I find myself in a bright white room. How did I get here? As far as I know, I just went to bed just like any other day…
I heard a voice behind me. I turn around and see three people: an Ailuranthrope man, a Hume man, and a Hume girl. Though she could also be a Neotes…
The Ailuranthrope is slightly taller than the Hume. He was grey hair and is wearing a white toga without stripes. The girl has brown hair and wears a toga with brown stripes. Unlike the other two, the Hume doesn’t wear a toga. Instead, he wears normal clothes in dark green. And his hair is green?
“The three of you seem to know me. Who are you? And where is this place?”
“Let’s start simple,” the Hume answers, “we are gods of Cratherion and this is the Divine Realm.”
“Gods? Divine Realm? Have I died again? But…”
“No, we just called your soul here for a talk. Your body still safe and sound in your bed.”
“Yes, a talk. It seems the god responsible for reincarnating you did not do his job properly… So we’re doing this talk instead. We are our manners! Let me introduce myself. I’m Suscellu, the deity of Nature and Wine. The Ailuranthrope here is Glanuh, the deity of Vision and the patron deity of Ailuranthropes. And this Neotes girl is…”
“Clayah, the deity of Shelter and Perseverance and the patron deity of Neotes.”
So they are gods of Cratherion. I wonder what they want…
“Let’s get straight to the topic: you are way too skilled.”
Clayah begins the talks.
So it’s about my skills. Looks like I need to lose some…
“So do I need to surrender some skills?”
“No, that’s not it. You can earn all of these, anyway. The real problem is: you have too many traits. To remove those traits, we need to kill you.”
Shocked by that I drop to the ground. I don’t want to die! I haven’t properly enjoyed life so far. I start breaking into tears… I didn’t fall into despair when I was about to be hit by a bus! Why now? Suddenly, I remember the people I left behind… I can never see them again. And now I’m about to die again… I full-on start crying.
“Clayah, you just had to bully him… Oh, I see. It’s finally sinking in that he died in the other world.”
Glanuh pets me on the head.
“Killing you would be the last resort. We don’t need to do that. For now, just keep on crying your heart out. The family of your previous life is important after all.”
After what feels like hours, I finally stop crying. I feel better after all that crying. Glanuh continues the discussion.
“Have you calmed down? We’ve decided you give you a task that’s of equivalent value to the excess traits you gained.”
“Yes, but as far as you can see you’re already doing it.”
“All I’m doing it keeping to myself in the forest and building and cooking… Do you want me to stay by myself for the rest of my life?!”
I’ve been making a place in the forest for fun, but I did want to leave that place at some point! So my prison is going to be that forest?
“No, no, no, this whole situation is not your fault to begin with. So punishing you would be unfair. You must have noticed you’ve become the keeper of the Crystal Down. We simply want you to take that position for real. That means you are to stay neutral in any political conflicts that humans might have. Aside from that, you can go wherever you like and do whatever you like.”
“What if I’m getting dragged into something? Or if I’m being targeted?”
“We’ll send you a message to warn you if you might get tangled in some intrigue. The people of Cratherion should acknowledge your position and accept your neutrality. We’ll only send you messages if it’s about political neutrality. Usually, exceptions may apply.
If people target you despite that, you do have the right to defend yourself. If all goes wrong you can simply retreat to any forest, preferably Avan Forest. The forest will protect you.”
“I don’t see any reason to decline. I don’t like getting involved in politics, anyway. Plus, the alternative isn’t that alluring…”
The two deities give Clayah a look.
“That was just supposed to be an explanation! As the patron of Neotes, I’m supposed to protect you! Not to kill you!”
“I see. Anyway, I accept. Not getting involved in politics works out for me.”
This is too tiring! Exhausted, I lie down. It looks like I get to live a normal life!
“That’s great! We’ll be giving you a trait to prove you’re accepted by us to be the keeper.”
“Another trait? Weren’t you just concerned with me having too many?”
I sit up and look at the deities. They look more relaxed now. As if they’ve stopped caring…
“You’ve accepted our terms: there’s no need to worry about you having too many traits anymore. Besides, the trait you receive from us is the Oracle trait. It proofs you receive messages from the gods. In your case, it’s just for show since you can receive more detailed messages by mail. It should serve to deter people from getting you involved in possible intrigues.”
“It’s this way too much to my favour?”
“That just shows how much your political neutrality means to us. Don’t worry about it.”
“Since the main talk is done. Let’s enjoy ourselves!”
The three sit down near me. Suscellu takes out golden cups from nowhere and pours in something for everyone present, including me. I smell honey and alcohol. I’m excited to taste it.
“Is that mead?”
“Yes, it is. Come to think of it, you were quite fond of mead in your previous life, weren’t you?”
“I still am. But how do you know that?”
“We are gods, after all. Cheers!”
I take my cup and drink. This is a very excellent mead! I take out the fruit jelly. I made several days ago from by Infinite Storage to share with them.
“I hope you’re OK with this.”
They all eat. Clayah especially seems to have taken a liking to it.
“Oh, this is tasty. What is it called?”
“It’s called fruit jelly.”
“Jelly? I think that’s the first time someone made something edible from Slime Gelatine.”
“You can just process connective tissue in animals to gelatine as well. It’s just way easier to use Slime Gelatine.”
“I wonder what other tasty treats you can make if you have the ingredients…”
“If I have the ingredients? I need to get used to the ingredients here first. Though I do wish I could have some proper vegetables and grain. I just keep finding spices.”
“I’m looking forward to what you make in the future. Be sure to drop by from time to time and give us a taste.”
“Drop by? Isn’t this the Divine Realm? How I can get here?”
“Oh, yeah, you’re mortal, I almost forgot. Then how about we meet once every few moons? We’ll just pull your soul here. Of course, we’ll send you the exact time in a message beforehand.”
“If you’re doing that, get Rhygni involved as well,” Suscellu retorts, “it would become quite a problem if you don’t invite the Deity of Cooking for those occasions.”
“I know, I’ll do that.”
“I’ll do my best to prepare something by then!”
“I know it’s kinda too late to ask, but I’m underage, aren’t I? Is it OK to drink?”
“There’s no law in Cratherion that prohibits that. Just drink responsibly. Alcohol needs to be enjoyed! Not wasted on drowning sorrows!”
“That being said, it’s about time to return you to your body. I’m looking forward to our next meeting.”
“I see. Till our next meeting!”
The next moment, my consciousness fades away.