Chapter 25 (Part Two - Toward Persephone)

Greaves was exhausted.  Centaurs seemed tireless, travelling at twice the speed of Angels.  A day and a half without sleep since the Centaurs avenged them at their camp and the head Centaur announced they were within spitting distance of Persephones keep.  Ten minutes later they saw the towers poking their gothically angular route to the ruby sky.

Belial recognised the distant shapes of the stone wyverns decorating the north tower like a grotesque crown.  He never though he would ever lay his eyes on this pathetic tribute to an incestrous circle of pus.  He had always felt sick when he realised how Hades and the olympians treated their siblings and parents.

He remembered clearly vivid masquerades and balls held in the keep ahead of them.  Every pitiful Netherworld occupant prancing like a tribute to camp futility, ignoring the wars and hatred raging above their heads.

Hermes in particular sprang to mind in a disgusting example of these people.  He once said, under the glittering saccharine glow of Persephones decorations that everyone should be careful about saying 'Yo Momma' jokes in front of his good friend Oedipus.

Of course there had been a large eruption of volcanic laughter, followed by a suffocating mirthful kudos.  But Belial felt sick.  If Oedipus was such a frivolity, why did every other culture, including the vermin Earthlings hold such behaviour with a bitter tasting vulgarity?

Emannuelle was rapt by the vision of the largest castle she had ever seen.  Though the setting sun set it in a musty dark silhouette, there was a gorgeous danger to it's form that aroused her mind.  The trees parted before her, and the high walls and the elaborate structure unfolded before her ignorant eyes.

Within another ten minutes they were at the walls, a large wooden gate was open. 

In many Human movies, the scene before them would eb bustling with shawl and rough tunic wearing beggar women, shouting men presenting their wares to the public, soldiers walking by and bullying the crowd.  But this was something different.

It is easy to forget evolution, and this is one of the most evolved species.  So it was no surprise to the angels that the world was shimmering with vibrant neon.  The men needed not shout above the pulsating musical advertisements throwing their wares through a technological rainbow, insulting and enticing the senses in equal measure.  The inhabitants of this citadel bustled loudly and jovially through the smooth streets, scantily clad in silver and red fashion articles.  Every third drunken soul was carrying a bottle on sweet smelling beverage.

Belial recognised the chants and songs.  The festival of Dionysus was writhing its way through Persephone's streets.  On the corner of each pulsating street a group of players acted ancient tragedies and comedies in front of the far-gone audiences.

Greaves was lost in the ebbing rhythm of the festival as he seemingly floated through the streets to the gates of Persephone's abode.  He had read about Dionysus, the god of wine, and theater, and debauchery.  Long had he felt the urge to view the festivals of these seemingly lavish beings, to be partof the lust and hate that each play would inspire.  It seemed that his wish had inadvertently become a vivid and beautiful reality.  It was the iron creak of the gates opening that brough him back from the the euphoric ecstasy of flashing lust.

The courtyard beyond was, in contrast, dark and cold.  Statues of Harpies and Snake Haried Women replaced the once jovial scene.  This was darkness, and this was ice in comparison to the rest of the Persephone's Citadel. An odd thought struck him.  Nobody but the Centaurs and Hades (and of course whomever had comitted the awful deed) knew that Persephone was kidnapped.

Belial had noticed something completely different.  As they trudged the gravel toward the door, he noticed ornate chariots hidden by olive trees to the side of the building.  These would have been out of sight, was it not for the anitcipating green full moon above them revealing their wheels.

Not many Netherworld occupants still travelled by Chariot.  Most had their own automatic vehicles, this was a sign of the Olympians being present.  If Zeus wasn't here himself, then he had sent representatives to recover his daughter.

Belial wasn't sure whether this pleased or concerned him, Zeus had never been a keen participant at their wedding and had only ever treated Belial with a tainted contempt.  Of course Zeus was the only other entity that had all the information on Belial and Persephone as far as he was aware.

As they reached the steps to the door, the wide oak opened and an athletic arrogant young man opened the door.  This was Hades.

The End

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