It was mentioned that I hadn’t made much of a fuss about poor Porter. He is available for early download here
“I need you to go to a conference.”
Alstair Gorman looked up from where he was sharpening his scythe to face his boss—Hades, God of the Underworld. He tried to reassemble Hades’ words to form some discernable pattern, but no matter how he reshaped or twisted them around, they still didn’t make any sense. “I’m sorry, did you say a conference?”
What kind of conference could Hades go to that he thought Alstair would make a logical substitution? He didn’t even know gods went to conferences. Alstair didn’t have the same powers as a god and last time he checked, he wasn’t a shoo-in for a slot at Mount Olympus or any other godly realm.
“I’m serious. I need a representative and I’ve chosen you. You are the best man for the job.” Hades’ tone didn’t indicate any wiggle room in changing his mind. Crap, Alstair wasn’t going to able to weasel out of this.
Reapers didn’t go to stupid conferences. What kind of workshops could they have? Soul Severing refresher courses, Smiting 101 or How To Tell Someone They’re Dead?
However, if Hades needed a representative, Alstair would probably be the best choice out of Hades’ options. He wasn’t just one of Hades’ elite reapers—he was the Reaper. The first reaper ever marked as the God of the Underworld’s own and granted a scythe.
Sighing, he flicked the switch to activate the folding spell. An ancient magic allowed his scythe to collapse like a pocketknife. Even after centuries of use, Alstair still enjoyed watching the process. Once it had shrunk, he tucked the tiny weapon into the leather holster mounted on his belt. Most people thought it was one of those multi-tools. He just nodded and agreed whenever they asked. The only other thing he wore for his job was the tiny hourglass dangling from a chain around his neck. It had its own magic to conceal it from humans after Alstair had had one too many lovers flip it over and cut their own lives short by accident.
Alstair sighed again to emphasize what a pain he considered the assignment. Might as well give in—it wasn’t like Hades would change his mind. He never did. “Where am I going?”
“To a meeting of leaders at the Mayell Wizard Academy.” Hades’ eyes flamed bright red, indicating strong emotion.
Alstair groaned. Out of any possible conference he could attend, one between stuffy academics sounded the worst. Maybe one day he’d find the perfect combination of words to hold off Hades’ persuasive ways. Unfortunately that wasn’t today. Still, Alstair gave it one more try.
“Why can’t you go?” He’d served Hades too many years to be intimidated by a little thing like hellfire and he refused to go down without a fight. Giving in right away put him in a weak position. Hades wouldn’t respect him if he folded like a scythe.
“Because Persephone is coming this week and I promised to take her on a picnic.” A goofy smile crossed Hades’ face. Defeat swung like a cell door clanging shut and sealing off all of Alstair’s avenues of escape.
He groaned. Nope, no way could he win against that argument. After all these years, the Queen of the Underworld still led Hades around by his cock. Hades let her do whatever she wanted and if the God of the Underworld had promised his bride a picnic, nothing would stop that from happening.
“Why does anyone need to go at all?” See him be reasonable. They both won if they skipped the event entirely. Conferences were like weeds—another was always springing up. Why would it matter if they missed one, or even a dozen?
“Because they will be choosing a new headmaster for the Academy and the spirits are telling me there is a great deal of unrest. I need someone to be my voice, and I’m trusting you’ll know my will. Besides, we don’t want another incident like Elijah. The Academy staff doesn’t have the skill to spot a future necromancer, and I can’t risk them missing the signs of power. Elijah had necromancer energy all but pouring off of him and they labeled him a low-level magic user. Who knows how many other students they missed over the years? It might not be that necromancy is so rare, maybe they are just incompetent at noticing the signs.”
Hope was a dangerous emotion. If there were untapped and unacknowledged necromancers swarming the world, Hades wouldn’t be content until every one of them had been located.