Book 1: The Fall of the Mountain God

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A Surprise Attack

Tala braced herself as she waited. From afar she saw what's happening, a dark plant with wriggling vines sprouted out of the tiny seed. Jen's power summoned the black seed, clearly, it was a work of Sitan. It is a blessing in disguise to find out this early that somewhat, Sitan was interested in the awakening of the half-gods. She already sent a distress signal to Abba who hopefully is in Kaluwalhatian and not taking form as another God in another place. She can only reach Abba if he’s on his Luzon god form not when he’s on his other region God form.

The kids behind her are all fidgety but silently waiting like her. There’s still Chris and Samuel whom she had to assess and report back to Abba but her assessment was cut by the intrusion of Sitan’s power which Jen had let in through her power of finding things. This dark power coming from the seed must be a product of Mangaguay’s doing. Mangaguay, one of divinities under Sitan, is a spreader of disease and other maladies. Together with Sitan, they might have concocted this seed but to what purpose? Tala asked herself.

Sitan had been long silent in his realms, subdued by Bathala's powers. Then suddenly she felt it, the pull of the dark power, first invoking all sorts of ill feelings from her. She had to protect the kids from this. they are vulnerable given that they just had awakened. Tala coated all of them with the power of one of her strongest stars, a blue star, to repel the dark force threatening to reach them. The kids were now inside the blue light to Tala's relief but she does not know how long her power will hold.

She then watched as hundreds of pointed black vines extended from the black plant and rushed towards her and the kids. Tala summoned hundreds of small red shining stars and with both hands, cast her power towards the approaching dark force. Her red stars hit the sprawling black vines and the impact caused several explosions at once causing the ground to shake. Black vines exploded and vanished after being hit by the stars and Tala thought that it was all but she saw the vines growing back now with more vines than ever. They all then heard a voice.

"Tala, a half-god." A very familiar voice chuckled. "To think that a black seed entered the ritual space. Someone let it in, a shame, it was supposed to be surprised. And I knew you discovered that my daughter, Ellery is part of the nine awakened ones. Elle, my daughter, I know you can hear me. I've been watching you, and now that the gods have decided to harness your power out of you, your rightful place is with me" It was Sitan's voice coming from the depths of the monster. Elle was fear-stricken behind the blue light, she's sure she heard the voice before. Then she realized it, that guy who once talked to her in the streets, the person only she can see!

"Sitan, how brave of you, are you trying to wage war with Abba? Stop this black plant at once. This is a consecrated space by the divinities of the sky, the presence of the underworld is not welcome here." Tala answered

"I'm afraid that I cannot let this opportunity pass. It was Anagolay's daughter who let it in. And right now, no pure god is with the kids. You're a half-god, not too powerful even when you've been promoted to the heavens, you should know that the seed was made specifically for the waiting half-gods and you're as vulnerable as the kids behind you. Pity Apolaki is gone when you need him the most, and the other gods and goddesses? Preparing to send off the memory of Dumakulem, closed their minds from interruption so you're alone right now and let me give you an offer, be on my side or die.", Sitan cackled.

"You're quite mistaken to think that I am less powerful than the other gods and goddesses. Unlike some of the gods and goddesses who have been forgotten by the new generation, the sky gives a constant reminder of my existence," Tala answered.

"You're strong-willed just like your father, seems like you made your decision so let's see how long you can stop me," Sitan answered and then his voice is gone. The vines attacked furiously as Tala countered the blow with stars in different colors, blue, yellow, orange. It's been eons since she's in a fight like this. The black plant's power increased dramatically, feeding on the power of Sitan, a god who rivals Bathala. She just hopes that Abba received her distress call or else everyone's life will be in peril. As she was about to be pushed back by the dark vines, unexpectedly she received extra help. She watched as each of the kids bravely exited the blue protective bubble, first was Samel.

"We'll help in whatever way we can" Samel shortly said and as others followed him and nodded. Samel focused his thought on his palms, he does not understand his power yet but whatever he can come up with he'll hurl it towards the crawling vines. Three orbs of white light appeared on top of his palm and with an invisible force, hurled it towards the waiting vines which are now overpowering Tala's stars. As soon as the white lights he hurled reached the vines, it exploded and produced a shockwave that pushed back a portion of the vines.

Ricka has her rifle aimed towards the vines and as her bullet touched the tendrils, the vines stopped moving and become limp. Karl was hurling an unlimited number of spears toward the waiting vines and as the tip reaches a part, it disintegrates the vine and surprisingly the vine can no longer regenerate. Basti played his flute with a determined look, grasses sprouted and held part of the sneaking vines while Ave was using ropes of light and holding part of the vines in place. Chris who has not discovered her power, Roberto who still has to understand how his powers work, and Jen whose discovery was interrupted stayed with Elle and stopped her from going out of the blue bubble.

"He's your father and he might take you, you should stay inside with the rest of us who clearly do not understand yet how we can help. Can you believe Samel? He's already joining the battle without even discovering what he can do and he even lead it, talking about a reliable pal" Roberto said trying to lighten the mood. As he does not understand how his powers work yet and afraid of what world his thoughts will take him, he opted to stay inside.

Elle nodded in agreement, she does not want anyone to know that she's feeling a pull, a pleasant pull from the monster's vines, and what can happen if she steps out? Either she goes straight to the waiting monster without her knowledge of feed the monster with whatever dark power she has. Chris stayed with Jen who's still blaming herself for letting the dark seed enter the grounds.

"It's my fault, I don't know what happened why I summoned that thing here inside", Jen said.

"C'mon these are gods and goddesses, they can do whatever we want and us, we're just newly awakened and can't control our powers. Don't be too hard on yourself. Chris said as she watched Karl throw another of his spears towards the waiting monster. Tala looked less strained now with the help of the others.

Suddenly out of nowhere, a bright light appeared and came out a beautiful woman with flowers as crown and very long hair reaching her toes. Her golden-brown skin shimmered inside her white glow and she has gold ringlets on her ankles and wrists.

"Abba heard your call and sends me for help. Though Tala, I can say here that you're doing fine with these newly awakened young ones. And not much of surprise, of course, I find a half-brother here", said the lovely woman as he watched Samel hurl another one of his white light towards the ravaging monster.

"Amihan," Tala said to the goddess of the monsoon weather. "Glad you're here. Sitan is on the move and I don't know what he's up to but I'm glad Abba knows this. This black seed is producing unlimited number of vines.

"Interesting," Amihan said as she gently glides towards vines which retreated upon her presence. It's feeding off from half-humans like you and as long as your energy fills this space, it would not stop. All of your powers might subdue it but you can never defeat it. This is alarming. Sitan might have targeted these kids here. It looks like it's made for them and of course, you're like them Tala, half-god", Amihan continued. She's a daughter of Abba but unlike Tala whose mother is a human, Amihan is a pureblood deity.

"Everyone, inside the blue bubble now", Amihan commanded ina strong voice. " She watched as the kids looked at her with surprise but followed through her command.

"Sitan, you dare to stay inside the ritual space through this black plant, treachery! Yours is the underworld, the suffering souls, and nothing more, this black plant does not belong here." Amihan with her courageous voice as she hurled a strong surge of power, a hurricane, and little by little, the vines were swallowed by the surge of strong, followed by the black plant and then no more.

The teenagers inside the blue bubble with the exhausted look, same as Tala's sighed with relief as they watched the monster vanish with Amihan's power.

"I'm bringing the monster to Abba and Tala, you and the kids should at least rest for a while before continuing. " Amihan looked at the kids one more time, her face lingering longer on Samel's face and then was gone.

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