Avril was awakened by the smell of freshly baked rolls and the morning brought new light to her world. The table was filled with fruits and hot brewed tea. She looked at the cubes of creamy butter which reminded her of the feast and how the royal kitchens get busy at this time. She wasn’t meant to be here, the feast was the most important celebration in Arydress and without the Empress everything will fall apart. As she reached for the bowl of small cubed cheese, she heard Troy enter without knocking.
“Good Morning Avril! Enjoy your breakfast I see, the food here is great so I will give you some time and meet me at the entrance hall when you ready” said Troy.
“the cheese is good”
Troy smiled “yes, it’s rare cheese from the mortal realm” said Troy.
“mortal realm?” she asked.
“that’s beyond but I will tell you mare about it soon, we leave for Dragon’s Inn when you ready” said Troy.
“what will we be doing there” Avril asked.
“I need some information regarding your friend Odeya and you should try the food there it’s great” said Troy.
“Will Ryu be joining us?” Avril asked.
“I am afraid he left a while ago and I doubt he will be meeting us at the Inn” said Troy.
Troy just about finished preparing the horses when Avril approached him. “it’s a beautiful morning, Royal duties take most of my time I barely have time to myself” said Avril.
“well I’m glad you here, you ready to leave?” Troy asked.
“yes!” said Avril.
She didn’t wait for Troy and mounted her horse. She follows Troy through the pathway, trees were all lined up in a row along either side the path. The cool winds of Delos brought a calmness to her, she loved the atmosphere. Magic seemed to surround her as she traveled on the pathway. Troy murmured something she could not understand. She hadn’t said a word to him when they started the journey. There was so many questions she wanted to ask but her surroundings distracted her.
The journey to Dragon’s Inn wasn’t as long as she had expected. Upon reaching the red gates, she could see a large sign above the entrance.
Feast of the Dragon
“Feast of the Dragon is also part of Dragon’s Inn” said Troy. The building was bigger than she had expected. There was a curled up sleeping dragon statue by the entrance with the name of the Inn engraved on it. The huge double doors were blood red and there was a silver pathway which lead to the entrance. It was a huge building surrounded by thin glass pillars. “So what do you think of the place?” Troy asked.
“It’s beautiful” she asked.
“I design it, it was a rare gift from Apollo which I’m grateful to have” said Troy.
“you mean The God of Archery?” Avril asked.
“yes! you should see him in battle” said Troy.
“”that would be nice” said Avril.
“come we will talk more once we are inside” said Troy.
Troy lead her into the Dragon’s Inn. The entrance hall was massive and it had a warm cozy feeling. Dragon statues of every kind were above each doors. Several staircases lead into the upper floors and there was another ten leading to the bottom floors. Many large square tables were filled with lively people. Bronze statues of heroes were set in rows against the walls. The statues held bows but they were facing down and she could see all the statues had a sun tattoo on their left shoulder.
“Ah! I see the statues caught your attraction. Those are some of the Argonauts. The centre one is Jason, leader of the Argonauts. Sometimes if you get lucky they come here after a long day of training. They are amazing company” said Troy.
“Why are the arrows facing down on all the statues?” Avril asked.
“It’s a sign, of respect for the Titan Sun God. Helios gifted all the Greek heroes’ immortality and in return they fight to protect Delos but only if Helios or Apollo’s request it” said Troy.
“They also keep a low profile especially if in the presence of Ares” said Troy.
“Why Ares?” Avril asked.
“Just a misunderstanding between Ares and Jason” said Troy.
“Please take a seat but you are also free to explore, no one will harm you in this place” said Troy.
With permission from Troy, Avril scrolled passed the statues. She stood looking up at Jason’s statue, Avril has learnt so much about the Greeks from Odeya including knowledge of the Greek Gods and myths. She never though the Greek heroes were still alive and living in Delos, to meet one will be a great honor to her.
She turned slightly to her left. She started to observe her surroundings and noticed that she was being watched by a strange man. He sat in the far connor, although he was aware that she noticed him he still continued to gaze upon her and his stern expression made her nervous. She turned back to face the statue hoping that he will ignore her. She walked to an empty table but before she could take a seat, the strange man grabbed her by the waist and turned her around. Avril was too stunned to move or fight back. He took a lock of hair and swilled it around his finger.
“I never been this close to a Guardian! Did I make you nervous Avril?”
“Who are you?” Avril asked. His grey eyes stared back at her as if he was in deep thought. He wore full black and his clothes were strange to her.
“I am Jason!” he said.
“May I have just one kiss from a Guardian?” Jason asked.
“Certainly not!” said Avril.
Although Avril refused his request, she was still awed to be in the presents of one of the greatest heroes. Odeya will die for the change to meet Jason. It would be offensive to push him away even though she was an Empress.
“Your beautiful red hair makes you look unique for a Guardian so how about just one kiss, you won’t regret it, I promise, Daughter of Odysseus!” said Jason.
“Jason! Let my sister go!” Troy yelled.
“Sister?” Avril asked.
Jason smirked and slowly backed away from her. Avril glanced at Troy in surprise. “What is going on?” Avril asked.
“Whoa, you haven’t told her yet” said Jason.
“Troy?” said Avril.
“Please wait here Avril! I need to talk to Jason, I will just be a moment” said Troy. The two of them walked towards the end of the hall leaving Avril puzzled as to what Troy said to her.
“It’s been age’s brother!” said Jason.
“No time for bonding. Is Odysseus here?” Troy asked.
“No but I heard he will be in shortly” said Jason.
“Have you heard the latest rumor? I heard that Haruto, the son of Nishikido is in Delos which can only be one thing!” said Jason.
“That can’t be good, have you heard anything from Apollo?” asked Troy.
“No! Not a damn thing!” said Jason.
“Well! I if you hear anything, you know where to find me” said Troy.
“Be safe brother!” said Jason.
Avril couldn’t help but wonder if Troy was just trying to protect her, he wasn’t like the other cousins she faced that wanted her Throne. There was something different about him.
“Avril! There is someone I want you to meet, he will be here shortly but for now we wait, I will get you something to eat, I think you need it” said Troy.
“Let me check the menu for today!” said Troy.
Avril sat and waited for Troy to return. She watched the busy crowd of people enjoying their meals. They laugher filled the hall which amazed her, they were carefree. Avril’s curious mind brought on an urge to dig deeper to find out the secrets of Delos including its history.
It’s wasn’t long before Troy returned with a red crystal paper. “What is this?” Avril asked.
“It’s a menu of the only food that was created by the mortals in Greece” said Troy.
She looked down at the menu, it was written in Greek. “I am afraid I can’t read this” said Avril.
Γιορτή του Δράκου
Ταραμοσαλάτα – Δύο Σχίζα δραχμές
Ντάκος – Τρία Σχίζα δραχμές
Τζατζίκι – Ενας Σχίζα δραχμές
Κολοκυθοανθοί – Τέσσερα Σχίζα δραχμές
Τυρόπιτα – Πέντε Σχίζα δραχμές
Σπανακόπιτα – Πέντε Σχίζα δραχμές
Κολοκυθάκια τηγανιτά – Πέντε Σχίζα δραχμές
Αυγολέμονο – Τρία Σχίζα δραχμές
Μαγειρίτσα – Τρία Σχίζα δραχμές
Μπουγάτσα – Τρία Σχίζα δραχμές
Φανουρόπιτα – Ενας Σχίζα δραχμές
“I know, but I was hoping you recognized the menu” said Troy.
“I am afraid not” she said.
“I tell you what, I will order a meal for you, it’s your father’s favorite meal” said Troy.
“My father?” Avril asked.
“Let me order the meals and I will share my story” said Troy.
“Very well” said Avril.
Troy hurried back to the bar table, with regret of having to tell Avril the painful truth and the Arydress curse hidden deep in the Palace.
The meals were ready in no time and the waitress brought it to the table. She placed a plate in front of Avril. “What is this?” asked Avril.
“Dakos! It’s a salad. It’s a dry bread with tomatoes, mizithra cheese, oregano, herbs and olives. Humans use to make this in the mortal world many eons ago” said Troy.
“Humans?” asked Avril.
“Well! Try it” said Troy.
Avril smiled as she took a bite, it had an unusual taste but he could tell that she enjoyed it. “This is really good!” said Avril.
“Wait till you try the main meal” said Troy.
Avril sat enjoying the last bit of Dakos when the waitress brought the main meals and steamy two cups of liquid that Avril could not recognize.
“what is this?” Avril asked.
“the best creamy coffee you will ever taste, try it” said Troy.
Avril looked at the strange food then she took the silver cup in her hand and smelled it, although she didn’t taste it, she hated the small.
“What is a coffee? It smells bad!” Avril asked.
“But it tastes great” said Troy.
“You need to stay in Delos more often. You can learn so much from this modern world” said Troy.
“Yes! I heard stories from Odeya about Delos. It’s mixed with both ancient and modern styles; including the way people live here, they also wear modern clothes which is very strange to me” said Avril.
“So you do know something about Delos, I’m glad” said Troy.
Avril slowly sipped the hot steamy coffee, it tasted creamy but it was like a roasted liquid down her throat.
“It’s not that bad” said Avril.
“Glad you like it, it was Odysseus’s favorite including the meal you just ordered” said Troy.
“Ah! Looks like Odysseus is back” said Troy.
“Odysseus?” Avril asked.
“Yes! Come, let’s not waste any more time” said Troy.
“Would you please tell me what is going on!” Avril yelled.
“Odysseus is my father. I am your twin brother” said Troy.
Avril sat frozen, she wasn’t sure weather to cry or scream. She squeezed the cup in her hands holding back the tears. “How is this possible?” asked Avril.
“Janessa is the reincarnation of Penelope. It all started long before Janessa was born. Odysseus and Penelope were immortal, it was a gift from the Gods. Penelope had stolen something from Hades which angered the God. He killed her but could not find the dagger she had stolen. It was the dagger of Helios” said Troy.
“Hades?” Avril asked.
“Yes! Odysseus was also being sought by Hades so he fled to Eradonis but he became trapped for twenty nine years. There he met Janessa and fall in love. Sometime later he had a visit from Hermes who told Odysseus that Penelope was reborn as Janessa” said Troy.
“My mother is Penelope reborn as Janessa?” Avril asked.
“That’s what I said!” said Troy.
“I know this is a lot to handle but it’s the truth and Odysseus is very much alive. He is in this very building” said Troy.
“My father is alive?” Avril asked.
“Would you like to see him?” asked Troy.
“Yes please! Take me to him!” said Avril.
As Troy lead her down the stairs, Avril was so racked with grief she had forgotten about Odeya. Troy paused when his hand was on the door handle, slowly opened the door allowing Avril to enter first and Troy followed.
The moment she walked into the room, he froze knowing exactly who she was. He had been given visions of her growing up, a gift from the Goddess Athena so he know exactly how she looked, she was beautiful, just like her mother.
“Avril!” he said. He stepped forward and the two embraced; he waited a long time for Avril to return to him. He never wanted this, Hades was to blame for all the things that happened to his life but he never once forgot Avril and each passing day without her was torture knowing that his daughter has grown up without a father. Odysseus was know to be strong and once a legendary hero. It was heartbreaking for Troy to see his father in tears when he saw Avril.
“Time is not on our side, I’m afraid we need to break up this family reunion. Will it be possible to use the portal?” asked Troy.
“My son Troy is always in a hurry. Give us a minute, will meet you down at the portal gate” said Odysseus.
“Sure!” said Troy.
Troy exited the room without saying another word and shut the door behind him. “Avril! You look just like your mother!” said Odysseus.
“What was she like? If I had one wish I would see love to spend one day with her” said Avril.
“I am sorry if I wasn’t there all these years” said Odysseus.
“I don’t ever want to lose you again, Father!” said Avril.
“I want to know everything that I have missed!” said Odysseus.
Reunited with Avril brought a smile and joy to his heart. Penelope would be so proud of her.