“You must be desperate if you’ve come to talk to me over ice cream…”
Tahna is laughing at me in his head. He tends to go by the name Tenuk now, ever since he… rebelled against our father. He’s the oldest of me and my siblings, he was the one who was supposed to inherit it all. Yet here he is, a Kronospast disguised as a Rethavok, almost stuck in that foreign form due to how long he’s been like this.
“Well, it’s not every day that you get a room mate like the one I have…” I tut.
“It’s Arkadin, isn’t it?”
I should be surprised that Tahna knows. But I’m not. He has a strange allegiance to the Lord of Death. He too owes his life to the strange being, but not in the way I do. He willingly acted in the Death God’s interests. Stopping the Whenvern from fulfilling his desires. It’s a long and complicated story and he doesn’t like it when anyone brings it up.
“He’s living in your home.”
“Is this because of the thing with our father or…”
“I don’t know! He just appeared there. Saying he wants a place to stay. He’s been muttering things about being mortal. About being one of us. It all seems completely genuine as well. He seems to mean everything he says.”
I watch Tahna sigh. He gets up, goes to the counter behind us and waits. I sigh as I swallow the remains of the iced coffee. All I can think of right now is the fact that I could be living the life of luxury, worshipping the Whenvern and not playing host to a deranged monster while my brother mocks me.
Tahna quickly returns to the table with two massive ice cream puddings. Double chocolate, triple caramel and sprinkles. He’s smiling.
“Welcome to the club, little brother…”
I blink in confusion. “What?”
“The club of the Stolen Sons. You think the Thantophor messing in your life, my life and the life of Levik is pure coincidence?”
“Well, I did…” I don’t know what to say. Tahna realises that I don’t get it, smiles then explains.
“The Kronospast empire is too powerful. If we wanted, we could build another Godkiller weapon, with or without the Whenvern’s help. Luckily Kronospasts are easy to manipulate if you steal their children.”
I can’t help but stare at my brother. “You’re… saying that… that the sons of important Kronospasts get taken all the time, ending up like you and me? Playthings of the Thantophor? To keep the Kronospasts from becoming too powerful?”
Tahnos shrugs, then tucks into his food. “I don’t know the details. Well, apart from the fact that most of the time it’s not the Thantophor. Mostly it’s the Allbirther. Because the Kronospasts are a threat to all life. Like all Deitons, really.”
I sigh, looking down at the treat in front of me.
“So basically the Thantophor is using me to keep our father on a leash.”
“So why is he staying in my apartment, muttering about being a mortal and looking at me as if he’s considering asking me a question then changing his mind?”
Again, Tahna shrugs. “I unwittingly spent years with the Thantophor. The damn thing’s a complete mystery to me even now.”
The ice cream treat is beginning to melt. Feeling less worried, I smile at my brother and start eating.