“So, first question.” Cherim chimed.
The newly formed duo ride on Snowy’s back as she clops over the tall, green blades. Behind them lays a trail of matted down grass from the beast’s weight impacting the field.
“Why is Baryl deserted?”
“I do not know; I only sensed that it was devoid of life as I was looking for you.”
“Oh… right. Okay, so what are we doing exactly?”
“We are traveling to Hika-“
“No, not that.” Cherim clarified. “I mean why did Death send you to me? You said it was my destiny, but what is my destiny exactly? What am I doing?”
“I see. You’re curious as to know your destiny as though it were an assignment presented to you by a kiddie’s teacher.” Charles cooed. “But I’m afraid that it's impossible for either of us to know what goes on inside of fate’s chambers. Whatever is happening brought us together though, as Death himself created companionship from me to you. Events will surely happen for us, merging with us, and we shall make further events happen in time.”
“So, you have no clue what’s going to happen?”
“That is right.”
“Did you even ask Death why he was doing this?”
“I did.” Charles wistfully recalled. He could still see Death’s broken face looking down to him, sullen with pit eyes as deep as time itself, looking down at Charles as he were only a mere insect to the deity. “He gave no answer, unfortunately. It was strange, he was troubled, he’s usually more cheery and freed up, but he couldn’t even bother himself to say goodbye to me.” Cherim could feel heaviness from Charles’ voice, a sort of voice that only echoed out of the minds of those who have lost someone dear to them.
“Were you close?”
“I was. He is able to spend time with his reapers because he is much more free from deity responsibilities as opposed to the other lords and gods. He has others do tasks for him, and since his role is only to take souls, it’s an easy task to assign workers he makes himself.”
“So… does he do anything?”
“The only task that he has deemed complex enough for only him to take care of, is to make sure that there is a bountiful number of humans on Henera. That way, he can always reap souls for the underworld. No humans, no souls.”
“Oh, that makes sense.” Cherim understood. “But why souls?”
“Without souls flowing in and out of his underworld, he has no purpose, and therefore his existence, along with the other lords and gods, shall cease. Therefore, it is his highest priority to make sure that humans are always living, so that they shall always die. This goes for the other deities too. They approach man from their high towers and insure consistent population sustainability, making sure that the population does not grow too high for Henera to bare, making sure that ecosystems and climates remain balanced and of course to make sure that Death does not over-profit from souls by making sure humans don’t over-profit from Henera.”
“I never knew being a god was so complicated.”
“Depends on the specialty I guess, I mean it’s not like Death has to make sure that too many people aren't born, he just has to make sure that not too many people die, which is much easier in times of peace and plenty like now. Dying from aging is most preferrable for Death, but obviously there can be an occasional calamity here and there.”
“Alright, I see how that all works.” Cherim responds. Charles’ explanations remained consistent with old tales Cherim could remember from his childhood. Tales of reapers preventing great destruction from occurring, forcing peace deals between leaders at scythe-point, and even preventing a giant flaming rock in the sky from crushing the continent. Of course, all of these events are occurrences of conflict between deities, a number of which so arrogant or full of hatred that they’d rather be dead. It dawns on Cherim then of what this is about.
“Somehow, I do not believe that you don’t really know what’s going on, Charles.”
“I truly do not know, Cherim. There hasn’t been a large conflict in centuries, and there has been no conflict recently, especially since the god of war simply lost their might so long ago. The way things are now, I see no reason for Death to have sent me down here.”
“Are you sure about that? Not even a single hunch?”
“I suppose there is the off-chance that there is a conflict occurring without anyone’s knowledge. A conflict that cannot be seen, heard, or even spoken of.”
“What kind of conflict is that?”
“That would be a conflict between a human and a deity.”
“That doesn’t sound like it’d be possible.”
“And you’d be right about that, and that is why I am truly at a loss of what is happening. It is the fact that I do not know that makes me think this is the case.”
“I feel like there is a fallacy in your thinking there, Charles.”
“I wouldn’t worry too much about it for now, events will just happen, we can only react.”
“Alright, I’ll take your word for it then.” Cherim ended, unsatisfied with what he was left with.
“If that’s all your questions answered, you might want to pick up the pace and get Snowy to run to Hika. I just cannot stand this chafing for much longer.” Charles whined and pre-emptively hugged Cherim to stay on board. With Cherim hugging his legs around Snowy’s body, she starts to trot, run, and eventually gallop with air blowing all around, muting any sounds apart from the clopping of hooves.