Vanguard blinked in surprise, then managed to somehow sigh deeper than the first time.
"Alright, very well. It's not something I wanted to burden you with, but I suppose you're not going to make this easy for me." He said with a bitter half smile. Suddenly, his face turned dead serious. No, it was more than that. Something in his appearance changed, something small, something fundamental.
He copped his silver mane and slid his ebony hand across its glimmering shine, like night traveling across the stars. Was this nothing more than a superficial, perhaps even vain movement? Or perhaps there was some hidden meaning behind that action.
It would be wise to remember that the man who stood before her was not some commoner, but a warrior.
That did little to change the gravity of his voice.
"Well, I suppose it would be useless to hide it any longer. My original vessel was destroyed, and the core that sheltered my soul is no more. I guess if I had been a second too late, your hypothesis would have been correct: I would not be able to stand before you. Though I managed to find shelter in this imitation of a human vessel, but it's nothing more than a different prison."
For a second, his eyes narrowed and his frown deepened as he spoke. For the first time, there was a shred of genuine hostility in his voice, not directed at Sakura herself more than the bitterness of his situation. He had found a body, only to lose it, and he had been decaying ever since. He had managed to have Clover craft this shell using his blueprints, but something like this would pale before the magic of the Gods.
"The more I remain in this decadent shell, the more my spirit writhes and crumbles. Simply put, if you are so blind you cannot tell, my soul is rotting. It is not continuous, as long as I consciously resist it, the degradation is nothing more than superficial. Eventually, perhaps in a few years, I will become nothing more than a beast without intelligence. I do not want that, and I require a laboratory so I may research a manner to prevent that."