The goddess hummed to herself as she watered the thorny shrubs in her garden. She had a strange fascination for them.
Although she couldn’t decide whether it was because of their sharp horns, or because of the fact that the shrub would grow the horns sharp all winter only to shed them to welcome the flowers of spring to blossom on them.
Either way, she liked how they could be dangerous and vulnerable as the seasons demanded it to be.
She was busy tending to the flowers when she heard one of her nymphs clearing her throat behind her.
“What is it?” The goddess asked and looked sharply at the nymph over her shoulder. The nymph nervously shifted on her feet and answered, “The messenger is here again,”
This made the goddess turn completely to face the nymph, cock an eyebrow and ask, “What does he want this time?”
“He says the king of the underworld has sent a crucial message for you,” The nymph answered with her eyes glued to the ground and her head slightly bowed.
The nymph’s response instantly appealed to the goddess’ interest. She couldn’t start to wonder what message Hades would have sent for her. The only place she saw him and his wife was at events. Although she saw Persephone more because of Demeter but besides that she had nothing to do with the couple, especially, him.
The goddess excused herself from her favorite flowers and walked inside her beautiful house. The nymph hurried after her.
The goddess instantly spotted the messenger leaning by one of her windows, trying to poke a carnivorous plant with his naked fingers.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Hermes,” She casually warned the messenger, claiming his attention all at once.
“Inanna! How lovely to see you again!” Hermes spoke as he abandoned the plant and turned towards the goddess.
“What brought you here today?” Inanna asked right away, not wasting time because she had important things to attend instead of listening to Hermes’ gossips.
“Alright… alright,” Hermes sighed, noticing her down to the business tone. He instantly reached into his satchel and searched for the scroll that Hades had given him.
“This is for you,” He said, holding the scroll made of bones with both hands and presenting it to Inanna.
Inanna picked the unusual scroll with her fingertips, careful to not brush her fingers over his hands. The scroll made a grim rattling noise when she opened it delicately. The small frown that instantly climbed on her face declared that she was neither fond of the design, nor the material used to make the scroll.
She read it silently nonetheless. Her eyes widened slowly as they moved further down the scroll, reading at an impeccable speed.
“Impossible!” She remarked, raising her voice slightly higher when she was done reading the scroll.
“What?” Hermes asked curiously. He was dying to know what message that scroll carried from the moment it was handed over to him.
“Hades wants me to pair the Lycan King!” Inanna declared bleakly. The mere mention of the Lycan King deeply unpleased her. She was nor fond of that creature, neither the kingdom of bloody rivers that he ruled upon.
“Why? What’s wrong with that?” Hermes inquired, his eyebrows coming together to show his spiked curiosity.
“What’s wrong with pairing Ezekiel?” Inanna echoed. “Everything! He doesn’t deserve a mate after all the things he’d done! He’s a monster!” She said, wrapping the scroll back and giving it back to Hermes.
“You should consider Hades’ request because it’s getting crowded in the underworld. Ezekiel is putting more people to sleep than that are being born,” Hermes informed, but Inanna shook her head. She was adamant.
“I can’t do this,” She said, crossing her arms over her chest. “I cannot sacrifice someone like this,”
“Oh, come on! Arles was paired! Ezekiel can be paired too! After all, they’re almost the same,” Hermes shrugged but Inanna disregarded it because she knew better.
“Take my words to Hades. The Lycan King’d not be paired,” Inanna said, producing a quill and a scroll(made of parchment) out of thin air and scribbling away angrily on it.
The frown on Hermes’ face deepened when Inanna handed the new scroll to him and he’d read what she had written on it.
“But why? I’m sure there must be someone out there for that brute too,” Hermes tried again but Inanna seemed strongly adamant.
“I don’t pair Lycans, Hermes. Ishtar, my sister used to do that,” Inanna told the messenger who too was adamant about not leaving without making something happen either.
“Still, you should consider this. Ezekiel has been on a killing rampage. If he continues then it wouldn’t be long when he’d done killing half the children of monsters.” Hermes reasoned.
“I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Inanna shrugged casually.
“Of course, you don’t but it could cause a massive imbalance and we don’t want to piss Echidna off. She loves her grandchildren,” Hermes reasoned again.
This time Inanna pondered in her head. Hermes wasn’t entirely wrong and she knew how Echidna could be sometimes. Although, Inanna wasn’t sure if someone had been born yet who’d possess the power and charm to tame the Lycan King.
“I understand your judgment but I don’t think giving him a mate would do anything to him. He’s… he’s beyond that,”
“Well, we saw how it worked out with Arles. We’d cross our fingers and hope the same with Ezekiel. I’m sure a mate would keep him busy enough to forget about expanding his military powers for a while. This is making others a bit worried,”
Inanna shook her head in disagreement and told Hermes, “It’s not that easy. Arles and Ezekiel might be the children of the night but they’re very different from each other. Ezekiel is a whole different entity. He has no feelings, no compassion, no empathy for others. He’s just straight-up cold and ruthless,”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that,” Hermes waved his hand nonchalantly. The smirk tugging the tips of his lips up suggested that there was something brewing up in his head.
“My next stop is at Aphrodite’s. I’m sure she has enough tricks up her sleeve to help us with this one,” Hermes winked.
Still, Inanna wasn’t convinced. She was firm on her decision because she had known the Lycan King even before he rose to power. She’d known what he was in the past and how he’d be in the future- cold, barbarous, malevolent, ruthless, and poignant.
“Please, Inanna. Just this time. We don’t want another war,” Hermes requested very sincerely.
His words held a certain gravity to them that had Inana’s determination slowly quivering. The goddess pursed her lips and scraped her memory to think of someone who’d be the match for the Lycan King.
Her eyes lit up after a while. The smile dancing on her lips declared that she had indeed found someone who’d do the job for them.
“I know someone who’d be perfect for him!” She squealed with excitement.
This had now turned interesting for her. She wanted to see how this would play out. She could already predict that this would go down to be one of the most exciting and ardent matches that she’d ever made in her book.
She already wanted to see the Lycan king chasing a very particular dark she-wolf with an unusual platinum mane and a fierce tongue.
The messenger’s eyes lit up to see the goddess’ excitement. It was contagious. He asked with the same excitement. “Who is it?”
“You’ll soon find out,” The goddess answered, very mischievously.
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