Affection by Noct | World Anvil

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Fri 10th Jul 2020 02:55


by Noct

"Please... Help me..." Those were my first words. Words full of deceit and vile, treacherous purpose. The world around me was hot, burning rays of white light blinding me nigh-permanently the moment I opened my eyes. An accursed sphere in the sky, dispelled all shadow below it, all safe haven for mortal man now gone, I lay on the scorching ground in a heap, shattered metal armor resting both atop my body and the surrounding area in smouldering pieces. My weapon was in a condition similar to my own, still there, yet unable to hurt anyone regardless of how much it wanted to. My flesh screamed fire, the blackened chest beneath my torn hirt betrayed signs of a terrible struggle. Overwhelmed by an ocean of emotions, a well of black ash mixed with bile rising inside my heart, I was only able to understand one thing; violence.
My words fell upon the ears of the source of this... Thrumming sound, vibrations on the ground following it, as what appeared before me was a giant predator in the form of man. It stared at me for a few seconds before approaching, foolishly casting a shadow upon me, granting me power. I urged it to help me, to come closer... As my hand weakly, yet silently, made for the hilt of my weapon that lay beside me. One clean strike and I will kill it. One clean strike and I will... Everything froze, as if a sudden winter covered the land and everyone in it in a cold, icy blanket. It was the predator before me, pouring liquid snow upon my body, revitalising me. As my eyes focused on its visage, I found out it was no predator at all. No, I was somehow instinctively aware of what a predator looked like, felt like, sounded like, acted like... This was a guardian, a wall given human form. As the man began treating my wounds I finally gave in to the pain and let myself fall into the embrace of my dreams.
When next I woke, I remembered only this encounter between me and the guardian, yet we were no longer under the scorching sun or the nightmarish forest. No, this time I found myself in a warm bed, in a shadowed room, my only company being a fresh set of clothes and a lit candle. Bandages covered the full, even if meager, height of my body, concealing wounds and scars alike. I sought out new company, that of a mirror, where I could observe the foreign form that stood before me; myself. Who am I? What am I? Why am I? This mask made of simple white porcelain, teases much of my appearance, yet it conceals just enough to keep my identity hidden from me. In a blind rage, confused and frustrated, I did the only thing that made sense to me at the time. With an injured arm, a bleeding fist, I destroy the mirror before me lest my image walks out of it and takes my place, replacing what I am with what I might become. The destruction garnered the attention of the guardian, who entered the room with worry painted on his face. This worry... It felt such a foreign concept to me, a worry not of his well being but of my own. A worry not for his life but of my own. A worry not of his safety but of my own. I wasted no time, I screamed bloody murder and tried to take him prisoner, while incoherently demanding of him to explain everything to me. My body was battered and broken, and my efforts were futile. He took me prisoner in his strong arms, yet there was not his might holding me in place. It was... Something else. Some unexplainable, alien power, draining my will to crush, kill and destroy him. I felt no magic, no trinket affecting me, no spell empowering him or prohibiting my advance. Confused and defeated, I let my tears soak his shirt as we both stood in silence. I once again fell prey to my dreams soon after, returning to the safety of darkness.
When next I awoke, the sounds of a busy household welcomed me. I held no interest in the tiny room I slept in no longer, thus I grit my teeth and walked off the pain, finding myself in a common room of sorts. I was greeted by the gaze of three humans, two of them different, yet one resembling them both. Indeed, the guardian was akin to both of the two different humans, yet his skin was brown much, matching that of the other male figure in the room. The guardian stood tall, a gentle smile and messy black hair befitting the innocence of a child rather than a large man. He slowly approached me, his presence making me feel safe to be in this new world, this new... Life. I had many questions, yet no answers for either me nor the guardian. The two other figures, revealed to be the guardian's parents, were a simple elderly couple, who betrayed no feelings of evil towards my presence, rather they were confused as to my... Everything.
"Good morning. You look much better." Said the guardian as he stood before me, looking down at me from his great height. "Come, mom's made breakfast." He said, taking my hand and leading me to the table, plates full of fruit and bread, milk and eggs awaiting to be our meal. I was very, very hungry. In fact, I was so hungry I felt like a giant, wolf-like humanoid was pounding at the walls of my stomach, demanding I feed it lest it devours everything, and everyone, around me. As we quietly sat down around the table, the guardian looked at me and asked the most dreaded of questions after introducing himself. "I'm Bellamy. What's your name?" I remained still, straining my mind to give me an answer... Yet everything was covered in a bright, burning light. As I began losing myself to a trance of my own creation, I uttered the only thing I was able to muster as an answer. "I... Don't know." Bellamy didn't press the issue. He simply smiled and said "Maybe something to remember later on. Let's enjoy breakfast for now, yeah?", then took a bite out of some bread and took a sip of milk from a mug on the table.
This artificial peace lasted for a few minutes, the quiet dispelled by the opening of the door leading outside the house. A woman's voice followed, a bored, fatigued tone, betraying the want to vacate the area as fast as possible. When she stepped into my vision, I was surprised to see she looked much like Bellamy... She was surprised to see me, though apparently not in the same way I was. "Who's that?" She said as Bellamy moved a chair next to him so she could join the rest of us. "We're figuring that out." His words barely finished, the woman grabbed something from inside a cupboard and made for the exit. "I'll be out." She exclaimed swiftly, leaving before anyone could even reply. "Where are you-" there was no reason to finish that sentence, Bellamy sighed and returned to his breakfast. My presence had already caused conflict, leading me to stand up with the intent to leave. "Don't mind her, she is just... Different." Bellamy said. It was strange. I felt like I shouldn't be here, but I wanted to stay. I l... Liked being here. I sat back down, I looked at the people sharing this table with me, my mouth opened and my voice followed. "Thank you.", the only words that made sense to me at the moment, filled with every ounce of gratitude I could find inside my heart. Bellamy laughed and shook his head, as he brought some of the fruit on the table closer to me so I could reach the plate with my own, much shorter hands. "You're welcome." We continued our breakfast in peace.
Once done, Bellamy stood up, walked over to a counter by the door and picked up his tabard, a sword and full-faced metal helmet. Putting on his gear felt very natural to him and it showed; it seems he was accustomed to combat, at least enough to put on armor quickly. As he turned to face me and his parents one last time before he left to begin his daily guard routine, he waved goodbye, prompting everyone to do the same, even me. "The room is yours until you feel better. Then, we can decide how to figure out who you are." His words remained in my ears for a moment as he smiled, his lips hidden behind his faceplate, yet with enough force to distort it ever so little with his facial expression. A face as strong as this must only ever appear one every thousand years, making me question if he was just a simple human. If that was not enough, his words made me feel at ease.
"We..." He didn't leave it up to me. He didn't leave it up to his parents. It was as though he was speaking for everyone, as if we were all part of the same being, something to do together for the benefit of all of us, even if it affects only one of us. I swiftly retreated to the room I woke up in, looking for clues. What was this feeling... This sense of calm? Of want to stay and not wander? What was the source of this sensation? From the few books I managed to appropriate inside this tiny room of mine, I managed to single out some words that seemed to resemble this feeling of mine. This feeling that suppressed my urge to crush, kill and destroy. I focused on them, driving away the madness that was trying to force its way inside my mind.