Veiled Tithes Boots
Lithe came the footfalls of the dead.
Immaru focused his digital iris, zooming in on the Guardian. They were about to initiate a new ritual, and the Hive Ghost was keen to see their response.
When the Screebs started pouring in, Immaru couldn't help himself. "Oops! This one's all Screebs," he chortled. "Have fun."
He expected the ritual to end promptly in a shower of Dark Ether. Instead, the Guardian surged through the air, dodging explosion after explosion. Their Light seared through the Scorn, burning them alive.
It wasn't long before the smoke cleared and the Guardian stood alone, their Light thrumming with tithes. Immaru grumbled to himself.
For as long as he'd been a Ghost, he'd resented how the Guardians referred to the Light. It was never "my Ghost's Light" or "the Traveler's Light." No—it was always "MY Light." They talked about it like they owned it. Like they were entitled to it. Like they earned it.
But looking down at the smoldering battlefield, Immaru had to admit that the Guardians' arrogance served them well. It gave them the confidence to mold their Light in the fashion that suited them best. They treated it like a tool—something to be used. That gave them an advantage over the Lucent Brood, whose manipulation of the Light was inhibited by reverence.
Immaru turned away from the ritual circle in disgust. He hated to admit it, but the Lucent Brood had a lot to learn about the Light from the Guardians.
And once they did, the Humans would pay for their lack of respect.