Chapter 38 (Part Two - Toward Persephone)

What annoyed Belial the most about investigating the disappearance of a female he no longer cared about was the fact that nobody would tell him anything.  He quizzed the staff about her new lover and their whereabouts, but nobody knew anything about her having a partner.

Belial knew that Persephone was not given to reading or studying, and he knew that neither scripture nor scroll bore any fascination for her.  But none of the staff had recalled ever serving food, making a bed or running a bath for anyone other than Persephone, Hermione or (only recently) the Olympians.

"Maybe she is here alone.  Have you considered the thought that the reading materials may actually belong to Hermione?"  Greaves asked patiently as Belial strode the study grumpily.

"No I never did give that much thought.  I didn't expect her to be encouraged by her mother down such a route if I'm honest."  Belial sat down wearily in the soft embrace of an easy chair pushed to the edge of the study.

Emannuelle was studying maps of the keep looking for any portion that she may have overlooked.  The conversation between her brother and Belial was a mere hum in the backround of her consciousness as she studied symbols and arrows, runes and names looking for a last clutch at the straws at which she had so unwittingly been left with. 

The three of them in the last day had traversed every corridor, crossed the threshold of every room, and had found nothing.  No sign of a struggle, all her clothes in place, no notes, not even a whisper of anything afoot.

It was then she noticed a small passage printed at thebottom of one of the older maps contained in one of the scrolls she had picked up to peruse.

The exit tunnel behind Hera's ugly gift has now collapsed leaving a small chamber of rubble only.

Yet there was no mention of any tunnel on any previous maps.  They had set foot in no rubble filled chambers on their investigation.

She clicked her fingers sharply and both men stopped discussing the books and turned.

"In all the time you spent with Persephone did you ever see Hera give Persephone a gift. One that Persephone may not have quite taken too?"  Emannuelle looked frantically up and down the map as she spoke looking for some sign.

"You must be referring to the statue of Hades in the lower west wing of the building.  How did you know about that?"  Belial asked.

"We have one more thing to look at.  The only place in the building where Persephone could hide if she were threatened in her home.  Did you know of any exit tunnels Belial?"

"No Emannuelle why?"

She didn't answer she simply ushered them out of the room.

The End

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