Bumping Into Family

Yisini clapped her hands with glee as she watched the little mortals fight in the arena below them. Sitting next to her was the Empress of the Temthans and in front of them was a table filled with luxurious food. To their left were several empty chairs, then an important Ksithan, a Thraki-Temthan and a handful of other, important Ksithanai. A few meters to their right sat the two leaders of the Reth-Vrekan Union, an insanely attractive Vrekan called Ver and a small, noodly but also somewhat attractive Rethavok called Elkay. Past them were three seats, one completely filled by a skinny Banikan, the next filled by a Skyavok leader and the last belonging to an odd Rethavok with a similar build to the Rethan leader, without the wings and wearing a scarf and hood.

Apparently, Agapia had been invited to an event on this little neutral planet alongside the non-Temthan beings to celebrate the tentative union between the two empires, and Empress Agapia hadn’t wanted to travel alone. Not while she had the Goddess of Love and Life by her side.

“Are you enjoying the show, Allbir- uh, Yisi- uh… Xentressa?”

Of course, Agapia didn’t want to reveal that she had the Goddess of Life by her side. She was struggling with names though. Luckily for her, Yisini was enjoying playing the fool as much as she was enjoying the events going on around her.

“I am, I am!” Yisini cheered. “I love how that big, red Rethan fights! He looks so cool in his armour!”

Agapia lowered her voice. “That’s Retvik Rethianos. One of the four Dessaron. He’s a hero to pretty much everyone here.”

At the mention of the word Dessaron, Yisini’s eyes lit up. “Dessaron? I love those guys! My brother was one of them!”

The Temthan Empress smiled nervously. If anything, having Yisini around had taught Agapia to be far more discreet and humble. “Really?”

“Yep!” Yisini pointed down the row of chairs. “He’s sitting over there!”

Agapia leaned forward to see where Yisini was pointing. She genuinely wasn’t sure where the Goddess was pointing.

“Which one?”

“You know!” Yisini teased. “Over there!”

It suddenly occurred to Agapia that the Goddess knew exactly who Retvik was, as well as the other Dessaron.

Agapia leaned forward again, looking at the beings. King Ver and High General Elkay definitely were not Dessaron, Agapia knew that. The Banikan almost certainly wasn’t. The dark Skyavok with gun metal armour, he was All-Ksa Kayel, the Skyavok with similar beliefs to most Temthans. But the Rethavok on the end, he was black and yellow, yes, but surely he was the wrong species? Worse, Agapia was 99% sure that two Dessaron were down below, due to join Retvik in a few minutes, and the fourth Dessaron member had died back in 2017.

Suddenly, the Rethavok on the end stopped chatting with the All-Ksa and got up, wandered over and plonked himself down next to Yisini.

“Hey, sister!”

“Hey, Arky!” Yisini beamed as she put arms around both Agapia and the yellow and black Rethan. “So glad to see that you’re making friends! What you up to?”

Arkadin shrugged and nodded over to the Vrekan King. “They asked me to come, since I told them that you’d be here. I thought why not, I get to see my old Dessaron friends and I’m spending some time with Kayel and Elkay over there.”

“Oh?” Yisini grinned. “I’m only here because Agapia here wanted some backup! Ain’t that right, girl?”

The Temthan Empress suddenly felt very small. She nodded awkwardly then slouched in her seat. Turning to her right, she swore she saw the Rethan High General give a little shrug. He was clearly in the same boat she was.

“You coming tomorrow night?” Yisini suddenly asked her brother.

“Yeah, actually!” the Death God beamed. “I was actually gonna ask if you were coming?”

“Of course!”

“Lovely!” Arkadin patted Yisini on the shoulder then smiled at Agapia as he stood up. “If you don’t mind, I’m gonna go back over there. Been chatting with the All-Ksa. Lovely guy. Was nice meeting you, Empress Agapia!”

Agapia waved meekly as the Thantophor walked back to his seat. Yisini went back to watching the arena as if nothing had happened.

After an awkward silence, Agapia excused herself and headed to the nearest bathroom. She needed a moment to work out what the fuck had just happened.