Chapter 1:

Chapter 1 - Deal


A large number of semi-ascended beings (MIX OF HUMANS AND ASCENDED) arrive at the foot of the imposing colorful mountain that produces fear and intrigue in all their hearts.

Among the crowd, three beings look for a way to ascend without harm, but this idea seems impossible.

According to what these three guides had heard in one of the small villages through which they managed to pass unharmed in their exodus.

The mountain was both feared and respected, respected because of the magnificence it represented, magnificent because it had peaks of different colors while feared because no life form was allowed to enter its territories.

- Let's go in - breaks the ice with a short sentence full of enthusiasm the little Lot wagging his big feline tail full of polka dots.

Before Paeck, the big otorongo, can speak, Dorco intervenes.

- Maybe we need to ask Yura for help first.

- If that's what we're here for, big bird, you don't realize why we're here- Lot replies wryly.

- I know, I know, but look at the others - he points at them with his cold eyes.

The semi-ascended are tired from so much walking, nervous about the idea - whether they will be able to stay on this 7 colored mountain - and if worse, they all seem to have headaches for no reason.

Without hesitation, Paeck decides to enter the mountain without caring about the headache he feels, he thinks - this must be a product of the high altitude we are at.

In his head there is nothing but pain, worry and a sense of duty towards his people that he has been creating throughout this mestizo exodus, a product of not having a place to belong.

The pressure exerted by the seven-colored mountain affects his body, making his walking heavier and heavier.

The toned body of the otorongo warrior seems incapable of moving forward, because it has remained static after advancing one meter.

He grits his teeth because of the rage and impotence he feels at not being able to move any further and to think of all the hopes that his half-breed people have placed in him.

As if forced to lie down, he falls with a thud on the arid and colorful ground, his feline paws unable to keep up, but inside, his fighting spirit has not given up. The memories of all the adversities he has overcome with his friends, the thought of keeping his people and the woman he loves safe give him the strength to keep going.

In great pain, enduring the icy wind and the damp, stale mountain soil, he crouches down, plants the first claw in the ground as an anchor, then the other, and so he continues to crawl forward.

- My lady APU, you know who we are and you know what we are looking for, lady Yura. Please show yourself - are the words he utters with difficulty amidst that look of struggle on his face.

Behind him, everyone watches with great expectation their leader, the one who has delivered them from so much darkness and guided them to a better life.

Lot is the most impatient of all, especially between him and Dorco, perhaps because they are both felines and so he feels a special bond with Paeck.

So the little ocelot decides to go in with a lot of confidence, even though he knows he won't outlast Paeck.

- Where are you going? We have to find out what the APU wants in order to negotiate with them - says Dorco seriously when he sees Lot following Paeck's footsteps.

Lot turns around, claws on his head, scratches his big fluffy ears, wagging his big tail, he answers.

- That's what you are for, Dorco, among all of us you are the most rational and sensible - he replies in a cheerful tone, turns his back to him and begins to climb the colorful mountain.

But Lot's body, as it was in relation to the chain of feline families - his family is that of the ocelots, so it was smaller than Paeck's - falls instantly to the ground.

- Damn it! - he shouts helplessly - I'm not going to let him carry all the weight on his shoulders - with this cry of overcoming he begins to crawl forward approaching Paeck slowly while he also continues to move forward.

- Show yourself Yura - he speaks without showing any respect to the lady who rules the mountain.

Dorco feels too much pressure now, having in front of him his two friends who have put their hope in him, he feels it is too much for a simple being like him.

After a few seconds of reflection, Dorco heads towards the provisions of the nomadic people they have formed during this half-breed exodus through the 4 regions.

With his large wings, he picks up an ounce of coca leaf in a leather pouch, and a bottle of burning water.

Among his knowledge, he knows that to negotiate with the APUS one must always bring an offering, and he knew that coca represents the pact that once the gods of this region had made with all living beings.

Dorco, with his great feathered body, the great condor enters and follows the steps of his friends, being a semi-ascended of the condor family, his body is adapted to the pressure due to the same force he feels when he takes to the skies.

He walks with difficulty until he reaches them.

Without hesitation, he handles his wings as if they were arms and spreads the coca leaves all over the place, and waters the same leaves with the burning water.

-Lady Yura, APU ruler of the magnificent rainbow mountain, I, a humble semi-ascendant of the condor family, beg you to show yourself before us and let us have a dialogue, please. I beg you -without the pressure exerted by the mountain forcing him to kneel, he kneels, bowing his head to the ground.

Behind, the crowd of half-descended people watches with great expectation their three leaders, the powerful otorongo blessed by the sun, the cheerful ocelot capable of bringing peace and joy to all of them and the wise condor, who carries the good news through the skies and guides the brave ones.

Uncertainty grows among all of them as they see how these same ones try to convince the mountain APU so that they all receive his protection from the atrocious world in which they live.

Among them, someone comes to the front in a hurry, she steps forward with her blue eyes crystallized by the tears that escaped her as she watched the one she loves suffer.

She watches in the hope that Paeck, and his friends will not suffer any repercussions from the mountain APU, she cries out with her hands clenched against her chest.

Seeing that nothing is happening, she decides to go inside, her brown hair held in a small knot comes loose, her hair ends up flaming just like her mustard-colored Spanish dress with the force of the powerful wind blowing down the mountain, her light cheeks redden from the cold she feels and her slender body begins to shiver.

She, like Paeck and Lot, is subjected to the pressure of the mountain.

- I can't leave him, I promised him I would always be by his side - she whispers to the ground.

Inwardly, she searches for the necessary strength from her weakened body to be able to move forward and accompany the one she loves.

He begins to crawl forward while leaving a thin trail of small drops like a tiny rain, his tears were a sign of pain, pain for seeing someone he loved suffer and pain for feeling how his bones and muscles were about to break.

- ... this is the power of a being called APU - she whispered.

All the semi-ascended watched her in amazement and with a bit of contempt in part, because she was a simple human, not a semi-ascended like all of them, besides having a more fragile body, and yet she had entered with the fear of dying from the power of the mountain.

This motivated the crowd to ascend in fear, ignoring the incessant headache.

On the way some begin to regret, but the cries of the crowd and the bravery of all the beings who have climbed to defend them, motivates them to ascend the colorful mountain eliminating the idea of retreat.

She catches up with a tired and weak Paeck who could barely keep himself in that doggy position.

He, the fierce otorongo cannot believe what his beloved Micaela has achieved, because he knows the fragility of the untrained human body.

His feline eyes dilate from the astonishment and pain of seeing her subjected by that damned pressure felt in all of them, with his sensitive ears he listens as his bones ask for help and to stop all this pain subjected to her.

-You really are -he can't complete the sentence for some reason so he prefers to smile, even though the pain in him would show more.

She can't answer him, but her blue eyes clearly say that she will always be for him.

The mountain unexpectedly screams, a thunderous bolt of lightning strikes at the entrance, right in front of the semi-ascended who have already started to ascend.

They all look at each other showing their fear of death.

After a few seconds, they refuse to retreat and continue to advance.

More lightning strikes the entrance causing craters, but none hits the semi-ascended so they suffer no damage.

As everyone submits to the dominance of the great 7-colored mountain, grayish clouds begin to gather in the wide sky, almost as if touching the peaks of the 7-colored mountain.

The wind becomes more frigid embracing everyone with a pleasant smell of wet earth and corn husks.

- Semi-ascended - lightning strikes in front of Paeck - what brings you to my domain? don't you know that in my lands no living thing is accepted - coca leaves fly out of the ground.

The coca leaves are carried away by the strong winds and disappear among the fluffy clouds.

- We know - exclaims Paeck crestfallen - but... that's why we have come to you, we have come for your protection, lady Yura.

- My protection - a soft and sweet voice is heard coming down from the mountain.

A beautiful and slender woman with brown hair tied in a French braid, green eyes representing nature, wearing a dress of the same colors as her mountain, white skin as if it had never been caressed by the sun's rays and with some greenish marks on her skin.

- So my protection eh - she takes a seat on one of the colorful rocks of the place - tell me what makes you think that I will accept semi-descendants in my territory - she turns her hand in the direction of the burning water poured, thus extracting the liquor, from the ground emerges a clay cup where she drops the liquid, drinks and continues.

- From what I understand, in the beginnings of this magnificent land, when the news was heard that in the Roman region they were filled with the strength of the creatures, you, the Andeans also wanted that power or I am wrong.

- You are right my lady, but -

-Do not interrupt me when I speak. oh but you belong to the condor family - look at Dorco with grace.

- you implored the gods of this region to have that power and well, you have it? Now you come for my protection when you wanted it yourselves.

- It is not like that my lady - intervenes Paeck - this would not have happened if the Spaniards had not arrived with the Christian doctrine and they had branded us all as demons...

I am not interested in your excuses - she takes another sip of hot water.

- You are right my lady, but you speak of events that happened centuries ago.

- Centuries ago you say... Damn it, I've been alone for so long that I've lost track of time.

- We come to ask you for shelter for our people, you know how the situation is, the ascended beasts and men have wars and both races abuse us so... please, let us stay in your mountain and I promise we will not let you down.

Paeck speaks with a strong tone, he looks up planting his yellow eyes full of need.

- Disappoint me - she exclaims turning her head to one side and placing it on one of her free hands, she felt a little dizzy.

- Yes madam APU, I really don't know what to call you, but I tell you that our people really need your help, let's leave behind the bad decisions of our ancestors and please help us, and we will make our stay on your mountain fun and not boring - Lot adds with a cheerful tone, her big fluffy ears perk up as she wags her tail enthusiastically.

Everyone has noticed that the pressure on the mountain has dropped, but out of fear and respect they are still on the ground.

- boring ehh - he says standing up, walks in their direction and touches their fluffy ears - yes they are soft as the others say.

Dorco stands up and walks with a firm step towards her - listen to me - he said with the cold and imposing tone that characterizes him.

- Hmh, I didn't say you can stand up - he lashes out at Dorco.

With his index finger, he lowers his finger and drops a great pressure on the big condor.

- So you are still so arrogant, condors are the closest birds to the gods in this region and that's why you think you are so cocky - she laughs - until my brother cursed you, it's strange to see you here, I wonder what you are doing here and what my brother will say, if I remember correctly you are condemned to live in solitude always in the air - she mocks Dorco, while he is still struggling not to be subdued.

- I know, but I don't care what he says - he refutes with a lot of pain while everyone watches astonished - for the moment what matters is these people - he points at them - you can give us shelter in your mountain - he emphasizes.

- Okay, I accept - she responds with a different attitude, her personality has changed from someone who enjoyed the pain of others to a more understanding one.

At the same time he withdraws the pressure exerted on Dorco, thus stopping attacking him.

- But she is a human, tell me, I will only accept semi-ascendants, but what about her, what will you do? - she throws a mischievous glance towards the only human in the group.

- Tell me human, what is your name? - she asks.

- ... Micaela madam - she answers docile and respectful raising her gaze towards the APU that had put its attention on her, she noticed that Yura emanated a green aura.

- Micaela... hmm, sounds like a Spanish name to me.

- Yes ma'am, I am mestizo like everyone here, discriminated against by the Andean and Spanish societies.

- I see. Well Micaela tell me why are you here? - she asked intrigued - you are not like them so ....

- my lady - she looked at the crowd that was looking at Yura with uncertainty.

Micaela stands up and with determination pulls out the knife she had hidden in her belt, she walks imposingly towards her as if a bloodthirsty assassin was facing another assassin.

- I see, and what will you do human with that knife, do you plan to stick it in me? - Yura asks curiously with her green eyes waiting for Micaela's actions.

She turns for a moment looking at Paeck on the floor.

- I love you my sweet kitty and I do it for you, for all of you who have welcomed me without judgment into your community.

She turns to Yura, his eyes are full of determination and don't seem to want to back down.

- What are you going to do? - she stresses.

- I know that I do not belong, I also know that for you divine beings are always eager to see a spectacle so I offer myself as a sacrifice to you. so that you can realize the pact of protection through my blood.

- I see - replies Yura.

Micaela would expect nothing less from a divine being, who has no regard for the feelings or lives of mortals.

She holds the knife high with both hands, squeezes firmly, her breathing accelerates, she closes her eyes and feels how the icy wind of the mountain stale to death enters her whole body, she lets out a big sigh while she thinks - if this was the best she could do -.

Seconds go on forever until she achieves her goal, she lets her arms go down.

The knife instantly cuts her dress and her belly, the metal edge is not enough to cover the wound so she lets the blood escape like an overflowing river.

She stands for a few moments and then falls to his knees -I offer myself as a sacrifice- he begins to let out faint whispers that lose strength as the seconds pass.

Paeck's countenance turns dark showing that inside him rage and grief flood him causing him to feel like attacking Yura.

Paeck tries to get up and run to help Micaela, but Dorco and Lot restrain him by holding his arms, shaking his head from side to side.

They know what can happen if they disrespect Yura and even more what it can do to the people they want so much to protect and for whom Micaela gave her life.