Pyro and Eirinn[Tch, This stupid priest is getting all worked up over just a fragment of will,] Gahrona complained. [A fragmented will?] Leguna asked. [Yes. A high-level deity like Pyro has millions of devotees. If everyone prayed once a day, could Pyro handle them all if he was just one consciousness? Most deities split their consciousness into many fragments of will and spread them between their shrines and temples to deal with small prayers and other inconsequential matters. Most prayers are ignored, though, only devotees the god favors have a chance at getting prayers answered.] [I see… Wait, how do you know?] [Hmph, what kind of person do you think I am? I’m quite a ways away from becoming a god, but I know a bit about the affairs of those idiots. What’s so impressive about knowing this?] [You really don’t like them, do you?] [Like?] Gahrona snorted, [Most used to be mortals. They’re only gods because they had good luck. But now they think they’re fundamentally greater than mortals and they deserve to rule the world. Mortals are ants to them, little toys to play with and cute pebbles to crush underfoot. How do you think I could like bastards like that?]
Leguna hadn’t seen Gahrona in her glory days, but her legend was nothing short of world-shaking, so he did not know how to respond. She was very proud, so she would never accept others looking down on her, whether they had the right to or not.[Pyro just caused trouble for you,] she continued. [Huh?] [Did you not notice? The light bathing you hasn’t changed at all, but you don’t feel any discomfort anymore, do you?] [Now that you mention it…] [See? That bastard intentionally added traces of his power to the light. It didn’t hurt any of the other three. So who do you think he was targeting?] [Damn it!] So Pyro was intentionally messing with me! No wonder it felt horrible!
Gahrona was right. Pyro saw him, and by extension all mortals, as toys. Leguna didn’t have Gahrona’s pride, but he was not happy with being forced to give way to someone else. He became furious when he realized someone else didn’t respect him, god or not. He prepared to leave, but when he saw Eirinn not following suit, he gave up and sat back down.
Eirinn’s hands lowered to her side slowly and then opened her eyes. Her gaze fixed on the idol and her irises slowly goldened from their usual dull-gray.
Madin sang her praises frenziedly beside her. Leguna’s arms got goosebumps as he cringed. He realized Madin was not doing anything more for the ritual after a few moments and moved over to him.
Madin turned to look at the little boy.
“Still conducting the ritual?”
“No. Pyro’s will has descended, so my part of the ritual is over. I must, however, continue to sing his praises until he ascends again, I would be shaming myself as his devout servant if I didn’t.”
“What about Eirinn? What’s up with her?” Leguna asked quickly to stop the priest from singing the bastard’s praises again.
“Don’t worry,” Madin said as he shot Eirinn a gentle glance, “She is bathing in His glory. She will be a very powerful priestess.”
Leguna picked up that this turn of events was unusual from Madin’s tone and actions.
“Yes,” Madin smiled, “Just wait patiently. She will be fine.”
Eirinn was still in the same prayer hall, but she it felt different in some way. She saw Madin talking to Leguna, which was normal, but she could also see herself kneeling. It was like her eyes had popped out of her skull and were floating in the sky, only, it didn’t feel like she was seeing through eyes, whether hers or not, anymore.
In reality, the body she saw was not her own, nor was it Leguna and Madin she saw either. Everything was a construct, a small pocket of reality Pyro had made. The pocket reflected the real world, but was distinct and almost entirely disconnected from it. Eirinn could not leave without the pocket’s creator’s permission.
“A reason. I want a reason why you should be my devotee,” a voice echoed in the room.
It was different from what Leguna had heard moments earlier. It was still the same voice, but it was regal, even divine, but not as aloof. Instead, it had a hint of appreciation, closeness, and gentleness. The voice seemed to be created by the realm itself vibrating, oscillating his voice into existence. It was not entirely wrong either.
“I…” Eirinn was incredibly nervous. She was a cowardly, genteel girl. But now, she was facing the most mysterious power in the world. It was just a small fragment of its will, but it was enough to shake her to the core.
Eirinn’s nerves birthed an answer that would flabbergast even Madin.
“I don’t really know myself.”
Pyro didn’t think he would actually get this response.
“Then why have you chosen to believe in me?”
“Because… because you and your priest repaired my hand. I-I thought you must be a gentle god. I want to help others just like Mister Madin. I want to help the people around me, at least. I want to become a devotee so I can borrow your strength to help the people around me.”
“Do you know what it means to become a devotee?”
“No. I just want to help others. I want to be useful.”
“Gentleness and helping others are my core teachings. As long as you want this as well, we can agree.”
“So I can become a devotee?”
This god wasn’t as aloof as she’d heard. He was more like a gentle senior.
Pyro didn’t answer. The realm shook lightly instead.
Ah, I shouldn’t have been disrespectful! God, please forgive this pitiful girl!
A ray of light shot out of the idol straight into her head. Strand after golden strand grew out of her body. They interweaved and formed a carpet. One of the intersections glowed.
The net of fate.
Pyro could reach through the river of time and inspect the past and future of a person. The different threads represented the various possible directions one’s life could go. Only one of the threads would actually be followed to its end.
The intersections were key, pivotal moments in her life that would drastically alter the path her life would take from then on. The current pivotal moment glowed.
Even the greatest of mortal oracles could only make out the bread strokes, the outline of the net itself, but Pyro, being a god, a divine being of the heavens, could unravel the net and look at an individual strand or intersection. He could, however, only glance at a few strands and intersections. Even gods could not see the entirety of a person’s possible fates and futures. They could also not change the net itself, they could only influence which road a life went at certain key moments. The weaving of a person’s net of fate was beyond even the gods. Pyro wanted to check the girl’s net to see whether she was as gentle as she appeared. He also looked at a few of her possible futures.
A few moments later, the net vanished. Another wave of light burst out of the idol and formed a cage around the girl’s body. It was imbued with an odd power. The girl’s body slowly rose off the ground. A milky light oozed out of her body. It blinded the entire realm, filling the entire space. It vanished a few moments later, leaving the visage untouched by scars. A face at least comparable to Annelotte’s faced the god.