Heart Prevailing

By Neuromancer

Hades & Persephone

A story retold throughout time, now once more retold;
the journey from kidnapping to Queen of the Underworld.

(plot goes here eventually)
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d1gn17yPersephone   10d ago

[font "Calibri" A gentle breeze grazed the porcelain skin of a young woman who had taken it upon herself to sit in the middle of a newly bloomed meadow. The sounds and smells and spring surrounded her and for the first time in a long time, she felt at peace. Her mother would not have been happy about her desire for solitude in the middle of nowhere without a proper chaperone but she was uncaring of what her mother wanted for her. In fact, she rather despised how much the woman tried to control her life, often bringing her to meet random men she deemed fit for marital introductions. As for her mother, she was solely concerned with her being married to a man who could take care of her daughter so that she no longer had to. Although Persephone was certain that she was also worried of her daughter’s reputation of a potential spinster.]

[font "Calibri" Persephone was completely uninterested in that life. She dreamed of a life full of adventure and [I real] romance, something epic like the stories of their deities. Olympus always seemed like such a fascinating place but it was a million miles away from the life she led. The mundane and boring life of a mortal was the hand she had been dealt and she was sure that she would spend the rest of her days, however many she had left on this Earth, wishing she had been dealt better cards.]

[font "Calibri" A sigh escaped her lips as she allowed her form to fall amongst the foliage, the greenery tickling her skin as it danced in the wind. [#EF0599 “When will this torturous boredom end?”] She asked into the silence. As far as she knew, she was completely alone so it wouldn’t matter if she conversed with the universe for a short while. [#EF0599 “I wonder if anyone would even notice if I stayed here for the rest of time? I do not want to go back to that retched village. I do not believe there is a single man left that my mother hasn’t tried to give me away to. She just does not understand that I want more than that. I [I need] more than that.”] Persephone sighed once more, followed up with a chuckle after realising how ridiculous it was to be voicing this out into the open space of the meadow.]

[font "Calibri" She recalled the most recent introduction. Her mother had found a perfectly eligible man. Christopher was among the most handsome of men she had brought her way so she should have had no problem being attracted to him. He had enough money to be able to take care of her for life and he would have been able to provide her with a perfectly safe environment to thrive in. She could have had a family with him and settled down into her role of housewife and mother. But [I safe] was far from her yearning. She hadn’t meant to run away from him but she couldn’t help the need to get out of there. He was almost insufferable but that was because of her. For anyone else, he would have been the perfect gentleman and husband material.]

[font "Calibri" Persephone did understand why her mother wanted this for her. It was expected from society and her mother just wanted her to fit in but that was something Persephone could never foresee happening. Of course, she had a deep rooted love for the woman who had given her life but she was slowly dimming the light she had in her trying to force her into the boxes everyone else expected her to fit in. This was one of the many occasions she contemplated running away, starting a new life somewhere but the only thing that stopped her from leaving was the lack of a clear destination.]

[font "Calibri" The woman sat up once more, allowing her fingers to run through the grass until they came to rest on the stem of a beautiful apple blossom. She pulled on the stem and rose the flower to her nose and breathed in the scent. [#EF0599 “You are a rare thing.”] She said with a smile before weaving the flower through her hair. The white of the petals were the perfect contrast against the red mane of hair that fell in curls below her shoulders. It almost complimented the pink blush center of the blossom that now acted as an accessory to the woman.]

[font "Calibri" [#EF0599 “What is wrong with me?”] She asked, wondering if she would find the answer here in the depths of the meadow.]
Neuromancer/hades   12d ago

[size12 The soft thud of the back of a skull against wood was followed by an indignant sigh, as Cerberus bark carried through once more, signalling the attempt of a soul to escape. Despite meeting on the way in, some souls always grew a hubris thinking themselves clever enough to sneak past his beast. The man rose from his throne of ebony wood, and made way to lecture the foolish whomever.

He was silent a long while upon arriving, as he had learned to be the best method to make the souls who dared oppose the turn of the world squirm, scared enough from hushed tales of being told all their life to not dare speak his name. 

Then. Quick as a robin darting out from a bush at the slightest noise, he leaned forward; face set impossible cold, light above casting a shadow hiding his eyes, too close for comfort for most.

[#597377 “Here you are. Here you remain. I will be fair this [i once], try again and you will find that there are worse fates than the rivers.”] voice booming and dripping lower with each word, darkness grew ever closer and imposing until he saw the defiance drain entirely from the guest before him. Sentence punctuated by a growls from each of Cerberus heads. He did not wait to see where the soul went, they would either listen, or they would not. Instead turning his face to the Acheron.

[#fff .]

It was rare that Hades left the Underworld, though rarer things there were. Once stood with the gentle breeze brushing strands of hair against his cheek, he agreed with himself that it had been a good choice. The sounds of life surrounding the sparse woods he found himself in, which he wandered. Unlike the mortals that walked the lands, the trees and the flowers had an ebb and flow of their own, reborn each spring to grow anew.

He had not wandered far when a voice travelled the winds towards him, his steps trailing to a stop to listen, before continuing anew towards the sound; which was coming from the meadow just beyond a few rows of trees. Eyebrows rose as the voice, clearer now, asked if anyone would notice if they stayed in the meadow for the rest of time, of a mother giving her away—of needing more than that. Eyes wandered the field before noticing the figure, not sitting, but laying, in the grass.

Then she sat up, and any thought of mortals and their issues vanished from his mind, as did every other thought he had ever had. Red mane tussled in the wind, a gentle face, a hand travelling the expanse of the grass to pick a blossom almost as beautiful as her but not quite. She spoke again, smiled, and perhaps she was right to, as the flower looked quite lovely in her hair. She asked what was wrong with her, and he had to refrain from speaking. The ease in which he wanted to concerned him.

He knew nothing of this woman, yet he wished to speak with her; tell her she was prettier than any apple blossom, that she was right to find any man unworthy of her, as if he knew anything at all about her other than her smile. A sudden though striking him, he could give her more; a whole kingdom. Why stay in a meadow to escape a village when she could have the entirety of the Underworld at her disposal. His eyes glances towards the flowers on the meadow away from her, remembering with sudden clarity who he was, the soul before him a time earlier. Much like them if he were to step out into the meadow she would surely run, back to the village, back to her mother, away from the meadow that seemingly brought her some joy.

Eyes drifted to the apple blossom in her hair, thought of how she’d plucked it from its stem. Taken from its home in the meadow to the glorious seat amidst her locks. [i Taken from its place and given a better existence.] It made sense, did it not. This wonderful woman wanted away from her village the way a blossom begged to be off its stem, needed more than just a man to marry, more than just a branch to wilt off of. He could show her the kingdom, could give her anything she could ever want if only she lost the fear mortals held for the Underworld—With a bite she wouldn’t have much choice but to find peace with it, eventually grow to love it and all it had to offer.]
d1gn17y     10d ago

[font "Calibri" One minute she had been sitting in a meadow full of colours and life and the next she was no longer there. The meadow was now void of any human presence as it had been before she arrived. For anyone now passing through, they would fail to find any evidence that Persephone had even been there in the first place. Though, she did not choose to leave. Instead, she had been taken from her place in the pasture just as easily as she had taken the apple blossom from its root.]

[font "Calibri" The events of her abduction would not be remembered – in fact she simply lost time as though she had fallen asleep. At first, that is exactly what she assumed had happened since she found herself lying down with her eyes closed when any real consciousness returned to her. Although her eyes were closed, she knew that she was no longer in the meadow. The grass had a particular feel below her body and what she felt now was far softer than the soil she had resided upon. Perhaps she had fallen asleep and whoever her mother had sent to look for her had found her and carried her home. In her confused slumber-induced state, that made logical sense, but she would have been awakened if that had been the case and whatever shrouded her body now was softer than any bed she had ever laid upon.]

[font "Calibri" Persephone eventually managed to open her heavy eyes, blinking a few times before she could really focus on any specific details. At first, she noticed the darkness. [I Everything] was dark. Then she felt the cold. It wasn’t a dip in temperature that caused her to shiver, but more an emptiness one might feel when the world had been stripped away.]

[font "Calibri" She sat abruptly and blinked a few more times before noticing that she had been laying upon a bed covered in the finest silk. It only added to her confusion. Her heart had started to quicken as fear of the unknown started to engulf her. She moved her body around, allowing her legs to dangle off the side of the tall bed and took a second to look at her surroundings.]

[font "Calibri" Then her heart stopped. Dark eyes were staring at her; [I through] her. The man before her oozed dominance and was the perfect image of fear embodied. He [I wanted] to be feared, or at least that is what she could infer by the way he held himself.]

[font "Calibri" [#EF0599 “Wh-where am I?”] She asked, her voice holding far less confidence than she was used to. [#EF0599 “Who are you?”]]

[font "Calibri" Persephone proceeded to move off the bed and attempted to look around for some kind of escape, although the man looked as though he could slice her throat open before she could even reach a door if he so wished. Even so, there was little light illuminating anything besides the figure who had seemingly been watching her.]

[font "Calibri" The empty feeling became more prominent. Wherever she was, was not somewhere she was meant to be. Persephone almost felt unbalanced, but it was not really a feeling she could have described. Then she became full of dread as a possible explanation came to the forefront of her mind. Her eyes widened as her attention moved back towards the man in the centre of the room.]

[font "Calibri" [#EF0599 “Am I dead?!”] She searched her memories for any clue or indication of what might have happened but the last thing she remembered was talking carelessly into the wind. There was no conflict; no pain; just peace. [#EF0599 “I’m dead aren’t I? Are you here to take a lock of my hair? Are you Thanatos?”]]

[font "Calibri" [#0E879F “Hades!”] A voice came from behind her. Her startled form turned to look at the figure it belonged to, not noticing anyone else being in the room before. [#0E879F “What is a mortal doing here in the Underworld?”] The man moved towards her, inspecting her closely. It was almost as though he could not believe that she was there and as his hand took her wrist he sighed. He was checking for a pulse to confirm that she was in fact still alive. He dropped it softly and turned away from her. [#0E879F “I knew I could feel something off. You need to put her back. Living souls do not belong here. I shouldn’t need to tell the King of the Underworld that. You know my part of my job requires me to report back to Zeus if anything is amiss. I think this qualifies.”]]
Neuromancer/hades   10d ago

[size12 He did not know how much time had passed, with the woman resting peacefully on the silks. Time keeping in the Underworld was a wasteful affair he had found. However long it had been had given him time with the dark to think about what to do next; he had considered feasts and delicacies, which route of the kingdom would be least frightening to a mortal, growing ever more aware of how the darkness imposed. Considered whether she was better of being met with the kindness he showed Cerberus, or if it was better to frighten—Not that he ended up having much of a choice in the matter as the more he mulled the more the darkness oozed.

When she sat abruptly, he watched, watched as she moved to dangle her legs off the side of the bed, looking around before their eyes met. Then she spoke, a stutter, the quiver of something. ‘Where am I?’ and ‘Who are you?’, could he have expected anything else? He said nothing. Knew she would figure it out. Simply watched her as she moved off the bed and looked around, as slowly he realised that he didn’t [i like] it. She’d been so peaceful in the meadow and now she was not, eyes flittering about, no. It had been a good choice, she would learn to not fear it. 

He considered telling her to sit back down, but allowed her to soak it in, and it did not take long before she asked if she was dead. If he was to take a lock of her hair. It was at this point he decided to scoff and opened his mouth to tell her that no he was not Thanatos, that he had taken her from the meadow because she wanted more and here she could be more, when he felt the presence and heard a voice he was not glad to hear. Hermes.

Of course, the first words out of the God’s mouth was questioning his action. He rose as he watched Hermes take the woman’s wrist to feel her pulse, as if he’d taken her just to kill her, as if there was never a just cause for anything he did. Hermes was right, of course, that she did not belong in technicality. But she would, she would eat and then there would be nothing but belonging. [i I think this qualifies,] Hermes said.

[#597377 “You think I did not bring her here for a reason?”] he found himself glancing towards the woman after he spoke, realising how it sounded, the spite which dripped off his tongue like the blood from a wound—dripping with darkness. Spoke to her, pushing his voice softer despite the fury at Hermes’ interruption [#597377 “I heard you, about you mother.”] but stopped himself from sharing more, Hermes did not deserve to know her secrets. The less the messenger of Zeus knew the better. 

[#597377 “I will not put her back.”] he defied, turning back to Hermes. Wishing the Gods feared him the way the mortals did. Just the thought of Zeus getting himself involved had his jaw ache. Though bringing back the image in his mind of the woman in the field wishing to be away from her village reminded him that it was more important than the bother that would be Zeus dabbling his hands in the pots. [#597377 “So you best use that speed of yours to leave before I truly lose my temper. Tell Zeus what you wish, but know I will not look kindly on his involvement.”]

With a huffed scoff he stepped closer to the woman, introduction spoiled by the other God. With a deep breath he tried to ease the sudden tenseness in his shoulders, tried to think of Cerberus wiggling with stomach shown for pets, the thump of a tail against the ground, and the yip of three in harmony. Frightening her into staying no longer seemed a good idea.

[#597377 “As Hermes declared,”] he glared towards where the other God had stood, [#597377 “I am not Thanatos, but Hades. This is the Underworld, and no you are not dead. I took you here because I heard you claim to the wind that you did not wish to return to your village.”] he turned away from her and walked towards the bed, tucked the silk straight while contemplating his words. [#597377 “This is a whole kingdom, this is [i more].”] he repeated her words. Doubt was not a feeling Hades felt often, but he presumed that was what tickled at the edges of his consciousness. Had there been a better alternative than simple taking her here? What of Hermes, the other Gods. Had he merely proved her the thoughts of mortals that he was nothing but the cruel and disdainful man of many guests.

[#597377 “Walk with me,”] he said, turning to her again, feeling his brows knit together, [#597377 “we can talk on the way.”] he needed to pace the frustration off, and perhaps hopefully seeing more than the darkness of the bedroom would ease her. Replace the fright with less fright.]
d1gn17yPersephone   10d ago

[font "Calibri" Persephone stared open-mouthed at the second man who had given away answers to her initial questions. She could hardly believe that she was in the presence of gods, talking about other deities as casually as mortals talked about an acquaintance of theirs. This [I had] to be a dream. That was the only explanation that would help answer all the questions clouding her mind. She had fallen asleep in the meadows, wishing of a life full of more excitement and this was the furthest thing away from her reality that her brain could conjure up in her slumber.]

[font "Calibri" She let out a laugh, causing Hermes to turn his head towards her curiously. Mortals did not [I laugh] in the Underworld. Hermes even seemed to smirk ever so slightly, humoured by the woman’s lack of fear for where she was, before turning back towards the god who usually commanded terror from every mortal he had ever encountered.]

[font "Calibri" Persephone’s eyes were trained on Hades now. She was intrigued to know how her mind had decided on what the God of Death himself would look like. Yet, there was nothing familiar about him at all. Usually, people in her dreams were made up of features of those she had met but there was nothing about this Hades she could recognise. It wasn’t until he looked at her and addressed her directly that the realisation slowly came; this was not a dream.]

[font "Calibri" [#EF0599 “You…you did?”] She asked, not really expecting an answer. Persephone had never heard of Hades upon Earth before. Why would he be strolling through an unimportant meadow to have heard her talking into the wind in the first place? More importantly, why would he [I care?]]

[font "Calibri" Hermes was just as curious it seemed. [#0E879F “I can handle your temper Hades.”] He wasn’t about to do as he was told and leave just yet, especially since he too wanted to know why Hades had brought this mortal to the Underworld when he had never done such a thing before. He watched as the man approached the woman and for the briefest of moments, he saw something within him that he never expected to see. There was something more to this than Hades simply being bored. He was not playing a game. His eyes narrowed as he listened to the words fall from his lips, offering the explanation the mortal needed to understand exactly what was at hand. If she wasn’t scared before, he was sure she would be now.]

[font "Calibri" When he requested the woman should walk with him, Hermes expected her to scream, run, [I anything] but reprimand the god she should have feared. Yet, that is exactly what she did after soaking in everything he had to say.]

[font "Calibri" [#EF0599 “So, you thought that the best place to bring a mortal was to the Underworld? I wanted [I more] not death! Things come here to die, not thrive. I do not know what you heard exactly but I do not think [I this] would have been my first choice in destination to escape.”] She sighed and crossed her arms, looking away from Hades for a moment as she tried to take in everything that was happening. Once again, she noticed a hint of a smirk upon Hermes’ lips, and she unfolded her arms again. [#EF0599 “I do not know what you are so smug about. You have not won anything.”] Hermes let out his own laugh then, heading towards the door as he did.]

[font "Calibri" [#0E879F “I like her. She’s interesting.”] He said, before disappearing almost as quickly as he had appeared, no doubt off to tell Zeus of Hades and his kidnapping. Now that she was alone with Hades, she wondered what would be in store for her. He was one of the most feared gods of Olympus yet standing in front of her now, it seemed like there was more to him than what the mortals spoke of. Her teeth bit down on the inside of her lip, keeping her anxiety from showing in any other form.]

[font "Calibri" [#EF0599 “Where will you lead me?”] Persephone asked, wondering where they would go if she was to follow him somewhere. [#EF0599 “I want to know why before I follow you. You told me you brought me here because you heard what I said. Why do you care what an insignificant human spoke of to the winds?”]]
Neuromancer/hades   10d ago

[size12 Everything was going awry, a plan that was meant to be so simple and easy quickly gaining more troubles than a temple had pillars. From the woman laughing in the face of it all only to immediately switch tone. To Hermes refusing to leave being as nosy as he was, and all he could do was pretend he wasn’t there. They were meant to be dining in the throne room, placated by food, as he told her how the Underworld worked, but instead here they were. 

Then something he had not expected, could never have expected, happened. The woman crossed her arms defiantly and spoke with such reprimand he only heard from fellow Gods. As she did the doubt grew, overshadowing the frustration for a moment, as she laid all his errors out before him; what she wished more of was the ability to [i thrive], like the meadow she had been in, growing with flowers. It wasn’t the village she wanted away from, but from the place that kept her from thriving—And he had taken her to where things came to die, had taken her away from her growth the way her mother did. She wasn’t an apple blossom wishing to be plucked away, she was the plucked blossom wishing to keep growing on the stem.

Where he should have felt insulted that she dared, he could not help but instead grow ever fonder of her. This woman who stood defiantly in the face of Hades in his kingdom, who bit into him like a God scolding a mortal, who could most likely make the souls quiver should they face her wrath. Her words should have fuelled his frustration until it burned like the Phlegethon—but then she turned to Hermes and scolded him for his smugness, and for a moment all he felt was awe, he could have swore he even felt a tug at the corner of his lip for a moment, before Hermes spoke again and the frustration returned in full. 

Then, finally, they were alone. And she spoke once more; wondering where he was leading her, asking why he cared.

[#597377 “The throne room, it and the road leading there has more light than this room. I thought you might be more comfortable.”] Then he paused, thought back on her scolding, knowing it was right to apologise, but not finding the words. [#597377 “I did bring you here because I heard you. I felt,”] he paused, what had he felt, how would mortals describe the feeling under it all. [#597377 “The way I thought you felt for that blossom in your hair. Seeing its beauty and knowing it was worthy of more than what it had.”]

Placating her by saying mortals were not insignificant would not work, he was certain. Because while they did hold worth, most lost it once they came to the Underworld, and he would merely be seen a liar when—if, he reminded himself, given Hermes’ running off to Zeus—she saw him having to lecture another soul foolish enough to escape, or a mortal trying to steal someone away. True, the mortals spoke of how the Underworld worked and knew how the souls changed, but he had no way of knowing if she truly believed in any of it. A mortal would not know how the Gods saw mortals in all their faults and all their strife, how could he possibly explain to her that he had seen so many mortals and souls but she was different from them all. He turned to the door and walked towards it, not wanting to look at her as he spoke.

[#597377 “I realise it was not right, to take you.”] he sighed and turned to her upon realising frustration was still undercurrent in his tone, [#597377 “But I believe you can thrive here, in my kingdom.”] Because he did, her who would laugh at him, her who would reprimand Hermes and him. Her, who’s name he did not even know.

[#597377 “What is you name?”]]
d1gn17yPersephone   9d ago

[Font “Calibri” In truth, the only things that Persephone knew about the Underworld were stories and myths told by mortals who claimed to know how such a world worked or those who liked to give the impression of heroism. Some even told stories of their ability to out-maneuver Hades himself. She never believed them but having him before her now just consolidated how fictitious those stories were. Therefore, it was likely that she simply did not fully understand just how much opportunity Hades was offering her by bringing her here. Still, she needed to understand the motivations of the god. She was eerily calm for someone who had essentially been taken away from her world to one of darkness and death. Yet, there was that part of her that craved adventure and there was no doubt that this would be something she would be granted easily here.]

[Font “Calibri” It wasn’t until he mentioned that they would make their way to the throne room that she found herself taking in her surroundings once more. She hadn’t noticed that it was a bedroom before, some of the features far too dark for her human eyes to have made out initially but they were adjusting slowly. She remembered waking up on a bed, but it hadn’t registered in that moment. Persephone wondered whether this was his own room and how long he had been sat watching her while she slept through. Her eyes travelled back to Hades, and she nodded briefly as he told her she might feel more comfortable where there was light. She had not expected him to care much for her comfort, but she was already learning that it was hard to know what to expect with him and she was sure the same would be said for his kingdom.]

[Font “Calibri” Then, her breath caught in her throat at his words. He said them so nonchalantly that she almost missed the meaning behind them, but they were deep and profound and he [I meant] it. All the men she had been introduced to were saying what they thought she would want to hear but Hades spoke with subtle conviction, and she believed every word. He brought her here because he thought that she deserved more. Was the King of the Underworld infatuated with a mortal of the world above? It seemed that way.]

[Font “Calibri” Persephone had not considered the opportunities and adventure he could offer her until now. He had been right about the things she had said and surely a god could offer her more than any mortal man could. She let out a long sigh, seemingly accepting whatever fate awaited her. She would let things play out and see what was on offer. At least here her mother wouldn’t be able to find her. It wasn’t exactly somewhere she would think to look or even dare.]

[Font “Calibri” As he walked towards the door, she put one foot forward, ready to follow him but he stopped for the briefest of moments, turning back towards her as he spoke. It was not an apology but there was a ghost of one behind his eyes and in his words.]

[Font “Calibri” [#EF0599 “My name is Persephone.”] She would have offered a hand in any normal situation, but formal introductions hardly seemed proper considering their predicament. Instead, she ventured towards the door Hades had started towards and she placed her palm on the handle, the metal cool against her skin. [#EF0599 “After you.”] She pushed the door open and gestured for him to lead the way since she had no idea where they would be going or the obstacles they might encounter on the route towards his throne room.]
Neuromancer/hades   6d ago

[size12 Hades watched as the woman took in the room once more, wondered if the adrenaline and recent awakening had kept her mind too occupied with the situation to realise the exact location they were in, or if it was the mere fact that her eyes had adjusted to the darkness. He knew if she was to stay in the Underworld he would have to procure oil lamps and torches to make her feel more at home, make it [i into] a home. He found himself once again wondering which path would appeal the most to mortal eyes. While she had been asleep he had considered following it below, show her the duties of the rivers, the judges and their justice, tell her where the souls journey—Show her that the Underworld was a mere place, that death was not the terror mortals made it. Even though, perhaps, it was him who had grown cold to it all. The long sigh that escaped her did not go unnoticed, and Hades vowed to do what was in his power to make her happy, to make up for what had been done, what [i he] had done to her.

Persephone. That was her name. The woman with her red hair who walked ahead of him towards the door, and pushed it open. He knew it was mortal custom to shake hands, but just as he had not extended his when Hermes was there, she did not extend her’s now. He glanced at it, still, where it held onto the handle; wondered if it was warm or if the Underworld had given the skin a chill, if it was clammy with terror sweats, soft, or calloused from the work of mortals. He wondered what she—Persephone, he reminded himself—would have done had she not been here. What this Persephone who would reprimand God’s did to pass her time aside from sitting in meadows. He found himself repeating her name in his head, then quietly out loud, before continuing towards the door once more to join her, and before exiting, as was only polite; nodded his head with a soft [#597377 “Thank you, Persephone.”] It would not be right to say he was glad to have met her, so that, he kept to himself. There would be a time to say it when its meaning was not soiled by circumstance. There had been time to say it, if he had walked up to her in that meadow instead of taken her here.

Once he stepped out, sandals against glass rather than stone, he found himself glancing at the walkway they stood on. The bedroom was on the very edge of the castle, with a glass walkway which had steps leading down to the glass that made up the area around it; the best place to look down on Cocytus, and where it diverged into the other rivers, to see the small light of the brazier by the gate that lit while judgement was made. Being in the cooler outdoors helped ease most of his frustration, and he closed his eyes for a moment to exhale it. What was done was done. Hermes was well on his way to telling an exaggerated tale no doubt, Persephone would hopefully feel more at ease in the light, and he would have time to think of what to do next while answering any question the woman might have. Would have time to mull over the gravity of the mistake he had done. He had yet to truly process that a mortal had stood up and scolded him, genuinely and without the hubris of foolish souls, but in true unshaken self-kindness.

The Underworld itself rest far below them, while the castle—much like mount Olympus—rested in the air like an island surrounded by hellenistic glass instead of water. It was only as he started walking along the balcony edge that he realised that perhaps it too would be a fright. For it was true that if you looked beneath you, while the glass was akin to bone in areas, it was still glass and some believed that to be fragile. So he found himself speaking, and perhaps he should have considered by he felt the need to reassure, but he did not. [#597377 “It will not break, no matter what you do.”] And it is only as the words have left his lips he realises the way they could sound like a threat,  but he does not correct himself, for it was true that the glass could not break.

[#597377 “That is Cocytus,”] he said instead, pointing towards the river that bent akin to the hooves of a horse, to prove he meant no ill. Deciding to stick to the walkway proper and circle the castle towards the throne room. They could take a tour another time, seeing the rivers far above without being able to see the souls certainly a more appealing sight. [#597377 “If you have any questions, you are free to speak.”]

As they walked along the path, he did his best to focus on the sound of his own steps to not mull over what she had told him. He would have time when she fell asleep once more to think of all that she had said earlier, even as it left him feeling almost restless in his bones with the sinking knowledge that what he had done was wrong.]
d1gn17yPersephone   6d ago

[Font “Calibri” Persephone could not have imagined what the Underworld would look like if she tried. Many a mortal told tales of the different rivers, some with magical properties one could not associate with any body of water above ground. Others spoke about Tartarus and the beings who were rumored to have been bound there but no one could truly know anything more than what the gods allowed them to know. She had always been curious of Olympus, never so much of the Underworld, but now that she was here, she found herself overcome with a degree of excitement to discover what the Kingdom of Hades had to offer. More so because Hades himself had been so different from what she had expected.]

[Font “Calibri” She watched him carefully, studying the hard features of his face and the depth behind his eyes as he appeared to be lost in thought. She had expected to find an emptiness behind them but instead there was something else; something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Persephone found herself wishing that she had the ability to read his mind – to know the thoughts of the god who had decided it necessary to bring her to this world; to [I his] world. His lips moved and she could have sworn she heard some sound, something low and deep but she couldn’t make out what he had been saying, no idea that he was simply committing her name to his lips and to his memory in doing so. Then he spoke once more, this time loud enough for her to hear since he intended for her to. She offered him a smile as means of accepting his gratitude. It might have been odd to smile at one’s captor, but Persephone was far from a damsel in distress, and she had promised herself to at least see how things could play out here.]

[Font “Calibri Once he moved through the open doorway, she took a breath and proceeded to follow him. Though it only took one step for her to come to an abrupt stop. The bone-like glass was cold against her feet. She had forgotten that she had removed her sandals once she had arrived at the meadow. Persephone loved to be at one with nature and to do so she needed to feel the gentle caress of the grass upon her skin. Her stomach lurched forward the moment she glanced downwards and instead of the stone she had expected to see beneath her feet, all she saw was the depths of the Underworld. She hadn’t expected to be so high up and the height of it sent her head spinning momentarily.]

[Font “Calibri” Her hand absently went to her stomach as though it might calm the fear and sudden nausea that came with it. She closed her eyes and counted slowly in her mind. It was something she had taught herself to do to calm herself and once she reached five, she let out a long exhale and opened her eyes. Hades offered some reassurance that it would not break, although that thought had not even crossed her mind. Instead, she had simply been overcome with the shock of such altitude. Persephone nodded her head briefly, shakily putting one foot in front of the other, slowly moving forward over the walkway behind Hades. It was hard for her mortal mind to comprehend being able to see the depths below her feet as she walked, and she knew she would have to spend some time training her brain to realise that she was safe up there, but it seemed to defy all laws of nature and it would take some getting used to.]

[Font “Calibri” It wasn’t until he pointed out one of the rivers and spoke its name that she really allowed herself to take in the ariel view of the Kingdom her ruled over. [#EF0599 “The River of Wailing?”] She asked, wondering if those were simply nicknames the humans gave to the rivers above ground. Persephone allowed herself to follow the river with her gaze until it met another. [#EF0599 “It’s beautiful,”] she found herself saying. She meant it. Persephone was always good at seeing the beauty in everything and this was no different. In fact, she even paused to take in the sights below her without realising that her feet refused to carry her any further until she satisfied the eyes. Persephone was so awe-struck that she even missed Hades granting her permission to speak, not that she required that from him. She would speak if she wished regardless.]

[Font “Calibri” [#EF0599 “It’s truly beautiful.”]]
Neuromancer/hades   5d ago

[size12 Hades made to only glance as she got her bearings, more to make sure he was not walking too far ahead of her than anything else. As he had said the glass would not break, she would face no real danger, glancing at her would not change anything. So he focused on his steps, and as she began to walk with him, their steps in tandem. Walking with another on the glass was a new sound he was not familiar with hearing, feet different from four paws and the click of claws. Though her steps are quiet, and with a glance down he remembered that she did not wear sandals when he brought—took—her. While no ill would come from it, as he himself sometimes walked without them too, he realised it would most likely be best to find her some. Yes. His first gift to her would be the finest sandals she had ever seen.

As they walked he had expected her to ask questions, but she seemed lost in the sight below them. Calling it beautiful not once, but twice. He stopped once he realised she was no longer walking, and followed her gaze—Though his eyes could find nothing new about Cocytus compared to last time he saw it. One look back at Persephone told him she saw something different, and he glanced towards the river once more, squinting to try and see what it was she would see. Was it the bend to it? the shade the souls provided to its water? It had been a long time since he had stared at the rivers, but the longer he looked he realised it was a calming sight, if nothing else. The familiarity of it.

[#597377 “Yes, the souls in it are quite loud if you stand too close.”] he replied at last, but once again realised once the words are out that they were probably not good. Had it been her scolding making him so aware of how little time he spent to think before doing anything? [#597377 “It is natural to wail at the loss of your own life.”] he amends. Finds himself glancing at her as if to make sure she doesn’t look too saddened by the knowledge. Death would always mean more to mortals than it ever could to him, not even the bloodthirstiest of strategos had seen as much death as Hades.

Thankfully for him, the route to the throne room gave them a better view of Lethe, which he pointed out as soon as it was in good view. [#597377 “And if they want to forget the sorrow, there you have Lethe, which any soul that enters is free to drink from.”] He doesn’t mention the ones that go to Tartarus, the less she thinks about Tartarus the better. Perhaps the less she thought of the dead at all the better. Though, as he had that thought, he realised that he was once again making decisions for her. Perhaps she liked thinking about the dead, he did not know her mind.

[#597377 “If you wish I could,”] he paused, cleared his throat, [#597377 “[i we] could take a walk down on the marshlands, once you’re fit with better shoes. If you want to see the river’s a little closer?”] [i Not close enough to hear the souls scream,] he does not say. He wants to give her options, let her know that she has choice even if the kidnapping would make it seem otherwise. And perhaps also, because it dawns on him as the towering throne room comes into view, that he doesn’t want to force her to feast on Underworld food—and without that, aside from showing her on parchment the way the Underworld is navigated, and where her throne could be, there is little he knows could prove to her that the Underworld is a good place for her.]
d1gn17yPersephone   5d ago

[Font “Calibri” Persephone was someone who could see the beauty in everyone and everything but there was something special about this place that she had not expected. She should have feared the Underworld like most mortals because they feared the death that came with it, but she was still very much alive, and she was seeing this through the eyes of someone who craved something more than the monotony of the limited village life she had experienced so far. As a woman, she barely had any opportunities to experience something more and it was expected of her to fulfil the feminine roles society had created for her. Perhaps here she could have something different. However, it was still entirely feasible that Hades was like every other man who simply wanted companionship and someone to serve him in whatever way he desired. She was sure to find out soon enough.]

[Font “Calibri” She glanced up from the scene below her when she heard Hades speak and she noted the way he added to his speech so that he didn’t sound overly ruthless and uncaring. Persephone nodded and noticed him look up at her, his eyes searching hers for something although she could not be sure of what it might have been. [#EF0599 “I think it impossible for anyone to be truly ready to face death. Although, I do find some comfort in knowing that there is still some existence when one passes.”] Persephone started to walk once more, still taking in the new sights as Hades pointed to a new river. It seemed that everything here had a place and a purpose and seeing the legendary rivers for herself was helping her make some sense of the stories she had heard. It was one thing hearing the speculation and another seeing it.]

[Font “Calibri” When Hades spoke again, she was surprised to hear a less commanding tone in the way he spoke. It was clear he was cautious about how he communicated with her now, wanting to convey the illusion of choice even if she truly did not have one. Yet, she couldn’t find any anger or negative emotions within her for having taken her from the meadows. It was true that she had scolded him at first but hearing his reasoning behind it had somehow made her feel different. Knowing that his intentions had not been malicious and knowing that he simply wanted to offer her a better life after telling the winds that she needed one made her feel some ease. She might have even found the gesture rather romantic in the grand scheme of things, but she would not admit to that. It was still possible that he was not telling the truth when he told of his motivations, but Persephone believed his intentions.]

[Font “Calibri [#EF0599 “I would very much like to see the rivers closer if that would not be too much trouble?”] She asked as they started to approach a large structure that she could only assume was his throne room. Everything was exuding grandeur and she couldn’t help but allow the awe she felt to reflect through the expressions upon her face. [#EF0599 “Well this place is certainly fit for a king.”] She commented, wondering just how many mortals or gods could say that they had the privilege of exploring the private courters and throne room of the most feared god of them all. It was more his association with death and what he represented that rendered people scared of him, but now that she was here with him and taking in the opulence that surrounded them, it was clear that she too had forgotten that he was a deity of wealth and riches alongside guarding the dead.]

[Font “Calibri” As they neared the entrance to the throne room she turned back towards Hades, asking something that had been playing on her mind since he had first pointed out the River Lethe. [#EF0599 “Does one forget their sorrow if they were to drink from Lethe or do they forget who they were entirely? I’m not sure I would ever want to forget who I am…who I was during my time on Earth.”]]
Neuromancer/hades   2d ago

[size12 The woman had a point, that many mortals would never truly be ready to face death. He had met few who were, and most were frail with no one left to remember them—with the glimmer of hope to unite with ones they loved and lost. Something, however, about the way she found comfort in it had him contemplating. Realising that she, too, would die. She was not immortal. Although, that, he quickly pushed from his mind. There were enough to consider getting her to even trust him, considering her death was looking too far ahead.

He was thankful when she agreed that she wanted to see the rivers, though found her phrasing it as a question equal parts sweet and worrying. Was quick to say [#597377 “Of course. We will get closer to the river as soon as I’ve shown you the throne room.”] before returning to his thoughts of wondering [i what] he could show her, considering where the parchment map is, and once more which route would be most appealing to a mortal—Because it certainly wasn’t near the entrance where Cerberus would bark up a storm.

Then, she spoke again. He was about to point out to her that he [i was] a king when the look of awe on her face made him stall. And once he managed to look away from her and back towards the throne room, he was once again trying to see what she saw in the everyday sight of it. True, it was pretty, fit for a king, but not awe inspiring, [#597377 [i ‘Perhaps her village is truly so dull everything is a work of marvel?’]], he thought to himself. Although much time he did not get to consider, as they neared the entrance and she asked him about Lethe.

[#597377 “All that they were is forgotten.”] He says, and does not look at her, [#597377 “Some carry many great sorrows, others merely hope not knowing what was will make them happy.”] he can’t say he knows why the souls who choose to drink do so, it is not his business or concern as long as they don’t cause him any trouble. He looks at her again, finds her eyes, [#597377 “It is a choice, freely made.”] is all he says, all he can say. Although he would not fault her if she did not believe him, after what had happened.

He turned forward again, and walked the last few steps towards the darkness that was the archway. For intimidations sake one would think the archway was an endless darkness, or the mouth of a cave, for anyone who was foolish enough to seek an audience needed to be well aware of what waited them. Though once the door was reach, the room beyond it was much different. Lit by braziers and thin windows way up high, the room has an eeriness to it—The throne room itself was smaller than one would assume from the outside, as there were doors on either side that lead to a corridor that spanned the perimeter to a dinning room in the back. Not that Persephone needed to know that now, as Hades no longer planned to take her there.

The room they were in was still large, however, though vacant and empty. Aside from the ebony throne that stood in the centre back portion on the farthest edge of a patterned carpet. A few paces before it stood a small thee legged table, with a small box on it. A box with Hades made swift steps towards before waiting to see Persephone’s reaction, though still finding himself listening just in case she says something, curious. Once the box is opened and parchment in hand, he turns to her. Looks at her, and is about to gesture to his throne with his whole arm to tell her there is room for one more when he changes his mind. Bad idea. Instead, he raises his hand with the parchment, and realises as he holds it that he most likely looks like a poor imitation of the statues the mortals enjoy carving of the Gods.

He puts the parchment on the table, and rolls the map out to tell her which river is which, where they cannot go due to terrain.]


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