PART SEVEN: A BATTLE OF WILL
Emica contemplated the entirety of the trial of Princess Edna of Mialand. Every single action had led the sole judge of the Oracle’s Court to the moment of her utter despair and hopelessness…
The realization that she was facing off against the most malevolent evil entity to have ever existed taking the form of the most powerful faerie, crushed whatever little hope Emica had of defeating it.
“Give into me, Emica. There is no reason why you should lose your life. As you abandoned Gaia so did she abandon you. You are dispensable to her. After all, when you die, another shall rise in your place like you never mattered and to Her, you never truly have…”
“You are just but a solitary star in the vast expanse of space- there billions of stars out there much like you; some, like you, burn especially bright but when your mission is complete and you leave this world, it is as if you were never in that expanse at all. Other brilliant stars appear and outshine your brightness and your memory is lost for all time…”
“I, Emica, would treat you as you deserve; as a powerful caster whose power is unparalleled in this world. Alone, you are frail and your efforts against me are vain but if we join forces, we will conquer the world itself. We shall grab the power to rule over this world from the unworthy deity’s hands and make it our own,” the Entity spoke to Emica.
The Entity then assumed the form of the Elemental Faerie and faced Emica as an equal, shining brightly at her so much so that the Oracle was enthralled by her.
“Emica, there were times in our collective pasts that we worked together- when both you and I incarnated at the same time. Why do you think that Gaia does not allow this to happen even though it happened so often in our past? Do you truly believe the falsehood that we cannot coexist? Could the world be so primitive as to not revere two powerful Oracles existing at the same time?”
Emica found herself shaking her head and felt herself losing grip with every passing moment. Resistance was so unfathomably difficult- she just wanted to let go. Emica wanted to forget about her mission. She was frightened and clearly not a great fit for the job. What was Gaia thinking giving her such an impossibly difficult task to accomplish? Why didn’t Gaia just take the power away from her and give it to someone more worthy?
“Emica, let me worry about the Enlightened world from now on. You and your beloved Protector can enjoy your lives together without fear if you just give into me now. Just accept my friendship- you don’t even need to worship me. You just have to stay away from the Enlightened world and leave my followers be. You can live a happy life with the man you adore and renounce your support for that obscure goddess…”
“I don’t have to… serve you?” Emica asked the Entity.
The Entity smiled. “Not at all. Unlike Gaia, I can tolerate atheism or even agnostic practice. You need not worship any god or goddess… Just renounce your faith for Gaia. She is intolerable towards me and my followers and as such, I cannot tolerate worship for her but those that renounce worship of her are my friends and live happy, care-free lives. You shall not suffer from my wrath provided you do not interfere with my plans,”
“What… what do you intend to do with the world?”
“I wish to enlighten the world, Emica and offer them true free will- the will to exercise their magic freely without fear or restrictions. I want all who profess my name to be strong in spite of their natural shortcomings. This is what I offer, Emica…”
“Should you choose me, I would set you free from your fears and insecurities but if not, I would let you live a happy life in this world or anywhere else you choose. And I would accord your loved ones the same peace- they would never have to suffer again fighting a war they couldn’t possibly hope to win. After all, they never had to fight in the first place. This battle need not burden you or them,”
Emica nodded, contemplating the offer made by the Entity. After a short while, she acknowledged a voice that seemed to be calling out to her from a great distance. The voice grew stronger the more she acknowledged it until it was the loudest sound echoing in the chambers of her spirit.
“Emica, please come back to me- come back to the light,” stated Nobu. He grew right before her eyes from a faint glowing light to his true form.
“Who are you?” she asked in momentary confusion.
“I am your Protector, Nobu. I have come to save you from yourself. Do not believe the lies of the evil one for one second! Its only goal is the destruction of the world and it is frightened because it knows you can hold it back,”
The Entity cackled mockingly while Emica shook her head denying Nobu’s statement.
“She is far too powerful for me to defeat- I cannot- I can’t defy her. She will destroy everything I have ever cared about- kill everyone I have ever loved,” Emica offered Nobu weakly.
“It uses fear to reign in its followers because it is the only thing that it has, Emica. It is not Omnipotent. Where we cannot reach, the Divine Hand of Gaia shall reach. Do not forget that Gaia whom called you will not fail to come to your aid should you reach out to her,”
“Gaia doesn’t care about me or you… She can easily take away this power from me and give it to someone else- we are dispensable to her,” Emica said weakly.
“Protector Nobu, listen to your charge. She cannot ever hope to defeat me. And as her Protector, it is your duty to accompany her wherever her journey takes her and ensure her safety above all… Do you really want to risk her life? Do you not recall what happened when she last faced off against me? Do you really want Emica to die again for the misguided Savior’s cause?”
Nobu cringed just thinking about it but knew he had to be stronger for Emica.
“I offer the only logical option if you wish to keep her alive, Nobu. I offer true salvation. Defy me no longer and everyone you love, most especially your beloved charge, gets to live. Continue fighting a losing battle and bear witness as I tear your entire existence apart,”
“I am not afraid of you. Your threats do not frighten me. Gaia is more powerful than you would ever hope to be. I won’t let you have Emica. As Gaia’s loyal servant, I shall not allow you or anyone to take Emica away from the light,”
The Entity cackled. “As you speak, her spirit is broken. Emica, choose me. Your Protector shall follow suit if you take the first brave leap,”
Emica wanted to take the leap, to give up but then just as she contemplated giving into the Entity, a part of her latched onto the light…
Gaia had been spoiled for choice on whom she chose to wield the power of Oracle and yet, as much as Emica resisted her and despite her inadequate faith, the Divine Mother had chosen her over everyone else.
There must have been a reason she was chosen. Emica may never understand why it was so, but she was chosen as the Oracle of the Dark World and she had to do better than just give up on her mission.