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467 Sitting Under the Vine Tree, The Observers, The Culling, and The Eyes

 Day ▋▋ - ▋▋:▋▋ ▋▋ - Underground Crystal Basin, Unknown Dimension

The Observers, it was an entirely new concept for everyone here that was listening.

Of course, except for Mark and Alana. These two Otakus had read and watched countless stories, movies, and Anime regarding the different concepts of Godhood and related stuff. Hearing the general description from Bathala, they kind of understood what the old man was saying.

And Mark posed a question.

"These Observers are the managers, you said. Then, they are not the ones that created the worlds and dimensions they managed, do they?"

That question made Bathala smile.

"They are not." The Old Man said. "Let me explain this. The hierarchy of the management of worlds like Earth is very different from everyone had thought. To Mortals, and even to most immortal beings, all Deities are Deities, and all Gods are Gods. But the truth is that both Deities and Gods had lower, middle, higher realms. Then, after the Higher Gods are the Observers. And above them are the True Gods that created the worlds and dimensions."

It was quite confusing. And Karlene could not help but ask.

"What is the difference between a True God and the Gods below the observers?"

There was no need to ask if Bathala was a True God or not. From his explanation, it was evident that he belonged to one of the three levels below the Observers. Then, what was the difference between the two?

Bathala answered Karlene's question with a straight answer.

"True Gods are those that were born as Gods and came from the Realm of Gods. Those that are below the Observers like me... we came from a different origin."

The Old Man did not wait for the next question and continued.

"Lower Gods, Middle Gods, and even a Higher God like me did not come from this world. Some of us came from lower God Realms. Like how Odin came from Asgard and Zeus from Olympus. Even I had my own origin, and it is not from this Earth or any of its subdimensions."

"In fact, it is almost impossible for an individual from Earth to reach Godhood. There are just a few individuals that were able to do so. And their numbers can be counted in one hand."

He added.

It was quite strange to hear. Who would have thought that a God being worshiped by people on Earth was not someone from this world? But thinking about it further, it was not strange. The magical energy on Earth was almost non-existent for a Godly being to be born in it.

But then, Mark noticed something from what Bathala said.

The Old Man looked at Mark and nodded before saying.

"You are right. I did not come from any Godly Realm, I am also a Mortal who reached Godhood in a world with something you call a Fantasy World."

Everyone in Mark's group was speechless. Their beliefs about mythological gods had been shattered.

Nevertheless, there was very little known about the Gods of myths. Who would have known what was real and what was not aside from the Gods themselves?

There were too many questions that filled everyone's minds. Even the little girls were curious about it.

However, letting everyone ask questions one by one was a waste of time. Thus, Bathala decided to tell everything in one go. And it was not just traditional storytelling. With a wave of his staff, the scene around them changed.

Bathala came from a lower dimension. A world with swords and magic, ruled by tribes and monsters. A he was a sage in that world that reached Godhood and accended into a higher realm. And for some unfortunate reason, he ended up on Earth, where there was no way for him to ascend further, aside from one method.

It was to form a religion.

Unfortunately, Earth was already a world occupied by Gods that were having territorial disputes when he came around. Still, he could not just stand back and joined the fight. In the end, the Gods divided Earth in different territories.

And for Bathala, who came alone to this world, unlike the other Kings of Gods and Gods of Creation, he was forced to have this desolate land. A country that did not even have a name.

There was not even a single people to start his religion. That was not the worst part, however. Bathala came about when another culling of Earth had just ended.

The whole country was submerged underwater with nothing but a few small islands.

And thus, while waiting for the water to subside, he created his few subordinates, the Anitos. The Deity, Amihan, was one of them.

At this part of the story, Bathala was looking at Amihan, who sat beside Aephelia and Malaya. She was quite confused as to why. Her late mother just named her after the Deity, it was not like Amihan had a direct connection to her, right?

Bathala did not say anything about her reaction and continued in his story.

When the water subsided enough, Bathala created the first couple in this country. It was when the legend of Malakas and Maganda was born.

"So, the theory of evolution is not true?"

Alana could not help but ask in this part. After all, it was different from what science told.

But there, Bathala shook his head.

"It is true, though," Bathala said with a laugh. "Like some of the other gods did. I took the model of humans from the evolved Neandertals before the culling and shaped them to my liking. You all can say that this is the reason that the intelligent ones of the mortals are still looking for the missing link. Also, humans already existed in other countries at that time. I'm not the first one to do it. Lastly, I modeled the first people in this country and my Anitos with the same appearance and culture of people from my previous world. That is why the people in this country looked quite unique compared to the other countries around it."

"..."

No one could say a thing. Mark and his group were speechless.

Bathala then continued, though this time, it was more of a grumble.

When the population in his territory grew, he sent his Anitos to the land to aid the mortals. He wanted to spread his religion to the people he created.

Of course, it was not easy. It was because other lower gods that could not find any available territory was thrown into his because he was alone. Another reason for that was because he had the same fashion sense as the newcomers having a tribal look.

It caused some conflicts like Amanikable, the God of Hunting, who actually fell in love with Maganda. Only to be rejected because Bathala created Malakas and Maganda for each other. And the brat actually threw a tantrum and sent waves from the sea to torment Bathala's people.

"There was also that Ideyanale. That androgynous brat liked her name being called by my people. If not, she will tamper with their work making them finish it late."

Other instances like this were recorded in the Philippines' Mythos. The story they were hearing right now, for some reason, sounded credible.

But seeing the Old Man grumbling in front of them, it seemed that Bathala, even as a Higher God, had his hardships. It was clear that he did not view many of the Philippine Gods in a good light.

"Ahem..."

Bathala coughed as he noticed that he was getting derailed.

What Mark and his group wanted to know was about the Observers. Also,

about the giant that they had encountered.

"I already mentioned about the culling, right?"

The Old Man asked as he reverted the scene around them, where everything was about to be submerged underwater. The skies were dark, and the rain was exceedingly heavy.

"This is not any God's work but the work of the Observers. Some of the Gods that were present before this culling tried to save the civilizations they managed."

As Bathala said that, the scene around them moved in a rather fast motion. It was like they were flying around the world in fast forward. One time, they witnessed an enormous ark atop a hill. It was filled with animals and people, waiting for the water to rise.

There as also some that could be seen climbing up the mountains.

But one scene made Mark, Iola, and Aephelia stand up. They saw a familiar space ship fly through the clouds, out of the planet.

"The Gods Amerilia and Verehillio. The forgotten gods who took away their forgotten civilization. From what I heard, they are very kind Gods despite their appearance. It's a pity that they already left when I arrived."

Bathala said as they all watched the spaceship fly away.

The Gods Amerilia and Verehilio. One was a Goddess with a Pigeon Head and White Wings, while the other was a God with a Raven Head and Black Wings. The two Gods of Eriellis. Of course, Mark, Iola, and Aephelia would react to that.

"I apologize to you three, but I also don't know too much about them. What you are seeing right now was nothing but an overview of Earth's memories. I can't go to specific things. If I did that, it won't be surprising if another Eye suddenly dropped onto us from above."

Bathala said jokingly.

Mark, Iola, and Aephelia sat back down. Although they were interested, they would not want to bring everyone into trouble.

"What is the culling and the Eye you mentioned are exactly?"

Mark asked to divert the topic. It was because the others were looking at him, Iola, and Aephelia with strange expressions.

"Is the culling the way to reduce the population of people on Earth?"

Alana added.

And surprisingly, Bathala shook his head.

"I wish it is really all that complicated, but it is far more plain than that." The Old Man said with a sigh. "The Observers are not fixed. Sometimes, they give up on a world and leave. Other times, the True Gods above them would replace them. There are also times that they retire or die as they were not physically immortal beings either. And during the change of Observers, that is when the culling happens."

Bathala then looked at Mark and Alana. He was looking for more explicit examples to say. And sure enough, he found a good one in the minds of the two.

"Think like if an Observer is a player of a video game. However, the video game only had a single save file slot and a single fixed world setting. And the game is something given by another player, with the save game already played. Looking at the older save, the new player did not like how the previous player played the game. Thus, he erased it to start a new one."

With a shrug, the Old Man said.

"That is what culling is. The new Observer did not how the previous Observer managed the world. Thus, the new Observer will destroy it to start anew. However, since they can't destroy the world as a whole and the changes it had gone through, the only thing they could do is to start what they call Trials. Sometimes, its natural disasters like this flood, or a falling meteor from space. There are also other times where the Observer did not like a single country or area and will start a Plague or a local disaster. It is this simple."

Then, Bathala showed a solemn expression.

"As for the Eyes, they are quite different. The Eyes are what you can call the envoys of the Observers. They are sent to clean up most of the time."

"Clean up what?"

Karlene asked.

"To remove the things that the culling was not able to remove. Like right now, the current Observer of Earth did not like us, the Gods, below him. And thus, is trying to remove us, along with those that had the possibility to grow and reach Godhood on Earth."

Saying that last line, Bathala turned to Mark and Mei.