“How could you know all that?!” I shouted, but my daughter laughed at me, as if I was an idiot.
“Mommy, didn’t I tell you before? The handsome boy, the fiery angel and the perverted snake always teach me lots of things when I sleep. Michael, Anael and Leviathan…”
“Don’t say that bastard’s name!” I unconsciously yelled, but immediately regretted lashing out at her.
Angelica smiled wryly, then asked “What if I am ‘that bastard’, Mommy?” Before I had the chance to even respond, she giggled and told me “Don’t worry Mommy. No matter what happens when I awaken completely, you’ll always be the mother who cared about me the most. I had other mothers, but they never treated me like a person. Just a tool to use to advance their political agendas. A potential whore to use as they saw fit. That’s why I had to get rid of them. I might be a kid, but I ain’t stupid.”
I took a deep breath, then calmed myself down. Before opening my eyes and whispering “I love you. No matter who you become or what you do, even if you kill me, you’ll still be my Angel. I’ve actually had other children too… But most of them died. There should still be one left though. A boy named Ethir. He was the only other child besides you that I cared about more than my own life or power. I’m sorry for yelling earlier. I… I was still clinging to the past.”
She giggled and shook her head, “I know you love me, and I love you too. That’s all that matters. When I first met you, I felt sorry for you Mommy. I knew you weren’t like the other goblins. You were aware of your situation and knew that you were basically a sex slave or toy for my Daddy to play with. But you didn’t cry or even seem to mind. When you finally learned how to speak and told me your name was Bariel, that’s when something clicked inside my head. And when the dreams started to get a lot more intense. I felt like I had known you before, a long time ago… I remembered a young girl named Ariel. A beautiful angel… And I think she was my daughter in the dream world I saw back then. Weird how I would think of my Mommy as my daughter, but Michael says that’s just how reincarnation works.”
At that moment I suddenly felt my heart sink. And I started crying… I asked “Why does it feel like I’m never going to see you again after tonight?”
“Don’t worry Mommy.” Angelica smiled, seriously saying “Even if we both die tonight, we’ll still see each other again… Eventually. But don’t worry. I don’t plan on dying any time soon! I’m still just a kid! I wanna live to be at least a million years old…”
I chuckled and then hugged her tightly, whispering “I don’t know what that number means, but I hope I do too…”
Yeah, I really didn’t know what the world million meant. Mainly because she used a language I had never heard of before, but also because we never really learned how to count that high in Black Mithril. It was more knowledge that Angelica learned from her ‘dreams’.
I carried my daughter in my arms, as my tentacles swiftly brought us over to the wall surrounding the palace without much time or effort. Then I climbed onto it and we got struck by lightning.
It happened so fast that I had no way to prepare for it or avoid the ‘attack’. Yet, we were fine. We both wore some leather armor that we salvaged from the armory, then made some adjustments due to our small size and my extra ‘limbs’. When the bolt of lightning hit us, it seemed to ignore me and strike Angelica’s outstretched left glove. Oddly enough, there was no damage, as if the terrifying amount of energy vanished into nothingness upon touching her hand…
“Are you okay?!” I screamed as my tentacles carried us down the other side of the wall, into a wide-open field that surrounded the giant pyramid.
She giggled and explained “It’s fine. It’s super easy for me to turn electricity and heat directly into mana. But we should still be careful, because I can’t do anything if it hits you before it reaches me…”
For the record, turning energy into mana is absurdly difficult. It’s definitely not something a human child with no prior experience controlling magic would be capable of, but I wasn’t about to interrogate her at that moment, because I thought that we were going to die if I didn’t hurry up. I probably should’ve known better, after dealing with Alicia for so long.
When we finally reached the side of the pyramid, I could feel a nauseating sensation. As if the mana in the air was poisoning my body. Burning my lungs… And I wasn’t a weak, human girl. I looked down at my daughter and noticed that she seemed perfectly fine, as if the absurd pressure and heat didn’t even affect her at all.
My maternal instincts were screaming at me that something was wrong, and even logic would dictate the same, but she told me “We don’t have much more time. Hurry up and bring me inside. I need to reach the central chamber and repair the runes…” Then she started coughing violently and I felt something sticky splash onto my face. For a moment I wanted to stop, but then there was something inside of me urging me forth, as if my body was no longer under my control.
However, my tentacles couldn’t work right anymore and slumped down onto the ground behind me, as I took slow and pained steps toward that huge arch. Lightning and rain fell down around us, but whenever a bolt was about to strike me, it moved to Angelica’s right hand. Although they kept vanishing, I could see that she was in agony just by looking at her cringing face.
When we finally made it inside, I felt like my body was going to collapse and fall apart… But I didn’t have time to worry about that, because we weren’t alone.
“Hmmm~, who do we have here?” There was a huge pale-skinned man, with blue eyes and long blonde hair. His face was completely devoid of hair, while he was wearing shiny silver armor and had gigantic white dove-like wings stretched out behind his back.
Then there was a black-cloaked female mage, who had withered and bony hands. She was using magic to inscribe some runes onto the walls, before turning to us and shouting “Ew, demons! Quickly exterminate them so we can finish opening the portal!”
“Heh~, fine~!” He reached over to the hilt of the silver longsword on his right waist and pulled it out, then wielded it with both hands as he charged toward us. Those giant wings flapped and propelled his body forward, but he didn’t even make it three meters from us, before Angelica reached out her right hand… Launching a massive bolt of lightning out of her palm, which seemed to melt a hole through the chest of that knight. Then it continued onwards, striking the unprepared sorceress in the back. She let out a shrill scream, but it was drowned out by the deafening thunder that caused me to temporarily lose my hearing.
“Mommy… I have to go now.” Yet, even with my ears not working, Angelica’s soft and pleasant voice echoed into my mind. While I fell to the ground, she easily stood upright and stretched her body out. Then she turned to look at me and the ‘illusion’ she had cast on my finally vanished. The child in front of me had charred black skin on her left arm, with spider-like black and red veins all across that side of her face as well. The armor was burned and falling apart. However, those green eyes had turned white, while wings were sprouting from her back… Wings of lightning.
She sighed, before smiling at me and whispering “I love you Mommy, but I have to go…” Then she walked over to the area where that dead mage was laying, then plunged her right hand into the corpse and pulled out some bloody crystals from the torso. After that, she plucked out the crispy eyes and crushed it all together in her hands, while the lightning wings shot out into the walls… Swiftly inscribing new runes and erasing some of the ones that were already there.
“No, where are you going? Don’t leave me! Take me with you!” I screamed with all the strength left in me.
“Mommy…” She murmured into my mind, “You’re too weak. Your body was improved a bit, but you’re still too weak to even survive that little bit of mana-radiation outside the pyramid. If you come with me, you’ll die the moment we arrive… In Hell.”
I shouted “Why?! Why do you have to go there?!”
“That woman had originally inscribed some runes to open a portal from ‘Heaven’, to this world. I don’t have enough time to turn this pyramid back into a shield generator, so the best I can do is change the portal destination… To somewhere a bit safer than Heaven: Hell. I’m sorry, I don’t really have time to explain anymore than that. Mommy, I gotta go now. I love you… And if you really wanna go to Hell, then, go back home. To where you came from. You’ll be able to get stronger there and eventually, you’ll find me or I’ll find you.”
At the center of the massive cubic room, a huge pentagram appeared on the floor around Angelica. Then she giggled, before vanishing in a stream of bloody red light. I was actually pushed out of the pyramid by the air pressure and saw the crimson beam shooting up into the dark, stormy sky. It even seemed to disperse the clouds and stop the storm, for a moment. And then the lightning and thunder returned, far more powerful than before.
There was a huge vortex of mana shooting out of the top of the pyramid, into the skies, while the temperature dropped rapidly. Then, for the first time ever in the history of Southern Alfirin, it started snowing. Then it started hailing, as clumps of ice the size of cabbages started raining down onto the city.
I somehow managed to move my weary body back to the palace, in order to take shelter there. But the snow and hail showed no signs of stopping, while the roof of the palace wasn’t built to withstand that kind of bombardment either. So we needed to leave, while relying mostly on luck to avoid the giant balls of frozen death that fell around us. Obviously most of my minions died, but at least one human and a couple dozen Pink Goblins managed to make it out of the city before the real trouble started.
There was a portal to Hell in that pyramid, and it was still wide open, spewing out monstrosities of absurd power. My heart felt like it was frozen after being cast way by my daughter, but the only thing I could do was move forward… Or backwards, if you consider that I started in Lorthon Forest in the first place.
“Okay, that’s better. A pretty decent ending, if I do say so myself, hehehe~…”
Are you satisfied now?
“Hah~, hell no! I’m never satisfied! But ya gotta know when to stop! Anyway, I’ll be back with the bounty in a few years, but by then, I’ll be getting around to your part in the story again. So I hope you’ll be prepared to give another interview…”
Fine, whatever. Just make sure she stays alive. I don’t want that bitch escaping so easily.
“You know, I haven’t seen Crissy in ages. It’ll be nice to catch up and you know, interview her for my stories… Though I’m not sure if anyone would actually be interested in that. Besides, next is Trixie, then Ehtir…”
You should have written a whole book from my son’s perspective, instead of that annoying woman!
“Oh calm down~, people love Raelin! Even Ethir told me to do it from her perspective instead of his because, well, I mean… You know how shy that kid gets. He did promise to do an interview soon though, I have him scheduled after Trixie. Didn’t I just say that?”
Be careful out there, Michael. And say ‘Hi’ to Silvia for me. Tell her to come visit sometime soon.
“Ariel, or should I call you ‘Warden’ now? You know how much she hates coming to this place. Always complains about how fucking hot it is… And it is really damn hot, holy shit. Why didn’t they name this planet ‘Hell’? Besides, your inmates are the scum of the Solar System. Maybe you should let your protege take over for a few years and go back home? Trixie and Mike are off fighting that war in the Kuiper Belt, so it’s not like anyone else would give a damn if you returned home for a bit. It’s not like you gotta hop on a ship or anything, just go through your portal. I’ll take you on an adventure myself, hehe~…”
Maybe after I’m done torturing Asmodeus and Belial. But Michael, this is my home, no matter how hot it is… And I like the heat. Being on Mercury helps me train my Fire Affinity a lot faster than anywhere else. It’s the closest I can get to Sol, without needing any spells or equipment to protect my body.
“Well, whatever floats your boat. Personally though, I prefer wandering around on my ship, fucking shit up wherever I go… Writing books about my adventures and keeping all kinds of historical records from histories throughout all of existence. But yeah, New Orcheim is probably always going to be my ‘home’, since that’s where my daughter always stays.”
Wow, okay then. I honestly didn’t expect this particular story to be so long or important to the grand scheme of things. I mean, I even included some dialogue with ‘The Author’, who isn’t the author of ‘every’ story I’ve ever written, obviously… And he usually does biographies by taking interviews, like it was explained here. Also, he’s a character in one of my other stories.
Phew~, this is probably going to include some spoilers for my other novels, so don’t read it if you don’t wanna know things. However, I feel like people are going to ask a ton of questions, so I’ll give the answers now.
First of all, Hell has been talked about in “Questing”, my other story that takes place in this same universe and time-period as “Immortal Soul”. Questing follows Coffee, his girlfriend and two of his close friends as they go on an adventure into the desert to the east. While also getting involved with Luna.
Hell is basically just Venus, while Heaven, is just Mars. However, you have to keep in mind that these planets are not dead rocks, but have plenty of mana and some even have souls like Terra/Luna/Sol. Which means that, while the surface of Venus and Mercury might not be as hospitable as Terra, they could still have an artificially created atmosphere, along with plenty of strange plant-life/animals.
Aside from that, you might be interested in who Angelica really is… And if you’ve read my other stories or even this one, Iris Angelica Healy is a commonly used character. Green Irises, orange/red hair, pale skin, usually Irish ancestry but, she’s also a monster. By monster I mean a person who greatly enjoys torturing and killing people, though she usually is considered Chaotic-Good, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, Angelica isn’t Iris though. She’s actually another incarnation of Michael called Raijin. I would’ve used Thor or Zeus, but those are a bit too overused in my opinion. Besides, there are other lightning-related characters in my stories and I might want to use Zeus or Thor as their names, so there should be a differentiation. Raijin is a character that was somewhat talked about in The Dao of Eros, but you probably haven’t read that chapter yet, so I won’t say anymore about it.
How did Angelica know about Heaven and Hell? Well, she might have been told by her other incarnations, or Helel could have paid her a visit… There are a lot of possibilities and it really isn’t that important anyway, but I was pretty sure someone would bring it up regardless.
As you might have previously noticed from the way everything is worded in “Immortal Soul” chapters, all the events of the story take place in the distant past from when the stories are being told. So basically, some characters might have inconsistencies due to the way they remember things, though most of the events have already been written down in other formats over the years or recorded in various ways. Some people like that, others hate it, but it’s just the way I decided to write this series. “The Dao of Eros” and “The Vanilla God” are similarly written way after the events in their stories happen.
Why did I decide to write a story about Bariel, when no one even remembered her anymore? Well, because it was necessary. It was a story that has a pretty powerful impact on the rest of the series. It also explains some things that will happen in the next chapter of Volume 5. I actually already wrote out some bits and pieces from Ethir and Beatrix before deciding to do Bariel/Ariel, but I was having writer’s block, probably because it wasn’t time to write those chapters yet.
By the way, Ariel is a pretty common character in my stories, in case you haven’t read any of them before. But I didn’t originally plan for Bariel to be Ariel, even though their names are absurdly similar. Hell, as I was writing the ‘Villains’ episode, I was like “Wait a second… Isn’t Bariel just Ariel with a B attached?”
Anyway, I should end this “Author’s Note” before it turns into an entire episode. Thanks for reading!