When I opened my eyes, I was met with a feeling of being afloat. What welcomed my sight was my own naked knees and thighs, and my body curled like an infant. As I raised my head I saw silver threads, scattered, and freely flowing in every direction, as if submerged underwater. Beyond the silver threads, was an uneven crystalline like semi-transparent mirrors. Beyond it, a gentle blue light glows dimly.
Curious, I slowly stretched my body and let my toes feel the ground before carefully planting my feet. As I stood firmly, I started to approach the mirror. I reached out my right and gently pressed with my fingers.
Gradually, my fingers went through the mirror and produced ripples on its surface. Feeling no sense of danger, I proceeded through the crystalline mirror.
As I went through the crystalline mirror, a thin membrane emerged from its surface, weaved itself and started to cover parts of my body that passed through the mirror, forming a slightly transparent, simple yet beautiful, charming yet bold white dress.
“You’re finally awake,” Celes spoke wearing a smile, clothed in a similar yet profound dress emitting a light glow that made it look mythical. “You’ve been sleeping for two weeks now.”
“…” Rather than give a reply, I stared in silence dumbfounded by her appearance. It was different. It was not like how I first met her as a doe with branch-like antlers, but now, she looked not far from a human. If not for her two antlers above her head, I would’ve thought that she was human. “You…”
“Hm? Is there anything wrong?” She asked as she moved her head from one side to another. “Perhaps you’re surprised by my appearance?” She asked playfully.
I nodded in silence.
Her appearance goes too well with her dress at a height of around 165 centimeters. She bore an ample chest, porcelain white skin, deep blue eyes, and a silver hair. It wouldn’t be far off to say that she was a Goddess.
I wish I had a chest like that... An out of place thought of mine.
“Ufufufufu.” She giggled. “Don’t worry, yours still have a lot of time to grow, but if you’d like I could at least teach you how to make them look big.”
Did she just read my mind?!
“P-please?” I unconsciously answered. “N-no, please forget I said that…”
“Ufufu. This is truly a refreshing feeling,” She said wearing a bright expression. “In any case, I’ll let you ask questions,” She spoke while she lightly raised her hand as if calling something from the ground to rise, and that expectation was not betrayed. Large crystals sprouted from the ground creating a non-conventional yet luxurious seat. “Go ahead,” She pointed at the empty seat that rose from behind me.
“What are you?” I asked as I took a seat. “I first met you as a doe, but now you’re in a human form, but you still have those antlers above your head.”
“Let me get this straight, I’m neither part of a race nor am I an intelligent beast.” She spoke without her smile breaking even for a moment. “At best a unique being would fit?”
“A unique being?” I questioned. “Are you not a Goddess?”
“A Goddess huh,” She pondered. “I’ve never considered myself as one, nor have I thought about it. But if you’d base it in terms of ability, I guess you can call me one. Wait, I guess that’s wrong too. I guess a demi-god would be the best fit.”
Why is she so carefree?
Surprisingly, I was not too astonished of the fact. Maybe it was because I thought that she did things without even chanting, which I find outrageous. “Then what is a demi-god doing here?” I followed.
“One reason is to weed out harmful and foreign elements in this world, and the other one is to meet you.” She said without a shred of malice. “And oh, mind you, I’m just too elated of the current events that I’m feeling quite intoxicated.”
“What do you mean?”
“Amelia, did you know? That this world was long abandoned by the Gods that created it?”
My eyes went wide of the revelation that Celes nonchalantly spoke of despite ignoring my question.
“Well, there are countless reasons to justify their actions, but let’s just say that this world is a failure. The first world, where the Gods pitched in on their own ideas creating a diversified world called Origin.”
“…” I silently listened.
“Specifically, the Gods abandoned it after they gave up on the issues that sprang up between the races.”
“But aren’t Gods all powerful?” I asked.
“Amelia, they may be Gods, powerful enough to create a world, but they are not omnipotent,” She answered. “Even the Gods have a system that they have to work around with.”
“Frankly, I have no idea, since, in the first place, I too was created by the Gods,” She said tilting her head. “Just think of it like this. If the humans have what you call a human God, then Gods also have someone above them, which they themselves do not know who, although they have an idea, it never came to fruition.”
“In any case, there are also limits placed on the Gods which limited their intervention to this world, which is why beings like me were created.” She continued. “Those beings worked under the commands of their respective God, but due to the Gods’ selfishness to save only the race they created, hate grew between them. In the end, they were in a deadlock, until a God proposed to abandon this world and respectively create their own without intervening with each other.”
“Then, the human God is gone?”
“Yes, he went somewhere and probably created a world where only humans live.”
“Probably?” I repeated with an unsatisfied expression.
“Amelia, I may have lived for millions of years, but I’ve never left this world,” She added. “Nor did I hear anything from the Gods since then.”
“Then, for what purpose were you created?” I followed up the question.
“I serve as this world’s moon, a guardian.” She said.
“The moon?” Not being able to process her ridiculous statement I wore a puzzled expression.
“Yes, the moon, but of course, this current body of mine is not entirely physical. This world would have long been destroyed if my physical vessel descended.” She giggled. “For my purpose, it’s basically weeding out the harmful foreign materials that enter this world.”
“What do you mean?”
“Remember that I said that the Gods abandoned this world? Well, not entirely.” She said. “There were Gods that thought that this world would serve as a reference, but some thought that it’s a complete failure and thought of erasing it instead.”
In that case…
“Yes, I was created to defend this world from those Gods who wished to eliminate it, but it does not include what the residents of this world do by itself. It does not matter to me if the races of this world went extinct due to their own actions. Well, giving every detail regarding my purpose in this world would take too long so let’s proceed to your next question.”
Even though I still have a lot of questions…
“There’s no need to know everything immediately.” She smiled and leaned her face on the palm of her right hand.
“You, can you really read my mind?”
“Yes, and there goes your second question.” She said as she crossed her legs.
Ah… Well, she’s right. There’s no point of knowing everything immediately.
“Then for the last question,” I said as Celes waited excitedly. “What am I?” As soon as I asked, Celes raised her slight smile to a wide one.
That time, I had a horn, and I would’ve surely died if I was an ordinary human.
“I’m glad you asked, Amelia, my child, my kin,” She said gazing at me warmly. “For the first time, I finally had a child who I could live without qualms!" She continued. “Aahh… This is so exciting, so exhilarating!” She gleefully stated as she stood from her seat, lightly prancing. “Finally, someone I could freely talk to throughout this millions of years!”
I sat there silently, trying to think of how I became a daughter of a demi-god.
“Celes, I… Don’t think that I’m like what you thought to be?” I disturbed.
“Hmm?” She faced my direction with her unfaltering smile. “Ah, yes, of course, you wouldn’t know about it.” She nodded repeatedly. “Amelia, you know that bearing a silver hair is quite rare right?”
If that is the case then the past royals of Laurel would have been counted as one, but from what she said, it was the first…
“Strictly speaking, you are the first to reach this stage,” She answered my thoughts. “And yes, the royals of Laurel has my blood, but that’s only limited to those with silver hair,” She continued. “And even if they bore silver hair, it doesn’t mean that they’re my kin. There are conditions for the horn to grow, which you happen to achieve, well, with my help at least.”
“What are those conditions?” I immediately asked. “And why am I the first to meet those? And why help only me?”
“Take it easy Amelia,” she said. “The first is of course, to bear the silver hair. The second is to attain a light and dark affinity, which you clearly achieved on your own.”
“But why light and dark? Doesn’t light and dark specialize in illusions? What does it have to do with you?”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Amelia. Light and dark are not entirely for illusions, although I have already shown you the peak of illusions.”
“Peak of illusions?” I wondered.
“You saw it right? That fake reality I made while you slumbered. Didn’t it feel real to you? It’s amazing, right? It can even manipulate memories to a certain degree. An ability that enables you to create your own closed reality.” She said while smiling mischievously.
That… Could I have rema- I shook my head to dismiss the thought. It’s okay, at least I get to see their smiling faces, and besides, they are waiting for me…
“Heeeeh… Yep, that’s good.” She said. “Well, continuing on, the peak of light and dark is basically, life and death.” She nonchalantly said. “But that’s something you might never achieve anyway, so let’s not discuss it any further.”
Yes, I don’t think pursuing magic that manipulates life and death would suit me.
“But why is it light and dark?” I asked.
“Because that’s what the moon represent, light in the darkness, life, death, and rebirth.” She casually answered.
Is that all?
“Now for the third and last condition,” I listened silently. “It’s encountering death numerous times.”
“Well, you’ve been living close to death all this time, so I guess you’ve got a little used to it.” She said chuckling. “Haven’t you noticed it? Ever since you were born you’ve always had a near death experience to the point that I’d call it pitiful, hilarious even.”
“Remember what your father told you when you were young? How about those five years stay in Academia? The time I found you on the ground near a Snapmaw and a Cerastes? Lastly, the time that I sent you back in time so you could save yourself?” She recounted with a wide smile. “All of those amounted to what you are now.”
“Wait, wait. Was I really sent back in time?”
“What? It hasn’t sunk into you yet?” She pondered. “I guess that’s something no human probably thought of trying to achieve, so I guess you really can’t believe it immediately.”
“Yes, it happened, and I made it so you wouldn’t be visible when near your past self.”
So that’s why…
“If that’s the case then, I am no longer a human?”
“You are and not at the same time.” She immediately replied. “Currently, you’re more human than a moon child. It depends on you whether you’d let your horns grow and lose your identity as a human and become a moon child, or live as a slightly above average human.”
“What happens if I let it grow and lose my humanity?” I curiously asked.
Although that’s something I’d rather avoid…
“To be honest, I want you to let your horns grow, lose your humanity, and reach the stage of immortality.” She said with a hint of sorrow in her eyes. “It’s a selfish wish of mine, to have my own family despite being immortal, and as a being who’s originally not supposed to have a kin.”
“You’re not supposed to? Then how did y-”
“I committed taboo out of envy and curiosity.” She said as she stared at me without the trace of her previous attitude.
“It’s not the time to hear it, but it’s something that happened a long time ago.” She reminisced.
“Anyway,” She said after immediately switching back to her previous state. “It’d be best if you try it yourself, you’d be surprised even if your horn’s just recently sprouted.”
“Okay?” I answered unsure of how to respond.
“One more thing, there’s a threshold for you to reach immortality, which is when the petals begin to fall from your horn.” Then she approached. “To let it grow, just let it bask in the moonlight.”
“But how do I let it appear?” I said as I cupped the right side of my head and looked up to her. “Did I somehow lose it?”
“Yours has yet to manifest physically, so you have to control it like this.” She said as she placed right hand on my head. I felt something rushing towards my head, filling a vessel of sorts.
Is this, mana?
“Yes, just control your mana and let it fill the gap. Once it’s filled, your horn would appear.”
As the gap was filled with mana, I started to feel lighter, my senses sharper, and my sight clear even in the dark.
“But beware, Amelia, once you’ve turned, you can no longer give birth.” She warned. “Even the taboo I committed is impossible for you.”