Planning and Scheming

“… And once I have broken its heart, I will tear its heart out as my final act of terror and revenge. How does that sound, Letharus?”

Letharus blinked a couple of times, then wiped the drool from his mouth. He hadn’t realised he had been dribbling, but apparently this was a common side-effect of being a clone. Some things just didn’t work well with cloning, and keeping one’s tongue inside their maw was one of the more obvious issues.

“I, uh… I do not know, boss.”

Theocydes stared at Letharus, then sighed. “Do you want me to repeat the plan again?”

“No, no, I get it, but…” Letharus shrugged, wiping his mouth again. “Seems like a very convoluted plan. Just to tear out one guy’s heart.”

Theocydes leaned back in his seat, a fancy gold throne, nudging his rotating desk to one side. “Ah, you see, Letharus, it HAS to be convoluted. It NEEDS to be complicated. Performing a more stealthy mission has many risks, and I must take extra precautions. But more importantly, the more spectacle in such a death, the better.”

“Why though?” Letharus asked, before pausing and glancing across the room.

The sound of growling had interrupted the conversation, as Kalus and Rethanius were hissing and snarling at each other. They seemed to be arguing over a particularly meaty bone. Theocydes quickly silenced them both by snapping his fingers, causing fresh prey to appear. The two cloned deities were quickly satisfied as they tore apart some sort of exotic animal.

“Actually, I have a completely different question. Why are those two basically feral now?” Letharus asked. “Are your cloning skills really that bad?”

Theocydes rolled his eyes underneath his golden mask. “I am not one to make the same mistake twice. Those two do not need their intelligence. Rethanius never used it anyway. So I altered the genetic makeup to create more aggressive, more powerful clones.”

“So, despite my brain turning to mush as we speak, why did you let me keep my intelligence?”

“Because you are useful. Or, rather, the original Letharus was…” Theocydes tutted, bringing back his rotating desk again. “Anyway, this plan. Your thoughts.”

“I do not like it. Too complicated…” Letharus frowned. “Why not just kill the… thing again…” Letharus paused again, rubbing the side of his head. “What is this being’s name? Is it that group of Decay Lords that you fought and had to make clones of us?”

“Yes, that group. Specifically the little hybrid they harbour, a being named Arkay. The little hybrid must die, its heart must be cut out from its chest, for me to cleanse my sins.”

“Uh, why?”

“Because that is how you repent for the sin of death.”

Letharus blinked some more. “That makes no sense.”

“An eye for an eye, my dear Letharus.”

“Could you not just, like, clone the hybrid and kill that?” Letharus asked. “Rather than… all of this?”

Theocydes grunted, scribbling down Letharus’s suggestion, before shoving the idea into his pocket. “I… I like your thinking, little one. If this plan backfires, which it will not, then I shall give your idea a go. But the whole point of repentance is to make it into a spectacle, to prove how powerful I am.”

Letharus shrugged, no longer really interested or paying attention. “I guess. Can I go get something to eat?”

The Void Lord returned to his plans, smiling evilly. “Sure, do what you want. I must start my scheming proper…”