Chapter 29 = The God of Love and Compassion
Disclaimer: Although all characters here are of my own invention, the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
“This is really starting to get on my nerves.” Marcus called out as his vision went white for a moment. “Just say what you have to and get out of my head.”
“I don’t wish to harm you.” A calm, male voice said from behind him. “I am merely doing as I must to maintain the state of the world…”
“Do it to someone else.” Marcus snapped as his vision returned, and he found himself once again in the source-less spotlight. “I’ve had enough of illusions and hallucinations… and besides, I just saw one of you!”
“You will see us whenever your mind or your emotions are most attuned to a particular god or goddess.” Said the voice. “For instance, when you were full of hope at the start of your journey, the goddess of hope, Sorsoy, came to you. And when you found yourself to be in good fortune, the goddess of luck, Karshina, presented herself to you. And now that you are feeling strong emotions, those feelings called ‘love’, you are met by me… the god of love, Vizorvy.”
With a resigned sigh, Marcus got up off his front, turned around, and looked upwards. Again, the deity was hovering just above the floor and also illuminated in a circle of light, and this one was a black Yoshi with pink fins, a little darker than the tone of Alziana’s skin had been. Aside from that, he had no distinct markings, though he was smiling serenely as his wide, bright eyes gazed down upon him.
“A god of love,” Marcus muttered, “That has got to be the lamest thing I have ever heard of in my entire life.”
Vizorvy’s smile didn’t even flicker. “Things that are lame and are not are merely held in one’s perspective, you know. What is lame to one person may not be to another…”
Marcus rolled his red-outlined eyes and sat down with another sigh. “Just get it over and done with. What have you got to say for yourself?”
The black-skinned god held his hands out to his sides, and on either side, semi-transparent, flickering images of Alziana and Shiala, on Vizorvy’s left and right respectively, faded in to view and remained still.
“You, Marcus, have felt love twice in your life, and unlike what your friend Manny may call love, it is true love from your heart. Rather than just lusting for a person’s physical aspects, you desire and respect their personality, too, as well as their character and the way that they are. If they have minor faults, you ignore them and instead concentrate on the people themselves. Not many people feel true love nowadays, but you… it burns in your heart at times, a roaring flame that takes a lot to extinguish. Even now, though you find yourself in the arms of another who you love, you still retain small, almost insignificant feelings for your previous love…”
“Your point being?” Marcus asked as the images flickered out.
“You, Marcus, are a man of strong emotions… not just the feelings you give and hold for others, but all of your emotions and feelings are very powerful and hard to sway. However, this could well be your downfall… remember that as your feelings swing and sway, you will meet with the other deities. If you maintain a pure heart full of hope, courage, and strength, you will survive, but if you let your negative feelings take over… if you consider the dark side, the evil powers, just for one moment, the God of Death will capitalise on that one moment and take control of you, manipulating you as a pawn in his plans…”
Marcus’s memories cast themselves back to what Sorsoy had shown him; his possible future self, scarred and maybe mutated, different to what he was now, yet bigger, stronger, powerful… bursting with raw power that he could use for whatever he wished…
“Stop!” Vizorvy commanded. “You are doing it now! You must never turn to evil, you hear me? Never! It is vital that you keep hold of your own mind, and look to happiness no matter how bad the situation may become. You will face a mighty test very soon, and you must keep your head throughout it… if you don’t, you will be lost to the forces of darkness and you… nay, possibly the entire world, will be doomed as a result!”
“Wait, what? Why would I be the balance of the world like that? Why is it me that’s the hand that could push Chyrus into oblivion or pull it back? Why me, and not someone else, someone who believes in you for a start? Why me more than Manny, why me more than somebody more powerful, like Fory…”
Marcus’s voice trailed off as something began to sink in. What Karshina had said… by killing Foryo, would he upset some kind of delicate balance that held the world in place? Would he start off some chain of events leading to the world’s demise? He remembered the baron of Lince city saying something about Foryo looking for him, too, and coupled it with what Karshina had said about Foryo having a reason for destroying his home… what was going on?
“Promise me,” Vizorvy said, “that you will try your hardest not to let the God of Death overcome you. Promise me that.”
“I can’t make that promise.” Marcus replied. “I have no idea what is up ahead, nor what will happen, and I cannot make a guarantee…”
“I am asking you to promise that you will try. Can you do that?”
“I can try. That is all I will promise.”
“That is all that I ask.” Vizorvy sighed. “Now go… go back, and remember what I told you…”
Marcus’s sight whited out again, and he felt himself flying upwards, suddenly coming back and finding himself looking down… he saw himself in the third person, lying motionless on the floor while Shiala tightly gripped his body and cried. Holding out his hand, Marcus saw that his skin was a ghostly, pale grey, and he knelt down by Shiala and his corporeal body, before placing a hand on her shoulder. She looked over to him but from her reaction he could tell that she couldn’t see her, and when she looked back to his body he reached out to it, making contact just as he saw his friends coming over to him…
As soon as he touched his own skin, Marcus suddenly felt himself being pulled forward, and after his vision whited out once again, he could feel his worldly body again, and opened his eyes as soon as he could, sitting up in the process. As soon as he did so, a sobbing Shiala pushed him back down to the ground, crying, “Marcus, don’t do that to me! I thought you were gone, I thought I’d lost you, I thought…”
“I’m okay…” he said, putting his arms around her. “I just blacked out again, that’s all…”
“Did you see…?”
Marcus gave a cough as he pushed her off of him, noting the others standing right next to them. They got up and set off again under the light of the stars, once again in the formation they had been in earlier, with a sore and grumbling Manny being held up by a smug Xenly at the back of the group.
A few minutes later, Marcus dove into his saddlebags and pulled out the octagram, finding a black gem of some sort embedded three holes on from the purple stone, and showed it to Shiala.
“When did that happen?” she asked, clearly curious.
“Just earlier…” Marcus replied, “While I was kissing you.”
“Did he… did Vizorvy say anything of interest?”
Marcus shook his head. “Not of any interest to you, at least.”
They stood up and headed back to their companions, including a sore and grumbling Manny who was again being supported by Xenly as they started walking off under the stars. It was a calm, cool night, and a very light breeze blew past them, more refreshing than chilling in the summer heat. Marcus and Shiala put their arms around each other as they walked, speaking in low tones so that the others couldn’t hear what they were saying.
“Supposing… just supposing that we make it to the end and we’re both still alive, and we mated and had kids… what would you want to call them?”
Exhaling slowly as he thought, Marcus tightened his grip on her a little. “I don’t really want kids, you know… by accident or by intention… maybe that’ll change as I get older, but right now, I don’t really want them. Though, if I had one with you… if it was a male, I’d call it Leon, and if it was a female, I’d call it… Alziana.”
Shiala looked over to him. “You’d…”
“Yes,” Marcus replied with a nod, “It’s what she would have wanted, I’m sure of it… what about you, though?”
“Well, if it was a male I’d name it after my father, I guess… Andreas… but if it was a female, I’d want to name it after my sister, Clara.”
Looking over to her and meeting her gaze, Marcus inquired, “You have a sister?”
“Had.” Shiala said sadly, looking downwards. “Same father, different mother… a feral chief is usually a prime candidate for fathering children, but Andreas hadn’t been around too long when… when he died… shortly after she did…”
Marcus reached over with his free hand and put it on the side of her head. “I’m sorry… what happened to her?”
“I don’t know… I was playing with her one day and she suddenly became all tired and slumped over onto the ground… nobody knew what was wrong with her, and without a cure, she died in her sleep, feverish and shaking… I just hope that whatever happened to her won’t happen to me, either.”
Her other half cuddled her as they kept walking. “And it happened…?”
“Just before you arrived.” She muttered. “And my father wasn’t there much… he tried, he really did, but he was being called around by the medics every time they thought they had figured out what had happened to her… oh, I wish you’d been there a few days sooner to comfort me…”
“It’s okay,” Marcus said in a calming voice, “I’m here now, and I’m going to keep it that way if I can… because I love you… tell me your problems and I’ll try to make them better… the same treatment I gave to Alziana…”
“You miss her, don’t you?”
He closed his eyes and dipped his head. “Yes… yes I do.”
After that, Shiala became oddly quiet, and Marcus didn’t disturb her as they kept walking through the night, fighting their fatigue…
To be continued…