Chapter 60: Secrets

“The literal definition of ‘Apocalypse’, is the total obliteration of the world: specifically, as described in biblical texts. However, every religion and mythology on Earth had their own concept of the ‘end times’. Most of them involved a great and terrible battle between godlike entities, which humans had no way of contending against directly.

“Everything that has a beginning, must also eventually come to an end; that is simply one of the many laws of reality. There is also another very important rule: Something cannot be created out of nothing. An eternal struggle exists for each of the innumerable universes, an endless battle for survival.

“They cannot fight in the conventional sense, since they are enormous entities that are separated by unfathomable barriers and distances. Of course, everything is relative and even the largest beings are still comparable to some of the smallest.

“When a tiger devours a wild boar, it also consumes all of the microorganisms, parasites, bacteria and viruses that were living inside of the creature. In a single day, a gargantuan baleen whale can consume thousands of pounds of krill, plankton and other tiny lifeforms. Just because something is incredibly minuscule in size, does not meant that it cannot have a soul. However, humans are one of the only creatures on ‘Earth’, that would ever even question whether killing and eating other living animals was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

“For anything to live, it must kill; for anything to be created, there must be destruction. Ecosystems require a certain balance, but they always fail eventually, because nothing lasts forever. While souls may ‘seem’ immortal, they can still change in many ways. If all of their information is lost and they become totally empty, would that not be equivalent to their demise? If that ball of power was then consumed by another soul… It would be similar to a permanent death, correct?”

Michael was smirking, as he casually sat cross-legged, totally nude, on the grassy peak of that mountain. The sun was high in the sky, though he could totally control it with a mere thought, so it didn’t actually indicate any sort of time. He started laughing as he reached out with his right hand and grabbed a crimson pawn off of the chessboard, moving it one place forward on. Then the Nephilim gazed up at the ethereal elven woman, who had just asked him two questions.

Arcana’s eyes were like two black holes, which literally distorted the space around her entire head; it was impossible to see her face clearly, but her thin and lithe, feminine body was pure-white and flawless. In fact, her appearance was totally irrelevant, because she could change it whenever she wished. As far as clothing went, since the naked man wasn’t wearing any, neither was she.

“Kana, you know how I feel about rhetorical questions, hehehe~… but yeah, obviously, that’d be as dead as someone or something could possibly get. Well, that’s only under the assumption that the data is truly lost. Hell, I’d say that even after they’ve been devoured, their soul probably still exists within the being that consumed them. It all depends on your perspective though; I mean, I’ve always been more inclined to believe that rather than simply being destroyed, every soul needs to be punished or rewarded for their actions. I’ve been thinking about something for a long time now… Are you Karma?” When Michael said those last three words, the naked woman suddenly stopped; she held the ivory queen in her right hand and her flesh instantly became obsidian.

There were trillions of stars and other beautiful images seemingly floating around inside of her skin. Then her face became visible; she beared a striking resemblance to Lux, Umbra and even Sarah. Instead of blindingly bright stars, her eyes seemed ‘human’, in the sense that she had black pupils, circular bright-blue irises and white sclera.

Arcana stared at the chess-piece and muttered “Perhaps… in a sense, you could relate my existence to ‘Karma’. There was once a time, eons ago, when I was named as such by… Hmm, it appears that this Avatar does not possess the information that you desire. I apologize for the inconvenience…”

“No~, I’m pretty sure it’s too late for you to pull the whole ‘does not compute’ line with me~. You definitely know a lot more than you wanna tell me, but don’t worry, I’m sure it doesn’t really matter either way.” Michael shook his head, as he shamelessly observed the Goddess’ small nipples, which were covered by two swirling galaxies. Then he looked down at her pubic region, which was dotted with millions of tiny glowing red, yellow, blue and white spots. He asked “So~, it’s been fun and all, just… Ya know, kinda pisses me off that I can’t really level-up or anything in this place. Have any of those morons reached the harvesting stage yet?”

She placed the queen down and gazed off into the distance blankly for a few moments, before murmuring “Merely three years have passed on Earth… As I suspected, Lucas has managed to obtain the Seed of Light several months ago. The Seed of Fire was consumed by Iris Angelica Healy over two years ago, so it should not be long before you may ‘retrieve’ it from her. One year ago, the Seed of Darkness was devoured by a vampire named Joseph Cain in Greenland. Adam Cinagra, your brother, has just recently discovered the Arcane Seed. The other five have yet to be located…”

Hearing that, the Nephilim frowned, complaining “You’ve gotta be kidding me… Why the hell does it have to be people I actually know?! Ugh, well, it’s not like I’m going to destroy their souls or anything, right?”

Arcana giggled, whispering “Indeed, they should not suffer from any ‘long-term’ complications after you kill them. However, it is still going to be several years before the Seed of Fire can fully sprout, grow to maturity and bear fruit.”

Michael grumbled “So basically, this is gonna take a while… Well, I should really stop procrastinating and try to ‘exercise’ a bit. Hmmm~, any ideas on where I am and how I can defrost my frozen body?”

“The southernmost continent on your Earth: Antarctica. I brought you here three years ago and purposefully drained your mana-pool, so that you would be unable to continue… interfering with the ‘game’. If I had allowed you to keep roaming around, it is likely that unpleasant variables would have appeared. Now that the mana-density around the planet has improved sufficiently, your existence should not have as much of an effect.” She smiled wryly, while using an ivory bishop to capture a crimson knight.

The Nephilim sighed dramatically, muttering “I can’t believe you actually nerfed me… Well, I guess it’s not really the same thing; more like, the world’s gone through a few ‘expansions’ and I’m coming back to the game with a relatively weaker character.”

At that moment, he opened his eyes and felt as if he had just woken up from an extraordinarily vivid dream. Looking around, he saw nothing but snow, glaciers, snowy mountains and ice in every direction.

He shivered violently and his frozen flesh exploded into shards, which flew off in every direction. What remained, was a four-foot tall, naked little boy, with porcelain skin and golden irises. Michael’s muscles were practically nonexistent and he still felt as if he would flash-freeze again, if he didn’t do something quickly. Taking a deep breath, he discovered that he had access to his mana-pool again. Thus, he immediately chose the equipment that seemed like it would offer the best protection from the cold.

First on his list was a something that he ‘learned’ about during his Soul Realm vacation. They appeared as glasses, but swiftly transformed into a white helmet. His incredibly long hair was tightly bound up behind his head and created the strangely stretched out skull-shape. There were circular goggles to protect his eyes, a ‘rebreather’ around his nose and mouth, while the rest of his face and head was covered by a rubbery material.

After that was a t-shirt, boxers, jeans, sneakers, a silver glove on his left hand and a clear plastic-like substance that coated his entire right arm. The shoes turned into glowing ivory metallic boots, along with his pants becoming thick and warm leg armor. His ‘breastplate’ was more like an incredibly thick layer of luminescent flesh, which protected his skin from the cold and just about anything else.

The glove on his left hand transformed into a gauntlet, while scalding hot chains swiftly wrapped around his tiny bicep and shoulder. On the other side, a thick crystalline material shielded his whole arm, all the way to his collarbone. In the end, there wasn’t a single piece of his body left uncovered, but it still wasn’t enough for him to be satisfied.

Michael snickered as a blazing inferno erupted around his body. When it subsided, a fiery red long-sleeved mage’s robe was over top of most of his armor. He sighed, reaching out and making a pitch-black snowmobile appear in front of him. Once he sat down, he pulled out a copper coin and placed it into the slot in the dashboard where a key would normally go. Gripping the handlebars, he murmured “I can’t believe I’m actually gonna get to use this fucking thing…”

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16 thoughts on “Chapter 60: Secrets

  1. You know this philosophical soul stuff is pretty interesting, I mean if you read those Chinese martial fantasies the soul is always described as very fragile. For example in Coiling Dragon and Desolate Era it can easily be permanently destroyed, or even turned into pure energy to nourish a cultivator. In your Universe though; and I’m talking about both Hardcore OPness and Immortal Soul; the soul is virtually indestrectable. I mean sure it can sealed, damaged, consumed, turn apart, but in the end no matter what it always has a chance to recover.

    Honestly I’ve got to say I like your version better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the same concept as our own law of conservation of matter and energy. Nothing is ever truly destroyed. At least as far as we know lol. In Xianxia they eat souls like candy and destroy them all the time rofl. Then again, their laws of physics and just about everything else, seem to be totally convoluted to me… They purposefully make things incomprehensible so that the authors don’t have to try and explain a lot of stuff, or so that they can spend entire chapters trying to explain something in a roundabout way that just eats up words and is totally redundant lol.

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      • But I always interpreted that the law of conservation does still apply in those works doesn’t it? When they “destroy souls” it’s more like they break apart the memories and personalities that those souls are formed into the basic energy souls are made of, either absorbing that energy for themselves or releasing it into the environment. To compare it to Michael’s theory, the basic data and memories are lost and the power consumed, just that it is broken down from any regular form first. I won’t argue that this is explained in really unclear ways to fill pages though. Also thanks for the chapter, you rock!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, sometimes they do stuff like that, but they describe it in a way that says “Nope, permadeath!” even though they are supposed to have a reincarnation system etcetera lol. Also, they do things like destroying space and time with a wave of their hand, or a sneeze.

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      • This is why I hate Xianxia, nothing is ever explained, everything is incomprehensible bullshit with no logic.

        It’s fine to have mysteries and seemingly unfathomable forces in fiction works, but they should always have some logic if not sense in how they work.

        And this is just the bullshit structure of their worlds, lets not even get into how utterly disposable and bad the antagonists are in those works or how anything from previous arcs doesn’t matter in any way in the next ones.

        For the stuff that usually ends of on the noveltranslations subreddit I much more enjoy reading Korean stuff than the utter rubbish that comes from China.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Meh, I do like Xianxia for the generic power-up wanton murder-rage nonsense that always happens. It’s addictive to me, even with all the obvious flaws lol.

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      • So based on your interpretation of the law of conservation, the soul, cannot be completely destroyed? It’s just a momentary separation or conversion into something else. Because unless there’s some external backup drive separate from everything else( you want to keep that one safe and away from harm🙅) that records everything up to the point of destruction for a potential renewal or resurrection/reincarnation that reconstructs soul to its last save point. It’s hard to see a soul coming back and seeing how that’s an established fact in this story. What happens if the backup drive system gets damaged or destroyed? Would a permanent death happen then or is there a backup of the backup that perpetually continues forever?😲
        Plus what’s wrong with permanent death in a story? I know that Xianxia can get pretty convoluted like most fantasies do( like this story does from time to time😜) but I’m not sure I see the problem in that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There are problems in everything lol. Anyway, it’s already been established in HCOP that those ‘souls'(The balls of mana and information) are semi-physical objects… in the sense that they aren’t necessarily indestructible or invulnerable. However, they’re more like part of a cloud-storage device, which is spread throughout the multiverse(Which Arcana exists within) and that they aren’t necessarily the ‘real’ souls… Kinda like how you still need servers, even if you have something on the internet lol. Everything needs to be backed up and it’s possible that in the reality where their ‘souls’ are transmitting information and commands from… You know what, I’m too tired to explain this right now lol. Read “Immortal Soul” and “Questing” if you haven’t already… if you have already, then it’s all been explained to a certain extent already. Between HCOP, IS and Q, I’ve given away a lot of secrets to how things work(In the stories) lol.

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      • Yeah… I’ve already read IS and Questing😢… and understood the mechanics your trying to implement(not hard to understand). My question was to a unanswered one your story doesn’t address, which was can a permanent death occur in the mike777 multi verse? I think you know what I ‘mean’ by ‘permanent death’ so I don’t have to give a full-blown definition for it.😜 But if you don’t want to answer, I get it.( I know prema death is taboo) and I hope you don’t give me a workaround on the topic. A simple yes it’s possible or no it’s impossible.(Yes your stories and comments suggest it’s highly improbable but that’s not a no)

        Liked by 1 person

      • In IS, Michael reveals that after a person’s soul is imprisoned in their own personal hell for long enough, they often choose to erase their own existence rather than continue being tormented. Whether or not that’s a perma-death, that’s up to the reader to speculate upon lol.

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