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This was the end.

The Ancient Ones had risen.

The Elder Gods that had once ruled over the speck known as Earth and the vast universe beyond were now awaking from their dormant state.

And they intended to take back what was theirs.

Ancient titans that had long slumbered, now walked the Earth, each step destroying the ground beneath them and creating cracks that spread for miles.

The now blood-red sky crackled and thundered with ancient beings that tore it asunder, their very existence seemingly breaking it apart.

Ancient behemoths awoke in the deepest depths of the sea and rose up, creating tidal waves that dwarfed the tallest skyscrapers man could create and the biggest mountains Mother Nature had to offer.

A hermit sat atop a cliff of one such mountain, overlooking the oceans, the oceans that were now forming into a gigantic tidal wave that would surely engulf this great mountain.

Humanity had long been dead to him, becoming disillusioned with it and forsaking it long ago.

But now he was here to witness its end.

In facing annihilation of his own life and the world as he knew it, he held no fear nor regrets of a wasted life in his heart like so many others might. Why should he? He had lived his life well, and in the face of purposelessness, he found purpose. In distancing himself from others, he had attained peace and enlightenment, and he was able to focus on what truly mattered most: knowledge.

After all, knowledge was pure. Knowledge never hurt or betrayed him. Knowledge was his fuel to life. Knowledge was his meaning. Knowledge was what kept him going.

The most interaction he had with others after his self imposed exile was the other beings he encountered in the Great Library. See, this mountain was special. In it, it contained a secret way, a way to a vast land of knowledge, a library that seemingly contained all the knowledge of this universe and ones beyond. He quite literally had access to all the knowledge in the multiverse, and in this library were fellow knowledge seekers from all over said multiverse

So every year, he'd open the way and visit the library, restocking on knowledge and making more progress on his quest. Of course, nobody could ever attain absolute knowledge but it hardly mattered. The journey was the true quest. It was his meaning. His purpose.

He had spent 21 years on this mountain. He was its keeper. He was its guardian, its protector and in return, it gave him all the solitude and knowledge he desired. Over time he became one with it. This mountain and his constant quest for knowledge and was his whole life. And now it was coming to an end.

He supposed he could run away to another universe but no… This mountain kept him safe and for the past 21 years, he had lived his quest here, he had become one with it. It was here he found purpose, and so here he would die with purpose. He would stay here and be this mountain's guardian until the end. If this was it, then so be it. He felt nothing but fulfillment and peace. In his lifetime, he had attained enough knowledge to span multiple lifetimes. Not everyone could say that.

Really, he was grateful to witness the end of the world. How many people in all of the history of the world could say they got to witness the rising of the Elder Gods and the end of all?

It was truly a remarkable thing to be witness to.

He only hoped that the Elder Gods would find fulfillment in their existence and that they might find peace and enlightenment in their own way.

The hermit contemplated the wonders of the universe and embraced the end as the mountain shook and the titanic wave overshadowed the skies.

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