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 The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]

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Rawk
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Subject Post 1PostSubject: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyTue Dec 10, 2019 2:13 am


The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] U5BtpSP




Cyrus


The Wise Lord had, for some time now, been rather preoccupied to say the least. He could not say he was especially surprised by the latest loss the Vandenreich had suffered, and in fact he had been rather prepared for it. All it had meant was that Cyrus had been mostly preoccupied maintaining the more clerical duties that his role as the Sternritter Grandmaster demanded, keeping his ear to the ground rather than stepping into anything directly. Now, however, he had found someone worth approaching.

Cyrus strode confidently through Africa for one that had challenged the King of Vastime. Of course, the energy he had displayed at that time had been an open declaration of his divinity, unburdened and free of any restraint. Now, as he walked the streets, far from its capital, he was simply any other Quincy. He was not here today to make any demands, only to speak with one he suspected might have listened to him.

It was very true that Cyrus hated the idea of heroism. As such, he sought to test this shinigami, learn more of his ideals. If something so base and meaningless was what drove the man, then he would simply let the man be. But if what he found was something more promising, something truly worthwhile...

Well, Cyrus did not wish to get ahead of himself. For now, he simply continued to wander the streets. He had gained more than enough information through the Sternritter's intelligence network to know who he was looking for, his cold eyes watching carefully for his appearance. Blonde hair, hazel eyes. Name: Laskt Matiche.




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Subject Post 2PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyTue Dec 10, 2019 8:37 pm


Honorable Vizard



Laskt Matiche


The Vizard Knight sat quietly atop a rocky plateau, his legs crossed and his eyes closed. Laskt was currently clad in his Gigai, wearing a simple short-sleeved shirt and shorts, his feet bare. His only real nod to self-protection was the smooth metal Gikon lying on a rocky outcropping a foot or so a way, lightly rolling in the breeze.

Upon seeing such a scene, one might logically think that the man was either completely insane, or had come to such a place in search of some sort of spiritual journey. Laskt supposed both were at least partly true, if looked at from a certain point of view. To put it simply, he had come to this place in the middle of nowhere to simply think, free of any interruptions or distractions. He wanted to consider his next actions as far as his inner spirits went, and how best to address them without any outside pressures to distract him, and there was nowhere more free of distractions then the depths of Africa.

Well, it was almost free of distractions.

“You know zis is just stalling right, oh mon noble imbécile? You have been ignoring moi for days, how much longer do you zink you can keep moi locked out of zat body of yours. How much longer can you avoid your zirst for war?” Chikai’s voice sounded in his mind once again, his voice, as always, harshly mocking. Laskt ignored him, clenching his hands to still the tremors, resisting the urge to snap back at his inner darkness. He needed more time, he…wasn’t ready yet.

Thankfully for the increasingly unstable Vizard, a second distraction happened along at just the right moment. A coffee-skinned man in formal clothes seemed to be striding right for him, his stride purposeful and authoritative. Laskt carefully retrieved his Gikon from where it lay in the dust, concealing it lightly in his left hand as he slid down the escarpment to meet the newcomer. “Can I assist you Monsieur?” He asked, his tone polite but his eyes suspicious.
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Subject Post 3PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyWed Dec 11, 2019 12:33 pm


The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] U5BtpSP




Cyrus


With a small smile on his face, Cyrus gave a short bow to the gentleman before him. He certainly didn't seem particularly trusting, which was a trait the Wise Lord could more than admire. Even he trusted very few people alive in this world. Shirohime, Niflheim, and Ahura Mitra. They were the three. Still, Cyrus' heart was always open to others who might achieve such greatness.

"I believe that you may be able to, yes. My name is Cyrus ast-Auramazda. I am the Grandmaster of the Sternritter, though today I do not come to you in such a role. I have been made aware of your actions in Beijing courtesy of my own forces in the area, few though they may have been. I have come to ask a few questions of you, if you feel so inclined to answer."

Cyrus took a seat on a smaller rock, actually rather comfortable in scenery like this. He was a man of the sands, after all, one who had lived under the beating sun for all his life. This heat, this barren land, it was the sort of thing that made him feel...human.

"Chiefly among them, however, I must ask your reasons for fighting in Beijing. I am, of course, aware that you work for the Gotei United, based on your equipment and your knowledge. What I mean, rather, is what was your own personal reason for fighting? What brought Laskt Matiche, the individual, to Beijing? Not simply Laskt Matiche, member of the Gotei."

For having only just arrived, Cyrus did not especially wait for any typical pleasantries to pass. He was a man with a goal in mind. Trivial conversation was, to him, completely fruitless. Better to simply cut right to the real matters at hand.




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Subject Post 4PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyMon Dec 16, 2019 8:52 pm


PREPARE TO ENTER THE VIZARD'S POST




Enter the post



Laskt visibly paled as the strange man explained that he was the Grandmaster of the Quincy Sternritter. He immediately bowed at the waist, “I apologize Monsieur Cyrus, I did not mean to offend you so.” He said, genuinely distressed at his lack of courtesy. The knight allowed himself to chalk some of it up to his Inner Hollow, but even so, he was disappointed with himself.

As he wracked his brain for something to say, Laskt vaguely remembered rumors of the Wise Lord in Soul Society, speaking of the man’s great power and god-like manner. He supposed that the Laskt of eight centuries before might have been offended at the notion of a man taking up the mantle of “God”, but such mannerisms had long since lost their iron-clad hold over the Vizard. After all, it was rather hard to hold onto mortal beliefs when you lived and worked in the afterlife.

However, as soon as the Quincy said the word, “Beijing”, the felt a shock reverberate through him, quieting his discordant thoughts. His thoughts stilled and his expression grew dark, images flashing through his mind. If Cyrus was observant, he would notice the Vizard’s hands begin to shake before he forcibly stilled them, his fingers flexing as if to take hold of a weapon that wasn’t there. After a second or two, Laskt shook his head, as if to clear it of the insane laughter that permeated his psyche. “Yes….yes of course Monsieur. I will answer any questions to ze best of my ability.” He responded shakily, clearly fighting for self-control.

Laskt would pocket his Gikon and sit down on a rock not to far away from where the Divine Quincy seated himself. He clasped his hands in his lap, listening quietly as Cyrus explained his purpose. It was surprisingly more mundane then he had expected, but at the same time it was a question that the Vizard had been struggling to answer himself for some time.

The knight sighed, “I guess one would say zere were many reasons, zough I must confess I am unsure of ze exact reason myself. Zere is ze fact zat I was ordered to do so when ze situation intensified, but zat is not your question.” Laskt explained, rubbing his right thumb over his left. “I additionally wanted to do my best to stop humans from slaughtering each ozer as a byproduct of ze madness and protect ze city from going furzer into hell. It is….difficult for me to just ignore such zings I am being honest. It was my duty to try and assist.” The knight said, grimacing slightly as he remembered the casualty reports he had requested immediately upon awakening from his coma. The numbers were….very high, and were perhaps so partly due to his utter failure.

Laskt’s knuckles grew white, “As ze incident worsened, anozer reason was zat I was foolishly claimed by ze madness, as I unfortunately seem to be weak-minded and traitorous at heart. Ze madness allowed my Inner Hollow to emerge, and zat was a major factor in my engagement of anozer Vizard in ze same situation.” He said, his voice matter-of-fact, and full of self-loathing. The knight doubted he would ever forgive himself for what he had done.

He looked up, his expression at once fearful and curious. “In fact, if you will allow a question Monsieur Cyrus, why does one such as I matter to you? Zere was at least one Quincy on ze battlefield zat could have given you a better account of zeir experiences, and I am not particularly notable to one such as yourself.”



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Subject Post 5PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyWed Dec 18, 2019 5:23 am


The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] U5BtpSP




Cyrus


"Ah, as I said, I am not here as Grandmaster today. You need not act so formally, I assure you."

Cyrus naturally listened to Laskt's explanation, but more pressingly, he watched the man very carefully, studied his body language and paid close attention to how he carried himself in this conversation. Words were one thing, but those small actions during speech carried a great deal of weight.

"Do not allow yourself such degree of self-loathing for falling prey to outside influence. All men fall prey to such evils now and again. It is what gives actions of benevolence their meaning."

It was a short reassurance, but Cyrus felt it needed stating. He found it a touch distressing to see the man suffer over something that was, reasonably, not within his control.

"You ask why one such as yourself matters to me? I see no reason why you should not. There is no racial divide which demands I ask after only the well-being of fellow Quincy. I have already been given a very thorough report on what transpired there. What matters to me is that you, Mr. Matiche, were a part of the city's defense. Results are not what concern me. It is your character which interests me."

Cyrus, then seemed to gaze directly into Laskt, steepling his fingers as he did so. He had only one final question, though it would tell him all that he needed to know.

"Mr. Matiche, do you aim to be a hero?"



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Subject Post 6PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptySun Dec 22, 2019 12:05 pm


Honorable Vizard



Laskt Matiche


"I apologize Monsieur, it is just my nature.” Laskt responded, scratching the back of his neck, “I apologize if I annoyed toi monsieur.” He said again, inclining his head once again towards Cyrus before remembering his instruction and reddening slightly. The knight wasn’t exactly acquitting himself well before one of the most powerful individuals in any dimension, and his tendency to slip more into his mother tongue when nervous wasn’t exactly helping.

True to form, the self-loathing Vizard didn’t even notice Cyrus’ close scrutiny during his break down, and therefore was caught completely off-guard by the demi-god’s reassurances. Laskt swallowed, hunching over even more, “It is….kind for you to say this. But ze chaos and destruction caused by mon Hollowfication is still my fault. Even if I did fall to ze Madness, I should have had ze mental strength to keep Chikai from breaking free.” He stated simply, struggling to keep a tight hold over his emotions. The Divine Quincy didn’t need to see him break down like a child, he needed information, something that the Vizard was willing to give him.

Laskt forced himself to calm down, shoving his emotions far down as he listened to Cyrus’ explanation. The Divine Quincy was interested in…his character? That was something that even the millenia old Shinigami had not expected, and the emotion flitted visibly across his mobile face. “If you say so Monsieur Cyrus, I doubt you will find me very interesting.” The Vizard said honestly, looking the man full in the face. It would be obvious to anyone looking that this wasn’t the knight being humble: it was what he truly believed.

Cyrus finished his explanation with a question, a question that was both extremely simple, and one that rocked the ancient Vizard to the very core of his being. He rubbed his hands together absently, then placed them palms-down on the rock next to him, almost like he was preparing to push himself to his feet. The knight had wondered if he could ever answer that question if he was asked it, but he was surprised to find that he already had the answer. “Oui Monsieur Cyrus, I do. As cliché as it sounds, despite my weakness, it is ze only zing I have ever wanted to do. It is ze only real zing zat gives me meaning, keeps me focused across ze endless march of centuries.”

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Subject Post 7PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyTue Dec 24, 2019 2:15 am


The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] U5BtpSP




Cyrus


For the very briefest of moments, there was a level of disapproval so all-consuming that it seemed to turn the air itself to ice. Such a response from Laskt was what Cyrus had perhaps expected, but when combined with the vizard's continued insistance on his own failings, it created a certain degree of irritation within the Grandmaster, one which was in a fraction of a second shoved unceremoniously into the core of his divinity to be annihilated forevermore.

"I see."

He was silent then, studying the man before him with a far more discerning eye than he had prior. His reasons were not apparent, but in truth he was simply far more inclined to judge the man now. It was not as though all hope was lost in him, but Cyrus did not much care for heroes.

"Do you consider your loss of control in Beijing to deny you such a title? Do you consider your position within the Gotei to reaffirm it?"

It was another simple question, but there was an undeniably gravity to it as he asked. His voice was even, collected, but at the same time hinted at the expectations behind it. Cyrus had only one final question, and it would, he was quite certain, tell him all that he needed to know.

"What is a hero to you?"



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Subject Post 8PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyTue Dec 24, 2019 11:20 am


Honorable Vizard



Laskt Matiche


Often, Laskt Matiche was written off as a hopeless muscle-bound self-critical brute. Very few among his peers even bothered to talk to the Vizard, much less seek wisdom from him. In this encounter alone he had missed several warnings signs of the Divine Quincy’s growing annoyance.

He was, however, not stupid.

The reluctant Vizard felt the ambient temperature drop by several degrees as Cyrus icily responded to the pouring out of his soul. Laskt felt sweat run down the back of his neck, “I deeply apologize Monsieur Cyrus, I did not mean to offend you wiz my fai- wiz what I said.” He said quickly, inclining his head deeply. Inwardly, the Vizard cursed himself, berating himself heavily for screwing this interview up. What he had done here could ruin any future diplomatic interactions between the Vandereich and the Gotei, all because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut! The knight brutally reigned in his emotions, shoving all of the guilt, self-loathing and hatred deep into his core. It wasn’t healthy by any means, but it was better than the alternative.

It was under the weight of this disapproval, both from Cyrus and himself, that Laskt pondered his response to the next two questions the Divine One asked. The knight didn’t want to offend the god further, but he also supposed that any lies on his part wouldn’t exactly improve the situation either. He cleared his throat, blocked with the emotional pain he had felt earlier, and selected his words carefully. “I do in fact believe zat what happened in Beijing to exclude me from ze role of a true hero Monsieur Cyrus. Anozer Gotei represented in ze city, Takehiko Kuchiki, is not even a zird of my age, and he managed to fight off ze madness for an extended period, as well as doing far more good zan I did in my, for lack of a better term, blood rage.” He explained, quirking his mouth for a moment as he said the last syllable, but struggled to keep his voice clinical, emotionless.

“My position in ze Gotei is not to reaffirm zis but is simply my duty. I have served in ze Gotei for centuries before Beijing: it is unrelated.” Laskt explained, his expression darkening for a moment as he remembered just why he had spent so long serving the Gotei. Cyrus surely wouldn’t be talking to him like this if he knew of his Hollow: he would be purged and destroyed, as he deserved. The knight simply was too weak to admit this to the Divine Quincy.

Cyrus’s next statement, however, picked him cleanly out of these dark thoughts, and caused a thoughtful expression to spread it’s way across his face. “My definition of un héros….zat is a difficult question Monsieur Cyrus.” He said softly, drumming his fingers on the cool stone beside him. “A hero is one who goes beyond merely saving people in ze moment. Ze hero will risk life and limb to save as many people as possible from whatever harm may befall him, wiz no zoughts of repayment. A hero is one who will forage on ahead regardless of ze dangers, focused only on zeir goal and nozing else. Pain does not dissuade ze hero, nor does tricks or outside influences. Ze hero seeks to save innocents no matter zeir race, gender, species or physical characteristics. Above all else, ze hero fights for an ideal world.” Laskt finished, not daring to look Cyrus in the eye. “Does zat answer your question Monsieur?” He asked softly.
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Subject Post 9PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyTue Dec 24, 2019 3:22 pm


The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] U5BtpSP




Cyrus


"Mm. I see."

Silence, then, as Cyrus mulled over his next words. He did not intend to be especially hostile, and he was at least a touch glad that his own emotional response could be destroyed if truly necessary, as it had already been once. He was a man who took exceptional pride in how he presented himself, and outbursts did not suit him.

"The meaning of a hero has changed throughout the ages, you know. To the Greeks, it was one whose entire life was dedicated to the pursuit of his own honor, one who perished gloriously and who killed his enemies without fail. Those such as Perseus and Achilles, who scarcely even resemble a mortal. Yet these men were cruel, brash in their actions, and cared little for the lives of others. The Romans, too, saw much the same.

"Others have demonstrated the hero as nothing more than an archetype of classical literature, an ideal that man built up for itself to pursue and glorify. In this regard, the hero is not a man who could ever truly live, for his own personal failings are far too genuine to allow him such a status. These heroes always have great faults, certainly, but in the end they can be seen as good traits in their own right, as they are overcome and mastered.

"The entire notion of the word has become mutated and changed over the course of thousands of years. The heroes of Byron are certainly a far cry from the heroes of children's fantasy, but all heroes have within them one singular defining trait, Mr. Matiche."

Cyrus' voice seemed to become all the more grave as he spoke his next words, and it was perhaps because they carried such importance to him. This was something he had dwelt on for a great many years, a question he had asked himself numerous times. For him, the nature of a hero had become appalling.

"The hero exists so that his actions are recognized by the people. He, by his very nature, demands that others are aware of his actions, that he achieves renown for them. What you have described is noble, righteous, and what one should strive toward. But it is not a hero."



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Subject Post 10PostSubject: Re: The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]   The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt] EmptyThu Dec 26, 2019 3:36 pm


Honorable Vizard



Laskt Matiche


Cyrus seemed to be far more of an intellectual than one would expect of a self-made God. Laskt would have thought the man overproud, confident in his position in the current day and not bothering to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors. However Cyrus seemed to be not only aware of the past, but extremely knowledgeable, something that impressed the reluctant Vizard. His viewpoint, however, was something Laskt disputed.

“I…must disagree Monsieur Cyrus.” He said, seemingly surprising even himself with his forwardness. Moments ago, he was scared to even speak a word in fear of offending the Divine Quincy, but now he was challenging him outright. Nevertheless, he continued, “Ze search for renown is certainly a trait commonly associated with many of ze great heroes, but it is a byproduct, not a pillar of ze role. Zose who actively seek out fame and renown are rarely worzy of it, and much less of ze title of “hero”. Take ze common soldier. Zere is a one in a million chance zat ze soldier will ever be recognized, yet still zey fight on ze behalf of zeir nation. Zey embody ze core of ze hero, zat of sacrificing oneself for other’s peace, yet zeir place is one where they will rarely gain recognition.”

The knight gestured widely with his hands, “Even so, every culture you spoke of has zeir own criteria for hero, so it is impossible for one true, all-encompassing definition to every hold sway. Ze classical Norse hero is one zat is motivated by glory first and foremost. Beowulf does not slay Grendel purely because of ze harm it causes, but partly what it brings him in return. In contrast, ze classical English knight, my culture, holds a true hero to be utterly self-sacrificing, to hold oneself to a code of honor zat never breaks, a vow zat never wavers. For zem, glory is a byproduct in ze search for fulfillment of zeir vows. Yet, both are labeled as heroes, and both are from a certain point of view.”

The knight cleared his throat, aware that he was perhaps annoying his guest. “But from my point of view, if one seeks to save ozers purely for selfish reasons, zey, while certainly heroic, are not true heroes.”

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The Watchful Eye of the Lord [Cyrus, Laskt]
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