To my readers,
Just a little more back story on Asch the Bloody, all set before the game. Something of a structured story dump, though not as sporadic as "From Yulia to Daath" is.
A Family of Idiots
He clashed, and knew that he did. His garments were Malkuthite blue amidst the sea of Kimlascan red. They were appalled to see him there, but he'd been ordered to come. So he came, walking the ground of his enemies and allies alike. Uncomfortable with them as they were with him. And his stomach clenched in mute agony as anxiety dogged his every step. Still he did the rounds, acting cool and proper amongst the nobility. He'd come with one purpose, and having seen it started he had lingered to watch it be fulfilled.
Because a Nam-Combodian never left something half done, it wasn't right, it wasn't proper.
It was also the echo of the ethos of a man dead. Dead men didn't talk, still Asch talked loud enough in York's mind. The God-General spoke from the misty realm of memory and his words stuck.
York had fought a long uphill battle, against a man who only wanted to know he had one son and a woman so traumatized by the death of both her children that she hovered at death's door herself. A half month of fighting this bloodless war against the parents of his friend and he had had enough.
Still he didn't leave, not until his torch was cast. There were no bodies, no caskets to be put in the ground, so they'd settled on a pyre. No… two pyres, there were two dead after all. Two services, two bodiless funerals, and he'd see at the eldest of the dead off with a few good words.
It's all he had left after all, words and wishes, and though they were hollow it was all he could give.
So he gave them.
Face cast in red hues of the torch he stared at the pile of wood. At it's top fluttered a bit a casic, the holy garment was stiffed by the wind, the rest of Daath religious garments were too weighed down to actually do anything more than shiver in the winds. He was aware of all those eyes on him, perhaps they wondered why he stared at the bit of movement at the top of the soon to be pyre, maybe not. He was aware of them all, and he hated them all. Because not one had anything to say, nothing that bordered on truth. Oh the mother grieved, but she grieved an unknown, and the princess -bless her simple heart- was too distraught to say anything constructive.
But besides those two exceptions of the rule, none of the others had anything to say.
As a matter of fact, what could he say, what right did he have to say anything. Yeah, he knew Asch, everyone in the Wing's did, but what could he say to those around him who didn't? Then he thought of Noir, so bitter that she couldn't be there because she was too hurt. She'd sent a letter in her absence, but it was more ramblings than anything else. The words of a distraught woman who'd loved and lost her only brother and wasn't thinking clear enough yet to actually say what she meant.
He remembered how Noir had started dying her hair red and only red after Asch had left them. She'd abandoned the moniker they'd known her as, "Noir the many colored", to become "Noir the scarlet". "A tribute" she'd said, when York had asked years ago.
Finally, he knew, Noir and Asch were friends, the closest, it was only fitting that they know of her, and of him, and of Nam Cambodia, all in one go.
It was only fitting after all…
"They shouldn't have been friends. It was that simple. He was quiet, stoic, sullen, while she was in turn loud, course, and impulsive. It should have been a war, a complete personality clash of the worst kind.
Yet, while all the warriors cast of stubbornness and pride were on the battlements, aligned in their proper rows and all the fontech devices of complicated logic, ethics, and morals were there, the expected clash never came.
Despite their difference and the chasm of years and experience –or perhaps to spite them- they drew close. Both recognized the loneliness the other hid, and it became an unspoken, unspeakable language that drew them together. Still, seeing them together was quite the sight. He wasn't boisterous, even as a child, yet she was all the bravo he'd ever needed. As his affection was slowly won it was impossible to see, for he never showed it.
There was a faint hint of a smile to his face though. A ghostly, haunted, thing which touched his lips a little more often, and that smile told us volumes. His approval –as he watched and learned from us- was as quiet as his laughter. It was a subtle slow retracting of criticisms, a rare word of praise. She in turn warmed openly, and like every other secret Noir held close to her heart she promised to tell no one and would up telling the world.
Still young enough to find that trait amusing, Asch remained calm and aloof, knowing better and more patient than she let on, Noir let the boy keep his act.
And that was the end of the Black Wings and the beginning of the Dark Dream."
He cast the torch upon the oil soaked wood, defying custom. For the pyre's of two of the same blood should be lit together, so the departed might rely on the light of each other's passing to find their way to Lorelie's light.
Turning, facing that sea of anger and distrust, York smiled at them all. The fire behind him cast his form in a halo of crimson.
"Asch never would have waited for Luke, and if you didn't know that you're all idiots."