“Is the big guy not coming?”
Arkay glanced back at the ship, the cargo bay doors slamming shut as the engines began to heat up. Within a moment, the ship had blasted off, fading into the distance.
“Uh, no, sorry. You wanted three Decay Lords, not four. And you’re already getting an extra Decayling for essentially free…” Arkay eventually frowned. “The fourth one costs extra.”
“Oh! No problem!”
Athanatea was a very curvy specimen, even among Life Goddesses. She had shimmering white skin and platinum hair with golden streaks, as well as an overall look that was very reminiscent of Life Goddesses from the local area. But she also had a (as Galyn had put it) spectacular pair of breasts, which Athanatea was completely opposed to hiding away in some sort of undergarment. In fact, aside from the sleek, silky cloth wrapped around her waist, she was completely naked. But Arkay was the only one of the three Decay Lords and one Decayling who seemed to be bothered by that.
That wouldn’t have been an issue normally. Today though, Arkay was in charge. It had been decided that he, Retvik, Litvir and Kuta start doing some Decay Lord work on their own, without Galyn’s assistance. For some reason, Galyn had made Arkay the leader of the group, despite lacking in the leadership skills department. His ten-page PowerPoint presentation about how both Litvir and Retvik had been former Generals, specifically knowledgeable in leading others, had gone unheeded. So here Arkay was, in charge and already hating it.
“So…” Arkay clicked his teeth together, dragging himself back to reality. “So, you need three Decay Lords to protect you while you work?”
Athanatea beamed, skipping head. The location was weirdly nonsensical. The four of them had landed on a pier over a vast lake of clear, glistening water that was oddly both gold and silver in colour. The pier however was made out of bronze beams and traipsed over a beach of black sand, before turning into a path of gold stones, leading up to a very tropical but sparse forest. In the midst of it all was a mansion, surrounded and connected to various translucent, silver orbs. Directly above the mansion was a particularly large orb that was more ice blue in colour.
“Somewhat, yes! It is coming close to my Time to Start Anew, the Xanagenysis. And I need some protection while I make my preparations. And you four lovely specimens are just the sort of protection I am looking for! Come with me, let me show you around.”
As they approached the mansion, Arkay noticed there was no life in the undergrowth. Litvir and Kuta had noticed it as well, both of them muttering to each other about how the place seemed weirdly dead. Retvik on the other hand just kept his focus on the path, inspecting the area for potential places of intrusion.
The mansion doors swung open with a wave of Athanatea’s hand, leading into a rather empty-looking grand hall. Two stairs lead up the back wall towards what seemed to be bedrooms and other areas, while a glass elevator was the main attraction, located in the centre of the room. It clearly led up to the orbs above the mansion, but was sealed off with an overly large bolted door, controlled by a number pad to one side.
“Alright, boyos! Place is nice and simple. Kitchen downstairs, which I use to prepare food for myself and my pets. Master bedroom, my secondary lab and two guest rooms upstairs. Pool and bathroom out the back. Everything else is lounge space. None of you are to even touch the elevator unless you are with me and I allow you to!” Athanatea smiled. “That being said, I will mostly be in my bedroom, resting up, so none of you will have to wander far.”
“Fair enough…” Arkay hesitated for a moment, then summoned a pen and notepad from thin air. “What sort of level of protection are you looking for? 24/7 protection or just someone pop in and check on you occasionally?”
“Oh, nothing much. Just someone to keep an eye on me while I work and sleep, to be honest. The rest of the time, I don’t really need it…” Athanatea looked down at the little Decay Lord. “Neat trick there. Are you a Life Goddess?”
“Technically, partially yes, but I don’t like to talk about it.”
Athanatea smiled some more and patted Arkay on the head. “Not a problem. Although I’d normally pay extra for protection services from a Life Goddess!”
Arkay grunted, ignoring Athanatea’s comment. “Hm. Alright, what are you planning on doing now?”
“Oh, just lab work. Nothing fancy.”
“So if I have Litvir keep an eye on you while you work, Kuta will keep watch over the general grounds, and in the mean time Retvik and I will inspect the place and go over any potential security risks, is that alright with you?”
“Sounds perfect!” Athanathea grinned, again patting Arkay on the head. “Fingers crossed, with your help, this will be the best Xanagenysis yet!”