Peris had been following Arkadin around as he slowly began to cut away bits of Corruption and incinerate them in his hands. Despite Arkadin’s concerns, Peris had insisted that he start his work here in this specific area, rather than start at the original point of infection.
“You should not interfere…” Thassalin whispered as he flew past Peris. He had just finished destroying a couple of old suns, completing a duty he was clearly not comfortable doing. “Let the little alien god work.”
“No truth. No truth for him!” Peris hissed, lowering her voice so Arkadin couldn’t hear her. “Cannot find out.”
“About… IT? He will have to know. So he can fix you.”
“What if not? What if no fixes. He kill. He is Death.”
Arkadin sighed as he cut away a new piece of Corruption. He could hear the two Deities arguing. He knew that Peris was hiding something. And considering how difficult his work had been so far? He knew that this hidden thing was particularly bad.
After a little more, awkward arguing, Peris drifted off, while Thassalin decided to come closer.
“Sorry about her. She is scared.”
“Of the truth, yes?” Arkadin pointed at some of the recently destroyed Corruption. “This is pretty deep-rooted. I’m going at a pretty fast pace, but some of it is already growing back. If I continue as I am, I could have this section cleared in… um… some amount of time. But there are far worse areas, aren’t there?”
Thassalin didn’t answer. Instead he hovered awkwardly, pretending to inspect Arkadin’s work so far. Arkadin went back to work, cutting out more corruption. As he did so, he decided to ask a few questions. Peris had been utterly silent and judgemental, but Thassalin was much more open.
“The Corruption killed someone, didn’t it?”
“Yes…” Thassalin admitted. His voice changed, from a harsh but strong voice to that of a scared child. “It killed Zonti.”
“Who was Zonti?”
“Goddess of Life and Death.”
Arkadin paused. “Really?”
The sudden revelation made Arkadin put his blades down. “I’m sorry… That is… really bad…”
Thassalin nodded. Arkadin raised a blade, then paused again. A Corruption had killed a cyclic deity and its universe hadn’t fallen apart yet? The thought deeply troubled Arkadin, he knew that he was stepping on very thin ice.
“I hate to be morbid, but may I see where you ejected her from this universe? It might be the source of this issue…”
The Time God looked over his shoulder to make sure Peris wasn’t present, then reluctantly nodded.
Thassalin flapped all four of his wings and drifted off. Arkadin followed, not sure what to expect.
As they travelled, the universe got considerably darker. It was almost pitch black when they reached a ludicrously huge wall, which was doing a mediocre job at holding back the Corruption behind it. Thassalin refused to go any closer. Instead, he pointed at a small sliding slot in the wall. Arkadin went over to the slot, slid it open and peered inside.
After just a few seconds, the Thantophor pulled away, slamming the slot closed.
“You… didn’t remove the body?” Arkadin shouted. “You let the Corruption CONSUME her?”
“Peris loved her. I loved her. She was our everything. She could not…”
Arkadin leaped forward, grabbed Thassalin and pulled him away, as far from the horrific sight as possible. Thassalin continued to look back, pain and grief burning the back of his throat.
“Thassalin. Look at me. Have you been corrupted?”
The beast shook his head. “No. I have not been corrupted. I have done everything in my power to remain pure.”
“But Peris has…”
“Yes. When Zonti was killed. We could not remove her. She is part of this universe.”
Arkadin glanced at the hideous wall then turned back to the whimpering deity.
“I’m sorry, Thassalin. I cannot save your universe. We have to kill it…”