Chapter 40 (Part Two - Toward Persephone)

Belial's Mobile phone had rang twice in the long gothic corridors whilst they were moving otherwise stealthily to the point where the hidden chamber supposedly lay.  The first brought an anxious furrow of strain to the Demons brow, the only discernible fact was that the call had come from Beelzebub.  The second created a dark shadow across his eyes, a flaming anger was being slowly stoked by every word he was hearing.  This call was from Saracen and apparently concerned Hermione and Balthazar.

Emannuelle couldn't piece these fact together adequately enough to connect why Balthazar and Hermione would appear in the same conversation.  This seemed to have Greaves equally vexed.  The only result was that Belial's pace quickened as they traversed the labyrinthine castle.

Emannuelle tried to prod and poke questions at Belial to make him reveal the stories behind the phone calls.  At each attempt she was dismissively answered with a shrug or a guarded look.  Soon it became apparent that all answers would come in time, or else Belial still didn't trust her or her brother.

Angered by this Emannuelle strode forward in front of Belial and turned to face him blocking his path.

"You will talk to us Belial."  She growled.

"We don't have time for this Emannuelle, we are nearly at the chamber."

"Belial, you keep information from us as though we were fledglings of your order.  We are all supposed to be equal, we came as partners not as disciples."  Greaves would have sounded matter of fact, if it weren't for his droning signature sing song timbre.

"Ok firstly, we don't have fledglings we have acolytes Greaves, and secondly Saracens phonecall only accentuated the need te reach Persephone.  As for being equals, how about I give you a sword and sound out your equality that way?"  Belial growled as he spun on the slight man.

"Yet you wouldn't be heading in this direction if it weren't for Emannuelle or myself being here to help you?  You would still be floundering like a fish in a dry lake."  Greaves looked angry for the first time since Belial had met him.  There was a shadowy cruelty embedded in his features that caught him off guard.  The words rang true however, and for all Belial's ride he couldn't help but admit their usefulness had gave them ground faster than he would have managed on his own.

"Ok listen.  What I have learnt over the phone a few moments ago you will learn once we reach Persephone.  Can we please concentrate on finding her?"  Belial looked between the two of them with a hint of plea on his face. 

Emannuelle realised that something had affected the hard stone demeanour of this legendary demonic warrior.  His assertiveness had been dealt a blow by whatever he had learnt.  She suddenly felt foolish.  If Hermione had been mentioned then there was a breach in his defences, and it was imperative that he mend it immediately.  She simply turned and carried on in the direction that they had been walking.

It was less than five minutes later when they reached the spot where chamber should lie.  The large statue of Hades should have denoted a proud warrior with a kingly knowledge and a majestic aura if it weren't for the chipped stone around the shoulders and the broken nose.  The limp monstrous tribute to the lesser god provided no answers to their riddle.

"Now what Belial?"  Greaves asked without irony.

"Just wondering that myself."

Belial scanned the walls, they were simply built of brick in the usual bond found on walls on Earth and in Hell.  The simple overlaying brick pattern did not reveal any secrets.  The floor was simply slabbed in columns and rows of equal sized squares of a ruddy hue.

"I don't think staring will open any doors Belial."  Emannuelle stepped forward as she spoke and began running her fingers over the solid brick.

"This is an outer wall isn't it?"  Greaves suddenly chimed.

"Yes Greaves it is, what difference does that make?"  Emannuelle growled.

"He means that it wont be behind the wall Emannuelle, otherwise the chamber would be sticking outside the castle and everyone would know something is there."  Belial clicked suddenly.  Both Greves and Belial dropped to their knees around the base of the large statue.  Their fingers prodded and gripped the stone looking for imperfections.  All to no avail.

It was Emannuelle that found the small slit in the stone tucked in a dusty corner of one of the slabs behind the statue.

"Look Belial." Greaves and Belial rushed to her side and looked puzzled at the small hole.  The groove was perfectly carved and without cracks.  Greaves could make out some etched grooves on the inside of the hole, all articulately perfected like a...

"A keyhole."  Greaves almost jumped at his own voice, there must be a key somewhere for this."  He began franticlly searching around the statue looking for anything that shouldn't be there.

"Relax Greaves, if there was a key Persephone would have taken it down there with her to stop Hades from finding her.  There is no hope or gaining entry."

Just as he spoke the slab began to move.  Upwards.

The End

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