“This is temporary, alright?”
The Temthan, the Falena and the Thraki all nodded solemnly as Tenuk opened the front door to the old Dessaron Headquarters. This building, an old, converted warehouse, had seen better days, as the small garden outside was filled with weeds and the interior needed a fresh coat of paint and some new furniture. But for Arkadin, the little Skyavok, there was still a homely vibe to the building, as well as a lot of nostalgia.
“This place is… kinda… trashy…” Kairos muttered, glancing around. “And it stinks of… alcohol and depressed Rethavok…”
Tenuk and Arkadin both tutted as everyone headed inside. “Well of course it is going to smell of Rethavok, Gath and Retvik were living here until Gath moved back home and… Retvik headed off. You spoken to Retvik lately, Arkay?”
Arkadin shook his head. “No. He’s pissed off with me anyway. I didn’t know Gath moved out though.”
“Place was too big for him. I’ve been meaning to clean up and move back in, just to have someone here, but I didn’t get round to it…” Tenuk trailed off, then started smiling again. “Anyway! You four get to clean the place up! And three of you are going to have to get jobs and pay rent, because I’m not paying for any of you!”
Kairos and Yisini’s jaws dropped.
“But… but we’re gods!” Yisini squeaked. “We…”
“Yeah you can!” There was an odd, amused tone in Arkadin’s voice. “After all, I did it when I played mortal, I got an education, I got a job, I paid rent. Don’t see why you can’t do that!”
“But…” Yisini continued to stammer.
“But… we’re gods. We should be treated better than this!”
Tenuk snapped his fingers. “No fucking way, girl! You’re just a normal Temthan, right now! That there is a normal Thraki and the missy here is a Falena. You’re all normal little mortals and you need to act like it!”
“Especially because, if you go around proclaiming you’re gods right now, someone might consider you to be a heretic and kill you…” Arkadin added.
“Oh come on, it’s not that bad here!” Tenuk tutted.
“It is in the more… secluded areas. Especially in Temthan territories.”
“Good point…” Tenuk shrugged, then returned to the conversation at hand. “Anyway, you three need to go and find jobs. We’re happy to give you reduced rent while you stay here but I ain’t paying for your food and other needs.”
“Hang on!” Kairos interrupted. “Why is Arkadin not paying anything or finding a job?”
“Because I put funds away and have plenty of savings and my name is on the title deeds to this building!” Arkadin smiled as he headed up the stairs to one side, where a second level led up to the bedrooms.
Kairos blinked in utter confusion. “How does he have all of this stuff? I mean, I’ve pretended to be a mortal a few times but he… he has all sorts!”
Epani and Kinisis both seemed pretty stunned as well.
“You have all of this stuff, Arkadin? And you’re not going to share?” Yisini shouted up the stairs.
“Dear, he’s already sharing a house with you all…” Tenuk tutted. “And frankly, you three need some less conspicuous names. You can’t really go around calling yourselves gods when you’re not gods. Arkay’s already got that sorted out, but you guys need to work on it.”
Suddenly, something rumbled. Everyone looked around to see what had caused such a strange noise. After realising that no, the building wasn’t about to collapse on their heads, the group all turned towards Kairos, who was staring at his own stomach.
“Was that… was that you?”
Saliva flooded Kairos’s mouth, causing him to drool in embarrassment. “Uh… I think might be hungry…”