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No need to report on what is happening. Go back and teach the creature more lessons. Find out what it is shaping into if you can.

The return journey was a sedate one. She had flown in a hurry to get to Tamara so she would have a reason to report the happenings of Rush and then ask questions. Tamara obviously knew a great deal of what was actually going on and quickly interrupted her travel, sending her back to Rush. So her plan to use this occasion as an excuse to talk to Tamara failed immediately.

Arathan suspected that the major explanation as to why Arathan was teasing out answers herself and not having them handed to her was so she didn’t accidentally shatter herself. Violating the soul shatter oath wouldn’t just end Tamara after all.

If, Arathan considered grimly, she was directly questioned by a member of the Table she could honestly reply that Tamara had not told her anything in regards to Ruth or Rush.

Perhaps it wouldn’t come to that. Many of the demi-gods who were on the verge of ascendancy and given the choice of obedience without recourse or freedom in death chose obedience and eked out their long existences quietly avoiding anything that would cause a member of the Table to ask them to destroy themselves. There were few that accepted the oath and wantonly flirted with soul destruction like Tamara.

When it is time will you employ my help?

It was just a casual thought Arathan sent. Another in a long series.

Tamara had grown so distant in the past that sometimes Arathan would send hundreds or thousands of thoughts and receive no answer. The void that swallowed up those thoughts and the silence that reigned in reply had been a source of constant pain and distress to Arathan.

Will you stand by me always?

Arathan was a bit surprised when a slow reply came. The crow that was flying through the nothingness toward the soul space that Rush inhabited paused slightly, wings hitching in their beat.

By way of response, Arathan unleashed her full might into the emptiness.

A brilliant crimson light flared out and quickly conquered the darkness. The shape of a giant sphere briefly flashed in the nothingness. The sphere was illuminated from within by a lighter hue of the murderously powerful red before exploding outward in all directions. Innumerable crow shadows spread out in all directions in a brilliant display of speed and power.

The display was more than a pretty visual. The powerful throughput of the aura would have collapsed many soul spaces if she had been closer. Despite the great distance it was still enough, in fact, to make a multitude of perceptions cast nervous ‘glances’ in her direction.

One of the reactions caused her to startle. A very small burst of gold flashed in the distance causing Arathans eyes to start shining with mirth.

This fucking thing...

↢↦

Lord Rush felt something approaching his territory from the nothing.

His eyes snapped open and he rolled over in the air and hopped down to the bottom of the soul space. He approached the thin layered edge and stared out. He tilted his head and took a confident step out into the nothingness and stood vigilantly staring outward.

Thinking of this place, Lord Rush decided that his territory required a name. He would think on this puzzle when there wasn't any danger approaching.

Wait, no he wouldn’t! Ruth. Ruth was the perfect name! Lord Rush couldn’t believe how easy it had been. He was just that amazing.

There was the faintest flash of red far off into the distance and it caused him to stand with his neck stretched in the highest alert fashion. His horns spiraled in a looser pattern and now pointed slightly upwards with the tines ending in a terribly sharp end.

Seeing the red flash still moving forward weakly, his eyes narrowed.

Something out there was challenging him.

The display of power reminded him of the creatures he had fought before his great victory of the lights that tasted good and crunched. The ones with sharp things attached to their hands. The bunnies.

His eyes narrowed and his mouth turned into a thin line.

Lord Rush lowered his head and only had one thought.

This stupid thing again. I can do that too, coward!

Lord Rush never doubted himself even though it hadn’t occurred to him to ever attempt anything like this before. He just knew he could do everything better. He stepped lightly back one step, two steps, three steps. He felt himself passing back into the comfort of his territory.

When he took the last step and his whole body was once more within the soul space, he raised his tail and head. The tail began to shake in a menacing fashion and his mouth opened as a howl of aggression escaped his small lips. He closed his eyes and continued to howl out into the darkness. The space began to light up brilliantly behind him. Golden lightning wreathed around the lumpy sphere and began to push back against the darkness -- and of course the very dim light far off into the distance.

His eyes opened and the golden light ricocheted out into the darkness causing him to momentarily go blind. When his eyes cleared of white he noticed that the red light was long gone. The golden light had obviously defeated it. It was of no consequence whether the flashes had just passed each other like two ships in the night and been on their merry way or not.

The important thing was his golden light had beaten the crap out of that red dimwit’s light.

Lord Rush prepared to turn around and go take another nap in celebration of another outstanding victory when he realized the creature was back.

Hey brat, miss me?

Lord Rush blinked twice and then his eyes narrowed. A hiss escaped his lips in warning. The creature was at the same distance it had been before. This was no longer fine.

Lord Rush now had a greater idea of what encompassed his territory. It was no longer just the space and the edges of the darkness around it. Now it was everything he could see. When he had been eating the delicious violet lights he had discovered that his vassal had the right idea. Territory expansion should be an aggressive endeavor.

Lord Rush immediately leaped out of the soul space and arrowed toward Arathan.

Close! Warned you! I EAT IT! SHAKESHAKESHAKESHAKE

Truly Lord Rush was mostly bluffing. He had grown to like the interference of this creature that brought him things to eat and entertained him. After he beat the crap out of it he would allow it to serve him in some capacity.

Supposing it couldn’t even fight back? No matter.

Lord Rush would just adopt this stupid thing and put it under the category of stupid things like his mobile territory, the Ruth.

↢↦

Arathan was momentarily startled when Rush bolted toward him. The soul space actually showed signs of assisting him as lightning sparked and arced ominously around it.

Caw-caw-caw-caw… This fucking brat…

Arathan unfolded her wings and prepared herself to beat the snot out of this bold little thing running at her face first. When Rush saw her actions he actually opened his mouth and turned his head, charging with his teeth pointed forward and his eyes straining on either side to keep her in sight.

Arathan could feel his excitement begin to leak out into an uncontrolled aura.

She was just getting the tiniest bit excited herself.

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Thanks for the influx of ratings and the encouragement. Genuinely and sincerely, thanks.


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About the author

Fool

Bio: I'm not by nature a very courageous person. If you have been around enough you might have surmised as much on your own. I started writing these gaming books because I was frustrated, and in desperate need of a way to give voice to the ideas and concepts that I hope to see in a game some day. I'm also trying to write a book about a former dragon without making him into too much of a murder hobo. I hope you enjoy them. If you don't, that's alright too. :)

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