“They said we weren’t in trouble, but I still feel like we’re in trouble…”
Tahnahos, Elksia and Retvik had been sitting in the small waiting room for a small eternity. Or, according to Elksia, about an hour. The only thing in the room keeping the three of them occupied was a water cooler and a plate of ham sandwiches that never seemed to deplete, no matter how many they ate.
“If we were in trouble, surely they would put us in some sort of proper holding cell…” Retvik grunted, helping himself to another sandwich. He was annoyingly hungry and knew that hunger was stemming from boredom and uncertainty. “They have prison cells here. I have seen them. This is just standard waiting around.”
Elksia shrugged. “So bureaucracy and stuff? Sounds like a Rethan thing.”
Retvik tutted, not wanting to acknowledge how correct Elksia was. The real reason Retvik had adapted so well was because, somehow, this collection of multi-universal beings somehow worked the same way his insignificant mortal race did.
“Still feels like we’re in trouble though…” Tahnahos muttered. “Maybe not in a prison sense, but we’re definitely not out of the woods. We just blew up a thing full of Voidborns.”
“We did…” Retvik sighed, amidst bites of sandwich. The bread was weirdly cheap and moist, thanks to the cheap ham and butter. “Either way, they do not have the grounds to punish either of you two. As for me…”
Retvik’s worries were interrupted by a knock on the door. Everyone sat up straight as a large, red and gold draconic being wandered in.
“Sorry about the wait. For the two of you who do not know me, I am Decay Lord Saahro, and I’m going to sit down with you three and explain what is going on…”
“Are we in trouble?” Tahnahos interrupted.
“No, no. Not with the Thantir at least. Whether your Life Goddess punishes you or not, that… is up to her, I guess…” Saahro awkwardly sat down on the chair opposite, pulling out a small notepad. “So, first things first, I need to clarify that what you guys did wasn’t wrong but it wasn’t 100% right either. You should have talked to us first, at the very least so you would have backup and not risk your lives.”
“That is fair…” Retvik bowed his head slightly. “We did make a rather rash decision.”
“You did. From what we can tell, the explosives you all planted were set off by Arkay while he was inside the structure, but from our calculations, that shouldn’t have done the damage that it did. We originally believed that Retvik here had gone nova, only to find you intact and Arkay was the one who went nova instead.”
“Gone nova?” Tahnahos asked.
Saahro glanced at Tahnahos. “That’s the term we use whenever someone uses a vast amount of their internal deiton energy output, on the scale of a gas planet or larger. Generally to cause an explosion.”
“But the good news is that the Voidborns have left this area, and they won’t be coming back for a while. This particular sect just lost their leader. Somehow the Voidborn High Lord running the sect has disappeared, and without a leader, they’ve scattered. This means the Life Goddesses will stop being bitches as well…”
“So what happens now?” Elksia asked. “And why do you look like Kairos except red and gold?”
“Well…” Saahro grunted. “Some similarities between draconic beings are going to happen. But it’s been decided that everyone go back to their homes for now. You will be returned to your respective bosses, and Retvik here will need to conclude his Decayling training. Some, uh, paperwork will be arranged so that Elksia and Tahnahos may visit more easily, but from now on, the Thantir will be locking down and trying to keep things under wraps for a while, to avoid being… bothered by other Voidborn sects.”
Elksia jumped for joy. “We are getting out of this… basically for free? Yay!”
Saahro tutted. “Only because of extreme circumstances. If this was, well, normal circumstances, you would have all been handed over to the Decay Lords proper and punished by them.”
“What about Arkay though?” Retvik frowned. “You have not mentioned him at all. The whole heist… it was his plan that he executed.”
Saahro frowned as well, expecting Retvik’s question. “Unfortunately… Arkay’s condition… is not great. Apart from some scratches, cuts and burn marks, physically he is mostly healthy. Mentally, he doesn’t seem to know who he is, and needs… a lot of reassuring. All the work we did in getting him to accept that he is a Decayling with traces of Life Goddess in him, it’s all gone and we’re going to have to start over.”
Retvik leaned forward, sighing. “Can we see him?”
“Yes, but he is asleep right now. He needs his rest. After all, he got caught in a large explosion.”
Saahro got up and opened the door. “The three of you are to spend the rest of the day in the observatory. We’ve still got things we need to sort out, but for now, we just want to keep you comfortable and keep an eye on you. Understand?”
The three beings all nodded.
“Good. Please make your way to the observatory. I’ll let you know when you can see your friend…”