“I… I remember reaching out to something or someone. Demanding they escape to safety. I remember breaking the last promise I had made. I failed to survive and take care of them. Failed to take care of my family.”
The soul began to weep at its loss and failure. Unable to watch, the goddess did her best to exude calmness and peace.
"How surprising, you remembered your final moments! That is quite unusual. Now, you died protecting your child from criminals that broke out of the prison in your city. You did well. Your child lives because you bought for him a few moments to call for help. Unfortunately for you, by the time he and help came, you were already beyond recovery. Your soul was crushed due to a cosmic accident of epic proportions. Consequently, I am not allowed to speak about it either."
She spoke with a light tone, in hopes the soul would not sob such heart-wrenching cries. It broke her heart.
He was but a small cluster of particles that glowed brightly per the emotions portrayed. Now, light reddish pink pulses of emotions rolled off him into the surroundings. Everything seemed to thrum at the pure show of sadness and pain.
Feeling immense pity for the soul, she extended her hand to caress him. As she ‘touched’ him, he slowly backed away, not knowing who she really was or what her goals were in approaching him. But like a child, he slowly opened up to the affection he lacked. Sitting in her hand, he cried even harder, releasing all the pain he felt. The goddess could not take it anymore, she could not idly watch as the soul felt such tremendous pain. She brought him closer to herself, hugging him like a mother. Exuding even more of her tranquil and calming aura to help ease his suffering.
After enough time passed to calm him, the goddess slowly brought up the topic they needed to discuss. “Do you wish for a second chance? To redeem yourself?”
A sudden spike of white hope began to glow brightly in the soul. With a voice more enthusiastic than the goddess expected, he said,
“Yes! Anything to have my family again.” She knew he misunderstood her, but she was confident in helping him.
"I will give you two choices. One has more options, and the other has none. Do you want to hear them?" She asked cautiously, hoping that her voice made apparent what she would say next.
“Yes, mother…!” Turning pink, the soul ‘blushed’ at his mistake. But what he knew not was the effect it had on the goddess. She, a being that had lived for eons, froze at the words spoken by a mortal. But, it was not the words themselves that caused her to freeze, no it was the strength of the intent behind them. It was absolutely pure and wholly directed at her. Looking into his mind, she saw him imagining a figure older in age. He compared the goddess to her; to his mother.
“I mean, Yes!” his words broke her out of the trance she had been. Quickly gathering herself before the soul noticed, she almost continued to speak without thought, only to feel unease at the eagerness in his voice. Hesitantly she continued, all the while she increased her aura two-folds lest the soul breaks beyond her ability to repair.
“Your first choice is ... to go to the next plane. To true death. There you will not have options from me, for it is beyond my power." That was death. A plane onto itself; once one passed its boundaries, there is no return.
What?! What is the second option?" the soul shimmered impatiently, hoping to grasp the last straws put in his reach.
"The second option is a second chance at life." His soul began to release heavy wave after wave of white, pure, and burning hope. So, she waited until it slowed down to a manageable level; she did not want him to crumble.
Having regained a modicum of sense, he spoke with the same hope he exuded, "A second chance? I.. I will get to see mother and my son? Yes, I accept! Please, send me back."
She prepared a massive burst of her aura, feeling a great need for it. Listen, child. Do not interrupt me and let me finish. I cannot send you back to your world, though I can send you to a different one." Releasing it, she watched as the sudden loss of hope lessened until equilibrium was achieved. Sighing mentally at the close call the soul had with destroying itself, but the soul took the opportunity to speak.
“A different-” She cut him off before he could fall into a spiral of sadness and depression.
“Do not interrupt me, child,” She chastised him. The goddess began to smile in relief as the soul started to show embarrassment and shame rather than sadness and pain.
"You will get a second chance at life in a new world filled with magic and awe-inspiring things, but also death and destruction. You will be able to redeem yourself and protect your family without dying again. I would advise you to choose this path; it is a far safer choice."
A small light unlike the ones before began glowing, one that quickly became apparent. It was a sign of content; starting anew. "Okay, I choose option two. I am willing to reincarnate to another world. May I get a mother as caring as you and my own?"
That made it all the harder. The goddess knew the soul wasn't being reincarnated, but instead, it was closer to transferring his existence at the age he was in his previous life. "Well, that will likely not happen..."
She saw his confusion clear as day, then it quickly morphed into disbelief. "What? But, you gave me the options. How…?" He demanded, but the goddess knew what needs to be done. As her aura continued to blaze, she spoke to him in the way he saw her; as a mother
"You have interrupted me again, little one." she chided him, influenced by her he quickly changes emotions, making him more unstable than before. The goddess knew she had to end this soon.
"S...Sorry" he apologized, hoping to regain her favor. Taking advantage of the moment, then she continued to reach for her final goal.
"While you will not be reincarnated, you will still be transferred to that world alone and in a random location. This will happen because of your damaged existence. Without a full soul, you will not be able to be sent to another world."
"If I am damaged, then how will I go?" Expecting the question she answered as quickly as possible. Time was not on their side, he needed a whole soul before he deteriorated beyond her repair
"Well, that's where your other options come in. I will give you some of my power, which will unlock the system within you. Using my power, which will give you a set number, you will be able to purchase attributes and skills to complete your soul. Do you understand?" she explained, but unlike what she had thought would happen, he spoke with a sudden suspicion that made her feel unusual. Like a mother with a son that could not trust her.
"Yes, but what do you seek in return? Or will you give me a part of you for nothing?" His was a fair question, who would give to others without demanding something in return
"I ask one thing of you, build me a cathedral. A mighty one for people of all races and ethnicity to seek out my guidance, filled people who will become my worshipers!"
She couldn't help herself, enthusiasm dripped from her voice, and it so happens that it also greatly affected the soul as well.
"Yes! Yes! Yes! I will do it for you! It will be marvelous!" He answered, but at the end hesitation did creep into his voice and glow.
"Good, Good. Once you are done choosing, my name and title will be clear for you to see. Use it to build a cathedral for me, then lead my worshipers!"
Her unease grew as his hesitation became more visible. "Umm, well, I will build you a majestic cathedral and all, but uh... well, I can't worship you. Please?" Shocked, the goddess forgot how impressionable the being before he was. She said
"What? Why not, am I not giving you a part of my existence?"
"Well, Yes, and I am grateful and willing to build you this cathedral, but like I already said I can't worship you. You know my beliefs and I... I can't. Sorry!" His sudden apologetic tone and tiny tendrils of fear drove a spike into her heart. That was not supposed to happen, not if she wished to be a… a mother.
"Hmm. I will allow this, but in exchange, you must build me three cathedrals, deal?" A compromise was the only choice here, she couldn't bear to watch him disappear into nothingness. If only she didn't lose control of herself.
"Of course!" He replied over enthusiastically.
"Good, let me unlock your system and give you the needed existence to be a full soul again."
She knew it was going to be a painful process, but it was necessary.
After a while, a sudden screen appeared before the soul, though she could not read it without his permission, she had enough experience to know what it said.
System Unlocked -
The Goddess's Gift - 10,585
In Life Benefits -