PART NINE: THE DIVINE AGONY
Every moment since being kidnapped by the god Ull had been wrought with nothing but sheer agony as the chief religious leaders of his cult back in the god’s home world had been tasked with preparing Blaize’s body, soul and spirit for total invasion and possession by the god.
Blaize had lost all sense of time as the excruciating process of preparing him was conducted all day, every day. Sometimes it was not as torturous and he thought that perhaps the process had been completed but then the agony would return and he would lose himself to the sheer madness induced by the pain.
For all those days, Blaize had few comforts available to him. The first of those comforts was the last bit of Purity’s essence that she had left embedded in his soul that comforted him at the peak of his madness. She assured him that the pain would all be over soon and tried as best she could to distract him from the pain by replaying some of their happiest memories together in his mind.
The second comfort availed to him that had come as a complete but welcome surprise had been a Chief Priestess of Ull named Ivena. Ivena had gone out of her way to console him with the tenderness only a mother would know to provide, often whispering to him while he cried on her lap about the agony he had been enduring. Ivena’s efforts reminded Blaize of the mother he could return to and so he fought hard every day to ensure he returned to her in one piece.
At times, despite the joint efforts of Purity and Ivena, it seemed like the pain would never end but in time, Blaize grew more tolerant of it until it eventually faded into nothing more than mild throbs. One night, Ivena came to him and noted that she sensed that something about him had changed.
“My pain tolerance has improved exponentially, Priestess Ivena. I am no longer the weakling that I used to be,”
“It appears that the grueling work of your divine preparation has been accomplished within you,”
Blaize nodded. “My mortality itself has been shed to pave way to eternal greatness,”
“Then it is time, my dear boy, for you to learn the whole ugly truth about this world. It is time for you to meet my goddess,”
Blaize was stunned to hear her words but just then, he succumbed to a deep sleep and while in that state, an entity approached him and in Avery’s voice stated, “For eons I have been trapped in a listless, meaningless and indeed, fruitless existence which was defiant to my very nature. It appeared there was no end in sight for this pain beyond pain but then he found you and suddenly, there is a hope to end my eternal suffering…”
“Who are you and why have you brought me here? What do you mean by saying all these cryptic things?”
“I am the only hope for salvation you have, Son of Avery. We do not have more time to become better acquainted before Ull realizes that you are finally complete enough for him. Once that occurs, you will slowly but surely lose all sense of what it is to be you, to give way to his wicked desires. Everything you have ever known will be entirely lost and you will simply cease to exist to serve a so called higher purpose,”
“Are you saying there is a way to defy the Divine Will of Ull?”
“Yes, my dear one, but this path is indeed not a simple one as a great sacrifice must be made. You see, Son of Avery, eons ago, I was part of something greater than myself- part of a primordial deity that begot both me and Ull. Unfortunately, the more aggressive and ambitious parts of the deity went to Ull and so he began to covet more power…”
“He and some of the children we begot turned against me with the allure of greater power motivating them. The children loyal to me were slain mercilessly and I was seemingly destroyed as well- but not completely lost…”
“By some stroke of fate, I remained in existence but only as divine matter. I did not have a corporeal or incorporeal state but somehow, I persisted. Ull was unable to gain my power to control souls and as a result, the worlds we created slowly began to fade away until at long last, only this one existed.
“This world too, is inflicted with the curse of impending doom looming in a not so distant future but Ull is determined to maintain the facade of Utopia. That is why he kidnapped you and others like you- to continually hide the ugly truth from the prisoners he has kept here to sustain him and the children who stood loyally by his side,”
As the entity gently spoke to him, it showed him vivid visions of the worlds that were, their eventual collapse and the Apocalypse to come to that world and it terrified Blaize more than the torture he had endured for the indeterminate amount of time he had been held captive.
“Due to the divine preparation work being completed in you, you are the most powerful Reality Warper that has ever been brought to this world. Undoubtedly, your great power will be able to maintain the façade for a while longer but do you really think it is right for the wool to continually be pulled over every captive’s eyes here? Is the definite threat of losing all your loved ones not greater than your fear of Ull? Do you not wish to learn the secret to destroying him so that your loved ones can be saved too?”
“Is there a way to stop him?” Blaize asked it.
“Yes, dear one, there is a way to stop him but you must take a giant leap of faith,”
“I must let you invade and possess me instead,” Blaize guessed.
“Yes and no. What I intend to do is something more drastic than that… That is why we require Ivena. I have granted her a power no other caster in this Reality has ever held- the power to manipulate Divine Matter. Using her special ability, you and I can become fused into One Being. As a collective Being, we can defeat Ull,”
“But in fusing into One Being, won’t I lose myself anyway? How can I be assured that I will still be me and that no harm shall come to my loved ones?”
“This is why I stated that you must take a gigantic leap of faith in me, my dear one. I can only assure you that you shall not lose yourself in the process but shall, instead, become greater than yourself by taking my attributes in as well but the faith that all shall be well remains with you alone,”
“So I am doomed if I say yes and doomed if I say no?”
“You have every right to feel terrified for such a thing has never been attempted in all of Creation but it is the only way, my dear one. Allow me to show you the truth of how this one ends should you chose Ull instead of taking up my offer-“
The entity showed him visions of the wicked atrocities Ull would commit using his newly acquired vessel ending the display with the vision of Ada’s most recent attack which could have ended with her untimely demise.
“Stop! I have- I have seen enough. Fine, do it,”
He heard Ivena begin to mutter in a strange tongue that became increasingly easier to decipher until he could understand as he became fused with whatever entity he had been listening to and before long, he was sitting up, looking at Ivena.
She immediately fell prostrate before him and addressed him as her god, boldly worshiping him.
“Ivena, what is the meaning of this?”
“I apologize for not revealing the whole truth to you, my lord, for the goddess Uma bid me to wait until the time was ripe to reveal the whole truth to you but I swore allegiance to her and now to what she has become- her perfected form, you, my lord,” she stated not daring to look directly at the god.
Blaize was able to discern the purity of her intentions and her reverence of him strengthened him greatly. He could feel the potency of Ivena’s true soul worship and knew then that he had irrevocably been changed. The knowledge and attributes of the former goddess Uma then flowed through him.
It suddenly felt as if he had been created for the very purpose he then was fulfilling, a Divine purpose that had been greater than the mortality he had then shed.
“Ivena, I can never repay you for the Great Work you have perfected in me but I give you my solemn promise that this whole Reality shall know of thy greatness… You shall be blessed above any other creature in this land for all of time,”
“I am simply a Divine tool for you to use as you please, my god,”
“You mean more to me than any Divine Tool, Ivena, may thy name be blessed. Now then, we have some work to do and quite some ways to go to defeat Ull. Make haste, my precious Ivena, a divine purging beckons…”
TO BE CONTINUED…
What does Blaize’s new identity truly mean for his future and that of his loved ones? Shall he and Ivena succeed in defeating Ull? Stay tuned to find out! Links to previous parts are listed below: