Kallus cowered in the corner, hiding behind piles of destroyed cargo, terrified and completely unsure what to do. What had been the first peaceful moment he’d had in decades had abruptly turned into carnage, as his Master had stumbled across him and his target both just… talking to each other. As soon as Lord Theocydes had laid eyes upon Kallus and his new friend Arkay, he had immediately attacked, firing bursts of energy that had caused them both to flee.
Now, all Kallus could do was watch on as his Master tried to disintegrate Arkay, and Arkay desperately tried to protect himself with a slowly shrinking shield.
“You have lasted longer than most, Life Goddess!” Theocydes boasted, intensifying his strength. Sparks of deadly energy bounced off the oddly black glow of Arkay’s telekinetic shield, zapping through the air and leaving molten pocks on the walls. “All you are doing is prolonging your own doom!”
“Why are you even trying to kill me?” Arkay’s voice was strained. Although Kallus’s Master had called Arkay a Life Goddess, it was clear that Arkay wasn’t really. He looked and acted just like the Decay Lords that Theocydes had defeated, except smaller and yellow and vulnerable. Just like Kallus was.
“Because you are a Life Goddess, and you are a horrible scar on the Periuniversal Void that should not exist!”
Kallus was sure, just for a moment, that Arkay glanced at him, almost as if he was begging for help. But the look was fleeting, and Arkay quickly went back to deflecting Theocydes’s disintegrating beams.
Thankfully, there was a brief distraction, mostly coming from the room’s entrance. The red and gold being, clearly Arkay’s ally, had appeared and was firing blasts of fire at Theocydes. The flames though seemed to do almost nothing to the Voidborn, who harmlessly redirected them everywhere except close to Theocydes himself. Several bursts of flame landed near Kallus, forcing him to move.
As the fire being realised his attack was making things worse, he attempted to instead throw a nearby loose spear at Theocydes, but that too bounced away harmlessly. Thoroughly amused by the Decay Lord’s antics, Theocydes turned his attention to them.
“Ah, Deathvenian! You may have slayed my servant Rethanius, but he was weak anyway. Perhaps you would like to take his place?”
The Flamebearer responded not with words, but with a whip attack made of flames. This time however, Theocydes did not just redirect his attack. Instead, he grabbed hold of the whip and reflected it back at the Decay Lord, sending them flying backwards and towards where Kallus was now hiding. Waggling his fingers, Theocydes destroyed the fire whip, replacing it with gold rope that came to life and wrapped itself around the being.
“He killed Rethanius?” Kallus couldn’t help but whisper.
Lord Theocydes simply smiled, not seeming to care at all. “You are all replaceable. Especially Rethanius. But Retvik here will be a fine replacement, once he is reprogrammed to serve me. Same goes for Litvir, who will be reprogrammed just like Letharus is! As for this Life Goddess…”
With a cruel smile, Theocydes twisted his wrist, flinging the Flamebearer out of the room and straight into the path of both Letharus and Litvir, who had arrived to offer assistance. In a single, swift moment, all three were thrown out of the room and off into the nothingness outside. Finally, Theocydes could turn his attention back to Arkay.
Now that the brief distraction was dealt with, the blasts of disintegrating energy started intensifying once more, pushing Arkay back. Holes were slowly being punctured in Arkay’s shield. In fact, several smaller beams had cut through completely, leaving scorched scars on the Life Goddess’s yellow armour. Scars that looked eerily similar to the ones that covered Kallus.
Suddenly, Theocydes’s energy was pushed back and scattered, turning into shimmering dust. Arkay hissed loudly as he fired a spear of dark power through Theocydes’s disintegration beam, catching the Void Lord by surprise. To the point that the dark energy spear had actually caused a long, deep scratch across Theocydes’s gold-plated shoulder.
“Huh…” Theocydes seemed equally amused and angry at his insignificant injury. “Is that all you are capable of?”
Arkay hesitated. “Uh, not really?”
The Void Lord’s laughter was brief as Arkay summoned and fired more dark energy spears. This time though, the damage was only slightly more significant. Most of the spears merely grazed Theocydes’s armour, but one did embed itself in his side. This seemed to annoy the Void Lord, who stomped over towards Arkay, towering over him.
“I am going to have to punish you before I kill you, Life Goddess.”
“I’m not a Life Goddess though…” Arkay stuttered. Again, he glanced over to where Kallus was hiding, but this time, he looked genuinely scared. Almost as scared as Kallus was, and Kallus knew what was about to happen.
“You must be a hybrid then. I will have to kill you nonetheless. Cannot have your kind sullying my waters.”
Arkay tried to back away, but didn’t have the chance to. The Void Lord extended his hand, which exploded out into a golden claw, wrapping itself around the tiny Decayling. Arkay’s protests were quickly silenced by a gold fluid forcing its way down his throat, drowning him in molten metal.
Kallus watched on. He had seen this countless times before. He had enjoyed watching the spectacle in the past, observing how Theocydes’s victims squirmed in agony. But this time felt… different. It felt… wrong. This single Decayling, Life Goddess… whoever they were, Arkay had shown Kallus respect.
No. Not Kallus. That wasn’t his true name.
Summoning his strength, Kalis exploded into a sphere of long, shadowy spears, immediately thrusting all of them into the Void Lord’s body. Theocydes didn’t have time to react as Life-borne energy penetrated every part of the Void Lord, tearing him apart cell by cell. Finally, in one last flash of darkness, Kalis consumed his Master’s essence, freeing himself from Theocydes’s control, leaving nothing but a puddle of gold ooze.
From this ooze, Kalis pulled out the only being who had ever treated him as an equal. Someone who was only just still alive.
“T-t-thank y-y-ou…” Arkay gurgled, spitting out metallic bile as Kalis sat him up straight.
“No, thank you, Arkay…” Kalis smiled, for the first time in decades.