Chapter 71

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We walk down the path; away from the eerie sound of carnival music and into the darkness

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We walk down the path; away from the eerie sound of carnival music and into the darkness.

The air is cold and silent, and as we progress a thin layer of fog begins to conceal the landscape. I squint my eyes to see through it and pick out the distorted shapes of derelict buildings. Looming up beside us is a large, domed Cathedral, and somewhere in the distance I hear the hollow chimes of a clock tower.

There is an industrial scent mixed in with the icy breeze; like smoke and blood and iron.

Something about the place seems both familiar and wrong, but I can't figure out what it is. I shiver and rub my arms to fight against the cold.

"How do you know the centre of the maze is this way?" I ask Cupid.

"The blood" he replies darkly.

I follow his gaze to the floor, and notice drops of dark crimson running through the cobbled stones.

He gives a grim smile.

"Where the blood runs, the Minotaur will be"

I shudder again as we follow a stain of red, wiped against the side of an old, abandoned pub.

Somewhere above us I hear a weird, mechanical sound - jarring against the silence. I jolt my gaze upwards but see nothing through the layer of thick mist.

"What is this place?" I ask.

Cupid looks at me; the mist clings to his face and gives him an almost ethereal look.

"I'd say we're in the Minotaur's version of a labyrinthed Victorian London." He says "Things are in the wrong place, and he's not quite remembered it right – but it fits. Look, the domed Cathedral over there..."

He points through the smog at the desolate building we just passed. The fog hanging over it shifts momentarily revealing a streak of blood splattered across its white domed roof.

"I think that's St. Pauls." He says "He spent some time in London before he was captured."

I nod as I recall Crystal's account in the Records of the Finis.

He'd been in London when she retrieved the Finis from him.

"I thought she let him go." I say quietly "Crystal I mean. Why did the Matchmaking Service capture him? That would have been after Venus' time."

A darkness crosses Cupid's face, and he seems to involuntarily stroke one of the arrows hung over his bare shoulder.

"Did I mention the Minotaur might not be too pleased to see us...?" he says.

I shake my head – a pang of alarm jolting through my body.

"No. You must have forgotten to mention that..." I reply.

He gives a half smile then shrugs.

"It was after my time at the Matchmaking Service" he says "We need him on our side to take down Venus, but he's a killer Lila. I'd wager that's why they took him in."

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