By Cadmus_Liafador 4 Comments
"The Caste has fallen."
The words of the Elder replayed through his mind as Cadmus hiked the mountain's path, it grew wide where the soil was soft and then narrow in the rocky passes. There were times it was barely there at all, no more than a mild disturbance in the dirt. But always it lead upward to the peak, the only destination Cadmus could keep in his mind. It had been two years since he had walked the trail to the top of the Caste's mountaintop, he had forgotten how much the cold wind stung at his face, and how hard it was to dig his feet through the thick snow. The wintry wind howled sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, yet ever with a chill that brings a crispness to the day and a chill to Cadmus' bones. Wrapping his scarf tighter around his neck and hoisting the bag that carried his armor tighter against his shoulder he continued to climb closer to the mountain's peak.
He had been hiking the path for two days, drowning in the familiarity that it immersed him in, most of the mountain was still recovering from the last time Cadmus had been there with his cousin Catalina. The explosion the cousins had precipitated destroyed a large amount of Mt. Blanc lowering the amount of work that was required of Cadmus to get to his destination. As he continued to climb up his mind drifted to the events of the last year.
"What we are changes depending on who you ask."
Cat's words hit him harder than ever now, he understood how true they were, depending on who was telling the story any one of them could be the hero or the villain to another tale, and they themselves changed as often as the seasons. In a world where his family was comprised of Gods and goddesses, demons and monsters he struggled to understand where he fit in throughout.
"The fact that you're a Liafador puts a target on your back. THAT is my mother's fault. She kinda forked us all up"
She had been right about that as well, his mind traveled back to his encounter with the bounty hunter: Roman Nordstrom, and all others who had sought him out because of his lineage. To be born within the fight is to give up your choice to fight, it's battle or die with no grey area in between. Cadmus had learned that lesson at a young age, both his mother and his sister had proven that statement to be a fact. His mother had died in the fight, and his sister had gotten so consumed within it that she lost who she was.
"To become divided within oneself is to be divided from the world, you cannot understand others if you can not understand yourself."
This time it was Ducran's words that snaked their way into Cadmus' mind as his feet trekked deeper into the snow, its fluffy white powder clinging to his boots. Over the past year, Cadmus had gotten sucked in deeper into the mess that made up the Liafador family, and in turn, had begun questioning everything that he was, every corner led to a new discovery and another contradiction; he fell into the shortcomings of Liafador's before him and repeated actions done by those before him.
He even killed one of his own blood.
Three months had passed and he could still feel his blade slide through the rotting flesh that made up his cousin's neck. Catalina was already dead at the time, but it still bothered Cadmus that he was responsible for re-killing the person who introduced and guided him through the true path of the Liafadors. He was bothered even more by the fact that she was revived and the two hadn't reached out to one another. He didn't even know if she knew what happened.
The Twilight Assassin's footsteps began to click upon stone as the path became a set of steps as he approached the end of his journey. His footsteps retraced the path he had traveled thrice before. The elder who presided over the Caste headquarters was absent, either dead or having abandoned his post----Cadmus made his way through the debris-clad entrance, pulling and pushing rock out of his wake with little effort his mind still focused on the past. He deeply desired to meet his younger sister Chance; he had heard great things about her and even dared to hope they shared things in common. He walked through the prayer area where Catalina and himself had fought together a year previously, dried blood and dirtied bones littered the space around him, it smelled of dust and mold and charred flesh----his nose crinkled in disgust for only a moment. The columns were the only complete thing, everything else had worn and crumbled - their decay the only marker of time in a place of uncounted days. Light shone in from holes blown open caused by his last encounter, illuminating the relics of Cadmus' past, precious relics to his story. He walked through empty corridors that he had remembered once to be bustling with life and activity, the walls were cracked and faded---the once colored walls were dim almost as if reflecting the lifelessness that had consumed this place of worship and learning--- it was within these now vacant walls that Cadmus had learned the art of honor alongside the work of assassination, he had crafted the Godslayer in a room not far from here, this was where he was born.
The Twilight Assassin was created here.
Cadmus continued to walk through the corridors making a beeline for where he knew Ducrans quarters to be, her words still clear in his mind.
"We are born to change, to adapt to the world in which we find ourselves. The fire in us wants to mold the world into a more fair place. The water in us seeks peace and the path of least resistance. Yet to have real wisdom you need to learn how to blend the fire and water in way that brings a warmth that erodes the negativities of the world one tiny particle at a time."
He stepped into Ducran's room and set the bag with his armor down alongside the wall, stepping to the dresser where he knew she kept the armor. This particular suit was meant to be worn by the next leader of the Caste: Thomas Richards, but he had chosen a path different from the one that had been laid out in front of him. Thomas knew who he was deep down and therefore realized that his path didn't lie within the Caste any longer. Cadmus on the other hand knew not what he was supposed to do, he was torn between worlds he didn't fully know, and so in that time of weakness he leaned on the one true reality he was aware of.
He would place the Godslayer next to his armor and would begin arming himself in a new set of gear. His skin tingled at the contact of the chilling chain-mail, his arms adjusting to the added weight of gauntlets foreign to him. He pulled the mask over his face and the hood over it. He slipped his legs through the lower half of the suit and sat down before clipping his boots snugly to his ankles, flexing his foot to conform to the new change. Standing up Cadmus felt the magic of the Caste flowing within the armor, the armor of Divine Retribution had lied vacant, the Horizon Blades waiting for their time of use.
As if almost instinct Cadmus' palms opened----and with the reality-altering powers gifted to him by his powerful genetics, he called upon weapons that had lied dormant for thousands of years.