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.”