^_^ Sorry, I just had to take a break from the main plotline for a second. So I thought it would be good to introduce you all to many of the previous plotpoints/backgrounds I have had planned. After this, we'll be right back to the main story, but I do feel like I will periodically be placing easter-eggs such as these throughout the story.
Anyways, I hope you all enjoy.
Those two kids continued on within the forests, scraping by everything they could to possibly survive. Though truthfully, it was a lot easier than one would think. Aias had knowledge of the forests as if it was the back of his hand. While Lucia was extremely profound in her physical capabilities.
Little by little, as the seasons passed by, they continued to survive and grow stronger. Each village they stopped by, was constantly plagued by poverty. The course of war had torn through everything around them. They’d live off the land, hunting, and sleeping in caves.
But like all things, it eventually becomes impossible to sustain yourself in such a way. Surviving was not the same thing as living. For those same children hungered. Their souls cried for better nutrients. As the creatures in the forests became more and more scarce, their way of life deteriorated.
It was in the city of Elirahn, that their lives would have reached their terminal end. When war yet found itself at their starved and weakening doorstep, they were forced to flee again. Except without strength, they could not make it too far. It was during their escape, that they found themselves staring face to face with one of the two great sages. The Sage of Life.
“What would you two kids be doing all the way out over here?”
Aias stopped in his tracks and instinctively stood en guarde in front Lucia. It was strange. The man made no noise, no tracks, no sound, and had no presence. It was only once they had seen him, that they realized he was there.
“Who are you? You don’t dress like a soldier or a magician.” Lucia was the first to speak from behind her meat shield.
“Relax. I’m not here for any of that. Ya know… I actually despise this sort of thing.”
The look of confusion on both kids faces prompted further explanation. He smiled and motioned his hand over to the scenery before them. At the moment there may have been many escapees, but the flames overhead never ceased to be a tactic of this war.
“It’s much different here than in the southern and eastern continents. We teach magic to just a few, and all of the sudden, it is a tool of senseless destruction.”
Aias grabbed Lucia’s hand and continued walking. “Come on. We don’t have time to entertain kooks.”
“You speak of rumors like magic and speak of teaching people magic. Nothing of the sort is prevalent. With the violence soon to pursue us, we can’t possibly sit here chatting with a street performer.”
“Oh but on the contrary. The only street performer are you two.” The man yawned. He picked up his long hair over his shoulders and twirled with it as if it was a convenient anxiety tick. His hair must have reached all the way down to his thighs. At the last couple of inches, a rubber band tied it all together and held it in a nice cluster.
“Well, now. I suppose you all have nothing better to do than entertain me, the audience. Isn’t that right? I’m sure you all both know how empty the forests are.. With how your bodies look so far, you will all certainly die. I’m actually surprised you both are moving so well.”
This was definitely true. With the winter that was nearing and the already scarce prevalence of animals, by escaping, they were only choosing their death, not avoiding it. In this case, it meant that they would much rather feel comfortable starving to death than being killed or used by the soldiers that took over the city.
The Nation of Fabrica, recently had become such a powerful nation. It was clear now, that they were vying to be an empire. It first started with the subjugation of the Beast-Humans… or as they had long called them, sub-humans.
Lucia’s nation decided to help their partners. The Beast-men were very much peaceful when it came to their beliefs. They possessed such great power, but exercised it in a way that did no harm unto others. Unfortunately, regardless of how powerful they were, they were subjugated by the nation of Fabrica.
It should not have been possible, given how outmatched they were against the masses that fought against them. Regardless, somehow, they had overwhelmingly dominated all of the countries before them. This was due to just one reason- The 2 Great Sages. The sage of life, and the sage of death.
Just as the kids disappeared off from view, he appeared yet again in front of them. When they looked back behind themselves, they saw that the man was also still there. This wasn't sleight of hand. This man… was actually practicing magic.
“So. How about it hm? You kids seem to have eyes that say you don’t want to die. Do you want my help or not?”
This man was huge. He was almost 7 feet tall. So when he spoke down to the kids, he had to really bend over as if he was looking at puppies. “Two of you won’t really help anything. You’ll just be double annoying.”
“Oh no no no no… that’s not what I was asking. You knowww, I can heal you guys ya’know? But Shhhhh… you better answer quickly before my partner arrives. He’s not quite as courteous as you are.”
The sound of frantic running could be heard behind the two and the man’s eyes temporarily averted from the duo to see that of a young girl and her older brother escaping. There were many that flee the cities during sieges or attacks. Of course, very rarely do they survive in the wilderness.
The brother was badly damaged. Yet his younger sister remained unhurt. It seemed that was all he was hoping for. Arrows riddled his back, piercing his shoulder and side. It was clear he wasn’t going to make it too far.
“Oh my… well. You kids lost my interest. It seems there are others that require help more than you.”
The young girl had been practically carrying her brother on her back, and immediately fell over before reaching them. She must’ve finally let her will down after seeing two other kids, and the man who didn’t seem to be from the area. She was trusting the rest to them.
The tall man beamed and clasped his hands together. “Very touching! Such a sight…. I can’t bear to leave you alone to meet such a terrible demise.” It was almost as if he got teary eyed as he spoke.
He walked over happily. “You’re in luck little girl.” He squatted in front of her and began to give her the same spiel he gave them. “I happen to be a magician, you know. I can heal all of your ailments. Are you hurt anywhere?”
The young girl must’ve been about 8 years old. She was only 2 years younger than Lucia and her Aias. She grimmaced and refused to show the tears in her eye. “N-no.. but my brother. He’s going to-”
“I understand.. I understand. I can heal it.. All of it.” The Sage placed his hand ontop of her brother’s head. The mystical white glow that radiated from it soon took its effect. The arrows embedded into his back began to jut out of his body and one could see visible shock in his face.
He didn’t know what was going on. Strength was all of the sudden regaining in his body. He looked over the palm of his hands and began flexing his arms. There was no strain. It was as if he had been restored to his peak physical capability- despite the fact that he hadn’t even eaten in months.
He opened his mouth to speak. “W-who… are you… you have my eternal th-”
“It's not done yet. Please… don’t move.”
There was a look of confusion on the young man’s face. It was at that moment that the confusion turned into complete horror.
The young girl looked at her hands. “B...brother.. I don’t understand… why?” This tingly feeling overwhelmed her entire body. “What’s going on…”
Then the feeling turned to pain. Pure pain. Her body began to disintegrate. First to leave was the skin. As if flames were eating away at her, they began to fall apart. From her lower body first, up to her head. She screamed in a way that was absolutely daunting. Even for Lucia, who held no feelings, her body hair stood up in response. The brother got up and embraced her, attempting to stop whatever was going on.
“What is this!!? What’s going on. I’ve ne-” The sage. That was the only possible explanation. “Please!! Stop this! Bring my sister back to me! Even if you have to take me instead!! You must do it.” The frantic panic in his voice as the sage stared blankly at him was surreal. When he wasn’t swayed, he dashed towards the sage, begging. His hands clasped as he pleaded with the man to reverse whatever was happening.
“You can save people right!! Do it!!! Do what you just did to me!! Take me instead. She doesn’t need this. Noo.. no..no no No NO! NO! NO! STOP!!! STOP THISS!!!!”
The sage simply grabbed his head and had him stare at the ensuing process.
The screams didn’t stop. Long before the girl was just a walking display of muscles. Her eyes strained as they too melted and disappeared. Then her muscles began to leave the same way. All while she screeched like a maddened animal… until the muscles in her vocal chords were also gone. Then the bones left.
After what seemed like a grueling three minutes, completely frozen in shock and horror, while the brother’s tears ran down his cheeks. “Why….” he sniffed. His voice was caught in his throat. If he knew that was the kind of death she was going to face, he would have left her in the city to die by the siege.
“She… was the only one that looked like her…” his cries continued in a very hushed tone. “how…. “
“Hey….” he looked up from his red eyes at the sage who held his face buried into the ground. “Tell me…”
“How am I supposed to remember her face now… my mother….. How?”
“This was what she asked for.”
“What kind of nonsens-”
“She told me to heal all your ailments.” He yawned as if he had just done another wondrous miracle. “I can heal everything. From flesh, to wounds, to trauma. I can fix your mind. I can heal your burdens, your past, your future. I can even heal reality.”
Aias and Lucia didn’t dare move. For a being like this, it would be much more sensible to ask for permission to leave, instead of taking initiative into your own hand. After-all, even if they tried, they may very well end up in the same situation.
“This is what your soul asked for isn’t it? The life you could have lived if she was not born. You live entirely for her. You starve yourself for her sake. You live only to ensure her continuance. Even now, you, the man riddled with arrows and wounds… it was because you used your body as her shield. Is that not right, ya know?”
“Thus I took it upon myself to also heal you of your ailment. The girl you speak of. No longer exists in this world.”
“What...am I… what am I supposed to do now..” His face contorted into an agonizing look. “ANSWER MEEE!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS!!! WHAT KIND OF HEALER ARE YOU!! YOU DEMON! YOU… WITCH!! FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE… I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU! YOU’RE THE WORST…YOURE-”
He went on and on until he was finally out of breath. “I’ll kill you…. I truly will. Don’t think I’ll forget this… you took away my sister…. You took away my mother’s memories… she wasn’t a burden… she was just what I wanted to preserve in this world… for as long as I live...I will kill you and with my last breath… I’ll spite you. I will. I promise you… nothing can change that…”
“....... this pain….”
“Is unbearable… you truly….. Are disgust-”
“Then let me fix that as well.” His palms began to emit the same glow.
“No.. what are you d-”
Just like that, it was over. The kid stood up and yawned, stretching his neck. He looked around confused for a second. “Thank you for healing me, sir. I don’t understand what kind of technique that was, but without it, I’d most-certainly be dead by now. I’ll try and be more vigilant. I should probably avoid the cities for a while.”
“No problem young child. Now go on about your way.”
The kid ran off after as if nothing had just happened.
“You…. what did you….-” Lucia began to speak but was too shocked by the entire display she had just seen. The same with Aias, who maintained a completely mortified face. “Oh that? I simply healed his mind from having to remember them. That way, he won’t suffer anymore.”
“Now… I’m actually in a rather good mood. I suppose I can heal you both as well. Afterall, I’d hate to see you die out within the next couple of days. Come. I can heal your hunger.”
This was not an offer. This was clearly a hostage situation. There was no way that they could deny. At any point, he can force himself upon them and alter them in the most terrifying of ways.
Lucia could feel the trembling Aias clinging onto her arm. He was no longer in front of her as he usually imposed himself to do.
She sighed internally. Why did things have to turn out this way…. To be truthful… I don’t want to die.
But what should happen if he were to heal Aias instead….. Would the same thing happen to me? The thought of the girl turning into nothing shot through her mind. It was strange…. She had thought that she had been holding onto life all of this time, simply following the last words of her mother.
That was always what she did after-all. She followed any orders given to her and did them diligently. That was why she was so good at everything. Had her mother simply told her to run, she’d have done so without a second thought and left Aias behind.
But this situation made her realize that was not the case. She didn’t really have any reason for living. She saw it as no big deal so long as Aias survived. Yet, now, facing the reality she had been living for up until now, her resolve was shaken.
If it meant Aias living, she should by all means have Aias healed first. After-all, the younger brother always did his best to protect her. But Aias was much too afraid at the moment. As it turns out, she was not Aias burden. Aias constantly looked to her for strength.
It should be me… if I end up dying from Aias… then there’s no way I can atone properly. There’s no way I can return that love…. That she showed me.
She steeled herself to her decision. “Besides. If I were to disappear, Aias would certainly die on his own.”
“Please heal me.” She spoke. Just as confidently as always, just as unfearful as always, just as calm as always. “If I get back to full strength, there’s no need to heal Aias. I can take care of him and catch enough game to nurture him back to health myself.”
“Is that so? Very well, come here my child.”
The man placed a hand on her head and the radiance emitted from it.
A couple seconds passed by and her skin lost its deterioration. Her weight regained back to its healthy normalcy. Her hollow sunken eyes regained vibrancy and even her red hair sheened with a look completely different than before.
The feeling was amazing. ‘How long has it been since I’ve felt this healthy…?’
The man’s hand snapped back quickly as he stared at her. “You’re an odd one huh… I thought for sure… nevermind. For one reason or another. Physical ailments are the only troubles that ail you…. I’ve yet to see this before. It’s almost as if you-”
“Have no emotion…” Lucia concluded his speculation for him. “I don’t get scared… I don’t feel happiness. I don’t feel love… I don’t get sad… I don’t feel anything.”
“How unfortunate. The world you must live in must be quite depressing...yea?”
Lucia refused to answer. The truth is, it can’t really be depressing. She doesn’t even feel that. “Are you… able to fix it?”
“Unfortunately not, little girl. Because it is not an ailment. You are quite strange, you know. There have been those like you, but usually they either live alone, or get rid of themselves. Yet… you seem to have a desire for something. I can feel the conflict in making your decision.”
“I was told to protect my brother. So I simply put myself in harms way for that.”
“Oh but that is incorrect. I assume you saw the previous interaction. If I were to heal your brother, you would die. But you chose yourself selfishly. One, you knew that he would not be whisked away, because he does not share your emotionless void.”
“But you see… if your goal was simply to protect him until your death… this would have been the moment to do so. You’d have your brother be healed first, and you die as well.”
“This would be the optimal solution for someone such as yourself. But… you refuse to have him healed. This is because there’s another reason isn’t there..”
Lucia thought about this hard… she subconsciously knew the reason. It was always at the tip of her tongue. She understood the reason since that day 2 years back. With those words aias said to her, she had suddenly wished to understand just one thing.
“I want to…”
“Return the love… my mother gave to me..”
This was what she wanted… no matter the cost. She cannot die before she finally returns that love back to her. It was an unruly thought that intruded her head. But since it had, she had held onto it as if it was her only light, guiding her through a world of darkness. She would do anything to finally attain emotion and be like the rest of the world.
She would give any cost. She would sacrifice anyone. So long as she can finally feel that same love back for her. Yes… as long as it was that, it didn’t matter if it was her own mom. It didn’t matter if it was herself. It didn’t matter if it was Aias. It didn’t matter if it was her father… no… it didn’t even matter if it was the world.
“You’re going to help me achieve it.”