316 The Failings of Fledgings
"Urrgh!" Aegin hit the floor of the stone balcony hard enough to knock what little air the wind hadn't already stolen from his lungs. He coughed violently as the winds around him died, turned to look at a grinning Yashi who sat on the balcony railing looking quite self-satisfied.
"Hey Ya-Yashi…fancy…seeing you…here," Aegin said, nearly every word punctuated by a cough.
Yashi tilted his head in amusement, "Quite the coincidence indeed. Though I cannot for the life of me determine why you wanted to stare at my Master's nightly activities over rescuing your friend".
Aegin managed to sit up, "Call it friendly concern".
Yashi's eyes dawned, "Ah, were you attempting to ensure that dear Rima had not joined in?"
Aegin turned away. To be honest, he had considered that a possibility up until Sevis had said that Yashi was guarding her. If she was being separately guarded, then she had to be more important to Gryffyn than a mere member of his Harem.
"Not to worry, she's kept herself fairly busy reacquainting herself with her ex-tribe members and their traditions. Mostly without the Master's permission, but he wished for her not to leave the city," said Yashi.
"Being less careful with his words then," said Aegin as he stood and turned to face the Djinn.
The Djinn looked at him a moment before he smiled, "You are quite observant. It's one of the very few things I like about you, though evidently, not so observant about yourself. You have made no progress whatsoever in the last year, you are just as weak and tortured as you were when you faced me last time. I can't help but feel both disappointed in your progress, and obligated to eradicate such a dysfunctional cog in the wheel".
"And here I thought you liked me," Aegin rolled his eyes.
"In another life, perhaps I would have. But my Master wishes that I take care of uninvited guests, and considering my Master's tastes, you are very much uninvited," Yashi said.
"That's a very sad existence, the obligation to constantly grant the wishes of your Master. Even if I am aligned with Chaos, I cannot imagine your plight," said Aegin.
Yashi frowned, "I imagine the impulse is quite similar when you feed on blood. You crave the substance which gives you power, but detest how it makes you a monster. In the end, it's all about perspective. If you let the Monster overtake your moral compass, you find life amongst Chaos a whole lot easier to live".
"I've always been a monster, even before Chaos," said Aegin.
"Yes, and that monster was the only one you were ever willing to embrace, and only when it suited your purposes. The Chaos is significantly more difficult, especially without guidance," said Yashi, "Chopped off your own head there, didn't you. No Sire to show you the way and you stagnate".
"He's the one who-"
"Saved you," said Yashi with a smile.
Aegin frowned, "No, he didn't ask-"
"He didn't need to," Yashi said, "You showed him time and again that you would be by his side. Yet a few years apart shook your resolve? A few years are nothing in the life of an immortal. Though, I digress, from the perspective of a human, it must have been painful for you. But you haven't been a human for two years. You've had plenty of time to turn back…and you haven't. And now, you will die because of that stubbornness".
Aegin felt the wind around him picked up as he glared over at Yashi.
"Don't worry though, this time, I'll make sure your friends suffer the same fate so you won't feel betrayed," said Yashi.
Yashi raised an arm, his blue eyes flashing like lightning. Aegin gritted his teeth as he ducked forward, moving towards the Djinn. He reached inside of his coat for the inner pocket. Yashi threw his hands forward at the same time as Aegin.
Aegin's finger brushed over the charm, and he felt the Evanine Activate.
Aegin's mind instantly washed away all unnecessary thought. His only objective was to get free of Yashi. To escape from the Djinn's hold and report his findings. His link to the Chaos allowed him to glimpse the intricacies of the Mist and how it connected with Yashi. How Yashi controlled it and bent it to his will. And in turn how Aegin could exploit it.
He tilted the blade ever so slightly and jabbed forward.
Yashi exhaled and the wind rushed away just as quickly as it had come. He stumbled into the railing of the balcony, with Aegin still holding the blade that was embedded in the Djinn's side.
Yashi seemed shocked for a moment, then he looked down at the blade with legitimate confusion.
"Impossible. A Named Blade?"
Yashi held up a hand and Aegin was blown back into the wall of the tower. He watched as Yashi stood straighter, taking the blade from his waist. Aegin's eyes widened. There was no blood, just a very dull blue light. And as the blade left the Djinn, the wound seemed to close itself as if it had never been there at all.
Aegin did not stick around to find out what happened next, his question had been thoroughly answered. Yashi could never be beaten with a blade, no matter it's composition.
Yashi, his mind travelling back thousands of years, stared at the blade in wonder for a moment before a frown settled upon his face.
"Just a crude imitation," Yashi dismissed. He gathered the mist in his palm and in seconds, the blade was nothing but sparkling dust carried away by the wind.
His eyes travelled in the direction Aegin had vanished, to fast for the Djinn to follow.
"Though you have just presented a new possibility I had not considered," Yashi muttered.
Aegin breathed heavily as he came to a stop in his cave. He had run so fast, the fear consuming him. Yashi was too powerful. Without a blade…
Aegin slid down to sit in the centre of the main chamber, cradling his head. All that work for over a year. All for nought. Nobody could stop the Djinn. Nobody. Certainly not the Tribes, nor Aegin, nor…
No, The Other could have stopped him. He always had a solution, no matter how painful the cost.
No matter how painful the cost.
Aegin felt a frown fall upon his face as he reached into one of his inner pockets and pulled out the charm that had long ago lost its function. The symbols on it stared back at him, their intention the same as it had been back then.
"You knew I'd leave," Aegin breathed, "You knew, but you did it anyway. You turned me…no, you saved me, didn't you? You saved me knowing you would lose me in the process. Why?"