TTW – INTERLUDE 1

INTERLUDE 1.

Green Skull Island, when drawn on a map, looked nothing like a skull at all. In fact, the nearby continent of Rakutor looked more like some kind of lizard-like animal than Green Skull Island appeared as an actual skull in any point of its timeline. Housed squarely in the five-to-twenty moderate zone, Green Skull Island was named for the denizen who made her residence there, and had since the Cataclysm.

Yaovi, the Reaper in Green, lived in the “small” section of landmass that separated the moderately flat island from the towering peak that the Trio Waterfall’s source sprung forth. It was a beautiful area to live in, full of active wild life and various plants and fauna that didn’t seem to exist anywhere else in the world. When asked by visitors, Yaovi simply smiled, and remarked that they were relics of a time gone by.

When asked by her assistant, however, Yaovi gave a different, yet similar, answer. “Oh, these are simply echoes of worlds I visited before I even met any of the others- before Mizar and Alcor even Ascended,” Yaovi said, scratching behind the ears of a small feline that did not exist on this world- it was more commonly known as a house-cat in many worlds, however. “You’d be surprised how many different worlds have their own unique wildlife, my dear Cah’le; by how many of them went into this garden of mine.”

“How many are there?” The girl’s green eyes blinked with a life in them that Yaovi’s never showed.

Shifting in her seat so as to lean towards the eager to learn girl, Yaovi smiled sadly. “Oh, more than even I could have possibly counted. There was one world where clothing was sentient!”

Cah’le gasped, those beautiful eyes widening in surprise. “NO WAY!”

“Yes way!” Yaovi’s pale eyes- a cloudy green, that of a decayed hue, and showing no pupils as if blinded- narrowed in a motherly way. “There are worlds out there among the stars that held terrifying beasts of scaled claws and massive roaring fangs!” She used her magic to draw up an image from memory of what Yaovi knew was called a Tyrannosaurs Rex, but to the child before her, was unnamed, “And there are worlds where these same beasts are made out of Metal and Power!” Yes, so many worlds indeed, shifting between a green-metal covered trickster of a monster and a friendly, cat-sized thing of a crimson and white coloring.

Cah’le stared upwards as Yaovi made the magical illusions shift between the memories of various worlds. Hours passed uninterrupted, for it was a day when none made a journey up towards Yaovi’s residence before the falls. Today was a day of remembrance, a day Yaovi had personally declared for remembering those who had left the world to re-emerge again as someone new.

Today was a day that Yaovi could let her mask of being an Ascendant- of being the Reaper- slip, and allow her to indulge in her favorite pass time: giving her nearly full-time assistant the stories she deserved.The stories of adventure and of other places- the stories that she would likely never experience herself. Stories that her soul had never heard before, despite the many centuries of service.

Cah’le was mortal, yet not. Time and time again, she died, and was reborn, and yet no-matter how far away Yaovi seeded her soul, the child always managed to find her way back to the island- back to service- back to her. And always with the name Yaovi had first given her, in honor of a friend not seen in almost twice as long.

That was a story that Yaovi had promised herself to never tell the girl. It was a story that, no-matter how thorough Yaovi tried to scrub and suppress the previous life memories, it still stubbornly surfaced time and time again.

Maybe it was the Cycle’s way of repaying her for her tireless years of service, maintaining the cycle in this world? First granting her with an impossible child, and then further returning her again and again, no-matter how life intervened.

But at the same time, it was a punishment. Time and time again, Yaovi saw her beloved child die, and die, and die. Always in service to the Reaper in Green. Sometimes it was old age; others, an accident; rarer still were the times that some fool-hardy cultist of Kyiahlnah’s tried to assassinate Yaovi, and failed so drastically that it cost not only their life, but the life of the Eternal Assistant.

Ah, but this time life had blessed her with something different. Something that had surprised even the Reaper.

The girl had begun to show signs of Ascending, just like so many of her experiment’s had revealed to her all those many countless eras ago. She could see it now: a spark of youthful energy that resided entirely within the soul- something that could not be extinguished, and instead would continue to grow and grow and grow.

It had only been a matter of time, Yaovi supposed. By sheer relation to Yaovi’s own incarnation, that soul had that seed, ready to grow. By constant proximity, and countless incarnations in the same roll, those that worshiped The Reaper also began to worship The Assistant. The energy of the many would begin to flow into that soul, increasing it, giving it strength… but also twisting and changing into something… else. Something New.

Kyiahlnah had been a disaster that everyone should have seen coming; having been born in fully empowered status without a secondary celestial body to shunt power into like her Father had when he was born. Cypher had lucked out when he had been born- the circumstantial simultaneous birth of himself and a physical star; only an Ascendant with the Time Aspect could have plotted such a coincidence.

But given Kur’lina’s appearance afterwards and then the rapid fire romance that had resulted in Kyiahlnah… no, they should have known something was wrong. The children of beings such as Yaovi did not Ascend on birth.

The Spark never made itself known to others until the soul’s vessel was nearly ready to handle the transition, and only those with the Spark realized it on their final mortal life… or not, as had been the case for some people.

As her white-haired child finally fell asleep from the exhaustion of hours of story telling, Yaovi couldn’t help but think back to Mizar and Alcor… and what they were doing now? As Yaovi picked her dear child up in her arms, carrying her towards the bed that was always hers, the Reaper mused on that fateful deal, one that had almost directly lead into the child’s original birth to begin with.

Mizar and Alcor, reborn into mortal bodies time and time again until the seal on Kyiahlnah’s prison was finally broken, wandering life, never to meet until that destined life when they either Ascended again, or died for the final time defeating their insane granddaughter.

Given that Kyiahlnah’s gates had been broken open, and the Demon was free to cause havoc in the world… Yaovi suspected that they would be meeting very soon, if not having done so already. Where-ever they were, they would soon draw attention to themselves by merely following the path that they had started so long ago. Yes, that meeting would likely happen any day now. All Yaovi had to do was wait…

Wait, and pray that maybe they would live long enough to see Cah’le ascend to join their ranks…

Or maybe take up residence as Yaovi’s replacement.

Yaovi’s smile was sad as she tucked her precious child under the covers, and stroked a stray lock of hair away from her eyes and behind her ear.

Even an Ascendant with a long since proven mastery over Life and Death could live too long.

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