317 The Atonement of an Absconder
*Eldovian Era 1715, 20th day of the 6th month*
The question echoed in the cave around him, and Aegin followed it's sound up, coming face-to-face with his own reflection in the mirrors above.
Had he ever seen himself look so lost? So defeated? So…so true.
'Wherever your path leads you Aegin, you should never have to apologise for what or who you are and the selfish decisions you make because of it'
"You forgave me even before I ran, too," Aegin sighed, "Didn't you? You weren't just casting off the blame. You were giving me the freedom to choose…and I threw it in your face for two years".
Aegin felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, and he threw himself back onto the ground, staring up at the mirrors at his less-than strong looking reflection. He was torn between two worlds, between two mindsets, between his past and his future, and being torn had only made him weak.
Just as weak, he now realised, as the Other had looked on that ship as they sailed south.
"Gods above," Aegin groaned, "I'm such a hypocrite. Condemning you while I was doing exactly the same. You just wanted an escape didn't you? You wanted a way out that nobody could reliably give, not even Ebony and I. You did not want to hurt us, just as I didn't want to hurt anyone, but it is in our nature now, isn't it? To hurt…it's just that the Monster tends to make more calculated choices than the human who is too morally bound to think there is no choice to begin with. That is the key to Chaos, isn't it? To enable the freedom of choice at an equally weighed cost".
Something clicked then, deep within him. He felt the sizzling energy within his Life Lines, and he closed his eyes to follow it.
There was only darkness at first, then a single light came into sight. High above. It came into focus slowly, along with the clouds in the sky that surrounded it. The moon. It was the moon.
Suddenly, Aegin felt himself turn involuntarily towards the west, he spotted mountains and a forest in the distance. He felt his lips curl ever-so-slightly into a proud smile.
"About time you take what is yours".
But Aegin could not speak the words allowed as he was thrust back into the darkness. He felt it then, the power that seemed to be just behind that sealed shell within him. The power that was just waiting for the right moment. Just waiting for the right words. Those words came to him as if he had always known them.
"I hereby consent to allow my being to be changed wholly. My body, my mind, my soul, all shall be rewritten. I submit to the grace of Chaos, and in turn shall relish in its darkness. Marr my body, mind and soul with your Seal, and from the time of my acceptance, let its power fill me. So shall it be, so shall I never regret".
The seal broke.
Aegin's eyes shot open as he felt the power thrum through his body, his Life Lines burned, twisting, changing, extending until they were like a broad collar that went from the base of his collar bone on his chest, over both of his shoulders, and met again between his shoulder blades. His fangs and claws extended in a silent shout as his body arched from the floor. He felt the black wings that he'd been denied shift, grow, then he flipped to his front just in time for them to burst from his back.
He rested his forehead on the ground for a moment as he breathed hard, the power still circulating and permeating his body.
He took a breath and sat up, taking a side glance at his wings as they flexed and responded to his commands.
Aegin grinned, then he felt himself chuckle. What a rush of power. Gods above, Yashi had been right. He'd been such a weakling before now.
The thrill of the changed calmed somewhat, and he found himself looking at his reflection again in the mirror.
His wings had shredded the clothes over his torso when they'd burst forth. They hovered behind him now, half unfurled. Pitch black but for the clawed tips that were a crimson red. Aegin had to chuckle at that.
��Bloodthorn," he muttered, "Not a bad name I guess".
Now he could take on Yashi, he was sure of it. He may not have been accustomed to his new abilities, but he'd always been more of the learn-as-you-go type. Besides, giving that Djinn more time at this point would not be wise. Now of course, Aegin was also certain that he'd likely have to save three individuals instead of just two.
Aegin stood, then felt a little shaky as the thrilling power began to wane a bit.
Okay, he'd pick up a meal on the way.
He turned towards the draws that were his wardrobe, picking up another top and cloak which he struggled with for about ten seconds before learning how to summon and banish his wings without having them tear through what he was wearing.
Aegin then turned and looked at the weapons to the side, then glanced down at the claws on his hands. No need for those either.
He turned towards the cave exit, then paused, looking up at the mirrors.
"I know you said that I shouldn't apologise, but just this once, I think it's necessary," said Aegin, "I'm sorry, Rassa. Maybe one day, we'll be able to meet again as the friends, no, the brothers we once were".
Then Aegin left the cave. He stood in the entrance for a moment, looking at the dark desert on the verge of a new dawn. He thought for a moment, then summoned his wings.
"Do not embarrass yourself by making your entrance not nearly as cool as his was," said Aegin.
He pulled up his wings, then jumped into the air as he brought them down with a thunderous clap.