Hello this is my idea for a Chinese style Wuxia novel that's been floating around in my head. I have an epic story going on in my head for the past few years, but weather or not I'll ever get around to publishing it is still a mystery.
I wrote this a year ago. I thought it was pretty funny so I decided to post it here for your enjoyment.
You've all heard the stories right? Of gods who live up in the sky and can do amazing things. Hercules and the Gods of Olympus is my personal favorite. The concept of a mere mortal like you or I, discovering that they have godlike powers is something greatly envy. Tales like this have been passed down the generations. From parent to child, from books to cartoons. But have you ever stopped and wondered if Hercules and his godlike friends ever walked the earth?
Of course I am in no way insinuating that the gods from these tales existed in the flesh, and I do believe that many of them were born from imagination. But have you asked yourself why so many tales of gods and half-gods even exist? Why is it that so many stories of extraordinary being exist across the globe? Why would so many different people, distinct from each other, become delusional enough to believe in gods?
I'll tell you why. But first I must disclose that this is a secret that I should not be telling you. Before you continue reading please take a moment to place the book down, look behind you, and confirm that no one is reading over your shoulder.
Is it safe?
Are you sure that you're alone?
Good, because you never know when someone, or something, could be watching.
You may choose not to believe, but gods truly do exist. Or as I should say, "did exist." The Hercules I idolized as a child may not have roamed earth, but a being like him quite possibly did.
Many thousands of years ago our planet was a world of gods. They had extraordinary powers that you can't possibly imagine. Just like the ancient Greek myths, they possessed the power to move the earth, the ocean, sky.
You may have heard of the Australian Aboriginal dream-time stories. According to these myths giant animal spirits shaped the earth and created the beings that inhabit it. A seemly ordinary river is actually a path created by a giant rainbow serpent. Gods like this across the globe were capable of living incredibly long periods of time, possibly thousands of years.
We mere mortals were born to serve the gods. We provided their food, drink, and served them until we died. But you've heard this all before though haven't you? You already know the myths, but I am telling you that these childhood tales are based on reality.
Now there are many theories as to why this age or gods finally came to an end. My favorite of them all is that the gods became fond of us mere mortals and decided to reward us all. Many gods, like the land itself, began to wither and age, and felt that time had come to give us mere mortals freedom. I would like to say that they all jumped upon a magic cloud and rose up into the sky. But unfortunately history is not that simple.
Perhaps maybe three thousand years ago a civil war broke out amongst the gods. It was between the old gods who wished for our sovereignty, and the young who despised change. After being under the thumb of their elders for so long these younger gods felt that they deserved their own personal slaves. This war destroyed large parts of our world. But eventually they came upon a compromise, a truce. They would create another world for these younger gods could rule as they wished. A place they called the ascendedland. It may be difficult to comprehend, but I will explain to the best of my ability. They took a part of our world, a whole continent, and sealed it away forever. Though their combined efforts a giant mass of land vanished over night. Never to be seen again. If one were to sail a boat over that place they would find nothing but water.
The older gods who remained in our land eventually died one by one, until we lost all faith. Their existence became a thing of myth. It's hard to comprehend isn't it? I myself was also skeptic till I came face to face with a rather hairy man with a funny accent who explained it all to me in a bar. I wish I could say that this is the conclusion of my tale, but alas there is more to tell.
For the past few centuries cracks have begun to in the reality between the two worlds. Like paint peeling from a wall. These cracks may be difficult to find, but if you were to accidentally fall through one you may suddenly find yourself in the realm of the gods.
I've told you much about the gods of old, but this isn't a story about Zeus, Hercules, or any other god that you may have heard about. It's about a rather unique god and a mortal. A mere mortal like you or I who was quite unfortunate enough to find themselves thrown into, or should I say upwards, into the depths of this so called ascended land. It's not every day that you get the opportunity to experience a land full of gods. I myself would sell my best friend for the chance, if I hadn't done so already.
Unfortunately the mortal of this tale didn't share my enthusiasm. She was a tough one, maybe not the sharpest tool in the box, but she struggled on for quite a few years.
But now that I stop and think about it, it was a shame though really.
She died in such a painful way.
Part 1. Meng
I know that I promised you the story of a moral like us, who transcended the so called ascendedland, but you must be patient. In order to make sense of this tale, I must first introduce to you a god.
His name was Meng Li.
Meng was his first name, Li was the name of his family and clan.Because this ascended land is much smaller than our own, many of the gods are distantly related, and share similar features. The majority of them possess very pale hair and skin, as well as a faint godly glow. Meng Li was no acceptation to this rule, and was also fortunate enough to be good looking. Perhaps the best way to describe him would be to picture an albino swimsuit model who had mistaken uranium for suntan lotion. The only feature that was distinctly his own, was his brilliant blue eyes.
He thought quite highly of himself, and possessed many extraordinary abilities that would make you or I envious. Unfortunately a sense of direction was not one of them.
Two days ago Meng had decided to take a break from the stress of everyday life, by taking a pleasant stroll on in the woods. He was still currently there. Although given how lost he was, he couldn't for the life of him tell you where.
He had expected to pass through in a matter of hours. Yet he was still navigating the same trails, passing the same identical trees. The forest canopy was think and dark. Making it difficult to see even during the day. His perfectly groomed hair was beginning to show faint signs of untidiness, and there were patches of dirt decorating his tunic. He hadn't deemed supplies necessary, so he hadn't consumed food or water since his departure.
In all honesty, the giant sign warning Hewhoentershallperish may have been a give away, but Meng was a god. All powerful gods did not pay head to silly mortal warnings. Getting lost was something he should have mortals doing for him.
There was a crunching sound benefit his foot, and he looked down to see the human skeleton of a poor soul who had gotten lost before him. Their left hand was extended outwards, as though they had used their last remaining energy to drag themselves away.
With a wince, Meng slowly removed his foot from their rib cage, and crept away. He felt reassured that his Godly blood would prevent him from deteriorating at such a rapid pace, but he did not possess immunity from starvation. He spent the next hour or so contemplating whether or not it would be safe to eat the strange green moss on the trees, until he heard another familiar crunching noise underfoot. His first thought was, how he could be so foolish as to step in another mortal carcass, before he looked down to see the same left hand reaching out for help, and a broken ribcage.
Meng swore out loud. So loudly that the sound echoed through the forest. He then chose to take his anger out on a nearby tree that was smashed into several pieces with one punch. This was quite an easy feat because most gods possess super strength.
Having relived his anger, he was left with nothing but despair. He leaned upon another damp tree and sighed. Hesitantly he reached out, pealed the green moss from the tree, and placed it in his mouth.
He immediately spat out. It tasted worse than grass.. If only there was a human village where he could demand food and shelter. If only there was a mortal priest passing by with tribute, or a lower god who he could mug. He hadn't seen a single soul since he entered this place of death. Traveling alone was also becoming a bore, and he was beginning to wish that he had brought someone along for his alone time. A mortal servant would have been useful, or maybe his friend Kaien. But if Kaien were here, he would only laugh and tell Meng that he was embarrassing all gods.
He continued to lean against the tree for several moments while feeling sorry for himself, until he finally decided that it was time to be a god and god up.
He turned to continue forth, but found himself face to face with a being who was not there a moment ago.
The dark shadow stood there looking at him, dumbly, as though expecting something to happen. It was a foot or so shorter than himself, dressed in tattered clothes, and covered in dirt. They stared at each over silently until Meng came to the conclusion that it had to be a delusion. It took him another moment to realize that it appeared to be dressed as a monk. All exposed flesh was wrapped head to toe in filthy bandages, but around one hand a few had slipped to unveil a mass of deformed and un-natural flesh. The face was shadowed by a large wide brimmed bamboo hat, with several holes. It did resemble one of the living dead from a foolish mortal ghost story.
One of those foolish mortal ghost stories where angry dead people arose to eat the living.
It then hit him that he was standing face to face with a zombie.
Meng jumped back and screamed louder than he intended. The thing was also startled and lunged toward him. He dodged and continued to walk backwards, refusing to take his eyes of the thing. He recalled brushing mortal ghost stories off with a laugh, but this thing had quite possibly already consumed that moral carcass and was now hungry for more.
"Back! I said back! You evil creature of the dead!" he tried to remember their only weakness. It was assumed that being a god would grant him immunity, but he had heard tales of lower gods losing an arm or two.
"Help me," it croaked.
"Leave! You can not consume my flesh!" It all made sense now, the sign proclaiming danger, the lack of any other living beings. He had willingly walked head first into a zombie infestation.
It continued to hobble closer. It had what appeared to be a long gold walking stick, that it was using for support. It thudded against the ground with every step. "I not dead, I not dead!" It screeched
Meng decided that it was probably best to destroy it himself, and rid the world of its evil. He geared up for an attack. A punch though the heart would probably do it. "You have left me no choice monster. I will finish you myself and cleanse the earth of your decaying carcass!"
He moved in for the swop.
It raised its gold walking stick in what seemed like self defense.
This startled Meng and he paused for a second, which turned out to be a fatal mistake. The zombie chanted what sounded like a mantra and pounded the walking stick into the ground.
Shock waves radiated out from around the zombie like a stone being thrown into a pond. Meng suddenly found himself being thrown back into a nearby tree. He fell to the ground and winced.
"A god tool," he uttered.
God tools were weapons of immense power that were created for gods, by gods, usually against other gods. It wasn't unusual for such weapons to fall into the hands of mortals and used against their god masters. Now that he took a harder look it appeared to be more of a staff than a walking stick. There were also ancient inscriptions carved around the side. This one obviously required a mantra in order to be effective. The fact that such an individual could posses a god tool meant only one thing to Meng.
"You disgusting creature of evil, you've killed a god and stolen his weapon," he attempted to get up to take another swipe at the creature of evil, but it pounded to the staff into the ground one more, sending him fly back into the tree.
"Wrong, Wrong, I not evil, I monk," they said the words with such a thick accent that it was was almost impossible for Meng to understand.
"A monk!" You ate a god and a Monk!'
"No I Monk of temple of … see see,' They tugged at what appeared to be a talisman around their neck."See."
Meng glared at them skeptically. Their dirtied and ripped clothing did resemble that of what was worn by monks. "I see that you do posses the talisman of a monk, by how do you explain you bandaged and deformed flesh?"
"I is ill."
And then it hit him. The creature did greatly resemble some of the beggars he had seen sleeping on the road. The ones who suffered from leprosy, and had to bandage themselves from head to toe.
He had been defeated by a leper, but not just any leper. Now that his heart had stopped beating in fear, he noticed that the leper was bent over and wrinkled, possibly quite old. The tunic was also in the style that was commonly worn by women.
The great Meng Li had been deferred by an old mortal woman with leprosy.
This was more than Meng could bare. He instantly decided that the best way to deal with this humiliation would be to walk away and pretend that it never happened.
He spun on his heels. Right off the path, and straight into the thick of the forest. It was denser than he expected and he was forced to use his godly powers to destroy various trees and shrubs that were in his path. Thankfully this also allowed him to below off steam.
He had almost erased the last ten minutes from his memory, until he heard a familiar hobbling sound from behind, followed by cries of "Wait! Wait!"
Meng continued forward, until he was hit by another shock wave, that caused him to fall face first into a prickle bush.
The old woman somehow caught up while he was attempting to pull himself up, without scratching half his face off. She stood there panting, trying to catch her breath, before she managed to utter. "I lost, help...please."
Meng was not generous to mortals on a good day, let alone while he was attempting to pull prickles out of his long hair. Therefore it was no surprise when he quickly uttered. "No."
"Please," she begged. "You must help, I don't know way."
"Look you stupid woman, you were thick enough to get yourself into this mess, you can obviously find your own way out," he retorted.
"But wild bear, and thief, I lost. I die."
"Well then why don't you do that, and we'll all be a lot happier."
She slumped and looked down trodden for a moment. He expected her to leave, but instead she launched herself at him, and almost succeeded wrapping herself around his neck, before Meng pushed her away in time.
She fell flat on her back, but Meng wasn't worried. He was more disgusted that his pure godlike hands had been forced to touch a filthy human.
He turned his back in an attempt to shun to her, and continued to pull prickles out of his clothes. "Just go away and find some poor fool to torment," he muttered.
Once he was done he found to his relief that she had disappeared. Just as Meng thought he was free of the annoying wrench, he turned and attempted to walk away, only to find he was unable to move his right leg.
It was though it were stuck in the mud. He attempted to free himself twice, only to look down find the annoying old woman clinging on for dear life.
"Don't leave me!" she pleaded
Meng gritted his teeth and attempted to continue onward. The old woman clung onto his ankle with every step. He was temped to try and pull her off, but he didn't wish to further soil his hands.
After they had traveled 20 meters or so, it because obvious that she was not going to give up, and Meng decided that it was time to employ a new strategy.
He decided it was time to deploy a god's greatest virtue. Patience. He could always pretend that he was willing to help her, and then flee at the first opportunity.
He stopped and threw his arms up into the air. "Fine I'll help you get out of this hell, just let go off my bloody leg you decaying carcass."
Hesitantly the old woman released her death hold and bounced up. The whole front of her clothing was covered in mud to Meng's disgust.
"Many thanks, Many thanks,' she chanted. She attempted to reach for Meng's hand as though to shake it, but he managed to pull away in time.
"Please do not touch me," he uttered.
"My name Lucy," she said enthusiastically.
It stuck Meng as a rather funny name that he had never heard before. It was a good think that he didn't have to bother remembering it.
"Why do I need to know your name anyway woman I'm going to du…du… dust you off," he reluctantly pattered the dust off her shoulder. "It's so unsightly to be this dirty."
And thus the journey of Lucy and Meng Li begun.