Tahnahos wasn’t sure how, but between the four of them, they had managed to finish off nearly all the food in the palace. They’d also had a lovely time sharing stories and generally chatting around a small fire that Retvik had made in the middle of the table. Overall, Tahnahos was very happy to have spent time with these three strange beings. Even if he didn’t really remember them.
As Tahnahos helped himself to a scoop of ice cream, he listened in as Elksia abruptly changed the conversation.
“Waaaait, how did you two get here then?”
“What do you mean?” Retvik asked, halfway through eating a battered sausage, while also burning a marshmallow on the campfire.
“Tenuk got dropped off by his mum…”
“Kinisis isn’t my mum…” Tahnahos muttered.
“Sorry, Arkay’s mum. But how did Arkay and Retvik get here?”
Arkay shrugged as he unwrapped a handful of sweets. “Kal brought us here.”
“The weird mechanical Vohra thing with the brain masks?”
“Yeah. I’ve been trying to make them some new bodies, but… well, my life-god power crap isn’t working well so far. It’s all…” Arkay paused, as did Retvik and Elksia. Tahnahos knew why. The communicator on his wrist was beeping. Tahnahos hurriedly peered at the message that had materialized on the tiny screen.
“Is everything alright?” Retvik asked.
Tahnahos didn’t answer. He re-read the message a few times, then got up from the cosy beanbag he had been sitting in.
“I have to go.”
Tahnahos sighed. He was enjoying his time here. Sure, all they had done was talk and eat, sure, Tahnahos kinda didn’t know the Time Drake and the two Decaylings as well as he should have, but this was the most relaxed and happy he’d been in a while.
“Kinisis has asked me to return. Something about a Voidborn attack on a Life Oasis. She wants everyone back and on full alert. So I have to go.”
“Does she even give you proper breaks?” Elksia tutted. “Probably works you all to death!”
“Oh no…” Tahnahos protested, “she gives us plenty of breaks. We have a set schedule to make sure that everyone is well-rested and properly maintained. I definitely can’t complain, all things considered. But I do need to go, the message sounds serious and they’ll be here in a few minutes.”
“We should probably get going too then…” Retvik sighed, also getting up. “If it is a Voidborn thing, then the Thantir will want everyone accounted for. We will help you tidy up Elksia and then we will leave.”
“Aw…” Elksia pouted. “But I was having fun!”
“Yeah, me too, but Voidborn attacks are just all-round bad. Can’t be complacent around them…” Arkay explained. “And we can always come back when things are safe again!”
Elksia paused, then slowly pulled herself out of her seat so she could hug Tahnahos. As she did so though, she paused, her eyes glancing around, as if trying to follow something.
Suddenly, something crashed in the main hallway. Elksia immediately rushed off to see what it was, only to be met by an angry Whenvern, who had crash landed through the front door and appeared to be covered in scratches and ash.
“Boss! Are you alright?” Elksia screeched, as the others appeared behind her.
Kairos growled, wiping soot from his snout. “Fucking Voidborns… always have to ruin everything… Oh… You four are still here…”
“Uh… yeah…” Elksia hesitated. “I haven’t finished cleaning the place yet.”
The Whenvern rolled his eyes. “You should leave. Get back to your homes and make sure you are protected. Because apparently Voidborns tend to let each other know when their armies have been killed… I have to get to Epani and Yisini and help them prepare and protect their pocket universe…” Kairos sighed, then eyed the four smaller deities.
“We should get going then…” Retvik grunted as he and Arkay began to pack up their belongings. Tahnahos silently did the same, gathering his things in a small bag.
“I should… start tidying…” Elksia frowned.
“Actually, wait a moment.” Kairos turned back to Elksia. “You should go with Retvik and Arkay. Give them a little bit of extra protection. Arkay’s a Life Goddess now, he’ll need it.”
“I’m not a Life Goddess though!” Arkay protested. “I’m a Decayling, just like everyone else.”
“They said you have Life Goddess potential though. And, honestly…” Kairos trailed off, mulling over his next few words. “I think you four really need to stick together…”
“I… I don’t know…” the Dragon God of Time admitted. “I normally don’t get future flashes. But I’m getting one now… and it involves you Dessaron…”