Fate doesn't work that way

It started with three drunk gods, and one drowning mortal. It snowballed into a quest for destiny with bound gods, sky prisons, mazes of death, and far too many disasters.


13. Phiadai and Old Enemies

A moment later, the darkness blew away like waves of smoke. Kanat’s ears popped, and then the world brightened around him, suddenly enough that he had to blink spots from his eyes.

When his vision cleared, he found himself standing on a plane of grass that stretched as far as he could see. Beside him, the girl took it in with awe.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, catching him off guard.

“Really? I thought it was rather ordinary.”

She turned to look at him. “That’s because you’re used to it. I’ve never been outside of the city. This… this is wonderful. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s so free!”

Kanat rolled his eyes. Mortals and their metaphors “Well come on. We need to find somewhere safe to stay before something else bad happens.”

Footsteps interrupted his words, and he let out a soft sigh. “Something like that.”

A battalion of soldiers in red armor crested the hills. Within seconds, they were surrounded.

Kanat shuddered. The soldiers weren’t exactly human. They were roughly shaped, more like carven stone than men. Golems. There was only one god who used golems as his legionaries.

The obvious leader spoke in a rough voice. “Our master invites you to dine with him. This is an offer that I advise you to accept.”

Kanat sighed. The girl was tensed next to him, ready to fight, but he put a hand on her shoulder, stilling her. “I don’t suppose this is an offer we can refuse.”


Kanat forced a smile onto his face. “Then let’s go.”


They were marched at spearpoint through the fields. He could feel the girl’s tension, and wished he could say something to calm her down, but nothing came to mind. This girl had just been plunged into a completely unfamiliar world, surrounded by unfamiliar things. She’d just have to keep adapting. In a way, Kanat understood that. He had been plunged headfirst into this whole ‘being mortal’ thing. Quite literally, as a matter of fact.

There was no conversation. Every time Kanat tried to speak to the girl, he’d get an evil look from one of the golems. And besides, golems weren’t great at conversation. They had limited intelligence, which was probably why Tith liked them so much.

Ah Tith. Kanat was definitely going to be glad to see the god who’d tried to enslave him. He had no doubt that this meeting was going to be a rather interesting one. Even more dangerous than meeting T’haila. In fact, he’d rather run into her than run into Tith. At least with her you knew where she stood. Tith was a devious god, which didn’t exactly line up, but gods rarely made sense anyways. His best bet was to keep calm, and hope the girl did the same. Tith would respond better to an even, uncaring approach rather than a burst of temper.

Kanat smiled grimly. A burst of temper. That he was good at. He’d have to do his best. He’d always been friends with hot tempered gods. Probably because their disposition matched his. He wished Jinea was here. She was the only one who could face Tith’s taunts with a cool head.

For a moment he wondered if she’d show up to help him. But no, that was ridiculous. Gods never trespassed into each other’s territory. Even Jinea wouldn’t be that audacious. Sure, she was the goddess of tricks, but even she knew her limits. No, there would be no help coming from the gods. He’d have to hold his own. He wished he could advise the girl, but the golems wouldn’t let him speak.

Finally, they reached Tith’s temple. Technically, temple was the wrong word for it. It was more of a towering fortress, ringed by patrolling golems. It stood tall and intimidating, casting a long shadow over the surrounding planes. The ground had long since gone from grass to stone- evidence of the constant movement of soldiers. Tith had his soldiers fighting in an eternal war here. His favored mortals would come to serve as generals, and prove themselves worthy of his attention. In Kanat’s opinion it was a waste of time. Killing was interesting for a short time, but it got boring after a while. It was such a waste. But Tith gloried in the thrill of battle, and it was his territory, so he could shape it however he wished. At least Kanat was in the general area of his territory. If he could get away from Tith, then he might be able to make it to one of his temples. They could stay there until the term of his punishment was over, maybe.

The guards marched them through the iron gate, and into a grand hall. A table had been set up, and food was already out. Three chairs were set- Tith’s at the head, and Kanat and the girl to his side. An insult, as if Kanat wasn’t worthy to look the god in the eye anymore.

Ignoring the set seats, Kanat pulled his chair to the other end of the table and sat, facing Tith. The girl pulled her chair beside his. Tith didn’t appear to mind, and he dismissed the guards with a wave of his hand.

“Kanat,” he remarked. “How wonderful that we should meet. I wasn’t aware that you had the power to transport yourself to Phiadai anymore.”

Kanat felt his face flushing. He cursed himself under his breath. This early on, and he was already frustrated?! He couldn’t help it. He’d like to see the smirking bastard trapped in a mortal form! Then he’d lose some of his satisfaction!

“Ah, I see,” Tith’s smile grew. “You don’t, do you? Who brought you here then? One of your minor friends, perhaps? Another act to gain your love?” He turned, as if noticing the girl for the first time. “Speaking of love… Truly, when you chose to become mortal, I assumed the mortal you chose would be one of rare face and beauty. I have to say, I’m disappointed. I thought you had better taste in mortals. This one seems awfully rough for someone like you.”

To Kanat’s surprise, the girl spoke. “On the streets, a pretty face is only a disadvantage.”

Tith raised his eyebrows. “This is an audacious little mortal you’ve chosen, Kanat. Perhaps you are a well made match. Too outspoken, and both small and insignificant.” The girl still wasn’t irritated. Who was this girl?! Mortals were creatures of passion. How was she so uncaring?

Tith kept going. “How much did the primordials take away from you, Kanat? I can feel your mortality from here. How much has changed? Do you think like them now? Or perhaps, did you always think like them? Your temperament testifies to it.”

Again with the whole temper thing! He could feel his frustration growing. But what could he do? He couldn’t challenge Tith. Not while he was a mortal. Besides, if he died, the girl might die. And if she died, his soul would live on in eternal torment, which wasn’t something he was too eager for.

“I’m surprised you’d want to talk to me,” he replied, trying to keep the irritation out of his voice. “It might provide some comfort for your loss.”

“My loss?” He sounded amused.

“Your little power play failed,” Kanat continued. “Nice try though.”

“Kanat, this power play was as successful as I intended it to be. I knew you wouldn’t accept. You let your friends little rivalries blind you. And so you became a mortal. You’ve been a great source of entertainment for us all. How powerless you must feel, forced to bend to the whims of those greater. Oh yes, this gives me much more satisfaction than having you as my second.”

Kanat felt his face burning with frustration. “Entertainment?”

“Yes. Honestly, a single mortal with a gun? Your very presence should have caused their weapon to shatter. But no, it was just so effortless for them. Truly, you belong as a mortal.”

Anger surged through him. That bastard!

“You’ll take those words back, Tith, if you don’t want a fight,” he growled, jumping to his feet. Tith would pay for speaking to him like this!

“Demon-” the girl started, reaching out to touch his wrist. He pulled his arm away from her.

“Quiet, mortal!”

She pulled back, expression hurt. He ignored her, turning to look at Tith again.

“Are you threatening me mortal?” Tith growled, standing as well. “That would be unwise.”

“You’d do best to remember that I won’t always be in this cursed state. You would be wise to avoid insulting me.”

“I don’t fear you, especially when your words are all talk!”

“I’ll show you fear!”

Demon!” The girl snapped. “Sit down.

Kanat struggled to remain standing a moment longer, before dropping back into his seat with a frustrated glare.

“Shut up and let me talk,” the girl added. “Don’t say anything until I tell you to. You’re going to get us both killed.”

Tith raised his eyebrows, taking a seat with a little smirk. “Ah yes, the great Kanat, running around at the bidding of a mortal. How low she has brought you. A shame.”

“Stop trying to bait him,” the girl said. “You brought us here. Was it just to start a fight?”

“You’re interesting for a mortal,” Tith remarked. “There was a time where mortals respected gods and treated them with respect. You have an arrogant streak, I see.”

“In the mortal world, that’s not how you treat guests,” the girl replied sharply. “They’re given a degree of respect instead of being mocked. I have to admit, I’m surprised that the gods aren’t better. I thought you said you were better than mortals?”

“I don’t recall saying you were guests,” Tith replied, studying her.

Kanat gritted his teeth. He didn’t like the thought of Tith admiring his mortal. If he took too much interest in her, she’d get stuck fighting for her life in some pointless battle, greatly increasing her chances of dying.

“Well technically you brought us in, and we’re sitting at your table,” the girl shrugged. “We mortals call that being a guest.”

“Or perhaps you’re well treated prisoners,” Tith replied, smiling. “Take Kanat to my dungeon. Leave the girl here. I want to speak to her.”

“It won’t work,” the girl snapped. “He can’t leave my side.”

“He actually can,” Tith smirked. “It’ll just cause him great pain. Don’t worry, he’ll live.”

The girl looked at him, and he saw the permission in her eyes. He realized her plan quickly enough. Tith clearly hadn’t been watching them closely enough.

“You bastard,” Kanat hissed as he was permitted to speak again. “You think separating us will do any good? I’ll just escape. I know you Tith, and your prisons. They’re no match for me.”

“Is that so?” Tith smirked. “Put this arrogant mortal in my lowest cell then. Let’s see if he can escape that.”

Kanat felt the golem’s hands close around his arms, pulling him to his feet. He could see the worry in the girl’s eyes, but he winked at her.

“See you soon.”

That brought a little smile to her face. “Bastard,” she whispered, like she appreciated the word.

Kanat smiled back, and then he was pulled away. His last view of the girl was of her watching him with worry in his eyes. Then the door to the great hall slammed shut behind him, leaving her alone with Tith.

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