Cahpter Twenty (PArt Two - Toward Persephone)

Under the weight of a Centaurs words, everything collapsed.  Heated mournful torches flickered slower than before, a wind swept a sullen despair through the sparse fallen moonlit leaves.  Tongues of accustion licked toward the trio, but Emanuelle heard nothing of Belials indignant aggressive denials.  The plan had withered and finally crumbled before them.  Persephone had been kidnapped, and suddenly, without warning, they were deemed (albeit by foolish looking horses) guilty.

Everything was happening as though being played with the volume turned off.  Her own thoughts mingled with the images of Belial waving his arms aggressively, spears being picked back up by the Centaurs, the head Centaur standing up to his full height, his thick head forced in Belials face once more.  She silently pleaded with Belial to resolve this, thoughts wrapping themselves around her feeble helpless resolve.  Heavy convincing words must come, to die here would be fruitless, Belial would turn this raging tide surely.

But he didn't.  Greaves did.

"Excuse me for a minute, but it seems you foolish cattle have overlooked one quite obvious thing."  Greaves had stepped forward, a strange determined, puzzled, yet knowingly comic expression had contorted his face.  Greaves glasses were now resting on a nest of lines and wrinkles at the top of his nose.

Belial had heard his words and looked at him alarmed.

"Greaves that is not..."

"Oh hush Belial, you are obviously getting nowhere.  Listen to me you foolish creatures, explain to me how you came to believe that we had kidnapped Persephone."  Greaves stepped in front of Belial and pushed his face inches from the large Centaurs.

"It seems..."

"Shush you silly idiot.  I know what you think, but for one thing.  You dragged us out of our beds, and it must not have escaped even your ignorant notice that all we had with us were three backpacks."  Greaves couldn't sound aggressive, but indignation seemed to be the new anger.  The Centaurs had all stopped shouting accusations at were all focused on the comical bespectacled man.

"Yes we noticed the bags."  The centuar replied.

"Oh good, so you're not blind as well as stupid then.  Let me ask, have you checked the bags?"  Greaves was turning a perculiar shade of mauve.

"Yes we did."

"Well then, which bag did you find the two foot Iron Queen of the Underworld in then?"  Greaves' unwavering gaze pierced the eyes of the Centuar he had chosen to debate with.

Emanuelle cringed, at any moment her brother would be beheaded, or trampled on and there was nothing she could do about it.  She made to move forward but funnily enough it was Belials lancing gaze that thwarted her.

"Well..."

"Well what you dumb brute?  Did you think we'd go to the extraordinarily lengths of kidnapping Persephone and then divert from our course and take a little camping trip in the woods?  Surely we'd be with our captive making ransom demands, not toasting marshmallows over a roaring fire in a Netherworld glade?"

Emanuelle had become very impressed, proud and very concerned about her brothers course of action.  Even Belial stood fervently behind him, not interrupting, not chiding Greaves, just standing with him and giving him silent support.

"So your trip here has nothing to do with Persephoe then you say."  The centaur sounded as though he had stepped into a well hidden snare.

"I said no such thing.  Ironically enough we were on our way to see Persephone."  Greaves kept the Centaurs gaze, evidentally pleased with the incorruptible evidence of bewilderment.

"I am lost little man, maybe you should explain yourself."  

"Firstly I am an angel, not a man.  Secondly, we needed Persephone to get us to the domain of Hades without being noticed, but apparently as we can't even catch some sleep without the whole Centaur Army trampling over our heads we will have to let you escort us to Hades."  Greaves made a mock face of boredom and exasperation.

"You want us to take you to Hades?  Why would we do that?"  The Centaur looked even more bewildered than ever.

"Well assuming that Hades wants Persephone recovering, and it being obvious that his herd of detectives aren't up to the task; I think we have found a position to barter with Hades.  We will offer to recover Persephone giving you the opportunity to get back to your hay.  Take us as prisoners if it makes you feel better, but either way take us to Hades."  Greaves nearly managed to sound aggressive, apart from the sing song chime tone his voice betraying him.

Belial glared at the Centaur, quietly very impressed with the clown-like angel that had taken control of the situation.  He admire the combination of confusion, assertion and persuasion that Greaves had employed.  The Centaurs were wrongfooted, and all of a sudden murmuring amongst themselves.

Greaves clucked his tongue in a very passable noise of frustration.  The Large Centaur grinned.

"So be it."
The End

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