Arkay snarled as golden blood dripped down the steps and seeped into the grass. That Voidborn had not been like the previous hopeful, potential boyfriends, not at all. Despite Arkay repeatedly saying that no, no one wanted to date the black and gold Voidborn that smelled weirdly of vanilla, the bastard had decided to get violent and physical, grabbing Arkay by the arms and attempting to pull him away.
As far as Arkay was concerned, he had retaliated in an understandable manner. The second that Voidborn had made contact with Arkay, he immediately broke free from its grasp and tore its head off.
Okay, maybe stomping on the now dead Voidborn’s head and spraying blood everywhere was a little too much, but Arkay was angry and felt compromised, so he didn’t much care. If he hadn’t stopped the threat immediately, far worse things could happen.
“Uh, Arkay, did you have to kill him…” Retvik stuttered, putting a hand on Arkay’s shoulder. However, Arkay instantly pushed Retvik off, and kicked the definitely dead corpse a couple more times.
“I don’t care! He would have killed us!” Arkay spat, before spitting on the corpse. His corrosive spittle landed on the gaping neck wound and began slowly eating away at the Voidborn flesh. Then again, that flesh was mostly armour, and what was underneath was oddly hollow.
Retvik considered stepping in and pulling Arkay away, but, somewhat thankfully, Kuta and Litvir both decided to step in, in Retvik’s place.
“Arkay, you are making a mess. Let us clean up the body, while you sort yourself out!” Kuta smiled. The Decayling was still clearly a bit shocked, but, well, the big scary monster did try and grab his friend. However, just like he did with Retvik, Arkay pushed them both away. He then kicked the corpse one last time, before waving his hand over it and snapping his fingers.
The Voidborn’s body slowly began to dissolve, its armour melting away, revealing a golden puddle of oily fats. With a flicker of black flames, the oil melted away as well, and the last remaining traces of the Voidborn drifted away on the faint breeze.
“Oh…” Kuta muttered. “Never mind then…”
Arkay grunted and tutted to himself, before turning around to head back inside. Blocking the path though was Athanatea, who was clapping with glee.
“Thank you for having to deal with that… unfortunate mess!” Athanatea beamed. “I had hoped he would not come back, but clearly I was wrong.”
“If you had told us about him in the first place-”
“Ah yes, if I had told you about a Voidborn I had a brief relationship with nearly half a trillion years ago, this wouldn’t have happened, would it?” Athanatea interrupted, somewhat mockingly. “Unfortunately, this is often the way out here, but thankfully I had a lovely death god like you to deal with it! How about, as a treat, Arkay, I show you some nice little things, just a walk, you and me, to help you calm down?”
Arkay hesitated for a moment, then sighed. “Show me what? We should be protecting you-”
“You can take ten minutes off. That’s why you have those three.”
Arkay relented, then followed Athanatea inside, who was now waiting for him by the glass elevator, the one that he was normally forbidden to even look at. The glass doors swept shut behind the two Life Goddesses, and the platform they were standing on gently floated upwards, stopping at a silver-rimmed doorway. Athanatea tapped a button to her side, and the door opened up, revealing a translucent tube which ran through a delicate, floral enclosure.
“What… is this?” Arkay whispered.
“It’s a Peacerest, made for one of my former Time Drakes,” Athanatea explained. “I’ve made lots of universes. Most of them are gone forever. But I try to save a little bit of them and work them into my next form. What remains gets to enjoy a peaceful… not afterlife, but something a bit like that.”
Arkay glanced downwards, spotting movement. A silver, serpentine being with a pair of cloudy wings slithered through long grass, pausing to drink from a stream.
“You keep it trapped in here?”
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘trapped’, more like, I keep it protected in here. A place to retire, more like. The ones I like the most, I use parts of them for some of my Xanagenysis and Epanagenysis. But most of the time I complete my Xanagenysis with elaborate mechanisms that don’t require outside help.”
“What is different this time?”
Athanatea smiled a little. “My setup this time is a tad more complicated.”
“Does it involve us?”
“Not unless you want to get involved, deary! But your… presence is helping speed things along. An adorable Life Goddess like you could really make things interesting, you know. Freshens up a new Cycle like no other.”
Arkay snarled, then stomped his way back to the elevator. “I am not here to be toyed with, I am NOT here to help you with your… pet projects and I am NOT helping you with your stupid creations! I am here to do one bounty, to protect you, and that is it!”
Athanatea watched as the youngling Life Goddess left her sight, then sighed loudly. “I was just asking you a question, little one…”