Anodyne was floating, watching a child gear up for an adventure, he waited patiently as the child made his way from home to city to wilderness.
“Alright let’s see how good you are.” Anodyne smirked as he brought forth a small beast to test the will of the newbie adventurer.
“Where the hell did you come from? Regardless I will vanquish you fiend.”
The adventurer started approaching sword and shield at the ready, watching the movement of the beast as it snarled and hissed towards him.
Shouting he charged. “I am Vax, son of Varithaal. You shall be my first conquest.”
He lunged using all his might, meeting every claw attack with a well-placed shield, and countering with exquisite form. Moments of slashing and the beast was laying upon the ground, guts spilled.
“I claim this life so I may proceed, I pray the gracious Bea’tality takes your soul to the soul fire festival where you may pass on in peace.”
Vax stood from his prayer, where he continued out into the wilderness.
“Hmm, he isn’t even optimistic, just confident. How do I crush that without killing him?”
Anodyne pondered on the thought as he followed the young warrior take a strong stride into the horror that is the continent of Vispyr. Sniffing Anodyne stopped watching the young adventurer.
“I know that smell, where do I know it from?”
Realisation struck Anodyne as his eyes widened.
“Fuck it is the deity from Earth, what does he want?”
Anodyne moved with purpose, upwards into space, sniffing around till he could lock on to where the scent was coming from. He could see a light emanating from the body of the deity as they scorched their way through Anodyne’s universe. “Come on you fucker, what do you want?”
As the deity drew closer Anodyne could see that this was not the deity from Earth, this was a new face. Anodyne’s anxious anger quickly turned to confused rage.
“I have worked to damn hard to lose my planet now, come try and take it.” Anodyne shouted towards the now slowing deity, he stopped a few hundred metres in front of Anodyne.
“What the hell are you doing in my universe you devil?”
“Devil? I can barely read your energy signature, you are the devil, you poor excuse for a god. You only have two energy signatures, was universe jumping really too hard for you?”
“What the hell are you on about?”
“Energy signatures, you know what you pick up from visiting different universes? You do know about the Eternaverse right?”
“What the hell is an Eternaverse?”
“Oh shit, you are a new god. Like really new, I bet you have not even met your guardian angel yet.”
“No stop saying random shit, why the fuck are you here spouting all this shit?”
“Oh, I kinda reached a really hard challenge, so I am cruising around looking for some entertainment to take my mind off of it.”
“A hard challenge?”
“Yea a little above you yet, I can’t say much but I can tell you that you have barely scratched the surface of being a god.”
Anodyne did not know whether he believed this foreign deity or not, but he was sick of him and wanted him gone. “Ok I am bored, you leave now.”
Anodyne brought forth a scythe and swung at the newcomer, a violent eruption of energy arced from the strike, lighting up Hollow’s sky. As the light passed the new deity could be seen sailing towards a nearby planet. Anodyne pursued to ensure this deity never returned. Landing a mere moment after the newcomer, Anodyne struck him again and again causing flash after flash of energy. The earth below the newcomer slowly peeled away as the violent energy corroded the soft matter.
As the dust cleared, the newcomer came back into vision lying relaxed in the new crater.
“So are you done or can I go now?”
The foreign god was propped up in a relaxed position with not a single mark on him.
“I, what, how the heck do you look as good as before.”
“Well you see I am a ranked deity, no way you are going to even touch me newbie.”
“Fuck it I am out, do what you want.”
Anodyne returned to Hollow where he found the young adventurer Vax.
“So, we just spying on people, are they doing anything interesting?”
Anodyne drifted away following Vax, trying his hardest to avoid the newcomer.
“You know what, I feel like we are becoming friends. I am… well you can call me 1010 100. What is your name, friend?”
There was a moment where no words were shared, Anodyne stayed focused on the task at hand and 1010 100 stared at Anodyne eagerly awaiting his response.
“You know you could just make something that eats feet, then he would have to crawl everywhere.”
Anodyne did not turn his head, or even acknowledge 1010 100, he simply snapped his fingers spawning a creature that enjoyed eating feet. Both deities watched and laughed as Vax was slowly over powered by the swarming feet eaters. After taking their spoils they retreated, leaving Vax footless.
“If I tell you my name, will you tell me what the ranking means?”
“It is a ranking system that determines which god is the most powerful. I am not the top but I am not the bottom either. Then there are gods like you that are unranked.”
Both deities stayed floating in the air watching Vax make his way back to his city. He crawled as fast as he could back to where he came from. With each grasp at the grass his body shook, his muscles failing him as his blood was left in a trail behind him. Anodyne and 1010 100, both descended and started walking next to Vax. Both dropping their invisibility they walked ahead of Vax who was now only a few hundred metres from his home.
“Please, I need help. My feet, I am so numb.” Anodyne took the time to focus on Vax, he took the time to draw in the emotions that were flowing through him
Anodyne knelt as close to Vax as possible.
“Your fear, your pain, it is delicious. Please struggle more, I want to feel the last drop of hope fall into the pool of despair, flooding your body with negative emotions.”
“Fuck, you can eat emotions? That is messed up, I have heard stories of other gods doing that but I have never seen it. Your energy signatures are going crazy.”
“I thought that every deity could do that, aren’t we all on an equal playing field?”
“Hell no, every god is different. Ultimately, we all have the potential to have every power, but until we figure out the technique you are stuck with what you are born with. That is why you have to go universe jumping otherwise you are stuck with shit all.”
Anodyne stood back up ignoring the groaning Vax.
“I can see we are different in power, but surly there is only a finite amount of abilities that help build a deity up to the best deity.”
1010 100 started floating so he could grab a stick from a nearby tree.
“Well yea, there are only so many but it is not really about them, they help but it is the access to unusual parts of the universe that truly open your eyes to what you are missing.”
1010 100 proceeded to start poking Vax’s stumps causing him to jump start his efforts, Vax started crawling faster than when he first started in an adrenaline fuelled frenzy.
“So, there is more to being a deity than just energy and abilities? Are you seriously saying seeing a location can unlock greater power?”
“Yea, trust me once you see what I have seen it will all make sense. I can’t take you there though, I don’t have that authority.”
1010 100 stretched his hand towards Vax and held it for a second, frustrated he looked back at Anodyne. “He can I alter stuff here? Originally, I was going to kill you and burn your world but I like you, wanna team up till I head out again?”
Anodyne was hesitant at the thought of sharing his world with another being, someone who could alter whenever they so pleased. But looking at this deity he knew they would agree on enough to make it work. He stretched out his hand towards 1010 100, stabbing his stick down into Vax’s leg he received Anodynes handshake.
As soon as Anodyne released his hand from the shake, 1010 100 turned raising his hand to a nearby tree. His hand shook for only a second before the tree caught fire, another second passed and it was frozen solid. Finally, he flicked his wrist and the whole tree turned into a massive swarm of angry hornets that flew off towards the nearby city.
“Well this plebe is not going anywhere, why don’t you show me around a bit?”