Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sudden Short Story 65

"I am told that you can free me," she said to the foreigner, as she sat by him in the tavern.  Priestesses were uncommon there, but nobody would think to question her presence, either. 
"If your will is bound by a deity, then yes, I can free you," he replied. 
"And what do you seek in return?" 
"I need access to the temple," he explained.  "I also want me to tell me whatever you can about your highest priestess, as it will help me in my cause.  Otherwise, I need little." 
Hope stirred in her, that she might be able to escape her fate.  "I must have something to call you, if I am to take you to the island.  What is your name?" 
"I have had many names, but I go by Asura-Anatakartta.  It was given to me by a people from my home plane, after I slew the threefold god of the west." 
The idea that he came from another plane of existence was very surprising to her, but she was trained to spot lies, and this man was not lying.  "What brings you to our plane?" 
"I have been exiled from my home plane.  I do seek to return, but it is a long journey that I undertake." 
"You slew a god, and you can free people from them.  Who would want to exile you?"she asked. 
"Other gods, of course.  Deities think that they're untouchable until someone kills one and lives.  Though, even that was not enough to warrant my exile, the first time.  It was not until I slew Brahma that the rest of the Trimurti mustered enough power - theirs and their allies' - to banish me." 
The priestess realized that she might be a bit out of her depth with this one, but there was still the mission to do, and she would be free.  "Let us go, then," she said, standing.  "Once I am free, perhaps I can help you on your journey home." 
"You cannot, but thank you," he replied, as she led him out.  She sensed that she should not ask further on that subject, and so she remained silent. 


He waited outside of the high priestess's abode, just out of sight to anyone who would be leaving the doorway.  The house servant was out on errands, so he had said that the house would need to be empty for his work to begin.  He had not lied, but he had allowed her to believe that he would be doing a secretive investigation of the premises. 
They were inside for a long time.  The high priestess had sensed deception in her subordinate, but was unable to tease it out of her.  Eventually, they left, headed toward a different part of the island.  He crept up behind the high priestess, then ran her through the spine and heart with his sword. 
"The thing about deities," he began.  The young priestess spun around, startled that he had revealed himself, and then more startled at the dying body before her.  "... is that most people don't really understand what they are, and each one is different.  She didn't even realize it, but the high priestess was the goddess.  I had uncovered that much during my previous investigation, before I even met you.  And so, you are free," he said, wiping off his blade.  "Unfortunately - and I am so very, very sorry for this part - she had already named you as her heir." 
She was so shocked that, by the time that he charged at her, she was only able to throw up a simple shielding spell, which was immediately shattered on the point of a blade that had slain gods.  She died free, but still she died. 

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