Chapter 26: Of Guidance And Memories, Part 1
Shana gasps as she witnesses the unlikely encounter between the hybrid and the ghost.
But at the same time her interest is sparked.
“ How do these two know each other, what on earth is going on?"” Shana wonders as she presses her small body firmly against a big tree, coming closer to hear more.
"Why are you here Malachite?" Jures asks him.
"The last time we spoke you said you would never return to Japan again.
It surprises me to once again find you in this forsaken place."
"For beings like us time is a strange thing Jures", Malachite says as his face remains neutral.
"And while I am here, I would like to visit the Magenta Garden.."
Jures tries to lay a hand on Malachite’s shoulder, but his spectral hand goes right through.
"After all this time?" he asks.
There lays a deep pain in Malachite’s eyes, pain Shana has seen before yet never understood.
"Yes Jures, even after all this time..
"Don’t you think it is time to let go my living friend?"
"I can’t, Jures, I can’t.
All I have left are memories, and I seek to carve those into my heart..
It is the only thing that keeps me alive, as more often than not I feel that I have lived for too long.
That and hatred.
"Isn’t 300 years a little long to hold on to a grudge, even for you?" Jures asks intrigued.
It seems like the ghost somehow hit a weak spot, as Shana sees how Malachite’s face darkens until even his normally bright blue eyes have taken the colour of the ocean’s darkest abyss.
"A grudge….?" he says with a dangerously low voice.
Suddenly he lashes out with his fist towards Jures his face. Jures doesn’t even twitch as the fist goes right through him, making a crack in the stone behind him.
"A GRUDGE?!" Malachite no screams out loud.
"This is no grudge Jures.
This is personal.
I hold all of them responsible.
Denizens Karka and FlameHaze alike!
I hate them, hate them all..
I will get my vengeance, in this life or the next…"
"“What on earth are they talking about?!"” Shana whispers, more to herself then anyone.
Slowly she kneels behind the big tree that shields her from Malachite’s sight and sits down, folding her legs beneath her.
"“I think this is going to be a long talk"…” she mumbles before shifting her attention to the talking duo again.
"I am sorry, I shouldn’t have said that" Jures reacts calmly, as the stone behind him falls apart due to the power Malachite put behind his violent outburst.
"It is allright my friend, it is allright"…Malachite responds, as he lowers his shoulders like he is carrying a great burden.
He looks tired all of a sudden.
"Do you remember when we first met old friend?"
"Hey, I might be dead, but there is nothing wrong with my memories!" Jures answers quasy offended.
"I saw you right after..the weaver of shadows incident for the first time.
I never saw it ofcourse, but I felt it around you.
And that sparked my interest at that time.
You were the first living being in a long time to come here, and also the first who felt even more in pain and tormented then all of us ghosts together.
Intrigued as I was, I told my brethren to ignore you, since I wanted to find out more about your intentions.
That was when we were not yet maddened and lost in the past..
Soaked with the karka’s corruption, yet you did not seem to be on their side.
All you did was walk and walk until you found the lake behind the waterfall.
And instead of making things of war, you made..flowers..and grass..and trees..all of them pink..magenta.
None of us really got it, but I was sure it had a deep meaning to you, as you continued to come back for years.
Then one time it changed.
We felt your presence, but you did not visit your creation as you usually would.
Instead you seemed to be here against your will..
Imprisoned by others.
And somehow that felt wrong to me.
Thus I made myself known to you."
The ghost falls silent for a bit, seemingly lost in his memories.
“"Malachite did say something about that he was once held captive here!"” Shana remembers.
“"Perhaps we can learn something about his past Alastor!”"
"“Hmm…”" her contractor answers.
"“I remember that”" Shana suddenly hears Malachite say.
"“You really scared me to death back then, even more when you told me you had observed me over the years.”"
"“Yet you begged for my help ?”" Jures says while raising one of his brows.
Yes, I did.
I did not have any choice.
I paid the price for being careless.
You know I create hougu’s, and that I am good at that.
As such I was followed…and captured..by a duo of denizens that demanded that I would make them a sword as they had never seen before.
Naturally I refused at first.
At that point the male one of the two gave me this."
Malachite points at the nearly faded scar that goes from his forehead all the way over his left eye.
"I never expected a denizen looking like a little boy could hit that hard.
However it was the sister that scared me the most.
The way she did everything for her brother..it was just wrong…disgusting..
I never heard of the Aizen twins before.
But as I was tortured day after day I learned their names all to well….Tiriel..and Sorath..
Believe me Jures, I knew they would kill me after I made them their sword, but after days of continuous pain..you know how my scars react to fire..they hung me into flames for hours..and then they would start eating my existence..piece by piece..tell me, what would you have done?
It was in that state that you appeared in front of me, and offered me your help out of curiousity.
I knew that I would be dead if I did not take your help, so I had nothing to lose…”"
"And so it happened that after you finished the boy’s..Soraths..blade..they indeed tried to kill you as you expected.." Jures says as he fills in the missing pieces in Malachite’s story.
"“Yes..and they were very surprised when a massive ghost like yourself decided to interfere.
It scared them shitless really”" Malachite responds, slightly sarcastic.
Jures laughs hearing that, and his laugh sounds sounds like a thunderstorm
"“Yes Alex, in the end it all ended well for you didn’t it?”"
"“Not entirely Jures.
We did not kill them after all, and they managed to get away with the sword I made for them.
Sometimes I really wonder what happened to that sword..to Blutsauger..”"
Shana quickly covers her mouth to prevent herself from making a surprised shout.
Completely shocked her thoughts go into every possible direction.
“"HE made the sword…the one those two Denizens had back then.. the one Yuji now has…Blutsauger..”"
Still in shock she creeps from behind her tree deep into the bushes, as her gaze does not let go of the hybrid she now knows has created Blutsauger for a second.
"“Hm.. I was not aware of this either Shana..
Blutsauger is a powerful weapon, and seeing the way it’s second function is powered by fusing it with existence does indeed represent the way a denizen would think.
We might have underestimated his abilities.”"
"“A mistake that could have been costly”" Shana thinks.
After all, Blutsauger was something of an entirely different level then the things she saw in Malachite’s house.
Suddenly she hears that the Denizen duo has continued their conversation.
Storing this new information in the back of her head she focuses on the low voice of Jures.
"“I can learn a lot more if I continue to listen for now”" she decides.
"“…Still, why did you not come back until after that?”" Shana hears Jures say clearly.
"You are not telling me it is your traumatic youth that finally made you return here right?"
Even while most of his face is turned away from her, Shana sees how the hybrid smirks a bit as he opens his mouth to answer Jures his question.
"“Even while I have to admit my youth was problematic with a full denizen family and a mad one at that as a father, it is not the reason.
I figured that if the Aizen twins could follow me here, others could as well.
The magenta garden was all I had left that reminded me of..you know..
I could not let some random denizen corrupt it with its presence.
That is why I decided to never come back.
Together with the weaver of shadows, it should become a painful yet distant memory.”"
"“The Weaver Of Shadows again?”" Shana wonders.
"“Alastor, didn’t that denizen we fought… also mention that name?”"
"“Hm.. he did Shana, but I have no idea what it might be..
From what we have gathered so far, it must be something important.”"
"“The weaver of shadows..is it..”" Shana hears Jures starting a question.
"“It is out of anyone’s reach Jures”", Malachite interrupts him bluntly.
"“I will take the secret of it with me into my grave when the time comes.
It was never meant for this world to begin with.
Why I am here you ask..
I need guidance, guidance from someone who knows my history with denizens, flame haze, karka..and everything else.
I have told you many things back then as I resided here recovering from the wounds that the Aizen twins inflicted upon my body and existence.
You understand my one true and only desire, and such you will understand my dilemma..”"
"“Does it have something to do with the fact that you are not alone here?"” Jures suddenly changes the subject.
"“Tell me, is she beautiful? “"
"“They are talking about me!”" Shana whispers to Alastor, but her contractor remains silent.
Malachite’s face looks surprised.
"“Ahh, so you noticed that didn’t you?” he responds as his face returns to its normal neutral state.
“Beautiful..yes..but in an innocent way..she is not aware of it.."
"“He thinks I am beautiful”" Shana thinks pleasantly surprised.
Suddenly she notices a slight blush on her cheeks, and ashamed she shakes her head.
"“And yes, it has to do with her, more then you would think.”" Malachite continues in the meantime.
"You see, I…have been made an offer..”"
As soon as she hears that Shana becomes alarmed.
Fragments of the conversation she overheard back in the baths flash through her head.
"“Will I get to know the truth now?”" She wonders.
Meanwhile Jures appears to be just as alarmed as she is, as his fur stands up, making him even taller then the ghost already is.
"“Malachite, do not tell me that you have been offered something by THEM, they who took everything from you, THEY who can destroy this world and everyone in it, and that you even THINK about accepting it?!”"
Jures voice sound angered, as if thunder itself is striking down on the open spot where he and Malachite are talking.
The half denizen however does not seem tp be threatened, not even the slightest.
Shana has trouble interpreting the hybrid’s expression, but then she realizes it..that face..it’s a plea.
A plea for understanding.
"“Jures..they offered to make my desire come true..”" he whispers.
The ghost seems like he is ashamed for his outburst a few seconds ago, as he falls silent.
An apology without words seems to be communicated by him, and by the small nod Malachite gives him Shana know he accepted it.
"“This is hard for me Jures, really hard.
I have been alone for so long, and I have been longing for this one thing for all this time..
And now it is within my reach, and all I have to do is reach out and grab it!
But at the same time, I will betray everything I stand for and..fought for..if I do so.”"
"“So..What do they want then Malachite?”"
"“They want me to betray her Jures.
She who I am with.
If I do that..and she dies..my wish will come true.”"
"“Malachite, who is she that the Karka value her death so highly?”"
"“She is not an ordinary girl Jures..
She is a flamehaze.
And not just that.
She is the flame-haired-red-hot-eyed-hunter, contracted to Alastor, God of Judgment.
And why you ask?
Because she might be the only one who has the potential to become strong enough to get in their way.
She and I..fought against one of the lesser ones not so long ago.
Even while we could not kill it.. I felt her potential..her might..
With her there is a chance Jures..she just lacks training..”"
Even while she got the answer she wanted, Shana is unsure what to think of it all.
"“Betray me..”" she mumbles as she feels her temper rising.
"He would take Alastor after all?!”"
Yet at the same moment, she realizes that the hybrid did not betray her in an instant..
"“Why is he in such a dilemma?”" she asks herself..
"“And what does my potential have anything to do with it?
Can I really get rid of The Karka?
And what is that wish he wants to come true so bad..
What is so important to him?”"
Shana realizes that with every question answered, even more unanswered ones arise.
Time passes by unnoticed, as the flame-haired-red-hot-eyed-hunter continues to eavesdrop, eager to learn more about Malachite’s past and his current position in all that is happening…