“You’re late!” Kohra smiled as the front door burst open then was gently closed behind his room mate. “Good day?”
Arkadin grunted. “Eh. Not really.”
It took Arkadin a moment to realise what Kohra was doing. He was cooking dinner. More specifically he was peeling vegetables and throwing them into a pot of boiling water. Arkadin took his time setting down a backpack and wandering over to the dining room table.
“Eh, I dunno. Just been one of THOSE days…”
“You want to talk about it?” Kohra asked, finishing with the vegetables and adding salt and vinegar to the water. “Might help ease your mind or something!”
Arkadin sighed. Kohra was used to the Death Lord being rather quiet and often not obviously happy, but today he seemed different. Pissed off. And the last thing Kohra wanted was to make things worse.
“Well I had a good day!” Kohra changed the subject. “I actually saw progress! One of the anti-cancer labs I am helping to fund actually made a breakthrough! They have located a specific gene that is basically guaranteed to cause cancerous under specific conditions! This means they can work on altering the gene or otherwise finding a way to protect the gene from changing!”
Arkadin smiled awkwardly. “That’s great.”
Kohra continued to smile. “Feels great. I’m actually helping others. Making progress. Makes me not regret staying in exile.”
“That’s also great…”
Kohra shrugged. Arkadin wasn’t really reacting. There was something wrong and Kohra wanted to find out.
“You sure you don’t want to talk, Arkadin? You really don’t seem like yourself.”
“It’s just been a shitty 20 hours. All the little things going wrong. Picking up the pieces from a violent tribe war. Murdering some bastard who was killing heffalumps. Kenon cancelling the meeting we were supposed to have. Something making massive holes in the side of the universe that I had to fix. Spilled a glass of water twice. Then Epani called me out of the blue, asking me awkward things.”
Kohra shrugged. “Well, it’s just a bad day, right? Tomorrow will be better, yes?”
“Maybe. Maybe it will be worse. I don’t know…”
Clearly Kohra was failing at cheering him up. So he decided to just go back to cooking. That sort of thing always made him happy, and Arkadin always enjoyed what he made.
Pulling out a pan, Kohra started shallow frying some chicken. In another pan, he melted some butter and cooked some mushrooms and onions in the fat. As he added various spices, the flurry of scents caught the Thantophor’s attention.
“That smells good.”
“Thank you!” Kohra grinned. “Cooking is good for the soul.”
“You don’t have souls.”
“You know what I mean!” Kohra continued to smile. “Guess it makes dealing with death easier though, right?”
“Yeah. I don’t need to worry about any afterlives or reincarnation or anything like that. Everything melts down and Yisini makes new things…” Arkadin growled under his breath. “Epani wants to try making life. Her current attempts aren’t going well. But I kinda want her to try. Maybe Epani and Ysini could work on something together…”
“Is that what’s bothering you?” Kohra asked as he drained the vegetables and mashed them up. “Sister stuff? Them working together?”
“No. What’s bothering me is the chance that they’ll… get aggressive at each other…”
Kohra didn’t know what to say, so he didn’t say anything. Instead he finished up dinner and plated it all up.
“Well, that’s something for tomorrow. For now, here’s some tasty food!”
Arkadin smiled ever so slightly. “Thank you.”