Chapter 137:

Ilhuicatl Iohtlatoquiliz

Elyon - Gods among us

Omeyocán was a terrestrial paradise filled with beautiful flowers, as if it were an eternal meadow. One couldn't see any lakes, mountains, rivers... nothing. Just an everlasting flowery plain. However, the flowers were quite peculiar. Those on the left side were blue; but those on the right were red. This same duality could be seen in the sky, as the left side was a clear yellowish color with a sun illuminating the earth; on the other side, to the right, there was a moon, and the sky was bluish. The celestial bodies seemed completely stationary over this vast flower meadow.

In the distance, two gigantic statues rose. The one on the right represented a yellowish woman, dressed in the royal attire of a Toltec queen with white and red patterns. On the left, the statue depicted a red man dressed in Toltec king attire, but his adornments were blue and green.
The statues seemed to gaze off into the horizon, and they were the only man-made structures that could be seen in this world. Nearby, Freyja was fighting against two gods, one male and the other female.

Moments earlier, Epona, Loki, Freyja, and Susanoo had arrived in this peculiar world. They had appeared right in front of the statues of those two giants.

—Is this the world of the ordeal?— Epona asked upon seeing the infinite paradise they were in.

—Welcome travelers to Omeyocán, the thirteenth heaven— two voices were heard speaking in unison. One was a man's and the other a woman's. Then, the members of Orniskem turned to look at the statues. Two deities were standing on them, one male and the other female.

—If you have come for the Thirteen Heavens ordeal, step forward; otherwise, leave— continued the two mysterious gods.

—Wait a meowment— Freyja asked puzzled. —Is this the thirteenth heaven? Isn't this supposed to be the last one?—

—The ordeal was modified so that Tezcatlipoca's heaven would be the last— both gods commented in unison. —In the past, this was the last Heaven, the Heaven of the Universe's Creators, and where Quetzalcóatl had his laboratory—

—The creators of the universe? So, you guys?— Epona inquired.

—Negative— both deities responded. —The creators, the dual couple, are just a philosophical concept; they don't have a physical appearance or shape—

Then, the two gods jumped off the gigantic statues and stood in front of the members of Orniskem. The man was painted red, except for his face which was painted blue. He had such a handsome face and a seductive body that Freyja and Epona couldn't help but look at him lustfully. Atop his head, adorned with beautiful long blonde hair, he wore a headdress made of quetzal feathers. Moreover, his body sprouted some flowers, branches, and wild mushrooms. He wore only a loincloth to cover his nakedness.

The woman, on the other hand, was very beautiful; with sensual red eyes and long brown hair. Unlike the other god, she didn't have her body painted, but her face was colored red. A helmet made with the face of an eagle covered her head, and various feathers and flowers adorned the top of that helmet. Covering her enormous breasts, the goddess had tied a reddish colored tilma, which covered her nipples, and her back was completely exposed. She also wore a tiny white skirt with red and yellow headdresses; and on her feet, she wore white sandals. Loki couldn't stop looking at the beautiful goddess's sensual body, fascinated.

—I am the Prince of Flowers, Xochipilli— said the man.

—And I am the Beautiful Flower, Xochiquétzal— said the woman.

—We are both the siblings designated to guard this Heaven, in the absence of our lord Quetzalcóatl— the gods said in unison again.

—What a beautiful woman!— Loki exclaimed with a lustful gaze. —It's a pity she's just a clone of the real one since she seems to have no emotions—

—I admit that the guy is very handsomeow too— blushed Freyja. —I think I'll look for him when we go to Tula to... get to know him—

—That's how I wanted to catch you, you sow!— Loki shouted victoriously.

—Hey, I can't help but have carnal desires too, you pervert— Freyja snapped back.

—Weak-minded beings— Susanoo lamented, hearing his Nordic companions get carried away by the Toltec gods. —You are so blind, not realizing that the beauty of such insignificant gods pales in comparison to Tul-chan's lovely smile— he added.

—How can you like someone with that much fur and having a rabbit face?— Epona asked

Susanoo, baffled. Suddenly, the oriental god placed a hand on his chest and began to declaim:

—Your name carries
the hue of dreams
that always resonate—

The three gods looked at Susanoo oddly as he continued reciting more poems, but in his native language.

—I think I've opened Pandora's box— Epona remarked sarcastically.

As the gods bickered, the Toltec pair interrupted, repeating in unison: —If you've come to face the Thirteen Heavens ordeal, step forward; otherwise, leave—

—Almost forgot— Loki admitted. —But I want to face the beauty on the right—

—To be honest, they don't look that strong— Epona confidently stated. —If we take them on together, we'll surely win—

However, Freyja raised her hand, signaling for a halt. —Loki, Epona, and Susanoo, you go ahead and get to the next heaven— declared the Nordic goddess.—I'll purrass this ordeal—

—Hey, I want to fight the girl— Loki grumbled.

—You idiot— Freyja retorted. —You're going to purrnch her, not meowke love to her—

—You probably just want to hog both of them— Loki teased. —Didn't know you also liked to swim on the other side of the river—

—Idiot!— Freyja snapped. —Take it seriously, you scum—

—Freyja-san— Susanoo interrupted, —you say we should move on, but we don't know how to leave this planet—

—Hey, you two— Freyja shouted at the Toltec pair. —How do you leave this purr-planet to get to the next Heaven?—

—You should stand between these two statues and fly to the atmosphere, and that way, you'll reach the twelfth heaven, Teteocán— the pair responded in unison.

—Alright, you heard them— Freyja directed. —I'll distract them, and you run to that purrtal—

—Daiyobu, Freyja-san— agreed Susanoo.

—However, no one can pass here unless they defeat us first— both Toltec gods stated simultaneously.

Then, Freyja yelled: —Köttur lögun

The goddess took on her feline form; just as she lunged at the two gods, striking them with her staff. However, they stopped the Nordic goddess's attack with sheer brute force, using the palms of their hands.

—Now!— shouted Freyja, and Loki teleported Susanoo and Epona to the exit of the precinct. The gods flew and disappeared.

—Luckily, my friend can teleport— said Freyja with a smile. Channeling her divine power, she hurled the two gods far across the eternal flower field.

Freyja held her staff upright, watching as the two gods rose. —Meow name is Freyja, queen of Vanaheim!— she shouted. —And you will fall before meow purrwer!—

Suddenly, she saw Xochiquétzal flying at her at incredible speed. Before she could react, the Toltec goddess yelled: —Tlasojtlalixoxolistli

The Toltec deity punched Freyja in the face, and a heart emanated from the impact. Freyja was thrown, but she quickly launched herself at the Toltec goddess, slamming her with her staff.

Xochiquétzal crashed into one of the statues, partially destroying it. These statues were colossal figures hundreds of meters tall.

Freyja then saw Xochipilli seated in a trance-like position. —Aren't you going to fight?— she asked.

But the Toltec god softly chanted: —Mauistlixochimeyalotl

Flowers opened their petals, releasing a golden gas. Seeing this, Freyja quickly jumped and took flight, but the effects of the pollen touched her, affecting her nervous system and causing her to crash to the ground.

Struggling, she tried to rise, but the field's pollen paralyzed her. Xochiquétzal stood beside her and with a powerful kick, yelled: —Xopalmachiotlasojtlalistli—. Hearts floated before the potent impact that sent Freyja flying across the planet like a comet.

Meanwhile, Ana, Menrva, and Tul arrived in a world of perpetual night. The sky was filled with millions of stars and glowing galaxies. The ground was covered in lush grass, reminiscent of the Zacatecan realm.

—Welcome, strangers— a woman's voice echoed. —Congratulations on reaching the second Heaven, Citlalcuauhco—

The goddess descended from the heavens, shining like a comet. She wore a skull mask and her blue hair gleamed as if lit by a star. A necklace of glowing skulls covered her breasts, and her long skirt, adorned with countless constellations, fluttered like a flower in the wind.

—My name is Citlallicue, and I am the goddess of the stars— she said as she neared the ground without touching it. Two white lights appeared from her hands.

—I'm going to ask you something very selfish, ch'úupalob— Tul remarked. —But I want to face that goddess—

—Are you sure, Tul?— Ana inquired.

The goddess rabbit remarked, —I'm genuinely more concerned that, without my help, you won't be able to remove the bracelets I put on you. But since I've left ch'úupal Tania with them, I think you can also manage to win using those— she added.

—If you've come to face the Thirteen Heavens ordeal, step forward; otherwise, leave— Citlallicue announced.

—I have a question— Menrva shouted. —Where's the exit?—

—The brightest star will lead you to the next sky, but you can only pass if you defeat me— the Toltec goddess replied.

—Alright, Tul. We'll fly there, while you stay and fight her— Menrva said.

—Before we start, I'm going to wear one of the bracelets— the rabbit goddess said, reaching into her bag, but Ana stopped her.

—Tul, I think that's fine for monsters like us or Tania. You should only increase your powers in this fight— the Irish goddess advised.

—Alright, ch'úupal— Tul responded, locking eyes with the Toltec goddess.

—If you've come to face the Thirteen Heavens ordeal, step forward; otherwise, leave— Citlallicue reiterated.

—I will face you— Tul declared, her fur transforming into a snow-white hue, glowing so brilliantly it lit up the starry sky.

Drawing the moon behind her, Tul fired her powerful sacred beam, yelling: —Kili'ich uj léets—.
The blast hit Citlallicue, who resisted as best she could. At that moment, Menrva and Ana left Tul behind, flying towards the brightest star in the sky, disappearing from that world.

Meanwhile, Epona, Loki, and Susanoo found themselves in a world paved entirely, save for a curious central circle dividing the world into four parts. The northern ground was black; the east red, the west white, and the south blue. They stood in the south, where the ground was blue. Off in the distance, they saw four giant pyramids, each representing the cardinal directions, glowing in corresponding colors. The sky was golden, with fluffy clouds that looked like gold. They realized Xipe Tótec, with his unsheathed knife and his characteristic human skin robe, stood before them.

—Welcome to the twelfth Heaven, Teteocán— the Toltec god announced. —My name is Xipe Tótec, known as the flayed god. If you've come to face the Thirteen Heavens ordeal, step forward; otherwise, leave—

—Tania would've loved to face this guy— Epona laughed.

—Mina-san— Susanoo firmly stated. —Leave this opponent to me and move on—

—It's not like I relish being alone with this pervert, but fine— Epona replied, glancing at Loki.

—Come on, woman, I don't bite!— Loki teased with a smirk.

—Excuse me, how do we exit this world?— Epona asked the Toltec god.

—You'll need to head in my opposite direction— Xipe Tótec answered. —I am the red cardinal point; therefore, you must head to the white cardinal point, the west—

—Daiyobu— remarked Susanoo. In that instant, he conjured a colossal dragon with his power over water, shouting at the same time: —Mizuchi no ikari

The massive reptile sped towards Xipe Tótec, who did nothing to evade the onslaught. A muffled explosion of water, a result of Susanoo's technique, formed a vast crater on the ground, as rain began to fall over the area.

—Iku!— Susanoo shouted, and both Epona and Loki flew at top speed towards the enormous pyramid in the west. They ascended to the top, and inside the temple, they found the portal that would take them out of that sky.

Meanwhile, Xipe Tótec emerged from the hole unscathed and threw several bloodied daggers to the west, where Loki and Epona had flown. But Susanoo quickly deflected them with his weapon.

—Iie, you'll be my opponent— the oriental god commented, pointing his katana at the Toltec god.

On the other side of the ordeal, Ana and Menrva arrived in a place that resembled outer space. However, the ground was covered in rainbow-colored lights, like an aurora borealis. It seemed as if the goddesses were on the tail of a comet. A massive sun appeared in the distance, while in the starry sky, lights moved at high speed. Ana quickly understood what was happening; they were on a comet's tail.

Then, one of the lights in the sky sped towards where the two goddesses were. Ana quickly stopped the attack with Excalibur. As the light dissipated, a beautiful warrior woman appeared, wielding a macuahuitl radiating energy with which she aimed to shatter Ana's sword, Excalibur.
However, the Irish goddess pushed her, and she fell elegantly to the ground, or rather, on the comet's beam.

—I assume you've come to the fifth Heaven, Mamalcuauhco, for the ordeal; otherwise, it would be foolish to come this far without intending to fight— the warrior goddess said.

—Fifth heaven?— Menrva asked, perplexed. —Shouldn't it be the third?—

—The third heaven, Tonatiuhtlán, and the fourth, Huitztlán, were removed because the gods abandoned their divine duties in Tollan— the goddess explained.

Then she pounded her chest and roared. —My name is Citlalmina, the deity of celestial bodies, and I will be the one to evaluate your ordeal right here— she said.

The goddess had a feather headdress, with a black eagle covering her breasts. She wore a long black skirt and several golden bracelets on her arms and legs. Her face was painted black, and she had pink eyes that shone in different colors when illuminated by the comet's light.

—I'll take care of this one, Menrva— Ana said, putting Excalibur into defense mode. —You go to the next heaven—

—How do I get to the next heaven?— Menrva asked the Toltec deity.

—You'll find the exit at the end of this comet— Citlalmina said. But without giving them time to process the information, the Toltec goddess attacked Ana and Menrva again. Once more, Ana blocked the attack from her macuahuitl with her sword.

The Toltec goddess then covered her fist with sacred power and attempted to strike Ana, but she resisted the attack, only drawing a slight line of blood. Immediately, Ana's wings turned into a flock of ravens that viciously attacked Citlalmina.

—Go ahead, Menrva!— Ana shouted, and the Etruscan goddess nodded, leaving that heaven after crossing the massive comet.

On the other hand, Loki and Epona arrived in a valley filled with bones and skulls floating like islets on a sea of blood. In the surroundings, there were poisonous mountains filled with bones and rotting corpses. The sky was red with purple tints at sunset. It was impossible to see stars or clouds.

In the distance, there was a woman with yellowish skin wearing a white dress. She had her back to the two gods and appeared to be eating something. When she noticed their presence, she turned to look at them, revealing her face and teeth in the shape of fangs, devouring human corpses. A human eye dangled from her mouth. The woman had red eyes, and her hair was black. She had gemstones, like rubies, adorning her hair, and her dress was accompanied by a dark tilma with red, which was covered in blood. The goddess's nails were quite long, and her gaze was eerie, despite her being a very beautiful woman.

—Welcome to the eighth world, Nanatzcalóyan, the gates of Mictlán, the underworld— the fearsome Toltec goddess said.

—Weren't we supposed to go to the eleventh world?— Loki asked, puzzled.

—The heavens were reorganized to make Tezcatlipoca's heaven the last— replied the eerie goddess.

—I assume you're the one in charge of this ordeal— Epona said defiantly.

—Indeed, my name is Mictecacíhuatl, the Lady of Death— the woman said as she stood up with a chilling posture, like a zombie or corpse. Her eyes were filled with bloodlust, and a macabre smile appeared on her face.

—I won't ask if you want to take the ordeal; otherwise, it would be foolish to come this far without intending to fight— the ghostly deity commented.

—Before we fight, we'd like to know the way out of this world— Epona asked.

—Oh, there are two paths, one leads to the next Heaven, but the other leads to Mictlán— the woman replied. —So, which will it be?— she asked cynically.

—Damn it— Epona gritted her teeth, transforming her totema into the death rider mode and summoning her scythe. —I'll make you reveal the answer— she threatened the eerie goddess.

But then, Loki began to laugh. —I have a daughter very much like her; this will be an interesting fight— the Norse god said as his skin turned bluish.

—Will you fight her?— Epona asked.

—Yes, although we haven't encountered fire gods, I assume the end of this path must have that weakness you're looking to overcome, so I'll leave it to you— Loki said.

—Agreed— Epona replied.

Loki then recited: —Stara í myrkrið—

Epona felt her eyes opening wider. —I remember it now; it's the technique you used in Denendeh to let us see the mountain where Yamozha was— Epona said excitedly. At that moment, she could see a huge hole in the sky.

—Can you see the exit now, Celtic beauty?— asked Loki.

—Yes, I see it!— Epona shouted.

Then, Loki took Epona by the hand and they both teleported to the exit, where the god threw Epona with all his strength; just as he turned his cloak into adamantium.

Mictecacíhuatl had teleported behind them and tried to attack Loki with a massive bite. Her mouth had taken the form of a grotesque creature with sharp, bloody teeth, but thanks to Loki's shield, the attack failed.

—Relax, darling; we'll have plenty of time to show off our powers— Loki remarked, pushing the terrifying goddess of death into the blood lake below.

On the other hand, Menrva arrived in a world filled with cold and desolation. The gray sky was heavily clouded and it was snowing heavily. Despite the great storm, the goddess realized that she was in a mountain gorge. However, when she looked down, she was horrified to see that the entire ground was covered in metal spikes, and there were frozen corpses impaled on them. The goddess began to notice hundreds of skewered skeletons adorning this dark and mountainous area.

The Etruscan goddess continued flying, not knowing exactly where to go, as the vision was very poor in the whole area. Still, she sensed that if she reached the highest mountain, she could find the way. When she climbed what she perceived as the highest part of the region, she saw a humanoid figure sitting on a throne. Surprised that he was on the surface of such a cold and desolate area, she approached cautiously. However, the man turned his gaze to her.

—Welcome to Xoxocuauhco, the seventh Heaven of Ilhuicatl Iohtlatoquiliz— the man said and made a gesture of greeting; which, when moved, made a metallic, rusted sound.

The god wore a black mask, whose eyes could not be seen; but his entire body was made of white obsidian, shining with a metallic hue. The god wore a curious conical hat with an arrow through it.

—I assume you're the god overseeing this ordeal, right?— asked Menrva.

—Indeed, my name is Itztlacoliuhqui, the god of frost— the man said, standing up. Hundreds of spikes appeared on his curious body, so bright that the Etruscan goddess was reflected in them.

—And if you're looking for the way out, there isn't one— the god continued. —The only way to reach the sixth world, Yayauhcuauhco, is for you and your companions to defeat all the gods of the ordeal, including me—

—So, it means this is an all-out battle— Menrva said and smiled. —I accept the challenge then—

The Etruscan goddess then sent a shower of electrical sparks at the Toltec god, shouting:—Pulumchva Luri—. But the god, without even moving, froze Menrva's electrical power.

—Unfortunately for you, I am the second most powerful god in this ordeal, and at your current level, you cannot defeat me— commented Itztlacoliuhqui, producing a bloody knife in his left hand, and pointing it at the Etruscan goddess. Suddenly, the world began to collapse and change shape. The goddess realized that after the strange changes that the planet underwent, she found herself flying over a bed of spikes.

—So, you can alter reality? Such an interesting power— Menrva commented. However, when she tried to move, she couldn't. She then felt an intense cold in her heart.

—I've frozen your heart, and now you won't be able to move— said the Toltec god, sitting back down on his throne. Menrva then saw the floor of spikes begin to rise slowly but steadily toward her.

The Etruscan goddess also heard a noise above her, and with the limited mobility she still had, saw that the ceiling had also become a spiked bed, approaching her, intending to crush her.

—I'm also the god of sacrifice and justice— Itztlacoliuhqui said. —The only way to cleanse the affronts you've committed in life is through your own sacrifice. Cherish these fleeting moments before death to reflect on your life's mistakes— he continued.

Meanwhile, Epona arrived in a completely volcanic world, with seas of magma instead of oceans. In the distance, she saw hundreds of mountains erupting. The sky was cloudy but was a crimson red. Ash floated in the air, and the region was suffocatingly hot.

Epona had reverted from her death goddess transformation to resist the heat, but she knew that if she didn't fight in that form, she'd never overcome her weakness to fire.

With difficulty, she finally spotted a man with a short white beard and painted yellow in front of her. Flames emanated from his body, and drops of magma dripped from his skin.On the man's face, his eyes had a red stripe, and a mat covered his graying, moderately long hair. His muscular chest was bare, protected only by a loincloth and a collar with an obsidian plate.

—Welcome to Teotlacuauhco, the eleventh heaven, and the final part of the solar route— the yellow-painted man said. —My name is Xiuhtecuhtli, and I am the god of fire—

Epona, overwhelmed by the heat, shielded her eyes.

—Shouldn't your heaven have appeared earlier?— asked the equine goddess.

—Ah, that's because I am the most powerful god in these heavens, only surpassed by the great Tezcatlipoca; it would have been unfair to leave my ordeal in the early stages— the Toltec god confessed.

Epona, concerned, looked around, trying to find an exit.

—Since you've come to my world, there is no escape from this heaven unless you defeat me, and your friends defeat my other companions— said the god.

—Then, I have no choice but to defeat you— said Epona, still overwhelmed by the environment's intense heat and nervous by the deity's words.

—Damn it, why didn't Tania or Menrva take this ordealinstead?— the equine goddess said to herself nervously and pessimistically. She felt she wouldn't be able to defeat the Toltec god.

The man immediately pointed at Epona with his finger, emanating a small heat shot, piercing the equine goddess's chest. Upon being hit, she felt an uncontrollable burning sensation throughout her being.

—That was my technique: 'Kolotl in techopinilistli'. It will poison your entire body, causing your blood to turn into magma and destroy your heart— he explained.

Epona, in great pain, clutched the wound she had received, feeling her body's temperature rise.

—This is bad, this is really bad— thought the equine goddess as her vision blurred and she started to lose consciousness.

The eight battles between the members of Orniskem and the copies of the Toltec gods had begun.