The chapel was empty, but I could feel angelic power smothering me like a boa constrictor. Angelic power had that kind of effect on me, conflicting with my human side. There were twelve long benches, six on the left and six on the right, their pillow-like tops ensuring comfortable seating.
Fuck, this was annoying. I felt allergic to chapels. Humans praying to gods as if they deserved something. And then have the nerve to get angry when their request for world domination is ignored. I cringed.
Angelic power was like a sneeze that one couldn’t get rid of, that annoying itch or burn, lingering and producing a rash in its stead. Still, it was either sit here and think, or go back out to be slaughtered by hunters. Amelia might not be the next face to visit when that door opened.
I took a seat at the front, motion-censored lights flipping on from above the podium. As I relaxed. My brain began to work, despite the lingering effects of the beer.. And speaking of beer, I really wanted one. Maybe a few.
I shrugged off the thought. I needed to concentrate. How do I get out of this?
Now you may be thinking, why don’t I just ascend again?
Sadly, use of my power is kind of limited. Think of it as a tank. I’d need to refill it by either sleeping or drawing upon a source. But…what can I draw upon? Conus never got the chance to teach that much to me.
I sighed. Well, doomed or not, sitting in a chapel wasn’t helping. I looked around the area, unimpressed. Shitty paintings of old men paraded the walls. Fake candle decorations were mounted beneath them. A giant gold clock rested on the wall ahead. The carpet looked as if it hadn’t been vacuumed in decades and some of the seating was a tad dusty. Still…the humans managed to get one thing right alongside the motion-censored lights. That was the AC. I half-expected these buildings to be hot and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t that bad.
The angelic power made its presence known, like an unfading mist. That’s when an idea came to mind. If it’s there, why not put it to use? Sure, the risk is high, drawing upon the power, but fuck it, what did I have to lose? I held a palm up and attempted the unthinkable.
A stinging sensation flooded my arm, as if a thousand mosquitos had found their food source. The feeling grew, and within seconds, I couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped. Nothing gained. Whoop-de-fucking doo. What should I expect? A miracle force of power entering me, granting the ability to smite the hunters? Nah. Whatever. At least I got to try beer. That alone would make my death worth it.
I closed my eyes, exhaustion bearing down on me. I don’t think I had ever slept in Hell. Not once. And it’s not like I could simply die there from body failures. The seating started to look more appealing now, more comfortable. It wasn’t long before I dozed off, uncaring of the fact that the enemy was still out there.
Four hours probably passed before I dreamed. When humans enter the dream world, they’re protected, free. Most of the time, it’s simply a movie, first person horror shows, or the occasional lucid dream. Dreaming is different for me. I found myself standing on a hill, a single tree nearby, a large red sunset ahead. Below the slope of the hill, stood a modern city.
I had full control, but not just any control. My spirit was literally there. So were my senses. I could feel the moderate temperature, smell the sweet, cool air, breathe in the rush of peacefulness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m invincible. What happens in the dream world doesn’t happen to my body. That didn’t mean my spirit couldn’t be damaged.
I headed into the city, eyeing everything, engulfing myself in mental notes of the scenery. People were out and about, driving, walking while listening to their music, and just enjoying life.
I tried to enter a building, but something strange happened. An invisible force smacked me backward. I landed ass-first, pissed. This was new. No matter what dream, in the past I was never rejected.
No one bothered to help. They kept on walking, looking past me. Even dream people can talk and interact. I stood up, realizing the possible answer. My body became alert to someone nearby in the outside world. Fortunately, the difference between a dreaming demigod and a human is that we could instantly wake up. I did.
I expected hell, maybe an assassin, flying ninjas—something - but to my relief only a white cat pranced around, making the bench at the front its bed. I sighed.
“What the fuck am I doing?” I whispered. Did I expect to live a normal life? The hunters had bloodlust and a powerless guy like me could do little about it. I glanced at the clock. 1:45. Amazing how I had outwitted Amelia for five hours. Maybe she went home—at that instant, a strange feeling of expectation overtook me. I don’t know how, but I felt a holy presence. It was far away, but still somewhere in this town. But how? I hadn’t sensed Amelia before. Maybe the angelic power I had absorbed heightened my senses or something. My tank of power was full and ready to ascend.
The second I dashed outside, my holy wits hit the roof. The presence was upon me and a dagger-equipped hand swiped, barely missing as I sidestepped out of the way. I didn’t get a good look at the attacker as he rushed forward, cloaked by thick white mist.
I manifested a pistol. Why waste my time with swords, knives, and daggers when I could end a conflict at the speed of light? Too bad I didn’t think to create bullets. The six-foot-tall attacker effortlessly sliced my gun in half and came for me.
I sprinted off. I needed to manifest something without using too much power. For a demigod with a lock inside of him, I had no room to be picky—power was precious. A force bashed me to the ground. The attacker dove on top of me as I spun, knocking me back-first. I used both hands to keep his dagger from slitting my throat. The figure grunted, bringing down the blade slowly, but closer to my face, with a pale white hand.
I’m fucked. I’m so totally fucked.
Just then, the creature froze. He dropped to the ground a second later, motionless. Blood surrounded the misty corpse. I sat up and caught my breath, sweat trickling from everywhere. What the fuck just happened?
“I can’t believe I became a traitor because of love.” Amelia walked over to the mist-figure, bow in her hand and pulled the arrow from its back. The thing melted into a puddle of blood. “To think I just let you go, knowing very well that I could’ve stopped your ascension, dragged you back to your father and let them send you to Hell, blows my mind.”
She walked over and sat by me. My eyes were still wide. I didn’t know what to think. Sure, heavenly-beings can betray their people but they just didn’t. It was pointless. I looked at her with a new respect. The way she took down that thing with little effort, that was just...badass.
“What the hell was that thing?”
“That’s a misthanger,” Amelia said. “Most likely the servant of a hunter.”
“So you’re not the only one nearby?” I said.
“I am but some hunters are too lazy to bother with tracking, so they hire misthangers.”
“Are you serious?” I said.
“If I wanted to be lectured then I would’ve gone home,” she interrupted. She placed her hand on top of mine. “I thought for a while, and decided that I’d be a lousy fiancée if I just abandoned you to die. There’s just no way I could let you go back to such a terrible place of suffering. Conus was way too harsh on you.” She sighed, narrowing her eyes. “My clan will deem me foolish if they find out about this, and will only think of my betrayal as a result of not being able to control my imprinting.” She looked me in the eyes. “But I do this of my own accord. They turned their backs on you, Epex, without even trying to understand you, leaving you to a terrible fate. But…I want to know you. To help you. To be with you. I know behind that attitude you put on, is someone stretching out a hand, hoping that someone will take it. Well, here I am.”
I stood up, thinking for a bit. Amelia stood too, eyes filled with hope. I wasn’t stupid. If wanted to live, to survive hunters until I was strong enough to fight them, I’d have to trust this naïve goddess.
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- The Enlightener
Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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