The thing that weighs most on my mind is this god's fascination with heroes. Why the fixation on heroes, what exactly makes them special to gods? What do gods even need followers or faith for; they are already the pinnacle of existence. Is that faith the reason why they exist, or is it the foundation for their power?
["Let me clear some of your doubts young man. gods are the embodiment of the concepts they represent. We also have the ability to feel everything related to the concepts we rule over. When people follow a concept on a level that is higher than normal, we can sense it and feel pleasure.
We decided to call that pleasurable sensation faith. We pay attention to the people who can produce an above-average amount of faith. The ones who produce an excessive amount of faith we call them heroes. Are you still with me?"]
"Yes, I understand everything so far."
Okay, I understand why they are so fixated on heroes, they are anomalies who bring them a lot of pleasure when they show up. I assume now that I am meeting this god, that I must have caught his attention with my extreme views. Not sure if I fall under the category of hero but I hope I don't, I'm not exactly comfortable having the attention of a god.
["Faith does not give us more power and we will continue to exist without it. It is just entertainment in our long boring lives. We spend most of our time waiting until we feel a jump in faith, when we do sense it we then hone our attention to that person.
We then proceed to watch the life of that person to see whether or not they can continue supplying us with faith. If they do we continue watching them until we get bored of them or a person who provides more faith shows up."]
Okay, that answered my biggest question, and now I'm terrified. I have done a lot of questionable things in the name of fun and some of those experiences could have ended with my death. Gods can do the same and on a larger scale, there is literally nothing that can stop them from doing so. Well, I have to take some solace in the fact that I was entertaining while I was alive for my own sanity. I don't know what this god is specifically into or finds amusing, but we have to be happy with the little things.
["This is why many gods search for heroes that champion our beliefs, it is the most entertaining thing for us gods to watch. The hero inspires others to follow a similar path to them, as a result, more people live by a code that is similar to a hero's core beliefs. Best case scenario another hero is born, and at the very least the people that are inspired will provide us more faith than usual.
Personally speaking, I try not to intervene too much in a hero's journey out of fear for ruining their lives or the ongoing story. Some gods want to be more personally involved and want to be part of the story in some way. Some of them reside in the hero's weapon as a spirit, some of them appear to them to give them a blessing or a trial to test their beliefs. The most dangerous ones are the ones who go as far as to have a more intimate relationship with them, either as a friend or a lover."]
Heroes are just the gift that keeps on giving, so they are a safe bet for entertainment. I do not know how boring it is to be a god, but it must be really bad. So bad that some of them are willing to insert themselves into the life of a hero. On the other side of the spectrum, some of them go as far as to not get involved for fear of ruining their entertainment. If my fate is dependent on how starved this god is for entertainment, then I have to say my situation is compromised. This is the god of tribulations, this is definitely not going to end well for me.
["If a person can dedicate their entire life towards a concept we embody, the pleasure a god feels is indescribable. It brings a sense of validation towards our existence. There is a downside to this relationship, when a hero abandons and/or knowingly betrays a concept we embody, the fury we feel can not be put to words."]
Oh, I do not like where this is going, the conversation is going to take a bad turn. A god is basically a deranged and entitled fan, who didn't like the ending of their favorite show. This is so bad, unlike other people they actually have the power to do something about it. The moment you do something to betray their expectations, who knows what they will do to you in a fit of rage.
["I am the God who has been betrayed the most times by heroes, and they did it for the sake of the greater good. This has been going on for too long, I am getting tired of being betrayed. Almost every god has a hero to call their own, someone who champions what they stand for, someone who is willing to die for them.
Sure some heroes like what I embody, but I have no one to call my own. What hurts me the most is how the rest of my family is in a similar position, no one accepts them wholeheartedly. We have no one who accepts everything we embody. When I first saw your parents, I thought another poor family will be destroyed by noble intentions."]
The situation is more than compromised. It is truly fucked, and even worse than I imagined. Oh shit, oh fuck, oh god, fuck. I got the attention of an even more angry and extreme fanboy, and possibly the rest of his family. Is this what I get for being a selfish prick while I was alive? Of course, karma would exist just to bite me in the ass.
["Then I saw something beautiful, you resented your parents at first for their beliefs. You grew past that resentment, and you became someone who prioritized those closest to you. You acted solely for the benefit of your family and gave little to no regard for yourself. It was these qualities that made you the best candidate to be my champion. It was so refreshing to see someone like you, but I was robbed of my fun by your own negligence. Then I had a brilliant idea."]
There is hope for me and my family, I can salvage this situation if he finds me more entertaining. The bad part is this crazed fan has a plan and most likely all the means to implement this plan of his. I'm pretty sure his plan will involve things that go against my notions of normal or common sense.
["I had several questions lingering on my mind. Was it the era you were born into and raised in that led to act in that particular way? Would you be able to resist the calling of a hero, if I were to put you into an era similar to the age of heroes? In a world where clear injustice exists, and people need to rise up to bring about change. A world where heroes can be celebrated for the sacrifice they have made.
I will put you on the path of a hero, you will experience the entirety of the hero's journey. Would you be able to resist the call to save the world when it is threatened? Will you be able to ignore those whose lives are in danger in a world where safety isn't a guarantee? Will you still prioritize the few you care for over the greater good in this kind of era? I want to put your beliefs to the test and see if you are the hero I have been waiting for."]
Of course, the god of tribulations would like to put me to the test for his own amusement. I have to remember that he said that he wanted to make a deal. That means I get to ask him for something in return, my conditions for cooperating with him in his insane plan. I have to confirm something for myself.
"Does the afterlife exist? If so, in exchange for my cooperation I would like to ensure my parents' place in the afterlife."
I do not know if the afterlife exists, and if it does, who knows what criteria need to be followed to be accepted into it. It is better to be safe than sorry, I want to guarantee my parents' lives in that place. They deserve it after all the sacrifices they made to help and as many people as they could.
["You have no clue what lies in store for you in the future, rather than ensuring your future you ensured your parents' future. You did not disappoint me at all by asking that as your terms for your cooperation.
Yes, it does exist, us gods created it to honor the heroes who brought us so much pleasure and joy. It is really difficult to get in there, you first have to catch the eye of god and then you need the approval of a god. Their place in their afterlife is almost certain, after all, they could be considered heroes for the goddess of Justice. Should she not approve, you have my word I'll be their insurance and get them to the afterlife.
However, in the end, it is their own choice to go there or to reincarnate. I'll reward you with my blessing for your life in the new world, for that show of filial piety and mainly for your entertaining life."]
God, you have no idea how much this means to me, all my life I wanted my parents to be recognized, to have their sacrifices acknowledged. People like them do not get the recognition they deserve in the modern age. Society placed an emphasis on celebrities, athletes, and the wealthy as role models.
I will definitely suffer in the future, but my current self tells me that my parents are worth the sacrifice. I can't forget my past life, I wouldn't be me without the experiences that shaped me. Having some sort of closure for the end of my life is nice, I feel like I can move on slightly
["Now Morgan are you ready for your new life, you are about to embark on a hero's journey."]
I'm not, I do not think I'll ever be ready for this type of experience. You can't fight the inevitable, it's better to accept it wholeheartedly to make it easier on the mind.
He has seen most of if not the entirety of my life, I'm 100 percent sure that he knows my name.
"But my name is Mark."
["It doesn't matter what your name is, you are about to start a new life in a world completely different from what you have lived in. A new beginning deserves a new name, it will help you make the distinction from your past life to the new one."]
Wow I totally walked into that one, this guy is stubborn I don't think I'll ever get him to use my old name. Not sure why, but I guess this guy really wanted to name me. He does have a point that this is going to be unlike anything I have experienced, it would be nice to make distinctions between my lives. I am keeping my last name though, I want to have something reminding me of my parents.
"Alright, I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
With a thunderous clap from god, everything went to black and I experienced a sudden loss of consciousness.