Teemie’s expression shifted to business and gloom. “Everything’s happening behind the scenes. My source got wind of the secret news of the Fallen appearance in a human world city. Apparently, Mother Nature pretended to not know the name of said city, angering Conus to no end, but he passed the word to the army. She also told him that you and your friends fought it off, triggering a surprised reaction from him. Unfortunately, someone from the House barged into the conversation and said it still doesn’t get you off the hook.”
“No surprise there, really,” I said with a shrug. “What else happened?”
“The House member then told the two that in a few days, there will be a large-scale meeting. Treat the importance of it as if meeting with the King.”
My eyes widened. That line...Treat the importance of it as if meeting with the King.
“Did something happen?” I said, “or is it a meeting over the Fallen?”
“I’m not sure. I’ll have to get more details from my source.”
“You can’t expect me to bust into Paradise Realm, guns blazing, not after doing just that to help you escape.”
“Then who’s helping?”
“Aether,” she said. “The other demigod.”
My eyes widened. “Explain please.”
“In exchange for helping him escape a fairy, he agreed to get information for me.”
“Fair enough,” I said then stood up and held out a hand. “You didn’t have to do this for me, but—”
“Don’t get all mushy on me,” Teemie said as she stood and accepted my hand. When I blink, I was gone. Still dreaming but…now found myself walking through an endless hallway.
“What the fuck is going on?” I said softly.
There was a reply.
“You cannot survive. You are doomed. Doomed! Doomed! You will perish! Perish. Perish.” It repeated that, many times, as I continued down the hall, unable to stop. Unable to turn around. There’s an instinct, deep down telling me not to look back, but I wanted to so badly.
“You cannot sur—”
“Shut the hell up!” I yelled. Something whispered in my ear.
“Give your heart to me,” it said in a deep, dark voice.
Now I’ve been to Hell and thought I was desensitized to demon kind, but upon turning around, regret, fear, and bewilderment struck me like a lightning bolt.
There were three human-like mouths the size of toasters, each deck with knife-like teeth, beaming at me. Two snake-like eyes floated above the mouths.
I immediately forced myself awake. So glad Demigods can do that. We also don’t scream, gasp loudly, or disturb anyone around us. That’s why Amelia was still soundly asleep. I took a deep breath and exhaled.
To think I’d get attacked by a night terror of all things. Somehow it broke through my natural defenses and hijacked the dream.
I glanced at the clock. Four in the morning. I laid my head back and just let my thoughts rampage.
What would happen to Secure Corps after Sunset is finally caught? Well, I’m moving up in life, step by step but something felt off.
I crawled out of bed, summoned Ruin, and began to charge it. It’d take some time to get full strength, unless I found a crazy power source.
Just then, I felt another presence, before I found myself someplace else. First it started off as a white void of nothingness then shifted into a place of endless hills, valleys, and flowers.
“How many people plan to take over my dreams today?” I said then turned to see my mother’s spirit standing behind me. She smiled.
“Just one more,” she said. Shortly after, we commenced the training that would hopefully make me whole again and free my mom.
There are seven locks, each containing a section of my original power. As I am now, I can’t control it.
We sat on the voided ground. I relaxed my mind to dive into an intense meditative state. She released the first lock. The goal of the training was to direct the release of power around the veins of my body, seven times. Each lap increased the intensity like a tug of war. I imagined my power as blue electricity with the intent of outlining my body multiple times.
The first lock was much easier than before. Lap number seven hit me in no time. “Remember with each state, you will gain the ability to use dormant inherited abilities. Now, here comes the second state.”
I…was not looking forward to this. When Mom released the lock, the pressure felt both intense and painful. Hell, I focused more on not letting the shit explode rather than moving it. “Do not let it control you, Epex, you must exert your will over it. Honestly, I don’t know why your father didn’t just start you in the basics. Busy with the realm isn’t an excuse with catastrophic powers like yours. Now, take a deep breath and force your will onto the flow.”
“Easier said than done,” I said, straining. “The flow of power is massive.”
“Call it essence,” mom said. “Respect the essence and it will respect you. Focus, strain against it, then relax. You must gain control of it.”
I let go of the next round of bitching I had prepared for her and followed her instructions. Well, this didn’t go well. The second I relaxed into the increased flow of power—a burst of force smacked be backward, at least twenty yards.
“Try again,” Mom boomed, her voice echoing from everywhere. “Focus.”
I closed my eyes again. What’s that term she used...essence. I attempted to exert my will over the essence and rather than playing the push and pull game with it, I mentally joined the wild stream of energy.
To do that, I imagined it as a lake and then jumped inside. My muscles tensed, spasmed, and bulged. I fought the excruciating pain. About three seconds later, the pain vanished, surprising me. The flow calmed and mimicked the intensity of state one. I imagined it as red electricity flowing through my veins like blood.
“You got it. And it only took a few weeks.”
I nodded then woke up to Amelia staring at me with wide eyes.
“What?” I said. When I looked around the room, I sighed. Books, papers, and clothes were scattered. “Oh.”
“You were also glowing with the silvery advanced heavenly-light. So, do you mind explaining the dream that caused you erupt like Mount Kilauea?”
Since I already told Amelia about how I survived her big sister Karma, explaining the secret training to utilize my second state of power was easy.
“Get dressed,” Amelia said then pointed at a pair of sweats on the floor. “Training clothes. The sun’s out, so let’s see if you can use that to gain a boost.”
“Nothing better to do, I guess.”
Amelia loudly sang the lyrics from, I’ll Make a Man Out of You. You know, the one from Disney’s Mulan. A flashback of how my goddess’s fucked up training hurt a lot made me regret agreeing to this.
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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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