~ Chapter 61: A chat with the gods (Part 2) ~
“Huh? What I think about it? Well... it's vast, it's beautiful. I have good parents...” I replied a bit confused.
I couldn't say I previously went on some grand adventure around the world with a servant whose name was the translation of the words: passed by everywhere. At most, I went to Briston and the Chedelle Forest, which were just a tiny dot on the whole world map.
“What of the dark side of it?” Shakra asked.
I blinked surprised.
“I don't understand...” I told her.
“What do you think of the evil you don't get to see because you are being sheltered by the benevolence of Sapherya?” she asked again.
The question baffled me.
The idea that this silly goddess sheltered me all this time came as a surprise, but I honestly couldn't see the world without her protection. The evil the gods spoke about seemed unreal, a fable or a myth that rarely popped out its ugly head. I felt like the case with Alexandre Damascus was a very unique and secluded one.
But... was it possible that this world was filled with such individuals?
Like a child, confused and unable to gather my own thoughts, I told the gods “I don't understand...”
Once more they looked at each other, and I could see pity in their eyes.
“Boy...” Druzan said “There is no such thing as a perfect world. As Primary Gods, we have to rule over both the light and the dark side. Thus, we are completely aware of both the good and the evil that happens on our worlds, and we allow it to some degree.” he continued.
“There is a balance which shifts constantly from one side to the other, but never tipping the scale too much. Like a two-man handcar used on the railways, this shift in balance propels the world forward. It brings about revolution where there would otherwise only be stagnation.” Shakra explained.
“After war comes peace and then war again...” said Druzan.
To me, their words sounded like some sort of fable an old man would say in front of the campfire. It left room for interpretation, but also explained what needed to be explained.
Just by listening to them, I came to understand that maybe Sapherya's world wasn't as peaceful as I thought it would be.
The first thing that came to my mind were the possible rape and murder scenarios. This world wasn't as high tech as Earth. The laws here weren't so well reinforced, and more than often brute force played an important role in how they were respected. To me, Briston looked like a quiet and peaceful town, but what if it wasn't so? What if that was how I was made to see it?
While I was happily traveling with my parents, some of the people there might not have had the best intentions when looking at mother or my sister. Other horrifying things could have taken place just a few steps away from us, and I wouldn't have been aware of it... All of this just to keep me believing that I was safe and protected.
I'm afraid now to even ask if all of these scenarios are true or not... I thought.
“Earth has many stories like yours, Leonidas, a privileged child born in a blissful world. Yet, the stories never reveal the pain, the cruelty, and the savagery of those unseen by his gaze; of those living in the corners of the world far away from him. Unlike the privileged boy, us gods can see it all, and we understand its purpose in our creation.” Shakra spoke in a compassionate tone of voice, but her words only made my previously imagined scenarios seem more plausible than ever before.
She was saying that the Primary Gods were entities capable of accepting, understanding, and allowing evil to exist. For me, this was something outrageous. How could they allow evil to be?
“Leonidas, you desired to be the same as such privileged children because you feared to pain and suffering the world might pour down into your soul. Yet, through wishing for those mutations and our Blessings, you contradicted your desire for a peaceful uneventful life. For you see, the most privileged of children are also the weakest, but the world moves in such a way around them that it seems like they are the strongest.” Ezimuth said, but for all that was dear to me, his words sounded like nonsense.
“You are a soul far too young now to properly understand our words, Leonidas, but do know that in our desire to keep the world from needing your strength, we chose to lock your Blessings behind certain conditions, which in most cases are a bit harder to achieve. Normally, you could have been born with all of them ready to be used as well as with the knowledge of how to use them perfectly!” Druzan explained.
“So in the end, what? You're telling me that the reason why Damascus appeared in my life, why I had such a hard time trying to activate my Blessing was all because I wanted to be strong and still live a normal life? You're saying all of this! My sister's kidnapping, my death, that battle, all of it was my fault?!” I shouted.
What more could I say? The world turned out to be not as peaceful as I had expected. Reality was different from the fantasy I was led to believe I lived in. It felt like it was my fault... that I was the one to blame for my sister's pain.
“Leonidas, because you wanted to be strong, we gave you those mutations of yours. Because we understood the consequences better than you, we sealed away your Blessings so you may unlock them through trial and only when they were needed. The world is a living being, and no matter if you are a transmigrating hero or a peasant on the field, she will weave you into her fate and set loose upon you events worthy of your strength.” Shakra said with a gentle smile on her lips.
“None of what you went through was your fault, Leonidas, but we, the gods, had full faith that you would prevail in the end. If you remember, Leonidas, back when you met us, you said you wished that from time to time to experience the life of a hero, to save damsels in distress, or to help out kingdoms in need.” Ezimuth said and I blinked surprised.
“Yes. But child, how do you expect these events to take place in your life if you are not Blessed, strong, and have a role to play in this world?” Druzan asked with a loud laughter at the end.
“To kidnap a pretty and influential woman means that your foe was powerful enough to defeat her escorts or that he was stealthy enough to slip past them. And do you really think a hero would just go by unnoticed by the various political and military powers of a country and even those of its neighbors?” Shakra asked, but this time with her normal tone of voice not the one overflowing with care and kindness.
“If you wish for amazing world-changing events to be a part of your life, or even more to be the one to solve them, then you wish for the role capable of doing so. To put it in your words, if you are a simple uneducated peasant from the Medieval Europe, we the gods can't ask of you to solve for us a problem of quantum physics that baffles the minds of the 25th century. But if you were a brilliant physicist from the 26th century, then maybe there is a chance.” explained Ezimuth.
When putting it that way, it did make sense.
“As I said before, Sapherya may look like klutz, but she's a goddess with five names. This means that she has experienced fully evolving a world from nothing four times before this one. Unlike us, she's a veteran worthy of praise, so expect this world to be far more complex than it seems.” Druzan reminded me.
“Right now... I don't know if I was tricked or tested or everything went according to my wishes... As you said, it's not simple at all, and I have neither the knowledge or the experience to judge this.” I let out a long sigh.
“Don't fret about it. That's why we came in person now, to make things clear for you. It's the least we could do, after all!” Druzan said this as he patted my back.
“Yeah... thank you. But what of your worlds? Was I really needed there?” I asked.
The gods looked at each other with a wry smile but said nothing in reply.
“It's getting late now, Leonidas. It's time for you to return to your family, but do remember that no matter what you choose, we will always be there to support you through our Blessings!” Ezimuth told me.
“Also, don't forget that everything you choose in this life has consequences that may or may not shake the entire world. It doesn't mean you are to blame yourself if something bad or painful happens, especially if you made sure to choose without regret. Stand proud and live with your choice!” Shakra encouraged me.
“Good bye, child! May we see each other again!” Druzan laughed with his hands on his hips.
This was the last thing I saw and heard before I woke up in my bed surrounded by my family. The words of the gods remained on my mind and made me wonder about many various things.
Still, before I tried to make heads or tails of this matter, it was best to first talk with my family and see what they had to say about it. After what just happened, I couldn't continue to declare that I was just your average kid with one Blessing.
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