares back at Siegfried for the longest time now, listening to those final words. Don't let yourself be the villain in your own story. Being from Dusk, being an Oscuri- None of that has to make you evil, or wrong, or even terrible. His eyes close once more and a breath comes out of Godfrey quite like a shudder. Like pain leaving the system.
  59.  
  60. ".. You asked what was going to change, Declan.." He nods his head and looks up towards the duo. "My morals and code of laws. I refuse to become her. To let her dictate what I become. I will not be the Aurora Elisheva to the others. That's a promise I can stand by."
  61.  
  62. Little by little, light is returning to Godfrey's stare. He brings his hands up towards his collar and taps on it now, turning his eyes to the wall.
  63.  
  64. ".. I just have to get out of here and not be executed for that to happen."
  65. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  66.  
  67. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  68.  
  69. [13:01] Declan Caelum says, "There's some options here."
  70. [13:01] Declan Caelum says, "One, I buy you out."
  71. [13:01] Declan Caelum says, "Two, we hold a trial with Sima and Percival being there."
  72. [13:02] Declan Caelum says, "Or Three, by force."
  73. [13:02] Declan Caelum says, "...if that all fails."
  74. [13:02] Declan Caelum says, "...we call upon -him-."
  75. [13:10] Siegfried stares up, and at the ceiling.
  76.  
  77. "Be careful what you plan. Remember, Calael can like, mind-read. So. There's that," he offers, carefully. "I'm telling you this knowing full well he could potentially do it to me, too, and be really damn angry that I let you in on it, so take that tidbit, too."
  78.  
  79. What a damn situation that this was. Atleast he could say he felt like he'd made some major progress. He scoots his chair closer to the cell, so he can be literally within reaching distance of Godfrey, if that was so what the lad chose, and then begins to lay his back and head against the wall.
  80.  
  81. "...But I think he's more reasonable than you might think, and I think...that could maybe be the trick. I'll try and do my best to help you. You know I will. But for now? I just got outta my own cell. We've been locked up around the same time."
  82.  
  83. He pulls up his jacket, showing Godfrey a nasty, festering wound that was all along his hip, poking out from the tip of his jeans. It looks positively disgusting, like a gore scene.
  84.  
  85. "An' as lovely as this is, I need my beauty sleep. But I'll stay here with you. An' Declan?"
  86.  
  87. He looks to the other man, finally.
  88.  
  89. "...Thank you, for looking out for my family."
  90. (Siegfried)
  91. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  92.  
  93.  
  94.  
  95. ((After awhile of irrelevant white-texting, within the new few OOC hours, the scene transitions, as Aurora enters:))
  96.  
  97. Aurora enters the dungeons.
  98.  
  99. She's slow with her approach, careful steps being taken... No, not careful. Leisure. The demi-angel had all the time in the world, after all. She was in her city. In her home. In the safest building in Levengard, even.
  100.  
  101. Where her prisoner was waiting for her.
  102.  
  103. Ah. How fortunate she was. It only took a day for him to appear in these chambers.
  104.  
  105. "I'll be honest, Godfrey. I thought it'd take you a bit longer than this to get here."
  106.  
  107. The Elisheva is smiling, of course. Why wouldn't she?
  108. (Aurora Elisheva)
  109.  
  110. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  111.  
  112. [15:18] Aurora Elisheva says, "Thanks again, Ilui."
  113. [15:18] Aurora Elisheva says, "I owe you one."
  114. [15:19] Ilui Elisheva exclaims, "Hm, hm!"
  115. [15:19] Ilui Elisheva exclaims, "Have fun!"
  116. [15:19] Aurora Elisheva says, "I will."
  117.  
  118. Godfrey, on the other hand, is leaning up against the stone wall at the back. He's staring up at the ceiling with a little bit of a smirk on his face, but otherwise that goes away when she enters and speaks up. "I don't exactly hide myself out in the wild. Nor am I a coward." He slowly picks himself up and stares back at her.
  119.  
  120. ".. But you know how money-hungry, deceitful liars are- They'll tell your whole family you'll be safe as they drag you off to the place where nightmares are born. You think I'm here because I want to be?" He blows hot air though his nose before a hand comes up to wild blood from his mouth.
  121.  
  122. "... Nah."
  123. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  124.  
  125. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  126.  
  127. [15:25] Here because he wanted to be?
  128.  
  129. The smirk stitched to her visage only grows as the demi-angel begins to chuckle, laughter drawn by the words of the Vishkar. "Haha! Of course you're not, silly! You are here because I want you to be here. Because you threatened me, remember? Because you betrayed my home. Do you remember that, at least?"
  130.  
  131. Yet, although it's quite clear that she has no mercy to offer the Oscuri, Aurora is not rushing to attack him. Nor is she planning to execute him down here.
  132.  
  133. Not yet, at the very least.
  134.  
  135. Her small wings flutter a little. Excited. "I have a lot to get done today, Godfrey. I am happy you arrived so early." She offers him her smile. Again.
  136. (Aurora Elisheva)
  137.  
  138. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  139.  
  140. [15:29] Siegfried is looking at Aurora. The look is very pointed. It says many things without saying them in any capacity, as she seems to delight in taunting the Oscuri whilst he is beyond bars. His eyes close, and then the boys expression smooths over...
  141.  
  142. And then he opens his eyes, appearing very tired.
  143.  
  144. "Good to see you, Aurora. It's been awhile. Since the end o' the war or somethin' like that," he converses, casually, with the air that someone might remark on the weather. All the while, that file digs at his nails. "Heard you're a Sage now. Took your mom's place, huh?"
  145.  
  146. He stops for a second, as if considering something.
  147.  
  148. "Big shoes to fill. She was amazing. I'm sure you'll be just as amazin' though."
  149. (Siegfried)
  150. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  151.  
  152. [15:30] Aurora Elisheva says, "My mom is an Oracle. I am a sage. There's a slight difference."
  153. [15:32] Siegfried asks, "Yeah, I never understood the specifics. Gettin' there though, right?"
  154. [15:32] "...." Godfrey reaches up and stretches now, giving a few pops to his back as his ribs seem to move inwards. A loud yawn follows afterwards, Godfrey moving to stand up on his own two feet as he smacked his lips together. "Mhm. Sounds right."
  155.  
  156. Now bored, he yawns again and closes his eyes while his head hangs. No smile from him, no fury, no exaggerated yelling. Just.. Neutrality and apathy.
  157. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  158. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  159.  
  160. [15:35] Her taunting hasn't finished just yet, but it's fair to assume that she was putting that act of hers on pause. Just to glance towards Siegfried, offering him her full attention.
  161.  
  162. "Sieg'. Is there something I can help you with? Last I heard, you weren't an official of my city, were you? You have, hm..." The demi-angel looks around, staring at the wall of this small room.
  163.  
  164. "Ah, yes. No authority to be here. That's the word I was looking for."
  165.  
  166. Okay, maybe it was too much to expect from Aurora not to feel a tad more arrogant than usual.
  167. (Aurora Elisheva)
  168. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  169.  
  170. [15:43] "I've never really cared about authority. None of us did, a few years ago, it's why we all got into so much crap," he quips dryly. "I didn't know visiting your brother in prison was illegal nowadays, though."
  171.  
  172. It was as he'd been saying about Ilui and Aurora only a short while ago, really. It was a shame that things had gotten to this point, where he didn't trust them even the slightest bit, but what could you do?
  173.  
  174. Such was the way of things.
  175.  
  176. "Cut the crap, Aurora. I've had to do this putting on faces, polite, snake-eyed bullshit enough with people I didn't grow up with. Just say you're trying to use your new position to remove me so you can do the same shit to Godfrey Isaac was doin' to me until this morning."
  177.  
  178. He's hungover. He's tired. He's limping, still injured.
  179.  
  180. And he's fed up.
  181. (Siegfried)
  182. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  183.  
  184. [15:43] Aurora Elisheva asks, "Hm? Do you think I want to torture him?"
  185.  
  186. [15:49] A roll of her eyes is offered. Just that, really.
  187.  
  188. She remains silent for many moments, the silver bell that was attached to her staff thrums ever so lightly with the an occultic pulse. A menacing melody, almost. "You're wrong. I have no intention to do that. Kill him? Maybe. Not here. Not in the shadows, of course. I am no coward. And you'd be very wrong to assume otherwise, Sieg'."
  189.  
  190. Her tone is neutral, and although the man's assumption does irritate Aurora... She sees the logic in it. Sort of.
  191.  
  192. She wasn't her uncle, nor was she her mother. Aurora was herself.
  193.  
  194. "But, this isn't to say that your concerns justifies going against rules. You should and do know better. I don't need to tell you this. I don't need to tell you to leave. You know you shouldn't be here just as much as, deep down, you know I wouldn't try to kill off your 'brother' down in some dungeon."
  195.  
  196. The demi-angel at the very least hoped that he knew her that well.
  197. (Aurora Elisheva)
  198. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  199.  
  200. [15:57] Knossos Fengari says, "Aurora. Talk. Now. Important."
  201. [15:58] He hesitates.
  202.  
  203. Aurora was his friend, ultimately. They hadn't spent as much time together as him and virtually any of his other academy friends, but all the same, they had bonded, out of a mutual talking point, and in another life, if the circumstances had been different, he could see a world in which they'd been close, rather than the other friends he'd chosen.
  204.  
  205. But this wasn't that world. It was this one, where he didn't trust her, not at all. Even as fond as he was of her, there wasn't a part of him that'd trusted her since the day he witnessed how she relished tormenting Godfrey as a child.
  206.  
  207. "You'll excuse me if I've struggled to forget what happened between you two when you were younger? The history? My distrust of authority, when I've watched the misuse of that power over an' over?" His tone is level, but his eyes smolder with a burning intensity. "When your first choice here wasn't to say, 'Hey, Sieg', could you give us a moment?' But, 'You have no authority to be here?"
  208.  
  209. His voice goes low, his tone pillow soft.
  210.  
  211. "If things were different...if you and Godfrey's roles were reversed...I would want to stay and, at the very least, make sure you were safe, and no one was going to harm each other. I'm not going to prevent you from doing your job. I'm just here, Aurora."
  212.  
  213. Siegfried is not fool enough to think Aurora and he are the same. Even fond of her as he was, he hardly had a malicious bone in his body, and, frankly, she could be downright terrifying.
  214.  
  215. "You'll allow me this one small comfort, won't you? A favor, for a friend?"
  216. (Siegfried)
  217. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  218.  
  219. [16:01] The demi-angel's pale blue eyes linger on Siegfried for long, drawn moments. She's silent.
  220.  
  221. Frankly? A look of disappointment takes over her expression. ..Mostly because she trusted the man to know better, and to put his trust in her. Was she really that awful? Did he really think she'd execute a powerless Oscuri down here? Alone? Like a coward? Like... A dawnite?
  222.  
  223. Like Sors Ultovex would?
  224.  
  225. Her head shakes from side to side, lips parting-- and then, Knossos arrives.
  226.  
  227. "Talk? Hm, alright. Sure. I guess you can stay with him for now, Sieg'."
  228. (Aurora Elisheva)
  229. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  230.  
  231. ((After a brief while, Aurora returns, with several others in tow, ranging from Isaac Shimasu, to Ilui Elisheva, Calael Kang, Percival, and many, many others:))
  232.  
  233. Siegfried is like, napping. The lad is dozing in and out of sleep, but he has abruptly awakened due to all the jibber-jabber in his vicinity. The lad awakens to the sight of Lea Elisheva aside him, and Godfrey talking.
  234.  
  235. Both of these things were lovely.
  236.  
  237. He grimaces, the still-as-of-yet untreated wound aching...when in marches an enormous party of people, including the one man he'd certainly not been hoping to see again, followed by many other people that he wasn't too confident in the arrival of, either.
  238.  
  239. The boy stands, but even the act is shaky. Eying down all of these people, he immediately looks defensive, like he were the one in that cell.
  240.  
  241. His heartbeat is quickening.
  242.  
  243. "Ah. Always good to see a big turnout to show support to a struggling young man."
  244.  
  245. Fuck.
  246. (Siegfried)
  247. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  248.  
  249. [17:58] The Dhampir moved through the clustered crowd, finding a corner and sticking to it, in the shadows; though she did look directly at Godfrey,
  250.  
  251. "Sorry I couldn't come find you before all this, kiddo," She commented.
  252. (Cordelia I. Avitus)
  253. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  254.  
  255. [17:58] Lea Elisheva whispers: I'm not looking forward to watch another family member of mine be killed.
  256. [17:58] Godfrey Vishkar says, "... Not much has happened, won't lie. Anger, pain-"
  257. [17:58] Godfrey Vishkar says, ".. It's good to see you again, Cordelia."
  258. [17:59] Siegfried whispers: Don't say that. Don't talk like it's already over.
  259. [18:00] Aurora brings herself to her uncle's side, smiling all the while. It might seem like she was the only one in this room having fun.
  260.  
  261. Excited, happy, eager. All of that. There isn't a positive emotion that this arrogant brat wasn't feeling already.
  262.  
  263. "Ah! Well, well?" She nudges at the older demi-angel's side with an elbow, "What do you say? Mom isn't around, of course. Dad isn't here either. It's up to you, isn't it?"
  264. (Aurora Elisheva)
  265. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  266.  
  267. [18:02] Lea Elisheva whispers: Why wouldn't I? Watching troubled and misguided members of my family be bulled, ostracized, and murdered right before my eyes seems to be the running theme of my life.
  268. [18:06] Cal pocketed the book Isaac handed him for later reading and then turned to Aurora. A brief glance was given to Siegfried and Lea, and any present could tell the newly appointed Oracle was already bearing the weight of this situation on his shoulders. His niece's attitude made it all the worse.
  269.  
  270. "...up to me." he said, idly moving through the small group of people before stopping at the bars of the cell. Golden eyes peered through the darkness at the imprisoned Godfrey, the son of a woman Cal had more or less grown up with during his days in Crafthold. Freya and he hadn't ended on good terms but even now he saw her in the boy.
  271.  
  272. He saw Alastor in him as well, the Oscuri who he had once seen spouting such hatred and poison in the standing Thalassian center to the point where he and Est had to leave, where they pointed at Alastor and said 'That is the problem with Dawn. People like him.
  273.  
  274. There was once a time when Cal believed if he could find a way to speak with Godfrey one on one, things could have changed, but given the circumstances of the Vishkar's time growing up in Levengard, it had all taken a turn for the worse.
  275.  
  276. Cal knew. He already understood who was to blame, people standing to his left and right, people who did not deserve the feathers on their backs nor the last names they bore. Disappointments, let downs, consistent fires burning down what Levengard once was. This was the city he had inherited from a woman who abandoned it, from a brother often too drunk to leave his home.
  277.  
  278. It disgusted him.
  279.  
  280. "...Godfrey Vishkar." he asked, trying to hide all that pain and anger within himself by letting out a calm, low tone. "What do I do with you?"
  281. (Calael E. Kang)
  282. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  283.  
  284. [18:11] Off in the corner she stood, hands lost behind her back, in that bloodied shirt, her hair a mess of tangles and blood equally as bad, but much as Calael had said, Cordelia was surprisingly on her best behavior. Aurora's act of happiness caused the blacksmith to frown but that was it.
  285.  
  286. There was no snark from her, at least, at the moment. As Calael moved up to peer closely at Godfrey, Cordelia inclined her head curiously before finally, she spoke up with a strange suggestion,
  287.  
  288. "Let me take him home," She said simply, holding up a finger before she inclined her head, "To Obsidia. It's empty - and I'm sure he won't bother Levengard up there.... Isn't that right, Godfrey?" She asked, wildly nodding her head with wide eyes.
  289.  
  290. "But that's just a suggestion, Cal, of course."
  291. (Cordelia I. Avitus)
  292. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  293.  
  294. [18:15] His heart is racing, though it doesn't show on his face. He steps up to the plate, because it's his time to bat. The Oscuri looks down at his feet for a time as Issac, Ilui and the rest arrive in the room. He was cornered into this trap - And a breath is taken inwards. He listens to the happy giggles and chuckles from Aurora, and it just makes his smirk all the bigger. ".. It's good to see you again, Calael. You don't look any younger." Fully frown, the blood and bruised Oscuri turns his head up and stares back at the blue hair for a time.
  295.  
  296. Eyes meet eyes, and Godfrey doesn't turn away. Malentine made it so perfect in his mine. You can't run from Fate. This is the game we're forced to play. We are the tragedies, not the comedies.
  297.  
  298. Godfrey Vishkar is forced to dance on the strings of Fate. Those.. Strings..
  299.  
  300. ".. I don't have a myriad of suggestions, but if the joy and glee I'm hearing from the others tells me anything.. I don't have any options, do I? My story.. Does any of that really matter today, Cal? I can't stay here - My head won't let me. All it does is show me memories of every insult, beating, and mistreatment here in Levengard."
  301.  
  302. Godfrey steps out of the darkness and into the light. It shines on the caked blood on his mouth, the tear stains on his cheeks. The bruises on his face. It was almost as if he had accepted this. When the light hits him, he can see Alastor's hair on Godfrey. He can see Freya's eyes. Calael Elisheva can see a doomstruck expression of a man who almost certainly knows he's going to fall.
  303.  
  304. "... I'm not the bad guy of my own story, Calael. Not anymore. I'm able to accept... That everything I've done, I've done because of... Me. I've changed... Because of her." He doesn't say her name, but he would absolutely understand. Just glimpsing into anything revolving Godfrey's life, Wisdom would understand the sheer depth of how much suffering lay in wait.
  305.  
  306. He's in the light of the other room adjacent to him now - No longer hiding. Not hiding from Fate. When Cordelia speaks up, he doesn't comment nor address it - Though he does nod. ".. This place is the home of so much.. Pain.. So much evil.."
  307. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  308. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  309.  
  310. [18:19] It always came back to her.
  311.  
  312. Against Dusk, against murderers and necromancers-- and even now, against the boy who threatened her life. It came back to Aurora. She was accused of being wicked, evil, and too bigoted to understand. Necromancy can be good, Aurora! You've just been brainwashed by your family! The necromancer screamed, as the silent whispers of the stars gave Aurora a headache.
  313.  
  314. It was torture.
  315.  
  316. And even now, among many family members... The blame was hers to take once more. She made him this way.
  317.  
  318. Her smirk is washed by a neutral expression, a much more mature one. She casts her eyes towards the imprisoned Oscuri, staring. Waiting.
  319.  
  320. She wanted to hear Calael's judgement first.
  321. (Aurora Elisheva)
  322. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  323.  
  324. [18:23] There's a certain heat that drums up as the heels of this particular Enforcer lays upon the ground, fingers trailing along the railings of the descending steps into the dungeons. It unnerved her to be outside with so many past-Duskites, and to think that all of the bodies that congregated down here were simply just...
  325.  
  326. Giving fanfare for the things that wouldn't change, couldn't change-- refused to change.
  327.  
  328. Halting at the entrance, there's an expression that about as stone cold as it can get that etches along her countenance despite the sheer warmth that comes from her. No cresting of the feathers atop of her head nor anything like that.
  329.  
  330. Instead, her fingers come to connect in front of her as she flicked her glowing gaze between all parties, awaiting the proper introduction and judgment of the scene here.
  331.  
  332. No words. Yet.
  333. (Thalia Elisheva)
  334. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  335.  
  336. [18:33] It didn't take long for more visions to come across Cal's mental view, sights and sounds of Godfrey failing to defeat Feth during the war, of Godfrey returning to Ultovex and deciding to stay and fight for Dusk and the forces that would see the world destroyed. And then there was something else in boy's head, images of a vampire, one of the worst, smiling and guiding and teaching an Oscuri who wanted to see everything west of Agartha's mountains burn.
  337.  
  338. "There are not a lot... of options." Cal said in response to the Vishkar's initial response to the posed question. Cordelia's suggestion earned a small shake of Calael's head. "Obsidia is not empty, it's filled with Dusk's refugees, people who hate us just as much as Godfrey here." He didn't need the reports he had to tell him as much, but he had read them allthe same. "...not to mention in your care... nothing will change." The demiangel's gaze stayed fixed on Godfrey, and he spoke the next bit with some conviction, as if it was a posed question to Godfrey that was still spoke as true statements. "If Godfrey leaves these cells alive, he returns to where he wants to be. He returns to Sors, to Invidias, to the remnants of the necromancers on Agartha. He returns to people who, despite your best efforts, will urge him to fight, to lead, to kill, until he gets what he wants; Levengard destroyed. Huangzhou in flames. Gehenna dismantled."
  339.  
  340. "No. He can't go 'home'." Cal closed his eyes and took in a breath. He was quiet for a long beat of time, thinking trying to piece together his own emotions and logic. 'Because of her. echoed time and time again.
  341.  
  342. "This is what your hatred brings." Cal finally reopened his eyes and looked to Aurora. "This is what your anger creates." A gloved hand gestured out toward Godfrey, and then Cal's eyes shifted to Ilui, and to Isaac. Cal stared at those red eyes for a time before looking back to the Sage, knowing full well this wouldn't reach the black-winged's ears. It likely wouldn't meet Ilui's or Aurora's either, but for his own piece of mind he would say it. "You created what he is, no one else. His mother died for us, she died for you, she died for something noble and great that you've yet to realize. And for her sacrifice you treated her son like trash. For her sacrifice, youtold her son he was a dog, a pet. You broke his bones. You threw him through the streets, you threatened and bullied and ridiculed, and now you have created something that could have started another war in ten years. You created a boy who would have known nothing other than this world's anger, anger that would have cost the future generations, your children, their lives, their happiness."
  343.  
  344. "There are only people, Godfrey Vishkar." he said, turning back to the Oscuri. "Good and bad make it too easy. Being the bad guy or being the hero of your own story means nothing. We are people, molded by our actions. And you chose to join the enemy. You chose to kneel to the man who killed Freya, to betray the ideals she died for. You chose to turn to Chaos and hate instead of finding another way, instead of believing there was something else in this world you could have fought and strived toward."
  345.  
  346. Cal's heart was beating somewhat loudly in his chest and he took in another breath, trying his best to calm himself down.
  347.  
  348. "I am sorry for the way Levengard treated you. I am sorry that you were thrust into a world that you feel has always been against you. I am sorry that I could not be the one you felt comfortable going to when things became difficult... but I cannot let you leave these dungeons."
  349.  
  350. "And there are not many other choices I have to go forward with from there." Cal's expression was grim, just as the scenario was, just as these things always would be. "...and so I ask again... Godfrey Vishkar. What do I do with you?"
  351. (Calael E. Kang)
  352. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  353.  
  354. [18:43] She waits.
  355.  
  356. And she waits more and more. She hears the entirety of her uncle's speech.
  357.  
  358. And then something snaps- a voice of reason? Her mother's advice? The little manners she still had left in herself? "Listen up, idiot," Oh, that sounded a lot like Calael's niece now. "I did nothing of that sort. I stopped him from killing an Oscuri, who mind you, did renounce their faith. An Oscuri who has changed. I don't care about what his undead mother did during her life. She was an Oscuri who worked under Sors, in the case you forgot."
  359.  
  360. The occult forces kept within her the silver bell drum louder now, echoing through the chambers of Levengard's prison. "You are a fool. You've always been one. I've always had to listen to this from my mom. But she isn't here anymore. I refuse. I refuse to let you decide anything. He is my prisoner. And I will decide his fate. You aren't fit to decide anything, uncle." Her voice is carried by a tone of confidence, and a lot of resentment.
  361.  
  362. She was a fool as well. A fool for thinking that her uncle had changed. That he'd make the right decision.
  363.  
  364. "I want you to know- I was willing to talk about it. To consider options. But not anymore." A long breath is drawn. "I refuse." Aurora repeats.
  365.  
  366. "Godfrey Vishkar will not be given a fourth or fifth chance, uncle. Not in Obsidia, not in Huangzhou, and certainly not in my home. For the crimes he's committed, for betraying Levengard - for threatening my life. He dies. Today."
  367.  
  368. Calael Kang might have not been the regent of Huangzhou, but this particular Elisheva was prepared to give him the full-Isaac treatment should he ask for it.
  369. (Aurora Elisheva)
  370. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  371.  
  372. [18:45] When Calael glanced to Isaac, red eyes stared back for a time, listening. After Aurora speaks and refuses the framing the Oracle sets, the black winged demi-angel follows. "Nobody 'created' him...don't absolve someone of their own decisions so quickly. It's foolish."
  373. (Isaac Shimasu)
  374. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  375.  
  376. [18:47] As Aurora begins to snap, the Kang, leaning against the wall, and silent, breathes in heavily. He watches as the Oscuri's fate is decided by people- some of whom bullied him when people tried to raise him right, and ended up putting him in the place he was now.
  377.  
  378. He sighs.
  379.  
  380. "Godfrey is our enemy, because we made him our enemy. We pushed him away so many times, even I did. It's not the only reason why he hates all of us, and why he's in there, but..."
  381.  
  382. He pauses.
  383.  
  384. "..Death doesn't always have to be the answer. We could try Reito, or Noel's purification.. He's destructive because his magic enables him." He suggested, idly.
  385.  
  386. He doesn't even know if anyone will care for his words, but he tries to put it out as a last resort before death.
  387. (Percival Kang)
  388. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  389.  
  390. [18:47] As Aurora begins to snap, the Kang, leaning against the wall, and silent, breathes in heavily. He watches as the Oscuri's fate is decided by people- some of whom bullied him when people tried to raise him right, and ended up putting him in the place he was now.
  391.  
  392. He sighs.
  393.  
  394. "Godfrey is our enemy, because we made him our enemy. We pushed him away so many times, even I did. It's not the only reason why he hates all of us, and why he's in there, but..."
  395.  
  396. He pauses.
  397.  
  398. "..Death doesn't always have to be the answer. We could try Reito, or Noel's purification.. He's destructive because his magic enables him." He suggested, idly.
  399.  
  400. He doesn't even know if anyone will care for his words, but he tries to put it out as a last resort before death.
  401. (Percival Kang)
  402. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  403.  
  404. [18:49] If Calael's heart was pounding, than Godfdrey's was still and silent. It was like it had started to undergo the necessary process because in his mind, there is no outcome after this that doesn't result in death. He is as forward as he can possibly be, looking back to Calael Kang for as long as he possibly can. Everything Calael says nets no response from Oscuri, as if silently agreeing with every last statement.
  405.  
  406. .. The emerald-born cannot disagree with Wisdom, because there is so much he knows. Every detail, emotion, the flash of every ounce of struggle. Godfrey nods his head now and lowers himself down in his cell. Calael is able to recognize one more thing in his head. Failure. Overwhelming and antagonizing ruin. Every fight, a difficult and brutal loss. Every friendship, one that crumbled in his hands. Every event in his life, Freya's death- Levengard's treatment- The Dusk war- Sors, Malentine, Tragedy's apprenticeship.
  407.  
  408. Not a single thing in Godfrey's life has gone as it was meant to go. There is no theme that represents him more.. Than failure. He's staring down at his feet, his hands now in his lap.
  409.  
  410. I tried so hard, Cal.. I tried so hard to be good. I tried so hard in hoping that.. Maybe tomorrow would be different. I just wanted to be accepted.. I wanted to be cherished.. Nothing ever goes right.. Why..? Why does it never go.. The way I want it to?" It's at this point that tears start to drip down his face.
  411.  
  412. Memories impart themselves into Calael's head once more. The day that Feth took him back. The utter despair he felt being in Levengard - And the subsequent revival of his hopes, dreams, and kindness the moment he walked into Dusk. Family surrounded him, hugging him.. Welcoming him back into their lives. Sors Ultovex treated him more like a son than anyone had done so before. Calael watches the Niklaus beat down, how the Drakan slammed him against a wall and punched him across the face for lashing out after a mix up of items.
  413.  
  414. Being welcomed back in Dusk - Was like having new life breathed into him.
  415.  
  416. ".. I don't blame you, Calael.. I don't blame you if you.. Have to kill me today.. Or if you have to make that decision." Tears continuingly drip down his cheeks until they fall from his chin. His teeth are grit. He has but one thing to say. Aurora's words don't phase him, but perhaps they phase Wisdom.
  417.  
  418. His words are uttered out.
  419.  
  420. "I tried to be different, but they broke me until I was exactly what they wanted me to be.. And when I couldn't go on any longer, they finally.. Had reason.. To do exactly what they wanted with me.. Exactly how they wanted. Now everyone has justification.. To do what was on their mind from day one.. I'm sorry, Mister Cal. I wanted to be good."
  421. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  422. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  423.  
  424. [18:50] She inhaled deeply, as Aurora declared that. This was going to get messy and she knew it. The Dhampir continued to stand within the corner, back pressed against the wall; but the tiniest bit of electricity streams itself up her body, fangs clenching together.
  425.  
  426. She was patient, at the very least, to see how it all turned out. A nail file was procured, tapping it against the wall idly.
  427. (Cordelia I. Avitus)
  428. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  429.  
  430. [18:54] Aurora's outburst was expected, and Calael let her get it all out with a unamused expression on his face. When she finished he said, "I am the Oracle of Levengard, and will decide what happens. The door is behind you if you don't believe this city efficient enough for your views. I knew his mother more than you ever will. I knew what evils she did, as well as what good things she was capable of as well. Being born an Oscuri is not a crime, but it's one you held against him from the minute he was left here." He glanced to Isaac. "I was no absolving him of anything. Godfrey has done terrible things and turned to corrupt and dark people. He is not innocent. But neither is anyone else here."
  431.  
  432. "But there is still nothing to refuse." Cal turned back to Godfrey and heard what he 'tried' to do and what he was 'hoping' could have happened. His right palm started to glow with a light bright enough to illuminate the room. "Everything that was on your mind from day one is why this will have to end this way."
  433.  
  434. The demiangel looked to everyone else, still stoic and still. "I would ask that you all leave this place before I go forward with this. Unless you are a loved one who wishes to say your goodbyes, return to the courtyard."
  435. (Calael E. Kang)
  436. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  437.  
  438. [18:54] Cordelia I. Avitus whispers something.
  439. [18:54] Cordelia I. Avitus whispers something.
  440. [18:56] Isaac Shimasu says, "...When you say that others 'created' him for being a murderous thief, it sure sounds like it. You're falling a little too easily for his crocodile tears, I feel."
  441. [18:56] Calael E. Kang says, "I'm about to execute him, Isaac."
  442. [18:56] Calael E. Kang says, "I don't think crocadile tears bought anything here."
  443. [18:59] Lea had heard enough. From Aurora, from Calael, even from Godfrey himself. Even in light of what Aurora had said, the truth about why she did what she did, didn't change her mind. She remembered what Isaac said earlier about how she was too weak to save her father, and while she claimed that he didn't get a rise out of her, perhaps, in the end, she did.
  444.  
  445. She had seen people she loved and cherished be ostracized, bullied, and killed before her eyes, and she wasn't having it anymore. She hated being in the prison, as every time she entered, she had flashbacks to the day her father died. Every time she entered, she forced herself to relive the event.
  446.  
  447. And now, it was time for her to relive the event again. This time, though, rather than being frozen by sadness and fear, Lea rose herself up from her set and stood in front of the cell. Although she initially intended on shooting her gaze at Aurora, the comment about nobody being innocent really touched a nerve.
  448.  
  449. "Speak for yourself, Calael."
  450.  
  451. It was unclear if she was intending on fighting or just trying to get a word in. Given Lea's general demeanor, however, it was safe to say that it probably wouldn't.
  452.  
  453. She was never here to fight.
  454.  
  455. "What do you have to say to me, Calael? What do you have to say to someone who did everything right and still has to watch her brother die?"
  456.  
  457. ...but she might be willing to make an exception.
  458. (Lea Elisheva)
  459. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  460.  
  461. [18:59] Lea had heard enough. From Aurora, from Calael, even from Godfrey himself. Even in light of what Aurora had said, the truth about why she did what she did, didn't change her mind. She remembered what Isaac said earlier about how she was too weak to save her father, and while she claimed that he didn't get a rise out of her, perhaps, in the end, she did.
  462.  
  463. She had seen people she loved and cherished be ostracized, bullied, and killed before her eyes, and she wasn't having it anymore. She hated being in the prison, as every time she entered, she had flashbacks to the day her father died. Every time she entered, she forced herself to relive the event.
  464.  
  465. And now, it was time for her to relive the event again. This time, though, rather than being frozen by sadness and fear, Lea rose herself up from her set and stood in front of the cell. Although she initially intended on shooting her gaze at Aurora, the comment about nobody being innocent really touched a nerve.
  466.  
  467. "Speak for yourself, Calael."
  468.  
  469. It was unclear if she was intending on fighting or just trying to get a word in. Given Lea's general demeanor, however, it was safe to say that it probably wouldn't.
  470.  
  471. She was never here to fight.
  472.  
  473. "What do you have to say to me, Calael? What do you have to say to someone who did everything right and still has to watch her brother die?"
  474.  
  475. ...but she might be willing to make an exception.
  476. (Lea Elisheva)
  477. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  478.  
  479. [19:01] As he'd soon realize what was to happen, regardless of what he could try.. The Kang quietly breathes in, remembering the last time he spoke to Niklaus.
  480.  
  481. He frowns..
  482.  
  483. "..Godfrey, I just wanted you to know that Niklaus was proud of you before.. this. And he loves you. Still. Even now." He explained, before sighing.
  484.  
  485. He turns, intent to quickly leave.
  486. (Percival Kang)
  487. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  488.  
  489. [19:07] An idle glance is given toward the back of Calael's head all the while, and her wings fold in tight against her form. There's a slight burn of Atesh that rides along her arm as she draws in a small breath.
  490.  
  491. Another life, another thing that would be snuffed away. Her shoulder rolls as she feels a bit of pain drumming along, all the way up to her neck.
  492.  
  493. In her mind, if someone couldn't be saved, it was the only pathway that could've been taken.
  494.  
  495. "...They fixed that Occultist. He went back to Dawn. Countless times there's been mercy shed on people that will otherwise spit on it.
  496.  
  497. The reason that Aunt Thera was the way that she is is because of the same things that you all are bickering about right now.
  498.  
  499. It's not an easy decision to make.
  500.  
  501. ...But it's not anyone but the leader's to make, and he has made it. He can see beyond what we can see, and he has made his judgment."
  502.  
  503. The fire winged woman would turn, aiming to head down out of the area, waiting for others to follow order and file out as well.
  504. (Thalia Elisheva)
  505. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  506.  
  507. [19:09] Adrian remains outside of the prison for now, leaned up against the wall with his arms crossed. At this moment, any noise was better than none at all.
  508. (Adrian Rowan)
  509. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  510.  
  511. [19:09] It's a rollercoaster.
  512.  
  513. The acknowledgment of the mistreatment Godfrey'd undergone as a child makes his heart swell, and, for several precious minutes, but then comes Calael's ultimate resolution. That there is no letting him run off. There is no freeing him.
  514.  
  515. Then Aurora. Insisting he die today, calling Calael a fool. The debate of semantics commences - what he'd been dreading the most. The rampant argument of the particulars, the details, the trivialities when it was a life they talked about. The neverending debate of how inhumanely were you allowed to treat an Oscuri, or a Necromancer...
  516.  
  517. He shoves past them all.
  518.  
  519. Siegfried doesn't care to argue this. He doesn't bother to waste his breath. He knows what will happen, here, and all that he hears and all that he sees is what Godfrey has said, and his shoulders rock. He doesn't cry. He's beyond crying. He has shed more tears and lost more blood in these perilous weeks than in his entire life.
  520.  
  521. One by one, every member of the people he'd called family died. And as insecure, as asinine, as petty as it was, it lead him to wonder:
  522.  
  523. Was he the cause, or the coincidence?
  524.  
  525. His hands wrap around the bars, and drag down them, his breathing growing heavy.
  526.  
  527. ---
  528.  
  529. Godfrey's first girlfriend. Siegfried and him sit together, discussing what romance would mean for the two of them. They laugh.
  530.  
  531. Godfrey asking for a key to his home, and Siegfried handing it off to him. They smile.
  532.  
  533. Watching Godfrey be offered the chance to run off with his girlfriend, and declaring that he wouldn't betray Levengard…He is proud.
  534.  
  535. Reading the note that Godfrey left as he ran to Dusk...
  536.  
  537. ---
  538.  
  539. "WHY THE HELL DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU CREATED OR DIDN'T? YOU'RE GETTING WHAT YOU WANT, AREN'T YOU?"
  540.  
  541. Days of sleep deprivation, this festering, aggravated wound...heat rolls off of him in waves. Unfiltered, unbidden, energy magic trickles from his body as all of his willpower is channeled into not doing something ultimately futile.
  542.  
  543. "YOU WON. HE IS GOING TO DIE." Hate rolls off of him. It's unmistakable. His hands struggle to even maintain grip on the bars at this point, unclenching and clenching over and again as if he debated trying to rip them free and fight, here and now.
  544.  
  545. And then, after the screaming, a low whisper, barely audible.
  546.  
  547. "You're disgusting. Hide behind semantics, law, protocol. All you wanted today was blood. You're practically drooling, you fucking dog."
  548.  
  549. Siegfried lies still for some time after that, eyes hollow. Haunted.
  550.  
  551. ---
  552.  
  553. ...Adrian...
  554.  
  555. I couldn't...
  556.  
  557. I'm sorry.
  558.  
  559. ---
  560.  
  561. "Godfrey...this was my fault. I've failed you. But I won't...I won't fail anyone else, anymore."
  562.  
  563. Siegfried's sword is drawn, swiftly.
  564.  
  565. The blade is angled at his own throat.
  566.  
  567. "I'll see you on the other side."
  568. (Siegfried)
  569. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  570.  
  571. [19:17] It was expected, but perhaps it dragged on a little too long when he has more important things to discuss. The demi-angel watched patiently until there's a sudden wave of ethereal light that pours off of Siegfried and he's on the move, racing towards the thick iron barso of the cell.
  572.  
  573. Isaac watched... expecting the swordsman to try and break the shackles of his his compnaion, and instead, what he does causes the dark feathers of the shogun to flutter.
  574.  
  575. The sharp edge of his blade is angled toward his vulnerable throat. Suicide.
  576.  
  577. "Finally," he says dryly. Not even a smile. "The hypocrites always tend to break quickest among us."
  578. (Isaac Shimasu)
  579. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  580.  
  581. [19:19] Cal's gloved hands were trembling ever slightly at his sides. Aurora's anger had cracked something within the Virtue's mind and heart, and though Thalia and Percival heard some of what he said, Lea's question brought his gaze to here. He should have listened to his other niece and not brought so many people down here, because finally his eyes began to fill with tears both hot and cold, angry and desperately sorrowful. He had not spoken with the girl since he killed her father, and now he had passed judgement on one she called brother as well, ready to do the very same.
  582.  
  583. "...I..." he was at a loss for words, for once. Afraid of what to say and how to act next. "...All I can do is pray that someday things like this don't have to happen. I don't enjoy this, Lea. I don't... want to be this. But if I don't, then it is only pain and anger and-- madness. This whole place is-" Siegfried started yelling.
  584.  
  585. Another boy, another person Cal had tried to see through life. Isaac's comment is barely registered as the demiangel reached forward and tried to place a hand on Siegfried's raised one. "Please... not now." Cal's voice was breaking, his entire mental fortitude was breaking. "Please don't."
  586. (Calael E. Kang)
  587. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  588.  
  589. [19:20] There's not much said by the Dryad, everyone already knew his feelings towards the young Oscuri.
  590.  
  591. It didn't actually matter to him what he did after he betrayed them, no. All that mattered was the fact that the glowing lines upon his body were still green. A sign of his devotion to a certain, particular deity. And to him, that alone marked him for death.
  592.  
  593. A few scornful looks were flashed towards those that spoke in Godfrey's defense. And a soft hum escaping past him after Isaac's words; showing his agreeance to them. And then, as he's turning to leave, Siegfried brought his blade to his own throat.
  594.  
  595. .. He scoffs, stopping in his tracks for just a moment to say,
  596.  
  597. "Are you really going to kill yourself over this? An Oscuri who didn't try to change? That's pathetic."
  598.  
  599. And right after, he made his way out of the cells.
  600. (Ilui Elisheva)
  601. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  602.  
  603. [19:24] Aurora doesn't offer Siegfried a response.
  604.  
  605. Although it burns in her stomach, although she wants to lash out and prove him wrong-- to prove to him that he was the one who judged her first. He was the one who didn't trust her to not kill his brother in the dungeons all by herself.
  606.  
  607. And she hadn't lied. She wouldn't have done it this way. Like a coward, when he was all alone. The demi-angel was better than that- ah, if only people were willing to listen. To see beyond what their eyes allowed them. It was so hard for her to believe that she was blind in this case.
  608.  
  609. That she was wrong.
  610.  
  611. Righteous, arrogant, a brat. Whatever it was, it was bigger than her in these moments.
  612.  
  613. Nevertheless, she remains silent. She turns to the back of the room- where she stays. Perhaps if only to see that Siegfried doesn't lose his life as well.
  614. (Aurora Elisheva)
  615. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  616.  
  617. [19:25] Now, Cordelia acted - hands reaching out from behind Calael. He was wisdom, yes, but did he have eyes in the back of his head? Probably not. But she was desperate and she knew lives practically depended on this.
  618.  
  619. At the moment, Calael was the closest friend she had, but she couldn't stand by and just simply allow this to happen. An arm grabbed the Virtue, and pulled him back snug against her, before that nail file was pulled into view - directly against his throat. Electricity ran through it, and pink eyes peered at every single person within the prison,
  620.  
  621. "Here's what we're going to do," She began, calmly as ever, "Everyone else is going to leave, and then I'm going to escort Godfrey out of this hellhole of a prison," She explained. She shut her eyes. The smallest tremble of her hand could be seen.
  622.  
  623. Even the virtue of wisdom could tell that she absolutely didn't want this. She was bluffing - she was lying out of her ass practically. But she hoped the rest wouldn't see it.
  624.  
  625. "If you don't.... Calael Elisheva Kang is gonna die."
  626.  
  627. There was a shaking exhale, as she lowered her voice, speaking low enough so only Calael could hear.
  628. (Cordelia I. Avitus)
  629. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  630.  
  631. [19:25] Cordelia I. Avitus whispers something.
  632. [19:28] Calael E. Kang says, "Don't give Isaac a reason. Stop giving them reasons."
  633. [19:29] Cordelia I. Avitus whispers something.
  634. [19:29] Noise...
  635.  
  636. It was so noisy.
  637.  
  638. But was it worth even getting involved? He already knew the outcome, he knew how things went. When squeezing so many different ideal's into one room, it only made the result horrid. And by the sounds of things, this result was truly horrific.
  639.  
  640. Even if Siegfried could be classed as family, was it worth convincing someone not to take their life? So many already have, what was the point in trying now?
  641.  
  642. This was their own choice, their own fate... Their own weakness. And in the end, Godfrey had chosen death the moment he ran back to Dawn. Would he have helped if he got there first? Sure... But now, it was too late.
  643.  
  644. ''Rest in peace...'' He mumbles, turning his slits down towards the ground. That's the best he could do, for anyone.
  645. (Adrian Rowan)
  646. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  647.  
  648. [19:33] The sudden shift of movements. With Cordelia attempting to subdue Calael, would Siegfried finally twist that knife into his own throat? Or was it all for show?
  649.  
  650. "...I just came here to pass on Nyphadora's notes, but wow." With a slight smile and a slow shake of his head, he continued on, "It's a mess down here. I can't help but wonder if Thera predicted saw this in her crystal ball, and decided to take a long nap. Just maybe, Calael, you should've listened to Aurora for once and not taken your pet dhampire where she doesn't belong."
  651.  
  652. He stepped forward, the flicker of crimson flames igniting around his leather fingers. "Enough."
  653. (Isaac Shimasu)
  654. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  655.  
  656. [19:36] Cordelia's attempt to grab him was originally met with little resistance. It was almost as if the demiangel allowed the Dhampir to grab him and press a nail file to his throat. But as she did so, Cal's sight was turned from Godfrey and Siegfried to Isaac. "Don't... they'll kill you for threatening me like this." He made to break free from Cordelia, if only to ensure no one stepped forward in an attempt to 'save' him.
  657.  
  658. If he needed to he'd use force to leave her grasp, but Cal expected it wouldn't require much to break free.
  659.  
  660. "I asked everyone who isn't his family to go. I asked the lot of you who think death is something to smile about, something to laugh and dance about to leave."
  661.  
  662. Golden flames snapped to light in small flares within his own palms before Cal clenched his fists to snuff them out. "They get to say their goodbyes without ridicule. Please... just go outside..."
  663. (Calael E. Kang)
  664. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  665.  
  666. [19:40] Godfrey muttered only whispers to himself while his head started to melt in full. Illness, pain, regret, and suffering rise until they boil - And every last feeling has him remembering his life. Before he came here. Before things became so.. Tangled in strings. A twelve year old too scared to go outside and play with the other kids because he preferred to read.
  667.  
  668. Drinking all the potions in the square because it was a Vishkar coming-of-age ritual. Being picked up by Freya when he wounded himself exploring several Gehennan ruins. Smiling with his mother, the family in Dawn he'd lost far too soon. He frowns, panicking - But also realizing this is it. He looks up from his cell as Siegfried starts to scream, and Godfrey turns his head up- And for the last time in his life, he's selfish.
  669.  
  670. ".. You never failed me, Siegfried. You're coming with me to the other side to help, right? Let's meet Azrael together. I'll get you a seat - You can meet my mom." Godfrey rose up to his feet and nodded now, approaching the steel bars as he agreed with Siegfried.
  671.  
  672. If he wasn't passing alone, it wouldn't be so lonely. It was in that moment he's ready to accept. He's ready to go forth. Tears are cleaned up, his stuffy nose is sucked back in as he stares back at Calael. His eyes narrow, he looks to everyone in the room. His heart beats life into his body like it never had before. Siegfried's final charge inspires him. Godfrey couldn't rise to meet his creator sniveling, sobbing over what could have been. He had beautiful things to see on the horizon, after all.
  673.  
  674. So many beautiful Oscuri - Waiting on that other side. Did Calael know he was doing Godfrey a favor?
  675.  
  676. "Get it over with, Oracle. They're waiting on me."
  677. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  678. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  679.  
  680. [19:43] As Isaac stepped closer and that flicker of crimson flame could be seen, Cordelia lost her resolve. She had been beaten once by the man, and she didn't particularly wish to have that tango with him again - weaponless, even. As Cal pulled free of her grasp, she allowed him to, and her arm dropped.
  681.  
  682. She drooped against the wall, staring at the ground.
  683.  
  684. Was this what it felt like, then? To fail people? She was completely silent, before she issued forth a single chuckle. Not even Isaac's comment on her being Calael's pet Dhampir would elicit the kind of snark Cordelia was known for. She's silent for a long while, before speaking up towards Godfrey,
  685.  
  686. "Sorry I couldn't take you anywhere cooler than a stupid Volcano, Godfrey. I'm sorry I can't even help you..." She trailed off, shaking her head. She had wanted to protect the child, who had lost his family - his mother... And she couldn't even do that.
  687. (Cordelia I. Avitus)
  688. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  689.  
  690. [19:44] Isaac Shimasu whispers something.
  691. [19:56] The hypocrites always tend to break quickest among us.
  692.  
  693. His blade halts at his neck. A single drop of blood slickens his collar, his torso. And then? It plummets toward the ground, free-falling. When it strikes the floor, it splashes, and by his auditory perception, it is the loudest thing in the room, aside from his heartbeat. His vision begins to fade in and out.
  694.  
  695. Siegfried is having a panic attack.
  696.  
  697. ---
  698.  
  699. They walk down a lonesome road, just the two of them. Red eyes meet blue for the briefest of instants as they walk down a long, winding trail, Siegfried holding Taiga just so he could still stand. There's blood...everywhere. He isn't sure what's his, what's the dhampir's, and what belongs to everyone they'd just left behind.
  700.  
  701. "You coulda' died, you know."
  702.  
  703. "There're worse things."
  704.  
  705. ---
  706.  
  707. Sensory overload. Everything heever could have been, everything he ever was. His past, in crimson hues, depicted as if by a mad painter, who smeared the canvas with his blood. Alongst the walls of an abandoned, ravaged building, murals are erected of bloody triumphs and crippling failures. Debilitated limbs are strewn amongst the ground, near half-written journals and broken swords.
  708.  
  709. In the center of the room there is wood remaining from a fire put out long ago.
  710.  
  711. Twitching, movement, staggering, stuttering, drunken, alive, hurt, bloody, crying, screaming, quiet, fucking, fighting, eating, drinking, predator, prey, justice, alone, together.
  712.  
  713. Isaac's words sound distorted, like he was hearing them in another life, in another body. The entire world is on a diagonal. He stumbles to the ground, and he is sliding, falling off of the edge of the earth. His mouth is opened, as if to scream, but there is no sound. This would be his death.
  714.  
  715. It's all over...
  716.  
  717. ---
  718.  
  719. Kuja Mori with Blessings of Nadir on his back.
  720.  
  721. ---
  722.  
  723. A hand reaches down and onto Siegfried's, before Calael is snatched away by Cordelia. Voices numbering into the thousands scream false premonitions of futures done and undone. He is haunted. He is forever changed.
  724.  
  725. He is alive.
  726.  
  727. His hand unclenches the sword. It clangs to the ground. Siegfried's hands encircle the bars like he is the one trapped, on this side, like Godfrey is blessed to be in there.
  728.  
  729. "Godfrey..."
  730.  
  731. Tears well up in his eyes.
  732.  
  733. "I'm sorry."
  734.  
  735. ---
  736.  
  737. A mosaic lacquered in gold and painted in shades of violet, hewn from the tapestry of fate and brimming with the splendor of the Gods.
  738.  
  739. ---
  740.  
  741. "Before I can come with you...before I can meet your mom...there're people I have to send before me."
  742.  
  743. He pleads. No one else matters. He cares for no opinionoutside of Godfrey's. He needs them. There is no one else in this room. There is nothing else outside of it.
  744.  
  745. The universe is him and his brother.
  746.  
  747. "Me...and you...and Taiga...and Nik'. We'll all be together again. Wait for me there. I won't be long behind you."
  748.  
  749. It isn't farewell. It's until we meet again.
  750.  
  751. "Give me time. It's all I ask."
  752. (Siegfried)
  753. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  754.  
  755. [19:56] The hypocrites always tend to break quickest among us.
  756.  
  757. His blade halts at his neck. A single drop of blood slickens his collar, his torso. And then? It plummets toward the ground, free-falling. When it strikes the floor, it splashes, and by his auditory perception, it is the loudest thing in the room, aside from his heartbeat. His vision begins to fade in and out.
  758.  
  759. Siegfried is having a panic attack.
  760.  
  761. ---
  762.  
  763. They walk down a lonesome road, just the two of them. Red eyes meet blue for the briefest of instants as they walk down a long, winding trail, Siegfried holding Taiga just so he could still stand. There's blood...everywhere. He isn't sure what's his, what's the dhampir's, and what belongs to everyone they'd just left behind.
  764.  
  765. "You coulda' died, you know."
  766.  
  767. "There're worse things."
  768.  
  769. ---
  770.  
  771. Sensory overload. Everything heever could have been, everything he ever was. His past, in crimson hues, depicted as if by a mad painter, who smeared the canvas with his blood. Alongst the walls of an abandoned, ravaged building, murals are erected of bloody triumphs and crippling failures. Debilitated limbs are strewn amongst the ground, near half-written journals and broken swords.
  772.  
  773. In the center of the room there is wood remaining from a fire put out long ago.
  774.  
  775. Twitching, movement, staggering, stuttering, drunken, alive, hurt, bloody, crying, screaming, quiet, fucking, fighting, eating, drinking, predator, prey, justice, alone, together.
  776.  
  777. Isaac's words sound distorted, like he was hearing them in another life, in another body. The entire world is on a diagonal. He stumbles to the ground, and he is sliding, falling off of the edge of the earth. His mouth is opened, as if to scream, but there is no sound. This would be his death.
  778.  
  779. It's all over...
  780.  
  781. ---
  782.  
  783. Kuja Mori with Blessings of Nadir on his back.
  784.  
  785. ---
  786.  
  787. A hand reaches down and onto Siegfried's, before Calael is snatched away by Cordelia. Voices numbering into the thousands scream false premonitions of futures done and undone. He is haunted. He is forever changed.
  788.  
  789. He is alive.
  790.  
  791. His hand unclenches the sword. It clangs to the ground. Siegfried's hands encircle the bars like he is the one trapped, on this side, like Godfrey is blessed to be in there.
  792.  
  793. "Godfrey..."
  794.  
  795. Tears well up in his eyes.
  796.  
  797. "I'm sorry."
  798.  
  799. ---
  800.  
  801. A mosaic lacquered in gold and painted in shades of violet, hewn from the tapestry of fate and brimming with the splendor of the Gods.
  802.  
  803. ---
  804.  
  805. "Before I can come with you...before I can meet your mom...there're people I have to send before me."
  806.  
  807. He pleads. No one else matters. He cares for no opinionoutside of Godfrey's. He needs them. There is no one else in this room. There is nothing else outside of it.
  808.  
  809. The universe is him and his brother.
  810.  
  811. "Me...and you...and Taiga...and Nik'. We'll all be together again. Wait for me there. I won't be long behind you."
  812.  
  813. It isn't farewell. It's until we meet again.
  814.  
  815. "Give me time. It's all I ask."
  816. (Siegfried)
  817. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  818.  
  819. [19:57] Lea saw Calael's expression, and knew.
  820.  
  821. He understood.
  822.  
  823. Her anger and frustration deflated, her expression changing to one of resignation. Now that she knew that he knew, any budding sense of indignation and lingering feelings of resentment she had towards him all but faded.
  824.  
  825. "You understand it even better than I do, don't you?"
  826.  
  827. To desperately try to be good, only to watch everyone squander your efforts.
  828.  
  829. "The difference is that you've been around long enough to know how to do what needs to be done, whereas I haven't."
  830.  
  831. She imagined herself in his shoes, living out the same situation. She imagined that she had to be the one to mercy kill Godfrey, imagining that she were in the exact same set of circumstances. But, before she could actually do the deed, she hesitated.
  832.  
  833. No, she stopped, despite the pleas of an angry crowd.
  834.  
  835. Anything past that in her fantasy was left up in the air, whereas this future was far more certain. By doing what needed to be done, he ensured the most peaceful result possible. By not doing what needed to be done, she threw the situation into chaos and left it completely uncertain.
  836.  
  837. Did that make him stronger than her? Or was there something different happening here?
  838.  
  839. She didn't know the answer to these questions, and perhaps she never would. Perhaps Calael was saving her from having to know, and for that, she couldn't help but feel grateful.
  840.  
  841. She sat down on the stool beside her, watching what was about to take place, but not before uttering out her own apology.
  842.  
  843. "I'm sorry for doing everything I could, Godfrey."
  844.  
  845. A strange thing to apologize for...
  846.  
  847. "Maybe it would've hurt less for everyone than it did."
  848.  
  849. She was not one to hold back her tears, and yet she didn't cry. Whether she was not upset over this or just saving it for the actual event was unclear, even to her. She didn't feel numb. She didn't feel empty. She didn't feel nothing.
  850.  
  851. "...I'm sorry for not saving him, dad."
  852.  
  853. She just felt like this was fate, just like everything else that she's been forced to witness.
  854.  
  855. "I just hope you're okay with what I managed."
  856. (Lea Elisheva)
  857. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  858.  
  859. [19:57] Lea saw Calael's expression, and knew.
  860.  
  861. He understood.
  862.  
  863. Her anger and frustration deflated, her expression changing to one of resignation. Now that she knew that he knew, any budding sense of indignation and lingering feelings of resentment she had towards him all but faded.
  864.  
  865. "You understand it even better than I do, don't you?"
  866.  
  867. To desperately try to be good, only to watch everyone squander your efforts.
  868.  
  869. "The difference is that you've been around long enough to know how to do what needs to be done, whereas I haven't."
  870.  
  871. She imagined herself in his shoes, living out the same situation. She imagined that she had to be the one to mercy kill Godfrey, imagining that she were in the exact same set of circumstances. But, before she could actually do the deed, she hesitated.
  872.  
  873. No, she stopped, despite the pleas of an angry crowd.
  874.  
  875. Anything past that in her fantasy was left up in the air, whereas this future was far more certain. By doing what needed to be done, he ensured the most peaceful result possible. By not doing what needed to be done, she threw the situation into chaos and left it completely uncertain.
  876.  
  877. Did that make him stronger than her? Or was there something different happening here?
  878.  
  879. She didn't know the answer to these questions, and perhaps she never would. Perhaps Calael was saving her from having to know, and for that, she couldn't help but feel grateful.
  880.  
  881. She sat down on the stool beside her, watching what was about to take place, but not before uttering out her own apology.
  882.  
  883. "I'm sorry for doing everything I could, Godfrey."
  884.  
  885. A strange thing to apologize for...
  886.  
  887. "Maybe it would've hurt less for everyone than it did."
  888.  
  889. She was not one to hold back her tears, and yet she didn't cry. Whether she was not upset over this or just saving it for the actual event was unclear, even to her. She didn't feel numb. She didn't feel empty. She didn't feel nothing.
  890.  
  891. "...I'm sorry for not saving him, dad."
  892.  
  893. She just felt like this was fate, just like everything else that she's been forced to witness.
  894.  
  895. "I just hope you're okay with what I managed."
  896. (Lea Elisheva)
  897. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  898.  
  899. [20:13] Siegfried's suicide was stopped for now. Lea's understanding made Cal freeze in his tracks before he continued through the prison cell door. He didn't need to say anything but a look of utmost gratitude made a few more tears well up in his eyes. He couldn't thank her, not because of what was going to happen next, for everything else he had done, but he hoped his expression said enough.
  900.  
  901. Lea's words seemed to lift some of that weight off of Cal's shoulders, even if it was only a little bit. With Cordelia slumped against the wall and Siegfried deciding on what to do next, the Starkeeper made his way into the cell with the restrained Oscuri. His glove had never stopped glowing, that deep and bright cosmic light only getting more concentrated once he stood before Godfrey.
  902.  
  903. The Azraelite's words on the next life, his thoughts that this was a favor that would help him didn't hinder Calael. They didn't exactly help either. This hurt every time, a hurt that could not be naturalized or adapted to overcome. It was fresh and burning and new each time, beginning with Ethan, and now with Freya's son as well.
  904.  
  905. Cal let them all say their goodbyes, and then he leveled his gaze on Godfrey. Tear streaks down his own face glimmered in the light but it was clear the Oracle was no longer weeping or showing any sign of sadness or regret. He was reverent and once again calm. Cal was silent and moved like the Reaper across the threshold, a creature made to bring Death itself.
  906.  
  907. "I'm certain... she's waiting for you." was all he could say to the boy. He held his hand out and reached forward to place his fingers along Godfrey's forehead with a thumb resting on the Oscuri's chin. The Virtue's light ruptured and grew so blindingly bright that there was nothing anyone could do but look away. It was as ifa white sun burst into being within the very cells, filling what was otherwise a shadowed and dark place with an abundance of starlight and divine glow.
  908.  
  909. Piece by piece, Godfrey's soul was directed on a highway to Io. It would feel like nothing else other than a drifting off to sleep, a tiredness that couldn't be ignored, a weight that pulled his eyelids down. Azraelite or no, the boy's soul would pass through the cosmic body where it would be cleansed and born anew, where memories would be hidden away and stored until the day he perhaps managed to truly pass on toward Avalon itself, if that day ever came. It was painless, as far as physical pain goes, and without true harm.
  910.  
  911. The light would only die off once Godfrey's inner ghost had left entirely, and then the dungeons would be plunged back into darkness where those peering through the cell would only see Calael stepping back from the Vishkar who was respectfully propped against the wall and left to rest at last.
  912. (Calael E. Kang)
  913. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  914.  
  915. [20:23] What can you really do?
  916.  
  917. He's got a smile from ear to ear on his face when Calael stepped into that room. The words he gave to Siegfried, the words he passed to the Oracle - Both of them hit home as he steps into Calael's space when he planted that hand on his forehead. Godfrey was pushing his face into it, as if he was begging for the deed to be done.
  918.  
  919. Why is it now that he looks happier than he ever did in Levengard as a free soul? He's nodding his head now, bringing a hand down to his amulet as he rips it off. The words are shown to the Oracle as the soul orchestra was about to unfold. In words, it is written.
  920.  
  921. Angel of Vishkar - Freya's Pride and Joy.
  922.  
  923. This was right before the flash of light blinds the room, blinds Godfrey too. It'd be the last thing he'd see Godfrey do, but it wouldn't be the last things he'd hear from the Oscuri. His eyes start to slowly close as his soul is taken piece by piece and directed onto a highway. A tiredness starts to take over. Pulling him, and he's unable to refuse it. His eyes start to close, his smile only grows. He looks happy, that Calael was the one to do this - And no one else.
  924.  
  925. Will you survive against the rage of war? Or be swallowed whole? What really matters to you? Is it glory? Or is it happiness?
  926.  
  927. He leans back now, directed to the stars above - Godfrey's entire life he was envious of the angels in Atmos who danced, and danced, and danced.. Those who sipped at wine and laughed in merry twirls while Eternia held its annual day of sorrow and death.
  928.  
  929. Malentine.. I don't think I'm so envious of the angels anymore.. I think in my heart all along, I had wings to spread. I think.. I'm alright with this. You'll probably never remember the name - But I'm glad I got to dance on these strings.
  930.  
  931. Painless, respectful, easy. One final whisper is delivered to Calael's ears only.. The last mote of strength delivered in the form of a half-hearted chuckle. It's only then when the reika on his body starts to diminish and fade - Green lines do dark, life goes dim, and body goes limp.
  932.  
  933. With Wings Like An Angel, How Can You Not Fly?
  934. (Godfrey Vishkar)
  935. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  936.  
  937. [20:24] Godfrey Vishkar whispers something.
  938. [20:35] That did it.
  939.  
  940. Why did it have to be this way...?
  941.  
  942. The light that flashed reminded her of her father. This time, though, he died in a different jail cell. Both of those cells were now associated with something horrible happening to a person she loved. This prison was poison to her, and that poison eroded the barrier between her and expressing herself.
  943.  
  944. I know why it happened.
  945.  
  946. That did it. The floodgates opened. As she did when her father died, Lea wailed. It went without saying that tears were flowing, but the sound that left her was something else entirely. It wasn't anger. It wasn't sadness. And it certainly wasn't happiness.
  947.  
  948. It was one of utter despair, the likes of which had never been heard from the girl before. She screamed. She screamed as she allowed herself to hit the floor, she screamed as she curled up in a ball, burying her face into her knees.
  949.  
  950. But knowing doesn't change anything... and it never did.
  951.  
  952. And she screamed as a little part of her died; A part that she could never get back.
  953.  
  954. A part that belonged to her brother.
  955. (Lea Elisheva)
  956.  
  957. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  958.  
  959. [20:36] Isaac Shimasu exclaims, "I need to go back, but send Calael to Huangzhou sometime this week, please!"
  960. [20:36] The world is light, and he sees Godfrey for the last time.
  961.  
  962. We'll be okay, we'll be okay.
  963.  
  964. The boy is smiling, in his last moments, and all that Siegfried can see, all that he can think of, is a child, sitting with him in the sun. It's all too much. His soul vacates this world, lifted on wings that soar across the cosmos.
  965.  
  966. ---
  967.  
  968. I. Am Godfrey Vishkar.
  969.  
  970. I. Am the first and only born to Freya.
  971.  
  972. I. Am nothing like my ancestors.
  973.  
  974. I. Am Godfrey Vishkar.
  975.  
  976. I. Am the Oscuri they can be proud of.
  977.  
  978. And I regret nothing. Do you?
  979.  
  980. ---
  981.  
  982. There's a choked sob, and then...
  983.  
  984. ---
  985.  
  986. His expression? Weary and drained, but furious beyond belief. Malevolent. The longer he remained in her vicinity, the more he found his Oscuri blood beating back his logic founded right here in Levengard.
  987.  
  988. ".. Not enough.. I'm still not enough.."
  989.  
  990. ---
  991.  
  992. Nothing.
  993.  
  994. Siegfried collapses, not having slept in days, having powered here from Huangzhou solely for this, to witness Godfrey Vishkar die.
  995.  
  996. His world fades to black, and he knows no more.
  997.  
  998. ---
  999.  
  1000. (Siegfried)
  1001.  
  1002. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1003.  
  1004. ((Siegfried is dragged out, and then sleeps for awhile, for the first time in days, since he was released from his captivity in Huangzhou with an infected wound and made his way to Levengard when he'd received word his brother had been captured. When he awakens, it is to the wonderful news that the Dawn prisoners have been released, free to do as they wish now that the war was over.
  1005.  
  1006. He comes crashing into the upstairs with Mertaisyl and Calael, heart surging with the knowledge that, at long last, they could be reunited. Siegfried and Clara have had a tumultous relationship, him an enforcer of Levengard, and her, the daughter of Sors Ultovex, and yet they've dated for over five years. With Dawn destroyed, Sors in hiding, her released and Sunyata'd, he knows they still have a rough life ahead of them, but they can at last become something vaguely resembling a normal couple.
  1007.  
  1008. Except...))
  1009.  
  1010. Siegfried says, "Mert'. Whenever you're ready, we can go to Huang and find Clara."
  1011.  
  1012. ----------------------------------------------------
  1013.  
  1014. Cal knew the answers probably weren't satisfying for Mertaisyl. Her explanation that she was only thirteen was, unfortunately, one he had heard before. And as tragic as that was, even the man who made it his life's work to do what he could for the undead knew that this sort of tale only ever ended in tragedy, tragedy that he couldn't work to undo himself.
  1015.  
  1016. "I once... knew a necromancer from Dusk who specialized in resurrecting... children. She had two of them in fact, two that she treated as if they were her own offspring." The story brought a frown to Cal's face, given it was one of the worst instances of Azrael's art he had ever come up against. "...those children said things similar to what you are saying now. They said they were young, they had died terrible deaths and that their 'mother' was providing for them... but such an act is... it's disgusting. It's vile and evil."
  1017.  
  1018. "Death is, at the end of all of this, a finality. It is a necessity that, even if sad and abrupt, comes for us all. It is with our deaths that we pass on and it is with our deaths that we continue with the current and flow of this world. To bring a child back to life... to... put them in that position is... it's one of the more evil things a person can do. And I am sorry that that is the case with you, Mertaisyl."
  1019.  
  1020. Cal leaned forward some, his hands still together. "Your thirteen years do make you nothing more than a child, in truth. You likely do deserve a life beyond that, a life to experience and survive in. But Sors created you knowing what such a life would be, and it is not in my power to perform absolute miracles and grant you true, living light again. Five years is how long a spirit is capable of forming within our world before it is pulled back to its realm, and five years is how long the Lighthouse allows an undead to continue walking without its corruption and decay."
  1021.  
  1022. "You have these five years to live your life... to try to see and do what you can before they are up. But as it stands, I cannot give life, Mertaisyl. That is not my trade... I give death as peacefully as I can, and I give nothing more."
  1023. (Calael E. Kang)
  1024.  
  1025. _______________________________
  1026.  
  1027.  
  1028. Calael E. Kang says, "...Clara is not in Huangzhou, Siegfried."
  1029.  
  1030. Siegfried says, "..."
  1031.  
  1032. ________________________________
  1033.  
  1034. Anger was the typical response, when things didn't go its way. After a year pent up in a cell, and a decent few months of frustration with how little people could do? It felt like it had reached the boiling point.
  1035.  
  1036. As he spoke, its claws dug into the carpet. The temperature in the immediate vicinity rose by several degrees. It was quite likely the parchment closest to it, were any nearby, would start to curl and were in immediate danger of catching alight.
  1037.  
  1038. But it didn't lash out. It didn't spit flames as it would've spat plague whilst those chains were still upon it. Its claws scraped against the stones, but it listened. Silent, until the moment he was done speaking. Fires spilled from its maw when it spoke.
  1039.  
  1040. "Have you at least tried, then?
  1041.  
  1042. Have you looked for a solution? A way to truly bring undead back from death so they can.. so they can live as they were meant to.. and die when their time is truly up? Rather than five years.. Rather than draining them away so quickly.
  1043.  
  1044. Tell me, do you even care to try?"
  1045.  
  1046. Another snap. And it snapped back. The flames within its maw flared across its own scales but it turned its head with the motion. It clamped its jaw down, and for a split second its teeth caught on something. A hiss escaped it, but its sharp tone of voice was tempered.
  1047.  
  1048. "And.. tell me. Is that it? You bind an undead.. to a star, rather than a necromancer, through this.. Lighthouse. And the star then pulls their soul away. Bit by bit. That's the premise.. precisely how it works?
  1049.  
  1050. If that's.. all.. I think I know where to start.."
  1051.  
  1052. It drew in a deep breath, then glanced toward Siegfried, and back.
  1053.  
  1054. ".. And.. where is Clara, if not in Huangzhou?"
  1055. (Mertaisyl)
  1056.  
  1057. _____________________________________________________
  1058.  
  1059. His heart goes out to Mertaisyl, for the fate of the undead. He knows that it does not care. He feels empathy anyway.
  1060.  
  1061. And at the dragon's question, he looks to his mentor, as well.
  1062.  
  1063. Siegfried hangs on Calael's words, awaiting the answer to the question.
  1064. (Siegfried)
  1065.  
  1066. _______________________________________________________
  1067.  
  1068. "...I haven't had the time, dragon. Your creator forced this city into a war that took up the last decade. All I wanted was to pursue more advancements to my work, but Dusk put that all on hold when they harmed and killed and knelt to Fallen Angels." There was no real irritation in his tone, but the Oracle was definitely stern in his reasoning. Even if Mertaisyl had been bent to Sors' will at the time, he was driving home the point that Dusk had derailed years of progress Levengard could have managed in the time it took to defeat the city.
  1069.  
  1070. "Dhampirs... begin aging from the time they were turned. I believe it has something to do with the 'perfect' state of the vampiric body. Their curse is far more advanced than anything a necromancer or even a lich is capable of, and so their return to mortality is less jarring to their vessel. Cordelia, for instance, was turnedat 26, and it was from 26 that she has begun to age again. She's now in her thirties and will, if all goes well, live another seventy odd years..."
  1071.  
  1072. The Oracle tapped his fingers against the opposite knuckles as he still held his hands together. "The soul is taken bit by bit by the star you chose, yes. But halting that process will re-instate your corruption... and it will cause problems here in this city... as well as Huangzhou… and Gehenna. I would advise against trying to stop it and instead... trying to prolong it?" He shrugged some, the ivory cloak rising and falling with his shoulders. "Speak with the Dhampirs... observe them, perhaps, with Adrian? Thera was capable of granting an extended life to spirits via the use of Spire Shards as well. That is why Seraph has returned to defend this city."
  1073.  
  1074. "A final... suggestion... would be something along the lines of what I once witnessed within Perseus Kang and Dylerun Grauhimmel. They are what I dubbed 'Untethered Undead', or rather, undead who aren't bound to a necromancer. They exist off of borrowed life from a spire shard, one that kept their immortality a thing that they were in control of... this did not stop their corruption... but it was an alternative to slavery and chains, at the very least." Cal narrowed his eyes, "But please. As I said. Seek only a way to extend your life... if you attempt to undo the Lighthouse's tethering or grant yourself immortality, I will not grant you a second chance, Mertaisyl. I gave you this ability to roam freely, to live and feel like you could not under Ultovex's control. I would ask that you not disrespect that gift by spoiling it... in turn... I will do what I can for you in anyway I can help."
  1075.  
  1076. "I am an Oracle of Levengard now, so my time is.. pressed, and many things need my attention. But if I can aid in anyway, I will do so. I would suggest acquiring a spire shard, one way or another, before you try anything else."
  1077.  
  1078. The Oracle glanced at Siegfried, his eyes closing only once they met Siegfried's own. He was focusing, though he could not exactly discern all the details. "Huangzhou will only bring you pain and sorrow. Do not go there... Clara's soul is no longer within its walls... ah..." Cal's eyes opened slightly, and he gave Siegfried a half-lidded stare. "...avoid that city..." he said softly. Something he saw gave the demiangel a resigned expression.
  1079. (Calael E. Kang)
  1080.  
  1081. __________________________________________
  1082.  
  1083. So, in a sense, accelerated life. How exactly the thing would manage to stop it- Or, slow it down to a more natural progression, at the least- it was uncertain. But now it knew. And there was that one odd saying of knowing being half the battle, or something like that.
  1084.  
  1085. Slowing it down would at least give the thing breathing room. From there, true mortality might just be possible. Hopefully. Maybe. The thing tucked that progression path away, keeping it in the back of its mind as he continued to speak on other options.
  1086.  
  1087. In particular, one of its own thought processes had been somewhat correct. The body was part of the problem. It being so far removed from a whole being, it was a wonder the thing even managed to keep itself together through the lighthouse. There was a sharp pang of.. What, was that fear?
  1088.  
  1089. It rattled the thing to the bone, as it considered. Perhaps its time was even more limited than five years. Maybe the form it took on waseven worse than most, to the point of being burnt up far sooner.
  1090.  
  1091. The thing forced that thought away. No. It couldn't focus on that. If that was the case then there were far more important things at hand. The mention of untethered undead came up.. and..
  1092.  
  1093. That could be plan B.
  1094.  
  1095. What was already plan B shifted on down the line to plan C.
  1096.  
  1097. It forced itself into calm before it spoke.
  1098.  
  1099. "If you assist, then you've a.. direct line, to be sure no.. corruption occurs. I'll see what I can do, about acquiring such a thing. But I will tell you as I told.. Adrian. Not in disrespect of your gift. Not in disrespect of you. But in the hopes of.. survival.. alone.
  1100.  
  1101. Life first. Corruption second.
  1102.  
  1103. I can fix.. what I break.. if I break anything. With time. I can try to.. avoid it.. but if I'm running out of this time limit.. I want to properly live, at some point. If that means I have to.. improperly live.. for a little while? Then I have to.
  1104.  
  1105. Should Adrian help.. and you help.. and those that have said they will help, also.. help, too. As they said. Then that should not.. become an issue. At all."
  1106.  
  1107. For more than one reason. For many, actually. One among them had been mentioned already. And the look upon the demi-angel's face brought the thing to narrow its eyes. Something about the way he said that made the creature uneasy. The fact he hadn't answered its own question after her whereabouts only made that feeling worse.
  1108.  
  1109. "Where is Clara?"
  1110. (Mertaisyl)
  1111.  
  1112. _______________________________________________________________
  1113.  
  1114.  
  1115. Clara's soul is no longer within its walls.
  1116.  
  1117. Piece by piece, the mask falls off, like clay.
  1118.  
  1119. ---
  1120.  
  1121. Why would you risk your own life to save mine? You're not in love with me or something, are you?
  1122.  
  1123. Clara laughed at him.
  1124.  
  1125. ---
  1126.  
  1127. His eyes, which shone with false resolve, hollow out, and become gray. His smile, falsified from the beginning, a testament to his fake determination, is swept from his face.
  1128.  
  1129. ---
  1130.  
  1131. Gray eyes watched his every small movement, much like a predator watched their prey. Maybe it was her mother's side talking, or maybe it came from the years of her stalking cats in order to brutally murder them all in the pursuit of a mastery of Necromancy. Regardless of it all however, she spoke soon after,
  1132.  
  1133. "You claim you're selfish because you want to be remembered. But you want to be remembered as someone who will fight selflessly," She pointed out, before shaking her head, "What? Do you have some sort of crush on me or something...?" She asked towards that secondary question, finding it laughable of course.
  1134.  
  1135. In a previous world, perhaps she would have had someone. As it was now? She was over it, she was through. She didn't want love. Because love just betrays you, in the end.
  1136.  
  1137. ---
  1138.  
  1139. His shoulders are next to fall from the blow that was struck to him. They slouch. His knees buckle. His back is bent forward.
  1140.  
  1141. ---
  1142.  
  1143. "Ya are a reporter. I expect a three page paper on ya lov' fer ma daughter, why ya think she is tha' mos' gorgeous woman in tha' world, an' why ya make a proper mate fer her."
  1144.  
  1145. "..."
  1146.  
  1147. ---
  1148.  
  1149. As if he were in space, his mouth opens, as if to scream - but he has no voice. There is nothing expelled, like there is no atmosphere in the space he occupied.
  1150.  
  1151. ---
  1152.  
  1153. I don't want to talk about the war tonight. Do you?
  1154.  
  1155. No. I don't.
  1156.  
  1157. ---
  1158.  
  1159. Second by second, piece by piece, like rain cascading into the cracks of cement, Siegfried's heart breaks. Those pale blue eyes search Calael's, pleading, as if begging him to alter reality itself, to rewind time. Grief strikes like the reaper's call, the gnarled hand of Azreal outstretched to Siegfried in his mind's eye.
  1160.  
  1161. All you have to do to see them again is just end it all, you know.
  1162.  
  1163. ---
  1164.  
  1165. They danced up and down the length of the keys, her hands falling in places blindly yet hitting the proper keys for the song to not have a single note out of tune. Her playing began to grow frantic now, hyperactive almost before she scaled the length of the piano itself back and forth, before focusing her attention directly in the center. Up and down, the notes played themselves out.
  1166.  
  1167. ---
  1168.  
  1169. By his perception, the world turned to grayscale.
  1170.  
  1171. ---
  1172.  
  1173. "That sounds exciting, Siegfried. Going into a -volcano-? Fighting demons... I never met Ashalle. I've seen her, but I've never spoken to her. How is she? And yes, Nym is a special case. But I think she's... She's okay," She said softly. After the talk her Father and her had, she felt closer to her sister than ever. A child unwanted because she happened to get the majority of the Nagual in her system, as opposed to Clara. It was luck. Or unluck. She paused in her playing now, to gaze at him fully for the time being.
  1174.  
  1175. ---
  1176.  
  1177. Heartbroken. Wayward. Lost. Siegfried's head raises up, looking at Calael with a macabre facsimile of a smile, like a hideous parody of what human joy should look like. The man who had ran from Huangzhou with an infected, crippling injury only to watch his brotherdie surrounded by his enemies, had left his girlfriend behind to die, alone, in the possession of a tyrannical shogun.
  1178.  
  1179. He can only imagine what Clara felt in those last moments.
  1180.  
  1181. He didn't deserve to live.
  1182.  
  1183. And with that thought in mind, Siegfried does what Siegfried does best. He does the only thing he has ever been able to do in his entire life. He does what he does every single time there is a situation that he just cannot handle.
  1184.  
  1185. Like the wind, he runs...
  1186.  
  1187. Those aren't tears. You're imagining things.
  1188.  
  1189. ---
  1190.  
  1191. Stupid... Idiot why would you attack....
  1192.  
  1193.  "I said I'll be okay Siegfried... Why are you holding me so tight? It's just something stupid - I should be able to change soon.
  1194.  
  1195. Honest."
  1196. (Siegfried)
  1197.  
  1198. Siegfried whispers: I will kill you, Isaac Shimasu.
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