World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 32: One Must Also Read Between The Lines If You Want The Full Picture
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March 31, 9:22 am, Canberra, Australia
"...and the pendants are basically here to stop them!" Tarik whispered excitedly.
Gadiel leaned back in his seat. He needed a drink. Or seven. Or maybe he should just sleep for the rest of his life. That sounded nice.
It had been a few days since the...Shopkeeper Incident. Tarik and Gadiel had kept in touch throughout, but had stayed mostly apart, due to studying and classes. Gadiel especially had a lot to read, and didn't have much time for much else.
That said, they did meet up a couple of times to practice using their...powers. It felt weird calling it that, even though that was the only apt word for them.
Strangely, despite being clearly more uncomfortable with the whole situation, Gadiel was a lot better than Tarik in terms of using his powers. He was able to make little ice sculptures with immaculate detail, while Tarik was still having trouble conjuring up a fireball on command.
"It's about feeling, as well as visualizing it," replied Gadiel, when Tarik asked in amazement at how he was able to control his powers so finely. "It's like...i have to know what the cold feels like, how cold it COULD be, how little heat there is at all...and then kinda just...make it go the way I want."
Tarik had nodded.
"For someone who speaks five languages, you sure suck at explaining things."
"Shut up," Gadiel laughed.
That said, Tarik was learning more about what exactly these powers were, and where they came from. It turns out that the book the Shopkeeper had left behind had all sorts of info on the pendants.
"I've only read a little," Tarik had told him at the time. "It says that the pendants choose two heroes to defend the world when it comes into risk."
Gadiel had a lot of questions to this. He made a list:
2) Why him (and Tarik)?
3) Risk? What do you mean "risk?"
4) Risk is like, less than "danger," right? It's not "danger" it's "risk," right?
5) Why?? (Emphasis on the 'why' part.)
Tarik had some shrugged.
"Je ne sais pas I'm just reading this," he said. He promised to read more and let him know later on.
Which brought them to today.
Tarik had called him the night before, excited about some discovery he made or something. As such, they had arranged a meeting for today, as neither of them had any classes. Gadiel was also hoping to get a paper finished today, as his professors were all sadists, so they decided to meet up at the library. Specifically Chiefly Library.
The library had four floors, but only three of them were accessible to students. The fourth used to be accessible to everyone, but it had been closed for about a year now due to renovations of some sort. Gadiel really wanted to study up there; he had studied there once in his first year, just before it got closed. He had almost fallen asleep in one of the chairs, they were so comfortable. Not to mention, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop from the other side of the floor.
But, life was life, and so he had to settle for the third floor, which was just as quiet, but the chairs weren't as comfortable. Not to mention, it just...wasn't as comfortable, for some reason. Sure, he always complained about the chairs before, but from the start of his study session today, he had this weird, uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Maybe he ate something bad. Whatever. He needed to get this essay done.
He was an hour deep into Japanese tones when Tarik broke him out of his study-trace, offering him a taco.
"We're not allowed to eat-"
"Do you see a professor around?" said Tarik. "Just take it."
Gadiel had learned over the past year that it was usually easier to just go along with whatever Tarik said instead of going against him. He took the taco and began eating.
"Okay, so it turns out the end of the world is happening," said Tarik.
Gadiel immediately spat out his taco, coughing. Tarik immediately walked around him, to block him from the view of the professor that just came into view. He passed the bottle of water over to him.
"Sorry, did you say the world was ending?" said Gadiel.
Tarik then began to explain what he had read in the book. Apparently, the book was a collection of various research notes by scholars on the pendants the boys were wearing.
"First off, the pendants are called the 'Vestiges of the Sun and Moon,'" said Tarik. "The book says that they are, well, vestiges of the ancient incarnations of the sun and moon that used to live on this Earth."
"That's just a story though, right?" Gadiel interrupted. "There's no way that the sun and moon have actual like...human-like forms."
"One, no one said that they have 'human-like' forms. Two, we have superpowers, but you're saying that the idea that the sun and moon used to have physical bodies that lived on planet Earth is unbelievable? Three, it doesn't matter," said Tarik.
"Then why are you starting there?"
"To set the mood! To make it interesting!"
"Just get to the point," said Gadiel dryly.
"Fine!" said Tarik, waving the complaint away.
He then went on to not get to the point, and started telling a story.
The book apparently opened with a description of the Sun. He was a warm, gentle man, charismatic and powerful, able to brighten up a room with a simple smile, while the Moon was a gentle, graceful woman, only noticed by few, but adored by everyone she knew.
One day, the Sun was out hunting a boar, when he met the moon. The Moon was tending to the animal, who had been hurt and was running away. On first meeting, they clashed, their differing viewpoints on the world irreconcilable. The Sun saw the world as a vast treasure chest, waiting to be plundered, whereas the Moon saw it as a grand stage where all sorts of plays would act out, if one looked for them.
As time went on, they kept clashing, but with each clash they began to understand each other more. They began to learn that despite their different outlooks, they both came from similar, rigorous families in the Heavens, they were both similarly powerful, the most powerful of their clans, and they both loved this Earth, each in their own way.
The more they spent time together, the more they changed. The Sun began to see the beauty in the oceans, in watching flowers bloom, and the rain fall, whereas the Moon began to enjoy planting seeds of her own, eating meat, and speaking with the inhabitants of the world.
It was inevitable. The Sun and Moon fell in love.
However, it was written in the stars that it was never meant to be.
On the night that the Sun and Moon were to consummate their love for the first time, the Heavens struck. Angered by their childrens' willfulness, and desperate to stop the potential of a child of these two powerful beings, the Heavens tore through themselves to open a portal to another world. A world of monsters and hatred.
The monsters that came through the portal tore through the Earth, destroying everything they touched. The Sun and Moon desperately tried to fight the monsters off, fighting for 100 days and 100 nights. In the end, they managed to fight off the monsters by combining their powers, and sealed away the portal.
"But the fight sapped them of their strength," Tarik went on. "In order to regain their strength, they went up to the sky and assumed their current forms, each taking their turn in watching over the Earth."
"Plus, as a thank you, the Earth apparently gave the Moon dominion over the oceans, and the Sun dominion of the plants, so that was a whole thing," Tarik added. "But the point is...monsters from another world are coming, and the pendants are basically here to stop them!"
Monsters? From another Earth?
Coming to destroy everyone?
And they were supposed to stop it?
"...can I just...finish my essay first..." said Gadiel. "It's due this Friday..."
Tarik slapped Gadiel on the head with his own book.
"You can't submit your essay if the world is going to end," he said, somewhat jokingly.
"Ow," Gadiel muttered, then sighed.
So the story itself was kind of nonsense but...all legends had a hint of truth to them...so if there really was a chance that the world was going to be invaded by monsters…
"We need more information," said Gadiel. "There's nothing more about the monsters? Or how the pendants work?"
"The pendants, well, the book says the same thing as you, about...visualizing and feeling..." said Tarik gloomily. "But as for the monsters...well, it doesn't have much more information..."
Gadiel knew that look. It was the look Tarik got when he had an Idea. Usually, Tarik's Ideas were quite fun, if also incredibly dumb or dangerous or-
"You want to go back to the shop," said Gadiel, before Tarik could say anything.
"Wh-what?" he stuttered, trying and failing to look as innocent as possible.
"Let me guess," said Gadiel. "The book doesn't have any more information on the monsters. But you think that the gigantic library down there below the store has more information."
"Okay," said Gadiel. "But are you forgetting the gigantic monster that I froze down there? The one that looked reeaaaaally mad that it was frozen, and was breaking out when we ran for our lives back then?"
"Do you have a better idea then?" Tarik shot back.
Gadiel bit his lip. That was…
Was it really necessary to go back? Couldn't they...find this information some other way?
What other way?
Okay, there was no other way, but was it really that important for them to get this information?
"Fine," Gadiel sighed. "We have to go back."
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