“That is just your guess right? Humans using the powers of gods could never reach the level of powers of the gods.” I responded desperately.
“You think that it is possible. If you didn’t then we wouldn’t think it. Already now you are becoming something not precisely human. You know that this scene is not normal. It is formed like the dream you had of the Slayer, part real and part fiction. We are part of you but able to speak our own voice.”
I shook my head trying to clear it and think. My own thoughts and not those of those around me. Finally I came to an idea. I spoke to the crowd. “You say that I will be capable of doing the impossible, of becoming a god. But if I really am capable of doing that then I would also be capable of changing that fate. I could not become a god, I could prevent people in the future from becoming gods.”
That close voice came again. It sounded different than the others, not the actual sound which was just like me, but the way it mean things, the way it felt serious. “And how do you plan on accomplishing that?”
“I don’t now. If it is the power of the gods that is restless, then I will change the power. Make it so that no person can claim all of it. I’m not certain how to do it right now but if that is what is needed then I will do my best to accomplish it.”
“And if you fail?”
“Then I will have to do what the Slayer is doing. Find those who desire the same thing and have them follow that legacy.”
“Then you have decided. Good. We will be waiting, waiting until you need us again.” Then light filled the theatre and the place was empty. Rows and rows of empty seats were before me. I had know they were fill just a moment before but now there was nothing there. The stage was also empty again except for the coffin containing the Slayer. I looked down into it and saw the eyes of the Slayer looking back at me.
“So it really was you here?” I said looked down at her.
She nodded, still laying in the coffin. “This place is the closest thing that I have to home now. This land between life and death, this world of dreams. When you are not contacting me this is all I have.”
“Did you listen to all of that?” I asked.
Again she nodded. “Yes, but I didn’t want to interrupt. You seemed to be having an important conversation with yourself.”
“I’m not even certain how real it was. Am I crazy for talking to myself.”
“It was real, as real as things are here. This is a place of dreams and waiting before the end. Talking to yourself is rather normal. Judging yourself, finding out the true about yourself, those things are given form here.”
“Then it has happened to you too?”
“Yes, every day for a hundred years. For my crimes I have not been allowed to pass beyond, to truly die.”
“Who is judging you and preventing you from moving on?”
“Only myself. Maybe one day I will believe that I have done enough, that it is time to rest but I doubt it will be any time soon. I expect too much of myself for that to happen.”
“I think you made the right choice.” Said the Slayer. “Choosing not to become a god. The hardest thing to do is refuse the temptation of power.”
“What about you? Do you think you became too close to becoming a god yourself?”
She reached up with her hand and then grasped herself in like she was frightened. “Far too close. Had Zillk the Hope Slayer not killed me I don’t know what would have become of me. Would I have been able to return to the life I had before? I do not know if I would have been able to resist the power I had then.”
She make a strange sort of smile, “I think I might be better off dead. I guide for those who need me with practically no power of my own. It is easy to see what is right when there is nothing I can do alone to stop it. A conundrum certainly.”
I only nodded. “Zillk’s power has certainly done a lot for me but I think it has taken as much as it has given.”
“You are really going to change it.” Said the Slayer. It was not a question, more of a conformation of what I had decided for myself.
“Yes but I don’t know how yet.” I said.
“I can’t help you with that. You will need to figure out the solution by yourself.”
I nodded, for some reason I had expected that. The power of the Apostate was mine, the Slayer didn’t have access to the power of the gods so she could not influence. I stood there in the theatre with the Slayer before I finally managed to figure out what to say next, “I will need to start my journey of the impossible.”
“Maybe you already have?” She responded.
“You are hear with me. This is the second time. You are hear without the ring to guide you to me. It is on the table next to your bed so you can no be using it to contact me. I think that is enough of a first step.”
“I suppose I am. Are you sure it is not this place that is doing it?”
“If it is does that not tell you that it is actually possible. The realm of dreams is being contacted by Zillk’s power normally. At the very least you should be able to contact me without the ring just as you are doing now. Maybe when you wake up you will figure out just how to do that.”
“Then I guess I should try it. Do you know how I should wake up?” I asked.
“When you wake up you wake up. Since I can not wake up I do not know the method to deliberately waking oneself. You could try standard dream messages like pinching yourself. Maybe the belief that it will work will let you wake up. However if you still feel like you need more rest then you should probably stay sleep.”
“Then can I sleep during a dream? Normally I just expect to wake up when I’m expected to wake up or when I don’t need to sleep anymore.”
“You can not sleep while dreaming but you can cease to dream. It isn’t really an option for me but you could end the dream and drift in the space between dreams. The passage of time there is hard to notice and you will be awake before you know it.”
“Why can’t you go there?”
“Because I have no physical body that will wake up. If I drift between dreams I do not know when I will leave again. It could be days or months or years before I finally return to a dream. That is something that I am not going to risk. Instead I’ll stay here until you wake up.”
I paused for a moment trying to sort out what I wanted to do. Finally I said, “It isn’t like I have anything better to do. I guess I’ll stay here until I wake. We can talk about things.”
“If that is what you want.” I couldn’t make out her emotions behind her well trained face but I still decided to stay.
I can’t really explain what happened without large explanation of the changing dreamscape. Needless to say it felt very much like a dream where we changed between one strange landscape to another. One strange location after another. Many of my dreams had felt like this but this one was different because afterward I could remember it just like it was real. However even with my memories that clear I still knew all the time I was there that it wasn’t real.
It was morning again when I woke up. I could see the light through the small window in the room. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. I felt much better than I had last time I was awake. My signet ring was still sitting on the table next to the bed but there was also a clean set of clothes next to it. It was more fashionable stuff, different from the plain clothes I had been given yesterday. These were more what I was used to wearing.
I stepped out of bed and began dressing myself. Once I had done so I examined myself in the small mirror that was in the room. I was a bit unkempt but otherwise I looked normal. After I was fairly certain that I was respectable again I concentrated. This was the real test, I had been fairly certain in the dream that I would be able to contact the Slayer without the signet ring but now it was time to put it to the test.
Normally the ring was the conduit but I wasn’t trying to access the Slayer’s power instead I was trying to contract her dream. I envisioned myself there with the Slayer and once I had a clear image I mentally spoke. ‘Are you there?’
There was a moment of silence when I feared that it had failed then her voice came to me. ‘Yes, I’m here. Good morning.’ It wasn’t as clear as it was when I was using the ring. It felt like her voice was farther away and muffled a little bit but otherwise I was able to communicate with her.
‘Good, I’m glad that is worked.’
‘Your time in the dreamscape may have helped you bridge the gap easier.’
‘Quite possible. At the very least it is good to be able to contact you without having to be able to touch the ring. It will make the encounter with Itina and the other Loyal easier.’ I said.
‘Then I suppose it is about time that I saw them. Although it would probably be better if you still did not reveal my existence to them. They might not believe you and their fear that you are a spy will probably increase.’
I nodded to her and myself, ‘I Agree. The fact that I am working with the dead Slayer is not exactly things you tell anybody.’
Then I left the room. I left the ring there for the time being. I entered the small room which was near mine but that was also empty. I followed the hallway down the to meeting room that I visited before. I opened the door and stepped inside. Drarak, the one who had aimed a crossbow at me after my dual with the Apostate of Yulf.
“Hello.” I said while I mentally introduced the Slayer to him.
“I see you have finally come too. You might now know it but since you meet with us it has been about a day and a half.” He said as he tipped back his chair and set his boots up on the table.
“Two days? Really, that long?” I guess the dreams did seem really long at the time. I had put that down to dreamscape but it really must have been that long in the real world too.
“Quite a while. We were a little worried that you wouldn’t wake up at all. I’m glad to see that you did. Its good that you woke up when you did. If you had stayed asleep any longer we would have had to leave you behind for the next mission.”
“A mission?” I asked quizzically. “Then we are going against E…” I stopped knowing that they didn’t call him by his name, “The Betrayer?”
“Indirectly yes. Small steps at a time.”