Hermetisia 3.4

In the sadness, there was a drought, and in the drought there was a remnant
The humans scattered in fear of what the remnant would cause, and they ended up taking shade under the big tree their ancestors always cursed to be alone
Now integrated within the group, the tree would have asked "Am I now finally forgiven?"
But the humans would not answer, in fear of the remnant which could have been lurking anywhere at that given point in time
The tree could sense this fear, it knows the despair of being hunted by something unknown, or worse yet, invisible
And at the same time, it knows how it felt to be the one doing the hunting
And so, it spread its stems outward until it could serve as an umbrella to every single organism that sheltered under it, and said with newfound resolve
"I see now that to be forgiven, I have to protect the descendants of the people I have hurt. I shall fully accept this role."
And the humans did not affirm his words.

. . .

What comes first? The withering or death?

Everybody knows the difference between a religion and a cult. A religion is real, and a cult is an imitation that depends on manipulation. Or so they taught me. I did not truly doubt that the word of god was real until I was presented with an alternate belief, one that resonated well with my identity and ideologies. The moment I heard of this alternate "god" that seemed to reaffirm me and give me a life purpose I could agree with, I had that desire to abandon my family and run towards the missionaries preaching about their "religion". I was but a child and my family told me that the right thing to do is to respect their delusions. They told me we followed the truth, and they followed a false idol. But no, we are not supposed to tell them that "you are wrong" and that "your god isn't real". We know how crusades begin

"The withering comes first. The bodies rot, no matter how much the delay."
"But we all start dying the moment we start to live."

So, first, was the sacrifice.
The elders line up waiting for their execution. All children are told never to go outside the boundaries, lest they be eaten by that giant, evil tentacle monster. Yes, foolish, indeed. But the manipulation worked. It's amazing, actually.

[ Reading? ]
[ Reading. ]

[ Let's see here... ]

[ Oh. ]
[ What happened? ]
[ The cards want you to speak for them. ]
[ Hahaha, you're lying. ]
[ See for yourself. ]

[ See? ]
[ This is weird. No way. ]
[ Okay. I shuffle, you pick. ]
[ Sure, sure. ]

[ Results? ]
[ Here you go. Ace of Pentacles. ]
[ ...and? ]
[ What does the Ace of Pentacles mean? ]
[ I don't know, new opportunities? I only studied the Major Arcana. ]
[ Big sigh, big disappointment. ]
[ I know, I know, sorry, alright? Um... ]
[ ... ]
[ ...yeah. That. ]
[ ... ]
[ Happiness, profit, new opportunities! Yeah, like that. ]
[ I see... ]

[ What does that mean for us? ]
[ Happiness, probably. ]
[ Vague. Too vague. ]
[ It's enough. ]

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