THE SOUL TO TAKE

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CHAPTER EIGHT

“What do you want?” The leader of the mischievous demons asked.

The demon leader glared at Kyrain. She wasn't pleased that he would show up after all this time, just to ask her for a favor. Why, if it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t even exist; after all, she was the one who had gotten her brother hooked up with Kyrain’s mother in the first place.

The demon took a good long look at Kyrain and smiled. She now knew the truth about his origins. While Sin was not a Hades child, she knew Kyrain was.

Kyrain stared back at the demon. He wasn't impressed at all by her coal black body or bright red stripes. Her pure gold eyes that cut right into him did not frighten him either. He was here for a one reason – to fix this problem with Anna and the human, who he knew she was having deeper and deeper feelings for. It sickened him to know that his girl would rather be with a mortal.

“What I want is simple. I want you to do what you do best. Mischief. There is a certain mortal that I wish ill upon and I couldn't think of anyone more capable of handling this mortal than you,” Kyrain said.

The demon laughed. It amused her that this Kyrain would try to butter her up. She would have to grant, however, that it was working. The only thing demons loved more than causing mayhem was being sucked up to. The man was lucky she was in such a good mood. She would grant him his request in return for a favor.

“On one condition,” The demon said.

“Name it,” responded Kyrain..

“You will overthrow the queen bitch!” The demon grinned, proud of itself for being so bold.

Kyrain could have laughed out loud, but then he would have offended the demon. What she wanted was what he wanted. This request was no big hardship for him.

“Done. But it will take time,” Kyrain told the demon.

The demon nodded. She would accept his answer. His word was binding just like hers. For, if either of them ever broke their word, they would die a true death.

“I will need an image and location of the lucky human,” said the demon.

That was easy enough to accomplish, since Sin's image was branded into Kyrain’s mind. Anyway, Kyrain never forgets the face of an enemy, and Sin was definitely his enemy.

Kyrain manifested a photograph of Sin and handed it to the demon.

“Do your worst, but do not kill him; and do not harm the woman with him. Is that clear?” Kyrain instructed.

The demon stared hard at the photo. She knew who the man in the picture was. It was tempting to keep that information to herself because she wanted so to taunt him with it.

“Do you know who this man is?” She asked.

“Some mortal,” Kyrain said absently.

“Ah, but you are wrong. He is your brother. Do you still wish ill upon him?” She asked curiously.

Kyrain paused. He snatched the photo out of the demons hand and really looked at it for the first time. While the man in this picture looked nothing like his brother had looked when he had known him, it was evident the two were one and the same. Because, aside from demons, Kyrain knew of only one other who had pure gold eyes.

He was furious that he had missed the obvious and tossed the photo at the feet of the demon. Knowing Sin was his brother didn't change the fact that he still wanted misery and pain to fall upon the man.

“It changes nothing,” Kyrain hissed.

With nothing left to say, Kyrain spun on his heels and walked out of the cave. He had gotten what he had come for. All he would have to do now was to wait and let the disaster unfold.

But now, he had to prepare his chambers for Anna's arrival. Despite what she had said, he knew she would be by later to feed. Not all soul collectors had the need to feed, but when Kyrain had returned Anna's body to her, he had added something special for his purpose to make sure she would need him and stay close to him. He had designed her mortal body to NEED to feed off of HIS essence. Other mortal bodies from the underworld could survive without feeding, but not so with Anna. If she didn't feed, she would be ejected from her mortal state, and her soul would be plunged back to the underworld. That was something neither he nor she wanted.

Kyrain knew Shiva would love a chance at Anna's soul. He wasn't real clear on the details, but from what he could determine, Anna had royally pissed Shiva off by sleeping with Shiva's consort. Kyrain didn't care about that so much; normally he would have been furious, but in this instance, Anna had managed to take what the queen loved and that had worked Kyrain's favor. Shiva hadn't been the same since. She had been weaker. It was perfect. Kyrain couldn't have thought of a better plan if he had tried, and he had tried.

His focus now on the maze, Kyrain found it much easier to exit than it had been to enter. And made it out of there in record time. The downfall of being in the maze was that he couldn't teleport from there. But now, outside the maze, it was a different story, and he teleported to his personal chambers in the mortal realm. This room was sweet. It held a king- sized bed, game consoles, a high definition flat screen, speakers that made the movie theaters look weak, and pretty much everything else a bachelor could think of.

Anna showed up right on time. He felt her presence before he saw her, and he turned to see her sitting on his bed. It was a sight. One that felt right to him. Kyrain wasted no time getting undressed. The only thing he left on was his high dollar boxers.

He stalked toward Anna and pressed her back on the bed. She didn't fight him, but Kyrain wished she would have; he hated seeing her so resigned.

Anna went just through the motions as he took off her shirt and pants, leaving her in her silky red bra and thong.

He lay on his back. He would let her come to him this time. Anna heaved a sigh but she climbed on top him. Her body aligned with his and he felt her mortal body soak up small amounts of his essence.

*

It was over and now Anna couldn't stand to look at herself in the mirror. She was in Kyrain's room waiting for him to dismiss her. She had just spent the last half hour feeding off of him. She hated how wonderful it had felt and she hated how she was feeling now. It felt like she had just betrayed Sin somehow. It was crazy, but Anna knew she was falling for her mortal; a mortal that was marked for death; a mortal that she would send to the underworld. She had broken the rules, she well knew, but she was more than willing to deal with the consequences of her actions.

She sat silently while Kyrain dressed. Her eyes roamed the room, she was trying not to look at the man she had just been intimate with; a man she didn't love. They hadn't had sex but it still felt like they did. She still felt like she was about to do the walk of shame when he would dismiss her and she would have to walk out his door.

Kyrain had set up some kind of protective walls around and within his home to stop anyone from teleporting in or using any kind of magic in the boundaries of his home.

As far as houses went, Kyrain's was pretty impressive. It looked like a small, simple, one bedroom house on the outside but on the inside it was a whole different story. He had three bedrooms, one being his bedroom that was filled with typical guy stuff. The other one was a guest room. And the last one was a room Anna never wanted to see again.

Anna and Kyrain used to be in a relationship; one that was based off of sex mainly. The third bedroom Anna knew as well as the back of her hand. It was Kyrain's special room. In it was all kinds of kinky things. Things that would make a nun blush. The things Kyrain and Anna had done in that room would have been enough to sentence them to the underworld, (if they hadn't all ready been, that is).

The rest of the house was pretty much standard. He had a big kitchen with an island and two full bathrooms with built-in surround sound. In his living room was a black sectional couch, and he had a basement. It was the basement Anna feared the most. When she and Kyrain had been an item, she had heard horrible screams coming up through the hardwood floors from that basement.

Anna had once asked Kyrain about the screams and he had told her that the basement was where he tortured the soul collectors who had broken the rules.

Anna wasn't sure how Kyrain had gotten that particular privilege, and she never wanted to find out. She shuddered at the idea of Kyrain ever finding out what her plans were for Sin. She was tired of playing by the rules and sick of taking souls; she hated seeing the bodies-bloody, broken bodies that would forever be imprinted into her mind.

“You are free to go,” Kyrain said.

Anna snapped her head in Kyrain's direction. She was more than ready to leave his house and to put him out of her mind but first she needed something from him. She needed information. But she would have to tread carefully; she couldn't let Kyrain know why she wanted to know.

How to phrase it? Finally, Anna figured out that there was no way to phrase what she wanted to know. She would just have to ask him outright and hope like hell he wouldn't question her motives.

“Kyrain?” Anna asked, hesitantly.

Kyrain sauntered over to the black bean bag he had on the floor. It was mainly used for a chair when he played his ps4. He pulled the bag across the room until it was in front of Anna. After taking a seat and moving around until he felt like he was comfortable enough, did he finally turn to her and give her a questionable look.

“What?”

Anna bit her lip. It wasn't too late to turn back. She could make up some bull question and not ask what was weighing on her mind. But Anna wanted to know. If she were to do what she wanted to do, she would have to ask.

“How do doomed souls become saved?” Anna asked.

She didn’t know any other way to phrase her question. She knew she was being blunt and she knew if Kyrain really wanted to he could just pick her brain.

“Why do you want to know?” Kyrain asked suspiciously.

Anna tried not to look away from his piercing red eyes. As those eyes bore into he, she half wondered if he had the ability to fry her sockets. though her eyes burned from his glare, she kept his stare. She wouldn't look away because then he would know; he would know exactly why she had asked.

“Simple curiosity,” She said.

“Mhhmm. And this curiosity wouldn't have anything do with Sin, would it?”

“No. I am only curious.” She lied.

“What will you give me for this information?”

“Whatever you want.”

“You already owe me, Anna.”

“I am fully aware. Will you please just tell me?”

“I suppose it can't hurt to tell you. It's not like your going to try and save a soul...right?”

“I'm not that stupid, Kyrain.”

“Fine. And because I am such a nice guy, I won't make you repay me for this bit of information.

There is only one way to save a soul. It's simple really. The only way you’re going to save a mortal who is doomed is if- and I do mean if - you stop his death from occurring. However, you must know that if you do this then you will freeze the underworld. The only way to bypass this is if you take an unmarked soul in place of the marked soul.”

Anna was silent as she absorbed the information Kyrain just gave her. A realization set in; in order to save Sin, she would have to kill an innocent mortal. There was a big difference between marked and unmarked souls. Marked souls were people who were questionable. They had done both good and bad in the length of time they lived. But an unmarked soul had yet to do any type of wrongness in their life span. Most unmarked souls consisted of children and special people. Also, there was the rare mortal that lived to adulthood without doing any wrong deed. It was by far more likely of proving the existence of vampires, than it was of finding an innocent adult mortal who had no special needs.

Sin was as good as dead because there was no way Anna could take an innocent in exchange for him. Not unless there was another way; a way that didn't involve hurting someone or didn’t involve throwing the balance of life and death off. Anna wasn't one to settle for defeat, however, and she knew Kyrain was only telling her half of what she wanted to know. She hadn't known him all these years for nothing and could tell when he was being less than a hundred percent real with her. Pressing him further wouldn't do her a lick of good, she knew, and other soul collectors were out of the question. But she did have one other resource.

However, that resource was one known to keep to themselves and away from the likes of them. This was just the way of things. Anna had once tried to connect with such collectors, only to be shunned time and time again.

But Kyrain had never shunned her, and she knew why; he wanted something from her, though she had yet to figure out what that was. It was evident it wasn’t a romantic motive; not with the way he treated her.

When Anna and Kyrain had been dating, she had never sensed he loved her. No way, when he acted like he owned her and only did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it. He never cared how Anna felt about things, and had no care what her opinions were. No, he had only cared about himself. She decided enough was enough when one time she had came back to him after a night of soul collecting and found him with three women in their bed.

Did he care how she felt when she saw them? Hell no. Kyrain had only laughed in her face and had the audacity to ask if she wanted to join them. That was when Anna had ended it. Oh, that made Kyrain so mad that he threatened to lock her up for all eternity, but she wasn't scared.

Kyrain wasn't like other soul collectors, and he had more lead-way then most, but one thing he didn't have was dominion over the fate of the other collectors. Therefore, she wasn't afraid of his threat to her. That was Shiva's job. She may let Kyrain punish the collectors, but she would never let him decide their permanent fate.

Yes, Shiva was many things, but she wasn't a pushover like everyone thought she was. Anna knew that to be a fact. She had once made the mistake of sleeping with Shiva's consort. When Shiva found out, she personally punished Anna. When the pain was inflicted, Anna’s soul book felt the pain as well, and Anna would then receive the pain again from the book, back and forth until they both experienced the pain tenfold.

Needless to say, when Shiva was done, Anna's soul, and her book had to undergo some extensive healing time. It had felt like Shiva had ripped Anna's soul apart and then stitched it back together. Anna still felt ghost pains from that day.

“Is that all?” Kyrain asked.

Anna nodded. She had no more need for Kyrain. Her mortal body had recharged and she had gotten some pretty useless information. It was time for her to go. Her feet carried her through Kyrain's house and out his door until she got far enough away from his house that she could teleport back to her hotel.

Anna had rented a room at the hotel when in the bathroom at the diner, using her bankcard that was still active. After she and Sin had split the bill at the diner, she had asked him to drive her to the hotel.

She was lucky Sin never asked why she had a hotel instead of her own place; she didn't think she could lie to him anymore. Anna sat back on the bed in her hotel room, a smile lighting up her face as Sin's voice filled her head. She was recalling his life story-the one he had told her at the diner.

“I've already told you, I'm twenty one but what you don't know is that my life sucks. I come from an extremely rich family. I know that you are probably thinking I'm insane for thinking my life sucks when I have all the money I could possibly want. Right?”

Sin had paused as if he was waiting for Anna to either confirm or deny his question. She had done neither and instead had just sat there and waited patiently for him to go on.

“I'm not...insane that is. Ever since I was born, and before I became of age, my parents were never there. I was put with a vicious nanny who only cared about the fat check my parents wrote her. It was tolerable to some extent while my mom was alive, but she came down with some kind of disease and died when I was three. It didn't matter how much money my dad paid the doctors or scientist-they hadn't came up with a cure to save her.”

“My nanny's name was Rosa, and she was a spiteful bitch. Because my mom died, my dad got bitter. He docked Rosa's, pay, as well as the rest of the staff’s. Rosa took her anger out on me. I was never allowed to do what I wanted to do. I wasn't allowed to play with toys, or friends. I spent most of my childhood sitting in a chair staring at a wall.”

“I used to believe it was because I had been a bad boy. But that wasn't the case. As soon as I hit my teens, I showed Rosa what a bad boy really was. At the mere age of thirteen, I would steal money out of Rosa's purse and cause strife between her and the cook. Rosa all ready believed the cook was a thief, so who was I too prove her wrong? I tried everything I could think of too get rid of Rosa, but my dad wouldn't ever let her go. To my frustration, he would let the other staff go and replace them.”

“It wasn't until I did the worst thing possible that he finally let her go. When I was fifteen, I went into my father’s bedroom and stole my late mom's pearls. My dad had given them to my mother on their wedding day. It was the only thing of hers that he couldn't part with.”

“I didn't care about the pearls’ sentimental value. I only cared about one thing; getting Rosa fired.”

“So, I waited until laundry day and snuck into the basement and placed the pearls in the pocket of Rosa's uniform. I knew Ginger, another of the household staff, would find the pearls and report them to my father. I also knew my father would believe Ginger because she had been with us for the longest. Sure enough Ginger found the pearls, and Rosa was fired that same day.”

“After Rosa was gone, my dad didn't bother hiring anymore nannies. I guess he figured I was old enough to take care of myself. For a year I tested my boundaries and when it had become clear that I had none, I went wild. It wasn't until I turned seventeen that I realized that my so-called friends were faker than strippers...well you know. Anyway the point is, once I discovered they had been using me for my money, I decided I held the cards and could make them do anything I wanted. Trust me, I made their lives miserable.”

“I got into drugs real bad then. I did many things I am not proud of. It wasn't until my steady girlfriend got pregnant that I began to change. I had treated her like a goddess, and what did she do? She betrayed me. She had been sleeping with my father and the baby I thought was mine, was really his.”

“I confronted my dad about his sexual blunder-sleeping with a seventeen year old girl- and threatened to walk away from all the money, the family business, everything. But then he did something I never expected.”

“I had grown to love that unborn baby, thinking it was mine. But I came to find out the child was now erased from my life, because my father had paid off his lover, my girlfriend. She had the abortion within a week of receiving the money. I didn't even get to say goodbye. I had to find out about the abortion from her friend, while the bitch left the state.”

“After that, I quickly found out women only wanted one thing. They only wanted what money I could offer them. I wasn't down with that. I would screw them and then leave em high and dry. I wasn't concerned with creating a future anymore and I always made sure I covered my butt by buying the women their contraceptives.”

“After what my dad did with my girl, things were never the same between us. I couldn't, and still couldn't, care less about him. He could be rolling on the ground in flames and I wouldn't piss on him to put it out. Screw him, and screw everyone else. That was my motto...until that day.”

“Anna, I know everything I told you sounds bad...but there is still one more thing. One last thing that makes everything else seem so small. It has been years (maybe two or three), but I had been walking along a major highway in May sometime. It was windy out, and my dad and I had just been in a huge fight. I needed some air. The last thing I had expected to come across was some beautiful woman standing on a rail. I shouted to her before I even thought about what it might do. The woman slipped off the rail. I ran all the way over to where she had been. I thought she was long gone, but she was actually hanging on to the fence just below the rail.”

“I reached down and told her to take my hand but she couldn't reach my hand. I was trying so hard to reach her without jeopardizing my own safety. I had a cell phone in my back pocket, but it wouldn't have been any good because as usual I had forgotten to charge it. So I did a very cowardly thing. I left the woman hanging onto the rail while I ran for help. I should have stayed with her. Hell! I should have climbed down the fence and sacrificed my own life for hers. But I didn't and she fell. She drowned in that water and her body was never found.”

Sin went silent after that and Anna was too stunned to say anything. She was the woman he had let drown. He was the man that had startled her and caused her fall. Anna had a hard time wrapping her head around it all. They had been so quite after that. Both were dealing with different emotions that had been charged by Sin's confession.

Anna could see Sin was feeling guilt, but she had never once blamed the man in all these years. Two years, in fact. Anna had known that the time span between the living and the deceased had always been different, but it wasn't until that moment had she felt the vast difference. What had been two years for Sin, had felt like a thousand years to her. Death time, She thought. It sounded about right. It wasn't being in the underworld that caused the time difference to feel so vast. It was the time span between the living and the dead. Funny, she had never thought of that before, or had thought to ask.

At some point Anna had fallen asleep and had the same dream that had haunted her since her death. She had many dreams of the day she died and this time instead of the shadow face she saw Sin's. When Anna woke up, she hadn't been able to recall the dream, she could only think about how Sin had tried to save her the night she died.

Anna knew there was no way she would be able to take his soul now that she knew the truth. And if Kyrain wasn't going to help her, and the other collectors wanted to be stuck up, then she would just have to rely on her book. The resource she had originally thought of was the other collectors, but Anna knew they wouldn't help her. No, aside from her book, she was on her own.

The book could feel its mistress’s distress. It also had an inkling of what its mistress was looking for. The book had scoured every page it owned to search for the passage that would most please her, and it finally found it. The book pressed it's spine against her leg, letting out an immense amount of heat that radiated through her pant leg. It hoped she would pick it up and that she would be pleased enough to feed it. Unfortunately for the book, it had been days since it was last fed. It held no animosity against its mistress however, for it knew she had been distracted.

Anna was lost in her thoughts and didn't feel the heat upon her thigh. How could she, when all she was thinking about was a way to save the man she had fallen for. So instead of her brain registering that her book was trying to capture her attention, she reached her fingers into her pocket and immediately pulled her hand back, letting out a stream of curses. The book had produced enough heat that it had given her mortal flesh a slight burn. Despite the burning in her fingertips, she reluctantly reached her hand back into her pocket.

Gritting her teeth she pulled the book out and was rewarded with a soothing cooling sensation as the book pulled its heat back.

The book, all ready knowing what she wanted, opened its pages to what appeared to be the last entry. Anna's eyes grew wide as she placed her finger on the words and mouthed what they had to say:

If you are reading this passage, then that must mean you are one of my decedents and if you are not a decedent then your soul will be devoured in one minute.

Anna paused. Her heart started to pound in her chest and she began to feel woozy.

OhmygoshOhmygosh...I’m going to die!

Anna freaked out and literally counted the seconds it took to get to a minute. It was the longest sixty seconds of her life. When it became apparent her soul wasn't about to be devoured, she breathed out a sigh of relief. Then her mind took over and she had to continue to read the passage, not just to figure out how to save Sin, but to see to whom she was related to. It was a very curious situation. She read on:

Hmm, well congrats on keeping your soul intact and I was just kidding about having to be a descendant to read this.

Before I tell you my story, perhaps I should tell you who I am? I am Persephone. Shocking right?

Well forget you then.

I'm kidding. I guess my sense of humor has gone dry since my father gave me away to his brother-the king of hell.

Yea, I’m sure you know him. Hades. Anyway you would think over the last mm-mm eternity, I would have grown to love him. You'd be wrong. If anything, I still hate him.

The underworld is just where every girl wants to spend half the year. Not.

I guess it isn't too bad since I can be a part of the topside world with lots of mortals; I made the best of my time while I was able to be above the underworld. But then I found this one guy. He made Adonis look like a joke. Oh, my gosh! He was so dang fine. Long wavy blonde hair, gold eyes, chiseled features, and abs that could have put any young shoulder to shame. Mhmm he was gorgeous and best of all he was mine. His name was Eric.

Everyone knew Hades and I hadn't been able to bear children together and everyone also knew I wanted nothing more than to have that one perfect child to call my own. So I did what any desperate woman would do. I took care of my own needs. Eric and I created a baby together.

I hid the pregnancy as long as I could before I started to show. But when it did show, I found Hades didn't care, thinking the baby was his, and that the child would somehow bring us closer together. What he didn't know was I could never love him and that the child was not his, so I thought.

My love child was born into the underworld. It was the most disastrous yet perfect day I've ever had. First of all, I do not recommend having a bloodthirsty demon as a midwife. It was utterly disgusting watching the demon, Sira, lick up my blood. And she not only enjoyed the pain of my darling babies birth, but she reveled in it.

Normally any woman in labor would curse the very man that caused her to be in so much pain but not me. I cursed Sira and Hades. Imagine the satisfaction I felt when I could yell all kinds of nasty things at them and not have to face the repercussions of my actions.

I have no way to tell how long I was actually in labor with my adoring children. But I do know it was long. Finally all my hard work was rewarded when Sira placed two beautiful baby boys in my arms. They were perfect in every way. One baby looked identical to his father, Eric, and when he opened his bright gold eyes and smiled, I knew I would lay my life down for him. I chose the only name that would be fitting for such a perfect child. He was called Sin, for my baby was the result of the best sin I had ever committed.

The other baby did not look like Eric. He looked like his father, Hades. He had red eyes, and when he was placed in my arms, he didn't smile. His eyes looked soulless. I named the baby the only thing that would befit such a dark creature. I named him Kyrain for it meant little dark one.

Hades, however, was not pleased. He suddenly demanded to know who had fathered my child, Sin. And he wouldn’t look at Sin, wanting his soul taken right there on the spot. But I wouldn't have it.

I swore to the gods that if any harm came to my child, I wouldn't hesitate but to call upon the mother of all the gods: Chaos. For from Chaos came Gaea. And from Gaea came all the other gods. I knew of no way to call upon Chaos, but Hades didn’t know that; he just had to believe I wasn't bluffing. He didn't call my bluff, and he chose to leave Sin alone.

Eric was a whole different story.Little did I know, Eric was a hybrid! I found this out after Hades had tried to take Eric's soul and found he never had one. It didn't matter to me that Eric wasn't mortal; I still loved him and loved him long after Hades killed him.

And Kyrain...As soon as Hades laid eyes on that boy it was like a switch had been flipped. I could see the adoration in his face. He loved Kyrain, he knew the boy was his own. So Hades took this child under his wing and twisted the child's mind, making it dark and cold. So fitting for the next ruler of the underworld, should something happen to Hades. But not even Hades could forget that Sin was to be the true ruler since he was the first-born.

While both of the boys grew, I plotted a way to destroy the king of hell for good. I hated what Hades had done to my youngest son. They should have been brothers, but he made them be enemies.

However, nothing I would think of could harm Hades, but I did find a solution to my sons’ problems. I found the tunnel of return could be manipulated. Normally, if a soul was to pass through the tunnel of return, they would return to the mortal realm as mortals. They could enter a recent vacated vessel and become the person the vessel once held. But I found a way to cause a rebirth.

I only shared my plan with Sin. He was a good son, and he waited for me to round up his brother. Kyrain, on the other hand, was too suspicious. I had to lie and tell him that his precious father was in danger and needed Kyrain. Like a charm, Kyrain fell for it.

When Kyrain had reached the tunnel, Sin and I were waiting for him. As soon as he saw the two of us together he knew what we had planned. Kyrain attempted to yell for Hades, but it was too late. Sin and I had already shoved him through the tunnel.

Sin then tried to make me go through, but I refused unless he went first. We didn't have a whole lot of time to debate the situation. If we didn't go through that tunnel within minutes of Kyrain, then my plan would fail.

I had finally convinced Sin to go in and I was just about to step through the tunnel, when I was yanked back.

Hades had seen Sin go through the tunnel.

Bit of advice: Never piss off a god. I was punished without worry of intervention. I'll be the first to say that Hades had some pretty inventive ideas on how to punish and I was the perfect lab rat.

My mother knew what was going on, but she had no power to intervene. And once my punishment was over, and I fell into line like a dutiful underworld queen, Hades was blessed with another child-a baby girl. With this child there was no doubts of paternity. She was Hades, through and through. But much to the glee of Hades, this child didn't love me. However, what he failed to notice was that Shiva didn't love him either. The more she grew up the more she used Hades, played him into getting whatever she wanted, except what she wanted most. To become ruler of the underworld. Our daughter, Shiva, it seemed hadn't been created to love.

Shiva was the source of the gods’ undoing.

I'll never know how she managed to round them all up and turn them to stone, but she did.

Since I was technically not a god, I was left alone. Without Hades, I would age quickly (for every day, I aged 10 years), and die.

While I aged, Shiva went on to do many great things; but she found she was very lonely. That loneliness drove her to take on protégées.

One of her protégées had a problem with mortals. The first dozen times the protégée would try and save a soul, it caused mayhem in the underworld. To fix the mayhem always required a specific ritual that is too disturbing to even write.

Soon I came to realize that there is two ways to save a soul without disrupting the order of the underworld and the mortal realm. One requires a replacement of an innocent soul. The innocent has to die at the same time, on the same day, and has to die the same way the doomed soul was to die. And the other way is much more complicated, being an act of true love. The same disruption could happen if a collector takes a unmarked soul.

I only tell you this because I know someday my son will be marked. It is destined for him to rule but I don't want him to return...it would be very unpleasant if he did. For while my Sin is in the mortal realm, he cannot remember who he really is. He will only know the mortal life he was given.

When I rigged the tunnel I rigged it so he and Kyrain's souls would literally be reborn. They would be thrown into the bodies of recently passed newborns, and there they would live out their lives.

Save my son, Sin...and Kyrain, if possible. That is my dying wish.


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