Never Normal Again & The Second Trial

Blue_XIII Jan 1st, 2016 79 Never
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  2. Arsenic doesn't seem to remember the previous interaction he had with Levi.
  4. If any memory of the event still comes to him, then he apparently seeks to dismiss the entirety of it, because next he sees the older boy, he says nothing, does nothing...aside from raise a red egg to him, one on the verge of hatching, right this very instant.
  6. And then it does.
  8. A parrot, fully grown, placed itself on top of the boy's head were he not about to violently react to it's presence. For his part, Arsenic folded his arms behind his back and bobbed up and down on his toes, humming a tune wistfully. Abit of color has also apparently returned to his features.
  10. And that mischievous smile is back in full force.
  12. _______
  14. Arsenic stares back, and, despite his lighthearted air, it's obvious he expected this. There's almost a bit of sheepishness to the look, as if he'd overcome whatever dilemna had been plaguing him that day and, now, it was only a distant memory.
  16. (...I'm still not back to normal, but I can handle it now.)
  18. No words were exchanged between the two, but silence, even in these conditions, was never truly uncomfortable between brothers. Tense, given the circumstances previous, but never uncomfortable; It was what made fated duels between duos like theirs' so unusual, the familiarity between the two combatants a stark contrast to the violence simultaneously occuring.
  20. He hoped he never had to fight Levi.
  22. After the gift he presented to his closest of friends, Arsenic'd merely stand there, looking in no particular direction, eyes sealed shut.
  24. Still, despite it all, he smiled.
  26. _______
  28. Arsenic, immediately after completing his first 'conversation' with Levi in what felt, in every aspect, like several years...
  30. Would promptly return to Arimanes.
  32. It was clear he was regaining some of his old mannerisms, if not the majority. Feeling had returned to him rather clearly, but those eyes, regardless, did not shine with the childlike innocence and carefree splendor of the darkly troubled, lost boy who'd wandered into the yokai's neck of the woods. Rather, he seemed a bit beyond his years, rather, the ten year old carrying himself with a sort of subtle arrogance.
  34. "Oi."
  36. His hands in his pockets, the boy who'd been an emotionless husk of a human being still only a few weeks prior comes to Arimanes staring up at her rather boredly.
  38. "Got something for me..?"
  40. As opposed to just the casual slaughter of lesser yokai.
  42. _______
  44. The boy looked up at the significantly larger, significantly older, significantly more powerful creature that he had gotten a whee bit too familliar with, arms crossing and eyebrows raised.
  46. "No sort of...trial? Test?"
  48. His mannerisms had certainly begun to lean toward more abrasive and straightforward, similar to Levi, but with it, he always retained an air of formality and a strangely educated, articulate manner of speaking, remnant traces from his upbringing, where his parents'd decided he was going to pursue the life of a scholar.
  50. Arsenic's arms unfolded.
  52. "Or'm I just taking out the trash like usual?"
  54. ________
  56. ...
  58. Arsenic stared.
  60. She knew damn well he had no plans to actually introduce her to any of his friends- largely because he didn't want to have to have the conversation in which he explained he had befriended a yokai and they'd stolen his emotions for several months in exchange for abilities to control occult magic to an extent he had never been able to previously.
  62. It just had this huge issue where it sounded a bit too much like a deal with the devil in which he'd bargained off a piece of his soul for a miniscule amount of power.
  64. Maybe because it sort of was.
  66. "If I bring a friend," he said slowly, still puzzling over the idea while he was speaking. As a result, he hesitates before continuing, although he sounds fairly certain of what he's come up with, "You'll pretend you don't know me, then, and that we're genuinely fighting for our lives."
  68. It could be very dangerous to Arimanes if his friend were actually able to win, but...
  70. What were the chances of that happening?
  72. _______
  74. This left Arsenic to debate on which of his friends he should bring.
  76. Which, if any of them, actually possessed a suitable level of power to where they'd stand a genuine chance at pressuring Arimanes in any noteable manner? He was left guessing by this point, thinking.
  78. Levi might legitimately win.
  80. Levi was the strongest boy he knew; He didn't even consider the kid, in his head, the same caliber of fighter as the rest of them. He'd seen Levi measure up to magi decades older than them, at or past the height of their power, and make world-class fighters look like stumbling idiots when he crushed them with nothing more than a sword and unshakeable self-belief.
  82. Besides, Levi was smart. He might figure out the scheme, start to suspect things based on the weirdness of his recent behavior- no, it had to be one of his friends outside of Highwind, one of his friends unrelated to their miscellaneous adventures and under the radar of the adults that watched them all like hawks.
  84. Virgil, maybe?
  86. Or..
  88. You could practically see a lightbulb pop above his head.
  90. _______
  92. Arsenic bobbed on his feet, lightly stretching by balancing all of his weight on one leg, and then the other. He'd yawn, a loud, long thing, and then set off at a brisk pace, gradually accelerating from a light jog to what, in no time, became a high-speed sprint, the boy dashing at speeds well over fourty miles per hour with a very specific goal in mind, time accelerating his every step.
  94. He knew exactly who he was going to get.
  96. Hopefully, Arimanes'd be in Trystle by the time he'd gotten him to go.
  98. _______
  100. On his way, Arsenic'd spot Arariel, who he'd seen several, several times by this point, and was directly linked to a close friend of his...but he'd never held a conversation with. He slowed, slightly, and then just abruptly stopped to get a good look at the Oscuri, interest unmasked in his expression.
  102. He'd then flash him a smile, and a wave.
  104. And then he was off again.
  106. _______
  108. Arsenic placed both hands behind his head, grinning at the sight of Alastor. He was selective about his friends, all things considered, and, despite the rarity of their meetings, he was always excited to see the other boy.
  110. Upon arrival, the violet-haired swordsmans'd clap both hands onto either of the other, younger boy's shoulders, still smiling broadly.
  112. "We're going on an adventure!" He declared.
  114. _______
  116. Arsenic'd open his mouth to continue, turning as he did so, eyes closed, only to nearly fall into and bump over Nerissa. He'd suddenly stop, eyes opening, and come face to face with his young fishy friend, eye twitching at what he perceived as the sudden appearence of his associate.
  118. "GAH!" The boy'd exclaim, leaping backward with one foot raised and his hands preoccupied guarding his jugular. His eyes seemed permanantly set on her mouth, her teeth in particular, and he was sweating something terrible, and it was apparent that...
  120. The fish-girl still scared the living shit out of him, even after he'd gotten over his fear of girls.
  122. "...D-did you want to come too?"
  124. _______
  126. ...Given the several seconds that Nerissa says absolutely nothing, with him merely staring into the eerie fish girl's eyes, he marches off, expecting Alastor to be right in tow as they head off on an adventure.
  128. _______
  130. Upon Meeting Arimanes In The Caves With Alastor, where she threatens them both:
  132. What in the world had she appeared behind him and scared the life out of the poor boy for if only to stand there and not conceive a word when asked why?
  134. 'You'll die,' Arimanes had said to them.
  136. We are born killers.
  138. The human race is not one that has shied from danger or violence in it's bloody past. The human race is not one who has been crushed by the various adaptations it was forced to make, if only to survive. It has not been wiped to the point of extinction by the vastly superior races it has aggravated.
  140. No.
  142. When a human is called to action, by chance, by necessity, it has been time-tested, again and again, that we survived only because we are the supreme killers. There is no other trait that defines us so aptly. Our adaptability can be summarized in a few short, apt words:
  144. We kill anything that fucks with us, even if it is objectively superior.
  146. "No."
  148. He clenches his fist, and lightning encompasses every inch, every molecule of his body. The ground beneath him splits, and he grips the massive, pulsing, glowing axe bestowed to him by Levi. Were there a camera, it'd likely choose this instant to dramatically pan his face.
  150. His ultimate resolution had already been stated. His dramatic, rousing speech was inherent in the one word he had uttered. 'No.' It was a command. Not just directed at Arimanes, but at the dice of fate themselves.
  152. He and Alastor would not die this day.
  154. Their story was just beginning.
  156. "Bring it."
  158. Arsenic sweeps back an arm, and, in that same motion, withdraws his sword. The blade remains in his hand for awhile, and then, with vigor, with spirit, with foolhardiness and ignorance aplenty, he dives into battle.
  160. Trainer Arsenic would like to fight.
  162. At intervals, Alastor would find himself augmented with time magic, ability drastically augmented and speed miles higher than anything he could manage on his own; He didn't intend to be effortlessly dispatched this day.
  164. No.
  166. He was going to leave his mark on the tapestry of fate if it fucking killed him.
  168. Charging into the fray with sword in hand and a fistful of sparks in the other, it never occurs to him that one day?
  170. It very well might.
  172. ________
  174. Arsenic is defeated so handily, so viciously, so totally and completely, you would swear his name wasn't actually Arsenic, but Len Sei.
  176. All jokes aside:
  178. He charges into battle, swinging madly, inflicting the guard yokai with nasty, debilitating cuts...and then, promptly...
  180. He's handled so casually, you'd swear he was a child who had just swung at his parent.
  182. Arimanes hits every bit as hard as her size would indicate, flooring Arsenic with such sheer speed and strength the boy would go hurtling across the caves like a ragdoll, bouncing around and off of the various formations in the cave. He spirals in the air like a boomerang after awhile, having to erect a dark barrier just to avoid his bones snapping like tissue paper against the wall he was flung toward.
  184. And then, right after he manages that, the creature is on him again, David vs. Goliath if Goliath had actually got his hands on David. The result is such a brutal beatdown, his consciousness lapses for several minutes.
  186. And then, he hears Arimanes.
  188. The boy stands after the taunt and promptly being put back down, knees wobbly, blood stemming from his....everywhere.
  190. "You didn't..."
  192. He stumbles forward...
  194. "Win."
  196. And collapses again.
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