Η Εξ Αίματος Έχθρα
“Fight for her
because losing her would be
the greatest loss you’ll ever experience.
Streaks of pure white crackled against a stormy blanket of black as the Lord of Darkness made his way to mountain Olympus. His aristocratic dark chariot that was guided by his black flying horses floated elegantly through the dark clouds as he made his way to his brother’s palace.
Jagged bolts endlessly protrude around him, filling the sky with undying flashes of radiance informing him of Zeus’ dampened mood. The loud noises that came from the sky warned everyone that a storm was brewing and would soon unleash its wrath upon them.
On the world of the living, humans started to collect their things and get their jobs for the day done as they could sense the change in the atmosphere. They hurried to finish their business in order to return back in the safety and warmth of their homes, where they would stay patiently until the weather was better once again.
The storm seemed like it would last for a long period of time and its force would be huge, making them frightened at the mere thought. They didn’t want to be vulnerable to the elements of nature, so they moved as fast as they could to find refuge from the awful weather.
Hades knew better than to believe that the storm was a usual thunderstorm as the humans believed. His mighty brother, who was Lord of the Skies and the controller of the weather, had been informed about the meetings he had with his beloved daughter by Demeter and he was absolutely furious about it.
His anger caused the sky to darken and created electricity in the clouds as lighting bolds appeared in the black veil of the night. He was mad that he dared to come close to his favorite daughter and Hades was pretty sure that he would very soon unleash his wrath upon him.
The God of the Underworld cringed at the thought of having to face Zeus’ wrath - his brother was well known for his fiery tantrums and cruel punishments. He enjoyed coming up with all kinds of ways to harm others and his punishments were always brand new for each person that dared to defy his orders.
The last time his brother got himself so angry, poor Hephaestus, God of Fire and the blacksmith of the gods, was thrown from the top of Olympus to the mountain’s bottom. As a result, he had completely destroyed his right ankle and was having great difficulty walking normally ever since.
And the way he had punished Prometheus for giving the gift of fire to the humans, was absolutely terrifying... He had bounded him on a huge rock on the Carpathian mountains and sent an eagle each and every day to eat his leaver, which always miraculously grew back again the next morning in order for the whole process to be repeated.
Hades was well aware of how his brother could be when he became furious and anger clouded all of his senses. He had to retain the façade of the mighty and powerful God and ruler he was and he grasped any chance that was given to him.
However, the God of the Underworld didn’t regret in any way his meetings with the young Goddess of Spring and he would never do so. She was a gift to him -a blessing from the Fates. He got the chance to get to know her and to talk to her like normal people do when he had barely talked to any of the other Olympians.
He had enjoyed her company more than any other deity’s he had ever met. He had been blessed to hear her laughs and giggles and he had finally run his long fingers through her soft auburn locks like he wanted to do all these years he had waited for her to notice him.
The moments he had spent with her were the happiest of his whole life, and that was saying a lot if someone considered the fact that he had lived for uncountable years. He didn’t regret it one bit and he would never do so - he treasured the memories he had with her like a precious treasure and he would do so until oblivion took them away from him.
If his brother punished him for this, then so be it. He wasn’t scared nor worried about his fate and if he had a chance to go back in time, he would do the exact same things again and again.
She was absolutely worthy of every punishment he may have to face.
He would sacrifice everything if it meant that she would stay with him when the time came.
As soon as he arrived at the entrance of his brother’s golden palace, the humongous golden gates opened up for him. The Lord of the Dead quickly got down from his flying chariot with his head held high. He had a determined and serious expression on his flawless face and his posture was stiff and proud as he made his way towards the golden steps.
His black robes were touching the marble floor as he made his way towards the huge golden gates -a tint of black smoke was coming from them as he did so, indicating that he wasn’t pleased with the whole situation.
There, in front of the humongous gate nervously stood another deity who was waiting for his arrival patiently. The messenger of the Gods was a familiar figure for the God of the Underworld since he was the one that transferred the souls to the Underworld after they had died.
The younger deity had covered his short dark locks by wearing his white-winged helmet which was similar to the wings that were attached to his golden sandals reaching up till his knees. His black orbs were focused solely on his golden kerykleion –a form of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff with carvings of the other Gods. He let his dark orbs take in the form of his uncle as soon as his chariot arrived at Olympus.
“My Lord Hades”, Hermes bowed his head in respect falling in step by the God’s side.
The God of the Underworld nodded in acknowledgment to the younger God as he led him through his brother’s palace.
“How mad is he?“, Hades simply asked, although he already knew the answer.
“Honestly, my Lord, I haven’t seen him like this in a while”, Hermes answered truthfully, not daring to look into his steel-grey eyes.
Hades just nodded accepting his words. They both remained silent for a while as they made their way slowly towards the throne room.
“Does he know everything?“, he asked just as they stood before the closed golden gates of the room.
“Lady Demeter informed him about everything first thing in the morning”, Hermes whispered to the God of the Underworld and gave him an apologetic smile.
“Of course she did.”
Hades let out a humorless laugh as he shook his head.
“My dear sister never was one to waste time for anything”, He said with a tint of anger in his voice.
He made a move to open the huge gates, but a hand quickly stopped him. Looking up at the young messenger, he furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.
“You did not cross your boundaries, my Lord”, He stated firmly to the God of the Dead, “The others may not know this but as the God of Boundaries I do. You followed the path that the Fates have laid down for you and no God or mortal can stop you from following it.”
Hades looked at the messenger for a while, not reacting at his words. His words were true and his eyes were honest. He did not expect to find understanding from the young Olympian, but this son of Zeus’ seemed to be less arrogant than his father. He nodded in an answer turning once again to the closed door.
“I...I just wanted to ask you for a favor, if it’s not much from you, uncle.”
The Lord of Darkness did not make favors to anyone but a selected few. His feeling of justice didn’t allow him to favor anyone who didn’t deserve it, even if he or she was a very dear person to him.
However, he couldn’t help but turn to the young messenger who was braver than he let be seen. He had managed to win his attention and curiosity. The fact that he had acknowledged him as family instead of hiding the fact as most of the others did, had earned his respect for him.
“Promise to me that you’ll treat her like the delicate flower she is. Promise to me that you’ll keep her safe. That you’ll make her happy.”
Silver eyes met dark ones.
“She is the dearest of all my sisters and I cannot bear to see her saddened. Promise to me you’ll not let her wither away like all the other flowers around you.”
He instantly answered without a second thought.
“You’ve got my word, nephew.”
The messenger nodded his head in agreement.
“Good, my Lord...I would have been forced to use my deceiving ways otherwise and that wouldn’t end well for either of us.”
Hermes stated firmly trying to seem tough, but his loud gulp made Hades raise a defiant eyebrow at him.
The Lord of Erebus took a big breath of fresh air preparing himself for what was to come, and then, he opened the heavy gates of the throne room.
The room was unusually dark as he made his way through it; the black clouds that decorated the room were dimming its lighting. It was illuminated by the light of a few scarce candles, but otherwise, it was darker than what he was used to. The thrones of the other Gods and Goddesses were completely empty and if it wasn’t for a figure at the other end of the room, he would be completely alone.
He made his way slowly towards his brother’s large throne that stood at the head of the room, without saying anything. The only thing that could be heard was his sandals’ noise onto the cold floor. When he reached his destination, he saw him sitting there alone, looking at his moving form with his furiously glowing blue eyes.
“You called for me, brother?“, his voice asked steadily as he stared at his fuming brother, not bowing in front of him like the rest of the Gods did.
“Yes, I did, Aidonious.”
Zeus said strictly as he gazed down at Hades standing form from his large throne.
“You see, a certain Goddess has brought to my attention some...disturbing news.”
Hades didn’t respond as Zeus stood from his throne and began to climb down the marble steps to reach him.
“She told me that the God of the Underworld has been meeting with my daughter. She speculates that you defiled the maiden.”
Hades could feel his brother’s breath at the back of his neck as he made a slow circle around his dark form.
“Would you mind explaining yourself, brother ?“, Zeus looked into his brother’s stormy grey eyes waiting for his response.
“I would never dare harm, the Goddess”, he tried to keep his anger under control, “I’m disgusted and offended by the mere suggestion. The maiden is too dear to me -I would never treat her like that.”
The God replied truthfully choosing his words carefully.
“So, you confess that you did meet her without anyone’s approval?“, Zeus fumed at his brother, annoyed at his choice of words.
“I do, brother. I did meet the Goddess of Spring but I never brought her any harm”, Hades repeated again in a booming voice, sick and tired of his brother’s accusations.
“How dare you?”
Zeus’ loud voice echoed through the halls of Olympus as his anger got the best of him.
"How dare you?!"
Light footsteps could be heard running towards the two arguing men as the King of Gods and Humans screamed at his brother’s smoking figure.
“You know I’m her father! I’m her male protector! If you wanted to meet the maiden, you had to ask permission from me!, Zeus spat furiously, “By not asking for permission, you disrespect me! You disrespect my family and my house!”
Suddenly, a familiar figure came to stand behind her husband and touched his arm as an attempt to calm him down. Hera had a frightened look in her hazel eyes as she took the whole situation in, realizing that her beloved brother would be the one receiving Zeus’ wrath this time. She gave Hades a sorrow-filled glance as she begged him with her eyes not to go against his brother and infuriate him even more.
“Zeus...perhaps you should calm down. You are not thinking clearly”, Hera dared to say, trying to rescue her brother from her husband’s wrath.
"Silence woman! This is not any of your concerns!”
Her husband was quick to dismiss her as he roughly threw her away from his side, making her stumble a few feet away.
But the God of the Skies did not care for anything, but for one thing alone -Demeter’s accusations about his daughter’s violation. He wanted the man who dared come near to her to pay the price for it and in this case, his lethal brother was the one who had to pay.
“This is not about Demeter’s accusations, brother. And this is not about the maiden. It is about not showing the appropriate respect by asking for permission. It is about dishonoring my name through your actions”, He continued, not taking great notice of the black smoke that was more prominent now than before.
The God of the Underworld was absolutely livid at his brother’s behavior. He would never harm a single hair out of the young Goddess’ head, neither would he ever treat her like Zeus treated his women. But this wasn’t about her, no. She was just an excuse that Zeus had taken advantage of. This was a fight of power between brothers -she had nothing to with it.
He was sick and tired of always being the bad guy in everyone’s story. The big bad monster and the evil enemy in every hero’s achievement. He was always the black sheep of his Olympian family -the one that everyone blamed for whatever happened no matter if he had anything to do with it or not. The person that always was at fault no matter what. The one that everyone was underestimating, betraying, and laughing at.
“Do you forget, brother, whom you are speaking to?”, Hades said after Zeus’ tantrum was over, making both Zeus and Hera turn towards him in surprise at his defiance.
He was one of the three most powerful Gods of the Greek Pantheon. He had powers that the other Gods and Goddesses couldn’t even begin to imagine. He was the King of the Dead, not some child that Zeus could scowl whenever he wanted. It was the time everyone remembered who he was and what he was capable of. It was time they reminisce why they were so terrified of him that they didn’t dare to gaze straight into his silver eyes.
It was time he reminded everyone why they called him a monster in the first place.
Because it was better to be feared than to be loved if he couldn’t have both.
“You forget, my brother, that I do not bow to you”, he warned him -the black smoke surrounding him evidence of his silent fury, ”I am my own King -I have a realm of my own.”
“We both know I am much stronger than you, no matter what everyone else might believe. We both know that I am not like everybody else –I won’t bow to your power nor will I be disrespected by the sake of you!“, he threatened him staring straight into his blue eyes.
“Be careful of your words -they might lead you to battles you cannot win.”
Hera was proud of the bravery of her brother and was staring at him with utter awe. Never did he dare to go against Zeus’ rules, even when he could without having any difficulty, because he didn’t want to create havoc in Olympus.
But now, her brother stared at her husband in defiance and threatened him in his own palace, and all for a small deity that had barely any power to grow flowers. Could her brother’s dark and cold heart have started to beat for the sake of an unimportant Goddess?
Has Death really fallen in love for the very first time?
“I’ve had enough of you, Hades! This is the last time you go against my authority. Your meetings with Persephone were the drop that overflowed the glass. I will not seem weak, brother, and I will not be threatened in my own palace!”
Zeus gripped Hades’ shoulders tightly as he looked deep into his eyes.
The God of the Underworld just smirked at his fuming form. At last, he had achieved to make his brother lose control and admit that he was afraid of him. Afraid of his power to overthrown him and take away his position and crown. Persephone was only an excuse to punish him for the hate that runs deep between them.
“Your wrath doesn’t scare me, brother.”
He held proudly his head high and dared to look him in his eyes.
The Lord of the Skies took several steps back, turning away from him. The three deities remained silent for a few moments, only Zeus’ heavy breathing was heard between them. And then, a voice bounced around the walls of the dark throne room.
“Oh...but it definitely should.”
End of chapter 8!!
Title Translation: “The Blood Hostility”
Hermes is the god of trade, heralds, merchants, commerce, roads, thieves, trickery, sports, travelers, and athletes. He is also known as “the divine trickster” and “the god of boundaries and the transgression of boundaries, ... the patron of herdsmen, thieves, graves, and heralds.”
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Until next time!!