45 Into the Fold

    I peek around the corner of the hall and peer into the living room.

    'I slept for around six hours, and I honestly feel so much better already, and it looks like they also fell asleep. Now wheres the person I'm looking for...'

    I gaze around the room and can see the soldiers all sleeping with their backs against the wall. My eyes turn toward the one injured soldier Sam. His breaths are shallow, and his clothes are soaked in blood.

    'Ah, there he is. I'm still a bit in shock that this guy is still alive. I've thought he was dead multiple times now. He has one hell of a will to live, but that will only get you so far; he obviously won't last much longer. After all, he's only human...He is only human, right? Uh, \u003cAnalyze\u003e.'

    Name: Sam Abramson

    Gender: Male

    Race: Human

    Level: 1

    Mana: -/-

    Strength: 6

    Endurance: 4

    Agility: 3

    Intellect: 3

    Constitution: 6

    Talents: -

    Skills: -

    Titles: -

    I quietly walk closer and sniff the air, and take a sigh of relief, 'Just the usual smell of blood.'

    I wipe the saliva from my mouth and mumble softly, "Well, I would have already noticed if he smelled like the tar demon, anyway, come on Mr. Sam, let's have a talk with the Goddess."

    Before I can move Sam, a deep whisper comes from behind, "What do you think you're doing, girl? I'm surprised to see you without the mask."

    I turn to find Terry giving me an intense stare, and I smirk, "I know I look cute in my clean dress, but you staring at me like that makes me want to throw up. As for the mask, it was dirty and still smells awful. I won't be here long."

    Terry ignores my comment and continues, "What are you doing with Sam? Are you going to do to him what you did to Aponi?"

    "If you mean to give him a second chance at life sure...well that up to the Goddess actually. Want to come along?"

    "The Goddess? You'll let me come as well?"

    I shrug, "Of course, but hearing the voice of the Goddess is a privilege that may have unexpected consequences."

    Terry looks at me with confusion, "What do you mean?"

    I give Terry with a serious expression, "The Goddess's words are infallible and final. No matter what they may be."

    "...and if I don't believe that?"

    "Then you'll be made to believe it...anyway I don't have all day, are you coming or not?"

    Terry glances toward the other soldiers, "What about the others?"

    "Unfortunately, I don't believe they are quite ripe enough just yet. Now come on. We'll get Eden to perform the ceremony while I leave the room if it makes you feel better."

    Terry gives me a funny look and then nods, I release his chain and continue hauling Sam toward the master bedroom as he follows.

    'Let's see Eden should be with Annie and Luke.'

    Passing by a room covered in pink paint, I poke my head in to see Eden and Aponi sprawled out on the bed asleep wearing fresh clothes. In between them, Annie lays curled up, grabbing at the sleeves of the two. In the corner of the room, I see Luke handcuffed to the dresser with a big red handprint on the side of his face.

    "Huh..." I drop Sam and start poking at Eden's face.

    Eden slowly opens her eyes, "Eh, Eira?"

    "I need you for something. You don't have to explain what happened here I can already assume he did something perverted."

    Luke overhearing the conversation begins to protest, "I didn't do anything I just asked if they wanted company and crawled in bed next to them. Then that crazy lady slapped me and tossed me in the corner."

    I look toward Aponi, who now has her eyes open and a proud smile, "Good job, Aponi. Keep up the good work. Let's go, Eden."

    I ignore everything going on behind me, pick up Sam, and continue to make my way to the master bedroom. On the way, I tell Eden what's going on and instruct her to perform the ritual.

    "I'll get to see the Goddess again?" Eden says with a bit of excitement.

    "That's right...but blindfold the other two before doing the ritual. Only the most worthy get to set their eyes upon the Goddess and the throne."

    Eden nods seriously, "Yes, that makes sense."

    "That's right! Okay, well, you go ahead I'll wait here. Oh, don't forget this guy."

    Eden nods and takes Sam; I watch as she makes her way toward the master bedroom with Terry following behind. Watching them turn the corner, I find a quiet and dark place to enter my god space. I close my eyes and focus my mind and feel my body drift into a familiar place.

    I take a deep breath and look toward the bright blood moon. I smile and give the moon a little wave before making my way toward the elegant throne. The throne lights up red as I approach; once again, taking my spot upon the throne, the red sparks rush out and caress my skin as if welcoming me back.

    'Ah, as always, the throne is comforting. As for the blindfolds, they aren't really necessary since the throne can hide my appearance, but the right to look upon even the throne needs to be maintained as something extremely special and reserved for a very select few.'

    From the void, I hear a small voice, "...I Eden Groth pray to the one True God, The Goddess of Blood."

    After the words pass, a drop of blood appears floating just out of reach. I make a motion, and the drop of blood hurries toward the pentagram causing it to light up. A bright red light fills the room, and it's only a moment later when three people appear within the pentagram.

    Eden immediately takes a kneeling position, and begins to speak, "Goddess! Eira, requested for me to bring these two to you."

    I speak, "Very good, Eden. I have been observing your efforts, and you have been doing very well. Please continue to serve me earnestly."

    I turn toward Terry and the unconscious Sam, "Kneel!"

    Using my control over the god space, I put a considerable amount of pressure over Terry, who quickly succumbs to the force.

    "Y-Yes!" he barely manages to squeeze out the word.

    Eden, unconcerned with the scene taking place next to her, again speaks, "Thank you so much, Goddess! Uh, but Mother Goddess, may I make a request. If it's not too disrespectful, of course!"

    'Great, she's still calling me Mother Goddess, well whatever, I'm honestly curious what her request is.'

    I suppress my urge to sigh and give Eden my attention, "Speak. What is your request?"

    "I...I want to confront my mother's killer...before the apocalypse. I don't know if he's still in a coma, but it doesn't matter. Now that I'm stronger, I...I want to try to get answers from him or at least make him feel the same pain he made my mother feel."

    With a hint of surprise, I again speak, "Well, I didn't expect you'd want revenge, but I think there may be a way...speak to Eira I believe she'll be negotiating with a Congressman soon."

    Eden tries and fails to hide the tears escaping from her eyes, "Yes, thank you so much, Mother Goddess!"

    "I'll send you back now. I need to speak to these two alone."

    I wave my hand, and Eden quickly disappears.

    Again manipulating the god space, the room begins to shake, "Now. Let's have a chat."


    "Hmm, I guess humans do need to breathe, don't they?" I let up on the pressure.

    Terry gasps for air and begins to speak, "Who are you, and why is that girl torturing me and my squadmates?"

    "I am the Goddess of Blood, and I do not take kindly to you threatening my followers, especially when they are being so kind to you."


    "Yes, you and your squad are being given a chance to not only grow stronger but a chance to get ahead and prepare for upcoming events. Not to mention Eira saved your life!"

    Terry struggles to speak, "...The girl...Eira mentioned something about an apocalypse before, but Bryan told us it was all just a lie. I believed him before, but after watching everything that's happened with the monsters and the tar man...can you tell me is the thing about an apocalypse actually true?"

    My blood boils, 'Bryan...Bryan! Again with this, Bryan. That guy is so annoying...'

    I magnify my voice to make it sound as if the world itself is speaking, "Of course it's true, and on your current path, you'll end up dead before it even arrives!"

    Terry starts to tremble slightly, "I-I."

    I think for a moment and continue, "Let me warn you of something, Terry! Bryan is not what he seems!"

    "...Not what he seems? Another demon!?"

    "Yes, just keep a close eye on him. You'll begin to notice changes in his behavior, but let's move on. If you knew a catastrophic event was about to take place, what would you do?"

    "...I would want to save my wife and son."

    "Oh? Well, if you accept my blessing, you could bring them here to safety."

    "To this city that's sitting at hell's doorstep?"

    "To build something new, the old must first be removed. In the future, this city will be among the safest places in the world. That is, if enough people are made to cooperate."

    "But...Will the blessing make me like Aponi? Will I act differently?" Terry asks with concern.

    "Aponi is perfectly fine. In fact, I'm sure you've noticed she's better than fine."

    "Yeah, she seems much stronger and faster than before. Then I..."

    I quickly interrupt, "Not so fast! First, you have to pay for your attempt at murdering a member of the blood race."

    I cut my wrist and form a small but sharp knife. I then take out a sheet of paper and draw the Goddess's symbol into it using my blood.

    I float the knife and drawing to Terry and place it beneath him, "Look toward the ground, remove your blindfold, and do not look up; otherwise, you will be killed on the spot."

    "...Okay. What should I do with these things?"

    "See the drawing? Carve that symbol into your chest using the knife. That is to receive the blessing. For punishment...remove one of your fingers and leave it on the platform. All of your squadmates, excluding Aponi, will have to do this if they receive the blessing."

    Terry's jaw drops as he fights the urge to look up in surprise. Terry again speaks, and our conversation goes on for a while longer. However, it isn't much longer after our discussion that Terry picks up the knife with a shaky hand. He places the knife onto his chest and the sounds of anguish ring throughout the god space. The noise only grows more intense when he takes the knife and slams it down upon his pinky finger.

    I speak calmly, "Now say the pledge as we discussed."

    Terry grips at a goblet of my blood as his own blood leaks from his missing finger, "Under the great blood moon sits the Goddess on the throne up high. The Goddess, the originator of life, has always been and always will be. As the Goddess gave us her blood, I return my own. Under the throne up high, I Terry Allen pledge myself to the one True God, The Goddess of Blood."

    Continuing to work through the pain, Terry first pours some of the blood onto the carved symbol and then, while making sure to shut his eyes, tilts back the goblet drinking the thick red liquid. I use a bit of essence from the system to activate the symbol as Terry undergoes the conversion. After that, I quickly remove Terry from the god space.

    'That just leaves Sam.'

    I sit at the throne and commune with Sam, similar to how I did with Aponi in the past. Things go much quicker with him; oddly, he accepts the agreement pretty quickly and with a large amount of enthusiasm. With hardly any questions, the man actually seemed unusually excited about it, excluding the removing a finger bit. It actually made me a bit uncomfortable with how enthusiastic he was.

    After having completed the same process with Sam, I make my way down from the throne to the bloody platform below. Seeing the two amputated fingers, I kick them both from the platform into the void surrounding the throne.

    I summon the shadow magic book from my storage ring and stare at the cover, "Now Bryan, let's have a bit of fun, shall we?"
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