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Book 7, Chapter 65 - Mental Inheritance

 Chapter 65: Mental Inheritance

Cloudhawk activated his subspace matrix within the Southern Capitol.

The Cube was a gift from the former Demon King. Although it was not used for direct combat, the unique way that time flowed within made it one of Cloudhawk's most prized relics. Nothing was more precious than time.

It was within this matrix that Cloudhawk had chosen to hold their meeting. Besides the advantage of time, the space would also serve as the site of an important experiment. Something this important required witnesses, so Selene gathered all the leaders to watch.

Shock was the one shared expression among the Elysian officials. Three alters had been erected here, and upon them were imposing figures. They were perfect, encased in beautiful armor - the former masters of three Elysian lands: The Light God, War God and Dragon God!

Not long ago Cloudhawk had defeated them in combat. The War and Dragon gods were badly wounded, and the Light God was captured attempting to flee. After being taken prisoner, Cloudhawk did not kill them. Wolfblade had other plans to bring them under their control.

How rare was it to capture not one, but three Supreme gods? It would be foolish to waste such an opportunity. These creatures could be of great benefit to Cloudhawk and his cause.

He saw the shocked expressions of his Alliance's newest members but paid them no mind. He had several reasons for making them watch. They might have agreed to revolution, but all would still feel the crushing pressure of their faith when faced with gods on the battlefield. These beings had lorded over their homes for generations! Reverence was a fundamental part of their society.

Now, the objects of their faith were frozen in crystal and placed on the altars like spoils of war. Shocking was a mild way to put it.

Cloudhawk stood before them with Belial to his left and Hellflower to his right. Nearby, Wolfblade's lackeys watched. No one knew why their Alliance leader had called them here. A public execution, perhaps?

In every human war throughout history, it was common practice to cut down the symbols of the enemy. To raze its flag and slay their heroes. Mostly this was done to improve morale and foster unity in the short term. For the encroaching war especially, even the wise leaders who pledged revolution would find it hard to shake their veneration for the gods so quickly. It seemed necessary to kill these gods and shore up their courage.

However, Cloudhawk didn't gather everyone together for this simple purpose. These gods were worth more than a moment of solidarity.

"Quiet," he began. The crowds responded by allowing their muttered conversations to taper off. All eyes turned to him.

Cloudhawk looked toward Hellflower. She represented the best scientific minds of the wastelands and all the gathered knowledge of their ancestors. Attention turned to her, and she addressed the gathering.

"Looking back through history we have learned a powerful truth. Before the Elysian lands were born - that is to say, on the eve of the Great War - humanity was a weak and unevolved species. Back then we were no different than the beasts that walk the wastelands. We did not understand mental power, or how to cultivate it. We knew nothing of relics or their use."

"A decade later, war came to our planet. It was decided as quickly as it came. But even in this brief period we began to see great changes in human society. The most representative of these was the rise of demonhunters - powerful men and women who stalked their enemies in the name of the gods. They were led by ten exceptional warriors. We called them Legendary."

"The ten Legendary Demonhunters acted as founders of the Elysian lands. The Cloude family, Merlo family and other distinguished clans can trace their roots back to these mighty ancestors. But have any of you paused to wonder how it was that in less than a decade, these ordinary humans had become so powerful?"

Silence answered her methodical explanation until Phoenix answered. "What's your point?"

"Patients, Master Phoenix. I will explain." Hellflower reacted to the demonhunter's question with a smile. She turned and pointed to the alters. "What we have discovered is that the gods are capable of passing on their abilities."

Mutters rippled through the crowd. Really? Gods could pass on their mental energy? To some this was not a surprise, especially with the likes of High Priest Gorman. His position afforded him a glimpse into many secrets. Within the Temple were methods for transferring power.

When an Elysian land came under threat or its Temple was in decline, the High Priest could select an Apostle who would take on such godly inheritance. This champion was empowered to act as the sword and shield of their faith. The most recent example, of course, was Selene Cloude.

However, hers was a unique case. Even High Priest Ramiel did not know that the power he conveyed unto her came from the God King itself. This bequest sealed Selene's own will and brought her wholly under the gods' control.

She was not alone. Cloudhawk was also a prime example.

Gods and demons came from the same source. The fact that Cloudhawk had been given a fraction of the former Demon King's power proved that such a thing was possible. These highly evolved creatures had the ability to share part of what made them so incredible.

When she saw the light of understanding in their eyes, Hellflower confirmed it. "We have tested it, under advisement by Wolfblade and Belial. Our efforts to transfer power from the gods has been successful. This is what we have brought you all here to see."

So that was the plan. Cloudhawk was going to take the power of these Supremes as his own.

Not only would this bleed the captives dry of their worth, it also proved an important fact. That the power of the gods can be taken by humans. Once this experiment was complete it would prove immeasurable to the confidence of their species. They would enter into the war with the gods empowered by this knowledge.

Hellflower stepped back once her introduction was complete.

Cloudhawk took her place. "There are risks to this process. A Supreme's mental strength is too much for a single person to withstand. So, this will be my gift. When your name is read, please enter the psychic pool."

"Dawn Polaris. Hellflower. Squall Rover. Selene Cloude. Phain Mist. Coal. Carnage. Atlas Umbra..."

One after the other, Cloudhawk announced a list of twenty names. Each of them were important members of the Southern Capitol or who have otherwise proven their worth to the cause. They would be in the inaugural group to undertake this experiment.

The more people were involved, the less mental strain they would suffer individually. However, that did not mean it was not still dangerous. If anything went wrong it would all be shut down to prevent any major loss.

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