"Good morning," She said as he sat on the edge of the bed, "How are you feeling? You aren't as bad as I expected."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Nothing, nothing, forget it."
"I am tired, even after sleeping."
"That was fun."
"Um, thanks, I guess?"
"Did you like it?"
"Yeah, I think so," He got up from the bed and walked over to his pants and pulled them on. He tossed her her clothes, "Why did you throw them this far?"
"I don't know, heat of the moment?"
"I have a work to do today, while you have your shift, at least you won't be lonely," He looked at her and smiled wickedly.
"W-what? I am-am n-n-not lonely, I never said that," She said trying to keep from blushing.
"If you say so, but you were moaning it so much yesterday, it was hard to not hear it, but if you say so, but can you unlock the door?"
"Oh, will we do this again tonight?"
"Okay, sure, if I am not too tired, I'll try harder tonight," He walked out of the house. The city was awake and Zenith was nearly at his peak already. He had slept in with Syl. He sighed and looked up at Inventaariy's home, the roads moved every night as the beast moved. He tracked the path and then headed off towards the house he had been tested in.
He knocked on the door and the door opened, Inventaariy was sitting on his chair and Argumenty was standing near him, talking.
"Don't you think we should give him something harder, Justicearinaian said that he passed the test perfectly, and nearly didn't react to his own life story," Argumenty debated, "I don't think he is being tested enough."
"Do you want to break him?"
"If I can, yes."
"Go ahead," He turned and noticed Vidian in the door, "Ah, Vidian, Argumenty, the God of Debate, he will give you your next test."
"Follow me," Argumenty wore a white toga and had leather sandals on his feet, he wore a leaf crown on his head.
They entered a room, a small cozy room, with two sofas and the walls were lined by bookshelves, "Sit down, sit down, this will not be less stressful than yesterday."
"I doubt it."
"Trust me," Argumenty smirked, "How are we doing today?"
"I fine, slept well, yeah, nothing much."
"That's good to hear, let's see, let's get to the point, do you believe in interracial interactions?" He asked, "Personally, I believe that the races can mix, but I feel that the kin of that interaction would cause either rejection from both races or being rejected by one, I have never seen any kind of causes like that but the possibility is there, even if it is hypothetical, I try to reason the reasons for why people would think of engaging in those interactions, what do you think?"
"Oh, um, can I have a little time to think?"
"Of course, I am not testing you on speed or predictions, I am only wanting to hear your thinking."
"Um, well, I think, I think that interactions that you speak of, depend not on race but on the two people who are involved."
"I think that there has to be consent, and nothing forced, I think that persuasion is still consent if it is respected, so yeah, I think I am okay with it," He realized what Argumenty was making reference to, "Yeah, I am okay with it."
"But about the kin, what do you think about the mix?"
"About that, I don't think I have ever thought of it, I think that the races shouldn't reject each other, and accept the others as their brothers and sisters."
"But the Earthkin and the Icekin?"
"They do hate each other, I learned from there, but I don't know why."
"Several hundred years ago, they had a civil war and broke them apart, that is why, so the hate for each other is passed down from generation to generation."
"I don't know what to think about that, I don't know much about it, but, I guess that it would be pointless to cultivate a hate for each other and instead, try, try to reconcile with each other, I think that they might be different, but they should have a chance to rebuild their ties."
"And Human and Natura?"
"I never heard of Humans hating Natura, therefore, I believe that they can work together, Naturas are practically human, I think that the fact that Naturas are hidden makes the conversation and development impossible, I only got here thanks to Lord Doncian, and him telling me what to do and where to go, following Lady Diana and her guidance, showing how hard it is to get here, and being Eternum's Trusted helped get through their doubting."
"You seem to be able to defend that more than the Earthkin."
"I know more about Natura than Earthkin, so that is reasonable."
"Of course you know more about them," He turned his head and smiled, he clearly had something malicious in mind, "How is Syl doing?"
"She is fine, she has day shift today."
"Nothing else? Just she is fine?"
"What else do you want me to say?"
"I don't know, getting as intimate as you did, yet all you can pipe out is she is fine, I don't know, normally people would feel more strongly about the person they spent the night with," Argumenty said still smiling arrogantly, "So, how is she?"
"I answered it, I said she is doing fine, is that too hard to understand?"
"Now, now, let's not get all riled up," Argumenty said as Vidian's voice changed tones, "Would you care if something were to happen to her today?"
"Of cour-, what did you do?"
"Nothing, nothing, my work isn't here to test you physically, only up here, mentally," He tapped his temple with his index finger, "She should be fine, since the Golem is stationary during the day, but why did that offend you, that I asked you why you just said fine?"
"I don't know, probably because it sounded like you were doubting me and that you were accusing me of using her, I would never do that, to any person on this world, I don't think that would be morally correct, unless," He sighed.
"Unless a task were to tell me to."
"You are clearly determined for this quest, and the works that come with it, but tell me, why did you chose to take such a quest?"
"I feel like if this is my destiny, then I'll follow its path, I don't really see why I wouldn't try it, I don't have a family, nor do I have a girl, like back at home, I left that a few days ago, and well I've been travelling since, nothing much else."
"Is your life really pointless?"
"I don't think pointless, but not much else for me to do."
"Yet you try to seduce Syl?"
"What? Do you think I am trying to manipulate her? I would never do that, I only do what she wants me to do, to her."
"So you are her toy?"
"No, I wanted to try as well, so I don't think I am a toy, since we both gain from it," Vidian shrugged, "But, I don't think I am a toy."
"Is this quest more important than her?"
"In the long run, I think I am aiming to complete the quest, but right now, she is really important for me, I think that she helps me, just in general, I've never had someone like this in my life."
"Is that a good thing?"
"Yeah, I guess, at least I don't have to think about what is to come, nor what I've done," Vidian responded, "I don't like to think about the hardships to come."
"I don't think it will help me."
"It will cloud my thinking, I need to think about this work, and then I'll see."
"Well, last question, have you ever thought of what your master felt when you plunged your blade into his chest?" Argumenty got up, "Just think about it, I think you have passed, good job, now, you should take a break for today, go home, get some rest, think about my question, eat something, sleep with Syl and come back here tomorrow, whenever, you will do Parlamentyra's work, good luck."
He leaned forwards onto the railings of the Golem's streets. He looked down, his head hung at the end of his neck, "Why did he bring that up? Is this how he is going to break me? If it is, it won't, I won't let it, I'll be strong, I'll show these gods what I am made of, I'm not backing down from any challenge, I am done giving up, ever again," He looked ahead and smiled as he was able to, with a few words, raise his own moral. His stomach gurgled, he felt his hunger all of a sudden, he hadn't eaten that morning nor at noon, they had talked for a few hours. He walked with his amulet visible on his bare torso, he had lost his top because of the Dalama who attacked him the night he arrived. Something struck him, there was a tavern-inn, he couldn't believe that there would be an inn, why would a community with no visitors need an inn, written in small under in was the reason. Love Inn, of course, he shook his head realizing how human they were, they looked all like humans and they seemed to live like them, but they all had magic or some sort of visible Naturania's Blessings. He shook his head and headed to Syl's home, she was probably still on her shift guarding the Tree Golem. He sighed as he walked into the house.
"Did my master suffer? I thought I killed him cleanly, he died nearly instantly, I don't think I could've done better, I shouldn't fall into his trap, this is exactly what he meant when he said he would break me, he wanted me to question myself and put myself down, there is no way in hell I am doing that," He sat down on the bed that he and Syl had shared, it was still the large frame bed from the night before, "I wonder how she is going to feel when I leave, maybe I can go see her? I'll ask Silvia."
He ran in the forest, a roar echoes through the forest and a scream detonated after it, it was Syl. He ran towards it, Silvia said that he could go see her but she must be lucky that he decided to do so. 2 beasts rose high above her, they were twice her size, she had activated her magic but it seemed nearly useless as they closed in on her.
They were the beasts the Dallam preyed and were prey to, the Galyungu. They had massive scaled bodies with a pair of arms near their head but their bodies stretched out as the body of a snake, they used that to circle Syl. Frills rose around their heads as they hissed at Syl, she was caught. One of them lunged forwards, Syl moved her arms to defend herself but, after the anticipation, nothing hit her, she opened her eyes and saw a man's figure with a blade as an arm plunged in the side the beast was limp under the blade of the figure. The blade withdrew and turned into a much larger arm. The man held it forwards as both a shield and a weapon. He leapt up and brought the massive arm crashing to the Galyungu. Its head took the blow and caved in on itself as it hit the ground getting crushed by the arm. The arm turned into a human arm as the man turned to her and rushed towards her and held her in his arms.
"Syl, are you okay?"
"Vidian? What-what are you doing here?"
"I was bored and came to see you, and I appear to have arrived at the right time," He kissed her cheek, "Are you hurt?"
"N-no, I don't think so."
"Good, I was hoping for that, what happened?"
"I got surrounded and they are very fast for their size, I couldn't run away, so I got caught out, thank you so much," She clung to him tightly, "I secretly wished to see your blessing in action, not just against Dalama, but against Galyungu or other creatures," She kissed him.
"Come on, stop teasing me, I thought you were fine with us doing this again, I had so much fun yesterday," Syl whined, "Come on."
"Is something wrong?"
"No," He said as he climbed onto the bed, "Nothing is wrong, let's get to this, what do you say?" He climbed over her and kissed her neck, "Same thing?"
"Can I try without your guidance?"
"If you want, I am here for you," She pulled him down onto her, "Thank you for saving me, I don't know what would've happened if you didn't show up."
"Let's not think of that," He kissed her lips, "I might have to leave after tomorrow, if I complete my work."
"Can't you stay?"
"I don't know, I have a long quest ahead of me, I don't know if I should spend more than the minimum for each work," He sighed, "Even if I have no time constraint, but I don't want to stay here, then never want to leave, I think that would happen if I stay with you."
"Maybe, but, let's not think about it, tomorrow, will you stay?"
"Yeah, but I will have to leave sooner than later."
"Maybe you can come see me after your quest, even if the people might not like you, I think that they wouldn't be unhappy to have Eternum's Trusted among them once more."
"You are really pretty," The comment made her blush, "Thank you for helping me, I will remember this moment, if I have time, I'll come see you."
"Good morning, Vidian," Pensamientaria said as he walked into her room, "How are you today?"
"I am fine," He yawned, "A little tired, but I am fine, I am here to take on your work, what is it?"
"Let's not jump in the fire, sit down," She gestured for him to sit down, "I am Pensamientaria, the God of Thinking, have you thought about Argumenty's question? The one about your master."
"I have, but I don't think he suffered long, I am not cruel, I tried to kill him painlessly, but never will that be possible, there always has to be pain, for anything."
"So you did think of it after all?"
"Yeah, I did, why did Argumenty say that he wanted to 'break me'?"
"He did? When?"
"Yesterday, talking to Lord Inventaariy."
"Well, I guess they are always planning something, but I can't blame them, they know so much that they have to constantly be talking or writing, Lord Inventaariy is constantly reading or writing."
"Me? What about me?"
"What do you do?"
"I just think, reflect, and look at the world."
"Is that all you do?"
"Why are you asking the questions?"
"Why wouldn't I? I am human, I am curious."
"I see, I understand what you mean, maybe we should began the work? What do you think?" She said as a board appeared on the table between them, a board that seemed to be used for a game, he didn't know what game could be.
"Shall we start?" She said as pieces appeared on the board, they were small, 2-sided coins, one side was red, the other blue. They were arranged on a board of 8x8 and on each side, in three rows with a space in between each of them, "Recognize this game?"
"No," He lied, hoping to deceive her, "I don't."
"Well," He rejoiced silently at her inattention to his lie as she just began explaining, "You have to beat me at this game, just once, and we have as many games as you like, in this game, your objective is to convert all my pieces to your color."
"And how do I do that?"
"By placing yours next to any of mine, and they convert to your color and any of them next to them convert as well, of course, I can do the same, and if there are several places you can jump."
"Okay, then let's start?"
"You have the lead."
"And so, one, two, three, four," He faked a look of confusion as she converted most of his pieces, all but one, to her color, "Your turn," She smiled gently. He lost his fake confusion and moved his piece, jumping 6 times, hitting all of the pieces she had and had converted. The pieces all became red. She looked at the board and then back at him and then tilted her head, questioning what had just happened. He smiled and held out his hand, he had just beat her at her own game, on the first try, "You lied to me, didn't you?"
"I know this game, I played it a lot, back in Kyyieshnomad, it was a game we played during lunch, while we worked, everyone played, but I lied to try to make you play a little less carefully, and it worked," He said as the board disappeared, "I thought you would have caught my lie."
"I wasn't paying attention, I blatantly believed you."
"Well, that was a fun last work, thank you, Lady Parlamentyra, I will go see Lord Inventaariy to claim my blessing."
"Go, you have completed my work, you now have done all 3, go see him, he will give you your blessing," He left her as she continued looking at the board, not being able to believe her defeat, on the first game they played, and also that she had been tricked by a simple lie that she should've seen.
He walked into the main room of the house, where Inventaariy was still reading his book, "Lord Inventaariy."
"Ah, Vidian, did you complete the 3 tasks my lesser gods gave to you? I assume you have, you wouldn't be here if you didn't, and I assume as well that you are here for me to grant your blessing, due to your reaction, my assumptions are true and therefore you will be granted said blessing, the Blessing of the Mind, this is a powerful blessing, maybe not in combat, but for other circumstances," He spoke in a monolog-like manner and was the conversation to himself, "This blessing renders your mind incorruptible, making you immune to any lie, illusion or mind magic, somethings that might be used by people to corrupt you or to persuade you, you will see right through the smokescreen that is a lie," A small hourglass shaped jewel forming in his hand, "Place this on your amulet, your next location is Atlantis, the Seakin city, off the shores of Bloodwater, the human trade city by the South Eastern Sea, a few days from here," Vidian placed the jewel and it sealed into the amulet, "You don't know how to swim, do you?"
"Here," A small orb of light flew from his hand onto Vidian's, "Place that to your forehead, the knowledge of swimming, you will be able to swim."
"Thank you, Lord Inventaariy."
"Good luck, Vidian, on your quest."
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