To See Beyond Sight

by Talon God Child

Part Eight - The Immortal Doll



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Life was so much easier, when you were a doll.

Arminius spent his day to day existence in a haze between what felt as life and death. He would rise every morning and clothe himself, then sit and wait for the rest of the household to awaken. He usually rose before the rest of them, because he rarely slept anymore. When they awoke, one of the maids would fetch him, and lead him slowly through the house towards the table, where he would sit and eat with the Gutiens, and then await in silence as the table was cleared. His closed eyes never opened when he did this, only remained closed, and his expression was always slackened and relaxed; impassive. They always remarked, in whispers, as to how much he resembled a doll. He'd been this way for two years now, only rousing himself to move and function at an entirely normal level when someone came to him from the outer-lying towns, and begged his assistance. Then he'd be gone for days, weeks sometimes, and would return as silent and distant as ever.

Otherwise, he would spend his days sitting in the gardens, or sometimes one of the servants would take him out and around the town, just so he could walk around. Both times, people would catch sight of him, and the haze of sound would be torn with whispers and hissing words. None of it made much sense anymore, but he didn't even care nowadays. Why should he?

He would dine with the family at mid-day, and then again in the evenings. He spent those sitting motionlessly on the window seat, gazing out blindly at a world that even in darkness would never accept him. No one cared about Arminius Corelsti. No one even wanted to thank him. No, they'd all rather just stay away and stare at him from afar; like the freak he was.

And so monotonous was this routine that, when there came a change, it was impossible not to notice.

Two years after the events that had rid Ipira of its spirits, a group of people came to call. They arrived one early summer morning, the aniversary of his mother's funeral, when the birds were singing and Arminius was lost as usual in the outermost reaches of his thoughts, awaiting the maid to fetch him as usual.

But this time, she didn't.

This time, no one came for him.

Ah, something is different, Arminius thought calmly, as he slowly rose to his feet and began to walk towards the door, hands outstretched all the while. Something is so earth-shattering that I am forgotten, apparently? Well, I am a doll, but I am not helpless.

He made his way to the stairs slowly, when the sound of voices stopped him.

"Arminius won't see anyone today, I can guarantee it." Jenna's voice sounded from below. "It's not a good day."

"He'll see us, Madame," a light, soothing voice replied.

"Yes, indeed he will." Another, much stronger voice, thickly accented with something Arminius couldn't place, sounded. "In fact, he's standing near the top of the stairs, just out of sight, listening to us speak of him."


"..." Arminius remained silent for a few, long minutes, before he took a few steps out and halted at the head of the stairs.

Riekin drew in a slight breath as the boy halted at the top of the stairs, and actually drew back his hood for a moment, gazing at the boy.

Arminius Corelsti was a radiant, beautiful young man of seventeen years, who looked a bit more like a young woman than like a man. His features were soft and gentle, childish and smooth, and his flesh was almost white he was so pale. Long, slightly waved hair, white-blonde and almost the color of moonlight, fell about his shoulders to his waist, and he was clad as a nobleman would have. A white shirt with a ruffled collar and sleeves, a black velvet waistcoat, a black overcoat decorated with gold edging, slim-fitting slacks tucked into black boots, and black kid leather gloves. His heavily-lashed eyes were closed, and his body was altogether slim, delicate, yet seemed to radiate an aura of power at the same time. He looked... well, like a doll.

This is why you said you were a doll, isn't it? Riekin thought to himself for a moment.

"Gentlemen, remove your cloaks. We're indoors, and it's a bit warm," Riekin spoke calmly.

Arminius slowly began his descent down the stairs, closed eyes never once opening as he navigated his way.

"..." He was silent as he reached the landing, and listened carefully for a moment, listening to the heartbeats of these men, and the rustling of cloth for a moment or so before he headed towards them.

Then he heard the sound of cloth being drawn away, and uttered a soft gasp as he suddenly registered light though his eyes were closed.

He opened his white eyes, to see coronas of blazing white around these strangers; eight in all. Two auras of light surrounded these men; auras of a vibrantly strong color each, and then the corona of white around that. Sheer power radiated and danced around them, and Arminius felt a twinge of fear rise within him, mixed with pure awe.

"...Who are you?" Arminius said softly at last, gazing at them calmly and distantly.

"Who are you..." one of them men said, walking closer to him. This man's aura was a vibrant blue, all around his body, that even bled into the white aura a bit.

"I see you in my dreams. You watch me, I watch you.

"You stand before me, now every night, and we stare at each other without words.

"Who are you?

"Why do you watch me?

"And will we ever meet?"

Riekin's expression was unreadable as he gazed at the young man, and spoke calmly.

"I prayed that we would, because you were exactly what you were meant to be, and so was I.

"I am everything.

"I am nothing.

"I am an Immortal.

"My life lies beyond time, and my birth was before the days of the Cataclysm, before man knew how to fight with guns and the weapons of destruction. My birth was during the original age of the sword, when the world was still young and when man was still very weak.

"I've walked the earth for thousands of years with my companions, yet eternally I am apart from them, for I was the first. My life is a tumult of desire to lead and desire to destroy darkness; a hellish blend of honor, glory, battle and loss.

"I am an Immortal, and I have sought you for many years.

"We are both the first of our kind, though you are much younger than I.

"I wish to guide you.

"To teach you.

"And I never walked away from you.

"It was you, who walked away from me."

"I see you in my dreams, and I know your face," Arminius whispered, at the same moment this other man did. "You come to me, and we stand and stare, and exchange no words. We merely regard one another."

"...My name is Riekin Vistani," the blue-aura man said, and Arminius nodded. "You knew that.

"I've been looking for you for many years, Arminius. Looking forward to meeting you."

"Why?" the youth inquired, walking closer to the man, white eyes filled with questioning.

"Because it is your destiny to walk the same path as the eight of us." Riekin's words rang true somewhere deep in Arminius' doll-cold heart. "We are hunters, Arminius; hunters of evil. Hunters of darkness, who seek to protect mankind and to serve them, at whatever the cost to ourselves.

"I am a hunter of vampires. The others hunt the demons, the werebeasts, the witches, the dragons..." Riekin reached out and laid a hand on Arminius' shoulder. "And you, who see the spirits, hunt them."

"...And you wish me to join you?" Arminius breathed, removing his gloves and closing his eyes as he reached up and took Riekin's hand gently. He drew in a shaky breath as visions danced through his head, of past and futures to come.

He saw himself, standing at Riekin's side, directing a legion of men and women who were just like him. They saw spirits, they heard their ghostly promises and threats, and they wanted to serve him to the fullest. They could see, and they gazed at him with love and adoration. He saw himself and seven others, standing at Riekin's side and directing legions of proud, noble warriors against the darkness, and he saw himself standing at Riekin's side as a proud new country was formed, devoted to the tenets of peace and justice eternal.

"...Eternity..." Arminius whispered. "Our empire would last forever..."

"...Yes." Riekin nodded, his tone awed by Arminius' words.

"An empire eternally devoted to peace, populated by those who know how to smile and never have to weep... and protected by the strong, noble hunters, who are sworn to uphold the light and oppose the darkness." Arminius did something he hadn't done in two years.

He smiled.

"For this, I give myself to you." He gazed at the others. "I am Arminius Corelsti, the Hunter of Spirits, and your brother in arms."

"I am Lazarion Taranes." Another, with a vibrant, violet aura stepped forward. "The Hunter of Demons, and I accept you with open arms."

"Pluth Vance." The one with the vivid orange aura made an enthusiastic gesture. "Hunter of Werebeasts, and your brother in arms!"

"Father Thomas Corem." This one, with an impressive emerald aura. "Hunter of the Witches, and your companion on this path."

"Shotou Murasa," Another stepped forward, his aura a torrential midnight blue. His voice was accented and soft; he was from the East. "Hunter of the Greater Dragons, I welcome you, brother."

"Tessa Lourdes," A woman, with a rich brown aura. "Hunter of the Golems, embrace my new brother."

"Theo Loomas," Another, this one with yellow. "Hunter of the Mutants, welcome you."

"Corlath Toin." A rich, almost golden aura bearing man spoke. "Hunter of the Lamia, welcome you as my brother."

"Tadatsu Shirau," This one's aura was red and powerful. "Hunter of the Lesser Dragons. I welcome you."

He was to leave the Gutien manor, and Ipira behind forever, the following morning.

Arminius Corelsti sighed as he packed the few things he would be taking with him, while Riekin sat silently on the window seat and watched him. The others were out in town, making all the necessary arrangements for his departure.

"...You are the first of your kind, you said." Arminius spoke suddenly, as he fastened the last clasp of the bag that held his few possessions. "What did you mean?"

"I am the first hunter, and the first Immortal." Riekin shrugged slightly, a gesture that went unseen.

"And I am the first of mine, I take it." It was a statement, not a question.


"..." Arminius nodded and narrowed his eyes. "You will make me as you are?"


"I see."

And then, there was no more conversation between the two.



"Tomorrow." Arminius spoke firmly, with a strength that surprised Riekin. "I wish the people of this town to see the future of the boy whom they've alienated and scorned."

"...As you wish, so shall it be."

And so, that evening, Riekin and the others convened calmly in the center of the town. Everyone was milling about; had been all day. The town was abuzz with talk of these mysterious strangers, and the rumors had it that Arminius was going to leave with them, forever. He was to join them, in some strange journey, and tonight before they left they would supposedly perform a magical ritual to bind Arminius with them.

And so, as darkness fell, the eight strangers and Arminius gathered in a square, where they'd assembled and lit a huge bonfire. Arminius stood in the center of these men as they formed a circle, with space left for a single man.

"Time flows like a river," the one with white hair intoned in commanding voice. "Ceaseless in its flow, unchangeable... or so it seems.

"Then there are those who are as rocks against that flow, withstanding the tests and pushes of time's flow.

"Eight we are, nine we shall be.

"For another, now, we shall stop the time. Around him it flows, unchanging and unyielding he shall remain."

They all rose their hands skyward.

"Welcome our brother into the fold," they called in firm voices, the hands of the white-haired one beginning to glow a vibrant white. "Let him stand as a rock in the river of time, let him never yield to the passage of time! Unchanging, unmoved he shall remain, and we shall be the strength that binds him!"

The leader formed that light into a small, brilliant orb, and handed it to Arminius.

"Accept this, and be as one."

Arminius caught the orb in his cupped hands, and held it to his heart for a moment.

"I accept this, and am now as one."

"The circle of nine is now complete. Nine is the symbol of balance and purity, a symbol of hope for humanity." The lead, Riekin, spoke firmly. "We are eternal, the nine of us! Eternally we shall stand, as angels and devils fall at our sides, we shall prevail!"

He took Arminius' hand, and the two stood before the fire, gazing into it for a few long moments.

"Enter the flames, and leave them reborn."

Arminius took a single deep breath, and leapt into those flames, and those who'd gathered around the square uttered a cry of fear and surprise.

But those flames didn't touch him, nor did they even singe the hem of his cloak. Arminius emerged once more, unscathed, eyes shining with pride...

And to his eyes, and the eyes of his companions, ablaze in their same white aura.

"I am Arminius Corelsti!" he called out proudly, his features alive and alight for the first time in two years.

"I am the First Spirit Hunter, and First of the Seers!

"I am the Visionary!

"I am the Balance!

"And I am a Symbol of Hope to Humanity!"


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To See Beyond Sight ©2003 by Talon God Child

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