Messiah
an open-world original fantasy game three races, two years' building, one continent

the darkness is always there first

the darkness is always there first

Started by Kassandros Essair

May 29, 2018, 06:21 AM

Dated April 2, 76

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Kassandros Essair light from the shadows
89 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Platinum Hair Blue Eyes 5' 9 Dalmasca Warlord House Essair
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
May 29, 2018, 06:21 AM 519 Words Last Edit: Jul 20, 2018, 04:58 AM by Kassandros Essair
Even this soon after winter had come and gone, the sea wasn't really cold. It was an odd thing, but, Kassandros had eventually deduced the southern water currents brought warm water into the Aont Strait, breaking into two south of Jihon and going around the island. It was part of what made the weather so... so, and it was interesting to learn about. Kassandros liked learning in general, but there were only a few things he found really interesting. The sea was one. The sky was the other.

Somewhere amid the morning routine, because that was the only time he could escape the house, Kass had disappeared, scurried down the side of the estate, around the outer perimeter of the wall, and then down the short cliffs. The beach was all sand, to the east of the estate about a quarter mile, if that, and about two or three hundred yards inland, giant, rocky cliffs rose and seemingly held the land up, but there was one side where the cliffs dropped off, and the sand gradually transitioned into dirt. Kass always used that transition spot to scurry out onto the sand, usually barefoot and still in his pyjamas, just a pair of loose pants and a simple shirt, and, despite not always intending to, he did normally end up in the water, at some point.

He'd waded out to about his waist, watching the light gleaming on the horizon. The sun was over there, a bit to the left, lighting up the waves. It was always somehow enchanting, to watch the sunlight shimmer on the waves, listen to the constant hissing of the water rushing onto the beach, feel the current push and pull against his legs. By now, he was accustomed to remaining upright in the water, even if the sea got a bit rough, he could usually keep his footing, but fortunately, his favourite spot never got terribly rough, anyway.

Birds passed by overhead. Kassandros closed his eyes, starting to give off that faint glow they got from being in direct sunlight, breathed in the briny air. It was calming, in a way most things weren't. Watching the stars had a similar effect, but it was stronger, and also weaker, somehow. He reacted to the sun so intensely, it kind of made sense for him to do the same with the stars. Lights in the sky, after all, logically, they'd all count. Eventually, Kassandros turned a bit, finding a place where the waves weren't as strong, and then laid down. He went under the water for a second, but bobbed back up, floating and rocking as the waves rolled under and around him.

... did he tell anyone where he was going? ... eh, he'd figure it out. He could see the estate from here, so, he wasn't far, anyway. Besides, here was a decent place to hide from Cygnus. Though, it seemed to him, Cygnus was avoiding him, too. Kassandros wasn't sure if that was good or bad.

14 Posts 17 Years Male Blond Hair Silver Eyes 4' Galace Slave House Essair
Words mean nothing. It is easy to say, but it is many times harder to do.
To say the least of it, most of those in House Essair were concerned about Kassandros (then, weren't they always), and when he disappeared somewhere between dawn and breakfast, some of them tittered around in a mild mess of panic. Leon, despite, or in spite of, his propensity toward panicking, had shook his head, and barked something at them about getting on with it. Kass would come back when Kass wanted to come back. In the interim, Leon would focus on making breakfast, and leave the direct concern about Kassandros' immediate whereabouts to Sandalio (the titanic Macenian was getting better at trailing him, anyway).

Yes, they knew. Of course they knew, how couldn't they? Perhaps none knew details and such, but they could put the pieces together. Finally, it'd seem, Cygnus had pushed too far, and, in his gentler way, Kassandros had pushed back, albeit he didn't seem to have aimed it at the person it damned well should've been aimed at. That wasn't Leon's business. Kassandros would do as Kassandros does, and there was little sense in getting huffy over it. After all, it wouldn't get anyone terribly far, and there were better ways of expending energy.

Soon as breakfast was done, though, Leon scurried round the side of the house, his paws barely making any sound on the stone floors, and not much more in the grass outside. With some work, he shimmied up the side of the wall, facing the sea; yep, there in the water, Kassandros bobbed back and forth. "Figures," Leon murmured, more to himself, and then slipped back down the wall, headed for the gate. Even if Kassandros wanted to pretend nothing had happened, that he hadn't destroyed his bathroom, scorched his floor, melted the bismuth inlays out of his door, and made that gods awful shrieking noise, said something about not wanting to feel anything anymore, it didn't really hide the subtle changes in his behavior. Kassandros could pull quite the unreadable expression when he really put mind to it, but he couldn't fool Leon's senses.

At some point, during his time here, Leon had come to realize and accept that somewhere along the way, he'd grown to quite probably love Kassandros, in the way, up to now, he'd only really loved Aenwyn. He'd lost Aenwyn, because he wasn't fast enough, because he wasn't strong enough, because this was Dalmasca, and destroying is what Dalmasca did, but he wouldn't be losing Kassandros, figuratively or otherwise. No one knew stubborn til they'd met a determined ilim that'd found something to fight for. ... or, you know, Sandalio, he was pretty stubborn.

"You know," Leon started, stopping at the water's edge, the waves lapping happily at his paws, "if you stay here too long, you'll turn into a raisin." At least he'd be a pretty raisin? Leon knew better than to say that. Kassandros was awfully touchy about his aesthetic attractiveness, and... well, maybe everyone had an inkling of why, now.

Kassandros Essair light from the shadows
89 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Platinum Hair Blue Eyes 5' 9 Dalmasca Warlord House Essair
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Why wouldn't someone follow him?

Strictly internally, Kass sighed, a bit. There was always someone nearby, and now more than most times, he found it rather irritating. That was his own fault. He was the one that got a guard. He was the one that had dozens of guards, if you wanted to get technical about it all, the one that had a house full of slaves because he couldn't quite stop reuniting splintered families and separated friends, because he had all this house and no time to care for it anymore. Icarus and Cygnus certainly couldn't keep up with it on their own, and Kassandros hadn't the time to try helping, between this and that. Or maybe the truth of it was, he wanted to be impossibly busy, so that he had a good excuse to ignore everything else. Because his priorities were mangled, tangled, and broken beyond belief, and if he were being honest about it, he'd thrown himself into running House Essair partly because he wanted to make sure his brothers at least had that when he was gone, but also partly because it kept him from remembering that he never did decide he wanted to die, necessarily. That he had reasons to live, and then another reason to live waltzed into his life in all its six foot two grey-eyed snarky glory, and there went all those pretenses he'd worked so hard to build up, and now what?

Some part of him should probably hate him for that. Maybe some part of him did, if hate and love were alike enough they felt more or less the same.

And Leon was just another complexity that he never did figure out how to deal with. Neither of them said it, but Kassandros knew, and Leon knew, and maybe Leon knew Kassandros knew, that the ilim would do damned near anything Kassandros asked him to, maybe even a lot of what he would never, maybe merely because he would never. And Kassandros wasn't sure what was worse, being in a situation to have to ask someone to die for him, or having someone decide he was worth dying for on their own. But that line of thought brought his mind back to - and he didn't want to come back to - so he didn't.

"I'm sure," Kassandros said, "but I'd be a very pale raisin. Maybe they'd stick me in a museum. Palest raisin in Azaleon, how special." But you know, rhetorically speaking, he'd near already been stuck in a museum and left there, if museums were places where - never mind. "Breakfast is done, then?" Leon wouldn't leave the kitchen if it wasn't. Or there was an assassin, but the assassins had all but completely disappeared, and yet Kassandros couldn't quite shake the feeling there was someone still watching him, and he was quite sure Marcus would be. The eagle may retreat from the snake, but a smart one didn't take his eyes off it, and he'd never truly taken Marcus for a fool.

14 Posts 17 Years Male Blond Hair Silver Eyes 4' Galace Slave House Essair
Words mean nothing. It is easy to say, but it is many times harder to do.
It never ceased to amaze him, how good at pretending everything was fine, even as the world crashed down around him, Kassandros actually was. And at the same time, somehow, and yet perhaps unsurprisingly, it made Leon angry. In most particular situations in which Dalmasca screwed over one of its own, Leon had a hard time caring. Most of the time, whoever it was deserved it, at least in the upper class-those in the lower classes rarely did anything except exist, but that was another problem altogether. Kassandros, though, maybe he'd done a thing or two to somebody, but Leon was willing to bet that whoever it was deserved it. Kassandros was a storm, that much was certain, but he was a very discerning storm, one whose lightning bolts struck only where it needed to. Maybe he did screw someone over, but they always had it coming. And yet, it seemed, somehow, he managed to be the one that suffered the most. And why was that? If Leon ever figured that out, he'd be in business.

"That'd be boring," Leon said. "The boringest. Nobody goes to museums anymore, Kass." Absolutely, that wasn't the point, and Leon knew that, but the entire conversation train wasn't the point, and they both knew that. Leon wasn't really sure how to make them reach the point without setting off Kassandros' often very intense hypersensitivity. Making Kassandros shut down wouldn't help anything, and Leon knew it; he also knew, it was very easy to do. Kassandros was a bit like trying to deal with a flighty deer, sometimes. It had its moments where it was frustrating beyond logical understanding, but, in the same breath, Leon understood why. It did not make it any easier to deal with, however. Leon was constantly unsure of what his next move should be, what constituted pushing too far too fast. Sometimes, dealing with Kassandros and his delicate balance was difficult, but someone had to. Sandalio did. Icarus and Cygnus had, by now, probably forgotten they should. It wasn't right, or healthy, for him to stay closed off this way, especially not after the other night.

Leon was nosy. He knew it. "Yes," he answered. "Breakfast got done a few minutes ago. But you aren't out here passing the time waiting for breakfast to be done." It wasn't a question, because Leon knew the answer. "And don't try and say it's nothing. You can lie to other people, but you can't lie to me. I can smell it."

Kassandros Essair light from the shadows
89 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Platinum Hair Blue Eyes 5' 9 Dalmasca Warlord House Essair
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
No, he guessed they didn't.

Actually, Kassandros wasn't even certain where the nearest museum was. He vaguely recalled visiting one, once, but to be honest, he wasn't sure if it was an event that had legitimately occurred, or if it was a vision of a future event, or if maybe it was a past life. He supposed it didn't terribly matter. The point... the point was... somewhere over there in left field, he guessed. Kassandros wasn't certain where he was going with that. Probably, it was just something safe to think about, and, anymore, his mind didn't seem to like focusing on anything safe. He tended to take advantage of it when he could get his mind to dwell on a safe thing for longer than ten seconds.

What if he did go? No, it was a silly thing to wonder, because for one thing, that was what Kassandros wanted (it was), and for another thing, Sandalio had been entirely too resistant to the idea so far. As much as he hoped he could, Kassandros didn't think Tristan could change his mind. Marcus was playing a game Kassandros knew the rules to, a game Marcus generally did not play. He was planning something, and Kassandros knew it. What, that he hadn't figured out. Whatever it was, either the light had yet to decide to tell him about it, or the light had yet to see it. By this point, he had little doubt, if they did get into something troublesome, Sandalio wouldn't do the smart thing and back down from it.

That wasn't how it was supposed to go.

But if Kassandros attacked first... and never mind he wasn't certain he could, if he attacked first, he'd be the wrong one, and he knew it. Even if, by some miracle, House Essair's forces managed to overcome Cassimer's, if they moved first, they'd have to deal with the justicars. Theoretically, Kassandros could then remove the justicars, too, but not all of them were terrible people (actually, most weren't, it was a matter of Dalmasca's system trapping them as much as everyone else), and that wouldn't endear him to too many people. He'd have a damned civil war on his hands, for sure, and logically, he knew this wasn't a better idea, he knew that wasn't worth one person's life, no matter how attached he may have gotten to them.

He knew that. He didn't like it, but he knew that.

"You know, Leon," Kassandros answered, "that's almost creepy." Almost. "I know this, logically, but do you have to point it out?"

14 Posts 17 Years Male Blond Hair Silver Eyes 4' Galace Slave House Essair
Words mean nothing. It is easy to say, but it is many times harder to do.
That wasn't the point. Leon shouldn't be, and generally wasn't, surprised that Kassandros was still trying to skirt around the real issue. It was almost insulting, but, Leon wouldn't be admitting to that. This conversation was not supposed to be about him, after all. Leon could handle a few likely unintentional slights, if it meant they eventually got around to the point. Kassandros needed someone to talk to, and clearly, he wasn't going to talk much to Icarus. Most likely, that was more of an aversion to his twins, more born of Cygnus' disastrous fuck-up the other day, than anything to do with Icarus specifically.

No. There was one other option. If Kassandros felt, in any measure, bitterness or resentment, because Icarus had never noticed, and come to think of it, none of them in the House had (Leon took that one somewhat personal), it was possible he'd shove it all down and pretend it wasn't there, like always he did. If only because he wouldn't want to be being unfair, but that in and of itself wasn't unfair. Toss in the added complexity in relation to Sandalio and Kassandros' muddled feelings for him, particularly at right this moment, Leon figured he'd have a lot to hide.

"Oh, so I hear," Leon answered. "I know you know. Sometimes, I think it slips your mind, though." No, more likely, he purposely ignored it. He wondered if Sandalio had figured out he liked Kass back. On the one hand, he could ask. On the other, though, he didn't think Sandalio was the one he had to bother about this. Perhaps now wasn't the time for that, anyway. Kassandros had some healing to do; on the other hand, as much as it pained the ilim to admit it, Kassandros never would unless something made it hard to ignore, and some part of him felt rather terrible about using their feelings for one another as a spring-board for that. It was bound to be messy. Then again, if he didn't, Kassandros would just ignore it and ignore it and ignore it until it got so bad, he either shut down as a defense mechanism, or it erupted out of him.

Some of it already had. Some of it already had, and yet, it wasn't enough, because Kassandros still insisted on ignoring it. His buried emotions were practically crushing him, and he was content to remain that way. It occurred to Leon, at some point amid this wreck, that perhaps some part of Kassandros was comfortable, now, under all that weight, and was near afraid to lose it all. Kassandros... oh, Kassandros, why are you such a mess? No, he knew why.

"Are you at least going to talk to Sandalio?" he asked, toned cautiously. "... you know, about the thing?" He knew Kassandros would know, try as he might to have no idea, what he meant.

Kassandros Essair light from the shadows
89 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Platinum Hair Blue Eyes 5' 9 Dalmasca Warlord House Essair
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
No. It didn't slip his mind, he deliberately ignored it, sometimes. Certainly, Kass wouldn't be admitting to that. Leon didn't need to know that, if he didn't already suspect it. Besides, he supposed it was rather quite rude, wasn't it, forgetting things others were good at. Kassandros would say something here about how it wasn't intentional, but it was, and so he didn't say anything at all. It didn't matter. That, he knew, was not the point of this conversation, albeit the point of it, he was not even going to really bother with right this second.

Most likely, this had something to do with how Kassandros needed to talk about his feelings, or whatever. Varying individuals in the House had been on about that since the incident with Cygnus (after which, Cygnus had been more or less magically managing not to be anywhere near him, for which Kassandros was secretly very grateful), but he still wasn't certain if he could. Even his small freak-out in Sandalio's general direction had neither helped, nor made anything worse. Actually, Kass didn't think he felt much of anything, just a flat neutrality.

It was possible it hadn't sunk in yet.

"What thing?" Kass asked, managing to genuinely sound like he had no idea what Leon meant. "As far as I know, I did that already. He, Tristan, and Estelle, are now freedmen, and my job is done." There was, of course, nothing else to talk about. Nothing. Because Kassandros had no idea what Leon meant, there couldn't possibly be anything else to discuss. And even if there was, it was stupid, anyway. Whatever it was. If, hypothetically, there was another thing to talk about, which there wasn't.

He needed to work on his lying skills.

14 Posts 17 Years Male Blond Hair Silver Eyes 4' Galace Slave House Essair
Words mean nothing. It is easy to say, but it is many times harder to do.
They were what? Why on Azaleon's good earth would Kassandros do that? Then again, thinking about it, Leon understood it. Kassandros seemed to think himself some kind of destructive force. It wasn't his fault this was how Dalmasca operated, and anything that happened, that was terrible, was generally because of Dalmasca, not because of anything Kassandros did. All he was doing was protecting his own. If that caused Dalmasca to lash out at him, that was the fault of the nation. Getting Kassandros to understand that, though, that was harder than it sounded, and Leon knew it. He'd been trying for months now. If he thought about it, most likely, Kassandros was afraid of dragging them down with him. But pushing them away wouldn't solve anything, either.

The ilim loosed a tired huff. This had all become very complicated, very quickly, and on the one hand, he could argue that their feelings for one another compounded the issue. It was, however, likely very unavoidable. You couldn't help who you fell for, after all. And maybe it didn't need to be helped, either. "That's not what I meant, and you know it," Leon said, settling down a bit back from the water. Kassandros knew what he meant, and Leon knew he knew. He could, of course, sense that, too. In some sense, Leon was just relieved. That Kassandros had ended up unwittingly reciprocating Sandalio's feelings, it meant he wasn't completely shut down in there, and some part of him, despite, or in spite of, himself, still reached for others.

Leon worried, about him. A lot, to be honest. And he thought, hoped, perhaps, that Sandalio would be good for him. Even if only because he reminded the hume that he was, in fact, still hume, and he did still have feelings. On the other hand, Leon knew him well enough, by now, to know that, at least some small part of Kassandros resented the part of him that was hume. Because someone, at some point, had convinced him that hume was synonymous with weak, but Leon had never known humes to be particularly inherently weak.

"Sandalio likes you back, you know," Leon mentioned, somewhat nonchalantly. "I can smell that, too."

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