“Come one, come all! Step right up and don’t be shy!”
“I never believed in love at first sight, but that was before I saw you.”
“I hope you know CPR, because you just took my breath away!”
“If being sexy was a crime, you’d be guilty as charged.”
“I was wondering if you were an artist because you were so good at drawing me in.”
William looked at the scene in front of him in a daze. After entering the gates of the temple, he found himself on what seemed to be a bazaar.
Beautiful and handsome merchants wearing unique dresses were calling out to the people that had entered the temple with him. William’s comrades were immediately drawn in by the flattery of these men and women.
The boy was amazed because these merchants were able to say the cheesiest pick up lines without breaking a sweat. Aside from William’s group, there were other people who were wandering around the different stalls as if they were window shopping.
William was amused because some of these merchants were even fighting with each other to draw these “customers” to check out the things that they had to offer.
While he was still trying to understand what was happening around him, a chubby man wearing an elegant robe walked up to him with a smile.
“Good day, young friend,” the chubby man greeted. “Are you interested in becoming the strongest man in the world?”
William looked behind him. Seeing that no one was there, he looked back at the chubby man and pointed to himself.
“Are you talking to me?” William inquired.
“Yes.” The chubby man nodded in affirmation. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gavin and I am the God of all Trades. If you are looking for the most amazing Patron God in this temple then that’s me.”
Suddenly, an apple hit the back of Gavin’s head which made him cry out loud in pain.
“You bastard, how dare you lie in front of the children?!” A beautiful woman wearing a “tree hat” filled with small apples roared in anger. “How dare you call yourself the most amazing Patron God in this temple? Boy, forget that lame man. Come here and choose me as your patron God.”
The woman made a “come over here gesture” and William found his body floating towards her stall. He did his best to take control of his body. However, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t even move his fingers.
In the end, he resigned himself to his fate and drifted towards the stall of the Goddess.
“My name is Lulu and I am the Apple Goddess,” Lulu patted William’s shoulder with a grin. “Have you ever heard of the famous saying about apples?”
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” William answered with uncertainty.
“You are only half right.” Lulu grinned.
“Hey Lulu! I saw him first! Don’t snatch my boy!” Gavin charged towards Lulu’s stall with a determined expression.
The Gods inside the Temple were all competitors. Everytime a batch of “chosen ones” appeared, all of them would do their best to make them their followers before they reincarnated into their next life.
“Go away!” Lulu screamed unbefitting of her beauty.
She then took one of the little apples on her hat and threw it at Gavin. The little apple grew in size mid-flight until it became as big as a basketball. It hit Gavin squarely in his chest which sent him flying a hundred meters away from her stall.
“You see that, William?” Lulu smirked. “An apple a day keeps everyone away, if you throw it hard enough!”
“R-Right…,” William answered while slowly backing away from the Apple Goddess.
“Aww, don’t be like that.” Lulu went out of her stall and grabbed William’s hand. “Why don’t we get to know each other first? You know, if you make me your Patron God, you will receive a lot of benefits!”
“Um, what kind of benefits?”
“For example, I can give you the power to grow apple trees anywhere. Whether it be a desert, a frozen tundra, underwater, or any place you want to grow an apple. Heck, you can even grow it in your body!”
“T-That sounds environmentally friendly,” William stuttered.
“I know right!?” Lulu smirked. “Now, just sign this contract and we’re good to go.”
Lulu produced a contract and a pen out of thin air. She even personally handed the pen to William’s shaking hands and urged him to sign the contract.
William wasn’t willing to sign the contract, but the vice grip on his shoulders were preventing him from running away.
Fortunately, Gavin returned and pried Lulu’s arm away from William.
“Oi! Play by the rules!” Gavin stood in between William and Lulu. “You can’t force anyone to sign a contract!”
“Che! I was so close… you bastard,” Lulu muttered under her breath.
Gavin stood beside William and patted his shoulder. “Don’t worry, brother. As long as I’m around, no one can force you to sign a contract! Since you just arrived, allow me to be your tour guide.”
Gavin then gave Lulu the “you have a problem with that?” look which made the Apple Goddess glare at him.
Lulu snorted and returned to her stall, but before doing so, she called out to William and told him that he could always come back to her if he didn’t find a God that suited him.
Gavin walked side by side with William as they toured the Bazaar. He answered William’s questions and even corrected some of the boy’s misconceptions about Gods.
“There are three types of Gods,” Gavin explained as they walked. “The Primordial Gods, The Personification Gods, and the New Generation Gods. The Primordial Gods consist of the Gods that were born when the multiverse was created. You might know them as the God of Fire, God of Water, Earth, Wind, Lightning, etc.”
“The Personification Gods are Gods born out of emotions and professions. God of Fear, God of Lust, God of Vanity, and God of Pride, are examples of Gods born from emotions. The God of War, The God of Blacksmith, God of Hunters, God of Music, God of Art, are Gods born out of professions.”
Gavin paused before continuing his explanation. “As for the New Generation Gods, these are the Gods who were just recently born and have very unique traits.”
“Unique traits?” William asked.
“We’ll be seeing one of these new generation Gods soon,” Gavin replied. “Do you see that long line of people over there? They are lining up to sign the contract of that ‘New Generation God’.”
Seeing William’s curiosity, Gavin gave a wry smile and took the boy to see the Goddess that was manning the stall.
A little girl who seemed no older than twelve years old was shaking hands with a teenage boy with a big smile on her face. Her pink hair, red eyes, and cute lips made her look extremely adorable.
“Big Brother, I love you!” The little Goddess kissed the boy’s cheek. “Now, please sign your name over here.”
The boy happily signed the contract while the people standing in line were shouting slogans like “Flat is Justice” and “Lolita no Touch!”
William froze as he looked at the little girl and Gavin. He had a hunch on who the Goddess was, but he was not a hundred percent sure.
As if reading his thoughts, Gavin nodded his head. “This stall belongs to the Loli Goddess, Lily.”
“Yes. She is a New Generation Goddess that was born from the beliefs of… people with unique taste. William, don’t tell me… you are one of these scum- I mean, people with unique tastes?”
“Of course not!” William denied with every fiber of his being.
As if sensing that they were talking about her, Lily looked at William and Gavin. The cute loli smiled and waved at William.
‘I’m a simple man,’ William thought as he waved back. ‘I see a cutie waving at me, I wave back.”
Gavin smirked and took out reading glasses from his storage dimension.
“Don’t be deceived by what you see,” Gavin whispered. “Wear this.”
“What is this?” William asked.
“This is a divine artifact called the Glasses of Truth,” Gavin explained. “It can see through any disguise and illusions.”
William gave Gavin a skeptical look before wearing the glasses. He then looked at the cute girl waving at him and froze in shock.
The cute loli was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a midget with a wrinkled face, and big nose was staring back at him. The midget smiled and Willliam could see the three teeth that were sticking out of her gums. One tooth on the top and two on the bottom.
The Loli-Granny winked and blew William a flying kiss. A pink heart with wings materialized out of thin air, and flew towards the young boy. Out of reflex, William swatted the flying heart sending it towards the floor.
Determined to finish its mission, the pink heart dusted itself as it slowly stood up from the floor. It then attempted to flap its wings to fly. Unfortunately, William didn’t give it a chance to make a comeback.
He stepped on it and ground it to pieces. After making sure that the heart was utterly destroyed, he ran away as if the devil was right behind his back.
Gavin chuckled as he followed the panicked boy who was running for his life. In his eyes, William was a very interesting person. If possible, he wanted him to become his follower.
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