“Um, Goddess Lenora, do you know anything about cycles?”
In an instant her face got pale, like I mentioned something she did not want to talk about.
“Where did you hear that?”
I didn’t know who the two voices previously were and I did not want to get them in trouble.
“One of the few things I remember”
“Sigh.. probably something you learned while in the abyss. Basically the world has been destroyed and reset multiple times. The abyss kills everyone and us gods reset the world back to square one. Some souls are taken by the abyss which we gain back from other realities, and the cycle repeats. Every time we pull souls in we give them as many abilities as their soul can handle so that they can hopefully win against the abyss. However, every time the abyss wins and it all repeats. As such, us gods have chosen to call them cycles.”
“So you all are just fueling a dying world and sending souls to their death?”
What other way could I look at it? They are pulling in other people from other worlds and basically turning them into fuel to feed to the abyss. Are they afraid of the reality collapsing or something? And why don’t they just deal with the abyss themselves. I mean I know it's powerful, but surely if all of the gods got together they could win right?
I could see tears begin to form in her eyes once again. I felt bad, but I really needed to know her answer. Sending people to just to be fodder is a whole new level of cruel.
“We all made a pact early on in the creation of this world to never directly interfere with what happened. And even if we did break it to fight the abyss, there is still a good chance that we will not win. There is also the possibility that we may too may become corrupted. Also, if our world were to collapse, then the abyss will most likely move on and begin consuming other worlds. But the biggest reason, we gods are all afraid of dying. If the world runs out of souls and collapses all of us gods die. Hate us, hate me all you want. We all deserve it.”
Fuck. What am I even supposed to say to that.
“Those reasons make sense, and I am sorry for asking that.”
No matter what I said I felt like an asshole. I do not know if Lenora is telling me the truth or not, I do not know if she truly feels bad or if she is just faking it, but I want to believe that she is being honest with me.
“No, it's fine. You should be asking. Us gods are not perfect and it is good for others to know about our imperfections. We are all just as scared as everyone else.”
“If… if you don’t mind me asking, what is going to happen to me now? Am I going to return to the lifestream or anything?”
The atmosphere was awkward so I wanted to change the topic. Asking about my death was a terrible choice in hindsight, but I did want to know.
“Well, as an abyssal I don’t even think you could return. Your soul is also far from dead.”
“Far from dead? What does that mean?”
“Before I answer, may I look at your abilities? You are an abyssal so I am unable to affect you without you explicit consent”
“Um yeah? Sure.”
Standing up she walked over to me and held her hand on my chest. A faint glow emanated from her palm before she returned to her seat.
“Just what I thought. When you first reincarnated I gave you two abilities. Adaptability and mana absorption. The ability to copy the most recent ability you have seen, and the ability to steal people’s mana by killing creatures or touching them with malicious intent. Now, you have four abilities.”
I have what now?
“Those four being assimilation, soul absorption, domination, and presence concealment. The ability to permanently copy an ability from strong entities that you kill and the ability to steal soul energy by killing creatures or touching them with malicious intent. Those two seem like evolved versions of the abilities that I gave you most likely as a result of your corruption by the abyss. The second are new, probably also ones you picked up in the abyss. Domination, the ability to command and control those weaker than you, and presence concealment, the ability to appear invisible to people around you.”
Domination I was aware of and according to the goddess I already had the first two, but presence concealment? Wait, that must have been my assimilation ability at work then. I killed my princess who had that ability, so it must have been something that I stole from her.
“Judging by your soul absorption ability and the current strength of your soul you must have killed or touched a large number of people, dear.”
“Yeah, I also killed an abyssal Princess, someone stronger than me. She had the presence concealment ability which I think I stole from her”
“But still… Your soul has so much energy in it that it is forcing you to not die.”
Forcing me to not die? So it is trying to revive me or something?
“Even if I somehow was able to control you, I could not send you to the lifestream. Your soul has so much energy in it that it is forcing you to come back to life in the new world. In order to do that you need to have the soul energy equivalent to millions of lives!”
Millions? I don’t even think I have killed ten thousand people, let alone millions. And while my Princess was strong, I don’t think she had that much energy in her.
“Wait, you said that I can steal soul energy by killing or touching things right?”
“Yeah, with killing you can absorb around half the energy of their soul while by touching its something akin to half a percent a second”
“I have not killed anywhere close to a million people as an abyssal according to my memory. While the Princess I killed seemed powerful, I don’t think she had that much soul energy. But before I died, I tried to strangle the Empress. Since it is a percentage… do you think…”
“That by touching her you gained enough soul energy. It's not impossible, but that would mean that the Empress is much stronger than we gods considered her to be.”
I know she is powerful, but I didn't even want to entertain the possibility that she could be that powerful.
“Oh and dear, if you’ll let me, since your soul is forcing you to reincarnate, may I give you my blessing?”
“Oh yeah, that whole consent thing right. What will happen if I receive it?”
“First of all, abyssals do not have any mana in their bodies. Since everything in the world has mana, not having any could seem incredibly suspicious. It will also let me choose where you reincarnate and what you will look like. I’ll make sure that you will be someplace that will let you grow up in peace before the abyss begins attacking the world. I don’t know exactly what day they usually begin invading, but I have a general idea of when and I want to make sure you can have at least a couple years of calm before that. Also, it will seal your abyssal powers”
“Wait, why would I want that?”
“Well, it will make you resistant to being brainwashed by the abyss again when they come, and it will hide your horn, tail, and wings so you can blend in easier. Not to mention, if the abyss sees another one of their kind in the world they may attack earlier than normal. It could buy you a year or two extra before they attack.”
“That last part sounds more like speculation than anything, and there must be downsides”
“Well unfortunately yes. When I say hide, I mean more like remove. Anything you are able to do now that involves those limbs you will be unable to do. Also your physical abilities will weaken as well, but they will still most likely be stronger than an average person.”
I had so much trouble fighting a couple soldiers even with all my power, how exactly will I be able to fight them without it?
“But, as time goes on and you grow stronger again your abilities could begin to resurface along with the blessing. You will regain the skill and experience of fighting without your abilities again which will make you stronger when you finally get them back!”
“And if the abyss attacks before I can get my wings and tail back?”
“Uhhh… Let us just hope that does not happen.”
The plan felt sketchy at best, but it did have its merits. While I was in the abyss I was afraid of falling back under their control every second. Gaining that extra mental resistance could save me down the line. While losing my strength, flight, and tail was bad as well, I could use the extra time that sealing me will give to improve my skills without needing to rely on the abilities I have as an abyssal. Pretty much every single fight that I won in the abyss was due to my gas, if something were to happen I would be helpless.
“Fine. I’ll accept the blessing”
“Wait, really? Don’t worry my dear, I will make sure that you will not regret it. Also, if you happen to find any of my churches, I can talk to you through the blessing!”
I felt like I was going to regret my choice, but oh well.
Thanks for the chaps!