Veotrast The Underlord sat in his citadel, contemplating the sky lying before him. The clouds usually danced through the top of the mountain while he was sitting. They were made of a translucent white. His rectangular throne was made of ivory, and it was in the middle of extremely well-polished floor, surrounded by nine enormous quartz columns that held the ceiling firmly. The sky was bright, and the idea of a clear firmament always gave the Titan Underlord a feeling of tranquillity and inner peace, which were the only two things that he ever wanted for his Kingdom. The Titans of stone were a peaceful, almost non-talkative folk. They did not care at all about the affairs and dramatic diplomacy between the rest of the species. As long as they were left alone, Veotrast’ soul would feel rested.
While recalling, his fellow Stratorian people had to deal with several issues in the past, specially from those despicable Abyssal and Arcanican creatures. These disgusting beings dared to interrupt the ruling of his Kingdom. This happened many, many winters ago, but he remembered everything very clearly, as Stratorians had very good memory: bloodsheds, destruction, yelling, armours colliding, fire and death. Luckily, the Stratorians were able to push them away from their mountains. They did not want to conquer, nor to eat minor creatures, nor anything similar. In Veotrast’s mind, the megalomaniacal spirit of every conqueror tended to take them away from their sanity. For him, every ruler of the fellow Small Kingdoms had part of their saneness taken away forever already. They would always feel the need to get more, and more, and






















more. Even those rulers who claimed to have “prosperous” Kingdoms, perpetually wanting financial stability was also a sign of this ruling sickness. The Small Kingdoms have never learnt to take their matters slowly and wisely, and probably never would. Their position of inferiority in the natural cycle of life also let them prone to this behaviour: they feared creatures that were even smaller than a common Stratorian. In his opinion, they were already lost. If only size was already something that scared them, there was not much they would be able to achieve.
That was because they never thought how a spider must see them when they attempted to kill it. It was the same literal feeling, but they never imagined how smaller creatures see them. For some reason, rationality seemed to put them in the way of dominating nature. Or at least, what they call rationality. He exhaled, submerging himself in his ivory throne. There was no way this sense of silence wasn’t better than whatever was happening under the mountains, and he hoped that he never had to see another war by himself again.
But, sadly, inside him, he has already been sensing something. He knew it. His soul told him that during these last few days, a great evil was about to be unleashed. He was trying to ignore it, to be apathic towards it, to pretend it didn’t exist. He wasn’t ready for another war. Armed conflict usually caused Stratorians to have a long number of years secluded and isolated, so they could slowly heal the wounds that have been opened in their Kingdom. It was the experience of many years living on this Earth that taught Veotrast how to correctly process these sensations. When the balance of the universe was in danger, the deepest threads of his soul just sent him these thoughts. These feelings. And they were more than just assumptions, they were predictions. Something terrible was about to be released on Earth. And now it was the time of him having to make a choice. It was known that the Stratorian Kingdoms did not involve themselves in any conflict that didn’t immediately affect them. But this time, the Underlord felt that his predictions were about to universally affect each Kingdom equally. Each Realm. Each creature. Even nature itself could be affected. Even the rocks. Even the minerals. Even their mountains. And the only promise that the Titans of Stone made to themselves since the very early days of their rising was to protect their mountains as sacred, holy temples. These magnificent pointy sculptures that nature made from mere stone could never fall nor collide, and they should remain where they were for another thousands of years, until the end of times.
Veotrast placed both his hands on the arms of his throne, and slowly stood up. The whole mountain trembled when he moved, the columns shook, and the floor shivered. He blinked slowly, and barely moved his rectangular face to softly make a whisper:
“We will have to recover the balance” and he started walking towards the entrance of the mountain.



Balance by Maria Gabriela Orellana

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