Categories > Games > Final Fantasy X > Red and Black

Sapling Bends

by storyless 4 reviews

Auron at 14, part 2.

Category: Final Fantasy X - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Erotica, Romance - Characters: Auron - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-04-20 - Updated: 2006-04-20 - 1563 words

The Final Fantasy X characters belong to Square-Enix.


Part 3. Sapling Bends

Ikvan stepped forward, forearm still crackling with leftover static from the powerful thunder spell as he approached Auron's prone body. Had he overdone it? Embarrassed, he glanced over the naked body only long enough to confirm he was still breathing. Breathing, but thankfully, solidly unconscious.

Ikvan felt his heart tremble in frantic staccato runs as he considered his situation. Auron's...transgression was unmistakable. He wasn't sure that his sneaky high-level Thundaga spell was the sagest way to deal with it but it was certainly too late to reconsider. He exhaled loudly and slowly. By Yevon, had he not warned Father Milo against taking him in? At twelve, the boy should have gone to an orphanage --raising a child was no duty of a monk. Ikvan was uncomfortable with his sect's usual recruitment age of sixteen, let alone twelve. Far, far too young. The boy was lucky he was in Milo's favor, for Ikvan himself failed to see the "the clear makings of a legendary warrior" in the spare and pasty form on the bank.

Perhaps it would be best, Ikvan mused, if he simply left the child alone --to awake on his own or possibly to be gradually dissected by the lowly scavenger fiends native to this area. If only. Alas, he could not risk the possible ruin to his career over something so petty, despite how little the boy impressed him. He must deal with the situation. And thus, he would.

As he cast the Life spell, Ikvan turned his back to Auron, this measure of dignity more for himself than that of Auron. Ikvan heard a small grunt. "My...Lord?"

"Dress yourself." Ikvan ordered curtly, without turning his back.

In a confused and panicked obedience, Auron slapped clumsily across the stream. He was under the lion's paw now.

Relaced, rebuckled and reclothed, Auron sighed a quiet and quaking sigh in an attempt to gather himself. "Come here, Auron." The lion's ears were as sharp as its claws and of an equal threat.

Ikvan turned to face Auron as he approached. The lion's breath was humid and smelled of the blood-tang of the thousands of kills to come before.

Ikvan was awkward and even slightly intimidated as the boy trembled pale before him. No duty of a monk. He steeled himself. "Auron. Selfish pleasures have no place in the life of a Warrior Monk."

"Sir." Auron acknowledged soberly with a none-too-easily summoned stoicism. He bowed his head, suddenly grateful for this act of subjugation that allowed him to avoid eye contact.

"You know this, Auron. Or do you so easily forget two years of morning prayers by the evening? Give me your eyes." Auron obediently looked up into the face of his superior brother. Ikvan stepped closer, forcing Auron to crane his neck back oddly to maintain the ordered eye-contact with the larger man.
"As my flesh resides under the Spiran sun..." Ikvan began the familiar dawn-time incantation.

"May I never disregard thee, Yevon." Auron continued the litany quietly, bowing his head. His shoulders and neck ached vibrantly with the same profound guilt and shame that congested his throat. Or was it simply the remainders of the Thundaga spell? Auron was not sure.

"Louder. And look at me. A true monk has nothing to hide." Ikvan commanded. "My life is merely a loaned tool..." He prompted the next verse.

"May all my deeds and thoughts honor it." The ache was radiant and pumping further into his extremities with each quickening pump of his heart. He swallowed hard against his regret-clouded throat.

"All that I am and make is yours..." Ikvan held the boy in an unblinking and vice-like stare.

"My unlikeliest triumphs are merely humble offerings." He meant it. He meant it all, badly. Each word was barbed and carved a new wound into Auron's flesh as it made its way into his spirit, and Ikvan's glare salted each open wound. This was no longer the worn-out prayer to which he was accustomed, it was a volley of sacred oaths. Each word became a weighty promise.

"Should I take pride in victory..."

"May I fall painfully and honorless in battle." The promises that flared from each word were forcing their way into the innermost him...becoming a part of his being, parasites of the spirit. His voice began to quaver and buckle under the invisible assault.

"My only heart's joy is exalting thee..."

"Every fiber of the body is for Yevon." His words came out in hoarse and broken barks. Auron's rust-colored eyes gazed beyond Ikvan's slate greys, his vision softening.

"My blood is my covenant to thee..."

"My death shall be my final prayer." Auron concluded raggedly as his voice shattered in an elaborate spiderwebbing pattern. Auron might have cried had he the voice. It hurt, to contain a soul so full of heavy promises and guilt.

"If you want a life of pleasure, this is not the path you should be following." Ikvan addressed Auron calmly. "I will be returning to the temple now. If you choose to return, consider your path carefully. Another such transgression will result in dishonor."

Auron gaped soundlessly as his superior disappeared beyond the curve of the ravine. Dishonor? He wasn't even completely sure what he was doing when he did it, but it was such an offense to suggest dishonor? Dishonor led to death, bluntly. Dishonor meant excommunication and death was the only proper penance for an excommunication. An excommunication without such a penance would stain not only oneself, but all relations to come before and after. It would be easier not to return, now.

And yet. He was a monk. He was bound to this life and had been since before he had made his way to Bevelle, he was certain of that. He was as sure of it as his own name. It was his only reality. He had been led to this road.

He remembered when he was a child, his parents bickered -like many parents, over their son's future. They were good and real people. Poor but self-sufficient. They ran a sword shop out of their hut, his mother handling the business affairs and his father smithing the blades.

His mother was a bright woman who fostered Auron's promising intellect with endless volumes of Spiran history and manuals of fiend behavior. He would read them, and later, she would quiz him with the obscure --the poisons attacks of a common Malboro or the best guards against a dark flan. And he remembered. As stupid as Auron often felt amongst his older brethren, he always beamed with a secret smile when they consulted him in the battlefield. Because his mother had hoped to see her son as a scholar someday, Auron had a better knowledge of common fiend behavior and weaknesses than most of the more experienced monks.

His father was a stout and solid man who had regretted not joining the Crusaders in his youth. He had a thirst for adventure and strong Lucan nogs. During the slow business months of winter, Auron and his farther would sit together in the workshop watching cheap documentary battle spheres and furtively sharing a not-so-cheap vintage nog. Auron would sip from a tiny thimble of a tea-cup while his father took great swigs from his massive ceramic jug. Auron didn't care for the sour nog but he treasured those tranquil days with his father. When Auron was only six, his father had forged him a thin, light katana and they would mime the battles from the spheres. He learned the thrill of fighting and the rudiments of handling a blade. His father believed the crusaders were the true clergy of Yevon, giving their lives so villages and families would flourish against the shadow of Sin. Naturally, he wanted his son to join their ranks.

He liked those memories of them. But they were not his last memories of them, and those unspeakable and horrifying last memories -the day that Sin attacked their home-village and removed it from the Spiran map, were the ones that brought him to this life.

When Auron left the ruined town to live in Bevelle, he only took two things with him, his father's beloved nog jug and the elegant carved-stone beads of his mother's, the only jewelry Auron could ever recall her wearing. He hung them at his hip as he journeyed to Bevelle. Even today, they were the only possessions he could claim as truly his own -even his shoes belonged to the temple.

He missed them terribly and he could not risk to dishonor them in any way, be it though cowardice or excommunication. He would return to the temple. He was a warrior monk and that is where warrior monks belonged. Furthermore, he deserved his punishment. He deserved the humiliation. He deserved the secret, scornful and judgmental whispers he excepted to be waiting him upon his return. He must pay penance. And so, still terribly dwarfed and weighted with remorse and leaden oaths, Auron began to march up the ravine.

---Chapter Four Teaser---

So that was it. That's how it's done, Lulu thought wistfully. Rather unceremonious and graceless. She looked over at her snoring bedmate and wondered how he could sleep. Half hoping he would awake, she brushed her finger tips through his hair.
Sign up to rate and review this story