“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…”