These are chapters with a lot of content, so be prepared readers!
Also… Due to the nature of the chapters… I will release both today. Although due to the length (and edits I made to this chapter) and will make to the next, it will be a little while before the following chapter is posted.
“Now that, that matter has been settled. Even though it doesn’t seem like it has brought you much solace, I believe it is time we have that conversation.” the voice murmured in Hannah’s mind as she vaguely listened.
Hannah felt a little numb as she realized she didn’t have much of a choice, but at least whatever or whoever had helped had held up it’s end of the bargain. Hannah nodded her head assuming it could understand her sign of agreement.
“Before I became a god, I was called Luna. Once I did, I was given the title of Moonlight Reaper.” the voice said as the outline of a body the size of 50 meters appeared before Hannah, the outline majestic as it radiated a golden light that shined so splendidly it made making out the features impossible.
The golden light gave off a regal aura that made every word spoken feel like a decree from a king. As the size of the outline grew smaller and smaller becoming only as large as Hannah herself. Her shape became a bit hazy and her form seemed surreal. Most importantly as Hannah noticed was that even as she stared at the figure before her.
It was as if she could see but couldn’t remember what she was seeing even while still looking.
Hannah’s mind was in a state of shock as the words suddenly merged with the figure before her. Not a single shred of doubt lingered in Hannah’s mind, this being that called itself a god was indeed just that. She felt like she was looking at the sun and trying to make out a detail while trying to stop herself from looking away as her eyes burned.
Not a single god had appeared before a human in recorded history. That is not to say that it had never happened, it was just not openly discussed if it did. Some sects, schools and families had many secrets and passed the information they had from the past down to other family members, but any thing as serious as this was guarded and never spread.
Hannah didn’t know what to say, “What do I say to a god? Why is she even speaking to me?” Hannah wondered as she stared at the majestic presence before her.
If Hannah had analyzed the situation a bit better, she would have realized that there was no point in appearing in such a forceful form that could be seen but not comprehended, if not for the sole purpose of verifying it’s identity and showing off.
Hannah wholeheartedly believed that this was the form of the gods at this moment.
“I am going to tell you a story. You are going to listen… And then you are going to make a decision. A choice that only a selected few will have to make in the coming years.” Luna spoke, her tone even.
“There are many worlds. They exist in the vast reaches of space and our universe. Some are incredibly marvelous, some primitive and simple, but regardless of the world they all follow the rules of this universe.
There is a great expanse which cannot be explained or covered within a mere conversation. It would take a human life time for a mere cursory description of every planet, every star, every race. Every single living thing.
There is a vastness, and in that vastness there exists all of which is encompassed by this universe.
Originally there was only one god. One keeper of the universe to oversee it’s rules and to wield the power to create and destroy. He was the wielder of the title of “God” and it is the power of god that has influenced that makes up the immortals in existence.
Unable to stop herself Hannah blurted out, “Wait… The power that makes up God or God? I thought you were a god. I’m sorry but I’m getting confused” Hannah admitted as she felt overwhelmed by the information much less the majestic presence before her which was making it hard to focus.
“Try not to interrupt unless it’s necessary…
It’s commonly known among us gods that the first “God” after an unknown period of time, reached a point where the loneliness and boredom overwhelmed him. The greatest threat we gods face is our own boredom. Time is our foe without anything motivating us.
The first “God” created a loophole for lesser beings, an opportunity to attain a small piece of his power. A chance to stand above the rules of the universe and become an immortal.
All lesser beings live on worlds like yours previously was. You are a lesser being. Anything that does not possess immortality is by our definition a lesser being.
When a lesser being begins understanding mana, the universe and one of the attributes that either makes up the universe, the worlds or exists within, they begin on the path of immortality. Most begin this path without realizing it but never reach far enough to truly be considered having tread the path of understanding.
Reaching a level of mastery of understanding through mana in a given piece that makes up the universe is the first requirement. The second is strength. A trained mind and body. Once these requirements are met, a lesser being is given a choice by the power that makes up “God.””
Over time various different beings attained this level of power, creating the gods that most worlds and their inhabitants know of.
The power of “God” grants a being that has mastered and understood an attribute to it’s completion a godhood. A godhood is divine body. Making a lesser being a demigod. An immortal that can do as he or she pleases in the mortal realm but also enter God’s Realm.
This is still the weakest form of an immortal. Above them, there are gods, highroads and unique gods. The requirements vary, but the difference between a god and a demigod lies in attaining a “divinity”. A god has a godhood, a vessel which holds their divinity, the liquid inside of the vessel. The purest form of energy which is derived from God. It can be wielded in many ways but the differences are great between those two barriers.
A god can survive even without a body, such as myself. A demigod cannot.
A god can only be killed by another god. A demigod can be killed by a lesser being (however improbable).
A god cannot kill a lesser being directly. A god cannot live in a lesser realm permanently. A demigod can do both.
We are limited by our own power by God himself.
The gods inside of the universe exist against the will of the universe. We are existences that have overcome the rule of the universe that dictates death. We exist inside of it and apart from it, but still ruled by it.
Now… You may be wondering why it is called a “title” if there was only meant to be one “God” or one immortal from the start right…?
“God” is a title, it is a title given to whichever god wields the greatest power in the universe. That god is given the title because only one god can hold the power to create and destroy the universe at will. Originally this was the only being that was supposed to be immortal. The keeper of the universe, the one meant to enforce the rules of natural order. Over time due to the loophole that “God” created, more beings came into existence that were qualified to hold this power. They were and are qualified because they possess the essence of the original “God”.
That is why the title of “God” can and has changed over time. There have been 2 since the creation of the universe. Although the first “God” created a set of rules that cannot be broken or changed, regardless of who holds the title because his will was infused into the power that the title-wielder holds.
Now… I want you to understand that I’ve told you all of this for a purpose.
A few human weeks ago, God chose to end himself. In doing so he nearly destroyed the universe by accident, or more accurately by inadvertent consequence.” Luna paused almost for dramatic effect, or perhaps because she herself found the event of grave importance.
Hannah only stared wide eyed. Not fully comprehending everything she was being told. Everything was so many realms above everything that the humans in this world knew that her mind was trying to digest all the new information.
Seeing Hannah’s rapt attention focused on her story, Luna continued “Every god in the God’s realm had to sacrifice their godhoods and part of their very essence which is their divinity in order to both stop and repair the universe. We succeeded but at great cost to ourselves. We no longer have bodies. In some ways, the demigods who had to sacrifice very little are now the strongest beings in existence.” Luna spoke, her voice now held a hint of weariness. Recalling what she and her fellow gods had endured had taken a toll on her mentally.
“Eh…? How come? You all still exist though. I mean… I don’t want to come off as rude but… How does that affect of us ‘lesser beings’?” Hannah asked while giving voice to what she thought was a fair question.
“The gods were the ones who monitored the demigods. Therefore they did not run wild because any god could kill them with ease and with no repercussions. Now it would take a huge toll on any of us to do. Our divinities are still in existence, but they won’t be forever. Not without a vessel, not without a godhood. We are now mortal in a sense. In the sense that we will perish in time.” As Luna finished Hannah finally caught up as a little bit of understanding dawned on her.
“If these beings that may as well be gods to any normal creature could do as they pleased… It wasn’t a stretch to say they could shape this world or any other if they wanted too.” Hannah thought out loud.
Then as if a light bulb went off in her head, a cold shudder crept down Hannah’s spine as a daunting thought crossed her mind about her recent events.
Luna stared at Hannah as comprehension dawned on her as she began connecting dots in her mind, “Correct…And while that holds some relevance to you. That is not why I am telling you this. I am telling you because of what is to come next. The world will change in many ways, especially yours. Your world is no longer your own, a large portion of your world melded into ours. Into the realm and world that used to be solely for the gods. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that they melded together since our “world” was a realm and not a world in it of itself.”
Hannah didn’t really understand her meaning, but at least that of explained the huge differences they’d all experienced since waking up to their town in ruins.
“I will follow this up by letting you know that your world isn’t the only one that was… By lack of better phrasing, also melted into our realm. I won’t speak to the intricacies of our realm as it would be useless to the you now. I will only give you a comparison to expand your mind. If it would have taken you 4 years to traverse your entire world on foot before, with time to rest and traverse the more difficult portions… Then I will tell you that if you wanted to travel to the end of this world, you wouldn’t even cover a blip in an entire human lifetime.” Luna’s words lingered in the air as Hannah stared at her in shock.
Believing the world to be one thing, being told it had changed but then having that bubble expanded and popped right in front of your very eyes would be hard for anyone to accept much less truly comprehend.
Hannah was stuck trying to wrap her head around the first things the first portion of what this god had told her, all this information was more than overwhelming but now she was being told that her entire world was nothing but a small rock on what by comparison was an actual world.
Seeing confusion and apprehension in Hannah’s eyes made Luna feel gratified that the girl she was speaking too was taking her words with the seriousness they deserved. Continuing her story ,“Without the gods maintaining the rules they set forth everything will slowly return to a more primitive form… I won’t speak to this any further as only time will show you what I mean.
Instead I want to tell you why I’ve chosen to speak with you as I have.
The first God set one rule regarding his power before he chose death. A rule to decide who was most worthy of receiving his title and power. It was a manner in which to decide how a god could attain his power.
Chasing a form that required a variety of qualifications. God chose to hold a set of trials. Trials for both the gods and lesser beings alike. These trials would inevitably decide on who would gain the qualifications to become the next God. Which lesser beings would have the right to attain a higher form, and which beings and worlds would di-“ Hannah interrupted mid sentence again unable to hold herself back “Why would we die? It’s a competition for gods! Why would a lesser being and it’s world be destroyed?”
Giving her a look of impertinence, “Do not interrupt me again. Use your own brain to think about it once I’ve finished giving you all of the information. Only an idiot asks a question or makes up his or her mind before given all of the information.”
That look on consternation made Hannah shut up immediately as she was chastised by a god making her feel small.
“After his passing, all the gods in existence would have a time limit set before their divinities withered away and died. Regardless of whether they had a godhood or not. They simply had more time than we do.
Each god must create a dungeon within our realm. Then choose a lesser being as a representative to try and complete that dungeon. We must guide our representative to our dungeon and then without any interference allow them to try and attain the best possible result. The dungeon itself varies in difficulty and is decided upon by it’s maker. It holds grave importance.
Now this is the part that is equally meaningful for you as much as me. If the god’s do not have someone complete at least one higher dungeon, then as the gods fade away so will the power that suppose the universe. As no one will attain the title of God and maintain the universe. All organic life will wither away and die, the fires will become unstable. Gravity will lose it’s pull. The vacuum of space will affect the air within the individual worlds. The void will begin to swallow up matter at random.
The universe will die, and so will everything within it.
Now. I think you can more or less guess where I am going with this. I want to choose you to be my representative. I want you to be my chosen.” as Luna finished speaking Hannah’s mouth gaped open.
“The universe will cease to exist and she wants ME to be the one to help her stop this!? What in the world could make her think I would be capable of this!? This is crazy! I can’t do this, the weight of the entire world much less the universe? I can’t even handle the kaden being gone…” Hannah thought as her grief started to swell and her earlier thoughts and surprise and awe seemingly faded into the background.
Even as she stared at the ground letting everything sink in, Hannah still couldn’t understand why not participating would mean their deaths. “It would be one thing if no one won, but as long as someone does, doesn’t it fix the problem” Hannah wondered.
“Hmm. I will answer your unasked questions. I am choosing you because you have my lineage. You have at least one drop of diluted blood from my line. Only those who have my bloodline will be able to innately trigger a Death Attribute.” Luna said with the aura of a god and the loftiness to match. Pride swelling within the very words she spoke.
“Is.. that a big deal? I mean know it’s not a common attribute but sti-“ Hannah wasn’t finished before Luna cut her off.
“As for the other question… You are going to have to learn to become more insightful… Imagine a scenario with various gods vying for power through their representatives. If someone does attain the greatest power, do you think those representatives wouldn’t have gotten into conflict at more than one point throughout their journey? Do you think enmity wouldn’t have been created in-between different groups and races? Do you think the representatives themselves do not gain power as they complete these trials? Exactly. Also, it’s not so fun to be cut off mid-sentence now is it?” Luna’s voice had steadily been increasing as she spoke. Clearly she was bothered by Hannah’s lack of effort into realizing something that to her, was obvious (and also because she didn’t like being interrupted and was still holding a slight grudge…)
“You must not understand the value upon which you simply stumbled upon. What an “attribute” is. Anyone can gain understanding and mastery over anything. That which exists in the universe can be understood by those inside of it. An “Attribute” means that you are born or have unlocked a limited understanding with no work. The equivalent of… Being born able to crawl. It sets you on a path that is both easier and set out for you. It’s an advantage but that is all. Still, it’s a very, very rare advantage.” Luna paused as her gaze bore down on Hannah. She wanted her words to sink in.
Luna then added “The ability to gain or unlock an “attribute” was something we gods set into place and maintain with our power. It was a means to get children (lesser beings) to grow stronger. Training wheels in order for you all to attain enough enlightenment to join our ranks.” even as she spoke, she was expecting to see a look of admiration in Hannah’s eyes, and seeing exactly that.
“Understanding death is one of the hardest and most complicated paths within the universe. I was the first to understand death to the level of a High God. Thus earning the title of Moonlight Reaper.” Luna spoke further bolstering her position in front of Hannah.
Even as most of it went over her head, Hannah understood the implication. She was very rare, and because of that this god held her in high esteem. Perhaps not because of what or who she was, but this god was measuring her based on her potential. Hannah also realized that this was likely a very powerful or special god to have attained something so amazing.
“I… Don’t think I can do this.” Hannah finally spoke, as fear that her words would anger this god spread through her.
“Give me one reason why not.” Luna replied unrelentingly.
Hesitating to speak up, Hannah finally mustered the courage to be honest with the god in front of her and herself, “I… I just lost my brother. I am barely hanging on. I don’t have what it takes to do what you’re asking of me. I just… I just don’t have it in me to bear the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
Unflinchingly the god before responded as if the words she would should have been a given, “You are walking the path of death. The path of death is opposite the path of life. The path that ties the two together is un-death. You have lost your brother, your most precious family member. Then why not aim to bring him back to life? I can guide you towards this end. I can guide you in becoming strong enough to regain what you have lost.”
Hannah’s eyes teared up as she slowly tried to stop her body from trembling. The words Luna had spoken had shaken her to her very core. The possibility of being able to bring Kaden back to life had never crossed her mind. Something so impossible would have been too farfetched for Hannah to believe had it been anyone else speaking the words… But this was a god. A god who Hannah had enough instinct to know was special in some way. She was clearly not at the bottom of the god totem pole.
Clearing her throat, Hannah asked exactly what was on her mind, “Is that even possible? Can I really do that?”
“If you possess the body then yes. I can seal the soul which should still be in the body. Reviving him as undead should not be impossible within reasonable period of time. Reviving his soul into his undead body will take far more skill. Reviving him back to his former self, giving him life. That will take the pinnacle of understanding and training, but yes.” Luna said without wavering, her confidence inspiring a belief in Hannah that gave her a hope that she thought was previously lost.