Chapter 63: Death and Destruction
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Chapter 63: Death and Destruction

A mixture of dark and white mist pulsed across the wide-open portal. The mysterious mist spread and then withdrew from the lady wearing a black one-piece dress, as she sat atop of massive black rock. She bit her lips, pulling her hands away from the space she ripped. There was regret flickering in her deep green eyes.

Sighing, she waved her hands, unwillingly closing the portal before her unwelcome visitor arrives. Though most of her original plan for her follower had failed, she still enjoyed their brief encounter. She even promised herself that she'd visit her gutsy follower again.

Her new follower was a very fascinating mortal. Unlike the rest of her kind, she didn't even flinch or prostrate at her presence. The young lady even had the guts to glare despite suffering from the divine pressure she exuded.

Gaia grinned. The experience brought her a refreshing feeling of excitement, something she needed in these increasingly boring days. Such feisty mortal was perfect for her, as if fate was at play. She felt so excited that she stole away a few treasures from the lass.

"Come to think of it, that suffering soul is also entertaining," she said as she licked her lips. "With that level of misery, I think she will really like the surprise I have given her."

The navy-blue threads clustered atop her head swayed along with the blowing wind. Her dainty legs playfully swung as fleeting mirth graced her scarlet lips.

Whistling, she pulled from the void an interesting eyeglass. She lifted the glasses over her head, letting the three moons cast their multi-colored lights on it. "And color me surprised! I never thought whipping those sky whales to visit the other end would give me such an interesting gift. It's indeed made from those sky whales' eyes. Wait, how did my little follower wear it? Oh, right!"

She lifted the eyeglasses over her eyes, struggling to wear them.

"Right, it was like this." Gaia felt happy after finally putting it on. She never once imagined she'd encounter such a strange item crafted by mortals. The creator of the glasses used strange runes that not even she could understand. For now.

Maybe I should ask my feisty follower who made this thing. She thought.

Anyway, she never thought learning what those mortals called stealing would give her so much fun. With a little touch of her divine mischief, the skill had turned for the better. From now on, she could get all the items she wants with no one knowing.

She pulled a mirror from a black mist, ogled herself, and covered her mouth in delight. "It looks perfect on me."

After hiding the mirror back in the void, she tapped the giant rock underneath and smiled.

"Here she comes," Gaia hummed.

Suddenly, the massive black rock where she sat shook. Thin threads of grass-colored smoke wiggled through the tiniest of gaps beneath the rock. The smoke grew thicker, bursting forth like an underground spring. The earth trembled as the strange rock flew to the sky.

As for Gaia, she ignored it and just flew along. Her giggles echoed in the starry night skies, enjoying her haphazard flight. The sneering crescent moon jeered more as it witnessed its liege joy. And before the giant rock could even fall and throw her off, she jumped midair and flicked a crimson parasol open, slowly falling like a weightless leaf.

"What are you doing here?" Gaia said, chest-puffed as she played the fool's lot. The lady threw the parasol back to the pulsing black-white mist as she was ten feet away from the ground, two arms stretched sideward to balance herself, but mostly doing so for aesthetic and for fun's sake. Dust rose. Dust settled.

Lifting the hem of her skirt, she curtsied, imitating those stuck-up mortal nobles' ways. "Welcome to the mortal world, Death."

However, her guest ignored the etiquette lesson she copied from the mortals.

"What did you do to the innocent soul?" Death asked as she floated along with a sea of verdant green. "I have already branded her for my daughter's sake." Her white hair waltzed along with the blowing wind her husband and daughter had gifted her.

"Before I answer your questions," Gaia said, lifting her head towards the sky. "Let me first greet a few naughty mortals."

A deluge of black and white crept towards the three moons as if it was covering its eyes. Death also waved her hands, and a sprawling green smoke rose along, blocking the dark skies.

After a few seconds, Gaia grinned.

"Oh, where are we? Right. What I did to that retched soul?" Gaia said as she spun on her feet, fluttering akin to a gypsy spirit. "Nothing much, I just fixed her,"

"You? Fixing things? And a soul at that?" Death said as her brows creased. "Don't joke Gaia." The verdant wind blew around her and shrieks of the cursed soul swallowed all the noise.

"Hey, I didn't lie! Tsk. Tsk. That's why your husband always runs away from you. Oh wait, I also saw your daughter. Did the little skipper escape too?" Gaia snickered. "Don't give me that look. Never my fault that you're scarier than me, but why do they even run from you? I mean, you're so fluffy and you just want to embrace everyone with peace in the end."

Gaia squinted, putting a finger on her chin, acting like she was in deep thought. "Wait, I know why!" A warm smile bloomed on the mischievous goddess' face. "Because you are no fun, Death."

Gaia gazed at the expression of Death itself but found it unchanging. It was like the unbendable archway that locked those overdue souls within the depths of Hades. The accursed placed where they once locked her up. No fun, dead boring, and purely lacking in aesthetics.

After failing to get a reaction, Gaia's brows twitched.

As the goddess who hated boredom the most, meeting the most straight-laced spirit in the entire spirit realm was nothing but torture. The deified block of permafrost offered no reply, not even a stir or a mocking to counter her words. She just waited, cold and unfeeling, like her official title - Death.

"Fine, fine. I didn't lie. I really fixed her, filling her broken soul with my favorite essence. She looks so pitiful that if I do nothing, she'll surely perish before even reaching your realm. I also poked through my follower's strange restrictions as my gift." Bored, Gaia pouted. "I did good, right? How about you give me a pat or two? Ain't I awesome? Who said I don't have talent in fixing things? The old fogies would soon understand my greatness!"

"Which one?" Death asked, ignoring the rest of the rants. "Which soul?"

"Oh, this is rare. Curious? Interested?" Gaia hopped around and dived straight into the verdant wind. She grabbed a few shrieking souls, popping them like balloons. Sensing danger, the gray souls escaped like a school of fish suffering from a shark attack.

Death glanced at her and kept silent, refusing to entertain the wiles of the hyperactive goddess. Even Death knew that nothing good would come from giving attention to the troublemaker. And for the punished souls that died permanently, she didn't give a damn. They were mostly Gaia's creations anyway, and it was ideal to trim their numbers.

"Boring." Gaia sighed. "Okay Death, let's make it simple. How about a guess? What essence do I like the most?"

"I don't like games."

"Then I won't answer." Gaia crossed her arms, pouting, as she turned her head away like a little kid.

"If you won't answer, then so be it," Death said and waved her hands. She walked towards the gates of Hades. "I just came here to warn you, Gaia. Don't touch them, especially my daughter, or else I'll drag you to the pits of abyss."

Gaia simply smiled, but before Death could even return to her domain. The goddess of destruction, mischief, and plagues whispered.

"Now I remember what essence it was." She smirked, pausing as she looked at death itself. "Destruction."

Death halted her steps and turned. Finally, a fleeting expression of irritation slipped out of her stoic face. "You crazy bitch."

"Hey, that's foul!" Gaia jumped and shook her pointy finger like a pendulum. "I'm the incarnation of beauty, never-been-touch, chaste but sullied, the purest goddess in all the realms, crazy but never a bitch.

"You!" Death clenched her fist. She stomped her feet and a black portal opened on the ground. Verdant arrows rose and, with a wave of her hand, it rushed straight towards Gaia. Wherever the arrow struck, the plot would rot dead.

"Hey stop that!" Gaia said. She docked, jumped, and rolled while laughing. "Aren't the two souls better now? Wind, Death, and Destruction all in one body! With those three essences alone, it could never go wrong for them."

Death snorted and stomped again. A verdant wind whizzed by and slowly formed a jade-like carriage. With another wave of her hand, a  weighing echoed and two blazing, pitch-black horses rose from the ground, stationing themselves to pull the carriage.

"I'm done with you." Tired, she ignored Gaia's skit and prepared to return. The carriage slowly paced towards the dark abyss, the place where the black rock once stood. The very gates of her realm. But not before leaving Gaia with another warning. "Remember Gaia. This will be the last time I'll tolerate your antics. The old gods have also sent orders for you. Their last warning."

"Eh, the rotting oldies finally remembered me." With widened eyes, Gaia covered her lips, tears building on the sides of her eyes. "I-Its so touching… so say it before I cry."

"Stop accumulating strange divinities."

Gaia froze, and her smile slowly vanished. The pulsing black and white surrounding her crushed the rotted lands beneath her feet. A massive quake followed as chunks of earth flew up, slowly disintegrating into nothing, not even dust.

After saying her piece, Death ignored Gaia's tantrums and carriage the deep hole. The soul wind trailed behind her, dragging the giant black rock to cover the depths, before ebbing back into the dark abyss.

"Stop accumulating strange divinities," Gaia said, with her hands on her hips, copying Death's stern expression.

Gaia adjusted her frisky hair, patting away the soul dust brought upon by the souls she destroyed. Those rat souls troubled her and her hair, even after their demise.

She chuckled and looked at the giant black rock where Death retreated. And as she laughed, her cheeks flushed like ripened tomatoes, like a shy, beautiful maiden. She looked like an enchantress who's ready to take any living soul.

"But… that's just going to make me want to do it more… Death," she cooed. "My cute little sister."

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