Nearly Made It Back

Emerald daggers danced through the air, skewering bodies and severing limbs as they jittered around the battlefield, elegantly controlled by an otherwise very angry, rampaging Decay Lord. Galyn had been out here, fighting for his continued existence for too long now. He wasn’t getting tired, not at all, after all, he was a former god of war and death. But he was getting bored and irritated. These Voidborn beings did not seem to be getting the hint, and Galyn was getting coated in too much blood. A pretty common issue, considering that Galyn was also stabbing Voidborns using the large, shimmering blades that extended from his forearms.

All of a sudden though, a ricocheting blast of black energy pierced the Voidborn that Galyn was about to kill. While the Voidborn had been pushing through Galyn’s attacks, this sudden secondary threat seemed to spook them. The golden-clad beings swiftly began to back off as more blasts of energy, followed by the occasional puff of flame, pushed them away from Galyn and his emerald blades.

Both confused and somewhat relieved, Galyn turned to the source of this energy. To his surprise, two Decaylings and one unconscious Decayling were just idly standing there, having just emerged from behind a large, fleshy hill.

“Oh. OH! You are alive!” The appearance of these Decaylings pleased Galyn. “Thank goodness! I was worried we had lost you!”

“Uh… what is going on?” Arkadin asked as the Decaylings approached. “Why are there Voidborns here?”

Galyn’s pleasure immediately disappeared. With a frown and a snap of his fingers, the cloud of floating green daggers disappeared, and the large, silver blades on Galyn’s arms retracted. “It turns out this whole lump was a Voidborn trap… Except they expected us to send Seimeni down there, not you three.”

“So… where IS the ship?” Arkadin blinked, trying to push the conversation along. To his side, Retvik was struggling a little, carrying the still unconscious Litvir. “I swore it was here…”

Galyn grunted some more. “Our Time Drake buddy panicked and froze everything in a time loop.”

“Is that bad?”

“Only if we cannot break it.”

Retvik frowned, taking Litvir off his shoulders and gently placing him on the ground. “Why can we not see the ship then?”

The Decay Lord tutted, pointing behind him. At first, Arkadin and Retvik couldn’t see what Galyn was pointing at. But as their eyes focused, they could pick out the outline of a fuzzy shape, vibrating in and out of reality. And above it was a vaguely draconic shape, glowing ominously.

“That definitely seems bad…” Retvik muttered. Arkadin nodded in agreement.

“You would be correct, Retvik. This is, well, not a great situation…” Galyn explained, speaking rather slowly. “Luckily, I was off the ship when Kairos started his time loop, and the time loop is relatively harmless for those trapped inside. As long as they are trapped, no one inside can die permanently. The only issue is that we have to break the time loop at the correct moment, when we have the advantage. And, from the outside, we cannot tell when that moment is.”

“So, should one of us enter the time loop?” Arkadin suggested, only to immediately be silenced.

“No! It is too dangerous for you! And most likely too dangerous for myself to enter as well!” Galyn crossed his arms, trying to think. “The only way we can sort this out is by breaking the loop and concurrently creating some sort of area of effect that will disorientate Kairos and the Voidborn and not our fellow Decay Lords… Some sort of… mind attack…”

Retvik and Arkadin both smiled, then poked Litvir, nudging him back to consciousness. Immediately, Litvir sat up straight and glanced around.

“Where the fuck are we? And where did the voices go?”

“We made it to the surface, Litvir,” Retvik smiled. “You tried to take off your suit in a panic so we knocked you out.”

“Oh…” Litvir grunted, picking himself up off the fleshy ground. “Oh. I apologise for that. How long have I been out for?”

“Uh… only a few minutes…” Arkadin lied, not wanting Litvir to be upset. “But we have a job that’s specially suited for you to do… And that we kinda need you to do so we can get out of here.”

Litvir smiled, clapping his hands together. “A job? For me? Wonderful! What do you need me to do?”

Galyn glanced at the other two Decaylings, then turned to Litvir, still grunting. And still covered in Voidborn blood, but that didn’t seem to bother him.

“Do you know how to get into the mind of a Time Drake and knock it out?”

“Hm… not really…” Litvir admitted.

“Well, you are about to learn…”