To See Beyond Sight

by Talon God Child

Part Six - A New Path



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Then again, sometimes, one just had to get even.

Two years, two years since his mother's death... since the Gutien family had taken him into their home. It was a pity maneuver, to better themselves in society, but it had certainly done nothing for his social life. On the contrary, it seemed to have had an even more detrimental effect. Arminius had gone ahead and taken his exam early, and had exited schooling due to the fact that, when it all came down to it, having ten feet of cleared space all around one during a school day was more than anyone could willingly handle. He was swiftly becoming bitter, though he'd never admit that to anyone if he could avoid it.

Arminius sighed as he gazed out the window of the empty house. They'd gone to church, and as usual, he'd managed to weasel his way out by claiming he had too many memories of his mother there. He hated church, hated God, and hated the world in general because his mother had been taken from him, and those who would see would never understand how he felt. The only solace in his life had become Father Damon, but even then, things were difficult. And Father Damon had been busy for the past few weeks, when a strange malady had come over the people of Ipira. The afflicted would speak in voices not of their own volition, their flesh went ice cold, and their bodies would seize uncontrollably. No one knew what was causing it...

But Arminius had a damned good guess.

For as long as Arminius had been alive, spirits had been strangely active in Ipira. He couldn't fathom why, but his own father had once spoken of a dark history, that hovered like a cancer just beneath the surface of Ipira's bright countenance. Spirits are drawn to it like a flame, he'd said, and their presence urges the darker side of the human nature to manifest. That's why there was so much violence in Ipira, and that was why there were so many spirits of murdered townsfolk.

...I wonder... if I learned what happened here, could I stop them all? Arminius mused slightly. I overheard Madame and Master Gutien; seven more children fell victim last night. How long can I allow this to go on?




He leapt to his feet, from his vantage point on a window seat, eyes opening to gaze at an assembly of spirits that had become far too familiar a sight to his useless eyes.

"GO AWAY!" he shouted violently, swinging at them with his bare hands. "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

You'll never be free of us, Arminius... The torn woman smiled horridly.

We'll always be with you... Josh grinned darkly.


Let us embrace you, Arminius...

Come to us...

Join us...

Help us...

We want you...


He sat huddled in the corner, by the time they returned that evening, arms wrapped around his knees, eyes staring blankly at the rest of the room.


"... I'm not Arminius..." he said coldly, the voice of a murderer that had died years ago. "I am no one - " The voice of a woman.

"I am everyone." A child, devilish with mirth.

"And I am not alive." Another man, this time with a thick accent.

"And I will not rest." Another woman, this time sleek and sensual.

"What the Devil - "

Then his eyes rolled back, and Arminius toppled to the ground, his body beginning to seize uncontrollably. They leapt to help him, crying out as they felt his flesh, as cold as ice.

"He's the same as the others have been, all over town!" Master Gutien, as he was called, cried fearfully.

"What do we do - "


Arminius bolted upright into a sitting position quite suddenly, eyes wide and filled with rage.

"THAT IS IT!" he screamed. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH!"

"Arminius!" they cried fearfully, as he struggled to his feet.

"No more! I won't stand for it anymore!" he screamed, lurching on down the hall towards his room with the pace of a fevered madman. "You'll pay! You'll all PAY!"

Master Gutien followed the boy quickly, his eyes wide with fear. Arminius had reached his room, and was throwing things from his dresser drawer furiously, searching for something.

"Arminius, what's the matter!" Gutien yelled fearfully. "What are you talking - "

He fell silent as Arminius withdrew something wrapped in a long piece of soft gray velvet, as the boy removed the velvet to reveal a long, hiltless blade about twice the length of the boy's own arm.

"I'm not going to stand for it anymore," Arminius repeated coldly, turning to face Gutien calmly, lucidly.

"The village is plagued, Master Gutien, by the spirits of the dead," Arminius informed him coldly. "They're drawn here, by this town's own dark history."


"I know not what that dark history is, sir." Arminius closed his eyes for a moment, steeling himself. "But I must find out!

"You are an elected official, sir! You must get me to the town's archives! I must be allowed to search them!"

"Arminius, you speak madne - "

"Madness? Yes, well, perhaps I do." Arminius smiled eerily. "Or, perhaps in light of the events in our town, I'm the sanest person you currently know.

"Spirits plague this town, Master Gutien, Manager of Records of Ipira." Arminius' voice was... different, somehow. Older, stronger, yet with an underlying instability that chilled Gutien to his very core. "And I can stop them, because I can see them! But I must know what draws them here, and I must know why they appear in such abundance!"

"...You can stop this terrible blight on our town?" Gutien whispered shakily.

"I believe so."

"...Come then." He took Arminius' hand with a sudden vigor. "We'll do it!"

Arminius spent the entire night there, in the archives of Ipira's town hall, scanning through volume upon volume of the town's history. Master Gutien (though he'd asked Arminius to abandon that title, and call him Claude) was at his side all the way, scanning through and searching with the boy for exactly what had happened in this city. It wasn't easy; volumes in Ipira were kept in a strange order, as per the orders of the mayor and his lackies, whom Arminius never stopped hearing ill will towards from everyone else in Ipira.

"H-here!" Claude stammered suddenly, and Arminius gazed blindly towards him. "Try this one!"

The boy received the book, large and heavy, and ran his fingers over the cover quickly. That Which Must Be Kept An Account of the History of Ipira, Unbiased And In Whole the Truth.

"What..." Arminius whispered. "So, apparently no one else knows the whole, unbiased truth?"

And with that, the boy opened the book and began to read.

Most of the book was dry, stuffy old nonsense, about the town's formation and the land grant from their vampire lord, et cetera. It droned on for several dozen pages about this election or that official's campaign and it was honestly boring, until Arminius scanned down the title of the third chapter.

"That Which Shall Be Hidden and Remembered..." Arminius breathed, narrowing his eyes slightly as he began to read once again.

There, it all came to pass.

"...In the early days of vampiric rule, when the dark nobleman waged war amongst themselves with their human subjects as soldiers, Ipira volunteered itself as execution grounds for enemy forces." Arminius read aloud softly. "The vampire lord, Duke Yemarov, commended his subjects and their eagerness to serve him, and the town received many a land grant as it gained infamy for its unjust executions of the innocent, unwilling subjects from other fiefdoms..."

"My god..." Claude whispered shakily. Arminius fell silent, reading on quickly. Now they were getting somewhere...

"Here's another bit." Arminius shivered slightly. "During the Great Witch Burnings of 23 A.C., Ipira was again used as execution grounds, as well as the center for judgment in the area.

"It was here that seventy thousand accused witches met their deaths..." Arminius shivered uncontrollably as he read the next line. "Whether those deaths were justly deserved or no was never an issue raised before the town fathers... Those who arrived in Ipira never left it alive..."

"...Enough." Arminius shook his head at last, pushing the book aside. "I'd rather not read anymore. That's enough on this damned town's bloody past!"


"Claude, if you'd be so kind as to acquire a few things for me, for tomorrow night?" Arminius narrowed his eyes as he spoke. "Salt, most definitely, and at least a hundred slips of paper two inches across and six inches long."

"What - err... certainly!"


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