Light. There was only light in the world, and everything else seemed meaningless, non-existent, incoherent, and fatuous. The luminance of light seemed to grow brighter and more magnificent than anything that had come before.
However, every story has an ending, no matter how magnificent and illusory it may seem.
The light faded and withered into shimmering particles, revealing the unaffected and unaltered world. A broken amphitheatre floated in the collapsing sky, crumbling down into the world.
Above it all, Quetzalcoatl sank slowly, her dimming eyes closed, her complexion paler than the moon, her figure waning, shrouded in white light particles.
Her slender figure descended as slowly as the fading light, like a broken bird unwilling to leave the sky.
Her waning body brushed lightly against the cracking ground, as light as a feather falling to the ground. And her heaving chest slowed down in silence and serenity.
Apollo emerged and touched her pale brow with his finger. The figure of Quetzalcoatl instantly disintegrated into millions of shimmering light particles, teleporting her to the infirmary.
He turned to face the amphitheatre, which was still holding up despite their supernova clashes. The Skyfathers enchanted the amphitheatre with their power in the final moments before their clash.
Thus, averting a catastrophe—a catastrophe that would have destroyed hundreds of star systems and even affected a part of Milky Way—their clash also destroyed the Ancient Order's alterations to the concepts of "distance" and "space," restoring the arena to normalcy. Although the amphitheatre and arena were still collapsing and crumbling into pieces and falling to the ground.
In stunned and sunken silence, the Gods and Goddesses fixed their gazes on Apollo.
The eternal sun rose suddenly from the horizon, upon this broken sky, emitting infinite light, filling the broken dark sky and mending it in purity and creation. The darkness faded, and light replaced it, repeating the cycle that had become eternal with the passing of time.
A ray of light erupted from the eternal sun, splashing on Apollo and shading him in white and gold hues. The entire amphitheatre was also illuminated by the sun, jolting the Gods and Goddesses out of their trance.
And, immediately, they witnessed the ascension of Phoebus Apollo.
As his form began to change, Apollo turned to face the eternal sun in the mending sky. His brown hair was golden in the sun's auric glow and was growing long and long, reaching his hips. His glabella was adorned with a blazing sun emblem, and a golden laurel crown emerged on his head. And his figure emitted infinite light, mirroring the eternal sun.
Apollo raised his hand, looking through it. His fingers were right below the embers of the sun, and then, without hesitation, he clasped his hand upwards, as though to catch the sun itself within his hand.
And instantly there was total darkness.
The eternal sun had disappeared from the sky, and darkness had returned to the world.
Apollo gazed at his clasped hands, which turned translucent in light, and within them was the golden ball of fiery flames. It was the....
He brought the sun to his chest and slammed it on himself, under gawking and narrowed eyes.
His chest was adorned with a dazzling sun emblem, his eyes were filled with golden light, and his figure was enveloped in golden flames. And a golden divine halo materialised in his head.
A terrifying divine aura erupted from him, blanketing the heavens and earth.
At this moment, the Sun Gods and Goddesses felt it ever so clearly. The divinity of Phoebus Apollo devoured more than half of the divinity of Quetzalcoatl, usurping a portion of her control of the sun.
And Apollo's divinity grew and grew within the eternal sun, eventually surpassing the divinity of almost all sun gods and goddesses. Finally, it came to a halt, having attained the highest level within the sun, equal to the divinity of Amaterasu and Ra.
Apollo ascended to become the supreme Sun God, the Symbol of Light and Power.
The Gods and Goddesses in the amphitheatre, riveted their gazes on Apollo, still sunken in silence.
In the arena, Athena materialised in front of Apollo as his divine form faded away. She walked towards him, eyeing him with emotional eyes. She then clasped his hand in hers and raised it high.
The Goddess of Wisdom declared. "The winner of the epochal battle is Phoebus Apollo, the Supreme God of the Sun, the Symbol of Light and Power."
The silence was finally broken, and raucous cheers replaced it, as gods and goddesses clapped and yelled with all their might.
Artemis and her hunters entered the arena first, followed by a slew of Greek minor gods and goddesses. They trashed at Apollo and went wild with fervour and zeal.
"Whoa…" Apollo said, as his sister lifted him with the hunters and minor gods. "Easy there.."
They ignored him and threw him into the air, their hands raised to catch him as he fell.
"My Little Brother!"
Their roars resounded around the world, as they caught him and threw him again and again.
Daffodils bloomed brilliantly in the sky, beneath the wave of magic, descending on Apollo.
Apollo looked up at the mending sky as he ascended into the air. The cheers of all melted his ever-calm eyes as he spread his hands.
As he sank into their hands, his lips finally curved into a genuine smile.
The entire amphitheatre erupted in joy and exhalation. His name was chanted again and again in exhilaration and fervour.
However, where there is light, there is also darkness; where there is hope, there is also despair; where there is happiness, there is also...
Amaterasu tapped her fingers on the armrest, gazing at Apollo.
He ascended to claim even more control of the sun, becoming equal to her. However, this does not imply that he is already strong enough to compete with her.
After all, she was the Sky Mother. But his strength was growing too quickly, faster than anyone in the divine realms, even surpassing Hela, Odin's prodigy daughter.
And Amaterasu couldn't possibly be wrong. In his wretched eyes, she saw ambition and thirst for power.
There is also a long-standing hatred between her pantheon and the Olympian pantheon.
Apollo could very well push everything to the boiling point, to the point of no return.
"So it is…" She sighed, her eyes heavy. The prophecy of her brother rang in her mind again and again.
'He is going to start a war, Amaterasu. I can already hear the drums through the winds of the eternal night. They whisper, you know, the winds, telling untold secrets and forgotten mysterious.'
War. It was something Amaterasu never desired or preferred. With all her power, she always tried to avoid it and chose a peaceful solution. It was due to her that war between the Olympian Pantheon and her pantheon was avoided in the past.
Her title, Sky Mother, denotes not only power but also responsibility. And the War, the War of the Gods, had the potential to destroy everything she cared about.
Her father, Izanagi, instructed her as he handed over the mantel of rule to her.
"The one who wants to wear the crown must bear its weight."
That weight fell on her head, always reminding her of duty and responsibility.
As ruler, Amaterasu desired to avoid all possibilities of war.
But, deep down inside, she knew that the impending war was unavoidable. Whether they want it or not, it will burn their lands in blood and madness. Even with her great strength, she may not be able to stop the herald of war.
Amaterasu rose from her seat, her gaze fixed on Apollo.
In her hand was a symbol of the crescent moon, the emblem of her brother.
"You were right as always, brother..." she smiled, her eyes slowly turning resolute, her fingers tightly clasping the moon emblem.
"War...." As the emblem emitted a blinding silver light that bathed Amaterasu's figure, she whispered ruefully.
Then, she was gone, leaving an eerie and unnerving silence in the air...
Hera frowned, the worry in her eyes deepening.
"Zeus…" She said.
"I understand, Hera." Zeus cut her off, seeing right through her worries. He sat in his seat, which resembled a throne, with his chin in his palm, observing Apollo.
"Do you?" Hera questioned,
"Look." She pointed to the elated Olympian Gods cheering for Apollo in the arena.
"They're flocking to him like a pack that has finally found their leader. The past is repeating itself in front of us."
"You worry too much." Zeus said simply, but his face hardened as he looked around at the cheering Olympian Gods.
"Yes. Yes." Hera cut in, waving her hands. "Fate is on our side. I understand. But I don't believe them. And neither should you. Their promises are as fickle as the hearts of the Gods."
Zeus rose from his seat and stared at her. Then he reached out his hand to her.
"Come on, let's leave."
"Zeus, don't ignore me!" Hera said. "It's no longer just us, but everything and everyone. One small mistake and it will all come crashing down. And we won't be there to pick up the pieces."
"Hera," Zeus replied solemnly. "I understand it better than you think. Come on, now."
"I really hope you know what you're doing..." Hera grumbled as he clasped her hand in his.
Their figures vanished in a flash of lightning.
Meanwhile, Ares stood beneath their box, staring at the shattered arena, his dazed eyes flashing with images of the battle between 'War' and 'Peace.'
"War?…" He whispered quietly, as if questioning everything.
Indra rose from his seat. His piercing gaze was resolved on the Apollo.
He already knew that a great war was on the horizon. A war that would engulf the entire universe, heralding Death, Despair, and Destruction with it.
His figure was bathed in blue lightning steaks, his blue eyes hardening.
The war. It was a decision that even he, the Sky Father, couldn't make alone.
The words of the Exalted Trimurti matter above all, including his own....
Indra vanished, his form shattering into tendrils of blue lightning that illuminated the box before fading into nothingness.
Hela whispered. "You hear it too, Brunnhilde.."
"Yes, milady." Brunnhilde nodded, her eyes solemn. "A stirring underneath it all."
Hela rose from her seat. "It's better if we report this to my father, the king." She laughed. "Well, for all I know, he may already be aware of it."
Brunnhilde paused, seeing her enthusiasm. "This isn't our war, Milady..."
"But it is..." Hela laughed. The confusion in the eyes of Brunnhilde deepened.
"You will understand everything." Looking up at the dark space, the Goddess of Death continued. "When the time comes."
She finally called.
A blinding kaleidoscopic beam descended on them, and they ascended into infinite starry space.
In the middle box of the amphitheatre, Death breathed out, "That battle was great…"
For a moment, Dream was silent. His starry eyes took in the entire thrilled crowd.
"You liked it, Dream." Death laughed, her eyes narrowing at him. "Didn't you?"
"It was good." Dream admitted, his face expressionless as ever. He then emphasised. "Especially the 'War' and 'Peace' part."
"I know, Dream. I know." Death said, still laughing.
"Enough, sister." Dream said. "The fates are converging on this event as we speak. It is best if we leave, or our presence might attract even more unwanted attention."
Death turned her gaze to the side of the amphitheatre, where a floating figure with light eyes remained silent, witnessing everything with dignity and solemnity.
It was none other than Utau the Watcher. He discreetly side-glanced, as if noticing the gaze of Death on him. Then, without hesitation, he vanished, as if fleeing from this universe with all his might.
Seeing this, Death sighed, "Am I that frightening, Dream?"
"No." An imperceptible smile crept on the lips of Dream. "Not at all, sister."
Death smiled, shaking her head and petting his shoulders. "All right, let's go."
A wave of shimmering sand swept over and swirled their figures. And they were also gone..
The wheel of time spun faster and faster, ushering in a new era for the universe, an era of....
War and Blood.