The voices get loud. He knows this, of course. It’s to be expected when they are so rarely satiated, their bloodlust quelled for only a slain mob or two before they suffer another weeklong famine. He’s had them longer than he can remember, a constant companion on his blood paved path. He knows the thunderous roar of their hunger, the sting of their tendrils as desperation gnaws at his temple, hungry for a feast. He tells them to be patient. He tells them to quiet down. They don’t listen, but that’s par for the course. Still, he can’t help the grimace that flickers past his features.
There is little warm blood to be spilled on the icy tundra. He went north specifically for that reason, a permanent break away from the violent shadows that snap at his heels.
For a while, the voices were quiet. They liked the charm of the living in a small cabin by the woods, finding amusement in the awkward domesticity Techno found himself wearing like a too small cloak. They liked the books he’d read by the fireplace, warmed by the fur of his ever increasing number of dogs. He found himself waking up to slowly in the mornings, not snapping awake ramrod straight, hand reaching out to grasp his sword.
Then the butcher army visited. The execution botched. Doomsday rained hell and sulfur. And the bloodlust came back with fervor .
And tonight we find Techno in one of the more raucous nights. The voices are vicious, growling and raving for blood Techno cannot spill. They tear at his mind, filling his vision with blood and viscera and triumph. He stands alone in battle, surrounded by the musk of death, teeth bared, feral and wild and divine.
Techno finds himself shuddering, heart caught in his throat, fingers splintering into the wooden floor to keep himself grounded. He feels the jagged edges prod at his palm, feels his hooves curl into themselves. His ears are pinned back, in a futile attempt to block out the noise.
It won’t be long until you give in, they whisper, sickly sweet and cloying.
It won’t be long until we feast.
Starve , Techno has half a mind to say, and the voices roar in reply, drowning him in their cacophony.
One of us , they scream, one of us .
One of us .
One of u —
Phil stands at the doorway, shrouded in light. His tattered wings are folded behind him, feathers trailing on the floor. He holds his cane loftily in one hand, skull beak hooked over a finger.
He smells terrifyingly human, and terrifyingly prey.
“P hil ,” Techno gasps, curling in tighter on himself, “ Go . Stay at Ranboo’s.”
Bone echoes on the hardwood, accompanied by quiet footsteps. A hand is placed on his shoulder, and for a single precious second, it grounds him.
“I don’t think I will,” Phil murmurs, “They’re being loud?”
“They’re hungry .” Techno says, eyes glazed. His voice tinges on something other .
Blood for the blood god
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
FEED US REND THEIR FLESH FROM LIMB TO LIMB
Poor little bird, trapped in a bloody cage, will you be our dinner?
Phil hums sympathetically, fingers running through the crown of Techno’s head. He kneads at soft fur, untangling those that have been matted by the day’s grime.
“What are they saying?”
Techno wavers, “They want me to kill you.”
Phil laughs, “Really now.”
“They’re calling you prey, Phil.” Techno says.
He frowns, tapping Techno’s temple. “Hey,” he says evenly, “I’m not your Sunday meal.”
What is a wanderer to a king?
Guys, he does have a point that’s a wholeass person
Gut him and feast on his remains
Can’t we kill someone else?
“Little shits, are they?” Phil huffs, “Come.” And he tucks his cane under his arm and guides Techno to stand, hands bracing his arms. He brings him to the porch, where snow graces the front yard. Techno sits, bowed, shoulders up to his ears. His hands grasp at the hem of his shirt.
“Techno,” Phil says, leaning back on his palms, “did I ever tell you about how I met Lady Death?”
blood for the blood god?
Oh? Story time?
Wait I’m curious
So no head?
Techno takes a shaky breath, “A thousand times. Tell me again.”
“I flew.” Phil grins, and his hand traces the constellations above, “I flew past the clouds, up where the sky touched the earth, and the moon beamed at me.”
“How high was that?” Techno asks, as Phil draped a wing over him. His mouth moves on autopilot, still awestruck decades after a lieutenant and a general sat together in a field, counting stars.
“Higher than anything you’ve ever seen,” Phil says, as he did back then, “So high it felt like falling.”
Did you touch the sky?
What did you find?
“What did you see?” He asks, burrowing into the warmth. Phil pulls him tighter, fingers lightly treading on his brow.
“I saw the stars .” He says, fire in his eyes, starlight, “They twinkled back at me, and then I saw her, and together they all smiled.”
Techno looks up at the sky through half lidded eyes, watching purple streams shoot past dark blue, watching the nebulae and stardust waltz across galaxies.
“What did she look like?”
“Like the Universe gave love a face,” Phil sighs, “A face heaven couldn’t hold a candle to.”
“What then? Did you woo her?” Techno murmurs, leaning on Philza’s shoulder. He traces constellations on his fur, twisting curves and sleep ridden orbits.
“I fell,” Phil says, “And as the wind rushed past my ears, I looked up, and I saw her laugh. And then I crashed into the sea.”
This is so calming fuck
Death lady pog
Techno hums, turning his snout to the crook of Phil’s neck. “Do you miss her?”
“Everyday.” He says, “but I look up, and I remember that she sees me, and I wave at the stars.”
“I bet she waves back at you too.” Techno says sleepily.
“Rest easy, Techno,” Phil says, smiling, warm hands holding him close, the voices dropping to a steady hum, “I’ll be here when you wake.”