10 The hierarchy

Fifty-eight nodded. "In status, yes. Anyone you see with an adult's body is a god." She said, shoving a huge piece of gravy-soaked bread inside her mouth.

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Beth felt disgusted. But she kept it to herself, keeping a blank face.

"Ohh." She said, keeping her eyes on the plate. She had lost her appetite. But the information that the girl provided intrigued her. So she turned to the girl once again, posing another question. "Then why are they all dressed so alike? Is there a uniform system even for gods?" She asked sarcastically.

The girl laughed, putting the half-chewed food inside her mouth on display. Beth gagged inside, struggling to keep her gaze fixed on the girl's face.

"You could say so," Fifty-eight said, finally calming down. "It's the hierarchy. The free gods are the lowest in the ranks. Though they have a god's status they're only entertainers. They usually dress in white. You won't see many of them here since they reside in the outskirts of the upper town. None of the gods come here." She said, looking proud of the knowledge she possessed.

Beth scrunched her brows in doubt. She had never seen those free gods. All she'd seen were those in purple. She wondered how high in the hierarchy they were.

"Number One and her gang," Beth asked, raising her brows. "What about them?"

"They're tasked minor gods," Fifty-eight replied. "They're one rank above the free gods. They have specific roles to fulfill in managing heaven. Though they might come to the lower town for work, they all reside in the upper town along with other gods."

Beth offered a tight smile as she took the information in. This meant that all gods had an adult's body and their ranks were displayed by the color of the robes they wore. It must be pretty easy to discern them. The information kept her wanting for more. It could very well save her ass from trouble while she is in heaven. But it made her a bit nervous. No wonder One was so cold to her. She knew that Beth was nothing compared to her.

"So they're quite powerful." She muttered to herself.

"Not really," Fifty-eight said, shaking her head. "They're only second last in the hierarchy. There are more powerful gods residing in the upper town. I've heard the servants talk about them. If you ever see someone wearing green, gold, or red robes, make sure to keep your gaze lowered. You can get kicked out of heaven for even looking at them."

Beth sighed. "I feel like a vegetable." She said, shaking her head in dejection.

The hierarchy was too cruel to them. She didn't have to ask to know that the servants were of higher status than she or fifty-eight were. Those servants, who were present amongst them looked around sixteen to seventeen years of age and wore more sophisticated looking clothes with a long blue tunic and matching pants. The older you looked, the higher your status was. Yet, neither the servants nor the slaves like herself were even considered as part of the hierarchy, It was as if the gods thought that they were not even worth mentioning.

"That's what we are," Fifty-eight said with a shrug.

Beth nodded. That was when she remembered that she was supposed to ask something from the girl. She had forgotten about the matter once they started talking about other things.

"Oh, I had something to ask. Where do we find seeds?" She asked, cocking her head to the side.

The girl's eyes widened in shock, hearing the question. "Shh!" She shushed her, leaning in towards her hastily. "Are you trying to get into trouble?" She asked, looking around in fear.

"Why? What is it?" Beth asked, finding her behavior odd. Why would she act like that for something so small? She wondered.

Fifty-eight was nervous as she started talking. "Planting is forbidden for slaves. That is why you don't even find even a weed growing in this part of the town. I heard that one of the slaves accidentally found a plant growing in the town while she was cleaning and she was sent to hell for that."

Beth knew that she wasn't going to get anything out of the girl for free. Luckily, she knew what she had to do to get her to talk.

"Ohh. Then are there no plants in heaven?" She asked, pushing her own unfinished dinner plate towards the girl. Fifty-eight's eyes lit up in joy, seeing the food. She quickly grabbed the plate and started eating from it hungrily. After taking two bites, she leaned in towards Beth.

Lowering her voice, she said, "I heard the servants say that there is a greenhouse somewhere in the outer layers of the upper town where they grow all the plants which are later transplanted to the inner layers of the upper town. I guess one might find seeds there."

"Ahh. It's all quite confusing." Beth said, trying to act disinterested.

If planting a tree was such a crime then she had to keep it a secret from everyone else. Not that she planned to tell it to anyone anyway, but she'd have to be more careful talking to people about it, she reminded herself. She couldn't afford to get kicked out to hell before she gathered more information about both the places. And the system was her only hope at that. If the damn thing wasn't adamant about her completing the task, then she could have been at ease. Now she'd have to make a good plan to sneak into the upper city, she thought, plans brewing in her mind.

"It's okay. You'll get the hang of it." Fifty-eight said, nodding. She paused and turned to Beth, suspicion flashing in her eyes. "Why did you ask though?"

"I was just curious why the town looked so dry," Beth lied, waving at the girl dismissively.

"I figured as much! It gets too hot here most of the time because of that." Fifty-eight said, resuming her supper.

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