Chapter 29 (PArt Two - Toward PErsephone)

"So no warm welcome, no trumpets sounding my homecoming then Hades?"  Belial couldn't help ridiculing this man.  For a man so powerful, and one so blatantly full of his own immortal strength, Hades had spent most of his life playing the foolish trickster.

"The man who stole my wife has the audacity to ask for welcome?  Why are you and your sorry party here at my gates?"  Hades was slumped back on his chair with his arms folded, his tanned face framing an horrific glare aimed at Belial.

"Fancied a spot of sunbathing."

"Less of the sarcasm."  Zeus cut in sharply.

"Why should I listen to you?  A lesser God, a selfish imbecile who had overthrown his own father to spend his time impregnating his siblings?  I have not come to speak with either of you, so pray tell me, where is Persephone?"  Belial barely flickered his eyes in Zeus' direction as he spat his words.

"The Centaurs have already told you."  Hades spoke slowly.

"That's not what I asked?  I asked where she is, not what has happened.  Surely the all seeing Hades and Zeus must have some idea of what has happened."  Emannuelle and Greaves looked at each other nervously, silently praying that Belial knew what he was doing.

"Unfortunately not.  We hoped you would have some idea of where she is."  Despite the slight to his character Zeus had managed to stay calm and spoke as such.

"I have no information, we came simply to barter a way into Hades' citadel so as to meet with Hades.  Unfortunately she is unavailable but still we meet."  Belial kept a ridiculing sing song tone to his voice.

"And pray tell me, what would the Master Demon of Lies wish to speak to me about?"  Hades asked curiously.

"A little of this and a little of that.  I wish to strike a bargain with you."  Greaves and Emanuelle sat back relieved, the conversation had moved swiftly to the point.  Silently they marvelled at the nerve and courage of Belial, and also at the intricacy of his control of the conversation.

"Then if you help me find Persephone I will grant you an audience."  Hades leant forward on the table.

"Unfortunately I need a little more than that.  I will find Persephone on the condition that you reveal to me the hiding place of Pandoras box."  Belial leant forward mimicking Hades' pose.

The room fell silent, Zeus and Hades exchanged surprised and horrified glances.  Greaves leant forward as if to say something to Belial; Belial simply held his hand up to him.

"A preposterous offer.  Why would you want that evil trinket?"  Zeus finally broke the stony silence.

"The Elders before Jehovah and yourselves broke a weapon into five pieces.  A weapon that would grant freedom and equilibrium to the warriors fighting the eternal war.  The Fallen are attempting to gather the pieces.  One of the pieces was given to Zeus and from there it was given to Pandora."  Belial spoke as if reciting from a book.  This of course was knowledge that Hades and Zeus already had.

"A foolish quest Belial, one that is only likely to bring misery to your domains and kin."  Hades stated.

"Then you will have no qualms about..."

"I will have plenty of qualms about handing the key to the universe over to the likes of you."  Zeus spluttered.

"You forget that you are included in this, you think that we wish to rule as Jehovah has?  That would defy the point of the war."  Belial spat back.

"I do not follow?"  It was Greaves turn to speak.

"Hell is governed by a council, albeit a council of fools, but a democracy to say the least.  We would unite the realms and have a representative of all domains sit at the table governing all amongst equals."  Belial added simply.

"Ah I see, you wish to flatter me, you offer me the universe, a universe I might add that you do not currently have."  Zeus almost giggled as he spoke.

"Would Jehovah make the same offer in his position.  The deal is simple,  I find Persephone and you give me the key to putting us all in a glorious Pantheon presiding over everything."

"Putting us all?  Of whom do you speak?"  Hades asked.

"Representatives of Elysium, Nirvana, Heaven, Hell, Earth and all the others who have the right to stake a claim at supremacy." 

"And this has always been your plan?  You do not wish to rule alone?"  Zeus raised his thick eyebrows to the point they almost reached his hair.

"I do not wish to rule at all.  I wish to rest when the war is over."  Belial said simply.

The part once again fell silent as the weight of Belials words were pondered.  Emanuelle listened with incredulity.  It was almost unfeasible to think that Zeus, Apollo and many others could rule passively and without arrogance or threat.  Briefly she wondered if there was a game hidden behind the Master Demon of lies' words.

"If you stay good to your word then we will grant you what you ask."  Zeus needed no deliberation or discussion with his brother to make this offer.

As always Zeus did what he wished.

The End

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