Six hours after Hermione had delivered her awe-inspiring, adrenaline triggering monologue to the Centaurs of the netherworld and four hours before Belials plan must be initiated Simon stumbled upon the Centaur village. The small troop of Angels entered empty streets strewn with random debris, a bag here, an arrow head or snapped shaft there, small ornate iron spikes and buttons everywhere. Simon and Gabriel had made the same conclusion.
The sweetness and quaintness of the villages exterior did little to mask the fact that a great number of warriors had left this village discarding the less useful items that they had within them. The emerald grass was trampled around them, heavy hooves had pounded the earth beneath them. Simon looked through the wide road splitting the village before them with its houses almost littering the curbs no building identical or symmetrical. A few lights dimly lit the doorways through glass of varying colours and shapes. For all intents and purposes this was a quiet sleeping village settled for the night, children tucked in their beds and the mothers and fathers settled in with books, newspapers, card games and hot mugs of chocolate. Very sweet and idyllic execpt for the destroyed road and myriad souveniers of war.
'Simon what can you read here?' It had taken Gabriel two minutes to look around the street and breathe in the stench of anticipation left behind whatever troop had marched through here. 'Where did these warriors come from and where are they going?'
Simon shook his head momentarily, not a negative gesture let it be said, more a silent "What in the name of Jehovah are they in the middle of?" He looked for tracks. Where did they start? Where did they congregate? Where did they end. The hills at either side of village had foliage untrampled and unmarked, so these soldiers did not attack the village from the flanks. In fact it seems that the tracks came together after coming from, or going to the houses. The village was not in disarray and was peaceful so that only left one conclusion.
'Gabriel, the warriors did not attack the village. This villages warriors have moved out, and in a hurry it seems. Theres good news and bad news however.' Simon relished the drama in his statements, he knew that it would annoy Gabriel that there was a setback, but he was not so stupid as to simply tell Gabriel that all is lost.
Gabriel clucked his tongue and glared with inward fire at his tracker, the green in his eyes marred slightly with a scarlet hue coming from an irriated fire in his mind.
'The bad news is that in the muddle and Chaos of the streets the tracks we are following are lost and confused ending abruptly and once in a while appearing in sporadic places along the villages road.' Simon swept his eyes dramatically around the environment before him before sighing and then continuing.
'The good news is that at the head of the street our quarry stood together before the congregation of mules.' Simon waited for Gabriels response. Surely the Archangel would put this together in his heavenly wisdom.
'That is good news why?' Clearly heavenly wisdom isn't all its cracked up to be.
'It means that whom-so-ever we are following, has gone with the warriors, or more to the point has called upon the warriors and is leading them somewhere.' Simon sat down on a verge at the side of the road and looked at his hands trying to piece the ast of the puzle together. Heavenly wisdom then spoke up.
'Then we have no more need for a tracker, I know where they are going. Belial is going to the Castle of the Iron Queen Persephone. He has headed straight for Zeus and Hades. It means that the Olympians have done their job.' Gabriel chuckled, an evil gleeful chuckle that began in his stomach like all mirth should, but was ejaculated from his mouth in humorous bile.
'You see, Jehovah and I,' Gabriel began rather pompously, 'Met with Hera, Zeus and Hades and promised them a seat at the council tables in Eden. They were promised to be able to govern their own lands, under the supervision of Jehovah of course. In return for their place in eternity they would need to rid the netherworld of Persephone.'
'Why is Persephone in your way then?' The mocking tone of Gabriels story had grabbed his attention like a clawed hand to his throat.
'Persephone has the ability to rile these pathetic creatures that would always resist a change to their way of life. With Persephone out of the way that would mean the Centaurs would have nobody to organise them or inspire them. We could eradicate them into myth, extinction. That way it serves that Hades and Zeus would have less protection for these Horses and Harpies when we finally march our armies into the Netherworld and take it for our own.' Gabriel tapped his fingers together.
'So you lied to them? You will take their lands anyway?' Simon asked quietly.
'You really expect Jehovah to envelope these second rate feeble kings in the arms of Babylon? Too long has this festering weak domain sat quietly away from the brink of domination. The crops we could reap from here, the animals that would grace our table. Oh lest we forget since losing limbo we would need somewhere else to let the rebels rot and feed upon themselves. No we wont take their lands. We will destroy their populace and then convert their lands into the largest farm in the universe. Persephone is the key to it all. Without her there this land has no loyalty.'
Simon said no more, he just collected his arms and left to wait for their departure.