Chapter 37 - On Prophecies
"Queen Overlord Bloodvine's Extended Agent," the Overlord replied. "The Queen is the current Warden of the West, the one responsible for the investigation."
"I'll kill her later," the Saint said as if it wasn't something that would enrage the Crusade and bring war upon the Temple of Time. But for her, it didn't matter even if another Saint did it, no one killed her children! "And what does any of this have to do with a Herald Candidate being found?"
"The girl who found the Herald Candidate... It's the Youngest we sentenced as a traitor."
She couldn't hide it anymore; she let her disappointment appear on her face. "Even if it's just a false Candidate, it's the first in our history, and it counts as an important mark. It's likely that the Youngest was framed by a power who didn't want us to find the Herald Candidate. Either that or our enemies want us to believe so. What about the other three girls, I wonder? What could they have done for us if you hadn't killed them?" She sighed and changed the subject. "Do you have any idea if anyone ever learned I became a Saint?"
"We believe the world is still ignorant of it, First One," another of the five Overlords replied.
"Good. Call back the pursuit of the girl, then you can deliver yourselves to the Time Prison. Don't worry, I'll personally deal with everything."
She looked at the direction of where once stood the Ralphian Republic and directly teleported there.
A Herald Candidate being found in such strange circumstances... It reminded her of her own strange experience when she received an error message telling her to disregard the Vision that showed her that one day, the Herald of Time would come.
Afraid, she had hidden the real importance of him to the Prophetesses and the world and even completely disconnected the creation of the Prophetesses as an organization to his coming. No one but her knew the only reason she created the Temples was to find him one day.
As she appeared above the old capital of the late Ralphian Republic, she thought about the images she had Envisioned. He brandished the time-space itself like a sword and stormed the River of Time with mayhem. He severed reality and brought everything back to origin. He conquered the Seven Continents, and only seven, for he destroyed the other two.
He would kill the ruling Immortals and bring that world back to a pure state, and in his wake, he would leave a trail of blood and pain.
He was the Herald of Time, for he would bring that world back to a time before the mages existed.
And Time forbid anyone ever found out about it. She had to get to him before anyone else, or everything would be lost.
Immortals didn't dream, for even when they slept, they kept their minds – including the unconscious one – under control. You never knew where an attack might come from, and arts that invaded and controlled others' dreams were common in lower levels of power exactly because weak people didn't know how to adequately protect themselves.
But that night, for the first time in a very long while, Aaron dreamed.
He was back on Earth, sitting under a tree. It was lunchtime on his freshman year at school, but he had learned the hard way that he wasn't welcome to sit with anyone else.
They weren't especially mean, they simply avoided him. If he sat with any of them, they got up and sat somewhere else. If he tried to start a conversation, they would just 'remember' something else they had to do somewhere else.
All of that was because of a simple conversation he had had with the girlfriend of the school bully, a boy called John Grint. Aaron saw her by coincidence when he first arrived at the school and didn't lose any time in trying to get close to her. She was beautiful, after all, and he had had some luck with girls in his old town.
However, Grint saw it. Contrary to Aaron's expectations, no fight issued. Instead, he became the persona non grata of the town. Absolutely no one would talk to him, and that included the girl. The influence of the Grint family was that encompassing; no one wanted to go against the boy's order of shunning Aaron from all social circles.
Six months had already gone by since then, and Aaron kept to himself. That day was going on just like any other, but then, the bully appeared, and he was walking straight to Aaron.
Aaron stood up, fear holding him by the guts, his back to the tree. He wasn't skinny, but the bully was almost three times his size, and all of it looked like a muscle.
"You faggot!" Grint said, punching Aaron's stomach. "What the fuck did you do to my girl?"
The punch made Aaron lose his breath and instinctively bend down. But Grint was having none of that and pinned Aaron's shoulder to the tree. "Answer me, bitch!" And then, he slapped Aaron in the face.
"W- What?" Aaron whispered, doing his best due to his lack of air.
"She broke up with me, you piece of shit!" Another slap. "She said I was too fucking cruel with you!" Slap. "Did you think so, huh? Did you cry because of my cruelty?" Slap. "I'll show you real cruelty, you son of a bitch!" He punched Aaron hard on the nose.
Aaron could do nothing as he was beaten up. Even his feeble attempt at protecting his head only earned him a broken arm and even more pain.
He didn't understand anything. Kara Summers hadn't talked to him since that day, and just like everybody else, she didn't seem to care a bit about what was happening to him. Why would she break up with Grint so suddenly?
As he lost consciousness, he could do nothing but wonder what the hell was going on.
Aaron woke up to the smell of pancakes.
There was no cold sweat, no accelerated breathing. He had long since gotten over those memories, and all he felt was a mix of pity and gratitude towards Grint. Pity, for that boy had been but a product of the environment he had been raised on. Gratitude, for, in the end, all that violence, both social and physical, had been partly responsible for Aaron finding his path towards immortality.
The five of them had slept in an upwards slope, tall stone walls to both sides. Mark was showing small signs of claustrophobia, but from what Aaron had read, they would soon get to one of the more dangerous areas of the pass, where there were no natural walls to protect them from attacks by all sides. Which, for Aaron, was a good thing.
"Good morning," Aaron said. "This is smelling good."
"Good morning, young master," Mark said. He stood between Aaron and Sara in the narrow passage, so he kept sitting to not block the boy's vision towards Sara.
"Thank you, young master," Sara replied, as she made bacon pancakes. "I remembered you liked to eat this when I worked in your house."
"Good morning, Herald," Helina said with a voice filled with veneration.
Lo also replied with a "Good morning" of his own, albeit with much less enthusiasm, while Shadow One just kept quiet.
"So, Helina," Aaron said, "tell me about this Herald of Time thing."
"Of course, Herald!" She said excitedly. "It is a Minor Likely Prophecy that states-"
"You already lost me," Aaron said. "Minor Likely Prophecy?"
"Oh, sorry! When Prophetesses receive Visions, they can be both an immediate order, like me being told to protect you, or a telling of the future. Those who are ordered to do something become Chosen, like me. Tellings of the future are called prophecies and are classified based on their impact upon the world and when they will happen.
"On their impact, we have Sacred Prophecies, that can change the whole world and are only known by the person who received it and the First Council; Major Prophecies, that can change an entire continent, and are only known by the person who received it, its Temple, and the Councils; Minor Prophecies, that can change a small region, and anyone can know about them to some extent, like on how to identify their coming; and Passing Prophecies, that will change only a small community or even a few people's lives, which are also known by all to some extent."
"Wait," Aaron interrupted. "If this Heraldry of Time is only a minor thing, why do you know about it?"
"Because it was Envisioned by the First Prophetess! All of her prophecies are studied and memorized by all Prophetesses. No one knows what you're supposed to do, only that your coming was Envisioned four thousand years ago, a few years after the founding of the First Temple, and the establishment of the Temple of Time." She said excitedly. "You know, if everyone knew what you're going to do, it might affect the Rivers of Time, so all prophecies are kept on a need to know basis. Anyway, most Prophetesses dream of one day identifying a prophecy from the First Prophetess; it's a great honor!"
Aaron frowned. He knew he his soul had been kept suspended on the Void for a long time as the system waited for his incarnation conditions to be kept, but because he was in the Void, a place devoid of both time and space, he had had no way of knowing how much time had passed in the world outside. He would be able to find out when he became an Overlord, but he hadn't expected to have been kept 'on the freezer' for over four thousand years!
"Is it common for Minor Prophecies to take four thousand years to complete?" He asked.
"No! And this makes yours special since it's the only Minor Prophecy to have ever been classified as Likely!" Seeing his confusion expression, she explained: "As I said, prophecies are also classified on when they are expected to happen. Imminent Prophecies are, like the name says, bound to happen at any minute. Close Prophecies are expected in a short period of time, usually within ten years. Possible Prophecies should happen within a couple of hundred years. Anything over than that and the prophecy is classified as either Likely or Unlikely depending on the analysis of the First Council."
Aaron had never been one to like prophecies. Their scope was limited, usually to a planet, and they were finicky at best, useless in most cases.
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I'm Ed, a writer of GameLit. So far I have released only two books, but I'm working on increasing this number by tens! No, by hundreds! Maybe thousands! xP
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