Chapter Fifteen: Leda's Swan:
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
-Leda and the Swan by W.B. Yeats
Struggle. Struggle. Struggle. All of the goddesses lay crumpled and battered on the damaged temple floor. Hurt the most was Konohanasakuya-hime. She hadn't healed since the first night. The thief had the most fun ruining her. She had the burns on her back to prove it. In fact, she lay there in a coma. The other goddesses watched her.
"Poor angel," Kichijoten whispered.
"What can we do?" Uke Mochi asked. "We can't even fix ourselves." The thief had left some seeds around this once proud temple. These seeds sprouted up into Persephone's Flowers. The jasmine-scented pollen neutralized their powers, making them sick and weak. Konohana took it the worst. The poison spread through her lungs and body, putting her into a coma.
"Where is our priest?" she asked before she lost consciousness. Amaterasu held her in her arms at the time.
"Where is he?" Benzaiten asked. They couldn't answer that. None of the goddesses could contact their beloved priest. They lacked the strength to do so. Konohana suffered the worst. She didn't stir.
"Is she still with us?" Uke Mochi murmured.
"Yes," Amaterasu murmured. "Barely, but she's still there." Their eyes stayed upon her. Her pink and light blue kimono lay in shreds around her. Her stringy black hair lay in the split scented oil on the floor. Deep purple bruises coated her lovely face. Her consciousness shut down in defense.
"Her light's weak," Otohime whispered. "I don't know how long she'll last."
"How long will we last?" Kichijoten asked. But then, she paused. "Oh damn it, not again!" the goddess whimpered. She tried to hold back her vomit. Amaterasu reached over and rubbed her back just in time.
"Shhh, shhh, there, there," she whispered. "Hold it all down." Kichijoten fought with her all to do so. In a minute, the sickness died down. She rocked back into place.
"Oh," she moaned. "It's the pollen."
"I know," the sun goddess whispered. "I feel it too."
"But what can we do?" Otohime whimpered.
"It's the flowers' fault," Tamayori-bime complained. "They keep draining from us." The others all looked up at her.
"That's it!" Amaterasu said.
"What is?" Kichijoten asked.
"Look!" the leader replied. The other goddesses looked outside of their temple. Black rain fell upon the vile red flowers outside.
"Looks like another long night," Otohime said.
"But look!" Amaterasu said, pointing. The black rain wilted the petals and caused them to crumble.
"What is-?" Tamayori-bime asked.
"The rain is killing the flowers," the leader said.
"But why?" Benzaiten asked.
"Does it matter?" Amaterasu asked. "Let's get rid of these flowers now!" She grabbed onto her tattered dark blue and red kimono and crawled to the entrance.
"But what about Konohana?" Otohime asked.
"We'll get her later!" the leader replied in a shout. "Right now we have to fix ourselves! We won't be much help to her like this!" The other goddesses followed behind to the flowers.
He sat over her, smirking. The sound of her breathing heavily made him hunger for more.
"Aw, look at you, my daughter," he said. She still looked next to dead lying there chained up to the bed with her eyes blanked out and empty like glass. He took delight in defiling such an angel.
"Look at her," he said. "She really is beautiful when she is in pain like this, isn't she?" Pause.
"Hm?" he asked. Pause.
"Never! I'll rape this little baby doll as many times as I like and you can't do anything about it!" he bragged. "No more complaints?" Silence. He smirked at himself.
"Good," he said. He rose to his feet. "Now for the next round, we need to go to the kitchen." Pause. He chuckled before he turned and walked to the pink and black door.
"Oh, your culinary skills will come in rather handy for tonight's dinner," he replied. All she heard was his chuckling in a heartless way and the door closing behind him.