Note: I do not own Soul Nomad or any of the following characters. As a note to those who have read "Being Closer" the story will be continued in a piece tentatively called "Yelda" (hint: has to do with a myth from the middle east) but it won't be up till at least December because I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year. In the mean time, enjoy.
Soul Nomad: A Selfish Desire
"Gig…Gig…" Called a kind woman's voice. "Wake up, Gig."
In the darkness there was a lone figure stirred groggily. They recognized that voice from somewhere before but the memory escaped them. Slowly they gained awareness and finally, one question formed.
"Gig…who's that?" The figure asked. Suddenly the figure jerked, a flash of memories flooding into his mind. "Why…where am I? I was just…killed by Median."
"Then do you finally remember, Gig? Or rather, Vigilance?"
The figure stared at himself. Vigilance…Gig…
His face contorted in horror.
"I-I remember it all…" Vigilance, the Master of Death, answered.
That's right, he had been attacked and murdered by Median. Median had been in grief over the loss of his son and in believed that by killing the Master of Death Haephnas would be become a world without death. And when he died, there had been no guide to help him to heaven so his soul was taken by Drazil. He lost his memories and was trained to be…
Vigilance remembered it…Gig had enjoyed destruction. He got a kick out of watching the masses of Haephnas die; he enjoyed sending souls off to Drazil, regardless of the consequences of the cycle of rebirth. He hadn't done it because he liked or cared about Drazil. All Gig had wanted was to see 'rivers of blood' and 'mountains of flesh'. Gig had nearly destroyed the world, the world Vigilance was supposed to protect. And he might have succeeded too, if it had not been for Layna the Firebrand-no, Virtuous in mortal form.
"My God," Vigilance cried. "What have I done?"
"Vigilance," the voice said softly. "That wasn't your fault. If anyone is to blame, it is me for not being able to intervene soon enough."
"But it is," Vigilance insisted. His hands shook as Vigilance could almost see the blood drip down his fingers. "The things I did and saw as Gig…there are all still my fault. What I have done cannot be forgiven."
"Do you truly believe that?"She asked. "Vigilance, do you not remember why you are here?"
Vigilance closed his eyes. "I…died. I was killed for the third time really."
"That is correct. But why are you here? What did Gig-no, what did you do to come here?"
His third death…he had been Gig back then.
Back then; his soul had been fused to a young girl named Revya. In a strange twist of fate Revya had come to Drazil with the help of her friends to right the cycle he helped throw out of whack. Since the start of the journey, Gig had wanted to get back to blowing things up (except for hotpods of course) and the only way he would get that was if Revya gave into his power and influence in exchange for her body. She kept saying 'no' the entire time so he was stuck getting dragged wherever her and her friends decided on their journey to 'save the world'. They made it as far as Drazil, only to face stacked odds upon stacked odds no matter how hard they tried. That's when Revya offered to give in for the power to win.
And Gig-no, he refused.
Instead, him and the kid had worked the original deal backwards that time. He got a chance to use the body for once and he got a power boost from Revya to finish things once and for all. And ironically, the fate he had threatened to upon Revya, the fate of her soul disappearing, had happened to him.
"But then why am I here?" Vigilance asked. "My soul…was it cleansed? Please, Haephnas, answer me."
"It's because of your sacrifice," the Overseer replied. "Your time with that child, the experiences you had, your desire to protect someone else, all these made you a better person. You grew into someone worthy of redemption, whether you were seeking it or not."
"Worthy….of redemption?" Those words sounded so dry to his ears. One act redeeming years of sins? "But that doesn't change what I have done."
"No, it doesn't. What's past is past. But mourning over the past will not change anything either. Even if you continue to hate yourself it won't bring those people back. All you can do is walk forward."
As always, Haephnes always seemed to know what to say. A part of him still didn't believe it but on a more rational level her words carried an element of truth. Vigilance slowly nodded. Even if Vigilance could never forget he had done he had nowhere else to go anymore.
"But what am I to do?" He asked hesitantly. "Am I to pay penance for my sins and resume my duties as reaper?"
"That all depends on you. What is you desire, Vigilance?"
"Yes," Haephnes spoke warmly. "The two worlds are now are peace at the moment. The cycle of souls will return to normal over the next few months even without the guidance of the reaper. I will not force you to pick a path. All I want is for you to follow the path you want."
Vigilance stared in disbelief. Was he hearing correctly?
"But what about Virtuous? If she were here she would-"
"I'm sure she would agree," Haephnes laughed lightly. "With the fall of the World Eater, Raksha, her soul has returned to heaven. After she has regained enough energy she will be returning to the world below in a reincarnated body while maintaining her duties of Master of Life. That was her choice."
If this had been before his time as Gig, Vigilance would have had trouble understanding the choice. When he and Virtuous served side by side as Masters of Life and Death of Haephnes, Virtuous had never truly 'loved' the people outside the level of duty. Now however, whether it had to do with the fusion between her and Layna or the years she spent in the Hidden Village or the years she spent raising Revya and Danette or a combination of all the above, he could understand now. After all, to a degree, didn't that fit him as well?
But he had a duty to the dead. Ever since Haephnes asked of him to become the reaper he had sworn to do his best for the people of Haephnes. While he was Gig he had an excuse for no doing his duty. Now his memories were back he should do the right thing and make up for lost time.
"Haephnes, I…" Vigilance's words died off.
"Yes?" She asked expectantly.
It was strange, but at that moment he couldn't help but remember something more from his life as Gig.
"You mean it?" Danette asked uneasily. "You won't disappear?"
"Nah, don't worry," Gig said casually. "Look at this face and tell me I'm lying, heheh."
Gig felt Revya's body tense slightly. "Gig, you're-"
"Oh, and you got to make me some nice hotpods when we get back," he quickly added to Danette.
The Sepp girl paused a moment but then nodded. "Okay, I promise. But you gotta promise to come back to Haephnes with us! If you don't, I'll just snap the hell out of that neck of yours!"
Vigilance stared in surprise.
Why was he thinking about that now?He told the kid and the cow he'd be all right, knowing full well he was bull shitting them just so they'd stop worrying and just agree with his plan Maybe the kid had known he was lying but she had let him do it anyway. She probably hadn't even expected him to fulfill his promise to begin with. She might be depressed awhile (she'd probably make that stupid face he kept telling her to stop making) but she'd get over it. And the cow…she'd probably be dancing on his grave or something with a majority of the planet. So he had no reason to feel this way, right? Besides, it's not like the Killer of Kings and Destroyer of Worlds had been on the journey because he wanted to, some part of him should be celebrating over the new circumstances.
Vigilance shook his head.
Even if he did get dragged around a lot on all those detours and into problem upon problem he had meant it when he said he didn't regret the time he spent with them. Hotpods aside it was…fun. After spending two hundred years locked up in a sword the time he spent in the kid's body had been quite the experience. As Gig, he would never admit it of course but…he had grown somewhat attached to them all, even that pathetic Dracon and the mute cleric…and mostly the kid.
Some part of him wondered, just how was everyone, now that the journey was over? His story had ended with deaths of the three stooges from Drazil so he'd never find out what happened to everyone.
Not that it mattered. He was…Vigilance now. He had an obligation to fulfill as Master of Death.
But despite that why did he feel so… shitty? Was it possible he actually missed them? Had anyone felt the same way? Vigilance sadly dismissed the idea. The person they missed was Gig, not Vigilance. Even if he wanted to see them again…
Inspiration struck. At first Vigilance felt a pang of guilt over the idea. He couldn't ask that. How could he conceive it in the first place? It was….wrong. It was selfish.
"Haephnes, I'm sorry," Vigilance spoke quietly. "I understand the pains you and Virtuous went through to help bring me back but…my memories as Vigilance…would you seal them?"
"Is that what you truly desire?" Inquired Haephnes. "There is a chance that your memories will never fully surface again and Vigilance will become just a memory. After everything that has transpired you would choose to return to being Gig?"
"Yes," the Master of Death nodded. "The time I spent on the world below was as Gig. That's the person they know and remember and asked to come back to their world with, not Vigilance. If I returned like this the ties we shared would never be the same. And besides…I made a promise to the kid and that stupid cow."
"So you will return to the world below like Virtuous? As Gig?"
"Yes," Vigilance bowed his head slightly. Still speaking quietly he whispered, "I'm so sorry."
"There is nothing to be sorry for," Haephnes said gently. "It's all right to be selfish once in a while. I will miss you, Vigilance, but I wish you happiness whatever path you choose."
Somehow, the words 'It's all right to be selfish' lifted a weight on Vigilance's heart, absolving the guilt inside him. "Thank you…"
"Now rest, you still need to regain your strength. When you awaken, it will be the start of your new life."
Unconsciously, Vigilance yawned, suddenly realizing how tired he was. He could barely keep his eyes open as he heard a song echo in the darkness.
"Forma lleya, lisami…
Fermeelloanyarei, sopha neya me…"
That song…it was the lullaby from the kid's dreams…
Though Vigilance couldn't help but think how he was a bit too old for such things he couldn't help but relax. It really was a soothing melody…
As he sunk into all too familiar darkness his thoughts weren't focused on the conversation that had taken place or of his deaths or his selfish choice or the fact he would no longer be Vigilance…
…but the look on their faces when he came back.