ELEVEN (Part 1)

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the world could not see

filled the air as they twisted and 


For uncountable weeks that dragged slower than Aruma's talking, Morita trained with both the Heavens and Dishonoreds

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For uncountable weeks that dragged slower than Aruma's talking, Morita trained with both the Heavens and Dishonoreds. After a cold shoulder from Aruma when they bumped into each in the hallways in the morning and an ever-changing introduction to Remoren's many personalities, she would go to Scioren's room. She trekked halfway across the court only for him to lead to the library or the garrison or some other place. The library made sense when she was with the Knowledge deity, but anytime they went to the garrison, she wondered why Remoren kept a collection of mortal weapons when they couldn't hurt anyone. Unless, of course, they were forged by the Metal deity or something.

With Scioren, she learned more about the deities. About their history, culture, language, and other random topics that he either wanted her to know or had gotten them off track. After that, she would head straight to the ballroom to dance. But not the type of dancing she much preferred to do. No, in the ballroom, she learned self-defense and how to fight with her bare fists. And right now, she wished she had more than her bare fists. Then, she might be able to kill the Heaven in front of her.

"Tell me, Morita, how am I going to teach you if all you do is stall until you can go?" the Heaven said.

Morita's feet were swept under her with a painful kick that shook her entire body, and she wildly clawed the air before falling on the hard floor. As she laid on the ground, her back screaming, she had a sudden thought. Why can't be Verotz be as perfect as mortals believed?

Most religions believed that Verotz was all clean and perfect. Many people—including her even though she didn't believe in any of it—imagined the land of the deities as a paradise with white, grand, and ancient Karvic buildings. Sure, all of the buildings were very stylish, but everything was so off. The world of immortals didn't have a sky, or a real ground either. Natural water didn't exist, and everything (literally everything) was made by either a God or a deity. Is this the pure paradise they imagined? she wondered as her body pulsed with pain.

She arched her back, hissing when the heat flared there. But instead of begging to leave like the past Morita might have, she bared her teeth at the ceiling and leaped up. Her hands curled in fists, and she rushed at Laptus. Her teacher didn't even look back to knock her back with her elbow. It hit her right in the side and she went flying. She landed on the ground again and slid across the smooth floor. A jolt of pain shot through her body when she hit the wall with a sudden stop.

Upon instinct, she gasped for air. She lifted her head and glared at Laptus, tears welling up in her eyes. Dammit. If you ever die, I will never resurrect you, she vowed, which was the only angry promise she could make with her limited power. Morita pushed her upper body off the ground with her arms and angrily swiped at the tears, telling herself it was just a fight or flight response. Laptus, who looked all glorious in her white High-Heaven suit, started walking to her. No, she prowled toward Morita, each step a focused push of silence. Fear shot through her since she didn't know what the Motion deity would do. She could barely think right.

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