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

save a little light for me

save a little light for me

Started by Kassandros Essair

Jun 21, 2018, 04:32 AM

Dated March 30, 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.
Jun 21, 2018, 04:32 AM 248 Words Last Edit: Sep 20, 2018, 09:34 AM by Esmera
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.

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
Sandalio hadn't been awake long, but he had decided almost immediately to go ahead and work on cleaning up the bathroom. Sure, master Essair could have gotten it but that didn't mean Sandalio saw a reason to leave the mess for him. There was plenty that Sandalio wasn't going to be able to put back to normal, like the broken tiles. But the coconut oil and glass, he could manage.

Kass was awake he realized after a few moments, as he could hear movement, a little. It was possible Kass was just rolling over in his sleep, but Sandalio didn't really think that was it. Ah, especially not after he heard that. He finished putting the glass he'd swept up into a container - which only took a moment, and then scrambled to follow after Kassandros down the hall.

Er. "Kassandros!" Calling out from the stairs, a little louder than necessary, oops. The Macenian descended a few steps after Kass, hoping he'd caught him before he actually got outside. "You should put on clothes first..." He sort of trailed off.

Either Kass had heard that, or he was going to have to remember on his own. Ah, but Sandalio should probably be grabbing a sword. ... Where were they going? It didn't matter, really. It didn't matter, he could just follow Kass and that wasn't a big deal, but if he could put clothes on before they went wherever they were going, that would probably be for the best.

Clothing was generally not optional, and all he was wearing right now was what he'd slept in the night before.

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.
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?

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
Snort. "Well, I suppose it's something of a blessing that you didn't this time." Running into Icarus in the hallway naked might be a bit strange. Running into Cygnus naked might have been downright terrifying after last night. Yes, it was much, much better that he'd at least been wearing bottoms. ... Probably only because they'd shared a bed last night but what was, was so to speak. And it only sort-of mattered how they'd gotten there.

Sandalio retrieved the sword he'd been going for and got that affixed to his hip while Kass was gone, so that he'd be ready for their trip when Kass was.

The Macenian raised an eyebrow slightly, obviously curious what Kassandros was going to say when he stopped himself. He didn't ask though, since apparently the sentence was changing now. It was probably something about how he could stay and how Sandalio didn't really need to come. But he did, so there was that. Sandalio didn't trust no one to give him trouble wherever he was going, Kass seemed to be a trouble magnet. And he was, if nothing else, worried about his master. Last night had been a rough night.

He thought he was probably right to be worried still.

Sandalio looked somewhat confused by the question. "Well I couldn't really stop you if you insisted." Carefully. "And if you demanded I leave your house I'm not sure I'd have a choice in that either." No, not really. If Kass insisted he leave he could argue but in the end, he'd have to either leave or be arrested. "But there's no where else for us to go. Home doesn't exist anymore, not really. And even if we could go back, what's the point? To be murdered on the frontlines or captured again in a year or two? No thanks. I'd rather stay here. At least here I have a decent master and a good idea of my place in the world." Was that an odd way of looking at it? Maybe it was.

"Freedom ... in some sense might be nice. But on the other hand, I'm not sure there's anywhere I'd rather be." ... That was strange, he knew that. And it was dangerous, he knew that too. But it was already said, so there was that.

"So where are we going, exactly?" Rather than asking why the question about being freed.

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.
Jun 23, 2018, 11:47 PM 492 Words Last Edit: Jun 23, 2018, 11:48 PM by Esmera
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.

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
Too late for what? Not saying that, it was probably something about the not wanting to leave Kass. But he'd been serious about not really having any other ideas as to where to go. Life for a freedman could be kind of dangerous, being totally honest. There were only so many places to go when ones only training involved being a fighter, honestly. He could go into the military - which was a no, thanks he was not going against his own people. He could go home and continue fighting on the frontlines until he was captured or killed. He could... be a mercenary of sorts here in Dalmasca, but that meant taking jobs of occasionally questionable quality to survive.

Yeah... no.

"Sandalio Essair doesn't sound too bad." Nah, not really. Though it was odd to think that Kassandros wanted to free him. "Though I am curious why you're so interested in freeing me." Especially if he was just going to stay. Valerius Essair didn't sound too bad, except for the fact that it didn't really feel like his name. Valerius had been him for a long time, but it hadn't ever really been him. Just what people called him.

Arch. "Right, okay." Someone owed him answers. He supposed that was fair enough.

A slight snort. "Oh I see." They were going to a temple. Did... did Kassandros actually expect to get an answer in a temple? Like he understood the concept, sort of, of praying. But gods didn't answer those. At least, they certainly didn't have to. And it seemed like an odd waste of time, for someone like Kassandros, who was so generally rooted in logic. "Well I hope we find what you're looking for." He wasn't going to hold his breath, but it was kind of rude to shit on someone's beliefs, if nothing else.

As long as that belief didn't hurt anyone, there was no harm in it, right? Right.

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.
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.

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
Sandalio followed easily enough, making sure to stay at a close enough range to continue conversing easily. "Oooh." Hm. Well that was fair he supposed. Many probably did want to leave, or at least had an idea of what they wanted to do with themselves if they were given freedom. But not everyone... not everyone had it in them to build their own lives when they'd spent so many years being told what to do and what to think and where to be. It got to be hard to decide those things for himself.

"Well, sorry to be the first one to toss a rock in your well oiled machine." Something like that. Ah, but eventually someone was going to do it. They were going to decide they felt they were more needed where they were, or they weren't going to know what to do with themselves if no one was telling them.

Mm. Sandalio nodded a little, though he wasn't sure what to think of that exactly. Kass seemed surprisingly certain that Ytias would answer him. He wondered, almost worried really, what would happen if he didn't get the answers he obviously expected to get here. Sandalio supposed that was something to face if it happened, and tried not to dwell on it at the moment.

"My experience with gods is that they tend to be pretty... hands off. It's kind of interesting to hear of the opposite here." Something like that, at least. Light and Darkness. Hm. "Interesting concept." Twins. He'd never put much stock in gods, but it was hard to completely disregard the way Kassandros spoke about them, as if they were old friends. Or, perhaps friends was too familiar. People he had interacted with, people he knew well enough to demand answers from.  It was a strange way of looking at it. At least, it was strange to him.

Sandalio would get used to it, he supposed. Kass was different than any other Dalmascan he'd been owned by in many other ways, not this one, too.

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.
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.

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
"Maybe." But then again if Kassandros had gone this long without having it happen, maybe it wouldn't have at all, if it weren't for Sandalio. It wasn't as if Kass had a lot of time left to save and release slaves. Which, of course, that was kind of a morbid thing to focus on, but it wasn't like it wasn't true. Death was a fact of life, it just so happened that Kassandros' death was projected to be much earlier than most. He was hardly the first to die so young, but that was... mm. It didn't make it less sad, it just was.

Sandalio listened as Kassandros began to talk about the gods. It was still a little odd hearing them spoken of as if they were being that Kass interacted with regularly. Maybe they were. Kass was unlike most people Sandalio was used to. Most of the time that was a good thing, but there were less awesome things about it, too. "Well it seems odd that she would give one the ability to see the future and then get upset when people try to change it." Mildly.  Order being a strict bitch did sort of make sense though, at least on the outside.

Just like the light being very blunt and the darkness being subtle made sense, if one bothered to think about it. Sandalio just... never had. There'd never been a reason to. But Kass talking about these things at least meant he should be aware of them, even if he wasn't interested in the worship aspect.

He didn't have to believe necessarily to be polite.

Er. Sandalio tilted his head just slightly to one side and watched Kass has he paced around instead of actually entering the temple. That was... odd behavior, given how gungho he'd been to get down here. But Sandalio waited, it wasn't like he was in a hurry. They'd get to it when Kass was ready.

But he might ask eventually.

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.
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.

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
Sandalio stayed back just a bit, so he wasn't in the way of Kass' pacing. He continued watching, but still hadn't said anything yet. There seemed to be no reason to interrupt and yet... hm. He was a little concerned about it, as he watched Kass pace back and fourth. It was unusual for the Macenian to see Kass come up to something that he seemed unwilling to face head on. There wasn't much that Kass had shied away from in his presence, after all.

That question, for the record, only managed to concern Sandalio more. "I had intended to yes." Mildly. "I'll come inside far enough to make sure I can see you at all times." Just in case there was someone around who meant him harm. He didn't exactly trust anyone to keep the whole sanctity of the temple thing in mind if they'd been hired to murder Kass. That was a silly thing to let stop you, to be totally honest. So... yeah. No.

But Kass never asked for Sandalio to follow him, not really. In fact he generally insisted that Sandalio didn't need to follow him.

"Are you alright though? You seemed very interested in getting this over with a few minutes ago." And now he didn't seem to want to go in, and Sandalio had to admit that concerned him a little. He thought he was allowed to be concerned though.

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.
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.

72 Posts 24 Years male Light brown Hair Gray Eyes 6'2'' Macenia Commoner House Essair
Well at least Kass wasn't going to argue with Sandalio about doing his job. On the other hand that really was slightly concerning because why was he so... well. Either he'd answer the posed question or he wouldn't. And Sandalio would do his job either way, so hopefully whatever it was would be taken care of, if there was an issue.

He arched an eyebrow at the 'Im fine' but he hadn't intended to argue, at least not on the steps of the Temple. As it turned out though, Kass decided to continue. "Erm." Sandalio seemed mildly taken aback. "I don't know, maybe because of what happened just last night?" Sandalio said in a mild tone. "Things like that tend to... bring up other incidents." Just saying. Also, what the fuck pinned to an altar? Lord, he was pretty sure a Macenian would hesitate to do that and they weren't religious. "For the record, it's not stupid." That probably was going to start sounding automatic eventually, but maybe one day Kassandros would believe it.


Dalmascans were fucked up, alright. Sandalio knew that, but sometimes he was sharply reminded.

True to his word, Sandalio followed Kass into the temple. "Ugh. I really don't want to, but I'll remind you." Just stating that, for the record. Salonus was not awesome. He was right on top of the list of reasons Dalmascans were clearly fucked up.

But it was better he went than Lycaon.

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.
Jul 01, 2018, 04:36 AM 2530 Words Last Edit: Jul 02, 2018, 01:16 AM by Esmera
[ 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.

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