Hello, my beautiful readers. It is such a pleasure seeing you again so soon! This is the bonus content I promised you a couple weeks ago. I hope you enjoy it. Be warned, it is quite lengthy. Either tonight or tomorrow morning I will have my next chapter up, too. I already have the next chapter after that halfway done, so you’ll see another chapter next Thursday, too. I’m back in action, baby! Hopefully I can keep this pace up.
Chronicles of Koeleth
Guardians Part I
“Look at this, Detremenat,” the armored woman said as her perceptive crimson eyes scanned a “living map” of Koeleth, a hand-and-a-half sword hanging at her waist. “The sad human with the halberd just fought off several bandits by himself. It’s impressive how dedicated he is to his mission.”
“Yes, I admire his determination to get the job done,” the bronze-eyed woman in the leather vest replied, resting her hand on the hilt of her broadsword. “It shocks me that you are impressed with him, though, Disciplina. He isn’t one to adhere to any code, and his fighting is altogether sloppy.”
“It is sloppy by choice, Detremenat. The style suits him. You haven’t seen him go on the defensive, have you? It is rare to see such good form.”
“Whatever you say. Regardless, I like his drive. Not like his listless companion, the one with the spear.”
The red-haired, rosy-skinned goddess of control and dedication continued to discuss the humans with her brown-haired, peach-skinned companion, the guardian of the driven and relentless. The vast hall was full of their kind, but each one was distinctly unique from the others. Away in one corner, a flat-chested woman with icy, bluish-white hair to match her opalescent eyes leaned against the wall. Her mouth was covered in a navy blue cloth designed to mask her face, and she wore a similar outfit to Detrememat, save that it came in hues of blue and white, instead of beige and ochre. Leaning against the wall next to her was a svardstav with a cold sheen about it.
“Hey, Isolati.” A cringing, lanky figure who was sitting nearby whispered to the guardian of hermitage and loneliness.
“What, Fearl?” Isolati said exasperatedly.
“Do…do you think they encountered any thing dangerous and scary? The humans, I mean.” Despite his cowering, the pallid yellow man was the scariest thing in the room. The tattered, dark cloak that encased his body bore an unsettling resemblance to a wraith. The dingy hood of the cloak hid his face, just as its many folds hid the dagger strapped to his leg, giving him an altogether terrifying visage. This was the guardian of terror and fright.
“Beats me. Of course, you consider an infantile rabbit to be dangerous and scary, so I am willing to bet they’ve found many things that fit that description.” She went silent after finishing this sentence, preferring it to any sort of noise, especially noise of the social variety.
Fearl shuddered at the thought of a wild rabbit gently approaching him and sniffing his hand. The horror was so great that he froze up in fright. Meanwhile, Isolati’s eyes drifted to the closest thing the divine realm had to a bar, watching the buxom woman with the bluish-black hair. This was the only person she liked in the entirety of the divine realm, her sister, Sorowa, the guardian of endless tears and woes. Sorowa was, as always, weeping and venting to the grayscale god next to her, Apathos, who simply ignored her. Isolati was always looking out for Sorowa, making sure Apathos did not engage in any funny business with her.
“I-it w-w-was s-so saaaaaaadddd, Apathos!” the blue-eyed goddess lamented, her ornate, sapphire kimono just barely containing her ample breasts. Her long, sable hair flowed freely down her back, in sharp contrast to her sister’s short, unbraided ponytail. Somewhere nearby was an ultramarine halberd, Sorowa’s weapon of choice, though she strongly preferred the use of magic to weapons. She was too busy crying to care where it was.
“Hm.” The simple grunt was uttered by the bored and unconcerned man next to her, his grey eyes permanently fixed in a blank stare. Unlike his clean-shaven, blonde compatriot Fearl, Apathos sported ashy stubble on his chin, exactly the same color as his amorphous sackcloth robe. He glanced around the room, tuning out the tragic woman clinging desperately to his arm, observing the other guardians acting in their predictable manners. He spent an extra couple seconds on Disciplina, whose back was turned to him, more time than any self-respecting guardian of indifference and lethargy should. Not that he cared.
He knew that Sorowa would take his utterance wrongly, assuming he was actually listening to and interested in her problems, but he did not care enough to correct her. Over the millennia, this had caused an interesting phenomenon in which Sorowa found herself irresistibly attracted to Apathos, who, needless to say, did not reciprocate the feeling.
“Oh, Apathos, you’re such a good listener!” Sorowa praised. “You always give me the time of day, even though I’m such a pain. I love you, dear, and I know you feel the same about me!”
“Not really,” Apathos callously responded, but to no avail.
Just when Sorowa was starting to get into a positive mood, her least favorite guardian arrived. A young girl came bounding up to them dragging another girl with her, who looked none too happy to be there.
“Heya, Apathos! Good to see you’re doing such a good job at being apathetic!” the bouncy little girl exclaimed energetically, her curly white hair dancing with every movement. “Wait to go! Keep it up!”
“What are you doing here, Enthusia?” Sorowa asked jealously. Despite the obvious fact that the upbeat guardian of fervor and excitement always took the time to tell the other guardians when they were doing an exceptionally good job of being themselves, Sorowa always mistakenly thought that Enthusia had an attraction to Apathos. As result, Sorowa did not care for her presence.
“Hmmmm! Sorowa, you could do to be a little more sad today! You’re too…angry! Come on, pep up, Sorowa! Get excited about being sad!” A pair of catlike ears adorned the peppy guardian’s head, and no one was sure whether they were real or fake, but they seemed to be alive enough when Enthusia talked. As for the rest of her attire, she wore a short-sleeved t-shirt and a pair of knee-high shorts that were too big for her. The shorts were awkwardly held up by a pair of goofy suspenders. Unlike the other guardians, she had no weapon. She did not think they were necessary, when you could just kick and punch someone.
Her sheepish companion chose to remain silent in this matter, utterly embarrassed to be dragged around by Enthusia. This was Embarassia, the guardian of awkward and uncomfortable situations. Her vivid golden eyes were hidden behind a pair of rectangular glasses that perfectly suited her face, making her look cute in the eyes of most of the other guardians, Fearl being the obvious exception. Her yellow dress further enforced her doll like image, which embarrassed her greatly, but she didn’t know how else to dress. According to Enthusia, she and Embarassia were the best of friends, but if you asked Embarassia, she would tell you that they were only best friends because she was bad at socializing and Enthusia insisted that they be friends. Enthusia continued to babble on and on until Embarassia finally had enough.
“Shut up, you imbecile!” Embarassia shouted. “Oh no! Oh no no no no! I am so so so so SO sorry, Enthusia! Please don’t be mad! Wah! This is so embarrassing!”
For a moment, all three of the other guardians were stunned by the outburst, but that never lasted long with Enthusia around. “O! M! G! Way to go, Emmy! That was awesome! You’re so awesome at being embarrassed! It’s great! This is why I love you, bestie! Come on! Let’s go bother Fearl now! He’s so cute, don’t you think? I want to go on a date with him, but he always cowers or runs away in terror! I wonder why?” Enthusia continued her endless talking as she dragged her bashful companion over towards the wraith and his silent neighbor.
“But…but…I want to go talk to Valro…He’s so brave and handsome…” Embarassia muttered, hiding her face behind the folding fan that served as her weapon, helpless to resist her friend’s will.
“Oh, that’s silly! You can’t talk to him, remember? You’re so good at being awkward that you can barely make any noise when you’re around him and even then it’s an embarrassing noise! Impressive performance, by the way!”
“Now that she’s gone,” Sorowa spat, “I have more tragic news to share, Apathos!”
“This does not interest me.” Apathos resumed his lackadaisical vigil.
Across the room, a large, burly man with a well-chiseled chin and a Herculean physique flexed his muscles, showing off to no one in particular. His sculpted body was covered in little more than a tunic and cape, the perfect image of an Olympian. Valro lifted his greatsword, practicing his art on the training dummies in front of him.
“Do you know what would make this better, brother?” he announced loudly to the ferocious looking guardian standing nearby. “If we were fighting a glorious battle, relying on nothing but our courage and might as we fought against impossible odds. The bravery! The glory! It gets me excited just thinking about it!”
“If you went in with a strategy, it wouldn’t be impossible odds, brother,” Angern, the guardian of wrath and fury said menacingly to his brother, the guardian of valiance and honor. “But you know what makes me furious? When our enemies run away in defeat. Seriously! Fight like a man! Get angry, get mean! There is no pleasure in battle if you don’t loathe your foes! Cowards!” The savage looking figure had worked himself into a frenzy, gripping his battleaxe so tightly it was a miracle he didn’t break the shaft in twain. A horned helm shielded his eyes and head, his unkempt hair coming out of it down to his shoulder blades, and a bear hide tunic wrapped around his waste. His orange eyes burned with fury. “And you know what’s even worse? That wretched beast of a woman, Detremenat, thinks she’ll wear me down in our debate! She makes me so angry!”
“Relationship troubles, brother? I know how that goes.”
“No, you don’t! You’re too stupid to notice that Embarassia has been trying to get with you for millennia! You’ve never been in a relationship!”
“Hm? Who is Embarassia?”
“The quiet, cute one, moron!”
“Oh, her! Well, I’m sure she would let me know if she were interested.”
“What did you say about me?” Detremenat interjected as she marched across the room to Angern, brandishing her sword.
“I was talking about my brother, vile woman!”
“You weren’t talking about him when you called me a wretched beast! I told you that I was determined to win that argument, whether you like it or not! And I won!”
“That doesn’t make you right!”
“You’re just a man! What would you know?”
“Hey, man, just calm down,” a tranquil voice eased into the conversation.
“Ah, Peaz! How goes it, friend?” Valro bellowed.
“I’m doing fine, man. Spreading peace and love in the world, you know. Setting hearts at ease. Free love, good vibes, man. These two need to feel them good vibes, though.” The guardian of inner tranquility was wearing loose fitting hemp robes and carried a simple staff. His long hair and beard flowed freely in the wind.
“Agreed, my hippy friend. I doubt that they will calm down anytime soon, however.”
“Enough!” a commanding voice declared over the boisterous argument. “What a disgraceful lack of decorum. I expectAngern to behave in such an uncouth manner, but I am disappointed in you, Detremenat. Contain yourselves.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Detremenat bowed to Disciplina’s authority. “I apologize for my lack of control.”
“Groovy, man,” Peaz sang. “Now that this mess is cleared up, I’m going to go chill with my man Empiten.”
The psychedelic god strolled over to a corner of the hall where a miserable, worn out man sat. He looked like the morphine addict counterpart of Peaz, and he was the only guardian more alone than Isolati. His dead eyes and bedraggled black hair were a dead giveaway as to who he was.
“Who’s there?” he absently slurred to the approaching footsteps.
“It’s just me, brother!”
“You aren’t my brother.”
“Figure of speech, my man.”
“Whatever. Everything is empty and meaningless, anyways.” He sounded the same as he always did, the hollow guardian of the causeless and the purposeless. His shabby shirt and pants were reminiscent of his brother Apathos’ drab robe. A heavy mace lay nearby, its simple appearance befitting its owner.
“Sorowa? Oh, Sorowa? Are you here?” Another curvaceous woman, this one with auburn hair and a flowing gown of sunset hue, entered the room, followed by two others. Upon sighting her target, she swiftly closed in. “Dear Sorowa, are you still gloomy? You should cheer up! I know it’s not in you’re nature, but it just breaks my heart seeing someone so sad! There is so much beauty and happiness in the world! You should enjoy it. Follow the example of dear Enthusia, who shows such vigor and excitement in life! It’s good for you!”
Sorowa put on a lamentable face as she responded to her rival, Joye. “Joye, I am not equipped to be happy with life. In my eyes, all things are tragic, and I weep over your lack of understanding in this area. Leave me to my tears. You cannot change me.”
The beautiful goddess of happiness and revelry embraced her rival.
“At least I can be content with the fact that you have embraced your role in the heavens. There will come a day when I will turn your disheartening frown into a jubilant smile, though! And then we shall dance and sing just as if we were sisters!”
“My actual sister neither dances nor sings,” Sorowa said gloomily. “And I very much like her that way.”
“Oh, phooey! You are no fun! Maybe if I hit you with an arrow filled with joy, you’ll change your mind!” Joye said, pretending to fire her bow at Sorowa.
“Oh, leave her be, sister,” one of her companions said. “Your cause is as hopeless as Despar himself. I know. I’ve tried to change him. Alas, even I have to say that there is no hope in that one.”
“Ugh, Despar,” Sorowa whispered as a chill ran down her spine. “He creeps me out.”
“But you two are so alike!” Joye’s sister, Hopell, said. “If he were a bit more social, you two would make an adorable couple.”
“You can wish upon all the stars, and it will never happen, Hopell. Your optimism is unfounded.”
“Oh, I can’t help it anymore than you can help your woefulness, I hope you understand.” The guardian of optimism smiled gently, her tall, thin figure standing in stark contrast to the large tower shield she carried with her. Her jet black hair fell down to the middle of her elegant trunk, strikingly beautiful against her milky white gown. “Well, I bid you adieu, Sorowa. My sister and I seek an audience with Lady Disciplina. Our paragons got into a little bit of trouble, and we would like hers to help them out. Good day!”
“Bye, Hopell,” Sorowa waved.
The third member of their party, a teenage-looking girl, remained behind to make a quick remark.
“Hey, Sorowa, I just wanted to say that I feel your pain! Seeing as I am the guardian of sympathy, empathy and understanding, I suppose you would have known that already, though,” The young brunette grimaced at her useless comment. Her button-up shirt’s sleeves were rolled up, along with her denim jeans. Strapped to her back was a heater shield that looked better fit for her then the tower shield did for Hopell.
Sorowa chuckled and smiled. “I appreciate it, anyways, Empathae. Shouldn’t you be catching up to them, though?”
“Hm? Oh, no! I have different business. Today I am on a mission to understand the relationship between Fearl and Enthusia.”
“Being nosy, in other words,” Apathos interjected.
“Weeelll, you could say that, yes,” Empathae admitted. “Anyways, I’m off! Wish me luck!” The teen ran off towards her victims.
“Oh, look at you, you fabulous, beautiful creature!” a male guardian was ogling himself in the mirror. “No one can possibly hope to match you in fashion, combat prowess, or handsomeness. Your artistic skill isn’t too shabby either.” Pridi, the guardian of self-esteem and arrogance, was outfitted in an unnecessarily ornate and regal suit and was going through his usual daily rituals. “Now, my darling self, I must be off. I need to go find Embarassia. Her glaring lack of self-confidence is in dire need of fixing, no matter how embarrassing it is for her! She should thank me for going so out of my way to help her.”
He grasped his weapon, a curiously poetic double-bladed sword, and ventured off in the same direction as Empathae, who was headed there for an entirely different reason. Soon enough a commotion erupted in that area, and Isolati relocated herself to another, quieter corner of the room, leaving Fearl to his fate. Despar was watching from behind a column, knowing full well that Fearl was doomed to die. He felt terrible for his dear brother, but there was no hope for him to ever not be afraid. In the meantime, Despar, guardian of hopelessness and inevitability, was hiding behind pillars in order to avoid Hopell and her ridiculously useless mission to make him see the bright side of things. After observing his brother’s nightmare for a while, he turned his gaze to Apathos and Sorowa.
“Why does she love him and not me?” The dusty-haired guardian grasped his scythe tightly, his tattered robes giving him the appearance of the Grim Reaper. “I don’t understand, why is there no hope for love? Gah! I hate you, Apathos! You don’t deserve her!”
“I blame myself,” a voice came from behind him.
“Holy shit! Where did you come from, Gultn?” Despar hissed.
“Behind you. I am sure it is somehow my fault that you are hopelessly unromantic, creepy, and desperate.”
“I blame myself for disheartening you,” the guardian of heavy conscience apologized. He bowed his head and grimaced, clutching his war hammer is shame.
“Well, it is actually your fault,for once.”
“I am so sorry,” the large, armor clad guardian cried.
“Yes, I get it!”
The vicious cycle continued for several minutes before Despar walked away in utter frustration.
“I am telling you, Desiren, love is all about doing what is right and good, and considering the needs of others! You cannot love if your sole focus is your own satisfaction!” The motherly Compassia, guardian of generosity, kindness and grace was scolding her counterpart, the sensual and sexual Desiren, the guardian of lust, passion and desire.
“You are oh so wrong, Compassia! Love is only about serving yourself! The only reason people fall in love is to appease their physical and emotional desires! Your idealism benefits no one! I bet your eloquent speech has other benefits, though. We could spend this time doing something other than arguing.”
“Ugh, please keep your vulgar thoughts to yourself in my presence,”
“Ooh! Talk dirty to me again!”
Compassia, disgusted with her conversational partner, grabbed her clerical staff and headed towards Fearl to aide him in his plight. The barely clothed Desiren, however, scouted the room, looking for her preferred playthings. Though her base appearance never wavered much, she appeared slightly differently to each guardian, according to their preferences. Only Apathos saw her as she was, because his desires were so inconsequential to him that it was as if they were not there at all. What he saw was a lovely woman, with perfect proportions, a long, brown ponytail, and captivating brown eyes. Her bra and panties were the only things that shielded her body from the environment, and they only just did that. The whip at her side served as her weapon of choice, and it was effective for her purposes. Upon sighting her first prey, she moved in.
“So, sexy, how are you doing today? Care for a fling?” she sidled up to Isolati, pushing her chest up against her victim’s.
“I’m not a lesbo,” Isolati recited for the umpteenth time.
“Oh, come on! Just try it once! I promise you won’t find anyone better to screw with, male or female! I am the goddess of it, after all!”
Despite the fact that Desiren had the beautiful ebony skin of a Nagybi god, Isolati had no desire to play her games.
“How many millennia have you been trying this? I would rather you just left me alone.”
“Oh, what a spoilsport! Well, you’re one of my favorites, so if you ever change your mind, come find me!” Desiren gave Isolati one last inappropriate touch before slithering off towards Angern and Valro. “Hello, boys! What are you two delicious pieces of meat doing?”
“We are training, my sexual friend!” Valro declared. “Would you care to join us?”
“You know, as fun as that sounds, I have a better idea, my idiotic but well endowed friend,” the seductress said, her muscles becoming more apparent to Valro. “Why don’t you boys come back to my room with me, and we can have a little fun? You two can double up on me, I don’t mind.”
“I am afraid I cannot do that. I must train, in case I should need to fight. I have no time for frivolous desires.”
“Oh, you poor, dimwitted piece of flesh,” Desiren said in disappointment. “What about you, hothead? You’re his brother, right? Surely you are just as good, if not better?”
“Of course, I’m better than him, but your asinine endeavors infuriate me!” Angern roared at the now large breasted vixen.
“You should punish me, then! I’ve been a bad girl.”
“Be gone, you flirtatious serpent!”
“O, boo! I am batting zero today! I guess I’ll get my kicks messing with Embarassia like I usually do! Damn.” The horny goddess headed off towards her awkward victim with the intent to make her as uncomfortable as possible.
The chaos of the divine realm went on for several hours, as it did everyday, and it ended in disaster, as it did everyday. Disciplina had to resolve more than a few disputes. Apathos surveyed the room while ignoring Sorowa’s desperate pleas. Desiren hit on everyone and everything, never actually scoring. And so on and so forth. Yet another day in the divine realm.
“What about me? You forgot me?” a non-descript male god inquired.
“Who are you?” the author replied.
“You know who I am! I’m Nobodys! Guardian of the forgotten and unknown! I realize that being easy to forget is part of my MO, but you are the author, and therefore presumably above my influence.”
“Oh, right! Sorry, Nobodys, but I guess I forgot about you because of how little importance you have. You don’t do anything that affects the other guardians, so you’re kind of easy to overlook. I mean, Apathos knows you exist, but that’s it.”
“I suppose you’re right, but you should at least mention me, if you are going to talk about the guardians. I mean, I’m kind of relevant.”
“True, you do show up from time to time. More than Empiten, that’s for sure. Alright, well, considered yourself mentioned. Sorry about that, Nobodys, I’ll try not to forget you in the future.”
“Alright, thank you, author. I’ll stop bugging you, so you can finish the chapter.”
“Thanks. Later, Nobodys.”
“Oh, and author? Don’t forget to mention my weapon, the war horn, okay? Alright, bye.”