Apple of Death

There exists a garden, in a primordial forest that is said to be planted, and taken care off by Death itself.
The forest is dangerous, and completely uncharted due to being inhabited by beasts, of unseen stature, and ferocity.
Plants, insects of such toxicity, that their mere presence can poison a normal living being to death, in the matter of minutes.
This forest is called God’s Trial, as its outer rim is often used by the Martial Clans as training ground, for the youths of the clan, to use as a adulthood ceremony.
And this is where I will need to prove, that I am worthy to be the next Clan Leader.
My goal is test if the legend is real.
The legend, which stated that worthy one will actually be greeted by Death itself, and exempted of death, in the mortal realm gaining a sure way to ascension to the higher realms, and immortality.
I’ve been preparing since I was 6 years old.
My father told me that our family branch had had the Clan Leader position for 4 generation, and the other branches will do anything in order to change the inevitable, me being the 5th generation Clan Leader.
Thus, they actually sold most of their treasures, to send their descendants away, under the tutoring of famed experts.
Now, they are all ahead of me, despite being less talented, being fed precious resources constantly, bringing their bodies to higher levels.
I, on the other hand, have trained for 10 years, while building a solid foundation, and now, I am just a step behind them.
Besides, I’ve learnt dead languages, the myths and legends of the olden days, just for this one chance, at my 16th birthday, and the adulthood ceremony, I will prove that the legend is real, and I will become unkillable my any means in this mortal realm.
Allowing me to mature, and ascend to higher realms, bringing glory to my parents, and bloodline.
Soon, it was the day of the trial.
We entered the forest, with the goal of hunting at least one 3rd ranked beast.
The ranking wasn’t something hard to learn, and discern:
4th ranked beasts=a group of soldiers is needed to deal with them
3rd ranked beasts=a martial artist is needed to deal with them or hundreds of soldiers.
2nd ranked beasts=a Martial king or a thousand martial artist are needed to deal with them
1st ranked beasts= a Martial God is needed to deal with them or at least 10 Martial Kings.
There are other ranks as well, but that is not something we need to care about right now.
1st ranked beasts are the rulers of the forest, so they won’t be dealing with us, while 2nd ranked beasts have a deal with our clans not to interfere in the battle of the youth, thus leaving only 3rd and 4th ranked beasts to deal with us.
I ran pass all the other young men and women of the Martial Clans, heading towards the core of the forest, where the garden should be.
That place was avoided even by the 1st ranked beasts, thus it’s the most probable place to house Death itself.
Killing a 3rd ranked beasts needs a Martial General or higher.
The martial artists are divided into different levels: Martial Disciple, Martial Recruit, Martial Soldier, Martial Lieutenant, Martial General, Martial Commander, Martial King, Martial Emperor, and Martial God.
Each level is harder to achieve, as it needs not only a perfection, and evolution of one’s body, but also insights into the inner workings of the world.
I am a Martial Lieutenant, but with a high comprehension into the laws of lightning, and gravity, thus I easily killed 2 3rd ranked beasts already, having more than completed my trial.
Now all that is left is to find the garden.
Three days later, I stumbled upon a patch of immaculate opening, devoid of trees, or grass.
I instinctively knew, it was an illusion formation.
I entered it, and found myself in a completely new world.
It was a field, filled with different vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees, it was filled with life essence.
After not even a minute, I broke through the Martial General level due to the intensity, and purity of the essence in the air.
As I was lost, admiring the scenery, someone poked my shoulder.
“Hey kid, what are you doing here?”
A strong, but friendly voice asked.
I turned around to see a man, with short dark hair, brown eyes, wearing a spotless white suit.
“I am looking for Death’s Garden, trying to prove that the legends are real.”
I said, slowly, and carefully, being wary of the newcomer.
“Oh, you’ve found it, this is my garden.”
The man said, as he nodded.
The words were casual, same was the tone, but it hit me like a dragon.
“Y-y-y-y-y-you are Death?!!?!?!”
I exclaimed.
“In person, nice to meet you, and if you pee yourself, I am going to feed you to the cats.”
He said, chuckling.
I needed some time to recollect myself.
After some time, Death was tending to some strange looking apples.
“Are you…Are you able to make me immortal?”
I asked.
“Hmm, this comes from that legend, right? I give you a fruit, and you can’t die in this realm.”
He said, smiling at me.
“Yes, is it true?”
I asked.
“Yes, but not because you are exempted form death, but because my fruits contain so much gentle energy, that your body becomes immortal. And when your enlightenment gets high enough, you ascend from this lower realm to a higher one.”
Death said.
After the explanation, a whole world of new possibilities came to my mind.
All those legends, about an infinite amount of worlds, gods, demons, and immortals, all of them…are real!
“Will you give me a fruit?”
I asked.
“Here, take this apple.”
He said, chuckling.
I took the apple, and ate it, after a while nothing happened.
Right when I wanted to ask Death what was going on, a sudden epiphany hit me.
I sat down, and focused on the world energies.
Lightning can be filled with death, but it also brings life in the primordial days of a new born planet.
Gravity is simply the force that attracts matter.
My body is a small universe of its own, making it denser, and stronger, it only needs the right amount of energy, of high enough purity.
I meditated for days, before creating a cultivation technique, that allows me to absorb the energy released by the apple properly, strengthening not only my body, but my soul as well.
“Thank you.”
I said, bowing to Death.
“Nice technique, it can be considered average even in a higher realm.”
He said.
“I named it Apple of Death.”
I said, chuckling.
After a small talk, I left.
This time it took me only a day to leave.
I obviously passed the trial, and won the competition that was held afterwards, becoming the Clan Leader.
Not even 50 years later, I was the youngest martial artist to ascend, and leave this plane of existence for a higher one.
While ascending, I could see Death in his garden, looking up at me, and waving.

Published by omnithenerva

Wannabe fiction writer. In love with mythology, and fantasy themes.

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