Soul of a Demon (The Dark Souls 3) - Page 46

“Yes, she is.” Zerina placed a hand on her mother’s arm. “Please don’t be disappointed in me.” She glanced at her father, who was standing beside Fate. “I love him.”

“Stop saying that!” Fate snapped as Valentine’s expression turned uncertain.

“Fate …” Valentine tried to calm his former wife.

“Are you aware he has concubines?”


“Were you one of them?”

“Sister, perhaps we should wait until your temper cools before we try discussing this,” Destiny intervened.

“I wasn’t his concubine. I was his lover.”

Fate’s face turned red. “What’s the difference?”

“I love him.” Zerina raised her hand before Fate could speak again. “I know he doesn’t love me, that he sent me away without saying good-bye, that he has concubines, and if I manage to find his entrance, he probably won’t let me inside. I love you all, but … if I can never see you again, if I am lucky enough for Hades to let me return, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

“You would give up your gift?”

“If I have to. As a Moirai, I walk the same hallways as Grimm.”

Fate’s eyes narrowed on Zerina’s inflexible expression. “I can see there is no way I am going to be able to change your mind. Will you at least consider returning home if Hades doesn’t let you return before Thor or Odin arrive?”

Sorrow filled Zerina’s lovely eyes. “There won’t be a need to stay if he doesn’t.”

Fate, and even Valentine, relaxed.

“We’ll cross that bridge when it happens, so there’s no need arguing further.” Valentine tugged Zerina into his arms. “I missed you, daughter.”

Hades was proud of Zerina as he had never been proud of a woman, other than Mother.

Persephone had continuously listened to Demeter’s insults about him, and every time his mother-in-law begged her to come home, Persephone had whined until he gave in. However, Zerina had stood up to her mother until Fate had been the one to back down.

He watched as Adam, Rhys, and Rocque gathered their men to go after the food that Rocque had found. Hades kept his attention on the women as they were left with Valentine.

Tuning out their conversation, he waved his hand.

Crossing his arms over his chest, he stood in front of his desk as Maxi appeared before him.

The stoop-shouldered man didn’t bow as he looked around him.

“My king?” Maxi questioned in a frail voice.

“Drop the act, Zeus. I know it’s you.”

Maxi’s body straightened, transforming into the god that everyone in the heavens and earth was searching for.

“How did you know it was me?”

Hades didn’t uncross his arms, his anger so great he would strike him. “Zerina said you asked if she loved me. She is the only emotional being capable of feeling down here. Maxi wouldn’t give a fuck what she felt.”

“You were always the smart one in the family.”

“How did you get here?”

“I slipped inside when you let Jinx in.”

“I underestimated the fairy. She placed a spell on you and disguised you so I wouldn’t see you.”

Zeus nodded. “She was very accommodating.”

“I bet she was. She would have been in awe of a god of your power asking her for a favor.”

“It does have its advantages.”

“I’ve said the same thing myself.”

Hades stared at Zeus. His brother was still as impressive as when he had last seen him in Mother’s court. They were the same height, yet Zeus was heavier and broader.

Hades went to sit in his chair. Leaning back, he studied his brother, noticing the subtler changes in his appearance that weren’t as obvious.

Zeus was tense, as if waiting for someone to appear.

“I haven’t told anyone you’re here. Why have you been hiding in my domain?”

“Where’s Zerina? I don’t—”

“I sent her away so we could have a talk.”

“You sent her away?”

Hades righted his chair, leaning upward, his hands going to his desk. “I sent her away because I didn’t want her to get in the crossfire if you’re as guilty as everyone believes you are. She’s safe. Now, tell me, brother, what is going on. I can’t believe you’re so afraid of anyone to send you running.”

“I’m not afraid. I don’t want to choose sides. Nor do I want to see my son destroyed.”

“You can’t protect him. Mother knows of his treachery. All the gods and immortals do. There is no saving him once he is found.”

“Brother, stay out of it. Let what is inevitable play out. Once it is over, we can go back to normal.”

“You’re not the only one who shares the gift of foresight. Tell me, Zeus; are you seeing the visions I am?”

Zeus’s jaw tightened.

“If so, you know there will be no future for me or anyone on this earthly plane. I see very few gods surviving; you and Dionysus are two of the few. You say you’re not choosing sides, but you are by hiding here and refusing to tell me who is behind this betrayal. As much as you love Dionysus, your son doesn’t have the brains to overthrow Mother.”

Zeus lost his anger at Hades’ insult.

“He’s smart enough to distract Mother from the real threat.” His brother looked furious at himself for being goaded into revealing there was someone else behind his son’s treachery.

“Ah …” Hades goaded him further. “Who is it? Let me think. Is it Athena? She’s always been jealous of Mother.” He tapped a finger against his forehead. “No, it can’t be her. That slut can’t get her mind off her hot pussy to orchestrate a rebellion. Is it Merlin? He has always overestimated his abilities, and while he has the brains to orchestrate a rebellion, the gods wouldn’t follow him, and it’s going to take several gods to overthrow Mother.”

Hades watched the myriad of expressions flit across Zeus’s face. Using all the power that Mother had bequeathed to him, he delved into Zeus’s mind, using his brother’s anger to slip beneath his guard. What he saw had him going pale.

“Chronos.” Hades stood up, going to Zeus. “You could have stopped it before Mother even found out.”

“I couldn’t. I would have had to tell her about Dionysus’ part in it. He would never be allowed to come home.”

“It’s Mother we’re talking about! She was the one who freed us from Chronos. What you have done is make a mockery of the loyalty and love she’s shown us.”

“Dionysus is my son!” Zeus shouted. “You’ll never understand how a father feels about his son.”

“No, I won’t.”

Zeus scored a hit. Life couldn’t spring from a dead soul.

“I may not know the love of a father to his son, but I do know the love of a mother to her son.” Cruelly, he jabbed at Zeus’s emotional weakness. “When Father kept us imprisoned in his castle, it was Mother who released us. If she hadn’t overthrown Chronos, we’d still be hidden away without our powers.

“He made us suffer because he was afraid you would steal his throne. What a fucking joke that is!”

Zeus lunged for him, sending the balls on his desk spinning. Hades froze Zeus in place with one hand, righting the balls with the other.

“You think you can take me in my home?” Hades waved his hand again wrathfully, transporting them to the dungeon next to his fire pit. “I could toss you into that pit and forget about it the next second. You’re letting everything that Mother loves be destroyed, so why should I give a fuck? If I did, who do you think would save you? Chronos? He would destroy what little of your soul is left when it returned to Heaven. Sadly, Mother would return you to your former glory. Not only do you not deserve her love, you don’t deserve the power you were gifted. Unless you’re trying to steal another man’s wife, the only balls you have are the size of my cufflinks.

“Now, I’m only going to ask you once. Has Mother been hurt? S

he hasn’t answered my calls.” Hades waved his hand so Zeus could speak.

“How would I know? I’ve been down here with you.”

Hades growled in frustration. “If I didn’t think it would hurt Mother, I would destroy you.”

“You don’t think I despise myself?”

“No. If you had, you would have stopped this before it started.”

“I thought I had talked Dionysus out of helping Merlin and Chronos. When I heard that Fate’s daughters had disappeared, I tried to find him to make sure he didn’t have anything to do with it. When I found him, he was already turning the humans against one another. He wouldn’t listen to me.” Zeus sorrowfully shook his head. “He said Chronos had promised to make him more powerful than any of the original Titans.”

Hades rolled his eyes. “Your son is an idiot.”

“I had hoped that it was a spell Merlin had placed on him. I couldn’t go to Merlin to ask. I was afraid he would place a spell on me.”

“So, you did the next best thing. You came to my domain where you could have access to Morgana and hide at the same time.”


Hades rubbed his temples. His brother had as much brain power as his son.

“Dionysus wasn’t under a spell. Morgana was the one under the spell.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m sure. Merlin put up the spell so she wouldn’t be able to give me information. She only wanted to do Merlin’s bidding. Did Dionysus say why Merlin and Chronos had Morgana attack Fate’s daughters?”

“Chronos wanted them killed. Fate kept them too protected in her castle. The one he wanted eliminated was Zerina. The other two were just collateral damage. It kept Mother, Fate, and Destiny busy so he could build his army.”

Hades had his suspicions that Chronos wasn’t the only one building an army.

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