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Messages - Kassandros Essair

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1
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 10, 2018, 04:36 AM »
Kassandros made a face. "If you had any idea how much accidental incest happens..." Not that Dalmasca seemed to have any real aversion to such things. Actually, some houses seemed to believe they needed incestual relations, you know, diluting the bloodline and whatever. In about five or six generations, they'd figure out why we don't fuck our sister.

... anyway.

"I'm not really expecting him to," Kass answered. "... much to my exasperation, but, you know. He'll... hopefully figure it out eventually." He either did, or he didn't, and it wasn't like Kassandros could make him. At least, not if he wanted to actually enforce the idea he could make his own decisions. Kassandros either made them for him, or he didn't, there was no middle ground. Unfortunately, it was kind of the same with any other slave he had; he either acted like their owner, or he didn't. Even if he thought it was a better idea if they weren't here, he couldn't really make that choice for them, and yet in the same breath, pretend they had any personal agency.

One could hope. Kassandros wasn't sure if he'd learned anything, because Cygnus never did, and he didn't expect last night to have changed anything. He decided to just leave that alone, pursing his lips for a moment, but then his expression flattened back out. It wasn't like he'd run into him today, maybe he'd actually thought for once, but he doubted that, too. Eh, Cygnus was another issue, one he would much rather pretend didn't exist. "Suppose Salonus isn't coming to us." Thank the gods for that, but, it wasn't like he was really in any excited hurry to go. ... well, he was, if only because he wanted it over with. That in mind, he just, headed that way.

Funny, he had fewer qualms about waltzing into House Salonus than he did wandering into a temple. Imagine that.

2
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 07, 2018, 03:52 AM »
If nothing else, his being able to help stop the visions from killing his brother would at least make Kass feel like he was actually doing something worthwhile. He'd spent his whole life on what his father wanted, what he thought the gods had laid out in front of him, and he hadn't bothered with too much outside of that, because before now, it didn't matter any. Maybe one could argue that it was strange he cared now, suddenly, but there were reasons. Some part of him wondered why he was even considering bothering with it; he'd failed at so many things he'd tried to do, it seemed like a waste of time, and maybe it'd only succeed in giving his brother a false sense of hope. It wasn't like he needed to fail at being a brother yet again. He either failed or didn't. Maybe, either way, it didn't matter. He either got it right, or he didn't let anyone's expectations down.

"They won't," he answered. "Sepheres isn't the first to be registered under only his mother's name. It's fairly common for the mother not to even be sure who the father is, particularly in our circle of nobles." That seemed terrible, and maybe it was, but at the moment, it would serve Kassandros well, at least, insofar as it'd get him what he wanted. "I had already presumed Sepheres might be difficult to talk into this. I may be surprised, though." Certainly, it'd be one of the few pleasant surprises Kass had ever gotten.

Kass snorted. "Cygnus goes to every festival, typically gets drunk, and I usually have to drag him home before he ends up in an orgy." It was rather trying, but Cygnus loved the interaction and attention, ostensibly too much. 

3
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 04, 2018, 07:23 PM »
Kassandros made a non-committal noise, there. "Plan, yeah," he said, after a few moments. "If I'm guessing right, though, once my aura knocks down, the visions will switch to one of my brothers. If there's going to be any good news here, though, it is that whichever one it moves to should be able to make it another twenty years or so. There's time." Time to figure out what to do. "Because the visions are not mine, this also frees me up to figure out how to stop it. Ytias dropped a few loopholes in my lap." Honestly, Kassandros wasn't certain why, but, he also wasn't complaining too much. Cygnus hardly knew how to live to begin with. For that matter, Icarus wasn't much better.

And maybe, just maybe, Kassandros was right behind them.

Ah, not really. Kassandros smirked a bit, shaking his head. "I know exactly how to bring his glass castle down," he said. "Sepheres happens to be a Dalmascan citizen, according to the citizenship registry. He's an Allendale. His mother registered him sans a father. I'm sure the justicars would love to hear all about how Titus treated him." With any luck, they'd be too busy with that to really squint at his registry papers too hard; but without a father on it at all, no one could prove anything. There were plenty of commoners and nobility alike that could've fathered him. No one could prove it was a slave, without a name.

He had a vague plan for after that, too. "... unfortunately, I at least do need to make an appearance at some point during the Festival of Iuna. I also highly doubt I can talk Icarus and Cygnus into staying home." That was unfortunate in its own way.

4
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 02, 2018, 03:39 AM »
The visions weren't his to bear... maybe that was why they were killing him so gods damned fast. If they weren't supposed to be his, though, then whose were they? Icarus remembers, Cygnus dreams... Cygnus, then? Cygnus had never displayed the ability to - on the other hand, Kassandros was so powerful, it wasn't hard to imagine he might've inadvertently stolen that ability from his brother. Aura worked a lot like gravity; the more of it there was, the more of it was attracted. Kassandros protected Cygnus in literally every other way, why not that one, too? But then, what would happen, if he did manage to knock his aura down? Would Cygnus spontaneously get his seer abilities? And then... like Kassandros should now, it'd be Cygnus that died, instead.

No. No, damn it, why did this not want to work out in a way where nobody fucking died?

Pfff... "Enlightening is a word," Kass answered, flatly. "... aggravating is another." At least Ytias had answered him, even if the answers he gave did not necessarily make sense, immediately. Kassandros was accustomed to puzzling out what he meant, though. Icarus remembers... Cygnus dreams... what'd that mean, though? Well, no. If you were going to create something as powerful as the Messiah, you wouldn't want to create them standalone. There'd need to be something in place to prevent them from losing their fucking mind, right? Maybe that was what he had brothers for. Kassandros would admit, quite easily, that Icarus and Cygnus were part of why he hadn't gone goddamn insane already, and he knew it. Too well, maybe. He was fairly sure the visions were what made him hear it, when the light whispered. Did his brothers hear it, too? Maybe that was another thing he'd incidentally stolen, from them. Something they should be able to do, but as typical, Kassandros was too bright, and drowned out that ability, or incidentally absorbed it, or something.

"Neither am I," he said. "... spiricite." That probably sounded random. "It's a gemstone, primarily mined in the west, ergo, the Free Cities. It's a pale lavender colour, by default, turns almost translucent pink in the light. Under special circumstance, it turns a deep indigo, and shimmers a dark red in the light. That special circumstance is exposure to aura. It basically absorbs loose aura in the atmosphere, and if you purposely channelled your own aura into it, it'll take it. That aura can later be unleashed in other ways, or given back to the original holder, or someone else, and used in sorcery. The Free Cities find it pretty invaluable. Sounds like the Messiah might, too, if he didn't want to lose control of his powers and unleash the aura wave before he intended to."

Kassandros unconsciously tapped his lips. "... Saqqara is often called the Jewel of the Desert. If you rearrange the letters of Lucain, you get a name with roots in an old word meaning 'light.' I'm pretty sure Ytias just sort of told me to go talk to Sahura. Unfortunately, I'm missing a son, but if I take Spartacus, even if Regillus lets me, it'll cause trouble for him. ... first, I need Titus to be quiet." Canius wouldn't be much of a problem, but Titus was another story. And of course, Sati probably wasn't going anywhere without Alexios.

5
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 01, 2018, 04:36 AM »
[ this is going to be a monster i am so sorry
edit: ooooh my jesus fuck... ]

Yes, well. Sandalio always said that. ... there was a reason why, he was sure. He didn't tend to repeat himself for no reason. If he just got over it like he was supposed to have a long time ago, it wouldn't - and last night wasn't even the same thing. Just... later. He'd worry about that later, right now, he had a god to yell at. ... if he even managed to yell at him. Honestly, Kass had no idea what the hell he was bothering for. It wasn't like the gods really owed him anything. It just felt like they should. Like somebody should explain some shit, because nobody ever did. This probably qualified as stupid. He didn't say it.

"If it makes you feel any better, neither do I," Kass answered, walking backwards for a moment. "... I don't think the scope of citizenship has sunk in, he still tries talking me into selling him me." And that wasn't going to happen, so.

A quiet sigh, and he turned back around, albeit he'd stopped. In the back, of course, was a gigantic marble statue, mostly white with gold accents, of what, presumably, everyone thought Ytias looked like. Around the columns, vines had started to grow, up toward the ceiling. The light seemed happy, today, and Kass wasn't sure why. It was never really happy. Just not upset. A breath in, and he shook his head, more to himself, wandering to the base of Ytias' statue, and for many seconds he just kind of stared at it.

"Well," he started, "come down here. You owe me that much. Oanke won't answer me, but maybe you will. Sure do enough talking every second of every bloody day, by the way, did you know that's headache inducing? Just thought I'd tell you." Nah, he wasn't bitter. His tone kind of sounded it, but he definitely wasn't.

For a moment, nothing happened, but then the light rays coming from the ceiling started bending, became brighter for a second. Bright enough, Kass blinked a few times, looking to the side a bit, until they'd dimmed again. Several of the rays converged into hard light projection lines, forming a vaguely hume-like shape. If you squinted, it looked sort of like the statue, but only sort of. He had longer hair than Kass expected, vibrantly glowing eyes mostly lacking in definition, loose clothing that seemed mostly just intended to cover the important stuff, swirls of brighter light across the skin in seemingly random patterns, almost like tattoos. Funny enough, his facial features were very similar to those of Kassandros and his brothers.

"At least one of you mother fuckers answers," Kass said, snorting.
"I ah... I was kind of looking forward to this day, you know?"
"No, I don't, can't imagine why, if you haven't noticed I'm really not in a good mood."
"Oh, I don't imagine you are," Ytias answered, sounding perhaps a bit sad. "Yesterday was a very bad day."
"Don't even fucking go there," Kass snapped.
"That's fair, I suppose," Ytias allowed. "... are you sure you should be up and about, maybe you should -"
"Don't fucking go there, either," Kass interrupted.

Ytias sighed, settling down on the steps that led up to the statue, just gracefully floating down onto the marble. "Well, what's so important, then? Oanke's quite miffed I answered."
"I'm sure she is, and she can take that miff and shove it where your light can't reach," Kass deadpanned.
"Ooo, harsh."
"Not as harsh as her. Did any of you, I don't know, think to tell me what I'm here for? Somewhere in this mess, maybe you might've thought, Hey, this kid's fuckin' lost, go figure, we made his life hell and then threw on some extra fancy stuff, like, you know, he's a seer, he's the most powerful mage in the fucking world, maybe we ought to, like, nudge him in the right direction? Did this ever cross anyone's mind? Or am I just supposed to figure it out? I don't even know why I'm asking this, it's a stupid question, there are thousands of people in this god fucking forsaken nation that ask for your guidance all the time and never get it, hey, why should I be any different? Gimme one goddamn good reason I shouldn't blow this planet apart."
"... ah... I think maybe you're pissed off, not quite not in a good -"
"ANSWER ME YOU SHINY BASTARD."
"Right... you know, aheum, you know that's kind of um. Kind of the point."
"What is."
Ytias fidgeted, slightly. "The not knowing, part. That's ah... well we weren't supposed to tell you."
"Why."
"Ah... you see, you're um. Well we don't make heroes, you see? Nor do we make villains. Or, whatever. We just give humes the ability to be one or the other. Yes? And then, it is up to them which they become. Likewise, we don't decide... what the Messiah does, with the power we give him. We just give him that power. It is, ultimately, up to you, what you do with it. If you want to blow the planet apart, well, that's up to you. But can you? Not power-wise, Kassi, never that -"
"Don't call me Kassi," he hissed.
"Right," Ytias answered, flinching slightly. "... ah. Of course you can, it is a question of whether or not you can, knowing all the lives you'd end, all the futures that will never be, the dreams you've had that will never come true. Can you make that go away? Once something is destroyed, you know, that's it. There is only one Azaleon."

Kass made a frustrated noise, turning away, pacing slightly. "That would've been nice to fucking know a goddamn decade ago."
"Er. Well, I... at least, sort of figured Oanke had mentioned it," Ytias answered, watching him pace.
"And maybe she did," Kassandros said. "Maybe she didn't, it's debatable, because the righteous prick isn't known for being particularly generous with her knowledge, but chances are, even if she did tell me, it was a long time ago. Do you know what a child's memory span is? Do you know what a traumatised child's memory span is? I barely remember my childhood. The farthest back I can actually remember, I was ten, and it was a fucking split second of a memory that isn't even important!"
Ytias made a face. "... out of curiosity -"
"I dropped a glass over the side of the balcony into the fountain," Kassandros replied, arching an eyebrow, his tone flat.
"... wow, that really is completely -"
"Did you think I was kidding?"
"Well no," Ytias replied, raising his eyebrows slightly. "I just - ah." Ytias shook his head, glancing up at the ceiling. "Of course, we've always hoped, you'd do good things with what power we gave you. Dalmasca is, unfortunately, quite the mess, and Jihon just behind it. Perhaps just destroying them wouldn't be too bad an idea. After all you've been through, certainly no one would blame you for that."

"I can't," Kassandros answered. "You said it yourself. Once something is destroyed, that's it, it's gone. Lives are not trivial things. I can't snuff out thousands of them, just to be rid of a couple dozen that deserve to end."
Ytias almost looked proud, for a moment. "Then, what will you do? What do you want?"
Kassandros snorted. "Want, he says," he said, more to himself. "Like I fucking know what that is. I do know what I don't want."
"Oh?" Ytias tilted his head in curiosity.
"I don't want Dalmasca destroying more than it already has," Kassandros replied. "I don't want more Salonus' in the world. I don't even want the one we have already. I don't want more kids that don't even know what their name is, don't remember their parents. I don't want anyone to have to live the way I did, either. ... and," he stopped pacing, staring at the floor. "I don't want to die for this."
"Wait," Ytias started, sounding confused. "You wouldn't be much of a Messiah if you didn't die at the end."
"Nobody asked me if I wanted to be the Messiah, either! Maybe I don't!"
"... unfortunately, it's about seventeen years too late, for that," Ytias answered. "... but, you know, the Messiah's power reaches its height at maturity. You're almost there. The release of all that aura won't happen automatically."
"It won't?" Kassandros looked confused, then.
"No," Ytias answered. "It'll just become a bit painful, and may eventually attempt to expel itself somehow, because we did design your body to hold a lot of it. You're a bit more durable than most magi, at least insofar as you can contain much more aura than typical, may have some trouble controlling it when there's so much of it. In any case, well... the prophecy just says you release it at some point, Kass..." The look on Kassandros' face said that wasn't a good idea, either. "... andros, not when."
Kassandros thought about that, for a moment. "That's all nice and everything, but my visions are still killing me."
Ytias arched an eyebrow, almost perfectly mimicking Kassandros' 'are you serious?' looks. "I don't even know why you have those," he said. "That burden was not yours to bear."

Even more perplexed, Kass just frowned a bit. Ytias sighed. "Look, I know you're confused, and a bit lost," he started. "... okay, very lost, maybe more lost than most might normally get to be, but everyone reaches lows. It doesn't mean it's the end of it all. Kassandros, you gave up. A very, very long time ago. Now's a weird time to decide you want to live, when you'd long ago decided you were okay with dying. The timing is... how you say... shit. You only have a scant few months left."
"Yeah," Kass answered. "I know." For just a second, he almost glanced in Sandalio's direction, and then changed his mind, looking at the wall to his side, instead. "I'm just tired. Of hurting, losing, hating and fighting, and I know living doesn't mean that'll stop, but, if I don't live, then I just suffer for the vast majority of my life and then die, and there's got to be more to it than that."
"Hmm... I see." Ytias tilted his head. "Kassandros, let me ask you, then. What would you do, if that one," he nodded at Sandalio, "was the Messiah?"
"I don't -"
"Humour me."
Confused, Kassandros glanced at him, turned back to Ytias. "... you... said it hits a cap, right? If it just stays below that cap -"
"And now you're thinking about it," Ytias interrupted. "But you see, you don't if it's you. Kassandros, if one life does not matter, then why do any? Why is he, or your brothers, more important than you are?"
Kassandros went quiet, albeit, blue eyes flashed in annoyance.
"You have no answer, do you." He didn't need to ask. "Of course you don't. Because there is never a good reason why one life overrides the importance of another. Sometimes, Kassandros, we find the answers we are looking for in the strangest of places. I leave you with this; return that which was stolen to those whom it was stolen from. Find the son of the shifting sands, of the House of Light in the Jewel of the Desert. You will find your answers, my son, but answers do not always come cloaked in obvious. Icarus remembers, Cygnus dreams, and you do. You are the agent of great change. It is up to you what change that will be. The gods do not write your story. They just give you the pen and paper. But you cannot write anything if you just put the pen down."

The light bent back out of place, brightened a moment, and Ytias was gone. "... DAMN IT." Thanks, he thought, huffing in annoyance, for giving me more questions than answers. The prophecy just said he released the aura wave. Not when. But that still left - what did he mean, that wasn't his burden to bear? Fuck. Just, fuck. His head fell back, for a moment, and then he breathed, straightened back out, shook his head, and headed back out.

"So, Salonus, was it?" he asked, once he got close enough to Sandalio for him to hear. Not that he wanted to, right this second, but, the quicker he got it over with, the better.

6
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 29, 2018, 06:49 PM »
Right. Of course he was. That was what Sandalio did, he followed Kass around, even if he really didn't... that was literally what Kassandros had made his job, so, you know, technically, he did ask him to, and for some reason, once in a grand while, he got annoyed at himself for being unable to handle everything on his own. It was like, You're not god, you know? Yet for some reason, Kass felt like he should be. It was dumb. Probably. He thought. Everything else he thought about himself seemed to be pretty stupid, so, why not this, too?

"Okay," he said, nodding. Yeah. That was good. That was... actually it was kind of - you know what, he was going to just stop thinking about it. That was maybe a better idea.

"What?" Kass turned to him, confused, and then, oh. "I'm fine," he said, facing the entryway again. "S'just... stupid crap." He thought it was stupid. Then again, just, leaving things at 'I'm fine' never did seem to work terribly well, with this one. Probably because it was fairly obvious he wasn't. "... last time I came to a temple, I got pinned against the altar and raped. ... stupid. Not sure why it's bothering me now, that was years ago." It didn't really matter now.

Funny enough, the fourth time he tried going in, he actually did. Apparently, yeah, Sandalio following him made him feel better. "Remind me later, I need to bother Salonus." And that was going to grate his every nerve, but, it needed to be done, all the same.

7
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 28, 2018, 04:37 AM »
Yeah, he supposed that was a weird thing. And it made all the sense in the world, yep. He never claimed to be able to make sense of Oanke, but, frankly, ever since that one incident, he'd stopped bothering with her. Maybe she did hate him. That was fine. He hated her, too. Or at least, he thought he was. Kassandros wasn't terribly good at his feelings, it was possible he was misreading them. It wasn't like it mattered. His father had long drilled that in his head, it didn't matter what he felt, it didn't matter what he wanted, it didn't matter, and the sooner he stopped bothering with trying to make it matter, the better.

Pacing... he only paced for maybe fifteen or twenty seconds, took a breath in, and went to go in, again. Once again, he froze in the entryway, backed up, and went back to pacing. Why was this becoming a problem now? It didn't make sense. He'd gotten over this, what was it being a pain in his ass again for? Whatever. It didn't have to make sense. And he was older, and stronger, and - for a second, he glanced at Sandalio, and then tried that one again. Yes, yet again, he froze in the entryway. This time, though, he stayed there.

"... you were going to follow me, right?" he asked. That might help, Kass thought. Stupid as it was, if he thought about it, he knew how to abate this stupid fear or whatever it was he felt. It almost felt like it wanted to be a panic attack, but that hardly made any sense, either. Emotions weren't supposed to make sense, that was part of why Kassandros hated them, but, here he was. Walking into a building was currently being an impossible task for no real reason. That was years ago.

8
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 27, 2018, 03:52 PM »
That wasn't really his fault. Kass wasn't entirely foreign to the idea, that some people just didn't know what they'd do, if they weren't here, and that was the fault of this stupid country, not the people it affected. He shrugged, slightly. Even if Tristan had a better idea of what to do, he wouldn't separate them, so, he guessed he got to keep both. "Someone would've eventually," Kass answered. He just sort of wished it wasn't him that did. It was too late for that, too. Maybe House Asheron would've made more sense than Essair, but, too late for that, as well.

Kass snorted, more amused than anything. "It depends on the god," he said. "Oanke would never in a thousand billion years answer me. She never has. I know she hears mortals, she just doesn't answer. Iuna does sometimes. Kirinyaga is a facet of Ytias, so sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't. Etiana does, but not always in the way you expect. It's the same thing with their interactions with mortals in general. There are plenty of things that are influenced by gods. It just depends on the god how often they do it, and why, and how overt about it they are. Etiana's more likely to knock books that have what she wants you to find off shelves, than make it obvious she wants you to read something. Put it back, it falls off again. Pretty subtle. And then there's Ytias, and if he wants you to read something, he'll knock the book off the shelf, turn it to the right page, and then make the sunlight magically point at it." And yet, they were the same deity, just two different facets.

"Oanke seems to think interference is bad. Something something protecting the sanctity of free will. Supposedly, though, I got my seer powers from her. In some older texts, it's referred to as the Eyes of Oanke. It'd just... be nice to know she doesn't hate me, sometimes." But it was debatable, anyway. Given he was dying in another year, maybe she did. "Oh, Oanke is order. It kind of makes sense she's sort of a strict bitch, when you think about it." Strict bitch was a way of putting it. All things in due course, and all. Wouldn't want to influence anything and change them.

Being realistic, though, Kassandros did have a pretty nasty habit of interfering and changing things. Yeah. Maybe Oanke did hate him.

And there was the temple, in all its white stone glory. The building itself was taller than it actually went up; the interior had a balcony around the sides, gold accents in the stone, and that bright light from the centre of the ceiling. If you could look at it, for longer than a second, it'd be obvious it was coloured, from a stained glass ceiling. Kass went to go in, froze in the entryway, just an archway instead of a door, and then backed up two steps. ... damn it.

... pacing back and forth on the steps, instead. He had to get over this. He thought he had.

9
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 25, 2018, 11:01 PM »
Kassandros supposed he would be. He glanced at him again, making his way down the hill, toward the town centre, but there was a faster way to get to Ytias' temple. Honestly, he had no idea why he knew that faster way, but he supposed, that was normal. Kassandros always knew things he didn't remember how he'd learned. At least it was relatively early in the morning; the majority of the morning fog had gone away, by now, though there was a little still remaining, if you watched the grasses long enough, you could see the faint mist threaded through. Most of everyone was either still sleeping, or busy, and the chances of being bothered along the way there were slim. High noon was when Ytias was strongest, when the sun was highest in the sky, but he could handle a morning house-call.

"It's kind of what I do," he said, finally. "I save, I reunite, I remind people that haven't been people in a long time how to be hume again, give them back whatever will and life they may have had, or help them find new ones. And then I let them go." He shook his head, slightly, strands of blond falling into his eyes. Irritatedly, he puffed at them, blowing them back up, tossed his head to make them stay. "You're the first one that doesn't want to go I've ever come across. Don't really get why, but, suppose there'd be a few of those in here eventually." Sometimes, it was easier said than done, making a new life, after spending so much of the one you had in chains.

Some learn to love their chains, he remembered someone saying once. Maybe it was Livia. Or learn to love the one holding them.

Well, the bright side, if there was to be one, was, he'd never even picked Sandalio's chains up in the first place.

"If he decides to answer me, I will," Kass answered, tone somewhat bitter edged. "And he'd better. Seventeen years of telling me everything else, may as well at least tell me what I actually want to know. Eeh." He snorted, softly, taking the right turn around the town centre that led to the temple. "Not that the gods are ever really so kind... Ytias has never been terribly unkind to me, at least. Etiana seems to like me, too, she's just not as obvious about it. ... darkness. Funny, because you'd think the dark and the light wouldn't get along, but they're actually the same thing, so the gods that rule over them, they're essentially the same person, they just look different. Twins, sort of." Not really, it was a bit more complicated than that, just as he and his brothers were a little more complicated than just being a triplet set, but it was close enough.

10
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 23, 2018, 11:47 PM »
Kass went quiet, watching Sandalio from the corner of his eye, listening and thinking. Of course. Ah, he should've done this a long time ago, it'd just, gotten lost amid all the rest of what he had to do. It was his own fault, really. He normally wasn't so terrible at forgetting things like that. Truly, though, he should be more surprised it took this long for things to start slipping away from him. It wasn't as if he hadn't always been so busy. Maybe not always so stressed out, though. Yeah, he was starting to accept he counted as that.

"I see," he answered, sighing, his gaze turning in front of him. "Waaay too late," he mumbled. "Well, maybe in a week or so, if I can find time for it, I'll get you manumitted anyway. You can stay if you want." He'd much rather Sandalio went somewhere else, forgot he ever existed, but, clearly that wasn't going to happen. He headed out the door, grabbing a sword of his own on the way, easily strapping it to his back as he went. "Suppose your name would be Sandalio Essair, though, at least in Dalmasca." Funny though, it kind of sounded right. Odd impression to get, really. Kass was just going to do himself a favour, and not think about it too hard. "... okay, more accurately, Valerius Essair, but, fuck that."

Fuck Dalmasca, really.

"Some bitch owes me answers," was what he answered with. The temple of Ytias wasn't far, actually. Bright as fuck, on the inside, some odd bright light at the top, bright enough to flood the entire temple in light. Kassandros had only been in it once, when he was very young. He remembered his mother, he thought, insisting, but he couldn't remember why, now. He'd not bothered visiting many of the others, but, he'd been in the one to Kirinyaga, Etiana's, Iuna's, and Oanke's. He'd stopped going to them after visiting Oanke's. It was for a stupid reason. Well, maybe not so stupid.

"That," he said, pointing, as they started downhill, toward the town centre. The roof of the temple was visible, rose above the buildings around it, seemed to pull the ambient light toward itself. "The temple of Ytias. It's very bright in there. Go figure. Bloody extra bastard." Or, you know, Kass wasn't very pleased with him, these days. He wasn't terribly pleased with any of the gods, but, probably unsurprisingly, he'd always felt closer to Ytias than the others, albeit Etiana was familiar, in a weird way, and Kirinyaga felt somewhat similar to Ytias.

11
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 21, 2018, 10:59 PM »
What -

Oh. Kass stopped, in the hallway, only having made it a few feet anyway, glanced down. He supposed that was a good idea, yes. Given his mere existence seemed to be generally taken as an unintended invitation for... lots of things, being realistic, maybe he should just, not tempt it. And he got on his brothers' asses about forgetting the cobra. Kass shook his head, glancing at Sandalio.

"The best part is, I usually sleep in nothing," he said. His tone was awfully flat. The kind of flat that only really managed to happen when he was shoving down way too much, more than he should, far more than he should, and there was still too much. He did, at least, have the presence of mind, last night, to decide his usual nightly choices were, perhaps, not good ones.

After a moment, Kass released a breath, and went back in his room, shuffling through his clothes. It didn't take long, for him to wander back out, this time in something more appropriate for public forays; the usual dark pants, but the shirt was blue, with the Essair emblem on the back in gold. Gold looked better on blue, to him, he never claimed to make sense.

"I can probably -" but he stopped mid-sentence, and thought about what he was reflexively saying. No, actually, he couldn't handle this by himself, for several reasons, and he knew it. At this point, after last night, maybe he should just, shut up and accept Sandalio wasn't going away. ... he changed what he was saying, instead. "If I gave you and your brother your freedom, would you take it?" His tone was still flat, but he did mean that question. It was a legitimate offer, he was just - gods above, he'd done this before, skipping right over it like it was nothing, why was he not managing it again?

12
House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jun 21, 2018, 04:32 AM »
Unfortunately, it'd seem, he figured out, staring at the ceiling, last night was not a crazy nightmare.

Kass could only tell because he could hear tinkling glass in the bathroom. ... Sandalio did know he'd have gotten that, right? Probably. It wasn't like Kass was interested in arguing, at the moment. Actually, he just kind of wanted to curl up right where he was and stay there. That was likely a bad idea. He did have to get up, and do things, but eventually he'd have to face Cygnus. Or Icarus. Probably both. Or Leon, or something, and Leon would ask questions, and -

He rolled over, toward the window. The light streaming into the room caught his attention, little flickers of dust in the rays glimmering for a split second before disappearing. He had questions. Nobody seemed to have answers. Maybe he was asking the wrong people. Not that he'd consider Ytias a people, but that was beside the point. "... you owe me a few explanations anyway, bloody bastard," he grumbled, and stood up, stalking across the room to the door, opening it and down the hall.

... with any luck, at some point between the estate and the town centre, he'd remember he didn't get dressed and do that. Running off to a public place in just his pyjama pants was maybe not so good an idea.

13
House Essair / endless rain
« on: Jun 19, 2018, 03:54 PM »
Well, he didn't take that wrong. That was good. Was that good? Yes. He was going to go with yes, and leave it there, because he was already doing mental cartwheels, and he really didn't need to be doing them again. He wondered, though. About a lot of things, and the complicated mess Sandalio had become when he wasn't looking at it was only one of those things. He'd never asked anybody to stay. So what made him so special? Hell if Kassandros knew. Most days, he really didn't care, either, but, his mind was already going a million miles a second, over everything and nothing all at once, why not this, too?

Oh, letting go, and then kind of head tilting. Where did - oh. His expression flattened, one eyebrow arching upward. "Considering how many times I've stared at you for ending up on the floor, in your own room, I'd figure that'd be somewhat obvious." Theoretically, he couldn't really argue with him about what he did in his own room, that was sort of the point of having his own in the first place. But this was Kassandros' room, and he was not sleeping on the floor. No. Okay? Just no. ... but he only had one bed. That meant, they kind of had to share, if Kass didn't want him sleeping on the floor. Oh, boy, he didn't think that through, did he. Okay. That was fine. Yeah. Totally fine.

He might've suddenly turned a little pink across the nose, but, he was ignoring that. Tactfully ignoring that. Sandalio probably wouldn't draw attention to it, so, Kassandros was just going to side-step it outright. That did not happen.

"... if I wasn't technically your owner," he started, "if I wasn't capable of giving you your family and friends back, would you still be as nice to me as you are?" Maybe. But maybe not, all the same. In another universe, maybe they'd have never crossed paths, and even if they had, maybe they'd never have spoken at all. ... well, in another universe, Kassandros would've been a blood fighter. He might not even be alive. There was another direction it could've gone, one where he ended up in a temple, and that wouldn't have led to them meeting, either. Sandalio wasn't exactly ah, religious. Most Macenians weren't.

It didn't really matter, the specific combination of random outcomes that had led to this, but he knew about them. It was hard not to think of them, from time to time, to wonder what life would've turned out like, if one of those alternate pathways had been the one he ended up following.

14
House Essair / endless rain
« on: Jun 18, 2018, 12:29 AM »
It seemed like something of a cop-out, but, he needed to think, if nothing else. He'd, somehow, managed to skirt right around the whole reason Sandalio had come in in the first place, and some part of him felt bad about that, but, he didn't want to talk about it. Honestly, Kass probably wasn't ready to, not yet. He had to process it, first. Had to make some semblance of sense of it in his own head, but, being realistic, he'd likely just ignore it, because it didn't matter.

Strangely, though, Sandalio let go, and for some reason, it made Kassandros' heart rate spike in anxiety. That was odd. Okay. This was expected, though, the separating thing, that was normal. Sandalio had his room, and Kassandros had his, and there was no reason for Sandalio to stay. And yet, somewhere in there, he realised he didn't want him to, and that was a weird -

"Night," he answered, softly, half-distracted. After a few moments, though, he scrambled across the floor and wrapped his arms around Sandalio's waist, leaning against his back. ... what'd he do that for? No, he knew why, it was just saying it, that'd be the hard part, because he was sure the Macenian would be about as confused as Kassandros was.

Crap. "... do... can you stay?" Yeah. As it happened, Kassandros didn't really want to be alone, right now. Some part of him was concerned, because, asking him to stay, it meant on some level Kassandros was starting to trust him. It was probably a good thing, given Sandalio and Alasdair were his guards, it'd be pretty silly to have them and not trust them. But if he was getting attached, were they? Maybe not Alasdair, if only because he had other concerns. Sandalio never went away, though. Maybe it was about time for them to go back to Macenia. Or wherever they wanted.

Guards died, sometimes, anyway. But he really didn't want them to leave, all the same. ... mostly this one. Damn it, why. Ugh, he'd think about it later.

15
House Essair / endless rain
« on: Jun 16, 2018, 05:02 PM »
The worst part of this was, Sandalio was right.

He was right, and Kassandros had known it all along. He'd thought, at the time, maybe he could've made things easier, somehow, made it work, somehow, around what his father always pushed him to do. As long as he did what Vopiscus wanted, he didn't get pissy with him, and that was certainly a giant waste of time, so he'd tried to fit something better into the original plans. He didn't want the Imperator throne because he wanted it, he wanted it because he'd already started down that pathway, doing what the former head of house said to keep him pacified and out of his way, and then he'd gotten too far entrenched in the battle for the throne to be able to safely back down. If he pulled out of that battle, the other houses would take it as a sign of weakness and turn on House Essair, most likely to prevent him from changing his mind, or one of his brothers from taking up the sword after him.

Sandalio was right, though. This entire thing was doomed to fail because Kass didn't have the time to teach Icarus how to run the house, much less an entire nation, he wouldn't be here long enough to help his brother through the rough parts, and, no, Icarus didn't have his backbone. He'd get overwhelmed sooner or later, or he'd die, and Kassandros knew it. Cygnus sure as fuck couldn't do it, he could barely manage himself. Kass didn't know what else to do.

Sometimes, Kassandros, you must learn to step away and back off, so that you can regain your balance, and move forward stronger and more prepared than before. That is not defeat. That is smart.

Gods, he was tired. Not the kind of tired sleep could fix, the kind that seeped into the bones and took root. The kind that no amount of rest could be rid of, because it was in the soul. He had so very few choices, for someone that was, supposedly, so important. It was difficult, working within the gods' designs, but, he continually wondered why, exactly, he bothered trying to remain within them. Sometimes, he wondered if Azaleon even needed gods. Because it was a fat lot of good they did up there, anyway. Not to say humes were doing any better.

He thought he'd had it. He thought he knew what he was doing, he thought he knew where he was going, he had it all laid out, and maybe it wasn't perfect, but it was better than nothing. Time went on, as time always does, and he saw otherwise, a little at a time, but he didn't know what to do now. That was his own failing. Kassandros should've seen this coming, at some point, if he thought about it, watched the pieces long enough, he could see where he'd made his mistakes, could see where it'd lead, he didn't need the light to tell him that. Maybe he wasn't as good at this as he thought he was.

"... we should get some sleep," he decided. If nothing else, his mind was too scrambled right now, to think very straight anyway. "We're just going in circles. Maybe the break from it will help."

But he understood, now. It'd finally clicked into place. He was the only one that could do the things he wanted to do; yet in realising this, he didn't want to be the one to do them. Not because it was too hard, or because he couldn't, but because he didn't want to be remembered for that. He didn't want to be remembered. When he was gone, he wanted to be forgotten, he wanted his star to burn out so abruptly and quietly, that the other stars around him could be seen in all their brilliant glory, and no one remembered there used to be a brighter star there, at one time. So that no one was weighted down by the threads of regret and sadness that his rather unfortunate, abrupt end would leave behind.

It was too late, for that, wasn't it? Far, far too late. Ironic, wasn't it.

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