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Greyashe chapter 329

Page history last edited by Sakaki 10 years, 1 month ago

 

 

 

Greyashe chapter 329 is entitled 'What you lost.'

 

Previous chapter 328: White festival.

Next chapter 330: What we found.

Summary page.

 

-Short summary-

 

Secrets of Angel remanence are revealed as Van begins the process to conquer his own fears by traveling past pain and fear through himself.

 

-Long summary-

 

Roysé leads her ‘brother’ by his hand through Greyashe on a rare dry day where snow has not fallen since the night before. Earlier she had asked him to follow her on orders from their ‘father’. Van registered that he’d be the one keeping up with the angel only after they had left Mr. Sikes’s place and are tromping through snow. Since he has no idea of where they’re going, he briefly muses that this is literally a case of the blind leading the blind. He considers taking the lead from the angel, but a throbbing sensation generating from his forehead and radiating inward to his temples causes him to massage his face instead. He’s been having frequent headaches and dizzy spells lately…perhaps another sign of the recalls advancing war on his sanity? He hopes not, but the fact that his memory fades in and out, and quiet voices sing the praises of destruction straight into his eardrum does not fill the farseer with hope that this is something as simple as fatigue.

 

Van staggers slightly and Roysé releases his hand. The boy leans against a wall to regain his composure, and she silently stands with him until he looks up through his mental fog and assures her that he is fine.  Roysé asks if it’s fatigue, but he’s not sure. Physically he feels fine…or well as fine as can be anyway. It’s just his head is hurting him a lot. The angel then amends her statement; she’s not talking about physical fatigue, but mental. He’s running not physically, but mentally. That ‘tiredness’ is what is catching up with him, and it’s a matter of when ---not if he will fall and succumb to the effects of the ‘recall’. This is enough to cause the farseer to stand up straight and narrow his eyes. She talks as if she knows of an ‘alternative’ to succumbing to the recall? Moreover, he had been complicit in her request to accompany her without any further knowledge of what they’ll be doing, but now he feels compelled to ask. What had his father asked her to do, and in what way does it involve him?

 

After an uncomfortable silence the angel bows her head and requests –begs for him to just follow her for a little longer. She promises to explain everything once they’re far enough out of earshot. She and Colin had agreed that giving everyone except those who need to be involved plausible deniability is for the best. Butcher is only getting stronger by the second, and the less people who know much about her the better. Van shivers upon hearing this, and it has nothing to do with the weather. Although he admits he knows far too little about his father other than how dubious he is,  Roysé at least has been consistent in being innocent and reverent, young and mature…

 

So, in short he only knows what she’s told him.

 

Van is overwhelmed by voices all at once that hiss at him not to trust her, and not completely because it is the best course of action…no, more as if they know something that could affect their longevity that he doesn’t. He massages his forehead again and shakes his head before saying through gritted teeth that he’ll follow her a bit longer, but he’s not entirely sure how long he can hold up like this. If she knows of a way to deal with these voices, the effects of the recall on his body she should tell him before he collapses and becomes a threat to the both of them. Roysé turns and continues walking, the streets of Greyashe surprisingly clear like the grey sky above.

 

Back at Sikes’s place, Lazaro sneaks into Nancy’s room, which had been designated the sleeping place for the women, though Nancy usually just slept in the living room to give Roysé her privacy, so he figures the chances of running into the other woman is low to none. He pops in with a tray of breakfast that he had swiped from the kitchen table and with a look of serenity most unbecoming for himself waltzes (literally waltzes) to the side of her bed and cheerily greets her with a jaunty ‘good morning’ tune. After receiving no response, he lifts the sheets and finds that she is already gone. Surprisingly the would-be-God seemingly takes this well and after putting the food aside makes the bed and walks back out of the room. He sees Colin reading a paper at the kitchen table and calmly takes a seat beside him and says nothing. This continues for a few moments until Colin starts to rise and Lazaro asks

 

‘Why’?

 

Colin stares back at him with a look of impatient disdain. ‘Why what?’ Lazaro and the farseer lock eyes and the former has a look of abject disappointment, which Colin dutifully ignores. Why is it that he derives such pleasure from separating him from his lovely? No, no. Scratch that question…he can understand that the farseer is a man who only knows deceit and dishonor, so he’s not surprised that he’d go as far as to separate a man from his love. The question he’d really like to have answered is why he seems to be so intent on pushing his lovely onto his weak and pathetic son? If he wanted her to himself, that he could understand to some extent…but why that boy? So far he hasn’t contributed a single thing to their cause. Unless of course his son’s role in their party is to cheer everyone else on from the sidelines? Or no –even better! To be the lowest point so that everyone knows where they stand? That he can understand. Being that he is the top, he can understand the importance of one to knowing where the bottom is.

 

Colin balls up his paper and cracks his knuckles. He’s finally reached the point where the bad talking his blood has caused the blood in him to boil. Although he’s wanted Van to watch Lazaro so that he can gain some of his self-confidence back, it seems that it’ll be necessary to beat some of Lazaro’s confidence out of him. He then gestures to the door and says that they can have their bout out there…no holds barred, and while he’s not condoning a death match, it’s fine if they go until someone can’t move anymore. Lazaro bows his head and laughs maniacally. He admits from time to time he wondered how a louse like Colin managed to find a woman to bear him a son to begin with, but now he knows. He faces the farseer with a fearless smile and comments that he knows just the right things to say at the right moments.

 

Meanwhile Roysé and Van reach a snowy knoll just outside of Greyashe, where the angel stops and turns to her ‘brother’. Van stops walking and the two enjoy each other’s company while entertaining silence. Roysé takes two steps back from Van and stands, her form both serene and seemingly transient. Van shivers again, this time cold as he regards the angel before him wearing nothing but shorts, boots a shirt and shawl despite Greyashe’s unforgiving climate. It is only now that Van fully registers that he is dealing with an otherworldly being. No matter how much she looks like ‘him’ she never will be.

 

Roysé closes her eyes and explains first that she must apologize. Van remains silent, and she takes this as a cue to continue. Earlier when she had explained to the group that she doesn’t know much about angel remanence, that was a lie. Truth be told she knows quite a bit about the phenomenon that affects humans so. She had kept it under wraps because she can’t truly trust that once people learn it’s true nature that they will not abuse it. Even Colin had only been told enough to satiate his curiosity, though to be honest it feels like he knows more than he’s letting on. He had taken her half explanation and cooked up a plan to help Van once they found him again. The timing had to be just right though, as the chance that this could break the farseer is as high if not higher than the chance that this would help him.

 

This gets Van’s attention and he shows it by shifting his stance. Roysé explains that she had learned about remanence through trial and error. A friend of hers –long gone now, had fancied himself a researcher, and she adopted some of his methods to understand humans relationship to her. Even his answers to her questions about ‘Claire’ had filled her in. Of course it helps that she’s had such a long time to herself and with humans…

 

In short the remanence that she emits effortlessly can be shut off, leaving the humans who benefit from it naked to the elements once again. It will be as if the two of them are ordinary people…he would be no longer protected by her invisible ‘veil’.

 

Van crosses his arms and asks how this will affect him? If she didn’t notice, he’s under quite a bit of distress anyway. Would it change much if she were to shut off her remanance? Moreover what would he….or she, gain by this? Certainly if his father asked her to even suggest this course of action, he must have a net gain in mind. Van then squeezes the temple of his nose and apologizes for being so harsh. It is just his head…

 

Roysé handwaves this and explains that the remanance simply shifts unpleasant things aside. It doesn’t really cause them to disappear. If he’s ever heard of the phenomenon of ‘sympathetic pain’, then it’s somewhat like this. Sometimes people can convince themselves that they feel someone else’s pain, yes? Though in reality they’ve just submitted themselves to a very complex type of hypnosis. The pain a person feels is something they own. No one else can own it, even if they are afflicted in the same situation at the same time as someone. As such the remanence simply pushes this aside to a degree and keeps it away until a person dies. Another phenomenon ---death throes. Those are actually the result of a remanence fading away as a person’s life force leaves them. The pain is so intense that it racks their body and to the outside world it looks as if death is ringing the very life out of them.

 

Van grimaces and asks why she’s telling him? He understands how it works now, but she does understand that it sounds like she’s suggesting his father told her to put him through this? Roysé nods in agreement and Van is aghast. Why would his father agree to this? Forlornly the angel looks at her boots and in a small voice replies that he –Colin feels like Van has forgotten something fundamental in his travels. There’s a reason why he’s made it this far, and he feels like perhaps doing this will remind him of what that reason is. The angel adds that she can see he’s hurting in his own sprint away from the recall’s effects, and can’t bear to watch. She doesn’t like this idea either, but if Colin is right and it can help even just a little, she wants to help him through it.

 

Van considers this. He wants to turn her down, and have nothing more to do with this but the truth is he’s at the end of the line here. The voices, the fuzziness, the pain are all taking a toll on his body. That he can’t even enjoy being home with his friends and family because of the recall is probably the most painful thing of all. But pain upon more pain is just….

 

The farseer stands resolute.

 

He agrees to it and asks Roysé to shut off the remanance.

 

The angel hangs her head and apologizes quietly again. Van approaches her and grasps her shoulders, assuring her that he’ll be fine. She can turn it off and he’ll do what he can to remember what it is he lost. When she doesn’t reply, he asks what’s the matter and despite himself starts shaking her. He proclaims he can handle what she’s proposing and she can turn it off….turn the remanance off. Her head rises and Van yelps in surprise when he is eye to eye with..

 

Himself.

 

Though not. This Van is older, battle scarred, his eyes dim cesspools of life’s dregs. His hands have little knicks and scratches all over, a scar covers the right side of his face and his lips are chapped and dry. Red hair hangs weakly on the side of his face and gauze is wrapped around his head hiding the rest of other Van’s hair from view. One arm is in a sling, while the other hangs wrongly, weakly from its socket. Van shakes his head and steps back asking what’s going on to no one in particular. What is he looking at? The past? The future? Now? He doesn’t understand…

 

Despite getting a small distance from the other Van, he is soon upon the former farseer and grabs his face with his free arm. He then forces Van’s mouth open and…

 

Steps inside.

 

One leg.

 

Then the other.

 

His torso wriggles in as if he’s climbing down a narrow pipe or hallway….it shouldn’t fit but it does after a bit of twisting and turning. Finally his arms are out of sight and his head slides down the farseer’s throat like bitter medicine. Van stands, his mouth open too wide and too far for a moment until he snaps to attention, and his face returns to normal dimensions.

 

He stands for a moment wondering what to do next. Is this it? The pain he’s been through so far has only been this much? He’s supposed to find something in this right? Then why does he feel so unfulfilled…?

 

Then he snaps backwards, his back at an awkward angle as he grabs his face to keep from screaming. He feels like his body is being stabbed by a thousand fine point needles, while being dipped in lava and then being smashed by a hammer all while being stretched far past what it shape allows. He starts to see double and before he knows it is on his knees, his double vision making it impossible to stay on his feet. The pain is so vivid, so intense that is flows like water into his second peripheral vision and he’s feeling the agony for two, then four, then eight, then ten. The farseer writhes in agony in the snow which oddly smells like blood and burning rubber.

 

Meanwhile Lazaro and Colin walk in a circle sizing each other up. Although he is most definitely not complaining about finally having a bout with the farseer, he wonders what brought this on? Colin reiterates that he’s tired of the so-called-God mocking his son’s efforts. Moreover he’s not quite as powerful as he thinks. Lazaro gives Colin an inquisitive look and begins to ask what that means, but Colin is already upon him. Not expecting a frontal assault, Lazaro guards with his arm expecting a punch to the face. Colin is ready for this and hits him with a punch to the stomach. Lazaro chokes back, but wisely keeps moving. He sends a pulse of air at Colin that the farseer sees and simply stands his ground against. Colin strides over to him and comments that everyone has a ‘force’ that drives them and keeps them grounded. You knock someone off that force and it takes a while to recover. He then turns his palm and forces it into Lazaro’s face sending him flying. He admits that the God-to-be has finely attuned his physical and alchemic prowess, and that he’s not far off in his notion that passion equals power. However…

 

Lazaro isn’t one to take a lecture lying down however and makes a last ditch effort to swing at Colin, but the farseer leans over, grabs his fist and forces it back. Lazaro yanks his arm back and with a battle yell lunges forward, but Colin uses this inertia to grab his arm and flip him on his back during which he can hear an audible ‘snap’. Colin stands silently for a minute before sheepishly sticking out his tongue and admitting he may have gone a little overboard.

 

While writhing in pain, Van wraps his hands around something and suddenly feels his agony subside greatly. He grabs this thing tighter and tighter all while feeling the pain lifting from his body in the shape of small streams of vapor. He’s even able to stand up as he squeezes this pain reliever. Maybe the worst had already come to pass? If that’s the case then….

 

He is wrong. Painfully so.

 

Three times his chest is pierced and the pain radiates through his body and he is back on his knees and flops backward into the snow, shaking like one having a seizure. The pain returns two fold and the farseer loses himself in it, resigning to allowing it to lead him wherever it wants. It surrounds him like an ocean and drags him under the waves as a squall. It tears him apart like a tornado and tosses him like a typhoon. At the bottom of this current is only more pain and….

 

A mirror image of Greyashe. Familiar. More familiar than now. The past then? Where in the past?

 

Melting through the water Van liquefies and rains down with the snow into counter under Greyashe.

 

Roysé stands over Vans body, her expression heartbreaking. Tears are half formed in her eyes as she regards her ‘brother’s’ form. Three wounds on his chest fizzle as what seems to be ethereal feathers fade into the sunlight. His neck is brused where he grabbed it and began to squeeze hard enough to choke himself to death. She hadn’t meant to make matters worse by stabbing him three times but she was truly afraid he’d inadvertently commit suicide if she didn’t. Now he seems to have quieted down, and hopefully would find what it is he needs to keep himself in the face of the recall.

 

Van’s eyes are empty and his mouth gapes open as if his body is lacking it’s ‘core’. The soul which maintains it as more than an inanimate object has gone. The angel bends down and keeps silent vigil over him in hopes that he’ll find what is missing and return to her.

 

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