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Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 8 MP





There was a Long Rain.

An unnaturally Long Rain. From the puddles and ponds the rainwater formed to the east, creatures made of mud emerged. Gasping for air, crawling along the wet ground. Some died before living, becoming part of the land once again, but those that escaped the ponds of their birth, gradually found themselves strengthened, changed. Soon, the mud twisted and distorted into different shapes and forms. Some dug below ground, others walked the land, but the majority sat in large groups and became tall, sprawling spires of clay. They grew as tall as the talles hill, and as numerous as the rains would allow.

Soon, the Clayfang Valleys became. Large, living mountain-like spires of clay and mud gave way to grassy valleys.

Meanwhile, in the northern parts of the Island, the rain was especially strong towards the shore and, over time and extreme force, eroded a large canyon into the land, one that quickly filled with the water from the Ocean and connected to several underground cave networks. From the depths of the water, amorphous creatures made of sand and salt their home in the canyon. The Saltdepths became. A hundred-meter deep canyon filled with ocean water to the brim, with still developing species brewing in the depths.

The Long Rain never touched the west of the Island, leaving the Lotus ponds untouched.

To the south, however, a small group of the mud-creatures gathered around the lonesome Manor, and several more went into the boiling Lake to become one with the Rain.

The Long Rain gave life to the land, and after what felt like eons, it stopped.



Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 8 MP

Music to go along with the read





Two kids played on the Plains of Elamann, the land where the Great Hero of Old fought back against the growing infestation. The land where Humanity had met its salvation. It was a sprawling land, with tall grass swaying in the gentle winds and sparse trees reaching for the sky and with flowers and small critters dotting the landscape. Beyond a hill, there was a field of lavender flowers, and in that field, Two kids played.

One was a pale girl, not older than five cycles and the other was a boy, perhaps ten cycles of age. The boy chased the girl through the field, popping up from bushes and rocks and scaring her while she laughed and tried to outrun him for once.

The boy sported bruises all along his body. He had a black eye, ruffled hair and dirtied and somewhat ragged clothing, but he looked healthy otherwise. The girl was clearly pampered, she was pale, was dressed in a simple yet extremely ornate and expensive silk dress and most of all, sported the silver-white eyes of Royalty. Her platinum blonde hair swayed in the wind as she ran and spun and jumped around, giggling and laughing.

They’d do this every day, when her Guardian would disappear at midday. They’d meet up and play and laugh. It was a simple thing, but to the children, it meant the world.

The girl stumbled and fell, and when she looked up she saw something looming over her.

Her heart stopped, her eyes widened, and a gasp died in her throat before coming to life.

The beauty of the lavender field turned into a blood red stain of terror.

“LAINA!” A voice screamed, and yet she never tore her eyes away from the large entity. Slimy, foul, with a dozen irregularly polygonal eyes and two beaks under its legs. She turned and crawled away, but the thing grabbed her ankle.

“LAINA, RUN!”

The grip of the thing came loose, and when she turned to look, the boy was there, holding the chipped wooden practice sword he always carried in a grip worthy of the Royal Knights that followed her Father.

She curled up and merely stared at the scene from a few meters back, the only thing between her and the beast being the brave boy.

He half turned his face and smirked uncertainly at her. She could see the tears welling up in his eyes.

“Laina, I’ll protect you.” The boy said under his breath.

The ground shook, the thing lunged forward, time slowed down.

Laina saw it all. The boy’s energy level exploding. She didn’t know it at the time, but she saw his soul expand to its full potential, and in a show of pure willpower, his wooden sword was engulfed in the very flame of life, a white fire. He moved as fast as the wind. In a practiced movement, he sidestepped and tackled the thing. There was a sickening crack.

The boy grabbed his sword and with all his strength, stabbed into the torso of the thing. A white flame erupted into an explosion, and everything went black.

When the girl came to, the first thing she heard were the screams and the panicking voices. She was being carried away by a maid, and over the maid’s shoulder, she could see knights surrounding the thing, and a mage bent over the writhing, screaming boy. His face was a horrendously beautiful mix of black, white and red.

II


‘The Squire with the Mangled Face’, they’d call him. Ugly, horrendous, disgusting to look at. Everyone said those things. His own mentor treated him like a curse cast upon him. And yet, the one known as Laina, had requested him as her new Guardian. They’d spend all waking moment together, and when the time would come for her daily walk through nature, Laina would forego all formality and hold the Squire’s hand and lose herself in the moment. Everytime she looked up at his mangled face, the mess of shoddily reconstructed flesh that had left him without eyes, nose or a mouth she saw not the ugliness, but the brave soul of the boy who had once risked everything to protect her.

She saw his true beauty.

They had grown now. Soon he’d be leaving for the Faraway, to fight against great evils and protect everyone in the realm. She was proud of him, fighting through adversity and discrimination, becoming a Knight. She was proud… And yet, before a single tear could escape her eyes, the Squire stopped her and held her face in his rough, calloused and mistreated hands.

He was gentle. As he pressed his malformed face against hers, she returned his affection with a kiss and a gentle sob.

He couldn’t speak, and yet his actions said more than the words of everyone else. He wiped her tears carefully with his hands, knowing by memory the landscape of her beautiful, delicate face.

His face twisted, and his neck made a strange, bulging movement. Laina knew what this meant, he was as torn as she was. They embraced each other. An innocent, loving embrace the likes of which they could only share with each other. The daughter of a Great Lord and the squire with the mangled face were in love.

III


“H-Hurry, they’re going to catch up to us!”

“They’re right behind us!”



It had been an average day. She’d woken up, gotten ready with the help of her handmaiden, and did her usual duties, which included talking to people and walking around the palace. It had been a few years since her beloved Guardian had left for the war, and it had been months since she’d received any letters from him. She’d been worried for his safety.

Now, she was scheduled to be married to a man she had never even seen, in hopes that the marriage would strengthen the realm’s position against the ‘Infestation’, whatever that was.

Her Guardian was probably dead, a part of her mind told her over and over, but her heart refused to believe it -- How could a man that managed to fend off a great evil as a mere boy die a meaningless death, without anyone there to hold him, or without leaving anything in the world?

He was alive, Laina told herself every time. Alive, and he’d come back for her.

And yet fate was cruel, and it enjoyed causing pain and suffering. She would be married, she would be taken far away from home, and then she’d never see her true love again.

Her handmaiden, who’d been walking two steps behind her, noticed her shaky demeanor quickly and preemptively wiped her tears with the soft cloth she carried in her hands. It smelled of lavenders.

“Thank you, Rik’Mai.”

The girl curtsied and quickly fell back behind Laina.

The sun was setting when the time to visit her Father came. Her handmaiden had gone off to help the other servants with one task or another, and she was all alone.

As she passed through the door to her Father’s study, she couldn’t help but shiver under the leers of the two Royal Knights posted to either side of it. What was that about, she thought to herself, I’ve never felt that before…

Inside the study was the man she called Father. His stern, inexpressive face stared directly at her. He suddenly seemed twenty years older than earlier that day at Court.

“Laina, daughter.”

“Yes, Father?” She asked, bowing her head and closing her eyes.

She never saw the two Knights enter the study.

“Daughter, look at me,” Laina lifted her head and looked at her Father, but her eyes instinctively avoided eye contact, “I… I’m sorry.” Laina saw her Father’s armor crack at that moment. He sighed and for a split moment, he looked like a broken man. And then he nodded to the Knights, who were now behind Laina.

They seized her arms, she gasped and looked at them in surprise, eyes wide.

“W-Why?”

“Daughter, I-” Her Father stopped, took in a deep breath, and shook his head. “There’s no use in explaining. Take her.”

And so they did. They lifted her up like she weighed nothing and began dragging her out of the study. She screamed and screamed, “Father! Father! No, don’t let them take me!” Her Father did nothing, merely returning to reading the book in his hands. When they were out of the study, the door closed behind them and one of the Guards’ hands slipped, and so did another. Laina yelped.

“D-Don’t touch me, you filthy animals!” She shouted, kicking the air. To her credit, she never really stopped struggling, up until she was thrown into a cell and the door was locked. thankfully, they never went past the slipping hands, but by the end, Laina was in tears. Sobbing pitifully in her shame as she slowly fixed her fancy dress.

IV


It had been hours since the cell was locked. She’d tried to sleep through the night, but she found no rest. Instead, in the middle of the night she heard a commotion outside of the tower she was being held in. One of her barred windows overlooked the courtyard, where a single figure was illuminated by torchlight, surrounded by at least half a dozen Royal Guards, and those were the ones Laina could see.

“LAINA! GIVE HER BACK, YOU MONSTERS!” Shouted a vaguely familiar voice. It was grainy, and it found its way directly to Laina’s ears.

Instantly, a blush came to her cheeks, and her heart leapt. It was her love! He’d come back for her!

Swords clashed, several cries were heard followed quickly by the sound of flesh being cut and falling to the ground.

“Y-You’ll destroy us all-”

A sword pierced the last remaining guard’s throat. Soon after, several guards assembled in front of the door to her cell, and Laina peeked out through the small barred slit.

“What’s going to happen to me?” She asked the guards.

“Did nobody gag her?”

“Dammit, now we’ll have to hear some meat’s cries when we kill the traitor!”

Traitor? Meat? Laina sank back and went to the far wall. Just earlier they referred to as Princess, and her love was a Hero…

“LAINA!” The voice shook every soul, every brick in the tower. through the slit in her door she saw several flashes of light and after a few moments, blood seeped from below the door into her cell.

There was the clanging of keys, and then the door unlocked. Her love stood on the other side, covered from head to toe in blood. He sheathed his sword, and Laina ran toward him and embraced him tightly, crying.

“T-They locked me in a cell, they touched me-”

“Those bastards!” The Hero’s body lit as hot as a flame in his anger, and Laina recoiled with a wince. “Ow! H-How-”

“Ah, I’m sorry, my love, I’ll explain later. For now, let’s get out of here. Let’s leave all of this behind! It’s our chance to live the life we always desired, Laina!” He said and stretched his arm towards her, holding his palm open with a hopeful expression on his face.

Of course, there was nothing to hesitate about! She’d just saved her! She took his hand, and together they ran to the nearest stable and took a horse.



“H-Hurry, they’re going to catch up to us!”

“They’re right behind us!”

Several mounted knights chased them through the city’s main avenue, trampling any peasant unlucky enough to be in their path. Several arrows whizzed past them. One knight caught up to them, but before he could do anything, Laina’s love sliced his sword into the neck of the knight’s horse, killing it instantly and causing the mounted knight to crash into the ground at a breakneck speed. He was quickly trampled to death by the wall of cavalry behind.

“Ack!” Her love winced and grunted as an arrow found its way into his shoulder, right between the pauldron and the back plates.

“Fe’Riq!” Laina cried.

“Don’t fret, Laina!” He narrowly guided the horse to dodge a stall in the middle of the avenue, and dug his hands into his breastplate, pulling out a piece of parchment. “I’ll protect you!” She could barely see the smirk on his face, but it gave her an indescribable joy.

With a pained groan, he lifted the parchment and with both his hands, ripped it.

As he ripped, a portal opened in front of them, and they went through it and emerged onto a clearing in a forest Laina couldn’t recognize. Behind them, the portal closed, and Fe’Riq slowed the horse to a stop.

Carefully, he got off first and then gently helped Laina dismount, grimacing as he used his injured arm.

“Fe’Riq, your arm…” Laina said, worried. She furrowed her brow and checked the wound. “I-I can’t tend to it with our armor in the way…”

“Help me get it off, Laina.”

“But, I don’t know how.”

“I’ll guide you.”

And so, several minutes later, Fe’Riq was unarmoured and shirtless. The arrow had been extracted cleanly, to Laina’s luck, and she only needed to clean the wound. Fortunately, the sounds of a creek nearby alerted them to the presence of water, which they used to its full extent to clean Fe’Riq’s wound.

After that was done, Laina sat on her knees in front of Fe’Riq, who sat cross-legged. He seemed sad.

“Fe’Riq, my love…” She muttered, taking in his face. It was different, she knew. She knew he now had eyes, eyebrows, a nose, a mouth… But she couldn’t see them, they were hazy. It didn’t bother her.

He tilted his head at her. “We’re together now, aren’t we? Aren’t we?”

“Yes, yes we are. My Hero.” She said softly, cupping his head in her hands and kissing his new lips. They tasted of blood, but she didn’t care. He returned the kiss, but eventually pulled away.

“Let me wash you. You must be uncomfortable in that soiled gown.”

“... Y-Yes, please.”

It was quiet, it was warm, and most of all, it was intimate as the two undressed each other and knelt in the creek, hands roaming over each other’s bodies. Soon, they were face to face, with Laina feigning that she was washing Fe’Riq’s chest. Of course, by now they were both clean.

Eventually she dropped the act and just rested her head against his chest and embraced him, hearing his heartbeat. He returned the embrace and, after a while, lifted her chin up with a finger to look into her eyes, and kissed her deeply and passionately.

There, in the creek in the middle of an unknown forest, they became whole.




Li’Kalla tossed and turned on Azura’s back, her blush more intense than usual as she muttered and moaned out an unintelligible name.





Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 9 MP


&


who is super broke





”Ah… The wind is so nice today...” Muttered a certain, angelblue-haired Goddess. She sighed happily as she dipped her toes into the boiling lake, sitting herself on the edge of a small and shoddily constructed dock. In the past, doing such a thing would’ve been dangerous and outright stupid, but with the body of an immortal, boiling water could do no harm to her, and in fact felt rather nice and cleansing!

”Usually it’s way too cloudy and misty to see anything, but today the wind has been so lively… Really,” The woman tilted her head back and looked up at the sky, to see the plume of steam being blown away from the island by the constant breeze, ”I wish I was the one in charge of Wind… That would be so much more fun.”

As if called, the conductor of winds arrived through the steam only moments later, her radiant if somewhat unkempt feathers lighting it up and producing rainbows of colour as she slowly spiraled down through it. Upon spotting Li’Kalla the great bird called down ”Hello there! I hope I’m not intruding” before landing gently a short distance away along the shore of the boiling lake.

Li’Kalla stared in surprise at the huge macaw, her eyes wide, ”Oh. My. Lord.” She spoke breathlessly and as she did so, she retracted her legs from the water and stood up on the creaky dock. Slowly, she approached the Great Bird, her expression gradually changing from shock to curiosity and then to adoration.

With big, sparkly eyes she came up to the bird and froze a few feet away from it, fidgeting in place and clasping her hands together, with her eyes never leaving the form of whom she instinctively knew to be Azura, her fellow Goddess.

”Your feathers are- Your beak… Your wings!” Li’Kalla began bouncing on the spot, holding her hands against her chest, ”Oh lord, oh lady, oh nooo, you’re soo pretty!” The Rain Goddess said in a pitch so high birds would be jealous of her. In her excitement, she didn’t notice tears of pure joy beginning to travel down her delicate face.

”Oh my” Azure responded a touch flustered, before ruffling her feathers and puffing up her chest a touch with pride. ”Thank you for saying so little Li’Kalla, your too kind. Honestly though I’m a bit of a mess at the moment, so do you mind if I take a quick dip in your pool to clean off?” The goddess bobbed her head to the side in the direction of the boiling lake

”O-Oh, of course! Feel free to use my Lake.” Li’Kalla nodded and got out of Azura’s way, ”If you’re h-hungry, um, I could prepare some f-food for you, or perhaps just… Just bring you some water. I’d offer fruit, b-but...” She trailed off, looking at her feet bashfully.

”Thank you kindly” Azura bobbed her head before heading into the pool. Cold gentle breeze followed her in, blowing upon the lake as if it were bird’s nest soup to temporarily lower the temp just a touch from scolding to delightfully tosty. Azura gave a pleasant sigh as she settled into the boiling bird bath ”No no it’s quite alright. this is more than enough Li’Kalla, I assure you. I appreciate your generosity, but I’d rather not eat you out of house and home. Besides I haven't eaten since... well I can’t remember, but the point is I’d rather not make a habit of something I don’t need to do. Frankly if I ate now I don’t think I could ever stop.” the bird laughed to herself at this before setting to work cleaning her messy plumage, shaking her body too and fro gently in the water to get it all though her feathers, though fortunately this was not violent enough splash Li’Kalla. Meanwhile Li’Kalla sat on her knees on the sandy shore and tried to relax as she watched the Bird Goddess bathe.

All throughout her bath Azura the giant parrot ground her beak contently.

”... P-Please don’t take offense to this, Miss Azura, I used to have a masc- Um, companion a long time ago. He was a beautiful gold and orange feathered bird. He was the only company I had while-” She cut herself off and after a moment, she sighed. ”He would do that thing with his beak whenever he felt relaxed after taking flight around my chambers. I take it you’ve had an eventful time so far, Miss Azura?”

”None taken.” Azura insisted even as her content sounds where cut off by her last question to be replaced by a cocked head and a thoughtful hum for a few moments. ”I have been very busy, that is true. Not all of it has been the good kind of busy but… I’d rather not ruin the present pleasant atmosphere with that when there are so many other beautiful things to speak of.”

Azura dunked her head beneath the water briefly before continuing, ”Have you traveled far from your lovely home Li’Kalla? I’ve been all over, from the sun too the stars...” She paused there for a moment, clicking her beak impulsively in before shaking her head and continuing ” and all across Galbar. Some of our peers are have been very creative indeed in their work.”

Li’Kalla looked down at her hands and shrugged lamely, ”I haven’t really… Visited anywhere, yet. I don’t feel safe walking on water, so I suppose I’ve been hoping someone with a boat comes by.” Li’Kalla then showed Azura a well-practiced smile, ”I’ve only met a few of our fellows. K’nell, Parvus, Chopstick Eyes, V-” She shivered and immediately changed the subject. Azura seemed to consider pressing her to continue, beak opening to speak, only to think otherwise and closing it once more to let her continue.

”Miss Azura, I do have a question. How does it feel? Flying… I remember looking out of my window and seeing the flocks of birds fly by the Palace. They always look so free, so… Alive.

”Oh it is liberating” Azura responded passionately ”to soar the sky, feel the wind on your feathers, to be unchained from hard earth and stone.” The great bird stood as she spoke of this, shaking off her wings as she stepped out of the boiling lake looking rejuvenated, radiant and reinvigorated. ”It is something all should experience. Sadly I don’t have the strength to gift you that but” she insisted before gasping and humming to herself excited ”I could take you flying! oh oh, or better yet, if you have power to spare, I could teach you how to fly Li’Kalla! Then you would be free to explore to your heart’s content!”

Li’Kalla’s eyes lit up and she straightened her back and balled up a fist and pumped another into the air, ”Yay! I’m going to learn how to fly! Thank you, Miss Azura!” Li’Kalla grinned and looked up at the Great Bird’s face. ”B-But, I don’t have beautiful wings like yours...”

”oh. well no, but you could grow them. Somewhere. I… sort of remember creatures like you with wings on their backs? Its hazy though. I think I don’t want to remember them? Regardless, it’s a place they could go. or you could turn into a bird yourself? I think that is a thing we can do. or turn your arms into wings or… let’s just say the sky’s the limit hehe” Azura rambled excitedly ”oh. but before you chose what is your favorite color?”

”Oh lord! My favorite color!” Li’Kalla sprang to her feet and pursed her lips for a moment, ”I think, I think white! No, wait, blue! Or maybe… Yellow? How to choose? They’re all so pretty, Miss Azura!” She giggled. ”Although… My skin is ghostly white these days you see, maybe that should be my favorite color now?” She shrugged.

”Well I have no need to be frugal with these so” Azura reached round and carefully plucked a blue, yellow and white feather from each of her wings, resulting in six in total that she leaned down and presented to Li’Kalla. Each one was about the length of her arm. ”Here” she said through the beak full of feathers ”You can use these as a starting point for your own wings.”

Li’Kalla gasped and gently took the six enormous feathers in her arms, hugging them against her body, ”Aw, thank you Miss Azura!” She said excitedly, ”I think I’ll go with white!” She declared and the feathers to float mid air while she sat back down on her knees, closing her eyes as she slipped her dress off her shoulders and let it pool around her hips.

Li’Kalla took in a few deep breaths to calm herself and finally, stopped breathing altogether. Her entire focus lay on the task at hand. There was no room for error, no room for distracting thoughts or feelings. Right now, it was her and her goal.

A wave of energy went down her body, then another, and then she felt nothing and heard nothing.

When she opened her eyes, the entirety of her field of vision was blocked by what seemed to be an enormous face. Black, with vines and tendrils of unknown material crawling along its skin -- or maybe those were its skin; With a snarling maw filled with rows upon rows of rapier-like teeth; bright golden eyes that bore into Li’Kalla’s skull and breath that smelled of rot.

Li’Kalla stared wide-eyed at the monstrosity in front of her, she watched as it opened its maw and a single, black tongue slithered its way toward her, she gave shallow breaths as the tongue trailed her body roughly, tasting her.

There was a low sound, something she’d never heard before and couldn’t describe. It came from the monster. Li’Kalla didn’t dare close her eyes, but she didn’t dare move either. When the tongue reached up to her face, she began shaking. That’s when the monstrous entity lunged forward and ate her.

Thousand of thorns tore away at her flesh. She tried to scream, to call for help, but her voice had abandoned her. The sharp feeling as her bones broke and pierced skin, as parts of her were ripped apart by th-

She opened her eyes.

She was hyperventilating, her eyes wide and teary, her body sore and tired. And yet she felt something was… Off, different. From her back two large, beautiful wings had emerged. hey were a very pale gray in color, much like her skin, but the feathers had yellow highlights.

Li’Kalla tested her new wings, and moved them erratically. One of them she couldn’t get to stop shaking and the other was furled tightly against her body.

”Did I… D-Did I do it… Miss Azura?” Li’Kalla asked between pants without looking up at the Great Bird.

”You did wonderfully me dear” Azura insisted, concern clear in her tone. ”But now you just need to breathe Li’Kalla. It's ok.” Azura Shure her, ”You’re Ok. I promise.” Li’Kalla could see out of her peripheral vision the great bird moving closer cautiously, so she took the time to breathe. In and out, slowly, until she managed to calm down enough.

”... My left wing w-won’t stop shaking up and down...” Li’Kalla said softly, as she looked up at her new friend’s face and reached out to place her hands on her beak.

Azura move a little closer, sofly pressing her feathered head agasint Li’Kalla’s cheek ”You have limbs so learning how to control them might take a little time I think? It’ll fix itself if you focus on calming it. Even if it doesn’t then we’ll find a way to fix it.” Azura assured her

At those words, Li’Kalla closed her eyes once more and rested her head against Azura’s. After a moment, her wing stopped shaking and she even managed to move it so it’d brush against Azura. She did the same with her other wing and gave a small chuckle.

”I took inspiration from your wings, Miss Azura. I hope that’s okay. Your feathers feel really nice. So, what’s next?” As she spoke, her left wing shook a little bit and her right one twitched, but Li’Kalla got them back in control in the blink of an eye.

”I’m honored that you did.” Azura said before carefully pulling herself up and away from her. ”Now? Now fledgling we learn how to use those wings of yours. I suggest doing a bit of stretching to limber up while I make you somewhere to practice”

”Okay!” Li’Kalla grinned and stood up, wings outstretched excitedly. ”Thank you, Sis- Um, Miss Azura!” She said before turning and walking away from the shore of the lake. She’d go near the Manor’s courtyard to stretch, as it was much grassier and cooler there.

”Sis huh?” Azura could be heard murmuring to herself before following, whistling happily as she went. While Li’Kalla got used to the extra weight she was carrying and the accompanying center of gravity shift Azura began to craft a little practice equipment. Humming softly to herself she formed a pair of small milky white Luft stone platforms out of the air itself, each about the size of a dining table. Once she was done she aproched the frolicing Li’Kalla asking ”How are you feeling now little sister?”

”Oh!” Li’Kalla looked up in surprise at Azura, but quickly smiled bashfully at her. She had been stretching her wings and her body in every way she knew how, not wanting to be underprepared for the undoubtedly difficult training she was going to undergo. Li’Kalla jumped up to her feet and pumped a fist into the air triumphantly. ”I’m super ready, Big Sis!” She said and flapped her wings causing her to gasp and sending herself off balance and falling on her bum. ”Ow- That was amazing!”

”Glad to see you are feeling better little sister” Azura said cheerfully as she floated the two little platforms over to them both, the gravity defying stone needing only a little guidance from gusts of wind to move it around. She plopped the two boards in front of her ”hop onto one of these and we’ll get started” she instructed, and so Li’Kalla did a small flap of her wings and hopped onto one of the boards. Once upon it, the smaller Goddess couldn’t help but keep her wings outstretched.

”And up we go” Azura said as the boards began to float up in the air until Li’Kalla found herself face to face with Azura once again, only now the big bird was standing tall as can be. The air was completely still around her, meaning there was no risk of her being blown off her now rather lofty perch.

Li’Kalla peeked over the edge of her board, down at the ground far below, and then looked at Azura. ”Okay, Sis, ready to follow your orders!” She said, giggling.

”I give guidance not orders” Azura insisted, ”But to start off with, all you need to do is jump between these two.” the other board, which was only an easily hopable distance away, bobbed up and down a little when she spoke of it.

Li’Kalla answered with a nod of her head. She focused for a few moments, jumping up and down on the board and flapping her wings in preparation. Then, in an instant, she jumped off the board and onto the other. She barely flapped her wings a couple times, but that gave her the edge needed to reach the platform. Once she landed, she stumbled but managed to maintain her balance. ”Yay!”

”Good job Li’Kalla!” Azura praised as she moved the boards just a little further apart. ”Now. Do it again.” and so she did. Over and over again with each jump just a little further and a little harder. Most she cleared, but when she fell Azura’s winds where there to soften her landing and her words were there to wipe away the embarrassment of failing, encouraging her to step back up and try again. What began as fluttering leaps slowly but surely became short glides and then finally actual flights from board to board. Eventually when she was pretty sure she was getting the hang of it Azura stopped her from taking another leap back saying ”You’ve done so well little sister, I think you’re ready for the real lesson. Do you trust me Li’Kalla? Do you trust yourself?”

Li’Kalla was smiling even as she panted lightly, she looked at Azura’s face and tilted her head curiously, drops of rainwater splashing down onto the board. ”I trust you, Sis, and I trust my new wings!” Li’Kalla flashed a grin and flapped her wings excitedly, ”I love this practice, let’s go to the next level, Sis.”

Azura whistled happily in response to her enthusiasm and then said ”Then here we go!” before a gust of wind grabbed her, causing her to squeak in surprise and launching her skywards while the bird flew beside her. Up and out of the steam and clouds surrounding hed domain they soared till they were high in the sky. Far below them was her mirrored home and the island it rested upon. To the west was Kalgrun, its vast tracts of barren stone slowly being filled with greenery as the Gemstone Gardeners gathered seeds from across the world to plant in its varied climates. To the north where a series of tall mountains, the tallest of which poked into the Blue. To the east was the great sea between her island and the spinning twins of Swahhitteh and Tendlepog and in that sea something strange was floating. what she at first thought was a floating island of some kind like the ones seen in the Blue sky above dived down towards the ocean, its vast mouth opening to scoop up an immense haul of tiny sea life before breaching back out of the water again, a massive jet of sea water shooting out of its top. Seemingly noticing the pair, the great whale slowly turned and began a rapid ascension towards them. The flying sea creature, about the size of a small island, ended up circling them, about a hundred meters or so away, where its song echoing through the blue skies to greet them both.

As she finished taking in her surroundings Li’Kalla came to notice that the updraft that had lifted her skywards was slowing gradually. When it finally stopped the great bird who had soared up beside her told her to ”Fly Li’Kalla fly!” because now it was indeed either fly of fall.

For a second, Li’Kalla’s face held a most relaxed smile, she took in her surroundings with glee, savouring every moment the gust of divine wind kept her afloat… And then she stopped mid-air, and at that moment she felt Galbar’s pull hit her.

”Wait wh-! AAAAAHHH!!”

She fell, heading for the ground. Every passing second hastened her fall. She tried to flap her wings, but found her left wings twitched and her right one too tense to move. Her heart leapt to her throat, her head felt light and her legs were cramping up as she flailed.

”SISTEEEEEER!” She screamed at the top of her lungs, forcing her wings to move. She tried to flap them but they were uncoordinated and just sent Li’Kalla barreling, falling even faster. She got dizzy and gagged.

Azura appeared beside her, also falling though doing it with a lot more grace than Li’Kalla. her wings where clamped tightly by her side and she was falling backwards, yet seemed to be entirely at ease with the situation. ”Well now sister, this is the exact opposite of what I asked you to do” she teased, being far to calm for their current plumat. ”Trust your wings LiKalla, trust yourself. This is no different from what we where doing with the boards, we’re just a little higher up this time is all.” she said, even as their height continued to diminished rapidly. The fall’s acceleration had stopped however, with the pair having somehow reached the same terminal velocity.

Li’Kalla had lost her voice. Everytime she tried to speak, a scream came out. So instead she let her screams out and tried flapping her wings as wildly as she could, in hopes that she’d somehow stabilize herself. It didn’t work.

”AAAH!”

In her panic, she outstretched her wings and locked them in place.

Her fall turned into a glide in the blink of an eye. An extremely dangerously fast glide, however, one that was headed straight down. She grunted as she adjusted her wings’ angles and corrected her trajectory, and then flapped her wings to slow to a stop.

She panted heavily and occasionally gagged. She kept her mouth covered and kept her narrowed eyes trained at the ground just a few meters below her.

”... Y… You are… Evil, S-Sis...” A weak groan followed her soft words.

”I had everything in tallon I assure you” insisted the great bird that had shadowed her every move as she fell. Azura flapped round to fly next to her and then said ”I’ll admit it was perhaps a touch, ah, extreme. but it worked! You’re flying dear sister!”

Li’Kalla stared in disbelief at Azura, ”V-Very amusing, Sis- Wait.” She froze and dropped a meter, ”Eek!” She flapped her wings with renewed vigor. She was flying, she realized, she was flying! All those years longing to fly, to be free, back home. All those nights she’d let Ka’Li fly free around her chambers so that she could watch him. She was free, now! There was nothing to keep her grounded, no room that could imprison her! Why, she could jump out of the window if she wanted to, and her wings would carry her up and away. Her eyes sparkled and she became slightly teary. Her heart leapt as she took in Azura’s presence, and she suddenly shot towards her and embraced her Big Sister’s neck. Or, well, embraced as much as she could, which wasn’t much at all.

Tears of joy flowed freely and she nuzzled her Sister’s feathers and took in her scent, ”Oh, Sis! Sis, Sis! I’m flying! I’m flying right now! I love you Sis, so sooo much! Oh Lords, I’m flyiiiing!”

Azura laughed happily in response to her joyous embrace ”Yes, yes you are!” she said while performing a few slow merry spins while Li’Kalla clung to her. While she did so Li’kalla felt a warm breeze pressing her against the birds chest as the armless goddess returned the hug as best she could. ”The skies are yours to roam dear sister. So... Where would you like to go first?”

Li’Kalla felt her body relax, her adrenaline rush was disappearing, and the remaining energy in her body was quickly dispersing. Soon, her arms, legs and wings felt like gelatin and her breath came in a slow ryhthm. ”Weell-” She yawned and used what little energy she had to climb her way onto Azura’s back, especifically the spot between her two great wings. ”T-There’s a place with ponds near here, there’s these flowers called Lotus blooms, they’re really beautiful. I-I think we could go there and, and relax. I don’t think I can move much more...” She said.

”mmm, you have been working very hard after all, so a rest does seem wise” Azura agreed before they began a slow and careful flight towards the pond Li’Kalla had pointed Azura towards. Above them the eclipse whale poked his way through the clouds, having caught up with the falling pair. It sang merrily and softly at seeing they were ok.

It was a comfortable position to be in. Curled up on the back of her big sister, caressed by the soft, warm multicolored feathers, with a constant, gentle breeze keeping her body cool and constantly blowing away all of the cursed rainwater that kept materialising on her body. Li’Kalla let out a sigh as she stretched her new wings and wrapped them around herself and Azura’s back. Eventually she felt herself drifting off, and no sound escaped Li’Kalla but that of gentle breathing.

I love my Big Sis, she thought, she’s so warm...




Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 10 MP


Parvus





After his brief encounter with Eury, Parvus continued to travel eastwards, crossing Swahhitteh and the sea. As he walked across the water, he noticed something had changed about Galbar. He pulled a leaf from his hair and crushed it into moss. After a few moments of resting within his palm, a lotus bloomed. He snapped his hand closed. He conjured a silk bag on his side, opposite to his stinger, and stored the moss within it.

Eventually, he reached a new island, infused the essence of Li’kalla. He sensed the goddess was nearby and patted his new silk bag. He reached out with his mind, and called to the rain goddess,
”Hello, Li’kalla. It appears as though I have stumbled upon your island, and I wish to speak if you do not mind. ” he said.

Huh! Came the flustered sound of the Rain Goddess’ voice, H-How are you… N-Nevermind. Okay. I’m near the Lake…?

While Parvus had no idea where “The Lake” was, however it was easy to locate her. He walked over to her, before noticing Li’Kalla sitting on the shores of the Lake. She was idly dipping her feet into the boiling waters and watching the steady stream of clouds formed from the body of freshwater disappear into the mist. When Parvus came closer, she withdrew herself from the waters and stood up to face him, face slightly hidden behind her hair.

Parvus paused for a moment, and silently composed himself, ”I hope I am not interrupting anything.”

”Uh, no, I-I don’t think so…? I was just… Sitting.” She shrugged half-heartedly.

Parvus hummed, slightly unnerved by his fellow god’s silence. ”Do you mind if I show you something?”

Li’Kalla immediately seemed to shrink. She opened her mouth to speak but closed it soon after. She took in a deep breath and finally spoke, ”N-No boxes please.”

Parvus was slightly confused by that statement, however believed that prying would be unwise at the moment, ”It is not a box, though it is in a bag. And I promise that neither the bag or its content will harm you.” he said, almost authoritatively, but followed it with the more solemn, and meek, ”I would not harm anyone with this.”

”Oh,” Li’Kalla sighed and clasped her hands in front of herself, ”If it’s harmless then… I guess it’s okay. Is it a pretty thing? I-I like those, like flowers.”

”It would be easier to demonstrate” he said, slowly grabbing the bag at his side and bringing it up just as slowly. Without a touch, the silk bag opened and begin to unravel itself into nothing, revealing a simple moss. However, a very slight warmth came from Parvus’ hand, and after just a moment, the moss was replaced with a lotus blossom.

Li’Kalla gasped and covered her mouth with both hand, bending forward to look at the blossom closely and then take a whiff of its scent. After a moment, she looked up at Parvus with starry eyes, ”Wow! That is pretty! I’ve never seen those before, what are their names? Why do they grow out of moss and not soil? Tell me!”

”They typically grow in shallow waters, however they only bloom during the hottest time during the year, and during the rest of the year, the moss blooms. When it is their time to bloom, the moss dies, imbuing the waters with nutrients to allow the flowers to bloom. They are called Calor Lotus.” he paused, obviously noticing her excitement, ”I am looking for a place to plant them.”

”Ooh… That’s a very unique flower, isn’t it? It’s pretty, it grows on water… I bet you could take baths with Calors… Calori… Calos… Uhm,” Li’Kalla frowned for a moment, ”Lotuses? I bet you could take baths with Lotuses floating all around you! So pretty! Please plant a lot of them everywhere!”

Parvus paused for a moment, ”Yes, they are quite special aren’t they.” he said, in an unusually casual tone. However, his tone returned to normal, though still being earnest, ”Sadly, this is not a type of flower you can simply plant anywhere. They require exceptionally pure water.” he paused for a moment, before continuing, ”I presume I could change that, but..” he said, without an actual reasoning behind it, at least not one that he could vocalize.

”Well, uhm, i-it’s embarrassing but… I’ve never been able to create water myself, so...” Li’Kalla bit her lip, ”But, I really want them! How do we make the pure water?”

Parvus paused, and watched steam bellow from the lake above him, observing the water rising into the air, ”Rain water should be pure enough, so long as there is no soil contamination.” he paused, ”We would just need a region with enough rainfall in order to support them during the hottest season, and at least one other season for the moss to grow. he said calmly.

Li’Kalla chuckled quietly and within a few moments, water started drizzling down onto them. The drizzle then became a rain, and the rain came with drops of water as big as coins. ”It’s one of the things I can do. If it’s only about rain water and enough rainfall, then I only have to make sure it rains all year round, right?” As she spoke, the rain kept pouring down, as if it was trying to fall with such force on them that they’d be drilled into the very earth.

Parvus did not mind the rain, however he suggest ”If we want to plant these flowers, I do suggest we do it away from this lake.” he said, gesturing to it as though it was obvious why.

”Yes, I had assumed we’d stay away from the lake. It’s very hot around here for these pretty flowers.”

”This is your island, where would you like these flowers to planted?”

Li’Kalla brought up her clasped hands to her mouth and hummed quietly with her brow furrowed in thought. After a while, she smiled and shrugged.

Parvus simply paused a moment, and then smirked, ”Then how about this?” he said, clasping his other hand and when he released it, a colorful dragonfly flew out of it in a random direction. ”How about we place it where the dragonfly lands?”

“Okay! Do we have to follow it?” Li'Kalla asked as her eyes followed the dragonfly zipping away.

”I am able to track it across this entire island, however we could move while we talk if that is more agreeable to you.”, he said, both formally and noncommittally.

“Let's wait until it finds a place then, it might get scared if it sees us following it.”

Parvus smirked at the comment, but simply replied ”So be it, it should not take too long.” True to his word, a short time later, the dragonfly landed, and Parvus gestured in a direction and began to walk that way, followed by Li’Kalla who stayed a few paces behind the God of Insects.

The trip was a long, silent and uncomfortable experience for both, as no one seemed willing to speak while moving. But, eventually, they arrived at the place. It was a fair bit northwest from where they’d started, ending up in the western coast of the landmass. The dragonfly was perched on top of a particularly long blade of grass, cleaning itself.

”So, um...” Li’Kalla began, whose excitement had all but vanished with the long silence between the two, ”Here? It seems like a good location… We’d have a good amount of lotuses in ponds, and then we can make a fishing village surrounded by lotus ponds. Fishermen would come back home to their wives with lotus petals drifting through the air. Romantic!”

Parvus was staring into the flower in his hand during the entire trip, lost in thought. ”That sounds lovely.” he said, holding back a melancholic tone.

Li’Kalla tilted her head, frowning a little as she looked at Parvus. Yet a moment later, an idea seemed to physically flash before her eyes, ”Oh! Umm, i-if you don’t mind, could you give the place some cute insects? Back home I used to love ladybugs, I don’t know if you know what they are. I can draw them for you if you wish!”

Parvus paused, ”It is my job to know about a wide variety of insects, however how about you draw the type of ladybugs you would wish to populate this region while I seed the nearby lakes with our flowers?”

”Okay!” Li’Kalla smiled and sat on her knees on the ground, a piece of parchment appearing in front of her as well as a brush and black ink. ”It’s been a long time, but I can do this! My servant once taught me the ways of the Artist!” She giggled quietly and immediately got to work while Parvus set out on his task.

Parvus begin his task, slowly seeding each of the nearby lakes with moss and lotus seeds. As he did his repetitive task, he quietly chanted something solemnly. Once he was finished with his task, he composed himself and walked back to where Li’kalla was drawing.

”... Aand, done!” She said with a sigh of relief, wiping sweat -- or was it just rainwater? -- off her brow. As she set aside the brush and ink, she turned the parchment to show the drawing to Parvus.

It was a beautifully realistic, yet still stylistic representation of a ladybug. And, while the black ink wouldn’t show the true color of the insect, it was perhaps even more beautiful because of the limitation. The strokes were masterful, and the ladybug was depicted as being perched on a lotus flower, preparing to take flight.

Parvus took a few moments to carefully look over the sketch, he held his injured hand against the ground, and after a few moments, ladybugs begin to fly out of the grass. They appeared just as the picture, except were vividly colored. In addition to ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies and small harmless, water bugs appeared in the nearby landscape. He reached his hand out, a single ladybug landed on his hand, ”Are they to your liking?”

Li’Kalla held out her hand and several of the bugs landed on it, ”Oh… They’re so,” She sniffled and wiped her eyes, then chuckled, ”So pretty. I like butterflies too.”

A few moments passed with them both admiring the small flying insects, until Li’Kalla rolled up the now-dry parchment and gave it to Parvus, ”You can keep that, it’s the least I can give you.” She said gently before standing up. ”I-It’s a wonder I managed to not ruin the parchment or drawing with all the water running down my body...”

Parvus gracely took the parchment, and attached it to his side with silk. ”Thank you, though I have one last creature I need to make.” he said, taking some dirt and molding it into a colorful frog. A few moments later, similar frogs appeared hopping across the grass. ”They are also really sensitive to water quality. So they can warn you if there is a problem with water.” he said, matter-of-factly.

One of the frogs leapt and landed in front of Li’Kalla, and it seemed to be looking intently at her, so she leaned over it and caressed its head with a finger. ”Thank you, really.” She said without looking up.

Parvus took a moment to ensure he had not forgotten anything, ”I believe that is all for the time being. I believe I should keep moving west for more ground to populate. However, if you ever need me, do not hesitate to contact me.” he said




Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 10 MP





There was a light breeze which caressed the blades of grass. The scent of lavender carried over from the fields of flowers beyond the hill reached Li’Kalla’s nostrils, and she took it in with a deep breath. She was happy. After a long time, she opened her eyes and looked down at a single Lavender flower she was holding in her hands. There, sitting down cross legged in the middle of the Plains of Elamann, she felt a blush come to her cheeks.

He had noticed her! Even though she was always quiet and shy, and was indeed too scared to even talk to him, he had noticed her. Her heartbeat quickened and she felt her breath leave her as she remembered the scene, the words he had said to her.

“Do keep your siblings safe, won’t you, dear flower?”

A strange voice whispered in her left ear.

“Won’t you, dear flower?”

Then her right.

“Won’t you?”

“Won’t you?”

Suddenly Li’kalla’s eyes shot open, she was in a quaint little room with nary a window. A bookshelf covered the wall across from the giant bed she found herself in. The floor was marbled and a soft glow came from two scented candles. There was a single door in the room, and beyond its imposing oak structure, she heard faint notes playing on some sort of string.

A dread filled the pit of her stomach. She didn’t recognize the room, but the books in the bookshelf held some recognizable titles. ‘The Maiden and the Maimed’, ‘A Moth Drowned’, ‘Wingless Butterflies’...

However, the thing that most worried her was the lack of windows. Immediately her eyes started tearing up and she crawled out of the bed, dragging the bedsheets with her, around her.

She wrapped herself tightly in the warm blankets and curled up against the darkest corner of the room, shaking but not because of a lack of warmth.

The notes kept playing. The string kept sounding, and the sounds bore into her ears. Like eternal reminders that someone was on the other side of the door, that someone was perhaps about to enter the room and… And-

Slowly the door opened, inviting in a orange glow, and a summer’s worth of comforting warmth. With the door open, Li’kalla’s ears could take in the rest of the music, the plucked string was echoing from a wooden carapice somewhere in the distance, and a happy violin played alongside it. Three little glowing orbs bounced into the room and slowly spun around her, as if inviting her to a dance.

Pointing her widened, teary eyes at the glowing orbs and now listening to the music, Li’Kalla let out a shaky sigh and wiped her eyes. At that moment, she stood on shaky legs and leaned on a chair nearby until she felt she had recovered enough. The orbs kept bouncing and spinning around her, and she couldn’t help but reach out to one. When her hand got close enough to one, it just dropped into her palm and began smelling strongly of citrus.

”Uhm...”

After a moment, she brought the calm orb close to her face and licked it. It tasted like a tangerine! So at that point she stuck it in her mouth. There was nothing better than a tangerine to calm the nerves, after al-

The small glowing orb bounces against the insides of her cheeks, giving her face a sort of silly looking glow, and then all at once it suddenly snuck up her nasal and out her nose, whirring as it made a triumphant escape. The lasting taste of fruit coated Li’Kalla’s tongue, and a slight sting ringed her nostril. Despite its unique journey, the little orb decided to stay, keeping Li’Kalla company alongside it’s two twins. A kind laugh echoed from outside the door, and the music picked up a fun, yet quicker tune, her new orb friends bouncing accordingly.

Li’Kalla sniffled a few times and sneezed. ”... Ew.” The orb didn’t seem bothered, however, so she decided to let it go as well. It was at this point that she looked down at herself and noticed she was wearing an exceedingly fancy gown. The likes of which she’d only ever worn when her parents hosted feasts for the extended family. Her skin didn’t look pale any longer, and she was actually dry.

She smiled.

Had it all been a dream? All that God stuff, all the suffering. Maybe it had been, and it had been one of those long dreams that her brother had told her about!

So she walked out of her room with her hands clasped in front of her, looking every bit like the coy, demure princess she was raised to be. She found herself in an unfamiliar hallway, and yet familiar faces covered fancy portraits that hung between a seemingly endless amount of doors. And yet, it wasn’t endless, a great doorway stood just a few meters from her, it’s door swung wide open, allowing a great amount of light spilling into the hallway. Her eyes were hardly adjusted from the hallway, but she could make out the distinct up and down spin of dancing shadows on the other side of the door.

A tinge of excitement rose in her, and yet at the same time her heart skipped a beat. It was true, she always loved the feasts, but the dancing… The part where gentlemen and great warriors and knights and nobles invited maidens out to dance? Well… Nobody had ever approached her. With her Father’s shadow looming over her, nobody dared to risk a move like that.

Still, it was expected of her. And so after steeling herself, she kept walking down the Hallway of Ancestors and finally erupted into the bright light of the Ball Room, where the music was beautiful and the shadows were happy and the performers were exotic and foreign and skilled. In the center of the great ballroom of crystal, marble, and lights an exquisite and massive piano sat, its orchestrator’s back to her, but his fingers expertly dancing across the ivory keys in a fashion she had never witnessed. It was then she realized where the music was coming from, now hearing its beauty unbarred.

Strangely enough, even though the music tempted her to get lost in its beauty, she couldn’t help but shake the feeling that she somehow knew the orchestrator, even though her Father had said before that he would arrive from the other side of the World.

As she expected, however, the last few remaining men invited out the last few remaining women. The shadows went off to dance, and she was left standing there to a side, alone, with a great shadow standing behind her.

She caught sight of him at the edge of her vision. Standing alone much like she was, was the shadow of a man. She couldn’t see him well, but she knew he was tall, she knew he was handsome and powerful and renowned throughout the land. She knew he was alone. More alone than she, and there he was holding a lavender flower in his hands.

He began approaching her, and her face broke out into a grin.

And then a group of shadows came and whisked him away, and he was gone, and the flower he’d been holding fell to the floor and was trampled by the dancers.

“Tsk,” a grainy voice echoed from the pianist, and as Li’Kalla’s eyes shot to look at the man, he was standing up, or rather he wasn’t. As he stood up, he remained sitting, and the music kept playing. It was confusing at first, but soon Li’Kalla’s eyes accepted them as two seperate people. The one who had spoke made his way to her, a kind smile on a pale gentlemanly face, but great big cheshire grins reflected off his eyes. Slowly the man stooped down and picked up the trampled flower, the tiny pedals blooming into a bright purple, “nostalgia, melancholy.” He whispered to the flower, “they are frightening, but should serve better as a sweet aroma for the future.” With a tilt of the head, the Gentleman held the flower out to Li’Kalla.

Her eyes met his and she shied away, accepting the trampled flower hesitantly. ”This aroma… It only brings about pain. Shame. Regret. This flower is damaged, it has been trampled. It’s going to die soon.”

The Gentleman nodded, as if understanding her words, without moving his lips, his voice echoed between the two, “it would appear that way, but only because it has not yet been incorporated into the self. Shame for the past is not shame at all, but fear, the past has happened, and it has made you, and you shall always be a creation. A creation is a creation worth creating, thus, we dance?”

The Gentleman offered a gloved hand.

It was then that Li’Kalla perked up and looked at the Gentleman, ”D-Dance? But my Father- Aren’t you afraid of him?”

“The way I see it,” The Gentleman thought out loud, “there is unneeded fear, of which I have none, and necessary fear which keeps one safe from stupid decisions, and unfortunately for myself I’m not that brilliant.”

The corners of Li’Kalla’s mouth quivered for a moment, before breaking out into a grin followed by a quiet, ladylike chuckle. ”I am fortunate, then, that you’re unfortunate.” She said as she placed her hand in his.

Gripping tenderly, the Gentleman lead her in a mid tempo dance, the pianist and violins seeming to keep pace with them flawlessly, rather than the other way around. They danced, and they danced, and there was nothing but bliss in the air as the jovial night seemed to stretch into forever.






Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
17 FP - 10 MP





How long it had been that she had spent looking out at the endless ocean, she didn’t know. Li’Kalla had been tired, and so she sat down as long as she needed to.

And then she felt it again—The loneliness. She felt as if she was in her Sphere again, isolated from the world in such a way that she’d hear nobody’s voice or feel nobody’s breathing.

It was a lonely island, and even though she felt the sudden appearance of a new landmass close, it was still a far distance from the island.

Li’Kalla sighed and stood up. She wiped her hands free of sand and turned away from the Ocean. Her eyes took in the barren island, and she made a note to find Phystene to help her fill the Island with life, and Azura to bring birds and Orvus to devour al—

A sudden ringing caught her attention. Deep in her ear, as if something was trying to bore its way into her mind. The same ringing she’d been hearing since Vakk’s visit… What had he done to her?

Regardless of the ringing, Li’Kalla had something she wanted to do now. A way to alleviate her loneliness. She just had to recreate the So’E, but on Galbar. That way, people could visit her and she could play with children and cute animals, and it would all be great! She smiled a small smile at the thought.

She got to thinking, and she thought for a very long time. This new version of the So’E would have to be the same as the old and be linked to it in such a way that whatever happened in one would happen in the other at the same time.

Like a reflection in the water.

She perked up and looked up at the Gateway to the So’E. It did have a watery-texture in the portal part, the part you’d jump through to get to the Sphere, and it kinda looked like a well. Li’Kalla scrunched up her nose as she thought, and for a split second, she was able to see her own reflection in the Gateway’s waters.

’That’s it! A reflection!’

And so the Goddess closed her eyes and, with her Godly sense did her best to perceive the raw information on the other side of the Gateway. Very little information was actually capable of traversing the gateway, it seems, so first she made the Gateway’s wild water surface still and reflective so she could see her own reflection clearly, and then she dipped one hand in it. That way, she would be in both her sphere and Galbar at the same time.

Using herself as a relay was no easy task. At times, she felt herself about to make a mistake, but she kept control until the end. Had she made a mistake, there’s no way to know what would have happened to her, with all that information coursing through her soul, essence and mind.

In the end, she opened her eyes.

’Huh?’

Had she accidentally crossed the Gateway?

No. It was true, the Manor was the same as in the So’E, and there was a large lake, and the mist was thick… But the Lake was not as large, and the Mist was not as thick as in the So’E.

This was Galbar.

So now she had to perform a test. While creating the reflection of the So’E,she has made sure the two were linked. Anything that happened in the Galbarian So’E, would happen too in the Original So’E.

She floated up to the uppermost window of the manor and opened it a bit. It was the attic’s window. Then she floated up to the Gateway and peeked into the So’E and-

”Yes!” Li’Kalla shouted and grinned as she pumped her fist in the air victoriously, ”I might actually be really awesome!” The attic’s window was open as well in the So’E. The reflection was in effect.

With that, Li’Kalla went back out onto Galbar and sat herself down on her island. There was still much to do. She had to think of a name for the reflection, for the gateway and the island. Not to mention filling the island with something other than the reflection…

The young Goddess stretched her arms and yawned.

It had been a long time since she felt this… Good. This relaxed, like she’d achieved something.

Maybe she had just tired herself out.

Either way, she laid down and curled up. It was time to rest, and maybe dream of something nice… There was this one dream she used to have about a swarm of monarch butterflies…



Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
25 FP - 10 MP







’What-’

Li’Kalla wiped the slight bit of drool on her lips and looked around, blinking rapidly.

She was sitting on the steps leading up to the Manor. Everything looked the same as she remembered, including the unassuming box half-covered in sand. For some reason, she shivered when her eyes looked at the box, so she tried to ignore it. Instead, she twisted her body to look at the large, intimidating doors to the Manor. They had never been opened before, but she knew what was behind… A story, a life that had cast her out a long, long time ago.

Images flashed through her eyes.

A handsome young man handing a beautifully wrapped present to her.

An older woman kneeling in front of Li and smiling warmly at her.

A grand ball, with elegant guests and all kinds of foods.

A body, hanging in its bedroom, looking directly at her…

’No!’ Li shut her eyes tightly and covered her ears. After a moment of not seeing any more images, she sighed and looked up at the cloudy skies of her Sphere.

”’I’m sorry’, huh? Yes… So’E. That’s your name, the So’E. What I always wanted to have…” She took in a deep breath, smelling the humid air. ”It’s so desolate in here, just like I imagined. I hate it.” She felt her lip quiver, but forced herself to stay calm. ”I hate it so much…”

II


Quite a bleak sight, Li’Kalla thought. Standing on the rim of the Gateway to the So’E, the Goddess looked out at the horizon which was slightly blurred by the mist produced by the fresh clouds.

An endless expanse of water as far as the divine eye could see. This was the first time she’d been on Galbar, and she wasn’t impressed. Still, being here, she felt that much closer to everyone else. It was an interesting feeling, certainly. Not one to be elated about, though. The other Gods were… Strange.

She pursed her lips and turned her gaze to the ocean below the Gateway. Sitting down on the marble rim, she closed her eyes and extended her arms downward towards the ocean. In her mind, she willed forth an island, a large one capable of housing a small world. A pang of pain shot through her head.

When she opened her eyes, there was nothing there. Just ocean.

”It’s more difficult here.”

She closed her eyes again, picturing in her mind what the island would look like once finished. Picturing the animals frolicking, the bees buzzing, the plants caressing the pillars of temples, the people-

Again she felt pain. She tried to hold her head together as it felt like it was about to split open. She gagged and felt nauseous.

In the middle of her internal struggle, she never heard the waters part way for land. When she lost her balance and fell a few metres from the Gateway to the So’E, she never expected to hit something soft.

Sand.

III


She was tired. Who knew it would be so taxing, creating a simple island while being a God?

She sat on the shores of her new Island, eyes drooping closed as if she were about to fall asleep. She wasn’t sleepy.

Her hands grabbed fistfuls of the wet sand and immediately dropped them. Over and over again.

Who knew, really? That with all this power, creation would be so difficult.

Maybe that’s why, maybe that’s why the Gods never came to help her…

”Maybe that’s why…”



Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
20 FP - 5 MP





"Trepidation inessential."

Li'Kalla stared wide eyed at the... Monstrosity before her eyes. A being so unknowably slimy and foul... She'd never seen anything like it before and certainly even if such a beast had existed back home, she wouldn't have seen it after-

"Find solace in second genesis."

What was it saying? She understood its words, of course, but... Genesis? Solace?

"Additional affliction unlikely."

The words of a machine.

"Engage in creator’s directive.”

Whether it was a machine or a living being, it was right. Li'Kalla never took her eyes off the thing, Anzillu, and cautiously got up from her sitting position, which she strategically assumed out of surprise when she noticed the star-sized pupil of darkness in front of her.

Thankfully, the repugnant God moved away soon after speaking his sentence.

The Goddess of Rain let out a breath of relief she wasn't aware she was holding, and looked down at her hands. Shaking.

She bit her lip, shook her head and tightened her hands into fists before floating onto her crystal platform. It shot off immediately when she landed safely on top of it.

II


Before too long, she had arrived at what seemed to be a void. Not unlike the one she vaguely remembered from before existence existed, but this one didn’t feel as… Empty? It was hard to think about it, even for a being blessed by the Architect of the Universe. Not that she believed receiving a blessing like that improved your intelligence, of course. She wasn’t especially gifted…

Li’Kalla shook her head. She had a duty to fulfil, and she had a vague idea of what that duty was.

She lifted a hand and held her palm pointing up. Then she focused.

Small… Brown… Raw… She thought with her eyes closed, picturing her desired item. Grain.

The first thing she felt before opening her eyes was a minuscule amount of mass materialising just above her palm.

She opened her eyes and smiled with a furrowed brow.

”So it’s true, huh. I can create things… I really am a…” She said to no one but herself…

It was a single grain of rice, a type of grain that her people would grow in massive amounts back home. This one seemed as if it had just been harvested.

With a mere thought, she peeled the grain of rice and the pristine white food ingredient revealed its beauty to Li’Kalla.

A flash of pain flared up in her head and she averted her gaze. It only took a similarly simple thought to de-materialise the grain of rice and its peel. After the flare of pain died down, she sighed. ’Trepidation inessential’…”

She looked around at the void. ”… I don’t think it’s that simple, Anzillu the Automaton.”

III


The first part had been rather simple.

So why, by the Architect’s cold Eye, couldn’t she make anything else?

Li’Kalla groaned and threw herself onto the dusty ground that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was the only thing she’d been able to make. She lay there for a long time but eventually, it was time to try again. So she stood up and graced her eyes with the ugly, massive crater in the ground that she’d made for the lake that had been giving her so much trouble.

She shifted her position to sit on her knees and closed her eyes.

Clear, cool-

Drip, drip.

Her eyes shot open and she leaned over the edge of the crater with wide eyes. She’d done it!

It mixed with the dusty surface a bit and made it hard to see, but a trickle of water was coming from somewhere beyond the mist, slowly filling up the crater as a new lake.

… Maybe she hadn’t done it. Li’Kalla sighed and shook her head. Well, there was no reason to worry about that now. She focused once more and the dusty surface turned into dirt, and on that dirt grass and walnut trees grew, surrounding the crater. What once was a trickle of water now became a steady flow, and it kept increasing. Eventually, when the trees had all grown and together formed a humble forest, the flow of water revealed itself to be some kind of river due to the sheer amount of water that it gave. She couldn’t see where it was coming from, but upon a cursory investigation she recognised a trace of Shengshi’s essence in it.

It makes sense to have a God of Rivers make rivers to give everyone water, right? She shrugged.

While the lake filled up, she cleared some trees to make a clearing big enough for her next objective—A house.

She created a manor eerily similar to the one in her memories. Its facade, the rooms, the furniture and decoration… Incredible, the power she’d been given. But before she could actually go inside the manor, she had to finish the creation of her Sphere.

A grassy hill beyond the forest of walnut trees with a single oak tree on top of it, and a reinforcement of the mist surrounding the lake, forest and manor was all that was left to do.

IV


Li’Kalla was sitting on the steps leading up to the Manor’s front doors, looking out toward the Lake which had now filled up completely. After a few minutes watching the misty, greyish landscape, she moved towards the shore of the lake, just before the edge of the waters.

She caressed herself gently, noting how soaked her skin was and how perfectly dry her dress had remained. She didn’t even question how it had remained so, after all the things she had found out she was capable of doing. So, gracefully, she undressed. For the first time since arriving in this new world, she undressed.

There were no scars, no bruises. She was healthy.

Her lower lip quivered slightly.

She walked a few meters back and neatly laid her dress on the ground, before walking back to the edge of the waters and sitting down on her knees. She dipped her hands into the water at the same time as her vision blurred.

Steadily the water’s temperature rose. It rose up to a point where one could see steam rise from the lake. At this point, a pair of unassuming tears fell into the Lake and mixed with the water.

When Li’Kalla was satisfied with the water temperature, she removed her hands from the water and now took hold of the steam, forcing it to form clouds almost immediately upon detaching from the Lake. Those clouds she could faintly feel, as if they were a very distant part of herself. She didn’t pay much attention to that however, as she was busy with more pressing things.

Before the Sphere was completely filled with clouds, Li’Kalla tightened her hands into fists and focused her energy into them.

Then, she agressively stretched them toward the sky above the Lake.

”Ah!” She gasped and fell to one knee. She felt it, however, as the very fabric of space tore and a ring of the purest marble materialised mid-air. All the clouds were suddenly sucked in by the ring of marble, and what seemed to be a rippling surface of water was left inside the ring. The surface was quick to be covered as more freshly formed clouds began passing through it, blocking Li’Kalla’s view.

She wiped her eyes and took in a deep breath. It wasn’t enough to keep her breathing from feeling funny, but she managed to hold herself together for long enough to take a quick bath in the boiling lake.



Li’Kalla





Stay away!

Don’t, don’t, please-!

No…! No, no no. Get away from me!


Shouting and screaming and crying for as long as she remembered. She’d spent so long running, escaping. Even now after what felt like an eternity, the memory was burned into her mind.

So, she ran. There were so many shadows. Were they real? Was her mind playing tricks on her? Most of them stood there, formless beings that she knew were looking, staring at her! No, they were real. They definitely were.

She panted and huffed and puffed as she ran through the endless expanse, looking for some way out. For some way to escape. There was none…

II


She was huddled up. Knees to her chest and arms around the legs. She looked around and saw the formless forms around her. Were they all looking at her? They must have been! For the way she felt… It meant they were looking at her, judging her, laughing at her!

Oh, the humilliation…

III


A light! There was a light!

At first the woman sat there, wide eyed, but the sudden movement among the crowd of formless forms woke her up from her reverie.

The light was there, and it called to her! In an instant she rose to her feet, but then the crowd washed over her.

Passing through her, connecting to her-! She saw fragments of memories that weren’t hers. She felt her immaterial body suffer upon the touch of a thousand thousand pairs of dead hands.

She froze, but the crowd carried her with them. It was like a tide—Inescapable! She tried to run away, crawl away from the light.

S-Stop touching me! Don’t push me! Stop, please, stop! She tried to say. No form would stop, however. As she got closer to the light, she felt a shiver permeate her entire form. She knew then, that if she reached that light, she’d know suffering once again.

Stop! I said, stop! From a plea, she went to a demand.

Then she felt it for the first time—The anger, the hunger. It was as if she was alive once more. ”STOP!”

The voice bellowed throughout the void, the first sound to grace the place in an eternity.

She reached the light, but as half her form passed through it, the other half expanded without a care for the others. It consuming everything in its path and left no memory or feeling behind.

IV


A form had at first arrived in the new world. Shapeless like most others, this one proved to have more trouble choosing a body for itself.

Even when several of her peers had adopted new forms, she was struggling. At times the being looked like a cloud, then like a person, then that person warped and twisted almost into a monster—But in the end, the form of a person stood victorious. So she found herself in the new world. She looked at the one who’d brought her here and recoiled at his hideousness.

Perhaps looking for comfort, she turned her head and looked at the other beings in the great room. There were ones that looked somewhat like her, but more… Regal, Intimidating… And then there were others who were not so lucky. They looked more like monsters.

One of them had begun forming. A colossal one, so large that his mere laughter sent waves crashing all over the room. She knew who he was at a moment’s notice—Or at least, what he was supposed to be.

It scared her.

A shiver went down her spine and she turned to her summoner with a wordless cry for help.

She received nothing but a cold stare. Judgement.

The waves were approaching her, but even then she sank low to the ground. First her knees had touched the ground, and then it was her forehead. She shut her eyes tightly when she felt as if the weight of a mountain had just been placed on her shoulders.

Why… Why couldn’t she just live in peace?

She grasped her chest, looking to comfort the heart she knew she no longer had, because it still felt like it was going to give out.

@Kho, I really like the idea of a pilgrimage through numerous spheres, though! Theoretically it should be possible for mortals to plot a course through the spheres after several sacrifices give them enough info on which path is safe.
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