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I had never been to the Temple here in Fastidious House. It was the one place which I actively shied away from, so I had no idea as to how things had changed after my rededication.

The almost featureless cuboid, two story, pristine white chapel stood apart from the rest of the buildings of Fastidious House in a spacious courtyard. It was also accessible, via an ornate gateway, to the rest of the settlement, housed within a shockingly black wall. There was a pathway of crushed white stones leading from both the House and the gate, around a square path which ran parallel to the walls of the cuboid chapel.

Within the courtyard, there was no sign of life. Other than the featureless white cuboid chapel and the white crushed stone path, everything else, including the walls of the courtyard, were made of the same shockingly black stone which made the wall separating the chapel from the settlement.

Even the air here felt strange, as if it was there to oppress those who entered within. It didn’t feel like any of the cathedrals, churches, or places of worship I’d visited in my previous life. There, other than where tourists were more common than worshipers, there were always a feeling of peace and sanctity. They were set apart because they were holy, and I could tell that believers would find themselves leaving with lighter spirits than before—I had even seen it happen too.

Here, within this courtyard, I had none of that sense. Here, it seemed, the goddess didn’t want to lift her worshipers up. No, it seemed as if she wanted to remind them they were but worms in her presence.

I would have to make changes here in the courtyard. Starting with bringing in gardeners who would make this place a true sacred sanctuary.

The crushed stones crunched under my feet as I made my way to the cuboid chapel. From the lack of crunching, I could tell that there were no other people following me. I turned to look at them. They were all standing on the black platform which led out from Fastidious House.

‘What is it?’ I asked.

‘Today is not a holy day, nor have we received a summons from the Second Seat, and as such we cannot approach the Temple.’ Exalted Pine said, her dusky skin paler than normal.

This was going to be harder than I thought.

I turned back towards them and stopped just in front of the platform. I looked up at Exalted Pine, who was slightly taller than me now that I was down on the ground and she up on the platform.

‘Do you trust me?’ I asked her.

She looked at me, then nodded.

‘Can you keep my secrets?’

She was a bit more hesitant this time, but she still nodded.

‘Will you join with me, in sickness and in health, and until Death does us apart?’

Her eyes widened in shock, a small smile tugged the edges of her lips. This time there was no hesitation. She nodded.

‘Come, yet us be wed then.’ I held out my hand.

She took it. Her smaller, more delicate hand was warm in mine.

Bravely, she stepped down off the platform and walked alongside me, our feet crunching on the white stones, as we headed towards the featureless white cuboid.

I touched the plain white exterior door.

First entrance into God of Death’s Prime Chapel.
Do you wish to brand this Sanctuary?
Yes / No

With a thought, I selected yes. From pure white, the stone faded into bleached bone. The door which had been there rippled outwards, forming two simple rounded pillars. The straight door frame rose into a rounded arch. Joining the pillars with the rounded arch were two sightless skulls.

‘There is no door,‘ I told her quietly, ’because I believe all should be free to worship whomever they wish and so there should be no barriers.’

We walked in through the open arch.

Light shone down through well-designed windows in the walls of the cuboid onto the central simple white stone altar. It was an administration altar. I walked over towards it.

‘I am about to show you something that no one has ever seen before, not even my beloved Brother. I do have secrets, and will tell you when you’re ready. But I need for you to trust me in a way that few others can trust me. Which is why I’m going to do this.’

I touched the altar.

Remote Administration Tabernacle 4A3Ln927i20A-z
Current Administrator: Sanctuary of Peace
Current Administrator Rating: 2M-0

Administrator Privilages Reconised

Would you like to claim administrator rights for Remote Administration Tabernacle 4A3Ln927i20A-z
Yes/No

I claimed the administrator rights.

The altar remained white, but the four edges molded into femurs. And on each of the four sides a sightless skull appeared.

Filled with apprehension of what happened the last time I laid down upon an altar and of worries about how Exalted Pine might react, I forced myself to lie down on the altar.

I scrolled through various menus until I found what I was looking for. Then with doubts filling my mind, I displayed my true status screen to Exalted Pine. She took a moment to look at my screen and then started laughing hard.

Tears were rolling down her face, and she was having trouble breathing.

She touched me on the shoulder, and tried to say something, but couldn’t get it out between her now-hysterical laughter. After a long while, she calmed herself down, wiping her eyes, and restricting the giggles, which kept threatening to burst out.

‘Come on, babes, get off there. I need to show you something, too. Uh, do what you have to do, but look at my true traits.’

I slid off the altar, and she laid down. Instead of looking prim and proper, there was a slight sexiness about the way she was lying there. It was hard to draw my attention away from her. But I didn’t want to keep staring at her, so I focused on the menus linked to the altar. After too much messing around, I found the menu which displayed her traits.

Name: Exalted Pine

Concept: Anything to Live an Easy Second Life (Displayed: Dutiful Bride for Fastidious House)

Traits:
Reluctant Member of Fastidious House: 1M-2 (Displayed: Member of Fastidious House)
Supposed Follower of Sanctuary of Peace: 3M-1 (Displayed: Follower of Sanctuary of Peace)
Citizen of the Heartlands: 3M-9
Withdrawn Citizen of Fastidious House: 1M-1 (Displayed: Citizen of Fastidious House)
Overseer for Fastidious House: 3M-2
Unwilling Bride of Fastidious House: 0M-9 (Displayed: Bride of Fastidious House)
Needlework: 4M-1
Bookworm: 4M-2 (Displayed: Fashionable Reading)
Lady of Fastidious House: 2M-2

System Traits:
Standard Broadcast Receiver: 1M-1

‘I knew you were a fellow bookworm,‘ I said, after looking through her traits.

‘It might seem a strange question, but did you come from Earth?’ She asked me.

The abruptness and strangeness of the question took a while to work, though. In the end, I was certain she had asked what I thought she had asked. I shook my head in disbelief. ‘Yes. God and Death told me that they’d sent no one here in centuries. How, then, are you here, if you come from Earth?’

‘Oh, I died in 2012, a freak accident when I was on my way to see the Olympics in London.’

‘I died in 2017, when I sat down on a bus seat instead of an obese woman. She should’ve died, not me. Death mentioned nothing about you, saying that accidents like mine were rare.‘

‘Well, we’ll have plenty of time to talk about things later. But we better get married before we depart.’

‘You still want to get married to me?’ I asked her, not knowing what to think. ‘I’m a Demi-God and the God of Death.’

‘Well, it’s either you, or some close minded bigot who expects me to do anything they say. We’re both from the same world, and from near enough the same time. I’m sure from that, and our joint love of books, we could form a bond on which to build a marriage. And from what I’ve heard you say, you’re not a bigot and you want to do something about the suffering of those in this country. I want to help you with that. As much as I want an easy life, it wouldn’t be a nice one if I knew that there were those suffering in a horrid manner just because…

‘And between you and me, I wasn’t an angel in my old life—if you know what I mean.‘ She pulled me down right close to her, and pressed herself against me, and whispered something which made me excited and nervous at the same time. When she let go of me, I stumbled back a couple of steps. ’Other than fiction books, that’s the one thing I’ve missed in this new life.’

‘But what about your traits? Don’t you want to change them?’

‘We can do that later, hubbie, maybe when we’ve not got others waiting for us outside. So can you change Unwilling Bride of Fastidious House to Sexual and Sensual Wife to People’s Defender.‘

I swallowed down my nerves, which were settling in my strangely empty stomach. Then I did as she asked. Once I closed down the screen, she got up off the altar and strutted over to me. She then wrapped her arms around me and pulled us tight together.

Her lips found mine, I wasn’t able to do anything but return her kiss. The wine and white bread were there, as before. But now there was a sweetness which hadn’t been there before. A sweetness, a hunger, and an eagerness; none of which had been there when we had our first kiss snuggled on my lap.

Finally, with much reluctance, we stopped the kiss. Before she pulled away, she hugged me close and whispered in my ear: ‘There is one secret I must tell you, hun, my mother and I ended up in this world after we fled through a Fissure.’

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A note from volcanicMole

That is it for today's batch of releases, I hope you're enjoying reading them as much as I am telling them. If you are please let me know with ratings/reviews!

Thanks!


About the author

volcanicMole

  • England

Bio: From the outside it may seem like vM is plain and boring. From the inside, though, he is anything but: he is an inquisitive explorer who constantly hunts for ways to burst out of the constraining confines of the ordinary world we find ourselves in. To fulfil this longing he creates vast and wondrous worlds full of adventure where the burning brilliance of heroes stands strong and bright against the almost all-consuming darkness of the world.

Those vast worlds of adventure are not his only siren call: he is a loving father and husband (even if he is accused of being a bit too silly at times).

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