“Oi, can we make this quick?” Tubrock asked as he walked up to the doorway of the room, his footsteps loud and echoing. “I was workin’ on somethin’ big. Gotta get ahead before da lil people get caught up.”
I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at his question. “Metal.” I told him simply. With his current domains of the Forge and Innovation, making him the God of Metal as well would simply reinforce his ability as a craftsman.
“Sounds good. Anythin’ else?” He asked, an approving smile hidden beneath his thick red beard.
“What’re you working on?” I ended up asking, curious what had gotten Tubrock so eager to get back to work. The last time I saw him like this, he later unveiled the Sky Citadel… so I couldn’t be blamed for my excitement.
“I’ll call ya down when it’s done.” He replied, turning and walking out of the room, nearly crashing into Ryone and Aurivy as he hurried back down the hall. “Sorry, lasses, in a rush.” He mumbled as he pushed by.
“Me next, me next!” Aurivy jumped up in front of a surprised Ryone, running over to sit in my lap. “Did you think of something really good for me?” As she asked that, she beamed a bright smile, her hands on my shoulders to make sure that I was focused on her.
“You were… difficult.” I admitted. “Love and Travel don’t really go together all that well… so I needed to either stick to one side, or give you something else entirely. For you… I’ve got two choices.”
“Oooh…” Aurivy nodded her head rapidly, her pink hair shaking back and forth. “Go on, let me hear them!”
“I can make you the Goddess of Dungeons, or--”
“Dungeons!” Aurivy interrupted, practically squealing in excitement. “That one!”
“You don’t even want to hear the other option?” I asked in surprise. I had planned to expand her Travel domain with Navigation… But I knew how much she had always loved the dungeons as well.
“Please, Dale?” She asked pleading, her eyes wide. “Can I be the Dungeon Goddess?”
With a sigh, I nodded my head, causing the halfling goddess in my lap to cheer loudly. Once I entered the new entry in for her, she apparently felt the change instantly. “Oh, I’ve got to go see what I can do now! Can I make new types of dungeons? Free monster spawns? Oh! Maybe I can create something really special!”
As she began to talk to herself, Aurivy leaned in to give me a tight hug. “Thanks, Dale!” She said, before turning around and running out of the room. “Now, for science! For dungeons!”
Ryone stood next to the doorway, blinking in surprise at Aurivy’s display. “Well then…” She muttered, shaking her head. Smiling calmly to me, she stepped forward. “Did you have something for me as well?”
Leaning back in my chair, I gave a brief nod. “Your Magic domain already makes you really powerful. So, I was thinking about giving you Merchants as your third domain to balance it.”
“The Goddess of Merchants… I suppose that would make me a trade goddess.” Ryone smiled playfully. “I can live with that, I suppose.” She gave a soft nod, moving to sit next to Terra on the bed. “How many do you still have left to deal with?”
I did a brief mental check through the pantheon. “Just… Tryval, Ashley, and Irena. After that, everyone will be taken care of.”
“Well, then you can cross my name off that list.” Ashley’s voice spoke up from the doorway, an amused smile on her face. “I just saw the kid running out like she heard Santa was here. Guessing she liked her third domain.”
“I’d hope so…” Given how excited she had been, she better like it. “Ashley… Goddess of Fire and Technology… I really want to give you something that won’t make you step on Tubrock’s toes any more than your current domains…”
“Well, this is your challenge.” Ashley said as she watched me, her tail lightly swaying from side to side. “Let’s see what your answer is.”
Tubrock had Metal, Terra had Inspiration, and Udona had Education. Those were three Domains that I had actually considered to give to Ashley at first. Anything that I could think of that could bridge Fire and Technology had either already been assigned, or would overlap too much with the others. “What do you say to becoming the Goddess of Darkness?”
“Because demons are nocturnal?” She asked curiously, beginning to sink into thought. “You gotta think about this… I’ll have two elemental domains. You’ll be making me pretty powerful compared to the others, right?”
I gave a brief nod. I had already thought about that. “You’re the only Goddess that has to govern your own world without having been part of Earth. It makes sense for you to have a bit of an extra boost, I think.”
She looked like she wanted to question that logic, but simply shook her head after a long moment. “Alright. I don’t think anyone else mentioned having anything to do with darkness before, so it will give me something unique, at least.”
Saying that, her tail wrapped around her waist and she turned to leave the room. I was half expecting either Tryval or Irena to come in soon after, but… There was nobody there. Those of us still in the room waited, Keliope and Accalia eventually walking out to go back to their own business.
After an hour, we had still not seen either of them… “Maybe they didn’t get the memo?” I questioned curiously, only to draw a light laugh from Terra.
“No, no, they got it. You said at their earliest convenience… Tryval is spending time with his daughter right now, and Irena is busy teaching your’s…”
“Ah…” So that’s why they weren’t showing up yet. “Well, why didn’t you say something sooner?” Asking that, I turned to look at Terra, only to find her cuddled up against Ryone, who was smiling happily.
“And end my cuddle time early?” Terra asked in a teasing tone. “Besides, you can just send them the message directly. No need for them to really visit your room, right?”
I gave a brief nod to answer her question, grumbling internally as I first messaged Tryval. Would you like the Plant domain? Right now, his followers would have very little in the way of usable powers, compared to other gods. I couldn’t imagine many applications for the Fellowship and Plains domains in combat, at least.
If that is your will, milord. Tryval answered a moment later, without giving proper time to think it over. It seemed as if, to him, he didn’t particularly care which domain he was given. Shaking my head, I went ahead and entered it in, before sending the last message off towards Irena.
It could be said that Irena had the greatest responsibility among all of the gods and goddesses, so I wanted to make her somewhat special. Would you like the Death domain? Both of her current domains were designed to strengthen her position as the queen of the Underworld, which Death would contribute a great deal towards.
Hmm… Her answer came after a brief pause. Very well. I suppose it is fitting. This will give me sovereignty over the dead, then? It will indeed make it easier to function in a number of ways… So, thank you.
The end of her message was almost a whisper. But, with that, everyone had been given their third domain. Glancing towards my computer, I chose to set a simple ten year fast forward, giving the world a bit of time to adjust, as well as the gods time to adjust to their new powers.
“Alright, everyone, line up!” Ginjo called out, his black furred tail wagging in excitement behind him. Two months had passed since the revelation of their lord Dayl. It had taken some… convincing, but they had acquired the right to select the representative of the beastkin.
Naturally, they could not gift someone weak towards the king of the gods. To send a flawed vessel would be a disgrace. No, they had to send their most perfect candidate. And so, they brought out their secret force. Their private military that had been held in reserve for thousands of years, trained to be the strongest, the fastest, and most loyal.
Standing before him were two girls and one man. One of the girls was a kitsune, while the other two candidates were felyn. All three were dressed in black and white outfits.
For the women, they wore a skirt, black with white frills and covered by a white apron in the front. Over their legs, they wore black socks that came up just to their thighs, showing only the barest amount of skin before their skirts covered them. Their tops were entirely black, save for a patch of white covering their bulging chest. Each of them had short white sleeves extending only halfway to their elbows, and their hands were folded together in front of themselves, their heads lowered respectfully to the ground.
The felyn man wore a black suit which trailed down past his tail, a long cut in place to allow it free movement behind himself. Beneath the suit he wore a spotless white shirt, a black bowtie decorating its features. Long, black pants hugged his legs, matching black shoes over his feet. On each hand, he wore a white glove, held together behind his back as he stood at attention.
These were the best of the best. The most elite troops, trained to protect village elders, traveling noble spies, and if need be lay down their lives to defend the peace of the forest. “You three have been judged to be the best of the Servant Corps, most capable of standing beside the Lord’s side.”
As the lycan elder spoke, he paced back and forth in front of the three of them. “The Lord does not speak to priests, nor does he need to. What he needs is simply a capable voice. If he so chooses, you may be taken aboard the Sky Citadel. There is a chance that you may never again see your home. How does that make you feel?”
As one, the three candidates spoke out. “We live to serve our Lord.” This was the motto of the Servant Corps. To them, there was no greater honor than being placed with a powerful ruler, fulfilling their duty by protecting him or her and serving them in their daily lives.
“Only one voice was requested.” Ginjo spoke again, his eyes on the three candidates. “That means that only one of you can fulfill this task. You have passed through many trials to reach this point, endured countless dangers in your training. Now, I give you one last task.”
The three people all looked sharply towards Ginjo, who put a small smile on his face. “I have spoken with the Sisters, seeking a suitable training ground for your final test. They have answered by creating three dungeons within the forest. Each of these dungeons carry the likelihood of death. If you do not return, we will simply have to try with the next round of candidates until one succeeds.”
“You may take nothing with you except for what you have right now. No help may be given from the villages. Your task is to reach the end of the dungeon that you are assigned to, and retrieve its token. Only myself and the Sisters know the form of these tokens. The first to return shall be given the honor to server the highest Lord, and become the new Head Servant. What say you?”
Once again, they spoke as one. “We live to serve our Lord.” No sooner had their voices fallen than all three vanished from their positions, a small bundle of leaves lifting into the air to show how quickly they had left their spots.