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13 Eden’s Nightmare

    "Are you an alien?"

    For some reason, that sentence involuntarily left my mouth. I originally walked out to the stern of the ship to take a break from my cleaning duties. During the day we clean passenger rooms, and at night we'll clean the common passenger areas.

    The back of the ship is generally a quiet place I can relax for a moment. Usually, no one would be on the stern of the ship at this time of night. But what I saw startled me.

    A young girl with long pure white hair, flawless white skin, perfect features, long sharp ears, and lastly, a complete sense of disconnect from the rest of the world.

    'This person...how can someone like her exist on this Earth?'

    While continuing to look out over the ocean, her sweet and playful little voice rings out.

    "Miss, you are the first one to call me that. I've been called a lot of things, but for some reason, that one kind of hurt my feelings."

    After finishing, she turned her head, showing bright blood-red eyes.

    She shows a surprised expression and says, "Oh, who exactly is the odd one here?"

    'What does she mean by that?'

    I give her a blank expression as I'm not sure how to respond. Well, if I'm, to be honest, I'm usually pretty expressionless anyway.

    "Don't just stand there, Miss Groth. Come chat with me for a while."

    'She knows my name?! How does she know my name?'

    Starting to get impatient, she calls me over, "Well, come on."

    As casually as I can manage, I make my way over to the strange girl.

    "How did you know my name?"

    "Don't worry about that, here have some mochi."

    Out of thin air, a plate of mochi appears. I can feel my eyes grow big in disbelief. I work quickly to regain my usual neutral manner.

    Seeing my expression, she hands me the plate of mochi and looks at me with a kind smile.

    "How did you do that?" I couldn't help but ask.

    "I was able to do this because of a special ring someone very powerful gifted me."

    'Special ring? Someone very powerful?'

    Steadying my mind, I keep my composure.

    "What's your name?"

    "My name is Eira."

    "Eira, what were you talking about a moment ago?"

    "The True God gifted me a ring allowing me to make that mochi appear. She is very powerful and generous."

    "True God? You mean the God of Heaven?"

    Eira rather visibly frowns at my question.

    With pursed lips, she simply replies, "No."

    I let out a small sigh, "It doesn't matter, either way. God doesn't exist."

    Eira lifts her little eyebrows as if asking me to elaborate.

    I continue to speak, "God doesn't exist; that is something I learned the hard way a few years ago."

    "Oh, well, that's because you have been praying to the wrong God."

    'Because I've been praying to the wrong God?'

    In confusion, I manage to squeeze out a sentence.

    "What do you mean?"

    "The God of Heaven would never step in to help one little girl, but the Goddess is different. You're special; I can tell the Goddess would definitely appreciate you."

    'Goddess? Appreciate me?'

    With a plethora of questions rolling around in my mind, Eira continues.

    "Would you like to meet the Goddess?"

    "How would I meet a Goddess?"

    At my question, Eira smirked and went on to explain what I would need to do to meet who she calls the Goddess. According to here in five days at midnight, I need to perform a ritual and pray to the Goddess.

    "If you do this, your life will change forever.", Eira covered her mouth and giggled.

    After that, the mysterious girl, Eira, pulls up her hood up and leaves without another word.

    Thinking over the events that just transpired, I'm honestly not sure I believe anything she said...but I do feel a bit curious.

    'God or Goddess, they don't exist.'

    Looking over the ocean, I couldn't help but once again reflect on the past. Its been almost three years now since it happened.

    I never knew my father; I was raised alone by my mother. I could always tell my mother loved my father very much she always said when the time came, I'd learn all about my father.

    Anyways we were poor, but we were happy. My mother worked very hard to provide for me, and I did my best to help how I could.

    Mother was extremely devoted to the God of Heaven. Although I was very religious myself, I always felt there was some kind of barrier keeping me from entirely giving myself to him.

    Everything was great at the time life was peaceful. Then the day came where everything changed.

    It started with loud banging on the front door. Waking my mother and me, mother immediately called the police, but we lived far out in the countryside, so it takes a while for the police to arrive.

    Mother took my hand, and we both entered her bedroom, and she locked the door. She put me in the closet and placed all the furniture in front of the closet door. I was left with only a small hole to see into the room.

    I saw mother start praying to an idol of the God of Heaven. Seeing her, I also began praying. It wasn't long before the bedroom door was being pounded upon. Unlike the front door, the bedroom door gave quickly.

    What came next were the screams. I will never forget the horrifying screams of my mother. I remember praying with everything I was capable of. I remember yelling and screaming at the man to get away from my mother.

    It didn't matter how much I screamed or prayed; the man never stopped. I tried to push open the closet doors, but I wasn't strong enough to move the furniture.

    Mother eventually stopped screaming, and the man turned his attention to me. Rather than trying to move the furniture, I instead crawled deeper into the closet. It didn't matter though, the man moved the furniture and grabbed me. He hurled me across the room and on top of mother.

    Seeing the horrible state of mother and finding myself covered in her blood, I felt immense grief build in my chest. My lungs and throat felt like they were boiling. Feeling like I would explode if I didn't let it out, I turned toward the man and screamed louder then I thought was possible. The air vibrated, the windows shattered, furniture cracked, and the man flew backward, slamming into the wall.

    I didn't care what had just happened; I just knew I wanted to hurt that man. Seeing him unconscious, I picked up anything I could find and beat him as hard as my young self could manage.

    When the paramedics and police finally arrived, they didn't even try to resuscitate mother. I wanted to beg them to help her, but at that point, I couldn't do much more than spit blood.

    As for the man, he hardly looked human, but somehow he was still breathing. Last I heard he was still in a coma. I also learned his real name, but to me he is just "that man". If I ever hear he has woken up, I plan to find him again to finish what I started.

    As for me, my vocal cords were shredded. The doctors thought I might be mute permanently, but inexplicably they seemed to heal rather quickly. The doctors were quite shocked.

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    After that, I stayed at my friend's place with her and her drunkard dad. I complain, but at the very least, they let me stay at their home for a couple of years. Once I turned sixteen, I immediately quit school and took a job on the 'Moonlight' cruise ship.

    For a while, I questioned whether that scream was God's intervention, but it didn't matter; it was too late. He wasn't there when I truly needed him. My mother, one of his most devoted worshippers, died horribly. That's why I'd rather believe he doesn't exist at all rather than him being so worthlessly incompetent.

    'God doesn't exist...or was I just calling out to the wrong God all this time? ...Nah, they don't exist.'

    Looking out over the Pacific, I eat the mochi given to me by Eira.

    _____________________________

    From a distance, I watch Eden eating mochi. While speaking to Eden, I was also talking to the system. Eden is a girl with angel blood, and angels are a race of faith. It is in an angel's nature to seek out a being of higher power and devote themselves.

    Once devoted, it is very difficult to break an angel's faith in their belief. They are so dependent on their faith that even their race will change depending on who they have devoted themselves to. With her angel blood, Eden is naturally susceptible to the subject of "Gods," which is why I felt comfortable jumping into the topic hastily.

    However, the problem has always been that the God of Heaven has a monopoly on the angels. Most angels never leave Heaven, and on the rare occasion a hybrid angel is born, they'll usually undergo a ceremony on their sixteenth birthday to purify their blood, after which they also enter Heaven.

    For some reason, this girl never underwent the ceremony. Which tells me this girl is a lost little lamb.

    'This is a great opportunity!'

    If I can get Eden to give her faith entirely to the Goddess of Blood, she will become an extremely devoted follower. Not only that, if I can get her to rouse her angel blood in my name, then she would gain a considerable status boost and possibly even awaken some hidden skills.

    Anyways while talking to the system, it released a new side task.

    [Side Task: The Provisional Throne

    Task Objective:

    1) Collect 100 essences

    2) Activate the Provisional Throne

    Task Reward: Ability to commune with a worshipper or suitable individual while seated upon the throne.

    Failure: -100 essences]

    I told Eden to perform the ritual in five days at midnight. The time doesn't matter at all; it's all just for convenience and appearance's sake. Telling her five days was to make sure I had plenty of time to complete this side task and also get a feel for the Provisional Throne.

    Right now, I have 29 essence and need an additional 71 essence. That means I am going to need to hunt between thirteen and fifteen humans.

    Tomorrow night the hunt begins.
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