“He’ll see you now.”
Normally, only Elkay was allowed to directly talk to the Thantophor. Occasionally Kayen or Psiksi would be allowed in, just to help with some chores, but if the Thantophor wanted to communicate with his guards, he either spoke to the Allmaker and she’d pass the message on, or he’d just talk to Elkay.
Today was different. Today, the Thantophor wanted to speak to Tenuk. Directly.
Elkay opened the door for Tenuk and led him inside. The house was just as Tenuk remembered it. Simple, plain. A strange mixture of Skyan, Rethan and Ksithan. Tenuk had never liked it and he hated it even more with the steel bars over the windows and the constant gloom inside. The lights barely cut through the darkness.
As soon as Tenuk sat down on the sofa, Elkay left, closing the door and locking it behind him. Tenuk knew that the door had to be locked at all times, but he still felt like Elkay had locked him inside intentionally.
After a moment of silence, Tenuk realised that the Thantophor was already in the room with him. Tenuk had sat down and not even noticed the Thantophor standing in the kitchen, sipping a drink.
Tenuk got up and walked over to the island that separated the kitchen from the living area. The Thantophor continued to sip his drink, but it was obvious that he was not happy.
“You wanted to speak to me?” Tenuk finally asked.
The Thantophor sighed. “I think you know what’s wrong…”
“Is this about the aura?”
“It’s exactly about the aura.”
Tenuk grunted. “I’m just doing what I have to do. How do you know about that?”
Arkadin finished his drink, smashed the can on the side then went to the fridge to grab another drink. “I’ve known you, Retvik and Elksia for a very long time. Retvik has a habit of muttering things under his breath when he’s particularly annoyed.”
“And he mentioned…”
“Repeatedly. You violated his mind, Tenuk. You violated all their minds.” Arkadin got up and leaned over the counter towards Tenuk. “You know how that hurts me, right? You know how I feel about control over others. Even subtle control. You broke my trust, Tenuk.”
Tenuk edged backwards, intimidated by the Thantophor and his vague anger. “I was just…”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ve already destroyed your spell. They’re all none the wiser, but you will still have to tell them what you did.”
“Are you angry with me?” Tenuk asked.
“You only seem vaguely angry.”
Arkadin tutted. “I’ll be honest, I’m kinda drugged right now. I have been for a while and that bothers me. But if you sort your piss out, that will make me feel better. The other gods won’t be held accountable, they never will. But you owning up to your fuck ups? That makes me happy. And me being happy is a good thing.”
“Am… am I going to be punished? Do you want to punish me?” Tenuk asked, feeling confused.
“Not at all. That’s for everyone else to decide. They’ll decide your fate.”
Tenuk glanced outside. Past the steel bars, everyone else was standing around, waiting for Tenuk to join them.
“You can be pretty cruel at times…” Tenuk hissed as he got up to leave.
“Only because you deserve it…” Arkadin smiled weakly.