Chapter 7 - Who is She?
On the road to Sparta…
Somewhere in Ancient Greece
Before the sun rose, Seth and I were awake and off to our journey. As promised, Zeus provided horses and provisions for the road. We had food, water, and some clothes. Zeus also provided us some guards to escort us to our destination.
He told us that it wasn’t safe and that we may be chanced upon by bandits or thieves. At first, I was very nervous about those guards. They were mortals that Zeus mesmerized. Basically, they were under the influence of his magic and they were like zombies. They didn’t talk, stared blankly ahead, and blindly obeyed orders.
I was nervous because I thought Seth might notice that it was out of the ordinary.
But he never commented on it so onward we go.
We travelled from daybreak until the sun set. The journey was mostly silent. It seemed as though my companion was deep in thought. Maybe he was thinking about home?
When it was too dark to see the road, we found a clearing and set up camp. We ate some of our provisions and prepared to get some sleep. Again, not a word was spoken.
A few minutes later and I could already hear Seth’s soft snores. How he slept so fast in a place like this, I’ll never know. But I was glad he was out. Since we found this camp, I had this strange feeling. It was as if there was something in here that called out to me.
And I wanted to investigate what it was.
I was in ancient Greece after all. This was the time my family was at its most powerful. Maybe I’d find something that could help me recharge my powers faster so I could complete this mission soon.
As quietly as I could, I stood up and let my instinct lead me to whatever lies ahead. The guards turned their heads towards me but it was as if they weren’t seeing me at all. Then, they moved to follow.
“One of you keep a look out for danger. The rest of you go sleep,” I commanded. They were mortals after all. I didn’t want them falling off their horses tomorrow because of exhaustion.
With that thing settled, I continued on my exploration. My instinct led me deep into the woods where everything was eerily silent. It gave me the creeps but also, somehow, it felt familiar.
With each step, the feeling grew stronger. I continued following it, hoping that there was something that could help me on my mission. At the same time, I kept myself alert for any danger. It was dark and I didn’t have a torch. Good thing it was a full moon tonight and it was enough light for me to go on.
I stopped when I reached the bottom of a cliff. I looked up and it was too tall to climb and it was also very, very steep. But my instinct was telling me that what I was looking for was here.
With a deep sigh, I placed my hands on the rock and prepared to climb.
Suddenly, the rock opened. I lost my momentum and fell. “Fuck,” I hissed.
The crevice grew wider and wider until it formed an archway. “Whoah. What’s in here?” I muttered to myself.
With another deep breath for courage, I entered. Darkness enveloped me and then there was that feeling of falling. It was the same feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I teleported before.
Hmm. Maybe this is a portal of sorts?
The feeling of falling stopped and I blinked to get accustomed to the semi-darkness.
And then I saw a sight which was very familiar and also not.
My jaw dropped as I looked at the magnificence of the Underworld. The beauty the cavernous walls, the dark stone, the jeweled sconces and braziers… it was all still there. But it was shadowed with this aura of gloom and despair.
All around me, I could hear the cries of the shades. Their cries drowned out the sound from the four rivers.
But this was hundreds of years before I was born. It was hundreds of years before my mom was born and she helped my dad make changes and upgrade everything.
Right now, I was standing in the amphitheater where shades go to be judged. The line was really, really long and it was like a long rope that coiled and coiled as far as the eye can see.
In the distance, I could hear the flapping of wings which could only mean that the Furies were close by. Yikes. Better get moving then.
But where to?
Suddenly, a translucent, silvery hand grabbed my arm.
“Please. Help me. I’m not yet supposed to be dead. My daughter and my son! Who will look after them?” the shade cried.
When she touched me, it was as if I saw deep into her soul. This was one of my powers, I guess. I felt that her thread was cut by the fates. She really was destined to die. It was her time already. I also saw that she lived a good life. There’s a high probability that she will go to Elysium.
I touched her hand. “I’m sorry. This is what is fated,” I whispered. And then carefully, I removed her hand and turned away.
Quickly, I made my way to the palace. I don’t actually know where to go but going to the palace might be a good place to start.
Also, I wanted to see my father.
I winced for it felt like a hand suddenly gripped my heart as I thought of dad. The last time I saw his face was when I was with the fates and the world was ending. He fought ’til the death. And when he fell, the gates of the Underworld opened and the shades poured into the mortal realm.
I shook my head to clear it of my thoughts. I must focus. I could change my dad’s fate and all of world if I complete this mission.
With that in mind, I gathered my power to teleport. Nothing happened. I guess my powers haven’t recharged yet. Well, running it is. I took a deep breath and started to run as fast as I could towards the palace. I need to be back at our camp before Seth wakes up.
The palace looked the same as before. It was beautiful with it’s dark walls lined designed with gold and priceless gemstones. But like the rest of the Underworld, it was filled with an aura of gloom.
It was dark and eerily quiet everywhere. So far, I haven’t seen any servants or shades. I took a peek at the throne room where dad usually can be found. It was just empty. And there weren’t two thrones in the middle. There was only one.
My chest tightened again. I was in a time where my mom wasn’t born yet. And it hurt to think of her not being here– in our home. It hurt to think that the Underworld was like this before. It hurt even more thinking that dad was out here somewhere, totally alone.
I turned around and went up the grand staircase. Maybe dad was in his room. If my hunch was right, he was sleeping during this time. It would actually be better if he really was asleep. If he sees me, my cover would be blown. It would be hard to explain who I was. And I might mess up the timeline of things if I told him the truth.
I only wanted to see him. I couldn’t bear the thought of my last memory of him was seeing him fight and fall.
I made my way to his room and carefully opened the door. It was dark inside, not a single torch was lit. At first I thought he wasn’t there. But when my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw his outline in the middle of the bed.
As silently as I could, I approached. I stood beside the bed and looked at my father. He was deep in slumber. I was right thinking this was mostly the time he slept. I never knew why and never really asked him outright. I just thought it was because he didn’t like ruling the Underworld before and preferred to sleep for years and years so that time would pass by quickly.
In his sleep, he didn’t look peaceful. His face was a mask of anguish even though he lay still as a stone. I frowned. Dad’s face usually was expressionless. But what made him look so sad? Was it a dream of his?
“Hey, dad,” I whispered softly. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to set things right,” I vowed.
There was no reply. No indication at all that he even felt I was here.
“You and mom are going to have the eternity you always wanted. And every one of our family will also have their share of it.”
I resisted the urge to touch him in fear of waking him and having to explain everything. And so I stepped back and started to leave the room.
That was until I stepped on something that made a crunching noise. Immediately, I stilled and looked at dad. He didn’t even twitch and I released the breath I realized I was holding.
I stepped back and looked at what I stepped on. It was a bouquet of flowers, dried up and ripped into pieces. I’m sure that one point in time, they were beautiful. But right now, it was just a mess lying on the floor.
“Huh. What’s something like this doing in the Underworld?” I muttered. Flowers and plants didn’t really grow in the Underworld. Dad made up for the lack of color with jewels and precious stones. He also had some sort of artificial sunlight but right now I guess that wasn’t installed yet.
Now curious, I made my way to the other side of the canopied bed and looked at the nightstand. In it was a letter. I recognized dad’s handwriting in an instant. Beside the letter were several more pieces of paper which were crumpled.
You look as beautiful as the day I last saw you. You shine like a beacon to one such as me who lives in darkness. You glow brighter than the sun. I stepped out of my gloomy realm today hoping to catch a glimpse of you in springtime.
I saw the green grass, the trees, the flowers and all of them reminded me of you.
I miss you and want to see you again. I know how much you dislike going to the Underworld. I can visit you in the mortal realm. I really just want to be with you.
Goddess of spring, I hope I can see you again soon. I would give all I have for you to be mine.
With all my love,
“WHAT?!” I gasped. Right away, I looked at dad again. Still the same. My outburst didn’t wake him up.
Who the fuck is Persephone?
Dad called her Goddess of Spring but there was nothing about her! There’s nothing written about her and if she really was a goddess, then she is part of the family and therefore I would know about her!
But why is it that this Persephone seemed like a ghost? Or was she someone forgotten over time?
And oh boy, dad was in love with her! Wait, I thought mom was his first love? They’ve told me and Aurea their story tons of times and there was nothing in there about a Persephone!
Dad said mom was the first woman he fell in love with. He even said it was like he didn’t exist at all before she came along.
And now… this.
Who is Persephone?
This. Changes. Everything.