“Good day, Flamebearer.”
It was a rare feeling for Retvik to seem so small and insignificant. The chair and desk he was sitting at were perfectly normal in size. The desk and chair in front of him were insanely huge. To fit a being that was at least triple Retvik’s size.
“Uh… good day, ser…”
Vikalos tutted, snorting through his nostrils, inspecting Retvik up and down. This brand new little decayling was different from most. Firstly, he was actually vaguely intelligent and not at all aggressive. Secondly, he looked like a tiny version of Vikalos. A brighter red, more gold and less black, but basically Vikalos’s tiny baby form.
“Do you know why you are here, Flamebearer?”
Retvik thought to himself. “No, not really, ser… Or am I supposed to call you Lord? I am not sure.”
“You may just call me Vikalos. The reason you are here is quite simple. You have been helping by doing basic cleaning chores. But through some initial study, it has been determined that your skills may be used in a more useful manner.”
“How so?” Retvik asked, puzzled. “Surely I am not… that special when it comes to deities?”
“No. In fact, normally you would be less than useful, due to not even you knowing how your godly abilities work. But you have a somewhat unique ability. You have diplomatic prowess while also being physically and metaphysically strong enough to adapt and survive on your own. A soldier diplomat has uses out here.”
Retvik blinked. “Well of course. Is this… for some new job you want to give me?”
Vikalos leaned down, very delicately placing a small holographic screen down in front of Retvik. The screen flickered a few times, before clearing up, revealing what Vikalos wanted it to show.
Pictures and information appeared of some sort of unknown entity. While the entity had no known name, the descriptions and labels indicated that it was potentially dangerous and that no one, not the Decay Lords, not any of the other groups, knew what it was.
“You… want me to track this thing down?” Retvik finally looked up, utterly confused.
“No. We are in the middle of trying to locate it. Your job will be to talk this being into submission. And defending yourself if things get messy.”
“But… why?” Retvik asked.
Vikalos grunted. “The Thantir and the Decay Lords in general have one main purpose. We collect lost deities, recycle them and pass them on to the Life Goddesses, to be used in new universes. The alternatives are to float in the endless void on your own, or to be captured by the Voidborn Cults or the Corruption and tortured for eternity. We normally do a somewhat alright job with that, but your universe’s disruptions have caused… problems.”
Retvik frowned. “I gathered. Especially since, as far as I was aware, there were six deities at most and now apparently there are hundreds of deities. Myself included.”
“That there is the issue. We only tracked down five of those older deities. The last one is completely unaccounted for. And there are others looking for it.”
Vikalos grunted. “I do not know. I wish I did know, but typically the answers are the same. The Corruption wants to eat it, the Voidborns wish to convert or torture it, and the Life Goddesses like unrefined crap to make gods out of for some reason. Our fear right now, considering the circumstances, is that this Decayling in question might become corrupted and become dangerous to every being living in and around this particular Periuniversal Space.”
Retvik fell silent, again thinking to himself. After a few moments, he looked back up at Vikalos. “You are talking about Arkadin, yes?”
“Thantophor Arkidetelos, the death god of Life Goddess Kinisis’s universe, yes.”
“I was told he was killed.”
“So were we. It turns out someone did not wanting anyone to know that there was a chance that Arkidetelos survived.”
“He… always preferred being called Arkay…” Retvik muttered. This little tidbit of information caused Vikalos to lean forward.
“You knew this deity personally.”
“I did. He saved my life a multitude of times.”
Vikalos seemed to smile. “Good. That means you will help us find him and talk him into allowing us to help him.”
Retvik sighed. He didn’t like how this conversation had been twisted, but if his friend was in danger, then he had to help.
“Very well. I will do it. But I would like some things in return.”
“Like what?” Vikalos grunted.
Retvik tutted, shaking his head. “I have been wandering around this ship naked since I got here. I would like some nice, fancy armour to go with my new title.”
The Decay Lord eyed Retvik curiously, then grunted once more. “I will have someone prepare some armour for you. Now get out of my sight and await further instructions…”