Their anger did nothing. Every word that left their mouth
bounced off the man, his armor thick. However, as Ienzo let their glare
subside, they had to wonder: just what was the armor made of? Had years
spent in the Realm of Darkness hardened Ansem to this extent? Ienzo did
not doubt that possibility; Ansem surviving the darkness initially
surprised them. At first, they believed the man’s anger kept him
alive–it made sense. That hypothesis fell flat.
Something else perturbed Ienzo. Listening to Ansem’s words, and
repeating them in their mind, led to a small realization. His words
came off detached–whether or not it was purposeful remained to be seen.
He did not say their name, speaking as if he had some inkling as to who
Ienzo was, but could not quite remember. Ienzo chose their words with
care to garner a response from a man who no longer existed, no longer
remembered. The words he chose to start their conversation–Ienzo ignored
them out of anger, but now…
He did not remember who they were. Fitting, of course–why remember the orphan he took in only to further his goals?
“… You do not remember me, do you?” they asked, their tone
softening as they bowed their head. “Do you know who I am, Ansem? Who I
was to you?”
The questions, asked in such short order, gave Ansem pause. His stance remained half-turned towards Ienzo, his eyes not straying from their target across the room. Despite the softening in vocal tone, there was little to the encounter that he responded to visibly; his frown remained in place, stoic and unchanged.
Inwardly, however, something tugged at his heart.
“I do not,” he acknowledged at last, dipping his head in a slight nod. “Nothing of which you speak sparks familiarity. Perhaps I am to blame for your hurt and anger, but the name of Ansem means nothing to me. As such, those emotional connections you exude with your darkness… I know nothing of them.”
As he fell into contemplative silence, he concluded that his regret and sorrow much be for many, many affected lives. The darkness he could feel coming off this child in waves did not penetrate in the way he would expect.
“I suppose I should apologize for that. Clearly this interaction means something to you, to garner such a reaction. You direct your darkness at a symbol of hate, and the reality does not match what the mind conjured.”
That meant something to him, though the feeling was indistinct at best.