“Do you really want to know?” A familiar voice whispered into his left ear, and when he turned to see who it was, Michael smirked.
Arcana appeared as a beautiful High-Elf, slightly similar to Talia, but only six-feet tall. Her hair was pure white and her eyes, pitch-black, without any light at all. On her forehead was a spiral crystalline horn, which looked like it could belong to a unicorn.
She didn’t wear any clothing and casually revealed her extremely small breasts and flat but non-muscular abdomen. Michael asked the Goddess “What did you want to talk to me about?”
Since she wasn’t translucent or incorporeal, he felt that their conversation was probably going to be about something fairly important. After pausing for a few seconds, she sighed, “You know why I had to summon you now, right?”
He smirked, “Yep, fucking time-travel bullshit… I assume that when a Player suddenly shows up, who you didn’t summon ‘yet’, it probably causes all kinds of trouble. But~, this conversation is about something else…”
The Goddess giggled, whispering “Indeed, the problem is not you… Instead, you are the solution.” As they spoke, the Nephilim began walking along the bloody floor and dozens of thin and long arms were reaching up and grabbing at his legs. Their fingers were more like tentacles and they had no skin, so it was quite a disturbing sight, but Michael didn’t seem to mind.
There were five giant glowing eyeballs connected to the ceiling and floating around, staring at him. An enormous tongue was located on the southern end of the room, while a massive demonic slime-monster was roaming around near the northern side; below the colossal brain, there was a pool of inky sludge, with a mysterious flower growing in the center.
That plant had twenty long and feminine legs instead of petals, and in the middle were ten pairs of female genitalia. When he walked past, the thick and meaty stem contorted, in an attempt to attract his attention; it constantly released a potent aphrodisiac into the air and the mouths along the sides began moaning incessantly.
Michael groaned, muttering “This place feels so weird… Is it sentient, or is it simply responding to a specific programming?”
Arcana was wearing a wry smile, as she floated around and revealed “Unless you place a soul inside of the brain, everything will act upon instinct. It does not ‘need’ anything but mana to survive, yet it desires physical sustenance and ‘stimulation’.”
Once he reached the gigantic open octopus-beak at the western edge of the room, he was able to see ‘inside’ of it. Letting out a long drawn-out sigh, he asked “What do you need me to do?”
The elven woman landed to his left and casually latched onto his arm in a familiar manner, whispering into his ear “Take a walk with me…” Beyond that strange creature’s mouth had been a relatively normal-looking balcony, from which he could easily see all of Luxiana.
When they stepped past that precipice though, everything changed. That townscape vanished and was replaced by an eerily familiar jungle, which glowed brightly and was filled with the generic animal noises that he vividly remembered.
Opening his minimap, Michael sighed dramatically, complaining “This is where Sarah ‘found’ the house… Ugh, seriously? You couldn’t have at least given me some kinda warning first? I would have at least said goodbye to everyone…”
Arcana let go of his arm and started casually leaning against that wooden railing, turning around, she murmured “What would be the point of that? This is merely an illusion… We have not truly traveled back to this particular time period. You are still far too weak to accomplish the task that I must ask of you. I simply wished to have some ‘privacy’, from the prying eyes and omnipresent ears of the Game Masters.”
He snickered, gazing out at two deer that were mating obnoxiously in front of his house. “Are you finally going to tell me what this is really about?”
Her pitch-black eyes suddenly turned pure-white, and her pale skin became obsidian. It felt like he could literally see the entire universe mapped out upon her flesh; the various galaxies seemed as if they were insignificant, tiny tattoos, and it wasn’t even possible for him to discern an individual star-system.
Michael reached out with his right hand and casually placed his palm on her sternum. He saw a swirl, which reminded him of the ‘Milky Way’, but when he touched it, a planet that appeared exactly the same as ‘Earth’ was displayed in his mind.
The Goddess giggled, “This is a ‘lower’ plane… It is similar to this one, but created to resemble the universe where your soul came from. Everything must come from somewhere and be fabricated by something. At least, that is the conclusion that I have arrived at after eons of contemplation… but I do not claim to be omniscient or omnipotent. Compared to that galaxy in your hand, the body that you currently possess could easily ‘devour’ it, if you wished. You might gain a single point of Aura… though you would have to consume the life-force of nearly eight-billion Humans, trillions of animals and the mana-core of the very planet itself. This is one of the many ‘prisons’ that I keep… As you might imagine, I have created a great many ‘mistakes’ while attempting to manufacture proper souls.”
As the Nephilim listened to her mesmerising words, his pitch-black wisp escaped from his palm and entered into that ‘world’. He floated around beyond the Moon, but a simple thought was enough for him to travel thousands of miles in an instant.
It didn’t even feel ‘real’ to him, because of how much power he had. However, as he entered the atmosphere, he immediately noticed a jet airliner. Without much effort, he ‘created’ an astral-body and ‘landed’ on the left wing.
Michael muttered “Hmm~, it seems kind of like a dream-world, where I can basically do whatever the fuck I want. Is this what it feels like for you to exist in the ‘reality’ I just came from?”
An naked elven woman materialized and sat down next to him. Even though there was a Human child near the window, staring directly at the two of them, that little boy was unable to ‘perceive’ them.
Arcana smirked at him, as they both sat on the edge of the wing. “Think of this entire universe we’re currently ‘visiting’ as a drawing on a piece of paper. It is incredibly fragile; with a tiny spark, we could burn it all to ashes. In our world, the carbon would still remain, but everything that was illustrated on the original canvas, would have been obliterated. Regardless of how insignificant this world is, it still has ‘some’ substance in ours; both the time and effort required for me to create this universe, were much higher than what what is needed to destroy it all.”
He snickered, asking “If we’re following the logic that nothing can be created for free, then where exactly do ‘you’ get your mana, matter and energy from? Is it harvested from the souls of Players or some cliche nonsense like that?”
Glancing down at the distant ocean, Michael felt that the plane was losing altitude rather quickly. There were no islands within a few hundred miles, so he didn’t have to think very had to realize that it was probably going to crash.
Teleporting inside of the cockpit, he immediately saw that the pilot was laying on the floor with her throat slit, bleeding profusely, but not quite dead yet. Sitting in the pilot’s seat, was a pale-skinned man, with blood covering his uniform and his bright-green eyes were staring up at the blinding sun.
The naked Nephilim sighed and shook his head, grumbling “If ya wanna die, then you should have just killed yourself first and allowed everyone else to enjoy their short, miserable, monotonous lives.”
Arcana murmured “Why do you care whether these Humans survive? What will you gain from saving them? Your actions in this world will not be recorded by the ‘System’ and you will not earn any benefits…”
Michael shrugged, asking “Well, what will I lose? A few slivers of mana, which I can regenerate more quickly than I would be able to expend them?” The insane co-pilot’s heart stopped, and his lifeless body fell onto the floor; then the woman on the floor had her neck instantly healed, along with any internal damage and every ounce of blood was regenerated.
As she regained her senses, the tear-filled and hopeless eyes of the pilot stared up at the naked, illusory man. His crimson irises gave off the feeling of a demon, but his face appeared eerily familiar.
Then she heard the loud beeping and noises which indicated that the plane was rapidly losing altitude and the autopilot had been disconnected. Since the mysterious figure swiftly vanished from her sight, she ignored it and sat down, attempting to prevent the jet from crashing into the ocean.
That blonde-haired, heavily freckled woman, with hazel eyes, loudly yelled “I don’t know whether you’re God, the Devil or some kinda alien, but thank you!” before laughing hysterically at the ridiculous situation.
With a little telekinetic assistance from Michael, the plane was able to reach the proper altitude again. As it disappeared into the horizon, the two astral-bodies were floating in the sky, and Arcana finally answered his question: “In order to survive and thrive, everyone must ‘eat’ and ‘grow’, or they will certainly die and be consumed by the microorganisms within their own bodies. I am no different… I can still become ‘sick’, if the creatures living inside of me become too powerful or greedy; I can still die, and when I do, everything that exists within my ‘true’ body shall be destroyed. Perhaps the Players will be able to escape; they may even be able to use that opportunity to gain a portion of my power… enough for them to return to their original worlds. Do you understand now, what I need you to do for me?”
He gazed out towards the rising sun for a few moments, then turned towards the ethereal ‘Goddess’ and answered “Nope.”