A ruined landscape existed where no one was there to see. Half-broken buildings, scorched earth, and above all, darkness…
This place had been long abandoned – the master of its domain gone, its inhabitants slain, and an inhospitable barrenness of mana prevalent in the surroundings. Such was the fate of the kingdom where demons once dwelled, forsaken by the divine powers of the gods. Their champions had completed their deed, destroying what the divine beings considered as impure. All that was left was a wasteland, worthless to the gods and forsaken in redemption.
The gods themselves wouldn’t have taken interest with the remnants normally. They had other duties to manage, heroes to call upon, and fates to spin toward their favor.
However, a tear in the surroundings suddenly appeared in this empty space, the sole activity since many months ago. From it, a streak of white pierced the surroundings. The shape of a hand, barely recognizable amidst that glow, extended out from the tear, gripping the edges and pulling them apart.
Like peering through a crevice, something from beyond that opening shuffled about with a shrug of curiosity. And then, a chuckle echoed in the empty surroundings, projected not from the tear itself, but seeming to encompass the surroundings.
“Strange… your powers are gone… How can that be, Cielle?”
The mysterious voice traveled across the dark lands, its tone melancholy and forlorn. As if the one talking was recalling a distant memory, it scoured everywhere for any sign of ‘Cielle’, it grumbled and murmured like a person shuffling through their things, unsure if it was somewhere in the mess.
All this time, no other movement came from the tear in space. The other being didn’t need to move as it possessed no true body, merely energy shaped to suit its purpose. The hole created in this space was sufficient to carry out its will.
It was what some would call a god, and though it held mannerisms that seemed human at times, it was no longer such a thing. At least, not for thousands of years. It was just one of the gods that embodied a power granted to its heroes. And it had arrived after noticing that one of their own had perished.
The very act of a god dying would throw off the balance of the universe, as their powers were separated to create that equilibrium. However, it was not like they knew such things immediately. When Cielle had not returned from her trip down to this world, only then did it strike the god’s fancy.
A god did not simply disappear after possessing a mortal, even after its host had perished. It would always return to the home realm, unless…
The voice hovered around a particular spot, where signs of a dramatic fight remained to this day. The destruction of the area spiraled around the open area, the center of that distortion apparent. The faintest traces of divine energy remained.
Curious, the voice hummed as the surroundings suddenly froze in place, like time itself had halted. And then, the sound of a clock dialed back. A few stray boards and rocks flew from their resting places and landed on the structures above them, the original location before ruin had befallen them. In these several months, very little had changed, save for the crumbling of ruins.
Now, time was being reversed. The broken pieces moved back to their previous spots, teetering on the edge of falling off again. After some time, a flurry of movement appeared, and the bright light of Cielle glowed within it. It had found her, the final moments of her existence revealed.
Pausing the scene, time flowed once again, showing a battle with a hero and some humans against the host of Cielle. A murmur of interest erupted from the voice, taking in the sight like viewing the ending of a film. But examining the signatures closer, the voice gasped in surprise.
“Grendosa… to find you here as well!”
Grendosa, the God of Mana – the voice hadn’t encountered him in a very long time, but he had been a bit of a hermit to begin with, so it thought nothing of that.
To discover that his existence had been bonded to Cielle was quite the revelation. The power of the gods had been separated for a reason. And to find them suddenly together once again… it had to know more about what happened.
The scene before the voice continued. Eyes which had no physical form examined the fight from every angle, making sure that it didn’t miss a single moment of recorded history. It watched intently as the might of a hero and his companions toppled the host of Cielle, who fell to the ground after a critical hit struck her core.
The man standing proud in victory, the Hero of Critical, continued slashing at the host, over and over. But it was only the signature of Cielle herself that grew dim. That damage was focused only upon the god, and not the host.
And with one final slash, the presence of a familiar friend flickered. Rather than leaving the body of the host and returning to the home realm, it simply ceased to exist. It let out an audible gasp in surprise. It was the birth of a God Slayer, an entity dangerous to them.
The god contemplated upon what to do. There was no telling what would happen if the balance of the worlds became unstable. But, where had the powers of Cielle and Grendosa gone?
Divine powers didn’t simply disappear into nothing. Rather, the God Slayer had claimed them for himself. A Hero of Critical, possessing the full divinity of Cielle and Grendosa – the birth of such an existence made the voice mutter nonsensically for the first time in millennia.
A grunt of dissatisfaction sounded as it saw the hero exit the area through a portal, heading out of the voice’s reach. Unlike this barren place that wasn’t monitored, the active world had measures preventing direct tampering.
A god’s power was limited within such places, barring specific conditions. But that didn’t stop the voice from chuckling in amusement. For it had now thought of a way forward.
“Such powers, they do not belong in the hands of a hero, but to us gods.”
And with that declaration spoken upon an empty audience, the glowing hands which held apart the tear in space retreated. The fabric of reality returned to normal, and once again, the dark lands became dormant.