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the Devil Never Even Lived.

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The venerable swordsman marched slowly up lacquered golden stairs with impetus, his conditioned legs and trained feet guiding him up the narrow pathway. If the God's acceded to his desires he'd have removed the staircase entirely, yet the candid precepts of a certain swordsman now unknown to the world gave him little choice but to continue. Enduring the languid journey up the then nameless mountain, the once golden-haired savant took the time to reflect on his life up until that point, both in its purpose and its importance. There was a time where he was infallible, lauded by all those across the kingdom of Kadia and otherwise, gifted with blood far different than any other born within the country's borders. While his childhood was filled with torment and sufferance the will that it allowed him to develop was unlike anything most would ever come to see. While he appeased the nobles and acted on the necessary objectives needed to move the kingdom forward, the Soulseeker of Greater Authority lived outside of their understanding. None of them had come to know the struggle that this man would witness, and the one who was truly capable of understanding was yet to live. The morbid horror of death and decay clang to the swordsman across continents as he traveled, hidden beneath rugged clothing and hidden behind a mask of enigma for all who would meet the calm traveler. 

What however was the purpose? What did he seek to accomplish or gain? In the beginning his search for a worthy adversary was born of his own internal pacification. With a disposition lost to madness he walked with poise, read books in the free time where an opponent was not present, and seemed capable of rational, intelligent conversation among others. With decorum did the swordsman conduct himself to the highest of social standards— and it was only because he was trusted to do so that he was allowed to travel the world and bring forth the gospel of the God-King all the same. 

Yet this was no parable. If there were one, it would be that life is purposeless, situational, and impetuous— and that the sole purpose of living was the unhinged, often unpredictable future. 

One cinnamon straw sandle after another stepped along the glistening stairs, while his luxuriant hair danced in the zephyrs of the mountain slope. The higher he climbed, the harder it became to breathe, however, it also felt as if his soul was grappled and slowly being lifted from his body. The fortitude physically, mentally, and spiritually it would take to reach his destination would be unlike anything he had ever experienced. Everything during the moment of his first death, the tears, the blood, the agony, and all things that came after— it was all prepared to culminate. His heart accelerated beneath his white haori as he lost himself in the adrenaline-inspired haze of retribution. 

Assidious was the trek until, an unknown time later, he arrived. The sun seemed to sit somewhere just above the mountaintop, expelling such light that it was almost impossible to look directly at the mountain itself. Golden gates of jade encrusted scriptures connected to insurmountably tall walls of gold covered all in sight, breaking free just as one reached the top. Each wall seemed adorned by an archway, open, with luminous trees of every color in the rainbow lining across hundreds of segmented walls. At a glance the destination seemed like more of a dream than it did reality, but when he reached the top, the swordsman stopped and reached into his haori, retrieving a scraggly parchment weathered by the sands of time for which he had endured. Unfolding it slowly he looked to the words within. 

“The beginning and the end rests with Einlanzer...find Remmington, or your soul will never know sleep. Finish what you started Evaristus” 

Demanding as usual, but Evaristus smiled nonetheless. Waterfalls spilled from the glittering landscape ahead, and a growing sound of wind and natural forces lured Evaristus soul hither. Folding the parchment he continued forth to his destiny, determined to follow the instructions given to him. Would Remmington be there awaiting him? Would he even be able to return to a world where his soul was tied to an inextricable order? There were thousands of questions, most of which a mind like his knew the answer to. The only question important was...

“Remmington..." he thought to himself silently. "I...I have weeped long enough. Soon my love...” 

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When Evaristus first embarked on his journey his ethos was not immutable. Even as a spectral of the afterlife did his dictum ever ring true. There is something to be said about a man who will obviate all but his sense of self to achieve that of which cannot be reached by ordinary means. The swordsman lived on in incipience, while dead, the Sicamedes School fostered an orphanage for which all children with nowhere to go would find themselves, training under the harsh regimen that made the legend himself. The white haired swordsman did the same humbly, albeit not in the world of the living. It was impossible to tell the passage of time, but Evaristus had reached ascendancy both mentally and spiritually in his time deceased. The change was palpable, even the aura about him. The sword soul was refractory to all which interacted with it, ever sharper, it was hard to uproot the supercilious seeds sown in his death— however it was that resolution and adaptability that brought him to the Garden of Ancients. With every step he took he could feel the presence of the Orokin in the very composition of the citadel.

Eventually the staircase would end, and gone was the swordsman in the blink of an eye, becoming a scattered spiritual image that seemed to fade instantly, though not nearly as fast as his reappearance from one hovering mass of uneven rock to the next. As a virtuoso of the sword it came with mastery of a variety of other tertiary skill sets, and acceleration was one that had become his watch work since his untimely demise. Some had developed similar methods of movement, "The Spirit Step", "The Soul Leap", and while Evaristus didn't have a name for his own, mastery of movement/foot techniques were an intense focus of his training. 

Arriving before the empyrean gates the swordsman stared into the sun. Not the sun in the sky, but the sun that was the citadel itself. To most, the incandescent light was enough to scorch the astral retina and scatter the body into particles, but to Evaristus it was simply hot. Enraptured by the ethereal beauty of the ancients creation, the gates slowly dissolved into flecks of iridescent ether, granting Evaristus passage within. Without a second of delay he began his trek forward, stepping into the garden left by the ancestors of a forlorn civilization. 

Several dozen buildings, each one story, of relatively moderate size were scattered throughout the golden city. Everything shined resplendently, made of the finest aetherium, appearing to have never aged. Regardless of the name, there was no garden so to speak, merely abandoned architecture all surrounding a single larger, more grandiose building within the center. Above the citadel itself rest an orb of light, perhaps a protectorate of the abandoned world as Evaristus could feel the life within it. 

"A Sentient...but how?" Evaristus reflected deeply, never stopping a single second in his mechanical amble towards the center of the symmetrically constructed city. 

"At last you arrive, Child of Eos," a voice flowed through his spiritual particles. 

"Eos?"

"I am Kagatsuchi...you have much to learn...you concern yourself with the trivial, but soon you will know better..."

Evaristus stopped and looked up to the mystical orb hovering several dozen meters above. Having incisively inspected the world above there was no informational determinations he could make with his spiritual sensory perceptions as refined as they were, and it seemed that the sentient got the last word, as its presence seemed to dissolve. Calling back to the primal would provide him no answers. What did he mean by his words? Evaristus wanted to dwell on them, but he had heard many words spoken the same in what was often a mundane act to sway his course of fate. Many wanted to wield the power of Evaristus for themselves, or destroy Evaristus so that he didn't become the threat that would be their demise. Many were persuasively powerful, but none could chip away at his willpower, the very same strength that forced him to step ahead once more towards the golden gates of the royal tomb beyond. Within was the answer he had been searching for, one that an uncountable amount of people had died to attain. Snapping his sky eyes from the orb he prepared for the inevitable.

The errant sword would prove himself worthy, or this was the end.  

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The soul vitiated by doubt was against the reformed precepts of the swordsman. With the whole spiritual prowess Evaristus had accumulated there was still no feasible way to have felt or detected any presence within the forlorn place: the blinding light itself burned through anything that would seek truth within. So it was to his surprise that he found a familiar face when he made his way to the chapel within the city's center. Descending from the sky the regal knight adorned by effervescing radiance was enough to confirm what he already knew: he was descended of them, far beyond the reaches of Valucre's understanding. Gracing the world below Evaristus welcomed him with a friendly smile while gesturing to him with his left hand in a wave. His right seemed bandaged and hardly moved, dangling at his side lazily as the errant vagabond approached the knight. 

"I expected you to heed the warnings of the prophecy foretold by the meek and follow in the footsteps of order..." Evaristus began, his smile growing, "It seems you have chosen another path, but one that still leads you to the light...you and I always were different..."

Evaristus and Judicael locked eyes, and while Judicael thought what he would as a celestial being, Evaristus could only reflect on the memories where both fought to protect the path they had chosen. Convictions and decisions made in a world with harsh dichotomy. 

"I know I am forbidden, but on this day I will pull the Einlanzer from the The Prometheus Circuit." 

Of the holy relics of Celestia derived from the forged hands of the celestials, the Einlanzer bore the most significance to a swordsman such as himself. They were each filled with insurmountable power beyond any being's conscious understanding, yet none of it mattered without the hands that would wield it. Who before had taken to wield one of the four weapons and for what purpose? Why were they even forged? Evaristus had no answers, even after reflecting on much the same throughout his own journey. 

"After I have completed my mission and been reborn, I will return to my world...I have finished business there." Evaristus finally stopped before the golden tablets segmented into one another, standing as twin gates to the citadel where his objective rest. 

"I suppose you plan to accompany me for a reason you cannot divulge? As usual?"

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