The small pitter-patters of a running Astral echoed in the hall while he made his way quickly to the elevator. Tutor poked his head as Astral entered space within the elevator.
“Is everything okay?” The white fox looked surprised.
“It’s time!” Astral opened a box with many different numbers and letters.
Quickly typing a code on the keypad, the doors immediately closed. Tutor perked his ears but wasn’t surprised. After all, it was time. Perfectly timed in fact as he looked back into his memories.
The elevator quickly transported Astral to the bottom… very deep bottom of the floor. Coming to a stop and opening itself to a room void of life. One step was all it took for the lights to begin to turn on. Revealing a space of autumn air and falling leaves. It was warm and the air filled with a pure presence. There in the center sat a large maple tree, the large and thick trunk having a hollowed hole covered with a transparent slot large enough to fit the body of a Scarfox God. Just slightly at the center below was another log of maple tree laid in front supported by the tree’s large roots. It also had a glass covering but this one was open.
As Astral walked up the hill to the living tree a body came into sight, and he stopped to ponder at it for a moment before placing the Mini God within the container as gently as he could onto the comfortable bedding within the log. Once, he was placed inside the glass door closed, letting out a steam of Mist from within the roots.
Once again, Astral looked at the other container within the tree trunk. Staring at a longing familiar figure.
“If you can hear me… it is time you wake. The Cirque you so cherish is in danger and you’re the only one strong enough to keep it safe…” Astral stared but would only be met in silence by the body before him.
Just when he was on the brink of losing it all an echoing voice filled the room.
“Thank you for trying your best Astral.”
The glass container opened letting out a large amount of Mist. The body pushed itself from the bedding of golden leaves, and a powerful presence filled the room where Astral stood.
“It’s good to have you returned fully back into your original body and it’s good of you to return to us fully… my dear old friend.”
Back at the ground, the fast-approaching Mist came to a halt nearing the group of battle-ready Scarfoxes. Everyone was confused but they did not lower their guard. Jeremiah and Pierro stared at the cloud of Mist and quickly noticed the Yste’s souls dispersing one by one from the large cloud but seemed to all be heading toward the Clock Tower. The beasts within the Mist began to panic as they started to retreat, becoming aware that the dense cloud of Corrupted Mist was becoming smaller.
The Yste’s Souls were gathering themselves in four large balls near the tower. Contorting and shaping into what seemed larger forms of themselves, these four gazed at the cowering creature. One of the souls gave chase, sharpened teeth ready to strike at the beast who had been causing them havoc for a very long time. Pierro and Jeremiah along with many other Scarfoxes, became witness to something odd and extremely questionable. The Yste’s souls were on their side? They had absorbed this creature right before their eyes.
An air of confusion surrounded their minds while the other beasts made their escape with the corrupted clouds following their retreat. The other larger souls stayed in their place.
“We were being controlled.”
“No longer will we cause harm.”
“For he has returned to take us back.”
“Our Lord will keep us safe.”
“He returns once again.”
“This time to stay.”
“What fun, oh, what fun will we have once again.”
“He has summoned us back to his grace.”
“The corrupted Mist will no longer harm you. “
A flash of light suddenly appears once the last large soul returns with the other three. At the center where this light shines, a figure appears floating. A voice rings in everyone’s head, powerful yet filled with kindness just like that of a Scarfox God.
“No longer will nights like these happen again,” the light of the moon once again begins to expand. Catching in its way whatever beast remains and disintegrating it, purifying the corrupted Mist that it carried. “No longer will you need to hide away and be afraid of the darkness of this month. For the moon will ever shine itself upon your backs just as it was meant to be.”
A large Scarfox with golden laurel sitting upon the sides of his head and a transparent cape flowing behind him. Colors and patterns of all who know the Mini God, are placed upon his body. His golden eyes gazed down at those who were ready to fight the darkness and those who nearly became lost by it. A wave of calmness dispersed from the area as he slowly began his descent from in front of the Clock Tower.
The size of a God stood before all the Scarfoxes in the area. Was it the Mini God? He looked so different from his usual form. Same patterns and the same air. He was just strange. The Yste’s Souls followed him, but they did not attack and instead snugged themselves up to their Master.
“This may seem strange… or I may seem strange to you all but… I am what you all know me as the Mini God,” he said calmly.
Astral descended alongside him and once he was on the ground Jeremiah walked up.
“Astral… what is going on?” Jeremiah didn’t know whether to bow before this strange figure that looked like the Mini God or be concerned about the fact that the figure was easily controlling the large Yste’s souls around him.
“I – “Astral was about to speak but the Mini God raised his hand. “Please allow me Astral.” Astral bowed his head in silence and respect.
The figure looked to everyone in the area including Alta, Pierro, and Jeremiah. “As I said… you all know me as the Mini God, but I have another name… a name forgotten and told of in a tale full of lies and secrets…” the Scarfox sighed and closed his eyes for a moment in silence.
“My name old and true name… Yste, God of Autumnal Equinox.”
At first, it didn’t occur to anyone, and the air of discomfort was obvious. However, that name was known by two Scarfoxes in this large crowd. Jeremiah and Pierro had their eyes wide open and their mouth slightly agape. Astral stepped forward to speak.
“If anyone remembers, Yste was the God who fell to corruption which caused multiple souls to be corrupted and afterward he disappeared. Well… he didn’t disappear he went to sleep from his power losing control and becoming corrupted by Mist. I took Yste and kept him safe from harm because he was the only one strong enough to contain the scattered Yste’s souls,” Astral tried to explain.
“Are you saying that… all this time… the Yste’s Souls could’ve been controlled by him?” Jeremiah’s voice slowly starts to descend into anger. “We have been struggling with these beasts for so long how you would leave us like this?!”
Yste becomes silent.
“Please Jeremiah, listen…” Astral tried to interfere as calmly as he could but Jeremiah was having none of it.
“NO, ASTRAL! This GOD,” he would say sarcastically,” abandoned us for many centuries while we had to face off against clouded corrupted beasts and all he did was gorge himself on food every time this cam – “he was interrupted by Astral.
“No Jeremiah, that wasn’t Yste on top of that tree trunk… that was the small Mini he protected a long time ago. The actual Mini God is named Oliver. He was the Mini who allowed Yste to exist within him while he recovered his strength. Yste’s body has been being sewn by me all this time as best as I could. When this month is here Oliver is sleeping while Yste controls the moon. Every other time Oliver is awake while Yste is asleep. “Astral takes a moment to catch himself.
Pierro looks at Astral and then at Yste,” What about the souls? Why were they always attacking?”
“As you saw there are beasts within that corrupted Mist. They are intelligent, strong, and swift… and they have been controlling the stray souls. Bending them to their will but the ones who escape find themselves within our bodies. Able to escape the clutches of the corrupted beasts. They are harmless… they were just seeking help and cover from the true enemy,” he looked towards the massive souls sitting upon his frame.
“We are sorry. We meant no harm. We were just afraid… We promise not to hurt anyone ever again,” the four souls speak.
“Sadly, they have been in corrupted Mist for a very long time, it will take them a while to be purified properly. Now that I am back, I’m going to try and find a way to purify them and any Scarfox that has become their host,” Yste speaks and for a moment his body falters.
Astral notices, “You must rest. You are still too tired to be moving around and your soul needs to readjust itself to your old body.”
Jeremiah and Pierro looked at each other for a moment then back at the God. “I think we all need to rest and figure out where to go from here,” Jeremiah removed his hat and scratched his head from all the information that he just received. “There are so many questions but… for now I can accept this. After all the Cirque is safe and the corrupted Mist from the walls has disappeared. I say call it a truce for the time being,” he sighs.
Pierro nodded in agreement.
Yste looks to them both and everyone else and lowers his head. “I will answer everything as best as I can once I am once again used to this old new body of mine.”
“We will be in the Clock Tower for the time being. Jeremiah,” Astral turned his head towards the Ringmaster.
“Thank you for at least understanding.”
“Don’t thank me yet Astral… not until you explain this to us later. “
Astral and Yste nodded and returned themselves to the Clock Tower above.
Jeremiah and Pierro along with Miss Alta decided that it was time to close the Cirque for the night and allow everyone to rest. Alta mentioned to everyone in the vicinity that the Ferry will be delivering everyone to their homes tomorrow. She also stated that whatever comes from the conversation between the Cirque and Yste, everyone will know about it in the daily newspaper. Those who still had energy assisted with fixing or moving things properly around the Cirque and those who were too tired returned to the temporary hotel rooms of the Cirque.
Everything was tense and calm at the same time. It had been a night.
Morning came and Scarfoxes were already being packed into the Mist Ferry. Jeremiah, Pierro, Astral, and Yste were all sitting near each other while discussing the information of what happened the prior night. Workers were fixing the Cirque from damages caused by the beasts within the Corrupted Mists. As this all was happening a new but old figure joined in the conversation. Oliver, the Mini God made his presence known to the group. Crying and rushing his way over to hug against a finger. Affectionate tears for Yste who can now walk amongst the others and enjoy food just like Oliver.