Legend of Sanctuary: Lead From The Altar

Date: 2016-08-21 07:42 am (UTC)
taichara: (Desert's Jewelbox -- mail)
From: [personal profile] taichara
The seige was over -- the last remnants of that colossal battle no more than a flickering haze already being cleared away by Sanctuary's clear, swift winds. Now, all Saints still drawing breath were called to leave their perches up above, enter the metropolis proper, and see to their people's needs ...

... which was why Aries Mu was picking his way across a shattered arena instead of attending to his district. The Ram's sharp eyes had noticed a certain someone slipping away, and he intended to put a stop to it before it started.

Normally, you would be more circumspect.

Wanting to be found, Capricorn? Or simply too absorbed in your own troubles?

Shura may know Jumping Stone, but it was no match for teleportation when it came to traveling quickly. All Mu had needed to do was track the angles of his retreat and the answer was as clear as crystal; now he ducked around broken remnants of statuary and shattered arches to find Shura seated on a toppled pillar, head in his hands. Unlike the Aries Saint, he wore no Cloth, only dark trousers and a worn tunic, and was speckled from head to foot with pulverized stone.

Mu paused, blinking. Whatever he'd expected, this was not it; there was something wrong here, something off-balance. Shura's cosmo felt wrong, fluttering; so did his mind. A snatch of Earthly poetry whispered, unbidden, in his thoughts:

"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"

The image was not at all comforting.

Unnerved, Mu picked up his pace, and Shura jerked his head up at the sound of the chiming of his armoured footfalls on the stone. The Capricorn Saint looked haunted, almost lost, and before Mu could speak he was holding up his hand wearily.

"... I know. I know. You don't have to haul me into the city like a wayward Bronze, Mu, I'll be along soon enough."

"Then why did you not come with us immediately?"

Neutral tone, carefully-chosen words. Mu felt like he walked a tightrope -- there was something here that needed to be addressed, he knew this, but he was so tired and there was so much still needing to be done, he could not bring it to mind. His hand twitched; Shura caught the motion and coughed a bark of laughter.

"Play with your glasses, Mu, we both know you're uncomfortable."

Blink. If he hadn't wanted to before, he certainly did now. Turning just slightly away, Mu fidgeted until the light frames somehow seemed better settled. But, by Athena, that was not going to distract him from --

"So, Saint of the Ram, if I ask you to strike me down, would you do it?"

What.

Mu stared, dumbfounded. Shura lifted his chin, a shadow of his usual arrogance leaking through despite all.

"You heard me. All of this --"

-- a sweep of Shura's arm took in the destruction, the fallen archways, the shattered High Temple --

"-- is my doing. All of this is something that is rightfully laid at my feet. And so."

The gesture ended with Shura's head cradled in his hands once more, and enlightenment struck all at once. Mu stared, unblinking, as the mental bolt lanced through his core: Saga. Shura meant Saga. Somehow. He shook his head emphatically enough to tangle his hair over one milky crystal yoke-horn.

"No. That's foolishness, and we both know it. Now, listen to me."

Closing the distance, Mu did not stop moving until he was close enough to touch the other man. Not enough to loom, exactly, but barely a hair from it --

"What would you have done differently? You were told by the Holy Father that Aioros was a traitor. You had no idea Saga -- if that were really Saga at all -- would pin Aioros, just as you had no choice in the fact that he was clipped and struck down alongside him.

"What would you change, Shura? Would you have disobeyed? Do you wish you had killed him outright? All signs suggest that, somehow, the Holy Father was already replaced. We have no answers; we need to find them."

Shura looked up; Mu softened his tone, sighing, and reached out a hand. Mu ignored Shura's questioning glance and pressed on.

"We've all failed. All of us. And She believes in our ability to set it all right -- all of us.

"Please, Shura."

He waited, watching the trembling flicker, the look of doubt.

Then doubt turned to adamant, and his gauntleted hand was seized in a grip of steel. Mu, finally, smiled.

"Let's go."
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