Anodyne stormed his way through the remainder of Slag, clearing a path through the remains as he quickly made his way to Plo’s shop. Running through the door, he shouted with desperation.
The landlord of Slag, is he powerful?”
Plo and Appretend turned as they were both hunch over the furnace. Plo gestured to Appretend, and she quickly scurried over to Anodyne while they Plo continued.
“What did you say? Please be quick. Plo will need me soon.”
“The landlord, the induvial to whom you pay rent to, are they powerful.”
“What do you think? They own territory in the Eternaverse; they are incredibly powerful. We are the latest project he has had; he has many more projects at many further stages of progression.”
Anodyne started to sweat.
“We need to leave; we need to leave right the hell now.”
Appretend ran over to Plo; they both discussed for a short while then Appretend returned.
“We can’t; we have gone too far with the process; you will lose the souls you have gathered if you leave now.”
Anodyne’s mind seized as he was posed with a conundrum that pushed his wants to the limit. Apprentend returned to Plo as they continued the process. Anodyne started to shake as he stood in the doorway.
“I’m fucked, I’m actually fucked. If I leave, I lose my progress but keep my life. If I stay, I may get a sword in my hand or one in my heart.”
Anodyne started to pace back and forth as his mind ran in circles. His movements stopped as he turned to see a very mad-looking individual standing just outside with a couple of familiar faces from the conflict standing behind him.
“Hey there, friend, I got all dressed up for this destroyer of worlds. But before me, I see a lowly god barely able to explore the Eternaverse with any form of precision. At least I will look good as I slaughter you.”
The gods armor shone as the light from a nearby sun illuminated it. In hand, a vast spear with barbs and lightning arcing around it, crackling as it went. Anodyne’s eyes widened before he raised his hands above his head and clapped. A small bubble appeared around the store and quickly vanished, taking the store and a chunk of Slag with it.
The landlord stood mildly amused.
“Hmm, never seen someone so weak muster the energy to teleport with so much external matter before.”
One of the two scared individuals behind him spoke out quietly.
“Are you going after him? He destroyed everything.”
The landlord looked down and grinned.
“He destroyed trash; this asteroid was an embarrassment to my accomplishments. It is annoying he took the best of this asteroid, but he did cull the weak. I could follow him, but I see no point in killing someone so low.”
The landlord watched as the energy of Anodyne’s ability slowly faded from sight.
“And… now I cannot follow him. Besides, it was your job to ensure you stayed safe; I can’t be expected to babysit all the time. I am a busy man. You survived; congratulations, you are the only two shops on Slag. Now excise me while I go find some more crafters to occupy this space.”
The same well-carved door that Anodyne summoned to find Slag appeared before the Landlord, and he wandered through. The two weak gods looked at each other, and one after another, they disappeared from Slag, leaving it to be just another ruined rock floating through space.
Anodyne stood with his breath falling heavy, hands still above his at their final positions.
“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Safe.”
Anodyne slumped to the ground and let out a sigh.
“He did not follow; he could not be bothered. We are safe.”
Plo looked out the door and then back to her work; after a second, she realized what she was looking at and dropped what she was doing. She walked to the door and stared out to the new area of space she had just been transported to.
“Where are we?” She said as Appretend struggled to maintain the soul forge while Plo left to enquire to their new location.
“We are safe; they did not follow. Now you can finish my sword in this new space.”
“But where are we, Anodyne? Where did you take us?”
“You can know that once I get my sword. Now hurry up. Your apprentice is struggling.”
Plo turned and quickly rushed to take over once again. Anodyne, feeling safe, sunk into his sitting position and closed his eyes. Before he realized it, he was fast asleep, and the other two were left to continue the forge uninterrupted.
Toward the end of the process, when concentration was not needed, they both relaxed and started to talk.
“I don’t know if you noticed Appretend, but we have moved. Anodyne has taken us somewhere new.”
“I did; when you ran off, I looked out the door. Does it matter? Was this not part of your plan?”
“I mean, not really; I assumed we would stay on Slag getting other work. How much work can one god give us? Even if he does supply us with work, how much can he offer us?”
“He ran from our landlord, and he is extremely powerful. So at a minimum, he is good at escaping stronger foes. Which means he can help us avoid dangers. Not money, but good value.”
“But only if he is with us; I was thinking we could leave his weapon here and then make our way back to slag.”
As they finished their conversation and the final touches on the sword, Anodyne woke up and rushed over.
“It is done; I have a sword forged from the souls of deities. I am one step closer to getting my world back. Now for your payment, do you have harvesting tools?”
Yes, no good forge can run without them.”
Anodyne focused and clapped, shifting the house forge to a new location.
“I found this universe a while ago; you can have free reign to harvest what you need.”
The two forgers wandered out of their home to be surrounded by stone. Laying before them was the liquid stone that provided both sun and moonlight. The very same material that was used in their forge.
“This universe is just air bubbles surrounded by matter of diverse types. Instead of standard suns, they have these, so you should have all you could want to harvest here.”
“I guess he does have a lot to offer us ae Plo because this is more valuable than anything we have been paid.”
“Feel free to hang out here and visit me whenever you need anything or have anything you can help me with my goal.”
Plo walked up to Anodyne to confront him face to face.
“What do you need this all for? What are you investing all your effort into?”
“A world I named Hollow. It is my world, and another deity has taken it. I want it back; I am not going to stop till I have killed the usurper and claimed my world again.”
“You are doing this over a planet? You know you can just create another; why spend so much effort on a world that is impossible to reach. You can make a whole multiverse where you could make as many worlds as you want, yet you are spending all your efforts on this one?”
“Not anymore, not really. The universe I originally took you to was a new one, I am going to build my presence on as many worlds as I can, and then I shall return to my first and claim it back.”
“You are insane; no one cares that much about a single world, but if you can continue to show us to places like this, with rare resources. I don’t care what you do as long as we get to forge. I assume we find you in your new universe?”
“Yes, I am going to work on that for a while, but I have to get back to Hollow before too long. There is an occurrence that only happens once a year, and I cannot miss it. So work hard and help me claim my world back, or I will hunt you down and burn all that you love.”
Plo turned to Appretend as she was examining the fluid-rock sun.
“I will do whatever it takes. To be honest, this is more advantageous to us than it is a hindrance. But if you think you can get to her without having to fight me, think again.”
Anodyne smirked and started to fade.
“It was a fact I was counting on, now get back to work.”
Anodyne faded fully from sight and left the other two to their work. As he appeared in his new universe, he found Sylum waiting for him.
“So, finally made a second universe, ae?”
“Yup, trying something new with this one. But this is just the first of many. I just need more praise to conquer the shit of a deity that has claimed my world.”
“So, is this Hollow two?”
“No, my worlds are very different. This does not deserve the name of Hollow. It is close, but it will never be what I first created. Nothing ever will be.”
“So what do you call this new world?”
“Dolor and it is just one of many.”