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"-uck!"

THUD!

Herah let out a groan as her third headache of the day came over her. After a few seconds more of laying face first on what the youngling assumed to be a floor, Herah sat up and got a look at her surroundings.

Herah's first thought on the room was that it was extremely plain. The walls and ceiling were an annoyingly bright white, the floor was equally white, except for a dark grey carpet that sat under the coffee table in front of her. The room also had two tan couches on the wall to the left and right of Herah and an equally tan recliner behind the table. It seemed to be about the same size as her living room back home, but Herah wasn't too sure. Space, for whatever reason, seemed weird in the room.

Rising to her feet, Herah began to look around the room but quickly gave up after realizing that there were no noticeable exits. Another thing that Herah realized, was that the room was empty sans herself.

After sending a quick message to Jeffery, Herah decided to check the time. Walking up to the coffee table, Herah used one of her claws to carve a rectangle into it, afterwards using Traduire to create a replica of her oven's clock.

"The ash? It's five in the morning." Herah shook her head and sighed, "Doesn't matter how this happened, no matter the situation prayer to La Flamme must be done every morning."

With those words, Herah turned away from the table and walked to the wall that was behind her. After getting there, Herah took a deep breath and created a wisp lantern. After crushing the flower and slamming her fist into her chest, Herah was covered in blue flames. The youngling then fell to her knees, looked up, closed her eyes and began to sing.

"Vous êtes venus de loin, comme une supernova, vous avez vu notre maison, et l'a transformée, et après elle a été brûlée, couverte de cendres et de cendres. Nous étions nés. La Flamme nous vous remercions pour le feu à nos coeurs. Le cadeau qui nous donne la vie et nous permet de vous doucher de la louange et de l'adoration que vous méritez."

As Herah sung, both her voice and the flames covering her began to change. Her voice became more melodic and divine as the song went on, while the fire covering her changed colors. First, it was blue, then it was red, and once Herah had finished her prayers the flames surrounding her were purple.

POP!

"-it!"

"-hell!"

Herah jumped up, her flame shroud dissipating as two peculiar looking creatures with the same face fell onto one of the couches. One looked pissed and confused, the other just looking confused.

Herah found her sights drawn to the creature who looked pissed, immediately dubbing them Fureur. They had pale skin (No signs of scales anywhere on their body) and was a brunette; their hair in a ponytail and reaching down to their back. Fureur also looked rather androgynous, with their wiry frame and lack of any gender-specific features. Fureur's green eyes reflected a cold intensity that Herah found a bit unsettling, but not enough to make her look away.

Fureur was wearing a green shirt with the words: DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH on them in white letters. Over the shirt they wore a blue windbreaker, that was left unzipped.

Done with her one over of Fureur, Herah turned her attention towards the other creature and found that they were essentially Fureur's doppelganger. The only thing that was really physically different between the two, was the slight bumps on her chest area and her confused expression. So Herah dubbed her Confus.

Regarding Confus' clothing, her shirt had the words: DO YOU WANT THE LIE on them in green letters and they wore a pair of khaki cargo shorts. Over this, they wore an open trench coat.

The one thing that really caught Herah's attention, however, was the new pairs' feet. Neither of the two had toes, just black things in the general shape of feet.

Before Herah could contemplate the peculiarity of Fureur's and Confus' feet, her instincts screamed at her to move.

It was a good thing too.

THUNK!

Or the cut on her cheek might've been more severe.

The youngling turned to face the wall behind her, finding some type of blade buried to the hilt where her neck had been not a second before. Herah turned her head back towards the two creatures and slipped slightly. This caused the youngling to began to fall forward and allow Fureur, who had been rushing towards her, the chance to grab her by her curled horns and slam her chin into their knee. This left Herah so heavily dazed that Fureur was able to slam her into the wall next to where their blade was and then pull it from the wall and put it to her throat.

A voice sounded from in front of Herah, but to the youngling the words were unintelligible. As her vision blurred, the sound of Herah's heart filled her ears. An unbridled rage began to flow through her. Thoughts tempered by this rage began to fill the youngling's mind.

'Who the ash does my attacker think they are?'

'What the ash do they take me for?'

'What the fuck is wrong with ME!?'

As all these thoughts filled her brain, Herah's heart continued to be louder and louder in her ears, until it was as if an enormous drum was being methodically beaten inside of her noggin. But even with this noise, Herah realized what must be done.

Herah would burn the two till they were ashes.

Then Herah would burn the ashes.

Deep inside of Herah, in a pocket right next to her heart, a soft red fire burned. And with each beat of her heart, the flame grew hotter, slowly changing colors and intensity as it did so. Eventually, the flame swarmed into Herah's lungs, through their connecting passage, and up to her mouth. Small wisps of violet flames leaked out, as Herah's cheeks puffed, ready to release the wave of fire.

But just before the youngling could open her mouth fully, a bit of dust from the wall flew into her nose.

"Achoo!"

Herah saw and felt several things happen after her sneeze. One, the air between her and Fureur ignited, causing the blade at her neck to slit her throat and for her head to be filled with a ringing noise. Two, both Herah and the creature were launched back, with burns covering all of the creatures exposed skin and Herah being embedded into the wall. Three, Confus caught the now burnt Fureur in their arms. Four, Confus reached into the pocket of Fureur and pulled out another blade. Fifth, and most surprisingly, Confus stabbed Fureur with the blade.

After giving the ringing in her head a few minutes to stop, Herah pulled herself from the wall. Giving a light shake of her head to clear her vision, Herah rose to her feet and walked over to the two look alike creatures. As the Cendreux neared the pair, Confus noticed her, and jumped up, putting up her hands as if to stop Herah from advancing. The youngling paused and gave the Confus a cautious stare, not too sure of what they could do. Confus then began to speak,

"Okay," a voice neither distinctly feminine or masculine came from her mouth, her tone rightfully cautious, "I know you might be pissed at my brother over there." 

Confus then pointed at who Herah assumed to be her brother and continued, 

"But he was just freaking out, he's never seen anything like you." 

Confus gave Herah a nervous smile and asked, 

"Umm, with that said, what are you exactly?"

Herah continued to stare at the creature in front of her, not too sure what to do about them. Seeing that Herah wasn't answering, Confus gained a pensive expression and begun to run her hands through her ponytail. 

Herah slowly edged towards the creature, allowing one of her claws to extend in preparation to attack Confus. Slowly inching closer, until they were at arm's length, Herah prepared to strike. But before Herah could attack, Confus made an ah-hah noise and looked back at her. Upon her face, Confus wore a kind smile that immediately made the youngling stop in her attack. Herah found Confus' smile too kind and welcoming for it to belong to a threat.

"Why don't we exchange information?"

Confus then pointed towards herself and continued,

I'm what you call a human, a human female to be exact, my brother, though hard to tell, is a human male. We come from the planet Earth!" The now named human then gave Herah a bow and said, "My name is Max, my brother's name is Alex and I deeply apologize for his unprovoked attack."

Herah moved to speak but found herself interrupted by another voice.

"Why do you always try to make friends with everyone we meet? Especially after I've attacked them." A voice sounding exactly like Max's came from behind the human.

Herah leaned to the side and glared, doing her best to hide her surprise at his condition. Alex, the human who had attacked her, was now standing looking perfectly fine. The only indication of his earlier burns being his hoodie's mostly burnt sleeves and his missing pant's leg. Alex had seemed to calm down, his face set in a weary and watchful expression. The human walked up to stand next to his sister, his eyes examining Herah's neck.

"Could've sworn I cut you with my kris, but I see no wound. Even if there isn't one, " Alex then pointed at Herah accusingly, his voice coming out distinctly more feminine and angelic,  "Your throat should be filled with blood right now."

Right after the human finished speaking, Herah felt a thick liquid began to clog her throat. The youngling fell to her knees and began to cough heavily, but what the Cendreux presumed to be blood, was already clogging her throat. Herah thought quickly, allowing flames to flood her throat and boil the blood. After allowing the steam to exit her nose and forcing the blood clumps down her throat, Herah rose to her feet and jumped back and over the coffee table. This landed Herah right in front of the other couch. Alex followed this up by pulling out the dagger that Herah was pretty sure cut her and pointing it at the youngling.

Herah saw that the blade was an asymmetrical, wavy shape with many curves that would cause a terrible gash to be left in its wake. The blade also had an intricate pattern upon it, with layers of irregular lines and circles covering its entirety. The thing about the weapon that caught Herah's attention the most, however, was the material of the blade, since it smelled of mostly iron and a bit of nickel. Herah assumed this was what caused the pattern on the blade to have a silvery look that had a heavy contrast with the black backdrop of the rest of it.

Now done with examining his weapon, Herah stared back at Alex as the human did the same to her. Alex brought his kris up to his left shoulder so that it was hovering right above it. He leaned forward with his left leg and brought out the dagger that was stabbed into him earlier, holding it in a reverse grip over his left knee.

Herah herself had already leaned forward until nearly on all fours, with her right hand out to her side, hovering just above the floor in a claw-like shape that pointed towards Alex. Her wings were at the ready, unfurled just enough to give her a quick speed boost if needed.

As the two had their standoff, Herah noticed that the room seemed a lot larger than it was before. Everything was where it was supposed to be, there just seemed to be more space between the couch and table.

A lot more.

But these thoughts quickly left her mind once Alex began to charge at her. Herah responded by forcing all her weight unto her legs and then slinging herself forward with her arm, her body leaving the floor. After this the youngling unfurled her wings fully and gave them a partial flap, using her five-foot wingspan to guide her towards Alex. Just before the two could meet in the center, a card flew by Alex's head, giving him a little cut on his cheek, and in-between the two.

"That card is a burst of wind." Max said, her voice much deeper and masculine.

Just as the human finished the sentence, a burst of wind appeared between Herah and Alex, causing them to be launched back into the couches.

Having landed with her legs over her head, Herah rolled off the couch and growled at Max, who now stood between the two on top of the coffee table. Max hearing this turned towards Herah and put her hands up, just like before, and smiled while hurriedly saying,

"Please ignore my prick brother, he's just hostile towards everyone and I'm so sorry he used Enlightenment against you in such a way. It just wasn't-"

"Max!"

Both Herah and Max looked towards Alex, who was now standing up and looking even more pissed off than earlier. The angry brother then pointed at his sister and told her,

"Get away from that fucking demon." Alex then pointed towards Herah and continued, "I might not be exactly sure what type you are, but I'll be damned before -"

Herah held up her hand, causing Alex to pause in surprise. The youngling then took a deep breath and pointed at herself,

"I am not a demon." The youngling said, her voice filled with mostly annoyance and twinges of anger.

Alex gave Herah a hard stare before looking away and giving a curse under his breath, Max, who was now standing next to her brother, smacked him across the back of his head. After matching her brother's glare with her own, Max turned back to Herah, once again smiling, and kindly said,

"As you can see," The sister gestured towards her brother," My dick of a brother thought you were a demon." The human then hurriedly added, "Which you're clearly not if my brother's reaction is anything to go by."

Herah gave the pair an apprehensive look, then asked,

"Why is your brother so trusting of my words, you do realize demons can lie right?"

Alex then gave an annoyed sigh and said,

"Don't worry about it," The boy gestured towards Herah, "Just know that I'll know when you're lying to me."

Max smacked her brother across the head once again. Then the human gave Herah another smile (which was starting to creep the youngling out), and began to speak once again.

"Now since we know you're not a demon, would you mind telling us your name and," The girl gave an awkward shake of her hand towards the entirety of Herah, "What you are?"

Herah pondered this for a few moments. While the youngling was still quite angry at Max's brother, Herah found herself not too disliking of Max herself. Giving the idea a bit more thought, Herah blew six rings of fire towards both of the pair, three for each.

Max gave the rings a curious stare, even sticking her hands through their centers, which caused the rings to dissipate. Alex's reaction was completely different, swiping through all three of the rings that flew at him with a glare adorning his face. Seeing both of their reactions, Herah gave a deep bow and said,

"Through the act of Ash va s'installer and prior experience, I recognize you," Herah turned towards Max, "As an equal and potential friend, Max."

Max gave a delighted laugh and bowed back, hers a bit more dramatic than Herah's.

Herah then turned towards Alex, giving him his own bow, and glared, the next words coming out of her mouth through gritted teeth.

"And through the acts of Ash va s'installer and prior experience," Herah said the next words with steely pride flowing clearly throughout them, "I recognize you as my equal and potential rival,  Alex."

Herah rose up, Alex matching her glare with a rather dismissive look that caused a feral growl to emerge from her throat, but nothing else. Allowing herself a few moments to calm down, Herah sat down on the couch behind her and began to speak.

"I come from a race called the Cendreux, and my-" Herah found herself suddenly interrupted by Alex.

"Your race calls itself the Ashen?" The human asked, one of his brows lifted in mild curiosity, causing Herah to give him a surprised look before speaking once again.

"How do you know our ancient language?" The youngling asked, a bit on the edge at the fact Alex was able to understand it.

Alex gave the confused Cendreux an exasperated look, and replied,

"Because it isn't ancient, that's just French without the accent. Why would that language be-"

The human then paused and began to tap his nose. After a few seconds, Alex looked back up and snapped his fingers. The human then turned to Herah and asked in a voice filled with curiosity

"You're not from our universe or our planet at least, are you?"

Herah shook her head, a bit off put by Alex's flip in tone.

Alex then turned to his sister, who was looking about just as confused as Herah was, and said,

"That's why earlier she was talking about rivals and friends and shit from earlier she said, ash shall settle. " Alex then added, "In French."

The brother then pointed towards Max and exclaimed,

"Hah! I knew those five years of studying it was going to pay off, but someone thought otherwise." Alex then got up into Max's face and said, "I know the ancient language of an entire species, and you just know dumb old Japanese. Who was wasting their time no-"

"Urrk!"

Alex fell onto the couch massaging his punched throat, as Max gave him an annoyed glare with a slight blush on her cheeks. The human then turned towards Herah and gave her an apologetic smile, which now had Herah half convinced that it was the girl's natural expression, and said,

"As I said earlier, please excuse my dick of a brother. He often interrupts people when they're talking."

Herah gave a small smile and added her thoughts,

"While such blatant disrespect is annoying, this isn't the first time, I've dealt with someone who constantly inter-

CRASH!

"Dammit Jeffery!"

A sound not too dissimilar to glass shattering was heard as Jeffery shot down from the ceiling, shards of it falling towards the floor and fading away as they neared it. Jeffery stopped themselves short of impaling Herah through the head, flipping over to hover right next to her instead. Herah seeing her stuff tied to him, took it off, which Jeffery immediately took advantage of by writing out a message for the youngling on the wall behind the couch. It read: Herah! I finally found you. I can only destroy so many planets and solar systems before I'm annoyed.

Herah, after reading the message, shouted in surprise. Jeffery then erased and wrote another message on the wall: Don't worry, they were all uninhabited so the only thing that died was some rocks and stars. Herah, after a few seconds of staring, just shrugged her shoulders and grabbed Jeffery, before gently running her hand along the length of their body.

"So Hera is your name, huh." Herah turned back to the twins, noticing that Alex had been the one to speak. The youngling glared at him, shaking her head and answering back,

"It's pronounced here-ah."

Alex gave Herah a dismissive nod, causing the Cendreux to growl at him, before turning towards Jeffery. Herah watched as Alex studied Jeffery with a sense of measured caution emitting from him, causing Herah to stew silently in anger.

The youngling then smelt an unfamiliar scent approach her, it was mostly unique as often was for any living thing but had the smelled of anemone and carnations apart of it, causing her attention to shift towards Max who was now standing next to and looking at the youngling with a single eyebrow raised.

"What?" Herah asked, a bit confused by the twin's look.

"Oh, nothing." Max responded, causing Herah to let out an annoyed grunt. The youngling then asked, 

"Why do you smell of flowers?"

Max gave Herah another genuine smile, causing one of the youngling's eyes to make an unconscious tick. Max after giggling at Herah's reaction, answered the Cendreux's question,

"Me and bro were tending my garden when we were sucked into whatever brought us here."

Max then gave her head a slight tilt before asking,

"Do I have the smell of any particular flower on me, and if I do, do you recognize it?"

Herah looked back towards Alex, who now seemed to be studying where Jeffery had come from while tapping his nose, before answering back.

"Yeah. You smell of anemone and carnations." 

Herah heard another small giggle come from the human. Max then said, 

"Those two are my favorites, I especially like red anemone and striped carnations." 

Herah gave a small nod of understanding before looking back at Alex, who still had his attention on Jeffery. Herah glared at Alex, getting another dismissive look from him in response.

"Why the ash are you staring at Jeffrey anyway?" Herah snarled, finally fed up with Alex's silent staring.

"I'm trying to figure out why something so powerful has bound itself with someone so," Alex stared at Herah disappointment clear in his expression, " What's the word I'm looking for, lacking."

"Brother!"

Herah saw red, but before the youngling could act on her rage, Jeffery shot up and nailed Alex in the face with their eraser. This launched the human into the couch behind him. The couch, thanks to Alex's speed, was propelled into the wall leaving a few cracks on impact.

Jeffery returned to their position in Herah's hands, the youngling 's anger dissipating in surprise of Jeffery's actions. Jeffery noticed this and wrote her another message. It read: What? You think I'm just going to let some little human piece of shit mouth you off without worry. Only I and your mother can do that. The gigantic pencil then floated back into their master's hands, allowing themselves to enjoy more rubbing. Herah directed her attention towards Max, who had walked over to her brother and poked him.

"Uuhh."

After hearing Alex groan in pain, Max looked back at Jeffery and said,

"Thanks, bro can get insufferable sometimes." Max then looked at Herah, giving another one of her damn smiles, and continued, "I know I've apologized for him before, but I still feel I must repeat it for what he has done."

Herah, seeing the smile again, felt her guard immediately lower. The youngling waved the girl off, saying that Max had nothing to be sorry about. Max then sat down next to her comatose brother and began to stare into space, allowing Herah to direct her attention towards Jeffery.

"Hey," The youngling said, gently patting the giant pencil, "Do you know where we are?"

After a few seconds of nothing, Herah found an image of a pocket invading her mind. Not at all bothered by the foreign thought, the youngling gave Jeffery a questioning stare. Noticing this, Jeffery showed her the image of a cube. Herah just blinked in confusion, causing Jeffery to float up and smack her across the head with their eraser. The youngling let out a yelp (causing Alex to finally come back to his senses) before swiping at Jeffery. The pencil flew over to the wall behind the twins and stabbed through it with their eraser. Pulling out of the wall, only darkness was revealed to the room's occupants.

"That tells me nothing!" Herah shouted, both hands directed towards the hole.

"Well it does tell me something," Alex said, the human now tapping his nose, "We're either in a pocket dimension or the belly of a Kilonia. And since I don't hear the wailing of children, I'll assume we're in the former."

Herah gave Alex a surprised glance before saying,

"Ok, not even going to ask about the wailing children, but how do you know that this is a pocket dimension?"

Alex gave Herah an unamused glance before looking back at Jeffery, "I've been in a few before this one, and once while inside she," Alex pointed towards his sister, "Managed to bust a hole in the side of it, we saw the exact same thing."

The human then began to tap his nose, his expression becoming thoughtful as his finger tapped out a rhythm upon it.

"Of course, I might be wrong, but that's unlikely."

"Oh really, why should I beli-"

But before Herah could finish, her breath hitched and her knees buckled. Everyone, except for Jeffery, fell to their knees, breathing now a much more arduous task than before for the three on their knees.

"Shit. This feels like dad. Just without the freezing." Herah said, her voice strained and hoarse.

"Fuck! I've never felt a Presence this powerful." One of the twins said, but Herah wasn't able to tell which, her vision beginning to fill with black dots.

Then suddenly, Herah felt another Presence engulf her, this one very familiar and welcoming. With this, Herah was able to force herself to her feet and began to breathe regularly again. The youngling summoned Jeffery to her hands, the pencil responding without delay. Herah twirled Jeffery above her head and then held them their with her left hand where their pain ended and her right just after Jeffery's center. Herah leaned back on her right leg, with her left pointing forward and tilting her pencil's tip slightly towards the ground.

"Thanks Jeff." Herah said, her eyes searching for whoever was releasing such a Presence.

"Ahh. My young Artist, it's always a pleasure to see one of my creations able to stand in my Presence. Even if a little help is required."

A rather gentle, masculine voice came from behind Herah, causing the youngling to whip around, and face the one who was speaking.

The entity, Herah felt that was what best described them, was unique in their appearance. They were bipedal and stood at a rather imposing height of 9'3, with the entirety of their body having a black backdrop. Herah saw it as a backdrop because upon their skin, if it was even that, was a collection of galaxies and stars, slowly moving across. The figure had six arms, each limb covered in stars of increasing size, that started small and white at where they connected to the torso and ended upon the palms and back of their hand's as large red stars. The beings legs showed an asteroid belt wrapping around each of them. The torso had two slowly moving galaxies on it, a third emerging from the right side. Upon the face of the entity were two dark spots that Herah presumed to be black holes and the being's eyes.

The entity stood with its bottom set of arms hanging from its side, the center pair playing rock-paper-scissors against each other, one of the top set waving at Herah and the other arm working as the referee for the middle two. The entity's eyes held a sorta mischievous curiosity to them, that was eerily welcoming. It was as if Herah was staring at one of her ancestors, a rather ancient one at that. However, this didn't stop them from looking regal and eternal.

Though somewhat familiar, Herah still perceived whatever was in front of her as a threat and keyed them into that idea as well.

"Who the ash are you?" The youngling growled, baring her teeth at the figure.

In response to her question, Herah heard laughter, in the same gentle voice from earlier, come from the entity. They then spread all six of their arms out in a grandiose display before saying,

"I am known by many names. God. Allah. Yahweh. Krishna. All-Mighty. Maker. Bois D'allumage by your people. But the name I gave myself, my personal favorite, is what you shall call me."

The entity began to glow, before releasing a bright light that briefly blinded Herah. Once her vision cleared, in front of Herah stood someone completely different than before.

It was a Cendreux, who stood at a respectful 8'5 and had grey scales and skin. They were wearing a simple white t-shirt that said Embrasse Moi en Français, and some black sweats. Their black hair was short but messy, and they had a grey tail as well. The Cendreux looked rather different than the entity from before but had the same expression as them, now with a grinning mouth and sapphire eyes. The entity now looked below average for a Cendreux, lacking any sorta of defined physique. They stood slightly hunched over as if they were just lazily holding themselves up, while staring at Herah with a soft grin and a laid-back composure. The Cendreux then spoke in the same voice as before stating,

"Call me Norwe, and who am I?"

Norwe made a dramatic pause, using both of their hands to cover their face before bringing them away and winking at Herah, their expression set in a lazy grin as they did equally lazy jazz hands.

"The creator of your universe, that's who."

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Thomas Loud
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