Published March 02, 2018 by

Tales from a Land of Gods Part 1 Chapter 4

Story:  Outside our world exists one of gods. A place where the gods reign supreme and humans live like days of old.
Meng is a unique god who becomes lost in an endless forest. His only chance of escape is an old dying mortal who brings back memories of his past which he would prefer remain forgotten.

Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3Chapter 4, Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7

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Meng's decision not to leave was one he soon came to regret. He was adapt to living in the wild, and had no problem sleeping out in the open, but his rest was disrupted by the old woman talking in her sleep (in a language he couldn't understand) and he awoke the next morning haggard and sleep deprived. His hair was a mess, his clothes were covered in grass stains, and he was certain he couldn't face the Li family in his current state without being laughed off the estate.

His mood was not improved by the sight of the old woman (who was clearly well rested) eagerly roasting mushrooms on a stick over the fire. "Mushyroom?" She offered with a grin.

Meng winced at her incorrect language usage, and then turned away in horror as he recalled the time he ate wild mushrooms as a child, and then spent hours running away from giant spiders.

"Hey," he called out when he noticed the small pile of red berries beside her. "You can't eat those, they'll make your stomach hurt," he said while recalling the old man's words from when he was a child.

"What?" Asked Lucy, who was too busy eating her mushrooms to pay any attention.

"You stupid, deaf, disrespectful pile of bones," cursed Meng, but there was no reaction from his strange companion. He was beginning to suspect that she didn't understand half of what he was saying, which would explain why she was never offended by his insults.

His theory was confirmed when she picked up a pile of berries and merrily shoved them into her mouth.

Meng sighed and decided to be gracious enough to use her name, but in the Land of Gods they speak a language very different from our own, and therefore names and places (which we take for granted) can be difficult to pronounce.

"Hey Loosey," he said. "You're already sickly looking enough without eating poisonous berries."

He thought he'd finally gotten through to her when she ceased eating and stared at him blankly. "Loosey, Loosey?" She repeated. "What is Loosey?"

"It's your name you disrespectful old hag."

"Name Lucy, not Loosey."

"Lu-she?" Meng attempted once more.

"No! Lucy, see, like you-see."


"No wrong, wrong!" She angrily snapped. "Lucy, Lucy, Lucy, Lucy."

"How can you honestly expect me to pronounce your ridiculous foreign sounds! Why can't you just pick an easier name like Rin, or Oku, or Mei?"

"Too many Oku, I know three Oku," she held up three fingers to emphasize her point."Lucy good name!"

"Only in combination with your ridiculous language skills!"

"Ridiculous? What is meaning of 'ridiculous'?" She asked.

Meng had to hold back his shaking fist to prevent himself from punching a hole in the old woman's chest. He clenched his teeth in anger, and assured himself that he could still ditch her rotting mortal carcass later.

The two of them set off for another day of walking, which Meng spent plotting effective ways to lead her off a cliff. Lucy on the other hand, had somehow fallen under the impression that Meng liked her ridiculous tales, and spent the morning telling him a ludicrous story about a half god named Hercules who became a mortal folk hero.

"But that doesn't make sense, coupling between humans and gods is taboo, and half-gods are shunned in both mortal and immortal society," said Meng before he realized he was getting more involved in her insanity than he intended. He was certain it was her intention from the very beginning.

"How about instead of these delusional tales, you can explain why you're wandering alone in such a dangerous forest," he said in an attempt to steer her off topic. "Shouldn't you be off dying somewhere?"

"I no die, I go home and find cure."

"Home? And what obscure place is that where they speak your crazy gibberish?"

"West, far away, beyond sunset."

"Beyond the sunset?" Questioned a perplexed Meng, who assumed in was more of her incomprehensible babbling. "And how does one get to beyond the sunset?"

For the first time, the insane woman who refused to shut her mouth fell silent, and then quickly snapped."None your business!"

Meng raised an eyebrow. He was curious as to why the old woman was finally locking up, and when he thought about it further, he realized that she was not only insane, but her entire behavior differed from the monks he'd met in the past.

"You're clearly dressed as a monk," said Meng while glaring at her suspiciously. "And yet you don't act like any monk I've seen before. You haven't made a single prayer before meals, you travel alone, you openly disrespect a god, not to mention," Meng ripped the golden staff out of her hands. "Why do you have this thing?"

He held the staff up high enough to examine the inscription. Lucy repeatedly jumped up and down in an attempt to snatch it back.

"No you can't have!" She yelled.

"Get out of my face," said Meng, who was now free from her tyranny and easily pushed the old woman away.

He continued his examination. It was a meter long, completely plated in gold, and insignias decorated all sides. It was an ancient weapon which was most likely fashioned for a great and powerful god, and he couldn't help but wonder how it had fallen into the hands of a rambling mortal.

"I pity the poor god you stole this from," said Meng.

"I no steal!" She exclaimed. "I borrow for long long long time."

"Like that's any different," muttered Meng.

He mimicked the way she threw it against the ground, but there was no reaction. It obviously required a mantra, and he could recall her shouting incomprehensible words when she used it against him.

"This junk is of no use to me," he muttered as he tossed the staff to Lucy who missed. She quickly snatched it from the ground, and hugged it tightly to her chest.

He expected the old mortal to come back with a witty retort, but instead she continued walking while grasping the god instrument tightly and glancing anxiously back at Meng like she feared he would steal it once more.

"Hey, there's no need to be like that," said Meng, but Lucy refused to speak to him for the rest of the day. He thought her silence would be a godsend, but instead he found it unnerving.

"Stupid disrespectful mortal," Meng muttered.

Lucy's attitude reminded him of events which took place centuries ago. After the old man's death, Meng was once again reduced to a child roaming the continent. Things were easier after the mortal had taught him skills for survival, but on one hot, humid day Meng didn't have the energy to forage for food. Therefore, he decided to use his status as a god to request a human caravan to feed him.

"Give me food please," asked a teenage Meng.

The caravan of human peasants silently stared at Meng with their mouths open in shock. He assumed they must have been terrified by his overwhelming godly presence.

"What's wrong? Scared?" Asked Meng with a grin.

"It's not that," said the old man standing at the front. "We've just never heard a god say please before, have you Jon?"

"No, can't say I have ever," said a bent old man behind him. "It's usually hand over all your food or we'll slaughter your livestock and family."

"And sometimes it's hand over all your food, and then we'll slaughter your livestock and family," added the first man. "But never please."

"Are you sure this guy is even a god, he looks pretty dirty for a god!" Yelled one of the crowd.

"And ain't those human clothes he got there!"

"Are you sure it's not one of the local boys bleaching their hair again and running around demanding free things?"

Meng felt rage swell up from within. The hole he punched through a tree was enough to prove his godliness, and the group of mortals handed him food before throwing themselves to the ground and begging for his forgiveness.

Meng walked away that day while greedily chewing an orange. He had lost his place among gods, couldn't gain the respect of men, and felt nothing but anger and resent. His life had been reduced to that of a wandering lower god, and he hated every day of it.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, five older gods appeared and blocked his path. They were dressed head to toe in silk and jade, and the largest of them all, looked down at Meng while casually fanning himself in the humidity.

"And what trash has dared drag itself into the territory of the great Ala Sae," he laughed before launching himself at Meng.

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