GDK 1004: Cooperation
"As for why we absolutely have to start the battle of the gods, it's that she's still able to exert influence on our Quintessence even though she secluded herself within Aethernia. We can feel the tug Aethernia has on our souls and the Quintessence," Amon explained, "It has been about fifty thousand years since she went into seclusion. We don't know if the tug started growing because she has recovered some of her power.
"Thanks to the influence of the tug, our Quintessence slowly stray out of our control as if it wants to leave us and head to Aethernia. The Goddess of Destiny has also realized that by nourishing her Mirror of Destiny with a certain number of divine souls, she will be able to influence the pull coming from Aethernia."
Han Shuo said, "So divine souls are necessary to stop it... Then the battle of the gods was intentionally waged by you all to sacrifice as many gods as you can so that enough divine souls can fill the Mirror of Destiny to help you resist the pull."
"Bingo!" Amon admitted, "Naturally, we will take the battle of the gods seriously. It will be even better if we can sacrifice each other's men than our own to nourish the Mirror of Destiny."
"Wait, so does that mean that every time the Goddess of Destiny comes to mediate, the Mirror of Destiny has been nourished enough?"
Amon nodded once more. Han Shuo took a deep breath in shock. He had never expected the battle of the gods to contain such secrets. It was no wonder it couldn't be avoided. All of a sudden, he suddenly recalled the memories of Hegemon Kaiser. "Since you want to preserve as many of your own as you can, why do you let the godhunters roam free? I also heard that if the gods of a certain energy grow too much in number, the Quintessence would be affected as well."
Amon seemed a little surprised. "How do you even know that? That is indeed the case, but it's different from what you imagine. Apart from needing the power of faith and cleansing from the sea of faith, Quintessence also require gods that cultivate the same energy as them to die. That is how they are primarily sustained."
It all clicked into place. Quintessence did indeed sound really mystical. They basically consider gods that use the same energy they do as food. While they need to be constantly nourished, they couldn't consume too much at once either. Now, Han Shuo finally knew everything about the battle of the gods, Gu Tian Xie and the Allmother. Yet, he still had no idea why Amon, Cratos and Nestor had asked to talk to him.
"Alright, so can we finally talk about why you asked me to come here?" Han Shuo said after he quelled his excitement and curiosity. However, the three of them quieted down for some reason in contrast to their previous patient explanations. "Oh? Is there anything inappropriate about that?"
"That isn't really the case," Nestor said before he turned to Amon and Cratos and asked, "Do you two think that he is worthy to stand on our side?"
Amon and Cratos gave Han Shuo a close look down once more, hesitated, before they nodded.
"Very well," Nestor said, "We hope that you will work with us and keep our losses in the battle of the gods to a minimum. Additionally, we hope you will fight together with us at Aethernia."
"What's in it for me?" Han Shuo asked after a pause.
"Originally, you would've outlived your usefulness after Aethernia opened. We were planning to deal with you after since your terrifying potential means you'll be a threat to us in the future," Nestor said solemnly, "But if you agree to fight by our side, we will agree to do our best to ensure your survival. As for what happens after, we will make our decision until after Aethernia is dealt with."
Han Shuo had known as much. It wouldn't be surprising if the Twelve Overgods turn on him once Aethernia was unsealed. The Exalted Demonlord Gu Tian Xie had terrified them too much. Even after he was eliminated by them and the Allmother, he managed to leave a legacy in the form of Han Shuo. It only made sense that they'd try to kill him too.
"In other words, you're saying that you'll help protect me from being killed by the others once Aethernia opens? And after Aethernia, we will go our separate ways?" Han Shuo carefully asked.
"What in the world is inside Aethernia anyway?" Han Shuo asked.
The three's expressions changed. Nestor whispered, "It's something that can make a new Creator, if the Goddess of Destiny's guess is to be believed. Regardless, we will definitely strive to fight for it."
So it turned out that they weren't only rebelling for their lives. That was their true goal after all. He seriously considered their offer and said, "Where does the Goddess of Destiny stand on killing me after Aethernia opens?"
Cratos made an odd smile. "Hahaha... She was the one who suggested it!"
Han Shuo's heart sank as his expression grimmed. After a while, he nodded and said, "Alright, I will work with you." He didn't expect that she would be the one to suggest it. Based on his observations on the auras and expressions of the three, they were telling the truth.
"Haha, you really agreed so easily?" Cratos said.
"If I can't even take on Amon alone, I won't have a chance against all twelve of you," he said with a shrug. He knew that no matter who obtained that item that would make them the new supreme god, their first target would be him anyway. But if he could avoid being killed right after Aethernia's opening and manage to enter it, he might yet stand a chance.
"Alright. Let's discuss the details then," Amon said. They proceeded to refine the agreement including the fact that the Fringe would be joining the battle of the gods and how they would deal with the others when Aethernia opened up.
Meanwhile at the center of the Shrine of Destiny, the goddess stood in front of a starry mirror. She shot a white beam into its center, causing the stars within to explode and turn into nebulas. The debris gathered and formed a new plane containing various energies. When some light from the depths of the universe touched the plane, life was born.
The destruction and rebirth of a plane along with life and death could be seen through the mirror. All of a sudden, thin white lines began to connect the various lifeforms that could be seen through the mirror, allowing their souls to resonate.
With tug on a string, she caused a foreign lifeform to emerge. His birth, growth, sickness and death could all be seen unraveling at a speed visible to the naked eye. Nothing could elude the Goddess of Destiny.
As if she was handling fine artwork, she carefully tightened the thread around her fingers and gave it a tug, breaking it. The lifeform connected to the thread died suddenly before a white light exploded from the goddess's hands and enveloped all the threads. The threads had vanished, leaving behind a blurry scene within the mirror.
It showed the Shrine of Darkness and Han Shuo, Cratos, Amon and Nestor discussing something. The four of them were completely unaware of this scrying ability of hers. They were currently discussing the battle of the gods, opening Aethernia and how they would work together.
Something flashed across her eyes as she watched. All of a sudden, she wiped the scene in the mirror away.