There was still blood caked across Arkadin’s claws. Not his own blood, that of the being he had attacked not too long ago. As it had dried, the blood had turned silvery in colour, almost metallic in texture. After what Arkadin had done, he’d expected to wake up in a cage, chained up like the ferocious little monster he was. But no, he was lying in his own bed, on a plastic sheet so he didn’t get blood everywhere.
“I attacked her. I nearly killed her.”
Galyn perched in the corner of the room, a room he was clearly too large for. His crown of horns scraped across the ceiling, causing Galyn to have a very hunched, almost painful posture.
“Were you going to kill her?”
“What? No. I wanted to, I really did. But then… I would have been worse than her.”
“How do you feel about what she did?”
“What she did was…” Arkadin hesitated, trying to find the right word. “Horrible. The sort of nightmares I thought I escaped from when I, well, first died. Before I was made into an actual god. What Seimeni was doing to us just dug up all those deeply buried memories of what Kinisis used to do to me.”
“So you and I are both in agreement that what Seimeni did was wrong.”
“You didn’t stop her though…” Arkadin suddenly looked up at Galyn. “You three didn’t stop her from doing those things to us!”
“She was affecting us as well…” Galyn frowned, lowering himself so he was closer to Arkadin. “You are not alone when it comes to very distracting thoughts. Seimeni was affecting us and it clouded our own judgement. Which is why I owe you an apology. We thought Seimeni was a better being. She has proven herself to be just as bad as other Life Goddesses.”
Arkadin sighed, not really sure how to respond to that. He had initially really liked Seimeni. They had a lot in common, somehow. Arkadin liked Seimeni more than normal. He’d considered going a step further with her. But now Arkadin’s trust had been ruined again.
“What are you going to do with her?” Arkadin eventually asked, picking dried blood off his claws. “I assume you won’t let me kill her. Not that I want to.”
“Well, death is the one thing we would not have let you do to her. It depends on whether you feel Seimeni has paid enough for her actions against you.”
“You are really going to put that choice in my hands? After what I did?”
Galyn grunted. “You were justified in what you did to her. We were going to place Seimeni in isolation and send her back to the Life Goddesses. She opted instead to choose tooth-for-tooth doctrine, that the pain she had dealt would be dealt back to her. You did just that.”
“Still doesn’t feel right.”
“Nothing ever does feel truly right or just. All we can do is get close approximations.” Galyn sighed, clearly not happy with the situation at all. “If I had my way, I would have sent her back home. But the positives of having a Life Goddess on board far, far outweigh the negatives, and the Decay Lords demand we keep her here…”
“Yes, yes it does…” Galyn shook his head, changing his tone and picking himself up from the corner. “I shall leave you alone. You need some rest. But I must tell you something, Arkadin. I am somewhat proud of your restraint.”
“Had I been in your position, I would have killed Seimeni, slowly and painfully.”