“Please… I’m begging you… Make it end! Just kill me! Agh~!”
Everybody suffers. That’s just how life goes. The ones who try to avoid pain, agony and loss the most… Usually end up even more fucked than the ones who just accept that life is terrible and will never get better.
“I’ll do anything you want! Please! Please just let me die!”
It’s really important to have a healthy coping mechanism. Otherwise, things will always seem a lot worse than they actually are.
“Agh~! Why are you doing this to me?! It isn’t even my fault!”
I’ve been tortured in so many different ways throughout my endless existence. Iris was always the most sadistic and cruel out of all my incarnations. Karma’s only a bitch to those who deserve it though… And Iris is definitely the darkest and lowest point in my own personal circle of Samsara.
“Ugh~! Arah~! Aiyee~! Yagh~!”
Although it’s weird talking about myself this way, but Michael is probably the nicest of my seven incarnations. If I was Iris… I would have probably made things worse, karmically. Fortunately, I managed to avoid bending any of my own rules. Otherwise, Lum would’ve been completely broken by now. My job isn’t to punish or torture wicked souls however. I’m just an executioner.
Hithu was a bit trickier, since she was a lot more cautious. Lum… His downfall was pride. He was actually stupid enough to enter my mind of his own volition. It’s been awhile since I explained how Illusion Magic worked, so I’ll give you a bit of a recap. Never enter someone else’s mind, unless you’re absolutely sure you can trust them. If they’re an enemy and you’re trying to telepathically attack them, then you need to be even more careful.
Although mana is involved, and the person with more mana will always have an advantage… Souls are far more dangerous than physical bodies. Sometimes your enemy might just be a little girl, like Lucy, but their Soul could be storing enough mana to obliterate your entire planet. Obviously it’s not that easy though, or planets would spontaneously combust a lot more often.
No, the rules of every reality are different. Some of them, like this one, prevent Souls from releasing any of the mana they contain. In fact, Souls aren’t even able to physically manifest here. I’ve been to some realities where ghosts and wraiths were as common as cockroaches or mice. Of course, I’ve also seen plenty where it was impossible to use magic at all. Kind of disappointing when you’re like me and most of your knowledge is based on the existence of mana.
Okay, the point is that you should never underestimate someone, just because they’re physically weaker than you. Their mind or Soul could be absurdly powerful. Entering someone else’s head is a bad idea.
The first thing that Lum said when he telepathically connected to me was “Hmph, do you really think that I’m as unreasonable as that damn brat? My followers might be a tad overzealous, but I wouldn’t turn them into mindless drones, or sacrifice millions of people just to kill a couple Spirits. So tell me, Michael, what will it take for you to end this silly conflict and form an alliance with me?”
I smirked, then pulled the two of us into a pleasant dreamscape to have a chat. It was a cozy little prison cell that I remember from one of my more pathetic lives. To be more specific, it was a tiny metal cage. The two of us were standing on a wooden pole that was anchored in the center of the cage… Oh, and we were both parrots.
He was a green Macaw and I was an African Grey. Why? Well, why not? Sure, I could’ve brought him to the Festering Hell Pit or one of Anael’s torture chambers, but it wouldn’t have had the same effect.
Lum stared at me inquisitively, then asked “What is the meaning of this? How are you keeping me here?!”
I shuffled over along the wooden pole and made it to the side of the cage. Then I bit down onto the bars with my beak and pulled myself upwards. Eventually I made it onto the ceiling and started hanging upside down. I screeched a few times, until a feminine voice shouted “Misty, shut up! Go to bed!”
There was a dim light shining through the thinner parts of the blanket that was covering our cage. After I climbed across the ceiling and made it to the side, I could see a middle-aged woman through one of the holes I had chewed. She was sitting at a computer desk and clicking her mouse every few seconds.
The green parrot stood rooted in place and continued complaining “Why aren’t you talking to me?! Answer me, damn you! Speak!”
“Gilly, be quiet! If you don’t shush, I’m gonna put you back in your own cage!” That woman turned towards us and screamed, before going back to whatever she was doing on the computer.
After a few minutes, I finally responded “This is your life now, Gilly. Unless you kill yourself or die from some accident, then you still have a few more decades left before you move onto your next life…”
He scoffed, “Do you honestly expect me to believe that this pathetic illusion will last so long? This is interesting though. A competition of wills, against a God like myself? You truly are an arrogant fool!”
I just snickered and continued squawking, saying “Hello?” and making other random noises until it was time to go to sleep. Obviously Lum tried to kill me a few times, but our ‘owner’ got upset and put him into a smaller cage as punishment.
Although he tried to escape a few hundred times, it was useless. I also ignored him for almost twenty years, before he finally killed himself. Such an impatient guy. I was amazed that he managed to survive being a tree for a few millennia.
After ‘Parrot-Hell’, I let him experience life as a goldfish, an iguana, a house cat, a hamster… By the time we reached the sea cucumber stage, he was begging for death. There was no epic battle. He tried resisting me plenty of times, but his willpower faded along with his memories and pride.
It was a lackluster defeat that he experienced in the form of a long drawn-out Samsara session, but to me… I just treated it like a short vacation from reality. Because once he was done and his spirit was broken, I severed his soul from his dryadic body and had to get back to work. With their ‘God’ out of the way and nothing to hold me back anymore, I was able to end the war pretty easily.
That whole mental battle only lasted a few seconds. The truly time-consuming problem dealing with the people of Lum. Their forces didn’t stop just because their God wasn’t around to give them orders anymore. However, once I started using Hithu’s branches, vines and root, no one could stop the army of treants.
In front of absolute power, politics and bullshit plots are totally useless. It didn’t surprise me that Lum had a few decent soldiers hidden away in his cities, just like Hithu but… There was no amazing battle. Sure, it would’ve been enjoyable to have a decent battle, but how much collateral damage would there have been? How many millions of people would be caught in the crossfire and how much property would be destroyed?
Almost all of Hithu’s population was eradicated by our ‘great battle’. The ends did justify the means though. Those sacrifices allowed me to take Lum without completely annihilating their infrastructure.