Its been a long, hard journey.
Searching for a meaning to what I am. Searching for a purpose to tether my soul to the bounds of this earth forever.
I have sought life, I have sought fulfillment from the moment I could first breathe. I have never understood it, even as I grew. Something within me, something buried in the very essence of my being has always cried out to be accepted, always longed to have a reason for being born, for suffering, for simply living as I have. My heart has craved this thing for as long as I can remember, and I have always followed it, no matter where it might lead me. I always understood that if the consequences of my actions would reveal to me my purpose in this world, in this life, then I would accept them without regret, without hesitation. Something that went deeper than my deepest instinct and understanding has always driven me on to seek this thing.
But look where it has led me.
Another part of me was born the day I was betrayed by my family. A part of me that I have rejected at every turn, a part of me that sang of terrible deeds and disastrous actions. I know something so horrific happened to those men I called my brothers and caretakers, I awoke to find them slain all around my trembling and weary form, my skin drenched in their blood. It was a sight so terrible that I have suppressed it for so many years, but in the back of my mind, I think I always knew that it was I who had brought about their deaths. My pain, my agony... it manifested itself that day, it became what you are now, didn’t it? Had I remained docile and innocent, perhaps we would have lived a different life... perhaps you would never have stirred from your place within my soul, perhaps we would never have come here. Never ended up in this predicament.
Caged. Trapped. I have run from you at every turn until there was nowhere left to run. Now you have me backed in a corner, but here you are... trapped beside me. Just as desperate as I to escape this and flee again. We are faced with our greatest adversity yet, torn asunder as we are, not strong enough to go on... in pieces... as we are. I look at you now and... I see things. Thing that I have never noticed until this point. Never noticed until now, when we are so deeply in peril, so close to death.
You... you have always acted in my best interest, haven’t you? Despite the command in your voice, despite the surge I feel within my own eyes whenever your strength fills my limbs... you’ve hidden it well but you have always moved carefully, you have always obeyed that which throbbed in my heart, my deepest desires and wants... for they were yours as well, weren’t they?
I hated you with all my being, hated your control, hated the way you could guide my wings, tap into the mysteries of my body that I couldn’t understand or barely comprehended... using lightning against our foes, commanding the hair upon my head to become weapon rather than affectionate extension... It terrified me, feeling my form obey you that way. I have always been afraid to fight, afraid to shed blood... even in self defense, so afraid. It scared me, knowing you might emerge, take the energies of my body and turn them onto others the way you did that day long ago. Turn them onto any and all that I loved. I was afraid of you. So afraid of you... and you knew that, but you didn’t know how to calm me. You only understood that which had woken you... the anger, the mistreatment. You thought I would bow and accept you if you bullied me, if you fought with me and threatened me, didn’t you? But it didn’t work... it only drove us further apart and my fear of you only grew.
Instinct... that is what you are, isn’t it? Instinct drove me to strike down the ones I loathed but still loved dearly in order to preserve my life, my innocence. Instinct brought me to my brother’s arms yet wept with me as I held him that one last time. Instinct tormented me and pushed me when I was most shy but... you just wanted me to be stronger, didn’t you? You wanted me to be brave in the face of the things I longed for most but was so afraid to obtain. You just... didn’t know how to speak to my heart... did you.
But there is something else to you as well, isn’t there? Something to you that I cannot understand or comprehend. Something that even you have forgotten in the passage of time. Instinct, I shouldn’t be surprised... a guiding force, a baser nature, wild and feral. Pure and untamed, even beyond every understanding, beyond any calculation. You pulled at my wings and forced me into flight. My mind couldn’t fathom why. One day I awoke and suddenly I was dying, one day I opened my eyes and saw time was almost up.
Suppressing you put that fear into my breast. It made you desperate, which made me afraid in turn. I’ve caught snatches of things from dreams. That longing for a purpose. I’ve seen your eyes gazing into mine from the darkness. It was you, I’m sure now, that haunted me when I was a child, filling my head with the blurred images of a powerful being; one so angry and so alone, raining destruction down upon everything and everyone. That monster of my dreams... it took me into its copper laden hand and crushed the life from me, tore my wings off my body, split my chest open and devoured me from the inside out. It wanted me to do... something, I always knew. But I was just a child, I couldn’t understand... they were such powerful nightmares that I would wake screaming and run to Ossa... but when I felt you in my mind, when I began to shun and repress you, when you began to push back, those dreams stopped. Instead I had you, instinct, who pulled me and pushed me whatever which way I dared to bend. And when the day came where my desire for a purpose became so great... I made the biggest mistake of all.
I was too much of a child. I was too blind, too foolish to realize what I had. I was so afraid of losing my happiness that I pushed you further and further away until it drove you to desperation. Desperation blinded us both, it seems. I was so desperate to hold onto this one thing that I tried to cast you aside. And you... so desperate to find meaning, we couldn’t see that it was right there in front of us all along.
We are no better than the ones that brought us here, instinct. I have danced with many and you have danced with more... I mourn them for what we had to do. But I mourn for no other greater than him. Our vicious circle, my pushing and your pulling, it took away from us the one thing we craved and needed most. I see it now.
… He was our purpose. He had to be.
He made me feel pure and alive, like there was hope left for me in this world that had turned its back, that I was wanted, needed. When he held me I was content, I felt like I had a place. There was so much light... so much joy and warmth that came from something more than just the Caldera of the Equinox. Not since then have I known laughter so lighthearted, have I felt the same tender swell in my breast. His touch still haunts me in my dreams, my heart still aches so painfully when I think of him. I don’t think it will ever heal, not truly now that I know. His face is burned in my memory forever... that of the springs demon I called beloved. But I betrayed him, I fled from him to pursue this nonsense... how could I have been so stupid?! In the pursuit of a meaning, in the blink of an eye... my blood still runs cold when I think about the day we parted. I hurt him... I hurt him when all he wanted to do was to protect me...!
That day... my body was not my own. But its still no excuse. I cut him down. I watched him fall. His blood was on my wings but still instinct screamed at me to fly and like a fool, I obeyed...! I have regretted it every day since for the last hundred years.
Rofvannon... Rofvannon my love, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you. You had no reason to come to my aid that day so long ago now, no reason to defend my broken little form from the horrors that assailed me and yet... you drew me to you, you held me... you loved me still. You and I... so alike in our pasts, so strangely akin in our appearances though so vastly different at the same time... we found comfort in each other’s pain... you brought out the best in me... you promised me things that you’d sworn you’d never feel again. My tears return, recalling your tenderness, recalling the whispers of your love... you and I were like two halves of a perfect, beautiful whole. How could I have been so blind?! I fit so well against your body, my heart truly sang when you enfolded me in your arms. You were the first to truly care for me, to shield me against the wretched ones who came calling for my soul. You promised me your heart and in return I promised I would never break it.
I am a liar... a filthy, disgusting liar...! And now I can never be forgiven, never be redeemed... I know you have departed from this world. I can never return. Never beg you to forgive me, never tell you how much meaning you brought to my life. You’ll never know you mean the world over to me, never know that I feel as though I could live forever in your presence. So torn between the two halves of my mentality, I have lost the very thing that would have given me peace. I didn’t want to believe the rumors that I heard, but I have never been able to find you. With you gone... nothing has been able to fill that space in my heart. I’m unbalanced. I’ve lost the greatest part of me, the other half of my soul... that’s what I had in you. Balance, equilibrium... your scarred heart so tender against my own. Like a fool, I threw it away. So concerned with my own panic and worry and fear, I hurt you. All because I was fighting with a side of me that I refused to accept...!
What the hell is wrong with me?! How could I have been so blind, why did I not see these things before?! How could I ever... ever have let this terrible, awful thing happen?! I feel as though I’m losing my mind, I have destroyed so much in pursuit of something that now... I can never go back to!! Life... purpose... its all meaningless now...! I’ll never... ever... have another like you, none have understood me so well, given to me so freely what you had and could have withheld. One hundred years have come and gone... I’ve come to know so many and their lives have filled me with hope and happiness, sadness and regret. But in love, there was only you. Powerful and beautiful as you were. The world says such monstrous things about you but I know differently. I know that a caring heart beats within your breast. The Rofvannon I remember was kind enough to take a wayward soul into his sanctum, just to guard it. Defend it. He shared his laughter with me, shared his trust, his feelings. He shared his heart with a fool to blind to realize how precious it was.
Oh Rofvannon... what have I done? How hard was it for you, living with the injury I dealt you, knowing I was out in the world, unguarded and blind and careless? How must it have felt once you realized I was gone and would never return? You have suffered so much... so much more than I in my brief little span of a life. And I... I only added to that pain, that torment. You trusted me and I stabbed you in the back. I wounded you and didn’t remain at your side to see it better. I abandoned you when you needed me! I am wretched... wretched!!! Truly no better than the instinct that drove me to the deed. I am a coward who refused to return until it was too late... and then you were gone. I’ll never... know your smile, your warmth... ever again.
My beautiful guardian... my miracle, my purpose. I don’t have any right to call you such things. I don’t have the right to say that I loved you. Not when my actions spoke otherwise.
If only I hadn’t pushed you away, instinct. If only I could have accepted what you were... what I am. And that is... an Asura. In these wings is the power to direct storms. These blades are an extension of my body. I was born a weapon but no hand, no human can command me. My soul is complete within me, I am no machine, no simple personification to be melded and shaped. The blood of the Danavas flows through my veins and its time that I realize what I am. What I have been all along. I am Arxhielho and though I may be purposeless I refuse to die! To give up now would be to forsake those years of happiness, however brief they were, to turn on the one who has given me my life! No more... no more will I cower and shun this thing that is a part of my very being, just as my wings and my hair are! I am a demon, I have a demon’s strength in my body, a demon’s power at my very wingtips...!!!
I will live, if only to honor your memory because I know... I know those years I spent with you meant everything to me. I will hold that memory and I will live by it, even if I can never have you again. Wretched and undeserving as I am, I will live a lie no longer! And I know... I know you would want me to survive. If you’re watching me, Rofvannon, please... don’t worry anymore. Your Siro has grown up. Your Siro has come to understand what you saw so long ago, what he fought for so long... if you’re watching from the heavens now, look upon me. I can feel a great relief settling over my soul. My wings fill with strength. I can feel my eyes clouding but I have never felt more like myself. Look upon me and you’ll see an Asura, one fully realized and reveling in his power. I’m not a monster. I’ve not lost my mind. I’m me... I’m who I have always been. I’m filled with such understanding now that it makes my heart ache with joy. With sorrow. If only I had not been afraid, so much of this could have been avoided. So much... so, so much could have been different.
But enough. It is time to end this, once and for all. No more shall I falter and cower in fear. I will face the world as I was born to.
Let my eyes be testament to that now and forever.
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