Brief Visit Plan

“The plan is very simple. You three go inside. Inform the occupants that we received a distress signal from them. Record how they react. Check for any obvious break-ins. Understood?”

Arkadin raised a hand, clearly having questions. Itaviir frowned, wondering why the Decayling hadn’t understood.

“What is it, Deathbringer?”

“Uh… why are you sending us to do this job? Or rather, why are you sending me into the ship where my mother lives and keeps all my former friends as pets?”

Itaviir looked the Decayling up and down. Arkadin was genuinely a very small creature. Hence the amusing code name. “Do you have a problem with this task?”

“Well, uh, no. I’m a big kid, I can shut my mouth for a bit. But, like, surely it’d be better to send Kairos and Seimeni in to do this job, since they’re both more powerful than us and far less biased?”

“Unfortunately, we are looking at a Hijacking, which you three are better suited for.”

Retvik patted Arkadin on the shoulder, reassuring the smallest of the three Decaylings. “I am sure this will be nice and quick. Lord Itaviir will deal with the messy stuff with the Life Goddess, correct?”

Itaviir nodded. “Your job is to check on the livelihood of the Divine Guardians on board. They may have been hijacked by another Life Goddess, and it is important that we check on their physical and mental health. You are also providing a distraction while we do further probes and scans. If you prefer, you can have Flamebearer and Souldrainer do the talking…”

Suddenly, Litvir raised his hand. “Excuse me for asking, but why are you giving us these silly code names?”

“You are on a mission. You use code names on your mission.”

“But why am I Souldrainer?” Litvir blinked. “I swear, everyone thinks I am a vrykolak.”

“Because you act like one and have a penchant of making people wish they were dead while they deal with you…” Retvik tutted. “At least they did not call you Bloodthirster or Lifedrinker or something very obviously vampiric.”

“When you become a Decay Lord, you may choose your own code name. Until then, you use the name you are given and do as you are told.”

Itaviir crossed his arms, inspecting the Decaylings. Despite being so young, they had come a very long way. Their questions were weird and sometimes annoying, but Itaviir knew he shouldn’t judge them too hard. After all, they were slowly beginning to show the signs of becoming Decay Lords themselves, and this cute, innocent, child-like stage wasn’t going to last forever.

“Do you have any more questions?”

“Yeah…” Arkadin raised his hand again. “We’re taking our weapons with us. Is there… a chance of us being attacked?”


“How comes?”

“Well…” Itaviir sighed. “If what Kal believes what happened is true, the Divine Guardians will not be loyal to Kinisis, but to another, unknown Life Goddess. If that Life Goddess sees you as a threat, she may force the Divine Guardians to attack. But we very much doubt that, even if a hijacking has occurred, that they would risk blowing their cover so quickly. The weapons are a better-safe-than-sorry protocol.”

“Alright…” Arkadin hesitated. “So… we just… make it quick? Just check that everything is alright?”

The Decay Lord nodded. “Indeed. Just check that everyone is well, make sure they are not acting weirdly, then get out.”

“Do not worry…” Retvik smiled as he led Arkadin and Litvir to the exit. “I am sure everything will be fine…”

Itaviir took a deep breath and held his tongue as the Decaylings headed off on their mission, hoping that Retvik’s statement would be correct…