To See Beyond Sight

by Talon God Child

Part Seven - The First Hunt



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And so it was, that on the evening of the very next day, Arminius Corelsti stood in the center square of Ipira, atop the fountain, directing the drawing of a complex and intricate seal in salt upon the ground.

I've never been so frightened in my entire life! Arminius thought, a momentary thrill running through his body as he gave the instructions for another part of the seal to be drawn out for him. He grasped tight the handle of his blade, and momentarily slipped a hand into his coat to feel the strips of paper, awaiting his use. His father had taught him well, years ago, and now Arminius would use those lessons to make him proud.

"...And it should be done," Arminius called out at last, and received nervous responses. "Keep everyone inside tonight, and those whom are possessed should be kept away from all doors and windows."

"You got it!"

"This is the end of the line." Arminius smiled somewhat bitterly, for he knew that the sun was already beginning to sink in the skies. "Then let us begin! Go now, and whatever happens, do not come outside tonight!"

And so began the first hunt of Arminius' life... The moment when Arminius ceased to be a boy, and became the first Spirit Hunter.

As darkness claimed the land, Arminius began to chant rapidly, in a language who's name was no longer known by those who still dwelt within their flesh.

"Iku ser-tuus
Ahmei neru
Mii-en tu
Nen grat-ei

Over and over, Arminius chanted this, arms opened to the skies, his voice escalating with every repetition. His head was tilted back as he continued to chant, and his features were set with determination.


At last, that was it, the chant was complete.

Arminius opened his eyes as the seal drawn on the ground all around his vantage point at the top of the town square's fountain, burst with a brilliant, blue-white light. The light raced outward from its center, illuminating and etching every line, every detail of the sigil. This light filled the square, illuminating every inch, every detail, every crack... and enabling Arminius to see it all for the very first time in his life.

"Kir-iitoh!" he shouted, raising his blade to the skies. "By Seraphim's horn, I call to your world! Beyond death's gates I scream! I command those spirits who have no solace! Come to me! Come to me!"

From within their homes, the citizens of Ipira watched in awe and fear as Arminius, the crazy boy, the cursed one, performed magics of the likes none had ever dreamed possible.

From the farthest reaches of the town, the spirits came soaring towards the center square, Arminius' seal and words summoning them as swiftly as blood drew sharks. They came howling in rage and surprise, anger touched with fear of this fleshly being who knew their language, whose power they could hardly fathom and already knew to fear.

Arminius' eyes narrowed as he gazed out at the spirits rushing toward his seal, and began to draw sigils in the air with his blade, each illuminated in light as he moved on.

"Eru! Jas! Tan! Hae! Sur! Kit! Wae! Iru! Mae! Jii! Toh!" He shouted, pivoting and drawing a full circle of the sigils around himself before his blade pointed skyward once again. "Seal!"

The circle of sigils exploded around him, rushing out to the very edge of the seal he'd already placed around the town square, and the area was enveloped in a dome of silvery-white light. Those spirits who were closest were drawn screaming and howling against that barrier, locked against it as surely as if they were beings of flesh. The remainder, who'd barely managed to escape capture, screamed their rage at Arminius in tongues he'd never dreamed possible.

"By death's kneel be ridden,
May flights of Angels
Wing thee to thy
Final Rest!"

With that, Arminius leapt from the top of the fountain, blade in hand, and proceeded around the circle, running the blade through his spectral opponents as a knife ran through hot butter. They sickened him, these foul spirits, their hatred-torn appearances and their spite for him. They screamed obscenities as he sent them on, they spat and cursed him to the end of his days, and still he continued on impassively, until the last spirit of that circle had vanished into oblivion.

The remainder screamed at him in utter rage, but no, no more for tonight. Arminius felt a sharp pain at his temples, and actually staggered back a few feet, wearily leaning against the fountain and sinking to his knees. Exhaustion slammed into him like a wave, and he felt vomit rising in his throat, but fought it down mightily. No, no, he had to stay awake.

"...Curse all you like," Arminius hissed angrily. "Curse and scream if it makes you feel better. But tomorrow night, I'll finish the job, and you're never to plague this city again."

Dawn came early, that morning, and the townspeople found Arminius lying curled on his side, fast asleep and murmuring softly in his dreams. Claude and Jenna Gutien bore him back to their home, where he only awoke for a moment or so to pass on a few words to them.

"Again, tonight," he murmured somewhat casually. "But right now, I'm just a little tired."

And thus he lapsed into a deep, deep sleep, and didn't awake until an hour or so before darkness.

Arminius sighed heavily as he resumed his place at the fountain, taking the papers in hand shakily. He was exhausted, and weak from lack of eating, but there was no time for it now. He had to persist, to persevere, and drive these monsters from his town!

He heaved another sigh, which turned into a yawn as he nearly lost his balance. He knew that, tonight, all eyes in town would be on him, and the very idea was frightening. But no, NO! Everything would be fine! Everything was going to be just fine!

Darkness fell at last, and Arminius began to chant once again, the same chant he'd used last night. With any luck, his seal was still in place...

Wham bam, there it was, still glowing strong and ready.

He shouted his challenge to the spirits once again, a slight smile crossing his features as he gazed at the area around him in challenge.

"Come, come!" he shouted, jeering at them. "I fear nothing!"

Big mistake.

Arminius' eyes widened as they converged upon him suddenly, from all sides. His seal was meant to keep them back, to keep them away, and he hadn't cast his capture ward on them yet, but he soon realized what a mistake he'd made. Those whom he'd slain last night were mere cannon fodder, and these spirits were the real deal. These spirits halted at the edge of his sigil for but a moment, screamed out a curse in their own language, and shattered their way inside.

"Oh GOD!" Arminius screamed, leaping down and back from the fountain quickly, his papers clenched tightly in his hands. Gritting his teeth, and spreading them in a circle around him, Arminius levitated the papers into mid-air, and began to chant.

"Aru hika
No mau
Ii no
Maku shite
No min-ei

The papers flared to light, brilliant white, and with a short cry of effort, Arminius sent them flying out in a circle towards the spirits converging upon him. But he soon realized that, tonight, he was in way over his head. The spirits who were struck were only felled by three or four of the wards striking them, and the rest still converged.

Arminius shrieked and dodged to the side as a group of them lashed out towards him; nightmarish visions all of them. Several were missing limbs, others had large strps of flesh hanging from their bodies. Some were missing half of their faces, eyes hung from sockets, skulls were partially opened, and others were mutilated beyond Arminius' most horrid nightmares. Some were blackened, their flesh burned and blistered, and others were much as his father had once been, gutted; their insides hanging halfway out of their bodies.

He swung his sword again and again, warding them away from him and screaming all the while. These nightmare specters called his name again and again, each telling him what they'd like to do to him, each a new vision and promise of utter horror and agony. He screamed as he was struck by a few here and there; solid blows of icy cold agony...

Then one embraced him from behind, and Arminius let out a wordless keening cry at the top of his lungs, almost beyond the limits of human hearing. Another took hold of him, and soon, what seemed as several dozen all had their hands on his body, stroking him in their icy cold, feeding off his pain, his terror, his very life force and that which made Arminius a human being. Others coaxed their way inside of him, and his mind was assailed with visions of their deaths and the heinous deeds that many had wrought in life. And Arminius screamed, until he could scream no longer, only lie limp and yielding in their frigid embraces...

The Immortals had been convening amongst themselves, at the sight of an ancient, ruined bastion of a faith near to being abandoned after the Cataclysm, dining and drinking together, while comparing notes on how best to deal with this new world. They welcomed the newest member of their ranks, and simply made small talk.

Rather, they did, until Riekin uttered a sharp gasp and the wineglass in his hand shattered into a thousand crystal shards.

"Master Riekin!" the one named Lazarion cried, running to the man's side in a heartbeat and kneeling. "What is it! What do you see!"

"They have him..." Riekin whispered, his blue eyes wide and distant. "They have him and they don't want to let him go!"

"Master, what do you mean..." Lazarion thought hard for a moment. "That... that boy? Him?"

"They have him..." Riekin nodded worriedly. "And he will not escape them unscathed!"

It seemed an eternity as Arminius lay in the cold, unearthly embraces of the spirits. They caressed his body, spoke words of evil promises in his ear, gazed into his eyes; eyes only fit to see them forever, and wrought their havoc throughout his mind, dragging him to the brink of sanity. Tears had gathered in his eyes, and had frozen part of the way down his cheeks. His lips, tinged blue with the cold, were lightly parted as he struggled to make a single sound, and his flesh, blanched a pure white, was as ice to the touch. Every muscle was frozen; he was going to die here...

You're out of your league, Arminius.

His eyes managed to loll to the right, where a voice that he'd not heard in years addressed him. It was the voice of a child, the voice of a little girl who'd died violently because of him...


Stop being so weak, Arminius. The little girl stood just beyond the other spirits, gazing at him calmly, and coldly at the same time. You have a job to do here, and you're not getting it done.

But... I can't move... I can't...

You mean you won't, because you're so frightened that you've given up. She frowned at him, and stamped her little foot hard. WAKE UP, Arminius! Everyone's depending on YOU to save them! And you HAVE TO!

Depending on... me...?

Yes, you big stupid head! she snapped at him, waving her little hands in the air in frustration. My Mommy and Daddy are depending on you! And so is my new baby sister! YOU have to save them! YOU have to save EVERYONE! And you can DO IT!

That was all it took.

With a scream of anguished rage, Arminius summoned forth the last dregs of energy within his icy cold body, and forced them to flow throughout his body, driving away the leeching cold, driving away the unGodly visions, and driving away the spirits who whispered evils in his soul.

"I EXPELL THEE!" Arminius screamed, and those within his body were sent retreating with such vicious force that they vanished instantaneously.

"BY DEATH'S KNELL BE RIDDEN!" Arminius screamed, his blade lashing through the air in forbidden sigils, those his father had once begged him never to use unless there was no other choice. "FLIGHTS OF DEVILS SHALT WING THEE TO THY PUNISHMENT!"

With that, Arminius plunged his blade into the ground, and the spirits around him screamed in agony as they were ripped from the fleshly world, and sent hurtling into darkness eternal. Sara smiled at him as she watched him from just beyond the area of his sigil, the confines of his spell, before she closed her eyes and vanished from his view, forever.

Arminius' eyes were wide and blanker than they'd ever been, as he toppled to his knees, fervently gripping his blade to support his body. Sweat dripped from his forehead, yet his flesh was still so unGodly cold... So cold...

They found him the next morning, sitting silently on the edge of the fountain. His hands were folded in his lap, and he slowly blinked every so often.

Arminius' beautiful features were blank and almost without animation as he gazed off into space around him in silence. His white-blonde hair, paler than before, lay about his shoulders like silk, and his heavily lashed eyes bore nothing but distant exhaustion. His blade lay at his side, and even when someone laid a hand on his shoulder, Arminius barely seemed to feel it.

And so, Claude and Jenna bore him back to their manor, where he fell into a deep slumber the moment his head hit the pillow, and did not awaken for several days.


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To See Beyond Sight ©2003 by Talon God Child

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