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desolate seclusions

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He never does find the ring

Nasch remembers the sound, the clatter of metal on crystal as it fell to the ground while Merag became nothing, became everything, tore him open and left behind like that – raw and wrecked and that much crippled.

He can imagine it perfectly. The beautiful gunmetal grey of the ring, steel because they were strong, the two if them, or they tried to be because there was no one to fall back on, if they were weak. It would have been left behind, because in the haze of revenge, with grief piercing him open, like his heart was glass and it shattered inside him, leaving him full of shards, he couldn’t imagine anything more important than shredding Vector until he felt Nasch’s pain.

(No one would ever feel Nasch’s pain.)

But he comes back, when it is over. They win, or so Kaito and Yuuma say; their fellows have returned to life, Arclights and Gauche and Droite and whoever else. Even Yuuma’s parents are alive again. Even Kaito’s eyes, lost in the battle for the Code, have been restored.

The Barian Lords remain in their graves. No, not even that – they were already dead, Nasch thinks bitterly, and so no one mourns them. They were monsters and zombies, no matter that they felt so passionately, risked everything for their world. It seems that it is Nasch alone who misses them.

He finds Durbe’s glasses, one lens broken, and he carries them around, letting the sharp edges scrape his rocky skin. If only he could bleed for them, he would. If only Nasch could join them, he would throw himself into the acid sea or tear out his own heart, but the battle left him energized.Healed. Wounds vanish before his eyes, when he inflicts them. His human form won’t come no matter how much he tries to remember the vulnerability of flesh.

He doesn’t have his own ring, or a picture of Rio – both of them lost, traded for conviction in a world that was never his – and there are no bodies to bury. No tombstone to pray over. The ring is all that is left of Merag the Frozen Sword, of Rio Kamishiro, of the sister he loved.

Nasch never stops looking for it.

[He never finds it.]