He soon arrived at the bottom and the path disappeared. He looked up at the mountain and then walked back towards the city. His ribs still hurt from the furious strike Wolvarian had landed during their fight. He walked back to the Earthkin city. The sun finally revealed itself and showed that it had been much longer than he thought to go up and complete Orn's task. It was nearly nightfall. Zenith was leaving the sky and Diana was replacing him. He walked to the first street of the Earthkin city and looked over the massive city. He decided to find a room in the city.
After a few minutes of search, he found an inn, a small inn that was mainly a drinking spot for the Earthkin.
"Yeah, some Longhair decided to go see Lord Orn."
"I always thought Longhairs were weird, but that? There is no way!"
"He even decided to climb with no equipment," The Earthkin laughed over their drinks, "I would have expected the Longhairs to not be so crazy, I wonder if he even got there, he probably fell to his death and probably is just lying there, dead!"
"Wrong," Vidian leaned on the bar counter next to them, "He isn't dead."
"Oie, this isn't your conversation, and what would-," They both froze as they saw Vidian's face, "The Longhair?! How did you return?" The people in the bar turned their heads as they heard that, "Are you some sort of god?! How did you get past Lord Infernus and Lord Fyre?"
"It wasn't too hard, just needed to use Eternum's blessing."
Vidian revealed his amulet and the blessing stone that was on it. The Earthkin looked at him in shock, "Lord Eternum's Amulet, and Lord Orn's Blessing, the Blessing of Stone," He turned to the manager, "Can I have a room for the night?"
"Y-Yes sir, um, h-here you go."
"How much for the room?"
"N-n-nothing, you are free to stay the night."
"Thanks," He put the amulet under his top, hiding it like before, "With Eternum's blessing, I get a curse and a blessing, a double-edged sword."
"Speak, Longhair, what is your blessing?"
"I can change my arms into anything I wish but I can't use weapons," He said leaning, looking towards the room, "I only recently got it but it already served its purpose in Lord Orn's task and the scaling of Orn's peak."
"How is Lord Orn doing?" Vidian turned his head and saw King sitting at one of the tables, "I am sure you spoke to him to get that blessing."
"He seems fine, I got rid of Wolvarian, the fallen god, for him, as my task, he seemed pleased about it," Vidian laughed then held his ribs, "Even if Wolvarian really did hit me hard in the ribs."
"Bartender! Get this man a drink!" One of the guys next to him said hitting his hand down on the counter, "Lord Orn's blessed this man, we should show some respect, I'll pay for him."
"Weird, I always thought the Earthkin were tightfisted," He thought out loud.
"We are, but this is a special occasion."
"More for me then, I'll take a Balberry Sprite, if you have any."
"I have some, I'll get you that, not an alcohol fan?"
"Nah, not my poison, not right now at least."
"Here you go, Balberry Sprite, one sand," The Earthkin next to him slid the bartender a coin, "Thank you."
"Cheers to the Longhair with the blessing of Lord Orn!"
He sat up in his bed, he yawned and stretched. He got up and put on his top and his hat and grabbed his bag. He walked into the bar once more, it was early morning. He ate a quick breakfast and asked the innkeeper where Luminosada was.
"Luminosada? It's, hmm, you have to take Nature's path, so towards the south and then you have to take Light's walk, so that will be on a sign, I had a Celenstial trader, well, Darkkin trader who lived there."
"About that, the Drakkin and the Celenstial live together?"
"Yes, they do, even if in that city, there are more women, more Celenstial."
"So the male are Darkkin and the women are Celenstial?"
"Yes exactly," He said as Vidian got up and headed to the door, "Good trip!"
"Thank you, have a good day."
He walked away from Gubalrock, towards Luminosada, the Celenstial city, on Nature's Path. The Celenstial and the Darkkin had always interested him, being such a different yet similar people, now knowing that they were separated by gender made it seem odd. He walked alone, as Zenith began to rise above the world, he held his amulet out in his hand and looked at the four-pointed blessing and smiled, it was the first step of a probably arduous quest. He walked with his hands in his pocket, whistling a soft tune, the Great Desert's tune, a tune that was often played during festivals and parties from his village and the towns near it, it was symbolic to him, reminding him of his home, even if had been little time since he left it, he knew it would be long until he went back, if he ever did. He continued whistling the tune and felt light hearted as he walked, not thinking about what could be to come nor what tasks were ahead of him. He knew Structania but he didn't remember all her lesser gods, he knew of Jadia and Fortfiiy, the Goddess of Family and the God of Protection, but he remembered she had 5 lesser gods, more than most sub-gods.
He soon arrived at the cross road the innkeeper had told him about, he had to go on Light's Walk, the path to the Celenstial city. He shrugged and joyfully walked down the path. The environment had changed so quickly, from a hellish, rocky valley with no vegetation in the main part of it to a lush, thick, green forest and a humid and cool air, clearly Infernus didn't go this far with his scorched winds. He grabbed one of his skins and drank from it, he had filled them in the morning at the well in Gubalrock. They were warm, the well itself was warm, surprisingly, not boiling with all the volcanoes nearby. He laughed at that thought before noticing a city a fair distance away. A beige walled city with colored roofs and a vast amount of fields outside of it. It was built on a hill with houses stretching down and farms were scattered around the fields, both crops and pastures. He had never seen anything like it, it changed from his small town and also from the Earthkin's grey stone, square, identical houses. Maybe the people themselves created this to stand out, or maybe it was just with what was around them.
As he neared, he noticed a small, forming river flowing out of the city, probably there was a source in the city that gave water to the city. He walked next to fields and pastures, breathing in a fresh, light air that changed from the hot and dry air of the Desert and the Molten Peaks. He instantly noticed the Darkkin and the Celenstial. The men had near black skin with black hair and red eyes, an ominous aura emerged from them and the women had pale skin, with bright colored hair and their eyes were green or blue, they gave off a welcoming aura and an aura of caring. He nodded his head in response to their greetings and walked into the city. He arrived on the main street, like in Gubalrock, he stood out, being the only non-Darkkin man visible. He heard arguing, which was more of one sided shouting.
"You said you would have it for today! I warned you! I thought I could trust you but what did you do? You broke my trust, you owe me and I need your part of the deal, now!"
"I don't have it," A Celenstial girl squealed as the Darkkin drew a blade, "Please, don't hurt me."
"You won't give me what I want, then I'll take it," He lifted his blade and brought it down towards her. Vidian ran and changed his hand into steel and grabbed the blade before the blade hit her, the blade crumbled, "What is this?" The Darkkin glared Vidian, "Don't get involved with things that don't involve you, human."
"What does she owe you?"
"3 silver cobras," The Darkkin snapped, "She took my money and she won't pay up now."
"Can you shut up? Here, 3 cobras," He placed 3 coins in the Darkkin's hand, "Get the hell out of here, you got what you wanted," He closed his hand and smashed the blade.
The Darkkin looked up at him then down at the coins and nodded then left, disappearing into the crowd, he felt the girl tap his shoulder, "Sir, why did you help me? I did something wrong, I should pay for it."
"I noticed that you did something wrong, but there is no reason to hurt someone for that, I paid for you, it isn't like I need the money."
"I am Julia Dawn."
"No last name?"
"I don't have one, I am not from around here, as you can tell, can you show me around a little bit? I would need a place to stay for the night."
"Sure, that is the least I can do, how old are you, sir?"
"I am 20, don't call me sir, call me Vidian, you know my name."
"Okay, Mr. Vidian."
"Are you kidding me? Call me Vidian."
"O-okay, V-Vidian," She stammered, blushing.
"Why are you blushing?"
"It's, um, it's that, only married couples or lovers call each other by their first name, or when same age children talk to each other."
"Oh, then call me whatever," He smiled, rolling his eyes, "Sorry about that."
"No problem, what are you in the city for?"
"I am here to see Lady Structania."
"Lady Structania? What for? She isn't the easiest to talk to."
"I assumed, like the other gods, I am travelling the world, gathering their blessings, I arrived here from Gubalrock, where I was yesterday, talking to Lord Orn."
"Oh, that's cool, are you hungry?"
"Come to my home, I am sure my parents won't bother."
"You really don't have too, I can find food to eat."
"No, it's fine, come," She said dragging him along, "You saved me, that is the least I can do."
"Sure, whatever, how old are you?"
"How old am I?" She asked, "I am 19."
"Okay, so I don't look like a total creep."
"My mother is 15 years younger than my father, he is 49."
"Wait, so you were born when your mother was 15..., oh, okay, different culture," He said as she opened a door. He noticed both of her parents, a Darkkin and a Celenstial. Her mother turned around and smiled at them but her father glared at Vidian. He walked over to him and stared him, dead in the eyes, Vidian returned the look and her father smiled and laughed.
"Welcome to my home, you are?" He said placing his hands on Vidian's shoulders. Julia's mother walked next to him, she was visibly younger than him and smiled kindly.
"Father, this is Vidian, he saved me from Goli."
"Yes, Mother, well, Vidian helped me, so it's fine."
"I've never seen you around the city."
"I just got here, I was in Gubalrock yesterday."
"Earthkin land? What for?"
"To get Lord Orn's blessing."
"Blessings? Are you here to get Lady Structania's?"
"Heather, can you get the dinner?"
"Yes, David, I'll set the table as well, Julia, come with me."
"Yes, mother," She sighed as she followed her into the other room, leaving David and Vidian in the living room. David sat down and grabbed the cup that was on the table. He gestured for Vidian to sit down and he did.
"You are here to see Lady Structania?"
"To get her blessing?"
"For Lord Eternum."
"Yeah," He said revealing his amulet, "I have to go to all the gods, I went to Lord Orn, next is Lord Structania."
"I see, do you know much about her?"
"She is the goddess of Civilization, given her name, structure, to structure the people, she has 5 lesser gods, which we all worship, Lord Fortfiiy, God of Protection, Lord Reignus, God of Domain, Lady Sanctuaria, Goddess of the Home, Lady Jadia, Goddess of Family and Lord Doncian, God of Borders."
"Okay, where is her altar?"
"Julia will bring you there tomorrow morning, she needs to go there anyways."
"You'll eat with us, it'll cost you less, and I think Heather can set up a bed for you," David said as he downed his glass. Vidian hesitated then spoke.
"Are you sure? I can go find an inn or maybe I could pay for this stay?"
"No, hell no, you are in my home, you save my daughter, don't worry, we have plenty of food and it doesn't bother me," David assured him, "Where were you from again?"
"Near the Great Desert, a small town."
"That's a fair bit away, how long did it take you to get here? I didn't know there was a direct road to here from the Great Desert, is there?"
"No, I went to Gubalrock and I left this morning and arrive less than an hour ago, the city looks amazing from far."
"I agree, I've lived here all my life, and it is pretty nice."
"David, dinner's ready! Is Vidian joining us?"
"Yeah, let's go eat," David said getting up and Vidian followed him into the other room.
The table was set and Heather and Julia had placed the plates of food on the table. Vidian sat down on one side of the table, with Heater and Julia on the sides of the table and David ahead of him. Heather served the plates as David poured himself a glass of alcohol, Bradergush, a strong alcohol. He gestured with the bottle to Vidian, he shook his head.
"What did you do to save Julia, Vidian?" Heather asked.
"I stopped Goli's blade."
"You stopped the blade?! How?" David nearly spat out all of the liquid in his mouth. Vidian lifted his arm and it turned to steel, "What is that? Some sort of magic?"
"Lord Eternum's blessing."
"Ah, I see, the curse and the blessing, is that how you stopped the blade?"
"Yeah, and how I scaled Orn's peak, I can turn my arms into anything want."
"What job do you have?"
"None, Lord Eternum's quest I guess."
"What is that quest?"
"To gather the blessings of his gods, in this order," He showed the amulet, "And then he'll tell me the rest," He lied, hiding the real reason of his quest, the Death of the World.
They began eating, both Heather and Julia were quiet as David lead the conversation. He asked what Julia did, if she went to school or she worked.
"Julia? No, she is still in school, until next year, then she graduates, then she can see what she wants to do, depending on her skill set, she's lucky, most girls don't do to school, at all."
"What do they do then?"
"They get married early or become priestess of Lady Structania or her lesser god."
"Like me," Heather added, "My parent got me married at 15, the age of adulthood, but I had some freedoms, when I was young I travelled a lot, but that was before Julia was around."
"It's 15?" Vidian raised his eyebrow, "For humans, it's 18 and rarely people decide to get married so early."
"Well, shows another difference we have with humans, Heather, do we have things to make a 'bed' for Vidian?"
"I think we have some pillows and a blanket, he can use the mattress we have in Julia's room, and it should be enough for him."
"Thank you, Heather."
"Of course, this is our home, you are our guest," She smiled kindly, "Do you like the food? I don't know if it's of humans' taste."
"Yeah, well, it's really good, thanks."
"You see, Heather, your cooking is good, you always put yourself down."
"I know," She sighed and looked down, "What was this Goli problem about?" The question dumbstruck Julia, she froze not knowing what to answer, hesitating and blinking blankly, "Julia?"
"Um, nothing, he-he, just got angry and, and, attacked me."
"Angry about what?" David asked lifting his eyebrow.
"I don't know," Vidian lied, "He attacked me and I dodged it and realized the blade was going to hit her and stopped it."
"Oh, I don't see why you were hesitating to tell us that, it is nothing bad."
"I didn't know what you would think."
"It's fine, tomorrow you will bring Vidian to the altar."
"It's so far away."
"It is only 2 hours of walk, and he doesn't know the way."
"Fine," She sighed deeply and continued eating. She was silent for the rest of the dinner as the three of them continued talking.
He lay down on the mattress and looked up at the ceiling, "Why don't you want to go to the Altar?"
"Huh? I never said that, I am just lazy," She said sitting on the side of her bed, "Why did you ask?"
"Your father said that you didn't like going, why?"
"Um, well, Goli, Goli and his friends are always on that path, they are forest guards, and I don't know why, but they love picking on me," She lied down and sighed, "And I can't do anything about it."
"I am going with you tomorrow, I can do something."
"You are really kind," She smiled at him and blew out the candle next to her bed, "Good night."
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