IS, V6, Chapter 2: Michael’s Return Part 13

*Michael’s Perspective*

The weaker we are, the easier it is to experience change. Power doesn’t corrupt, but being powerless will make you sacrifice bits of your own soul, just to survive… Or to keep those you love alive and happy.

The stronger you become, the harder it gets to change. It’s an uphill battle that never ends. Even as you reach the limits of what is perceived by others to be the pinnacle, it’s usually just the beginning. The first step on an eternal path of hardship and struggle.

But life isn’t bad. Not for me, and not for most people. Regardless of how bad their situation seems from an outside perspective, everyone has their own happiness. Imagine being a hydrophobic germaphobe; afraid of water and also terrified of being dirty. Not sure how they’d get over that one and find their happiness, but it would probably include the loss of one of those psychological disorders. You can’t have ‘all’ the crazy, unless you’re the conjoined souls of seven different people who each have their own differing problems…

***

“Michael… I could feel you approaching, but I almost didn’t believe my senses!” The first thing I saw when the elevator opened, was a crying blood elf, holding a creepy ginger baby in her arms: Bright green eyes, orange hair, elven ears, pinkish skin and tiny fangs that she was using to happily suck the blood from her mother’s neck.  There was a little serpentine dragon floating around behind her, with black scales, a golden mane and glowing crimson irises.

“It’s good to see you, Rae. And Ethir too, it’s been a while, you both look vaguely taller. Though it’s hard to tell, since I’ve had a growth spurt lately.” I snickered and removed my helmet once again, glaring at the two babies as I asked “Anael, Raijin, so you’re my little siblings now?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time.” The floating dragon chuckled and then floated closer to my face, before winking with her left eye.

Raelin was wearing a simple green dress, with black leather boots. I thought it was kind of funny how many silver and golden piercings she had, along with gemmed bracelets, a shiny belt and even two rings on each hand. Both on her innermost fingers. Aside from that, there were black tattoos all over her pale right arm, in the form of various runes. The left arm looked like a painting of her ‘daughter’, Raijin. Although I thought it was funny, I understood the meaning. Aside from aesthetic purposes, the tattoos were made by her husband, so they also had a more intimate meaning. Of course, their practical purpose was to help with channelling spells and preventing mana from escaping from her body as easily in lower mana environments.

Not everyone wants to wear a giant suit of armor everywhere they go, so it made sense that people would use tattoos and jewelry to help out. Along with clothing infuse with black mithril threads or something similar, things got much easier. Holding in mana from only the exposed areas, like your face, is much easier than your whole body. Similar to how it’s harder to keep from pissing yourself when you also have to shit. Magical biology ain’t that different. Except when you accidentally shit yourself, it usually doesn’t cause all the blood vessels on your body to explode or your eyes to putrefy.

On the other hand, Ethir still looked like a ninja. Two black short blades on his back, that looked like really scaled down versions of katanas. While he had two black combat knives, also on his back, but behind his waist. There was a cloak, also black, a skull-mask, and two revolvers holstered near his hips. Honestly, his color scheme was pretty simple… Everything was black, except the two glowing golder irises that peeked out at me. His ‘armor’, was basically just cloth that was kind of tight, but not skin-tight.

“I’d hug you Rae, but well, armor makes that a little tough. Anyway, let’s get going, Trixie is already at the restaurant.” I ushered the four of them inside, as the doors closed and the lights flickered a bit.

“It’d be hilarious if this elevator crashed and you all died.” Luna-76 giggled and Mike started cackling hysterically.

Meanwhile, Silvia immediately refuted: “Even if this entire building was destroyed, it is unlikely that most of us would perish. In fact, nearly everyone in this group would be capable of surviving the destruction of this entire planet, depending on the circumstances. For example, if all of the mana that was coursing through the veins of this world were to be agitated excessively… The most likely event would be a shattering of sorts. Gravity could be thrown into chaos and it would be unlikely for the implosion or explosion to be immediate.”

Then she went on for about ten minutes, explaining a bunch of scientific bullshit about various possible apocalyptic scenarios that could occur during the really long elevator ride. We eventually reached the ground floor and then went over to a teleportation triangle, to head off into Angren. Ethir was quiet the whole time, but Raelin kept going on and on about how much she missed me, all the crazy nonsense they went through when I was gone and well, lots of apologies for not being able to help me during that growth spurt situation.

Of course, when that many people gather together, it’s rarely silent or even orderly. Everyone was talking to each other about various things. Some of them had never met before, others were meeting up after a long separation, while Luna just watched and listened to the chaos. I tried to tune most of it out. That many voices speaking at once, it makes things difficult for people like me.

Because I could hear their thoughts. Feel their emotions. Experience their joy and heartache. And Amber… That child inside of her womb… I could hear its thoughts as well. My child, was already thinking.

“Every second you waste here, laughing and giggling with each other. How many souls are being corrupted and broken? Raped and tortured… Michael, you know what I’m going to do. This world, this universe… Karma, everything. I’ll destroy it all. Erase all existence, to finally… Finally I’ll be free. And there’s nothing you can do to stop me, because you’ll be… My father.”

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