“What do you want, Tahnahos?”
Lord Avra growled as he monitored the stupidly large number of consoles around him. On each screen was either an image of a fleet of Temthan ships, a number of Vohran anti-space vessels or the preparations of the Rethan Stratos. Behind him stood a being who, despite looking nothing like a Kronospast, somehow managed to share blood with him.
“I… I wanted to thank you for listening to me and helping the Rethans, at least a little tiny bit… I can completely understand why you’d be reluctant to, but it proves to me that you have some sort of heart after all…”
Tenuk squirmed slightly as Lord Avra turned around to face his son. After a moment of grimace, a small smile appeared on Lord Avra’s lips.
“You really think I am doing this for you because I care?”
The Kronoreth’s shoulders dropped. “I hoped so. Good to know I was wrong… But why though? The Rethans are the race behind one of our greatest defeats in many, many centuries…”
The leader of the Kronospasts laughed heartily. “Ah, you are so damn naïve, son. Pathetic, really. Yes, the Rethans did embarrass us, as did the other primitive Panvok around here, but the stupid little race you care about is small fry compared to the Temthans and the Vohra.”
Tenuk rolled his eyes. “The Temthans don’t even have Theoktons. I assume that is why you’ve let me bring some friends to help out? Because you don’t want the Temthans getting their hands on a bunch of Theoktons and breeding the heck out of them?”
“That is a miniscule concern, assuming the Temthans ever discover the threat Theoktons can be. The dimwitted beasts though probably won’t ever find out. But it seems, Tahnahos, that you have forgotten your manipulative ways?”
“What do you mean?”
“The Kronospasts didn’t build an empire based on warfare, military prowess or anything stupid like that. As always, we talked ourselves into power.”
Tenuk sighed and looked away, his eyes fixated on a monitor surveying Thre-Vretania. The Temthan ships were soon to arrive, and even at this distance, he could see the nervousness in the Rethan ranks. They hadn’t been to war for a long time, not against an enemy like the Temthans.
“So it’s all just another manipulating scheme of yours. No matter who wins down there, you win up here.”
“Exactly…” Lord Avra replied with a sneer. “Sometimes I wonder how you are even related to me. Not a single manipulative bone in your body. Too much like your mother. All she went on about was things like sharing and being nice to others. Thought it was cute at first, before I realised it was the reason why we lost against those mortals. All kindness will do is get you trapped and killed.”
“Alternatively, it can get the mortals to actually consider not murdering you…” Tenuk grinned. “Oh, and when it comes to manipulation, it must have worked, considering my three best friends are all Theoktons… Can’t get more manipulative than that!”
Lord Avra ignored his son’s quirky reply and went back to the monitors. “More a mixture of your own insanity, kindness and a small amount of manipulation. You should probably go and say good bye to them, before they all die tomorrow.”
The smile on Tenuk’s face disappeared. “Fine. Enjoy being soulless, as always.”
The Kronoreth growled and walked out, leaving Lord Avra alone with his thoughts.
“Not that any of this matters…” the ruler of the Kronospasts smiled. “If the Temthans win, we no longer have to worry about Theoktons. If the Rethans win, somehow, then the Temthans will fall back to lick their wounds for a bit. The Kronospasts always win in the end…”