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I circled the well, my hands running through my hair as I did. I stretched to peak in, finding the evermoving water reflect the light.

Here goes nothing. With two fingers pinching the bridge of my nose, I jumped in, my internal voice screaming. "Cannonball."

"At least ask for permission." A guard complained after I succeeded in infiltrating the palace. I would like to believe that I did so by my unparallel set of skills, but if it weren't for most of the guards turning a blind eye, I doubt whether I would have been able to go past the gates.

To suit the scenario, I chose an all-black outfit and tried to blend into the shadows as I advanced further into the palace, but I knew Hades would see me coming.

It was guard1 and guard2 at the doors of Hades' bedchamber who gave me the stinkiest of skink eyes. And being a firm believer in the importance of equality, I stuck my tongue out at them with echoing amount of respect.

On entering, I heard a lengthy sigh one more or less due to the mortal trespasser in his land. He seemed well prepared to dodge my inspecting hands, on barging in. When the better-looking one failed, I absentmindedly glared at him on finding the unnatural temperature. "Do you have a headache?" I asked bringing out the thermometer I brought.

It somehow leads to an argument which started of with his signature 'I am a God' explanations. We must have grown loud, for, in the middle of the said quarrel, a dozen soldiers marched to the door ready to lock me in the dungeons.

It was Hades that send them off after reassuring them of his safety. Notching down the murder intent I had for those judgmental fools who considered me a potential threat I smiled sheepishly at Hades for the help.

He rolled his eyes.

When I gave him the medicines I prepared from home, I told him of the events that took place back on earth. From the fixed face of neutrality, it was hard for me to know whether he was intently listening to my story or glaring at me with immense enthusiasm.

But I continued to tell him of the old Lady who volunteered to take my medicine and of how many others willingly took it after observing the positive changes in her. My mother true to her word kept this incident under wraps, making most of the public believe I was a scientist and the hospital workers silent.

But as I gave myself too much credit, I double checked the windows and doors of my room to be shut. Due to the fear of finding men dressed in black who worked for the government suddenly show up with their badges and kidnap me to some remote area to put my brilliant mind into use for them.

That is far fetched I know, the government doesn't do that.

Suddenly I remembered the things I read about Hades while doing my research. "You have a scary three-headed dog? Cerberus was that his name."

He nodded to one and disagreed to another. "He's not scary as you humans picture him to be. Unless you are evil, a trespasser or a soul trying to leave the Underworld without being granted permission, you need not fear him."

"But alas, you are two of those."

I was about to oppose his claims, but a blonde haired boy walked in through the door, his lashes foreshadowing his eyes as he read through reports. On looking up, the ocean blue eyes revealing their shock.


Did I look that different? All I did was brush my hair.

But the joy suddenly evaporated from his eyes, and seriousness settled in. "Are you dead?" His footsteps halted as if dreading the upcoming moments.

"Nope. I am on a surprise visit." I willed myself to plant my feet on the ground and not run headlong to his arms. But it was my turn to be surprised when he walked forward in long strides and engulfed me in a hug.

It wasn't one of gentle arms that gave you space to breathe, but one that held in tightly to the other convey the feelings of separation and longing. "And I thought you wouldn't miss me." I pulled back to arm's length, searching his eyes for answers.

"Why would you think that?" But just when he asked the question he seemed to recollect his actions.

"You were like 'I am so cool with you leaving' when I left." I pointed out.

His mind seemed to be pulled back, to that time, and with an apologetic smile, he said. "Your eyes were watery. I did not want to make you cry by pushing you and telling you that I was going to...miss you. Sorry."

"Apology excepted." He waited for me to correct the pronunciation error, but I didn't. His lips broke into a smile, and his hand poured cold water on my efforts to make my hair look presentable.

The sound of the bed sheets ruffling caused us to turn the way to where the God of the Underworld slept.

"Where are you off to?" I asked taking a step forward.

"I have to attend to my court." Was his response with a blank face and put on his silver cape that shimmered and drew out his pale skin.

"Please don't overwork yourself."

"I will do whatever I like."

A sudden recollection of the information I read on him came to mind which made me say. "If you do, I will complain to your wife Persephone."

The room grew darker suddenly, the temperature dropping to an eerily chill. When Hades turned, at last, to face me his amber eyes were narrowed, rigid, cold and hard. Once more I was the stranger brought to this unknown land. I drew in a deep breath, the burning hard stare seemed to last only as long as it took him to think of the most brutal things he could tear me down with.

My fear was not something I could control leading my body to shake involuntarily, and then suddenly everything reverted back to how it had been before.

"I think Elizabeth should go back home. The mortals looking her guide are starting to notice her absence." He addressed Will and no longer acknowledged my presence as he left.

"I didn't mean to make him angry," I said softly to no one in particular, regretting how I did not seem to able to apologize then.

"He's not angry at you," Will insisted, and I shook my head thinking that he was trying to console me. "But he seemed angry."

"He was angry. Mostly at himself for losing his temper and at someone else, but not you. Trust me, I have known him for a long time." Meeting the sincerity in his eyes, I felt relief, and my guilt eased, though not fully.

"Is she okay? Or are they fighting?" I asked after a few minutes of silence.

"Oh, Elie. What you think is not even close to the truth. They are not married, and they never will be." Clear as daylight, the hostility he had for her shown.

"Most of the things the humans have written down are not true. Your ancestors interpreted the knowledge which they might have heard from Minor Gods in their own perspective. And with time the content kept on altering, turning the facts into mythology." Will explained.

"So they don't even know each other?" I asked.

"No, they do know each other." Will sighed. "But their relationship is far from friendly." 

The book is undergoing editing. The rest of the chapters will be republished after undergoing editing.

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