Chapter 22 (Part Two - Toward Persephone)

The Centaurs had been leading them through the oozing viscous emerald forest for one whole day before Belial deemed it necessary to speak to Greaves about the encounter back at the camp.  He had been thinking of it constantly.  A quiety impressed lightening of thought had traversed through the racing mind of Belial at many occasions.  He began to see the advantage of carrying this otherwise clumsy oaf along with him.  Greaves had a sharp intelligence, and a prowess over words that few could command under such conspicuous duress.  But nevertheless, he chose his moment wisely, away from the ever seeking ears of the Centaur troop.

All of the Centaurs were stooping by a vibrant saphire pool gulping greedily at the cool water thundering sweetly past their dry mouths.  Belial had filled three waterskins and bought them back to his new found friends.

"Greaves.  I haven't taken the chance to congratualte and thank you for your intervention with these Centaurs."  Belial began simply.  Emannuelle flickered her eyes from the chiseled face of Belial to the drooping soppy mush that sat upon her brothers neck.

"It was simple really Belial.  A creature who deems he has the upperhand must be wrongfooted.  In this case the beasts thought their mental prowess would be worth their weight in numbers.  Instead they found themselves insulted and outwitted by the least interesting member of the part that they had challenged.  It was all a little unnerving for the farm animals I am afriad."  Greaves seemed to be gazing into his own imaginable, pink and fluffy void, his smile was stuck and lazy, his eyes searched nowhere.

"It may not be prudent for you to keep referring to them as horses, or cattle however."  Belial simply uttered.

"But I am having so much fun Belial, it is almost like being you.  Only more articulate, and better looking wouldn't you say?"  Greaves' little smile widened, and Emannuelle stifled a long delayed titter.

"What do you intend to do now you have set us on this little quest the Greaves?"  Belial sniggered momentarily before returning to his usual business-like self.

"Simple, we need what  Hades has, which means we must find what Hades wants.  We simply bargain with him, and then find Persephone."

"And how do you intend we go about that then?"  Emannuelle piped.

"Assuming Persephone was at her own keep, there would have been guards.  It would take someone of a great deal of skill to be able to penetrate through a queens security am I correct?"

Belial fleetingly remembered the drawbridge and the heavily guarded keep in which Persephone resided.  It would take someone with the skill of Abaddon to go in unnoticed, but to take Persephone from the keep unnoticed would have taken a miracle.  Belial was against God, he didn't hold much stock in Miracles.

" So there are two possibilities that we must start with.  The first being that she is still somewhere within the keep hidden away.  The second being that someone that she knew well, someone the guards wouldn't suspect of any treachery, would have been able to enter without suspicion, and maybe lft with her unnoticed."

Belial and Emannuelle looked at the soft olive grass beneath their feet and pondered fervently.

"I think we not only need to speak to Hades to gain access to the box, but also because he would be one of those able to enter her Keep.  And perhaps that is why they are taking us to the keep now instead of all the way to Hades City itself.  He is at the Keep."  Belial's small spech gained momentum with each word.

Greaves just nodded.

"You're a genius.  We needed to get to HAdes one way or another, this way we can enter without suspicion because he already intends to speak to us?"  Emanuell clapped.

"Maybe not a Genius yet my dear, but working on it."

The End

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