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Manni

side story Side Story: A Past Best Left Buried.

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Aura

Alez had convinced herself that she was doing fine, but due to her inability to maintain her ethereal form, that was evidently untrue. Internally, she was struggling with a wave of guilt and panic. She was just a child lost in the streets far from home. Despite trying to maintain a strong stance against Mei Yi, she was only putting up the front of a fool, speaking of knowledge of which she had none. It wasn't her place to argue and justify her goddess' views, just to have faith in them and serve... 

Hearing Cassandra's soft voice, Alez was taken by surprise, but locking eyes with her only reaffirmed their connection. She could feel a sense of nervousness coming from Cassandra that matched her own. There was a certain inherent frustration that came from knowing what you want to say but not being able to convey it in words... thankfully due to their link, these feelings were much more easily conveyed. Alez just stared into Cassandra's eyes and listened to her words and as she spoke, Alez realized that she felt not only admiration but also pity for the woman. It was a strange sensation, but she felt a similar comfort with Cassandra's hand on her shoulder that she did in her mother's embrace. Tears began to fall from her cheeks. She longed for her mother's touch and she feared she'd never feel it again. These feelings would certainly reach Cassandra through their link. 

Alez could also feel Cassandra's scorn for Caelisia's leadership. Alez held no remorse toward her mother, though. None of this was lady Caelisia's fault to begin with. It was her own haste to prove herself that ran her into this situation. She didn't understand why she never received backup to protect her, but she should have just waited... yet at the same time, it was because of that waiting that poor Samantha got turned into that monster and... and... all she wanted to do was protect the mortals she cared so much for... She wanted to fight off the demons that sought to do harm to them and wanted to nurture them into something beautiful... Cassandra's view of her was spot-on. She really was just a child. A spoiled child with a fantasy to be a hero. Maybe being damned to a place like this was the only destiny fitting for someone like her...

"I'm sorry, Cassandra..." She immediately moved to wrap her arms tightly around the woman's body, pulling herself into her embrace. It was the closest thing she had to her mother's love here. "...This world is cruel... Are these the ones attacking my people? Why? That's what I don't understand..."

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Manni

*Alas, if only Alez knew how similar their cases were...which was something Cassandra could not allow herself to reveal to anyone. Though to be honest, not even she knew the complete truth. What this Cassandra knew was that she was the 'Eternal Hero' selected by Utopia to kill the Source of All Evil, who was the actual being whom created the world. She had learnt that this situation had come about due to a certain occurrence in 'mortal time' where Utopia was finally able to re-actualise in the world. As it turned out, before the 'world' began, there was a conflict between Utopia and its progeny. Though she was still unclear to  why the conflict began, she knew how it ended. Utopia was defeated by its own progeny, led by its other half. The Other Half, whether because it could not or chose not to, did not destroy Utopia but instead imprisoned it in a pocket dimension inaccessible from virtually anywhere.  As it was being sealed away, Utopia revealed that without it, its progeny would die from starvation and fade into nothing as they were all reliant on it to survive. To thwart Utopia, its Other Half, using what resources it had, engineered a tentative solution.  Using the knowledge derived from the Existential Codex that Utopia had sealed in its Library, its Other Half used the Axiom System (A reality altering device of great power) to rewrite the rules of reality and how Utopia's progeny worked.  However, to fuel this effort, Utopia's Other Half sacrificed itself to create the world. In honour of its great sacrifice, the surviving progeny posthumously gave them the title of 'One With Hope, That which Springs Eternal From Nothing.' From that point, the mortal universe started and Utopia's Progeny came to rule the mortal world using some of the features of the Axiom System which they learnt from what of the Existential Codex they could read.*

*Back in the world they were in, Cassandra felt the emotions and in some ways found herself being able to understand some of what Alez was going through. It was not exactly comfortable for Cassandra to go through, having being trained to be rather stoic as per her station. Though...like Alez, she too wanted love and affection. Seemingly unlike Alez' case though (so Cassandra hoped), the love that Cassandra got in return from Utopia was both a blessing AND a curse. A blessing in that she felt that she could do anything...and yet a curse in that no other love would make her feel like that. Cassandra hated that, feeling that she was just used by Utopia like a puppet and yet...she had  a feeling that she were offered that love again, she might not be able to resist. After all, Mei Yi was proof of that. Revived and then made to fight against the one she loved most...wouldn't normally be easy but for Utopia, perhaps it was. Making them do its will could be a breeze if they knew what to offer.*

"The world lacks many things...but I refuse to believe that this is all there is to it." Cassandra replied to Alez, feeling the girl embrace her. Having someone look up to you and trust you felt nice, even if this wasn't exactly the greatest of times.

"Oh? Perhaps you need some more education, my dear Cassie. I would be happy to show you the Truth you so seek? Or is that no longer important to you since you've got a new...fling?" Mei Yi interjected, interrupting Cassandra with a voice surprisingly lined with acid. "...And 'they' say love saves all. Such mindless prattle never saved anyone!

"Mei Yi...I hope you will not regret those words. As they may be your last." Cassandra replied strongly, which even surprised her to be honest. Perhaps Alez's display had given Cassandra some surprise resolve. Perhaps she would need whatever resolve she could get for what was about to occur. They were not far from the village where Mei Yi was waiting for them.

 

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Aura

Due to the link, Alez could feel the painful anger from Cassandra's heart. This feeling wasn't going to help her. She needed to focus on remaining at peace... Otherwise, she'd be stuck in her physical form where she was completely useless. But how could she keep her emotions in balance in a time like this? In order to bring balance to her emotions, she'd need love to counteract her anger and joy to counteract her sorrow. Both of those just felt impossible to obtain in the moment. Still...

Alez looked back and forth between Mei Yi and Cassandra. She honestly had no idea what was going on between these two. There was clearly some bad blood between these two that needed to be worked out in one way or another, but from her perspective, she couldn't see Mei Yi as much more than a villain. And yet, she had a nagging feeling like there was more to her story. It wasn't her place to judge. She had to be willing to forgive even the cruelest of sins. Especially from someone who does not live under the same goddess. With a deep breath, Alez reached out to touch Cassandra's hand and hold it firmly. Tears still stained her face, but she had to steel herself. She was a servant of Caelisia. She could overcome any obstacle she was faced with. Mother Caelisia wouldn't have sent her on a mission she would never return from. She was precious. She was loved. 

"I know not what is going on here, but I will not be ignored. My people are being attacked by monsters. Why?" She spoke out with more confidence than before, staring up at Mei Yi. "I want answers and I have no time for mindless prattle. If you do not have answers for us, then point us to someone who does or step aside. Lest you and your world face the wrath of mine. This is no time for foolish games."

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Manni
On 07/07/2020 at 16:38, Aura said:

Due to the link, Alez could feel the painful anger from Cassandra's heart. This feeling wasn't going to help her. She needed to focus on remaining at peace... Otherwise, she'd be stuck in her physical form where she was completely useless. But how could she keep her emotions in balance in a time like this? In order to bring balance to her emotions, she'd need love to counteract her anger and joy to counteract her sorrow. Both of those just felt impossible to obtain in the moment. Still...

Alez looked back and forth between Mei Yi and Cassandra. She honestly had no idea what was going on between these two. There was clearly some bad blood between these two that needed to be worked out in one way or another, but from her perspective, she couldn't see Mei Yi as much more than a villain. And yet, she had a nagging feeling like there was more to her story. It wasn't her place to judge. She had to be willing to forgive even the cruelest of sins. Especially from someone who does not live under the same goddess. With a deep breath, Alez reached out to touch Cassandra's hand and hold it firmly. Tears still stained her face, but she had to steel herself. She was a servant of Caelisia. She could overcome any obstacle she was faced with. Mother Caelisia wouldn't have sent her on a mission she would never return from. She was precious. She was loved. 

"I know not what is going on here, but I will not be ignored. My people are being attacked by monsters. Why?" She spoke out with more confidence than before, staring up at Mei Yi. "I want answers and I have no time for mindless prattle. If you do not have answers for us, then point us to someone who does or step aside. Lest you and your world face the wrath of mine. This is no time for foolish games."

 

 

After Alez spoke up and said her piece, the immediate result was a brief moment of silence. Then...it came.

"Your world? Little one, I have no interest or idea of where you are from. I also do not know why you would think I would have any interest in attacking your world, wherever that is. All I am here for is for the head of that person next to you. She has betrayed her god, her world and all those she fought alongside. And for what?  Cassandra, you know as well as I do that our god is everything and our lives are their property. To oppose that is to go against the dispensation of the universe itself.  What foolishness has caused you to turn?"

"I may be a heretic and damned in the sight of god but I will not back down and let Utopia run roughshod over the ideals that we as mortals hold dear! The virtues and Godly Properties we as creations of the divine are blessed with!"

"...Is that all? You waste your existence on such sweet nothings?! I am almost lost for words. Almost. You had my name and existence thrown into the mud JUST for that?! You betrayed all your fellow heroes and compatriots throughout history, whose names and existence are now less than nothing just so you can play Savior?! Does your arrogance...no...of course not. You never understood anything or do you understand anything. All you had to do was look pretty for the masses and be their symbol as we mortals killed each other for god!"

*Cassandra looked rather stunned and taken aback from the latest outburst from Mei Yi, perhaps even hurt. She could not make any sense out of what Mei Yi was saying, even though the language they spoke was the same. The fact was though that Mei Yi was correct at that moment. Cassandra had never had to face the reality of her position and all that it entailed. She had never realised that all she really represented was that power was the maker and breaker of everything, that it was the sole thing that matter. All her talk of 'values' were just paltry cover for all the things she and others would have to do to get people to believe it. Such things would not cover the countless bodies and the stench of death that hung around them. If they ever thought about all the people they killed to make their 'dreams' come true, if such dreams were indeed theirs, would their dreams be as worthy as they had always assumed? All she really had to do was, as Mei Yi put it, 'look pretty for the masses and act as their symbol'. She never had to face the real consequences of war and conflict as she was always on the 'winning side'. That was her primary role in Utopia's world, to act as a idol and lead actress in his play where the ending was already written.

"Was your love for me even real? Did it even mean anything to you? Did you ever think, even for a second, how your actions would affect me and the others that worked alongside you? Can you even fathom what I'm saying?" Mei Yi asked Cassandra rhetorically, her voice becoming more emotional. "I loved you, you know. More than anything. I was willing to do anything for you, kill anyone as long as I could be with you! I gave up on a normal life just so I could follow and be with you! And still...that is not enough for you?!"

*Cassandra did not reply...she could not say anything. No words Cassandra could utter would heal the wounds in Mei Yi's heart. Mei Yi felt betrayed by Cassandra, whom she had devoted her life to when she was still alive. For Mei Yi, Cassandra's betrayal of 'god' was more than just a conflict of interests and ideals. For her, it meant a rejection of her love...and a dawning realization that her love could never be enough.*

" You want to leave, young one? Then come to the village, Cassandra should know it well. That's where I wasted my life, chasing after the affection of that woman beside you."

 

 

 

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Aura

The atmosphere was far heavier now than it had been even moments ago. How did Alez get herself caught up in this? She felt more out of place now than ever before. This was no place for a Celestial like herself, at least, not as far as she could tell. Not a scout like her, by any means. But the pure dread leaking from Cassandra's heart made her struggle impossible to ignore. Simply walking away was not an option. Alez had been acting a fool this whole time. Perhaps this wasn't a struggle between two goddesses, but a fight between mortals. Perhaps she really was sent here as some sort of trial of faith. Was she failing...? She paused and thought for a moment. Most of the back and forth between Mei Yi and Cassandra went over her head, but she thought she could get a general understanding of what was going on. When Mei Yi finally offered her a way to leave, she was caught off guard. She suddenly had a decision to make. She could leave and guarantee her own safety. Maybe she could retreat to Lady Caelisia and request backup more directly... Her own world should be her top priority, after all... but still... she glanced over at Cassandra who just looked broken. The sight of the broken woman hurt her own heart. She slowly took a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. She had to remember her Caelisia's teachings...

In a moment, she reached out and grabbed Cassandra's hand. "War doesn't save worlds, it ends them..." She glanced back up at Mei Yi. "It's... it's love that saves worlds from destruction. A goddess must be powerful enough to hold her ground, but loving and forgiving as well. She must understand the ignorant just as well as the wise. She must see the plights of all and guide everyone to the path of glory... But... not everyone sees it that way. People fight each other not to prove they are stronger, but because they are afraid of being weaker. That's what I've come to understand while observing humans..." As she continued to hold Cassandra's hand, she extended her other hand out to Mei Yi. "Please. I know it sounds foolish from a total stranger, but I can see that you are only hurting yourself by doing this. I can only assume you are hurting because you still have a longing for her affection, am I wrong? The idea of bringing this pain onto her hurts you just as much, does it not? This doesn't have to end in bloodshed. You are both victims of a cruel fate, but Goddess Caelisia will still spread her love to you and your world. With my goddess' help, we may be able to bring you both and everyone who resides in this world to a place where there is no hate or war. Where everyone lives peacefully together and there is no bloodshed, no death, no time... just endless peace and love... surely there is no better place to go?"

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