Amelia didn’t have plans to let go of me anytime soon, her relief of my return conflicting with her reality for what seemed to be going on for weeks. I glared at Moses with enough silent anger in my blood so that he could see my glowing blue eyes.
“Where’s the elite?” I said, without emotion. Amelia stiffened.
“Dead,” Moses answered. “Princess Venus tore through them like tissue paper.”
“I don’t feel any Fallen from her, so what really happened? My actions will be based on your answer.”
“It is exactly as I said,” Moses said. “Our oath…it was tainted. So, my entire team paid the price for it.”
I shook my head.
“The universe isn’t known for holding back, I see. Yet, you were spared.”
“A leader’s failure of a magnitude this great is his greatest shame,” Moses said, his voice barely above a whisper.
“I’m guessing there was a truce involved to take out the royals,” I continued. When I tried to pull away from Amelia, she hung on tight.
“Epex, don’t,” she said.
“Don’t?” I said. “Oh, you mean extract revenge for being brutally murdered and stabbed to death.” I chuckled. “You’ve already done most of that for me.”
I willed essence to move Amelia to the side and hold her place. Moses to my surprise didn’t step back, but the two gods I didn’t recognize stood in front of me.
“Prince, you must calm down,” one of them said, a man who looked to be in his late twenties.
“Do not call me that,” I said then shoved both he and the other god with pretty-boy features aside. I anchored them in place with just a whiff of essence.
“A tainted oath or not, I still remembered that last order,” I said, finally letting the venom drip onto my voice. “The only reason why you’re not melting into goo right now is because Amelia spared you for some reason. And despite wanting to do what the sadistic devils in the depths done to me, I’m better than that. Unlike you, I’ve got a conscious. You probably should be thanking Amelia for that, because the old me would’ve turned you into sand right here on the spot.” I anchored him to his place with essence, walked over, and placed a hand on his chest. His eyes widened, surprised that he couldn’t exert any of his great elite-six powers. “You will pay for what you’ve done to the city and me in a different manner. You will serve me. And your powers will no longer work unless in my service.” I forced my essence to lock his in a seal that was almost as brutal as Conus’s. My fiery heavenly-light was out, reacting to my increased anger. Sweat dripped from Moses’s forehead.
“You probably shouldn’t do that,” the blonde god protested. I gave a glowing eye glare that froze him. I wasn’t sure how I was doing all of this—it was as if some greater force silently guided me, as if inserting its will through me.
I flicked a finger, inserting the memories of my death into his head. His eyes widened, then narrowed, turning to Moses.
“Explain yourself, Moses, if you’re really our leader. I…saw it all.”
Amelia looked at him.
“I don’t know how he did it, Lady Venus, put he showed me his memories. I…I honestly think you should slay Moses.” The blonde shook his head. “And here I wanted to enter the elite. Wanted to rub it in my stupid father’s face. Not anymore. Not after seeing that. That...that’s just messed up. I quit. I will not stain my name under your leadership.”
“Don’t tell the fuck who caused all of this that I’m alive,” I said to Moses. “And you will resign when this mess is over. Prevent them from replacing the elites right away or the curse I’ve inserted with burst into an unquenchable flame that will burn you from the inside out. There’s corruption in Paradise Realm. I can only assume that whoever’s behind this wanted me out of the picture. I tried to stay out of Paradise Realm’s way, out of their politics, but I’m done with that shit. I will soon pay it a visit and personally weed out the group.” I looked at Amelia, with the glowing eyes, and released her from the anchor. “Any objections?”
She returned a solemn gaze before speaking.
“Do you really have to ask?”
“Of course not,” I said. I turned to the two non-elite hunters. “You both know something’s up and you’re going to help. Don’t say anything when you go back. It will take a little time for me to prepare for this. I don’t plan on dying again, but I will be going back to Paradise Realm. Now get going.”
The three gods ascended off, leaving me with Amelia. Before I could even turn around to face her, she was already back to hugging me.
“I’ve missed you,” I said softly.
Amelia only responded with a kiss, actually catching me off guard a little.
“Don’t you ever leave me again,” she said. “Promise me.”
I looked in emerald green eyes. In a glimpse, I saw what she became. What the universe let her turn into just to unleash justice. Holy shit did she wipe with the floor with them. That form. Amelia was always more powerful than me—but as Disaster, she widened that gap. The universe blocked that form again, out of nowhere, just to stabilize the earth.
That soul she consumed out of anger… Somehow, I knew the universe wanted me to free it, even though Amelia was justified. Maybe the soul was due for reincarnation.
“I have to take that soul from you,” I told Amelia. She flinched then stiffened.
“You’re connected with the universe, like your father,” she said softly.
“I’ve always been connected to it. Just like when I somehow banished Karma from the earth. The universe gave me the ability to do it.”
“And when Yulese nearly killed Jade?”
“Yeah,” I said. “It turns on an ability within me, kind of how my mother controls my seal. Now hold still. Your friend broke down from peer pressure, so I’m going to release her.”
Amelia didn’t respond at first.
“I won’t apologize for what I did.”
“Good. Because I’d rather you not apologize for avenging me,” I said then willed the soul out of Amelia’s belly.
The young woman who looked Amelia age was on her knees, crying. She flinched, taking notice that she was out of the darkness, back. Changing the universe’s will just a bit, I flicked my wrist. The goddess shimmered, returning to her former self with clothes, alive again. She cried, bowing lowly to me.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she kept repeating. “I didn’t want to—I’m sorry.”
I gazed at Amelia.
“What’d you do?”
“Let’s just say she had endless dreams of what she did.”
“Get up,” I said. “Go home. And don’t come back to this city or I’ll kill you.”
The girl gave a pleading look to Amelia, which got nowhere. My goddess wasn’t going to simply forgive murder. Especially social murder—the nerve of these psychotic fucks.
Wings burst from the sad goddess’s back as she ascended away with the knowledge that she lost Amelia as a friend forever. It was more than just from snuffing me out. Amelia never lost contact with her friends. I bet they communicated telepathically from time to time—and knowing Amelia, she probably told her friends in Paradise realm how excited she was for my return. Maybe even how she’d help me heal from the strict punishment of Conus. That girl betrayed Amelia by not having a backbone.
“Let’s go catch up with the others,” I said. “Well…maybe after I shower and change. I’m fucking hungry.”
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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 (It's a joke. These are among my favorite authors) , 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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