“You… bought me shopping and cleaned up the apartment?”
Kohra gently closed the door behind him, but left it unlocked. In the kitchen, the being known as the Thantophor, the God of Death, was awkwardly grilling slices of bacon.
“If I am to live here, I need to contribute.”
The Thantophor turned off the stove and transferred four slices of bacon onto a plate on the dining table. Next to the plate was cutlery, a bottle of syrup, a bottle of milk and a bowl of marshmallow cereal.
Kohra stared at the meal. He was only slightly hungry, but he didn’t want to offend the Death God, so he sat down. The bacon was just done. Ever so slightly crispy on the edges, but soft in the middle. It was back bacon as well, the more expensive stuff.
“Are you not hungry?” the Thantophor asked. “I probably should have checked with you first.”
“It’s okay, I’m just…” Kohra trailed off, trying to work out what to say. “I just don’t get why the hell you, the Thantophor, the Doombringer, the Lord of Death, whatever you are… what the fuck are you doing asking some unlucky Kronospast about staying in his apartment! I’m terrified right now because you’re just here!”
The Thantophor pulled out a stool and sat opposite Kohra. He didn’t have anything to eat but he did bring with him a glass of water. What really worried Kohra though was that there was no anger, no malice, nothing negative coming from the Death God.
“I understand. I am freaking you out a little bit. My bad. I just want to stay for a bit.”
“But Mr Thantophor, you’ve said that already but you haven’t told me why!”
The Thantophor shrugged. “That’s fair. It’s… a little complicated… You should eat that. Before it goes cold. You need more calories.”
Kohra did as he was told, taking a bite out of a piece of bacon. The Thantophor nodded in approval then took a sip of his drink.
“You can call me Arkadin, by the way. Call me Arky and I’ll get angry.”
The Kronospast gulped. “Uh, why?”
“It’s what my family call me as a mocking nickname…” Arkadin sighed. So did Kohra, because he was glad he finally knew what he could call this being. “How about you ask me a few questions, and I answer them. If I can.”
Arkadin finished the glass. One thing Kohra noticed was that the Thantophor did drink a lot of fluids. After a few more mouthfuls of food, Kohra picked a question to ask.
“So… I thought you… kinda had like a place to live. Why are you here?”
The Thantophor grunted. “My… old home is currently being occupied by my sibling Yisini, and I know better than to get in her way.”
“Can’t you just make a new home?”
“Not without Epani’s permission. The Space Shark is unwilling to assist me currently.”
“The… Space Shark?” Kohra blinked.
“Epani is the Goddess of Space, Stars and Solar Systems. She doesn’t communicate with races such as yours very often as she considers Kronospasts to be abominations.”
Kohra hesitated. “Oh. Okay. Maybe I… Uh, yeah…” His words were coming out all wrong. He couldn’t help it. Kohra was insanely nervous. Even if the Thantophor didn’t pose an obvious threat, even if he was in fact about half a meter shorter than Kohra in his disguised form… he was still intimidating.
Finally, actual words stumbled from Kohra’s mouth.
“Why me though?”
Arkadin shrugged again. “I saved you. You owed me. You know I exist. Staying here with you would do the least damage in the long term, while also allowing me to… be more… mortal…”
This time, it was the Death God that was hesitating.
“Kohra, I am a very lonely being. I have no friends and my connections with my family are confusing and contradictory. I need to rid myself of this loneliness and the many other feelings inside me before they causes me harm, and what better way to do so than spend time with mortals? Your fleeting existences mean that you can gain more joy than I could ever hope to obtain on my own.”
Kohra didn’t say anything. Neither did Arkadin, but that didn’t bother him. As the Thantophor went to fetch another glass of water, Kohra finished off his meal, then discreetly poured a trail of syrup into his bowl of cereal.
“So basically…” Kohra finally muttered. “You just want to be a mortal for a bit?”
“And you don’t want any trouble or anything?”
“No. My work and duties will be kept far away from here.”
“And you’ll contribute to the keeping of this apartment?”
“Of course!” Arkadin nodded politely. “I can assist in both rent and maintenance.”
“And you promise you won’t touch my secret candy stash in the back of the freezer?”
“Consider it untouched.”
“Oh.” Kohra shrugged. “Well alright then.”