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482 The Will of the Dead

    Between the aspects of existence, certain regulations would exist. Most of them were set to limit the interference that an aspect could enforce over another, and an example of this, was the constant struggle between the aspects of life, and the aspect of death. The natural course of each of these two contrasting powers were the weapons of these two aspects of existence, while the survival of every single entity that existed in the multiverse, was the battlefield on which their eternal competition would be fought.

    The only mean Death would have to take away a living being from the aspect of life, was to wait for their life essence to succumb to the corrosive power of death essence, or for them to die of unnatural causes. What she wasn't allowed to do, was to be the artificer of the entity's death, as that would mean actively affecting the outcome of the natural order, and interfere with a person's fate. To disturb this fragile equilibrium between the two lower ranking aspects of existence, was the rare appearance of specific individuals, who, one way or another, would be able to obtain some form of immortality.

    The immortality of the Deathbringer was caused by his ability to stop the death essence from corroding his life essence, which was what had stopped his aging process to his teen years despite his age being in the hundreds of thousands, and made him unable to die of a natural death. Daniel's resistance to the corrosive nature of death essence, on the other hand, was due to the regenerative abilities present in his true immortal essence, which kept the cells of his body from degenerating the way a normal human's would. This had made Daniel truly immortal, and unable to die of old age or any form of sickness.

    These two different powers had moved the two of them closer to the realm of the aspect of Life, and had turned them from contended entities, to champions of Life whom the aspect of Death was not allowed to kill. This odd circumstance had put Death in an uncomfortable situation in which she could not kill these invaders no matter how annoying they were, even in her own domain. Nevertheless, Daniel and the Deathbringer were not the first immortals to ever enter her domain.. after all, she, along with her counterpart, had existed ever since the first organism had been born.

    Daniel noticed that his words seemed to be correct, so he decided to insist. "I won't leave without her, and if you force me out, I will keep coming and disturb this plane until you'll let me take her away." he said with a decisive tone.

    The old lady once again stopped what she was doing, and placed the hooks onto her legs. She then turned to look at Daniel with a solemn expression, and asked him, "Why would you want to take her back? She has suffered greatly in life, and now she is at peace. Can you even understand what level of arrogance and selfishness it takes for you to want her back?"

    These words hit Daniel straight to his core. He had been the cause of much of Alesia's sufferings, after all, it was his appearance that had changed everything for both her, and her family. If he had never appeared, her life would have been a more peaceful one, in the company of his family and friends. Instead, she was forced to escape her city, leave her planet, and separate from the people she loved the most. All of that could be attributed to him, and Daniel was more than aware of it.

    Shame was an understatement for what Daniel was feeling, but deep in his mind, his egoism was preventing him from letting go. These feelings created an uncomfortable knot in his throat, and forced tears to well up in the corner of his eyes. "I.. I need her to know happiness in life. I need her to leave with no regrets.." he said while struggling not to choke up. He then waited for a moment, before adding, "Please.. Let me talk to her."

    Death could hear the sincerity in Daniel's words, but unfortunately, she knew more than he did. Afterlife was not something that was for the living to decide on, and that was not different for Alesia, no matter how much Daniel wanted her back.

    "What if she decides not to come back?" She asked while briefly turning to look at the Deathbringer, who clenched his fists over his thighs. The old lady then turned to look back at Daniel, and asked, "Do you think that your selfish reasoning will move the dead?"

    Daniel ignored the two tears that streamed down his face, and responded, "I need to try.."

    The old lady gently shook her head in what appeared to be the first semblance of human emotions that she had shown so far. She then unhooked the threads which she was using to create the slowly dissipating piece of fabric, and used the one she was holding with her right hand to catch a specific thread within the thousands that had formed this fabric.

    Once the hook had separated this thread from the others, the surrounding darkness suddenly lit up with an infinite number of lights, which filled the surroundings like a swarm of fireflies. These lights were white in color and shone with identical intensity, and yet, despite how alike they appeared, they all felt extremely different.

    "Call for her. If she does not answer, leave her, and never come back." Said the disembodied voice of death as her body disappeared, leaving the Deathbringer to stare at these lights with an odd expression that was unlike his usual cold and emotionless behaviour.

    Grateful for this opportunity, Daniel wiped his face before trying to reach a light that was floating right in front of him. As his finger came to just a few centimeters from it, however, the light moved away, almost as if against the idea of being touched by Daniel.

    It did not take long for Daniel to realize what these lights were. The fabric that Death was weaving was the real underworld, and every thread corresponded to a dimension. What was contained in these threads, were the uncountable lives that, at some point in history, had ended.. Amongst these uncountable lights, was that of Alesia.

    -----

    For what felt like thousands of years, Daniel roamed the underworld in the company of the Deathbringer, who just like him, seemed to be searching for a specific light within this infinite sea. Unfortunately, no matter how much Daniel called for Alesia, or searched for her, he had made no progress whatsoever.

    While never speaking a word to one another, with time, Daniel had finally understood what the Deathbringer was doing there. Like him, he had become obsessed with the idea of bringing someone back from the underworld, and it was clear that this had not been his first attempt.

    Daniel's constant failures rapidly started to weigh on him, and at some point, he began to think that the reason why he could not find Alesia, was because she didn't want him to.. These kinds of thoughts sent him spiraling into an unbearable sorrow that made him question what he was doing.

    When it appeared that both Daniel and the Deathbringer were ready to stop their search, Death once again appeared in front of them, and with a somewhat comforting voice, said, "Peace is life's ultimate goal, and that is what death offers. You two are not the first ones to attempt this, but no one, in any dimension, has ever succeeded."

    These words had the intention of comforting the two, and yet, the only effect they had, was to worsen the state of mind in which Daniel had been in, which caused him to fall on his knees and be overcome by grief. The sadness he was feeling was so deep, that it was emitted by his body in the form of an emotional aura, which expanded outwards, and forced the uncountable small lights to back away.. All but one.

    Of all of the lights that were in front of him and that had backed away, one had remained. It hovered in front of Daniel's kneeled body, shining its gentle light onto his face.

    The moment Daniel noticed this light, which was moving in the small space in front of him, he cupped his hands together and reached for it. Contrary to any other light, this one was not afraid of Daniel, and allowed itself to be held in his palms.

    Once he had a hold of it, Daniel turned towards Death, whose cold expression had now turned into one of confusion and stupor, and with tears streaming down his face, he asked with a voice filled with hope, "Is this her?.."

    For the first time ever since it had come to being, a faint smile formed on Death's lips, right before she nodded in confirmation.

    As Daniel's sorrowful aura moved back into his body, he turned to look at the light that was floating over his palm, which he held as gently as he could, and without moving his eyes away from it, almost as if fearful that it would disappear, he asked, "Does this mean that she.. she wants to come with me?"

    Death was left speechless. The nature of the underworld was benevolent, and gave comfort to each and every consciousness that inhabited it. To choose the chaos, pain, and tragedies that Life would infer on living beings, was something that she had never believed possible. It took her more than a minute to shake this surprise away, and to walk next to Daniel and the small light. She then picked Alesia's consciousness off of Daniel's hand, and asked, "Are you sure that is what you want, child?"

    The light responded by increasing its glow, an action to which Death reacted with a gentle nod. "The underworld is her home now.. But she chose to leave with you.."She said before handing Alesia's light back to Daniel. She then added with a solemn tone, "But, heed my words, human.. Her consciousness cannot survive in the plane of the living for long. Recover her spirit within a year, or her existence will belong to Chaos.. At that point, not even I will be able to save her."

    Daniel nodded before gently caging Alesia's light in between his fingers, and moving her closer to his head. He then slowly pushed her into the side of his temple, which she entered as if moving through a portal. Once inside Daniel's mind, she was covered by his true immortal essence, which would protect her at all costs.

    Once done, Daniel stood back up, and bowed deeply towards Death, who opened a portal that led to the world of the living for him. He then walked into the portal, and left the underworld. "Remember, one year." Said Death's voice into his ears right before the portal closed.

    As the portal closed, the old lady once again found herself in the company of the Deathbringer, who was currently looking at the many lights with melancholy.

    "It has been a long time since you have killed him, Jorah.. If he had wanted to meet you, he would have done it already." Said Death to the Deathbringer, whom she had seen looking at the dead of his universe for tens of thousands of years now, but who had never had Daniel's success.

    However, while usually the Deathbringer would respond to Death's words with a stubborn behaviour and without saying a word, this time, he looked at her with resignation, and said, "Every day, he would hate being alive.. even when he asked me to absorb him, I knew that what he really wanted was to stop being sad.. for someone to save him.. but I was the only one listening.." He then turned around, and with his own power, he opened a portal that led out of the underworld. "I wish I could have told him that he was wrong, to trust me to be the one to save him.. But maybe he knows." he then added while going through the portal, with no intention of ever coming back again.
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