THIRTY-THREE (Part 2)

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She nearly ran into Laptus when the deity stopped abruptly before a wall. She raised an eyebrow. There was nothing special about it, nothing to indicate a secret passage.

"Through here," Laptus said and then punched a nearby pillar with full, angry force. Morita winced at the loud sound, rubbing her knuckles in sympathy. Dark edges of a door engraved itself onto the white wall, and she stepped forward. She quickly shoved the door open and stumbled through.

The first thing she saw was the back of a deity in white.

A Heaven?

She unconsciously took a step forward and the grass beneath her feet made a soft crunch. The deity whirled around and before she could react, she was tackled to the ground with a heavy body on top of her. Her back hit the grass and the air was knocked out of her.

"Laptus," she yelled. She gasped and tried to wrestle her hands out of the deity's iron grip.

The deity stilled. "Morita? What—" His words were cut off when he was shoved off her.

Morita quickly stood up.. "Laptus wait..." she started, but Laptus had already relaxed.

"I know, I know. It's the Godsdamned deity of snowflakes."

Aruma sat up with a slightly annoyed scowl. "Where have you two been? I've been trying to find you." His eyes darted back and forth between the two. Morita's eyes narrowed when she noticed that he wouldn't completely meet her gaze.

Laptus said, "We were inside the court, obviously. We just saw Corvid kill Tempdeis."

He stared blankly at her. "Pardon me?"

Morita walked over and extended a hand down to him. "They were fighting and talking a lot inside one of the ballrooms in the court. We left when Corvid killed Tempdeis."

He placed his cold hand in her's and she pulled him up. It sent goosebumps up her arms. "Are you sure?" His voice was still skeptical.

She nodded and Laptus muttered in the back, "No, but her head's chopped off."

His face twitched with surprise for a brief second before he looked off. "What are we going to do now?"

Laptus shook her head. "First of all, where have you been?"

Aruma glared at her. "This is not the time to talk about this."

"Just tell us."

His jaw clenched. "I was in Lihared. The deity of Worlds wouldn't let me back into Verotz. Now, what are we going to do?" He paused, looking around. "Where's Scioren?"

Morita and Laptus shared a look. Grief consumed her again, but she pushed it down. "He...he killed himself."

He didn't react for a second. Then, a slight tilt of the head. "I figured it would end that way." It killed her not to question further, but there was something in his tone that told her this was something between Scioren and him. "What were his parting words?"

Suddenly, she was back in the Grave, watching in horror as Scioren stabbed himself with her dagger.

The easiest way to kill a deity is to rip their soul out.

"Scioren's last words. He—uh. He told me that you're not the traitor Season deity he was talking about that day in the Heaven Court." She ignored the look Laptus sent her over Aruma's shoulder. "Aruma, I think it's Sumaestas or Stalver."

His eyes became sharp. "It's Stalver."

"What am I?" a new voice asked.

The three of them turned around. The Spring deity stood with two Dishonoreds at his side. Stalver's face was a sort of calm that was like a porcelain mask, gaunt and a polished fake.

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