Mirrored from Sythyry.
Now that hCevian was no longer surrounding Strayway, we could see out into this so-called Heaven of Mircannis. It was flowery. I don’t mean “flowery like a garden”. I mean “flowery like a flower.” Specifically, a massive huge flower. A single petal crested over Strayway like a wave, a delicate peach color fringed with dots of lavender and cerulean. Two others cupped around the side, in slightly lighter shades of peach. The sky — or ceiling — was a delicate green, suffused with a shimmery glow from somewhere beyond. The air smelled fresh and delicious and rather floral, a complicated ethereal scent that the Cani could probably spend two-thirds of an hour describing precisely. I cannot do so; I will simply say that it smelt sweet and delicious and pleasant and reassuring.
Me: “This is a heaven? I had expected something more civilized.”
hCevian: “It is a heaven of Mircannis.”
Phaniet: “Have you been here before?”
hCevian: “Yes, yes, of course.”
Phaniet: “What did you do here before?”
hCevian: “I killed everyone.”
Me: “… Really?”
hCevian: “Yes, yes, of course.”
Me: “So everyone’s dead? And you’ve brought us here to kill us, too, or try?”
hCevian: “No, no, of course not! Everyone here got resurrected. My brothers and I made sport of coming here and killing everyone regularly, some time ago. We have not been back in a long time. But you are here because it is a pleasant place and I wish to revenge myself pleasantly upon you. We will leave when you grow bored.”
Me: [imperiously] “And return to the World Tree.”
hCevian: [conciliatorially] “And return to the World Tree.”
Feralan: “hCevian wouldn’t do anything dangerous to us!”
Me: “Feralan, he’s a Locador demon. Their ideas of ‘dangerous’ and ‘kind’ are … “ At which point I remembered who he had shared his soul with for the last few months. “… probably better-known to you than to anyone else.”
Saza: “hCevian, what is this Heaven that you have brought us to?”
hCevian: “Mircannis made it! All by herself, I think, and a long time before she made the World Tree. She doesn’t come back here anymore. There’s no Locador god here; the world was made in the shell of an eighth-instar cousin of mine. I know all the ways in! It’s a very pretty place. Feralan would like it better when it’s not running with blood, though. Actually the blood isn’t very bloody, it’s more like sap.” (There was no blood to be seen. Whoever did the resurrections must have cleaned it up.)
Feralan petted hCevian fondly, his fingers penetrating hCevian’s spikes without obvious effect. hCevian receded into the distance from all directions without moving, and then returned. I think that’s a purr. I am going to have to learn Locador demon body language.
Me: “Well, everyone should stay inside the ship. Saza and I will weave some sort of elemental, with lots of senses and faculties, to poke around outside and make sure everything is safe. “
Phaniet: “Mellilot! What on wood are you doing?”
Mellilot had left the safety of the skyboat, and was clambering around on the petals outside. She sniffed at them, laughed in a way that did not sound wholly sane to me, ripped a big piece off, and started devouring it.