Ink was still missing at breakfast, which had come as no surprise to anyone, although Blythe took the news particularly hard. Protocol dictated they alert the local inhabitants to the presence of an armed god roaming unattended in the underworld. Lexi insisted she visit the minotaur herds, and she promised to meet Hades at the palace before she left for Olympus. Despite his growing trust of the minotaurs and of Lexi's ability to defend herself, Hades could not shake the worry of Lexi traveling through the forest with an emotionally unstable god at large, a god she pissed off just one day prior. Of course, she would have Lars sticking to her like glue, which Hades could also blame his worry on.
Hades and Kade made for the centaur and satyr encampments, speaking to clan leaders and searching the landscape for signs of Ink. By early afternoon, they had exhausted themselves and their horses, so they made their last stop Charon's ferry to fill him in. But Charon was not in his boat or lounging naked next to the river. They had to travel a distance to finally locate him at the bridge to Elysium.
"Don't you think you should be at your boat, Charon?" Hades had trouble controlling his accusatory tone. His morning may have started with Lexi straddling him, but it had since taken a more vexing turn.
"Yes, but I wanted to see what was going on here." Charon pointed across the bridge and Hades followed his gesture. Three goddesses stood in corporal form in front of three enormous boulders situated within the tall grass. Hades knew the goddesses as The Fates, and an unwelcome shiver overtook him as he watched them engage in a heated argument.
"What do you make of it?" Hades asked.
"I think they're fighting about something," Charon offered.
"That's not news. When are they not fighting about something?"
Charon nudged Hades in the ribs. "Why don't you investigate?"
Speaking with The Fates was on Hades' list of least enjoyable pastimes, and often resulted in more information than he cared to know. "Why don't you investigate?" he said to Charon.
"I have to get back to my boat." Charon patted Hades heavily on his back before taking his leave.
"Charon can be a prick," Kade said. "C'mon, I'll go with you. There's safety in numbers."
Hades and Kade crossed the bridge and made their way toward the sound of angry voices. Of the three, Lachesis seemed to be making the most noise. She was in charge of measuring the strand of life, and there was always room for error in her area of expertise. When the goddesses noticed Hades and Kade approaching, they halted their argument to greet them with poorly concealed grimaces.
"What brings you, Hades and winged son, Kade?" Clotho asked. Based on her aloof stance, she seemed to be the most serene of the three.
"We couldn't help overhearing your rather dexterous conversation and thought we would investigate," Hades said. "Is there anything we can help you with?"
Lachesis and her sister, Atropos, scowled further, while Clotho spoke on behalf of the three. "We are merely discussing the matter of the titan who appears to be nearing the end of her rope."
Hades and Kade looked at one another, sharing their initial shock before turning automatically to The Fates, who appeared unimpressed with the entire situation. Hades found his voice first.
"I assume you have knowledge of Phoebe's prophecy? The one that predicts the titans demise."
"Correct," Clotho responded.
"I was under the impression the prophecy was a metaphor," he continued, despite his desire to bid the three spinsters farewell. "The titans' influence is merely giving way to the Olympians and their progeny."
YOU ARE READING
Let's say you found true love. And say you had eternity to spend with that lover. So what if he was the god of the dead and you had to manage his dysfunctional family. You would still count yourself lucky, right? Join Lexi and Hades in the third and...