Nothing New Under the Sun

Chapter 5 - If I could, I would turn my eyes away from the sun.

© 2007 by Ghaidin

This page was last modified: 2007/04/02


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Time flies as it always has, as it always will. Years pass and Camus grows, as do my worries. His mother was right all along; every time the sickness comes he grows more unlike himself, colder and more detached. And when the illness leaves him, he does not return to his old self.

He seems less concerned about a great deal many things, he does not even ask about Martin or his mother as he did –even after the death of the other child, he does not run to meet me when I come back to Siberia from a mission, asking if I'm all right. Nowadays, when he's not training, he mostly just sits in the white plains. What goes on in his mind then I do not know, because he won't tell and he's unreadable to me now.

I still have long conversations with him, about kindness and love, about all the things that make our lives worth it. I know he listens, but does he understand? I want to believe my teachings get through to him, for now and then there is still softness and passion in his blue eyes.

I see Aquarius in him, stronger by the day, and I remind myself that my duty is to provide the next generation with the strongest Cup Bearer I can. And that he is, beyond my wildest dreams, the strongest saint I could have ever trained.

* * *

It's mid February. Our cabin is deep in snow; the slight warming that passes for spring many months away still. I sit atop my favorite hill, overlooking the vast frozen ocean when I hear him approaching, wet, heavy footsteps on the ice. I stand up and turn around, he's grown –not a man still, but definitely not the kid I adopted.

I ask and he replies the fever is gone. I look closely to see what's been lost this time around, but I can see nothing amiss in the way he carries himself, his eyes are the same frozen pools they were yesterday. Maybe there is nothing else to be lost?

An uncomfortable silence sets between us, and when I ask him what he wants he raises his cosmos. The Aquarius Cloth appears a few meters away from us, perched on a nearby iceberg. I can't but respond to the challenge, and so I do, claiming what is mine. The golden box opens, and we both stare at the shiny metal statute.

"It's time, then." My voice sounds detached, but I wonder if it really must come to this. It wasn't so with my own master, but then, many things weren't.

"So it seems. It's time"

If there is any emotion in him, any doubt that he may come to his Cloth only by challenging and defeating me, he does not show them.

I stretch my arms wide and out, calling on my power and –even without my Cloth- I can feel Aquarius' power filling me. I know Camus hasn't seen the extent of my power before.

"One last chance to back out, boy"

I see him flicker at the unusual harsh tone, but he composes himself quickly.

"I don't have any desire to back out, master."

And this time I wonder if it's a masquerade or his true self, taking over the last pieces of the child I loved.

* * *

He throws away the fur that covers his body and jumps up to meet me, but the higher ground is mine, as are the years of experience in fighting that he lacks. I kick him hard in the head, and he falls back at the base of the hill. Small splinters of ice fly around as he stands up again before even fully touching the ground.

I must admit his speed is amazing; I can hardly follow while he circles around the hill trying to find an opening in my defense. He comes again, and I can't block him out so easily this time. We both jump from one hill to the next, exchanging blows as small icebergs collapse around us. The ice below us is suddenly tinted red, and I'm surprised to realize the first blood is my own. He's good.

I easily deflect his diamond dust and the punch he hides behind it, though I doubt he can say the same thing about the kick to his right knee. He falls, half kneeling, and I hear his labored breath as he struggles to raise and bring up a defense stand before my next attack hits him with full force, to no avail. Now it's not just my blood that freezes on the icy rocks.

He staggers back, regaining his space and regards me coolly, as if he had never seen me before. I recognize the attack as soon as he readies himself, and I can't believe he thinks he can defeat me with the Aurora Execution. That is our most powerful attack and one he only mastered very recently, he cannot possibly believe he will defeat me with it.

I feel a pang of regret as I raise my arms mirroring his position. Camus, my dear child, is going to be frozen forever in this barren land. I wish there was another way.

Our attacks collide midway, and the spectacle is truly one to behold. The northern lights themselves seem to have fallen upon the land while the meters that separate us ignite with sparks.

I open my mouth in shock as I realize there are people in the lights. My master, Thomas, Anna –my beloved sister-, and many others whom I loved over the years and are now unreachable to me. Even Camus' mother stares back at me from the dancing flames of the lights.

I wonder if Camus sees them as well. I look at him and our eyes meet over the flows of powers that struggle between us.

"Do you see them, Camus?"

"I do. What does that matter?"

I can't accept the indifference in his words, the utter lack of compassion. Now I know he must be pretending, for no human being could ever be so cold. I press on, while pushing my cosmos further.

"So you knew your mother was dead, and you..." I wasn't entirely sure what I could say next, what may bring the child I knew back and do away with this uncaring person standing in front of me, but there was no need. He dismissed the issue with a shaking of his head, and –as calmly as if he were speaking of the weather- he interrupted.

"That has always been your weakness, master. I assure you, I won't make the same mistake."

The air gets icy around us; the winds blow so strong that I wonder if the air itself will freeze. His eyes themselves seem to grow colder, and when he speaks again it is in the coarse voice I heard so long ago.

"You are not worthy of me"

My surprise anew, I gaze through the lights that dance between us –beyond the faces of those I loved. I can make out Camus and a strange shape looming over him, like a ghost. Somehow, the ghost seems to me more familiar than the boy himself, and when I hear words again, it's the ghost who speaks –even though it's Camus' voice he uses.

"For generations you have denied me, the very core of who you are. No more. You are not worthy"

The equilibrium between our attacks is broken, Camus suddenly the dealer of a power I had never known before. The northern lights are pushed towards me, inch by inch, and the ball of light soon engulfs my body.

I should be in pain, but the tingling sensation is too strange. I know pain and this is not quite it. I wonder if I'll meet my master in the lights, and if we'll dance together through eternity. My eyelids feel heavy, but I still fix my gaze on my pupil –who is now receiving the embrace of the Aquarius Cloth for the first time.

The door to the other world opens, and yet I cannot walk through it. Something is keeping me behind, and I'm suddenly very afraid. The light around me is no longer soothing, and I discover a sound in the vibrating calling of the Cloth that I had never heard before -

"The great peril of our existence lies in the fact that our diet consists entirely of souls"

My spirit is dragged towards it, and I see the spirit of the Cloth embrace Camus, whispering secrets to his ear.

"The great peril of our existence ... entirely of souls"

I want to scream, to warn my dear child of the power he has unleashed, the mythical strength of the Aquarius Cloth and the demonic spirit that resides within it.

"The great peril..."

Almost a ghost myself, I can see the spirit reaching into Camus' chest, to steal away whatever emotion he hasn't managed to snatch away from him during all these years of careful honing and preparation.

"...our existence..."

I see the door in the northern lights, and the hands of my loved ones stretching towards me. I see my master's encouraging smile and Camus' mother pleading tears. With the last bit of my strength and will I focus the remnant of my cosmos on them, and the last scraps of my life manage to create upon my child's heart a frozen coffin of love. As I disappear, engulfed by the revengeful spirit of the Cloth, I wonder if there will ever someone who will revive this last bit of him, or whether the revived curse of the Ice Saint will go on forever.

"...entirely of souls"

Light comes up over the hills and shines on the new Aquarius Saint. For the first time, there is something new under this raising sun, the spirit entrapped in the Aquarius Cloth has managed to break free -and he has brought with him the ancient power to rival the sun.

The End


Disclaimer

Saint Seiya is the property of M. Kurumada, Toei and possibly some others. No infringement or disrespect is intended by this non-profit, non-commercial amateur work of fan fiction, which is not published for profit or material gain. The author and the posters have no intent to infringe any intellectual property rights held by the owners of existing copyrights in Saint Seiya or its derivative works


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