Prologue (iii)

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By nightfall Aiden was physically set to leave. Mentally he still couldn't bring himself to gain enough courage to want to leave and he wasn't sure that he ever would. No amount of time will ever be enough to prepare him for the doom that awaited him. But for the time he spent with Hestia he would have chickened out from his mission, he still could but he had promised her that he was going to do right by her, by his beloved sister.

He had decided after that intimate moment with hestia that he had to prove himself, to his father, to his people and to Hestia. He had to prove that he was no coward like the people believed him to be. And for the first time the joy of no longer being in his fathers shadow appealed greatly to him because this way he could fight for Hestia.

Fulfilling this mission would make him better and stronger than his father, he Innocently thought.

As the one who saves the kingdom and stopped the prophecy he would be reverenced more than any other god. He could finally stand up to his father and get Hestia all to himself. It was safe to say that Aiden was doing it all for love.

When he left the room to the portal that served as the boundary between heaven and hell his mind was made up. And although his feet shook as he walked his steps were steady. Before him stood his father, mother and the other gods. The people watched from afar some in fear not wanting to lose their sworn leader others with Indifference. But everyone had one thought in common. The belief that wasn't going to make it.

Hestia was standing by his mothers side looking the same way she did when she walked through his secret door, beautiful and pure. He adverted his eyes from her with great difficulty and moved closer to his father who had stretched his hands to welcome him.

Zeus had promised his wife yesterday while she cried that he was going to give Aiden a reason to come back and he hadn't forgotten.

With his hands resting on Aiden's shoulder he spoke. "My son If you do succeed in your mission then I shall grant of you any thing your heart most desires. You have only to ask of it and it will be yours for the taking." Zeus promised his son with authority and finality, his eyes beaming.

He looked at his wife who nodded in appreciation. "Is this your word father? Do you swear to this?" Aiden asked skeptically, he wanted to make sure his father repeated the words he just spoke and that the gods heard him well. Because he knew what his heart desired most his father might not grant him. He looked around for his friend Apollo and meeting his eyes Apollo nodded, then his gaze moved to his father.

"Whatever your heart desires, I'll give to you my son. It is my word and it is law now." Zeus repeated already knowing what his son desired most but caring less. He would not come back alive he knew that. The high priestess had stripped him of his power. He should have known better than to taste from the food his father had reserved for himself. Zeus thoughts angrily.

Aiden's eyes met with Hestia. And though they did not speak their eyes communicated. She nodded to him tears falling from her eyes as he turned his back to her.

The portal opened with a raging thunder and a great force was felt In Neptune. The heat that filled Oceania caused a gasp to escape from the lips of the gods. It was obvious that Hades had gotten stronger. His fire no longer had the weakness of the early days, it was clearly consuming.

"I could go with him to protect him." Apollo pleaded stepping forward but Zeus asked that he move back with a snap of his fingers. Apollo wanted to protect his prince and his friend but there was nothing he could do now except in secret. Something didn't just look right. Any of the gods could have gone for the battle why Aiden who had never been in one? Aiden didn't know the first thing about war so why him? Zeus had a secret and he would find it out what it was?

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