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V. Names On My Back

Blue_XIII Aug 9th, 2019 (edited) 68 Never
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  1. Oh no. An even more horrendous accent then Artaghh's own-..
  2.  
  3. "Sieg. Siegfried. Heard tha' name before, first time puttin' a face to that name." He gave a curt bow. "Pleasure to meet you, deputy."
  4. (Vedran)
  5. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  6.  
  7. [01:24] He sweats. Siegfried doesn't believe any good connotations can be carried with his name. Regardless, he laughs kind of nervously, and then rubs behind his head.
  8.  
  9. "You ain't hear anything about me drinking myself into a coma in the square, right?" He asks, hopefully. "Instead, maybe it was tales o' valor, and..."
  10.  
  11. He changes the topic hastily.
  12.  
  13. "Can dhampirs get drunk? My dad was one, but I never saw him touch a bottle."
  14. (Siegfried)
  15. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  16.  
  17. [01:27] Arlei Zanders whispers something.
  18. [01:27] Aldrah Leverd whispers something.
  19. [01:29] Despite his fear. Vedran didn't necessarily stare at the man like a public menace-- Exhaling a massive cloud of blacked smoke. "'Fraid I didn't, I merely heard tha' name back in Dawn from a girl who apparently fancied you." He calmly said.
  20.  
  21. Not a sign of hostility.
  22.  
  23. But! The Dhampir's eyes widened at the mentioning of his father.
  24.  
  25. "Ah. We can! Cordelia happens ta' never put down his alcohol, I dabble but-- I can easily make the connection that yer' dad was Taiga Voss!" Pausing, before clearing his throat.
  26.  
  27. "Or. Taiga Rowan, I suppose. Kid changed 'is name after leaving Obsidia and marryin' Klaus."
  28. (Vedran)
  29. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  30.  
  31. [01:29] Arlei Zanders says, "Ay, Vedran. I'm havin' a talk wit' Aldrah in t'tavern."
  32. [01:29] Arlei Zanders asks, "if I don't come out, he's probably killed me, alright?"
  33. [01:30] Vedran says, ". . For fuck's sake."
  34. [01:30] Vedran asks, "Do you want company?"
  35. [01:30] Arlei Zanders says, "When ya' have time."
  36. [01:30] Arlei Zanders says, "Not right now, though."
  37. [01:30] Arlei Zanders says, "Y've got business."
  38. [01:30] Vedran says, "Once this is done."
  39. [01:30] Arlei Zanders says, "I'll be fine. If he goes for the throat, I'll kick him outside."
  40. [01:31] Siegfried says, "You guys're strange."
  41. [01:31] Vedran says, "I accept that."
  42. [01:36] "...what a sweetheart, she is."
  43.  
  44. Siegfried does not say was in this case, even though that is how most people refer to Clara. An important distinction to make, if one cared about the ongoing affairs surrounding Clara Ultovex.
  45.  
  46. "Cordy'...I needa' pay her a visit, soon."
  47.  
  48. There's a pause at the recognition that he's Taiga Rowan's son, but then he remembers that, until recently, with the end of the war, Dhampir was a highly exclusive club. A vain part of him believed he might somehow carry himself like the Dhampir, too...although, it's doubtful. He was adopted, after all.
  49.  
  50. "Taiga...how many people did you meet along the way?" He asks wistfully to himself, looking into the distance as if he thought the man might answer. He isn't sad because of the man's death, these days. Just glad to have ever met him.
  51.  
  52. "That's my pops, and my other pops. Wouldn' change it for the world. But...you know...you don't look old enough..."
  53.  
  54. Oh, wait. It was like Cordelia.
  55.  
  56. As vampires, they'd been unaging.
  57.  
  58. "What made you decide to go to the lighthouse?"
  59. (Siegfried)
  60. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  61.  
  62. [01:49] Pupils dilating, the once Vampire carefully observed Siegfried's expression and reaction-- Maybe a certain Ookami was being honest with him... rare as that seemed. Vedran made mental note.
  63.  
  64. "So do I... didn't get much chance to converse with ol' little-fang when seein' them last."
  65.  
  66. Saddening as it was. Pausing, Vedran silently reminisced about a time that had long past by... the Dhampir's usual countenance faltered for the briefest of moments. "Many... Taiga was always a social one, even as a tiny child playin' samurai."
  67.  
  68. Somberly answering that question, gritting the stem between jagged teeth.
  69.  
  70. "Aye... I get that a lot - I'm a hundred 'nd seventeen.
  71.  
  72. Was friends wit' Salvas Voss, technically yer' grandfather -- Unless Taiga disowned 'im during my extended absence from Agartha."
  73.  
  74. Ah. Vedran asked merely to confirm a certain rumor.
  75.  
  76. Averting his gaze, and peering into the fiery depths of the volcano.
  77.  
  78. "Mm- a combination o' factors! My race was severely weakened 'nd on the verge of total death. Lost a majority of my friends 'n family cause I kept aging and-...
  79.  
  80. I was technically supposed ta' be the second Dhampir, but I departed before Calael finished-- So. My transformation was two decades behind schedule."
  81. (Vedran)
  82. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  83.  
  84. [02:06] "Ol' little fang? She's just grumpy and smelly now. And she calls herself a battlemaid, whatever the hell that is."
  85.  
  86. Siegfried honestly doesn't fucking know.
  87.  
  88. "...Still one of the sweetest things."
  89.  
  90. The young adult's hand comes up and strokes his own chin as he thinks of everything that'd led him up to this point. The sparring, the training, the trip with Taiga, to bust that crime syndicate. His battles, ranging from Zeno Morvan to Isaac Shimasu and Ashalle and everyone between, the painstaking lengths he'd gone to to keep those around him safe...
  91.  
  92. It's all because of you, dad.
  93.  
  94. If Vedran pauses in his momentary grief, Siegfried looks just as crestfallen, if not moreso. Bitterness swells in him, for a moment, and, sober, he's not equipped to deal with it. Having lost his duel with Ashalle for the sword, the boy isn't able to do a whole lot of anything tohonor his father's memory...
  95.  
  96. And he'd been drinking himself into a stupor here in Aurum ever since, running from his problems until shame couldn't keep up.
  97.  
  98. "Salvas...he mentioned Salvas. I think...he still loved Salvas, even in the end. I don't think he'd have wanted me to call him grandfather - but I'm proud of the family, even if I never met most of 'em."
  99.  
  100. The boy shrugs.
  101.  
  102. "A lot of people waste time. The vampires had all the time in the world...but it never stopped them from going after everything they wanted. People? We're all on a timer. Limited time in Agartha. And we spend so much time on bullshit." He practically spits the word, filled with self-hate, disgust for who he'd been the last few months. "That some of us spend our whole lives and never find the answer we're lookin' for."
  103.  
  104. Monsters that, in some cases, loved.
  105.  
  106. "Taiga saw the shot at immortality, and threw it away, to be free from the curse. Leaving eternal life at the door, he threw on righteousness like a coat of armor and slapped a helmet of fuck and fury on his head. He wore clothes of vengeance, but not just any vengeance, the vengeance of those fallen and forgotten. He wrapped himself with justice as a coat. Even though he loved his father, he rose his sword against him, for that justice. So even though Ashalle tells me he's not a hero...
  107.  
  108. I know the truth."
  109.  
  110. (Siegfried)
  111. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  112.  
  113. [02:23] "Aye. Been callin' her little fang fer' ages. Grumpy and smelly as she may be-- I assume a battle maid, be a maid that battles.."
  114.  
  115. Vedran figured it was self explanatory enough.
  116.  
  117. "... Little bit sweet. Only a little"
  118.  
  119. The former immortal held his fingers just slightly apart, just to further illustrate that point. Crestfallen as Vedran may have seen? They were particularly old wounds, it had been decade or more since it all fell apart... Josephine departure, the near extinction of Cain's children coupled with high levels of bitterness and self-loathing...
  120.  
  121. Eventually, breaking free from that moment of grief. The man raised his head up high.
  122.  
  123. "I also went inta' that lighthouse as an attempt ta' move forward.
  124.  
  125. Many would scoff at my abandonment at immortality, the fact that I chose my own person desires over it. Eternal life ain't all it's cracked up to be, it's a long 'nd miserable road-- Your father stuck by his convictions in tha' end... he initially sought vampirism fer' some sense of nobility and grandeur!
  126.  
  127. But! In the end of it all... grew past that childish notion, got quite a bit o' pride in that kid." He said with a modicum of pride in the boy that once ran around these very cliffs..
  128.  
  129. Vedran let out a particularly exasperated sigh, shifting his attention skyward.
  130.  
  131. "Salvas along wit' several other members o' my race devolved into a pack of monsters by the end-..." Loss, after loss could sour the most noble souls.
  132.  
  133. Created enough bitterness and resentment within himself.
  134.  
  135. "I don't particularly know you well, but-- follow Taiga's example. Even if it seems impossible at tha' time, and even if the enigmatic forces of the world seem to be fightin' you every step of the way.
  136.  
  137. Just gotta' keep trying."
  138. (Vedran)
  139. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  140.  
  141. [02:37] Aldrah Leverd whispers something.
  142.  
  143. [03:01] The man listens, raptly, as one who he had never met, a man who had lived all this while, tells him tales of men that touch his heart. As he is given the confirmation he needed of his father's dedication, of the pride even an immortal can feel in family.
  144.  
  145. He hears the warning of what resentment and bitterness, the very same that he has tossed himself into, can do to people.
  146.  
  147. Beyond just vampires - something that served its piece for all men, bloodsucker or otherwise.
  148.  
  149. What really made a man a monster was his choices, and his why.
  150.  
  151. "I..wanted to be like him. One of you guys," he admits. "I told Taiga I wanted wings...To fly. To soar. To be able to stand up for myself, and others. I thought it'd make me strong."
  152.  
  153. Wasn't it funny, now, in hindsight, that Taiga had wanted it for much the same reason? Wasn't it incredible that, without knowing it, even though they weren't of blood, even though Taiga hadn't yet influenced him greatly...
  154.  
  155. They'd both wanted the same thing?
  156.  
  157. "But he saw through me. He knew I didn't understand what I was getting myself into. He told me that I could just go home and lie in bed, without blood red fangs, and claws, without thirsting for human blood. I hated him for it, a little, like a kid being told he couldn't have a toy at the store.
  158.  
  159. But I just wanted to be different. To stand out. I was tired of being overlooked. Ignored. I wanted to be a demi-angel. I wanted to be a vampire, a dhampir. I wanted...to be part of these people, that jus' seemed like me, but better."
  160.  
  161. Siegfried looks up at the sky, the same starry sky under which all that he loved and all that he knew was below. The one he'd stared at as a kid, at the outset of his journey, with a pocket full of coins, a satchel, and a dream...and now, the man looks up at the moon having come full circle, The Fool still endlessly striving to obtain The World.
  162.  
  163. "We all have a place in this world. And I figured out a long time ago that mine...is to be cast down. Beaten into the ground. And somehow, when everyone else dies, to crawl out of the hole. To keep going. To show some kid out there that a human with a sword can take on the whole world, if the world is wrong."
  164.  
  165. Egotistical. Impassioned. Utterly out of his fucking mind.
  166.  
  167. So much like Taiga.
  168.  
  169. "Can't quit now...Taiyang, Voss, Rowan, Siegfried. Lot of names on my back, now. I used to hate it - but now it's a source of strength.
  170.  
  171. I gotta make you all proud."
  172. (Siegfried)
  173. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  174.  
  175. [03:16] While the boy exposited, explaining his own ambitions and reasonings for his nearly-out worldly goals-- Vedran eagerly listened, soaking in that overly familiar sense of idealism and passion. Along with the stubbornness of a rock.
  176.  
  177. Whether that be Rowan, Voss, or Taiyang.
  178.  
  179. The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
  180.  
  181. Paralleling Siegfried's movements, Vedran continued to gaze skyward, attempting to located the very start that he was violently and painfully tied to... "Even despite tha' immense cruelty and sufferin' that this world likes ta' heap atop us -- akin to a pile of bricks..
  182.  
  183. Can't deny the beauty of it all." The Dhampir's eyes slowly shut, as he took in a slow breath of air. "I've lived a particularly long time! Seen entire families rise 'n fall-- Several stories that I could recall."
  184.  
  185. "Time'll tell whether or not you'll crawl outta' that hole... if a simple boy wit' a sword will succeed against forces like rogue belialites or meddlesome demi-angels." Or whatever horrible foe Agartha had in store...
  186.  
  187. Redirecting his attention back down to Siegfried, before mustering a faint smirk.
  188.  
  189. "I'll be lookin' forward to the results, kiddo." Unless he falls first.
  190. (Vedran)
  191. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  192.  
  193. [03:23] "An' on that note, I have to go back to figuring out wayfinding before I keel over and die. It was good to meet'cha."
  194.  
  195. Siegfried raises his hand, and those fingers, they move. They form a symbol - peace.
  196.  
  197. And then he turns, his back to the vampire who'd chosen to breathe, to live, to die.
  198.  
  199. In his face, in his hair, in his voice, there is nothing of Taiga Rowan. They are not linked by blood. It is not in his DNA. Without the genetics shared, you'd be hard-pressed to find any resemblance...if you were shallow. If you saw only the exterior, if you could not hear the soul.
  200.  
  201. In his gait, in his stride, in his smile, and on his back, he carries everything that Taiga Rowan was.
  202.  
  203. ---
  204.  
  205. Taiga...
  206.  
  207. When I get to the other side, have a bottle waiting for me there.
  208.  
  209. Now that I know you can get drunk...
  210.  
  211. There's no excuse!
  212. (Siegfried)
  213. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  214.  
  215. [03:23] Vedran exclaims, "Farewell!"
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