1022 years later
“Vykin requires your sacrifice, Delilah,” Wyn warns me, while walking past since completing her Walk of Devotation.
I will not Relinquish to Vykin, even if I am chosen. I don’t say it out loud. I wouldn’t dare. Even so, there was never a need to speak of secrets, was there? Even in the middle of the High Universe, surrounded by suffocating red nebulai and vaccums of floating sparse dark matter; which I could see.
I was new here, chosen by a lowly Seeker. One day, I’m a Fe-Fish in the ocean. The next? Protector of the Water Dimension, apparently, and next... Overlord Vykin would see me crash in, and wash away.
Upon the most prestige floor of the Vortemm Temple was the Vortemm Lair.
The Walk of Devotation, was only required for the female karmic energy to keep the place pure, secure and stable. Other than that, females were told not to linger.
Overlord Vykin never left his fortified station, and his Council of Vortemm prayed below incessantly, to maintain a strong relationship with the only thing keeping us connected to all this magik; Vortemm Water.
I would be dead soon, by drowning in it, willingly. I know too much.
I make my way there now, hoping it’s over swiftly without any pain. Vortemm sacrifices were dead Forever. That is why it was a sacrifice.
You Relinquished your soul. Then you returned as a haunted piece, you transcended dimensions... upwards.
Vykin raised through five dimensions.
No one had made it to the third.
Which meant only Vykin knew what was in the third, fourth and fifth.
I hope I can make it through the first.
“It’s a lie,” I whisper.
It’s all a lie.
Vykin’s stare is upon me the moment I walk through the main corridors, past the pillars around the perimeter of the Pool to the Third, then straight into the water I wade.
When I glance up, his stare is itched into the rock.
“It’s Relinquish or Vykin’s Chain,” Wyn speaks through the air, watching from the Second. I can’t see her in the First.
From what I knew, Overlord Vykin conquered the Gifted, so no one could learn to sneak their way into the High Universe. To maintain immortality and power you needed to kill yourself for this monster, and you would... wouldn’t you... anything for Vykin.
“What’s it like on Dimension Five?” I ask Wyn, though I cannot see her.
“Relinquish to find out.”
It was all about the soul at the Crux; when you choose. To Relinquish your life or to Relinquish your will. They were two distinctly different things.
I stare at the stone itching, the gateway to the Overlord.
“I relinquish my free will,” I whisper at his face, “I choose the Chain.”
“You get a chain and a key,” Wyn says, “Are you sure, Delilah?”
“It’s a lie,” I whisper, “It’s all a lie.”
“What is a lie?” Wyn whispers back, “He is a Deity, Delilah. Careful with your words.”
“He is a Diety? And I am a woman.”
Vykin was not a God.
He was the last of his species.
Overlord Vykin Vortemm.
Like an oversized human man with black stripes on his bronze skin, a sheen brighter than flaming copper, sharp canines from the bottom row, and an eye colour not on the spectrum... yet I could see the colour, somewhere between blue and nothing.
I only see his striped back as he stares out at the High Universe, surrounded by the dark vacuum and the red nebulai.
“Delilah,” he says, without watching me.
“Yes?” I stand far back from Vykin, without going outside to his little edge over the universal threshold.
Vykin continues to speak without looking back, “Do you remember me?”
“No....” Why did I feel in the moment, that we had this conversation before, “How many times have you asked me that question?”
“It’s the first time,” and I thought he would have said, too many times.
“The first time for what?” I whisper.
“The first time that you came back.”
“But I don’t remember you,” I insist.
“Because you can’t.”
“Because of what I did to you.”
I wake up on the steps of Grim Rocks, under Solstice’s brutal sun that burned Vortemm all bronze, unless you were mortal and enslaved to a superior species like me, and then you just grew more and more transparent.
Me? Alone. Human. Scavenger. Powerless. Helpless. Wits only.
I needed food and shelter, so I had come to the most plentiful Temple of Wyn.
I had a headache from all my dreaming. I could traverse dimensions and that was my biggest problem. I could talk to the dead and the undead of my past and my future.
Sometimes I lost track of where I was and who I was becoming, all while living in the present.
I had to focus on now. Food. For the staff within the Temple of Wyn.
I’m wearing the stolen green robe of a librarian as I walk into the area scattered with highborn morons. Everyone was a literal moron. When you didn’t traverse planes you acted like an ant following another, until your death.
I was totally isolated because of my affliction to dimensional travel. It made me crazy.
I was always running from Vykin and the Vortemm.
Vykin. Thinking of him while awake sends shivers down my spine, as if he already watches me.
Not undead yet.
Not an Overlord yet.
From what I knew, Vykin was just a solider in lowest regard, learning the ropes.
And today, after dreaming of my ending 1000 years too early – I was going to meet him 1000 years in the ‘past’... the present.
As I snack on the temple food for lunch, I glance down absentmindedly at a Vortem brand on my arm that read; Yu Kar Net Ez Ka Ip Or Sar Le Meyt. Translated to un-acquired human. Yet when you sounded it out, it was kind of obvious what it meant in my language by the sound; you can’t escape your soulmate. Some might say that was a coincidence only. But for me it was the brand on my arm that was just another part of being tied to Five Dimensions. The Present. The Past. The Future. Our Chaos. Our Order. The Five.
There was no such thing as a coincidence. Everything connected. Everything was a quantum equation that equaled chaos every time. The present was where the order began.
Only those who could travel the Five knew that inherently of the Universe.
My problem today... was that Vykin could also traverse dimensions; The Five.
Vykin and I. Already knew each other but we hadn’t even met.
But we were about to.
I had waited a small 22 years of the present, and witnessed 1022 years of life, to meet the rebel foot soldier today, that would later become the Master of the Universe.
Vykin. The soulmate I could not escape.
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