How strong are you?
-If I hadn’t shot him, it would have been you lying there! There was no other way-
—Nicholas D. Wolfwood
“How strong is your faith, Nicholas D. Wolfwood?”
Legato asked him quietly, the blade poised neatly next to his jugular. If he moved even the slightest, the blade would bury itself inch-deep into his throat. And this time, there will be no return, only death plain and simple enough to make him laugh.
“It is strong,” He said quietly.
“Strong enough to kill Jesus should he go against the order?” The psychic was taunting him, bringing his love for his chosen religion into this. He felt anger, hot unyielding anger at the man who held all the hidden cards in his deck and he knew that he was going to pull out the blackjack. Legato always had his aces and they were blatant.
“Yes,” He knew he would have no qualms about killing Jesus. He didn’t know Jesus, only saw through the man’s eyes through words and deeds and that was not enough to convince a realist such as himself. Wolfwood was bound by worldly wise sense and miracles were hard pressed to make him believe.
“Strong enough to kill the infamous Vash the Stampede, brother of Millions Knives?” Legato continued.
Wolfwood wondered slightly who exactly christened them with the names ‘Vash’ and ‘Knives’. Vash sounded like a docile name while Knives made you shudder. Or maybe that were his personal feelings added to those ominous names. That was a trick question. As far as Legato was concerned, Vash didn’t even make up one-tenth of what Knives was (in power). And for that, Legato hated Vash, because Vash held in his arms that tentative destructive power that ate up cities, while Legato could only kill humans with their own hands. It always sickened Legato that he could never get his own hands bloody.
“Strong enough to kill Vash, but not the Infinite Millions Knives,” He replied. That was the correct answer. Anything said to praise Knives was a good deed in Legato’s book. And that’s all that mattered. That, and the blade by his neck.
“Are you strong enough to kill a man you love?” He did not gasp when the blade nicked his throat slightly, the cold air filling the open wound and he could feel the gritty sand mingle with his blood. Red blood, human blood. He’s seen Vash bleed red, but was that human blood? Or maybe Vash can change the colour of his blood. It’s plausible.
So plausible that it made him sick. For Vash to try anything, to do anything that would make him more human. If people knew what he really was, then they would try to become like him or they would fear him. That is what happened with Knives when he met the people. People who don’t understand the concept of pain, ignorance and fear try to become like Knives, the living God. Fear him for he has ultimate power and he will destroy you if you disobey him. That was the core of Legato’s religion and love for Knives.
But Wolfwood followed a different religion. A religion that offered sanctuary to those who ask. A person who will take up their sins and save them from themselves. It was a religion that Vash offered the masses when he took up his mission for love and peace. And like always, in this situation, Vash was the hopelessly doomed martyr. And Wolfwood was his equally doomed follower. The ends of the Earth seemed like such a short distance with Vash beside him.
But this was his life and in order to protect a man who would give up his own life to protect others, so he answered, “Strong enough to pull the trigger.” No, that was a lie. A half-truth actually. He was strong enough to pull the trigger, to shoot. But he didn’t say that it would be Vash staring down at him from the other end of the muzzle. No, Vash will live, he will make sure of it. Vash will not fade away so quickly. Not Vash the Stampede.
However, Nicholas D. Wolfwood was willing to lie and lie again even if he must fade away. And that is how strong he is.
Legato drew the blade away, satisfied or seemed satisfied. Those gold eyes were as impervious as they always were. He sometimes what ran through Legato’s head, though he had a feeling that if you looked into the mind of a madman, you would find your answer.
“So, you will find Vash the Stampede and bring him to New Kansas,” Legato dangled the blade slightly as if to intimidate Wolfwood. He was not impressed, “Is that all?”
There was a visible change in Legato’s manner when Wolfwood uttered those words. With the smile of a vampire, Legato replied casually, “That is all.”
Wolfwood got up and brushed his coat slightly before leaving the room.
“The things I do for you Tongari,” Wolfwood grumbled as he picked up his cross.
But it’s worth it, Wolfwood thought, to take this mission. Just to make sure that idiot can smile for a little longer, live a little longer. Vash was…Vash and there was only one Vash in this desert world and Wolfwood would do anything to make it last.
And that is how strong Nicholas D. Wolfwood is. And that is how strong he will always be, for Vash the Stampede.
Pathetic creature, wasn’t he?
crossposted at v_x_w