“Where do you believe mana originates from?” The smirking Goddess asked the sighing man, as they neared the end of their first game of ‘Go Fish.’
Michael told her “Well~, if I had to guess… I’d obviously say, your true form. Hmmm, in fact, this entire universe could just be a neuron in your brain. Hell, it’s also possible that this whole reality is merely a virtual one, and we’re all just programs within a really complex computer. I wouldn’t even be surprised if all of this was just a dream and when I finally sleep, ‘poof,’ I just wake up in my broken bed with a hard-on and completely forget that any of this shit ever happened. Hehehe~, I’m a writer, reader, and I’ve seen so many damn T.V. shows, movies, and porn, that I’ve practically reached enlightenment! Also, I might be completely insane or in a coma… but that look you’re giving me, is making me think that ‘none of the above’ was the correct answer.”
Arcane frowned, while saying “All magic requires mana to function. Originally, I was the only being in this world who possessed such abilities. However, as you can clearly imagine, I was lonely. The story that you heard is relatively similar to what actually happened, but the details are unimportant. This particular solar-system didn’t come into existence until after the Humans we summoned created it in the image of their original home. Do you have any aces?”
He snickered and replied “Nope, Go Fuck-er Fish, heh. Anyway~, so basically, you guys had shit-tons of power, but ya blew it all helping those original ass-hats screw around and do ridiculous things: Like blowing up planets and creating new ones with super-overpowered magic.”
The illusory woman giggled, then whispered “Indeed, between the ritual to attract the millions of souls to this world, and supplying them all with substantial amounts of mana… However, it was certainly worth the effort. Even after they have all departed, their offspring and inventions have continued to flourish throughout this solar-system. A few have ventured out and created others as well. There is always something interesting happening now, though it all became rather tedious eventually. Thus, aside from the automatic systems set in place to uphold our laws, we rarely interact with mortals any longer.”
Michael asked “Do you have any kings? Also, so basically, the nine of you have decided to change the rules a bit. Instead of having hordes of Players that you can’t even fool around with, you’d rather just grab a handful of them at any given time, which you could throw your love and affection towards?”
She handed him her last two cards and said “It appears that you’ve attained victory in our first match, congratulations. I find it intriguing how difficult such a simple game can become, when my Intelligence has be brought down to such an unreasonably low level.”
Hearing that, he started laughing hysterically, then told her “Well, sorry for being an idiot, hahaha~!” Thus, they continued on to their second round, and third, then fourth; each match required at least ten minutes, and up to thirty if they were spending too much time talking.
All throughout the town, rumors were rapidly spreading about the Goddess Arcana having descended. More importantly, many of the Elves who were stopping by Avarice or partaking in the other pleasures that the Temple of Asura had to offer, began evacuating as if a great disaster was about to occur.
When Gabriel heard the news, he tried to send his daughter several messages, and put off their departure by a few hours, but eventually had to order “You all know the law! If an avatar of any Goddess except Aeris appears, we must return home immediately!” As they began fleeing towards their village, seventy-five miles to the north, he muttered “I’m sorry Talia… if you’re alive, then we shall meet again one day.”
The only Elves that didn’t leave, were those of the Arcane Affinity, who patiently stood outside of the casino. Not just them, but even Humans, Orcs, Goblins, and Warbeasts who worshipped Arcana, were basking in that ‘divine’ aura.
Another name began spreading among the population: The man who was casually playing a card-game with the Goddess. Michael the Immortal, a rank-F, level-ten Human; that was all that anyone knew about him.
However, that piece of information was disseminated throughout the various Elven nations. Of course, no one truly understood why such an insignificant being, would be favored by Arcana.
Yet, he was immediately marked as an extremely dangerous enemy by nearly every organization that received his name. Perhaps there were many who would believe him to be some sort of apostle or envoy of the Goddess.
Unfortunately, that just made the various religions view him as an incredible threat, which needed to be removed as soon as possible. In fact, it was at that time, when Sophia finally arrived in the Holy Capital.
At the very center of Luxia, was the Grand Citadel of Light: An immense building, constructed entirely of mithril, moonstone, and sunsteel. It was built with dozens enormous spires and a central tower, which was literally the size of a small mountain.
Located at the very southern end of the Human territories, and on the border with the Warbeast Hinterlands, it was one of the largest cities on the continent. On the very tip of the central tower, was a colossal orb of pure Light Element, which constantly illuminated everything for a hundred miles and pumped out lethal amounts of solar-radiation.
Anyone who wasn’t of the Light Affinity, wouldn’t even be able to approach the Holy Metropolis. Many devout Luxians believed that an avatar of the Goddess herself, lived within that strange and beautiful sphere.
Within that ‘Sanctuary of Helel,’ a small girl was silently floating around in a massive, square, white-room. On the ivory-skinned child’s back were three sets of huge, dove-like wings, which were very slowly stretching and occasionally pulsating.
Her eyes were closed, and all over her unclothed body were various, intricate tattoos, which glowed with a brilliant radiance. Silver hair, which was longer than she was tall, gently spread in every direction and swayed like waves on the surface of a lake.
Below the ‘divine’ emissary, was a beautiful Angel named Sophia, kneeling on the ground and whispering “Grandmother, I believe that I have found him… The Goddesses have indeed created a new one. Thus far, he has only chosen to follow Arcana and is merely level-nine.”
Helel smirked and murmured “Hmm~, the last batch of Otherworlders were broken far too easily. I have a good feeling about this one though… Mama wouldn’t have sent me down here, if she didn’t think he would make it very far. Hehe~, it’s been so~ long since the last time I had a fun toy to play with.”
Suddenly, the kneeling woman’s body began glowing brightly and growing rapidly. Strangely, her beautiful, pure-white dress was transforming into a tattoo that ran across her torso.
When she stood upright, her height was over ten meters and another set of wings erupted from her lower-back. Sophia smiled warmly and asked “Would you like me to execute those foolish Archangels and Cherubim who plot against you?”
Her rank had suddenly jumped up to ‘SS’ and her level had risen well past one-hundred, and was considered a ‘World Boss.’ She was the second strongest being within Luxia, and could easily exterminate all of the scheming traitors in the Holy City.
However, Helel giggled quietly, then told her “Don’t worry Sophy, you’ll be able to have your fun soon enough. As for those silly children, hehehe~, wouldn’t it be more interesting to watch the Otherworlder deal with them? Knowing Mama, she’s probably already planning to win him over, so it’s only a matter of time before they give-up on me and start trying to kill him instead. Hahaha~, I wonder how many times they’ll murder him before his soul breaks, or maybe he’ll actually managed to slaughter them instead?”
It was at that moment when the little girl felt a trace of Arcana’s true aura passing by. After a few seconds, she opened her blindingly-bright eyes and stared off into the distance, seeing through the walls of her room, across thousands of miles, and finally being stopped by that oppressive Chaotic barrier around the Temple of Asura.
She started laughing hysterically, and beamed a happy smile towards her ‘granddaughter,’ before whispering “Sophy… order a battalion of Lesser Angels to ‘purge’ a place for me. Make sure that they belong to one of those naughty brats, preferably one of the weakest Archangels.”