T H E F I N A L E III
I howled once more before running towards the forest, drawing Cerberus and his cronies away from the escaping women and children.
I made sure I was as loud as possible, crunching on as many leaves and twigs as I could, sprinting faster when I felt a malicious presence right on my heels.
“You can run little shifter” Lycaon’s excited voice rang out “But you cannot hide from us.”
My wolf push our legs faster and we soon entered a wide clearing where the trees were on fire, essentially blocking my path to continue onward.
As quick as we could my wolf darted to the left and gained speed, tearing apart one of Lycaon’s ghastly creatures as he tried to block my path.
I spat out his deformed arm and, when I was sure that no one was following me, I shifted into my human form and climbed a tree.
When I was on a strong and steady enough branch, I jumped from tree to tree and continued my trek up east.
A angry roar sounded from ahead and I paused, listening to see if those creatures caught my trail.
Before I could jump on the next branch, a whip wrapped itself around my leg and pulled me from the tree.
Before I could fall from the twelve foot tree and injury myself, I twisted midair and shifted into my Wolf.
I snarled and ripped the silk web whip off of my foot, keeping my eyes on Arachne as I did.
“Clever girl” she croaked “But not clever enough.”
Before I could lunge and kill her, again, I felt an excruciating pain slither up my spine.
It was so bad that it forced me to involuntarily shift back into my Human form.
A shadow fell over me as I panted on the ground, I groaned as I managed to lift my head and see the source of my pain.
It was no surprised when I met the disapproving gaze of Cerberus, whose eyes were blazing Cobalt blue, an angry slash across his face.
“Now buttercup” he tsked “Is that anyway to treat the brother-in-law who’s just trying to help you?”
I spat at his feet and the pain on my spine tightened further.
“Ungrateful little bitch” he spat at me, his eyes sparking in anger “Get up.”
I snarled at him, and as much as I tried, I just couldn’t shift.
Cerberus gripped my hair and started dragging me back towards the Chiefs house.
As much as I tried, I just couldn’t break free from his hold.
The sky started to darken and Cerberus hurried his pace, his body humming with excitement, as he dragged me along with him.
I watched as my surroundings change into a very familiar path.
Horror marked my features and I struggled in his grip harder than before.
He was taking me to the horrid gate and the sinking feeling in my stomach made me think that it wasn’t because he wanted to catch some of the Chief’s crazy looking fish.
He released me onto the damp dock and I scrambled away from him as far as I could.
“Guard the deck” he barked at Arachne and Lycaon “No one is to interrupt me during the ceremony.”
The nodded and trudged their way to their posts.
Cerberus let me be for the moment and since he was guarding my only exit point, I really had no place left to go.
I turned to the lake, ready to dive in and take my chances with those monstrous fishes, when three figures caught my eye.
Covered in rich colored silk cloaks and hovering just a few feet above the lake, the women whom ranged in age from thirteen to seventy, scrutinized at me with unseeing eyes.
Literal unseeing eyes.
Their eyes were sewn shut in different ‘X’ jagged patterns and when they outstretched their palms, I gasped in shock.
Their eyes, which I guess were plucked from their sockets and sewn onto their palms, blinked at me slowly.
The pupils were golden and slowly but surely, they began to move in different directions.I check to see if Cerberus saw the same figures that I did.
“The time has come for a fate to be decided” they startled me as their voices became one “Will one heir vitiate the life of the other? Or will blood bound bonds prevail and heal the darkness living within?”
Cerberus clapped excitedly “Let’s get started, shall we?”
Before he could even take a step towards me, two anguish cries sounded from behind us.
Cerberus turned in time to see a very bloody, and very pissed off looking Zephyr, holding two dead monster heads in one hand and a dead cobra in the other.
“I believe these” Zephyr spat at him, throwing the dead objects at Cerberus’ feet so hard that Lycaon’s head bounced a little before stopping at my feet “Are yours.”
Cerberus eyes followed the movement and stared at the dead cobra a good minute before his eyes snapped to Zephyr’s, raging coiling in their depths.
Zephyr smirked wickedly and it was the first time I noticed that his eyes were bright crimson.
“You took something from me brother” Zephyr snarled “And I don’t take too kindly to those taking what’s mine.”
Before I could even blink, Zephyr was attacking his brother, throwing punches and dodging them so fast that I could only see blurs going back and forth.
I shifted to help Zephyr take down his brother when an animalistic roar sounded from above.
Before I even got a chance to move, the Minotaur crashed down directly in front of me from the deck roof and roared in rage.
One horn was missing, his body was covered in blood and holes, and his blackened eyes looked at me with all-all-consuming rage coming from within their dark depths.
If the Minotaur was here then that meant that Uncle Ethan had failed.
My heart sunk into my chest at the thought.
The Minotaur roared loudly at me, his body coiling with tension, ready to attack at a moment’s notice.
Uncle Ethan was right.
This wasn’t the same Asterius that saved me from the Labyrinth.
No, this was the Minotaur that thrived on death, destruction, and utter chaos.
I couldn’t save Asterius before but I’d be damn sure to save whatever remained of his fractured soul now.
That was a promise.
I attacked rapidly and viciously, meeting Cerberus punch for punch and he still didn’t concede, just laughed in my face like this was one big game.
“Come on brother” he taunted “I would have thought the Heir of the Underworld had more power than that!”
I spat the blood out of my mouth “Why are you doing this Cerberus?”
“Doing what?” Cerberus asked innocently “Trying to hang out with my brother and his Mate?”
“Cut the shit Cerberus!” I snarled “It’s not fooling anyone.”
“Awe” he pouted and then sighed in disappointment “You’ve changed brother.”
“No,” I said “You have.”
“Maybe this is who I’ve really been all along” he said, his eyes hardened “Maybe you were just too blinded to see the real me before.”
Suddenly his eyes turned Blue and he flung a fire ball at me.
I wasn’t quick enough to dodge the flame so I shielded my face with my arms.
I hissed when it made contact with my skin, sizzling the top layers until they became a puckered mess.
I looked at him in surprise as the smell of burnt flesh permeated the air “What type of flame is this?”
“What’s wrong brother?” He gave me a cocky grin “Those flames too hot for you?”
I snorted and blocked another one of his fireballs with a shield I made from my abilities.
I tried to use my Hellfire to cage Cerberus in when he flicked his wrist and dissipated the cage.
I quickly hid my surprise and threw every ounce of power I had at him
He blocked them all with a simply flick of his fingers.
“Nothing you can do will stop me Zephyr” he said “I came here for the key and won’t leave until my job is finished.”
“We don’t have the key!” I snarled.
“Yes, you do” he said “You had it all along.”
He took a pointed glance at Serenity and my heart kicked into overdrive.
The sky turned a Blood Red color and bathed us in its Moonlight.
I suddenly became dizzy and stumbled when Cerberus landed an uppercut on my jaw.
“Feeling alright brother?” Cerberus taunted “Or do you need a break?”
My stomach lurched “What did you do to me?”
“I did nothing Baby brother” he said “Except make use of a perfectly good Celestial event.”