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Despite the butterflies fluttering around in her stomach, and the goosebumps rising on her skin from the chills of the hallways, this was almost fun. A part of her wished they wouldn't find Apollo here, that for once maybe she was wrong about Ares, but Eirene was never wrong about Ares. So with that she braced herself, letting the pads of her fingers move along the walls. The bumps and concealed cracks becoming more evident and familiar the further they went. She remembered..when she had been granted permission to wonder around the castle, she found herself in the dungeon, trying her best to heal those who truly deserved. The poor prisoners of war, the ones that were tortured for information, these good people who didn't deserve what life had thrown at them.
A shaky breath drew from her lips and subconsciously her hand found Aeolus's. She still couldn't find the origin of the security she found by his side but she made sure to stay close to him as they entered dungeon. Her gaze drifted to the guards. Reliable weren't they?
But she immediately released his hand when they finished following the ghostly apparition. Her first reaction was to call out to him but she pushed it down not wanting to wake up the guards and quickly made her way closer to kneel down beside the cell. "Apollo." she whispered to the barely conscious God. He looked terrible and the sight was enough to bring tears to her eyes. "Oh my precious sun." her fingers slipped through the bars, her eyes never leaving his face as she searched for a reaction. Her fingers reached his open palm and there she felt fingers enclose around her own weekly. "Apollo.." she whispered relief feeling her voice. "Thank heavens." she whispered as his flame colored orbs starred over at Aeolus than back to Eirene herself. "Hold on okay?..we're going to get you out of here." she urged him gently. "Okay?" she spoke as he squeezed her fingers responsively. "So don't leave us." she pleaded with him as his grip subsided and she drew her arm back through the bar and to her chest.
This was bad...he barely had any strength left at all it seemed. He couldn't speak and he could barely move. Atleast, he let them know where he was. Eirene was never one to abandon someone precious to her. "Where do you think the keys could be?" she spoke barely above a whisper to Aeolus as she quietly stood up from her kneeling position beside the cell.
It was true! When could one ever recall Ares being in such a joyous mood? Only during times of warfare, one could account, and certainly only if he had the upper hand. The confident grin upon his features cease to leave that porcelain face of his, something was brewing, a mystery was concealed by the early morning fog. Just what did Ares have hiding up his sleeve, or his dungeon rather? There were a pair of footsteps outside of Eirene's door, it was the guards making their nightly rounds, starting from the top level and working their way down. "If we go now, it should be safe" Aeolus whispered softly as they began to creep quietly out of Eirene's room. It was close to ten forty pm, well after curfew time. Making it down the stairwell and descending into lower levels of the castle took a bit of careful evading and patience. Once or twice they had nearly blew their cover, but as they neared the first floor, Aeolus noticed an usual glow from a corridor, what was that? "This way.."Aeolus ordered softly, motioning the direction he wanted them to go with an index finger. The glow was something of an apparition,a haunting aura, that could be seen if one focused their eyes enough. Quietly, the two tiptoed in the direction of the phantom that lead them to the dripping dungeon. To their luck, the guards posted were well asleep, probably bored out of their mind from standing still all day. Perfect. The ghost lead them down a row of cells until they approached the last one on the right. It was Apollo!
Eirene only managed to glare at her food, just like it's suddenly hospitable provider..she did not trust it. Though she was sure the food was fine, one could truly understand that after the last time she had dinner here, it was natural not to trust anything. Her eyes traveled over to Anton, who seemed to be doing a little better. Given the sniffles and less frequent sneezing, but they were still stuck here. Her gaze then wondered over to a noticeably more relaxed Spade. Ofcourse this must have been some huge honor for him, but this was still all his fault. They would never make him spend the night in Milos! Somewhere she much rather preferred to this hellish stretch of barren land belonging to Ares, whose comment bounced off an invisible wall of sorts. The young deity scoffed inwardly, complimented by a lying war God and his council of 'yesman' followers. Still she couldn't help but wonder why she was the only one that had to dress up. Looking down at the wine glass, that remained untouched as well. It wasn't out of rudeness, though it certainly would appear that way but more out of fear and distrust.
At last the world's most awkard dinner came to a close and Eirene only returned the glare she had received with his friendly reminder of the curfew. "How 'ya feeling?" she questioned Anton, the redhead managed a displeased expression. "Horrible. I'm surrounded by a swarm of..distaste and ugliness..and ugh..I can't wait until morning time rolls around." He explained sniffling slightly. Eirene grinned at him. "I bet I can't wait even more." She commented. Anton chuckled before heading upstairs. She didn't say anything to Spade, but it wasn't because she was still mad at him but he currently seemed over the moon and was conversing with some of the cloaked people, then again he probably knew these people. Licentia was his home, granted not the lair but Ares's more powerful soldiers frequented this place a lot.
Making her way to her room, she could not wait to take this dress of. Besides, there was no way she could go exploring in such a dress. Eirene turned her head slightly as Aeolus asked her a questioned. "no..but my conscious isn't giving me a choice." She answered. "I just want the truth out of him. Why is he so horrible?" she sighed out as she searched her backpack, pulling out the outfit she had been wearing previously. She walked over to the unused closet and quickly changed clothes inside before reemerging. "I swear he's not telling us everything. He is never in this good of a mood." She spoke in a hushed tone.
Dinner couldn't have been more awkward, but, with the help of a couple of bards playing rather entertaining music, the meal was a bit more tolerable. "Eirene that gown looks absolutely lovely on you~" Ares cooed softly, the men and women to his right nodded accordingly, "My friends it pleases me so that you have decided to stay the night with me, I trust that none of you are afraid of the dark" There was a soft chuckle, rumors of Ares's castle being haunted were always whispered around Ancient Greece. Some say that the souls of executed soldiers restlessly and aimlessly roam around Ares's castle, or that the souls of fallen soldiers still patrol the outskirts of the castle, fulfilling their sworn duty and loyalty to Ares, even in the afterlife. The idea of such, caused Aeolus to shiver, he was never keen with the supernatural.
The meal continued, Ares was one for conversation, occasionally stirring a bit of laughter as he drew more sips from his chalice. "Ah friends, once the meal is over, the guards will start their nightly patrol, it would be best not to get caught by them~" He grinned devilishly, as if ill advising snooping around his castle, this caused Aeolus to swallow hard. Had Ares overheard them somehow? The pleasant smile on the God's face seemed to have suggested such, but Aeolus wasn't going to give up because of a little intimidation. "May you have a pleasant night, friends" His figure rises to leave but not before cutting a glare at Eirene, "Curfew is 10 pm~" He reminded with a sing song voice. At 10 pm, they would begin their investigation. Aeolus headed up to Eirene's room after the banquet was over, "Do you still think we should? Ares gives me chills" He questioned with a hint of anxiety, there was something about Ares that easily crawled underneath the skin.
Closing the door behind him as he entered, she watched Aeolus curiously as he made himself comfortable on the bed and climbed onto the bed next to him, sitting indian-style. Golden orbs filled with confusion than interest as she heard him speak. Slowly but surely, she smiled. "I'm interested." she answered without hesitation. If you were going to put your foot over the gate of tiger's cage might as well continue with risk of being eaten. For someone like Apollo, she would do most anything. The chances of being caught were exponentially high but she couldn't leave her until she knew he was telling the truth. It was just so hard to trust him, and after he lied about the scroll not too long ago, there was no reason to trust him. Personally, as the God of Gods you think Zeus would want to keep a closer eye on the rest of them.
She sighed, yeah right. He was the most powerful, how else could he gain dominion over several other beings of the same caliber? Didn't change the fact that he was a womanizing, party loving, weight throwing, and kind of obnoxious person. Okay, so he was totally obnoxious, but it comes from a good place yeah? Zeus meant well, it.. it just didn't always come through that way. Before Eirene could say anything more they were interrupted with a knock at the door. Eirene's eyes narrowed at the dress, scooting away from it as if touching it would give her some kind of disease. "why do I have to dress up for dinner?" she wondered under her breath.
"huh? Ales-chan don't leave yet! Damn it!" she cursed to herself. Closing her self back inside the room she frowned. At the moment several excuses ran through her head. I'm not hungry, I'm sleepy, my stomach hurts, my sister died, I'm going through something, my boyfriend broke up with me..Damn it..none of those things were true. Even less of them had an actual basis. She frowned. "Ugh..I hate the color red." she glared at the dress. After making sure the dress wasn't something made of pure evil, she began the process of taking off the modern clothes she had worn on the trip here. Slipping into the dress, she sighed. He must have mistaken her for her sister, the dress wasn't bad looking but it was the color of blood. She hated red. There was another knock and a gentle inquiry of her status. Opening the door, she glanced at the hooded woman curiously before her hand reached and tugged at the hood revealing golden hair and auburn eyes. "Mandolyn!" she grinned down at the shorter girl. The blond who looked genuinely shocked only scowled. "Eirene, who does that seriously." she readjusted her hood so that it was again obscuring her face. "Where is Basil?" Eirene spoke curiously. That scowl deepened. "He is away at the moment, Come, my lord is not fond of tardiness." she warned pushing Eirene along.
He was relieved when the woman opened the door for him, so Eirene wasn't completely angry, and was calm enough to let him in. He took a seat on his bed but only before kicking his shoes off at the edge. His head leaned against the stone wall, "This place creeps me out." Aeolus admitted lowly with a frown, he was in need of a bit of company. Solitude could definitely make someone hallucinate into seeing things they hadn't. "So I have an idea for later tonight. I saw Ares go down a corridor that looked pretty suspicious. What do you say we investigate it?" He questioned, the idea of snooping around Ares's castle seemed offensive enough to be deemed execution worthy, but if they were going to put their best foot forward in searching for Apollo, risks had to be taken.
There was a knock on the door, and after a pause a servant entered. "Lord Ares humbly invites you to dine with him at the banquet hall. He requests that you wear this dress Lady Eirene" The hooded figure spoke softly, it was apparent that it was a woman, and with a couple of steps forward she placed the dress on the bed. A bow, and soft smile, she took her leave, and closed the door softly behind her. Aeolus took a glance at the dress, it was an elaborate gown, a rich royal red color, with elegant gold embroidery. The gown stopped at the ankles, it was a rather conservative dress, and, in good taste, if it weren't specifically requested by Ares. Aeolus excused himself from Eirene's room so that she could change, something about this banquet felt rather suspicious to him, but Aeolus highly doubted that Ares wouldn't sabotage his own men...Right?
It wasn't like they had much of a choice to decline Ares's invitation to dinner, so with a soft sigh, Aeolus prepared to depart downstairs towards the banquet hall, all at the assistance of a hooded figure.
Despite her mood, Eirene found a small bit of comfort in the sunlight coming through the window. In a place like this, it shined more than usual. Taking a seat on the edge of her bed, her fingers dug around her backpack and let them curl around a medium sized ring. Attached to it was a neat pile of blue index cards. Eirene's spell/song cards to be more exact, she still needed to study and not having to worry about her homework from Aeolus's time she might as well try to review some of them. She found her pipe as well. Of all the songs and notes she had refreshed and memorized, she couldn't get down one of the more difficult songs. Mammon's Cordia, it wasn't that it was complicated, she was just having trouble re-kindling the harmony of the melody. She couldn't put her finger on what it was she kept getting wrong. Moving off the bed, Eirene sat against on the window seal, beneath the sun light and glared at the musical score thoughtfully. What was wrong? More importantly, what did that spell accomplish in the first place?
Taking a deep breath, she placed the flute to her lips and after balancing out the flow of energy she began to play the notes , albeit she wasn't fond of this melody. It was darker, and almost seemed to be something belonging to her sister's side of the spectrum but Maurine had given the book to her, apparently as a parting gift from Poseidon, so she just had to find out what this was about. Abruptly, she pulled the pipe away from her lips and groaned. She couldn't concentrate being here. Pinning her hair up, she placed the flute back into her backpack and the backpack onto her back. She didn't like to take it off, it had taken so long to find the pipe. She would be damned if she had to look for it again.
Though when she was still like this, it allowed Ares and his manipulative words to slip back into her mind, along with Spades 'honesty is the best policy' style back up. How could he just even think of bringing that up? She wasn't taught to lose hope but she wouldn't be surprised if the first thing Ares taught his men was to hold no hope in anything other than himself. Let along, those awful memories. True this room was different from a prison cell but Eirene was afraid of this place and probably always would be. One of her hands came up to rub her temple just as a knock sounded at the door followed by the sound of Aeolus's voice. Letting her knees uncurl from her chest, she made her way across the room and unlocked the door. "What is it?" she spoke softly, though the level of discomfort was obvious.
Aeolus's mouth hung a bit ajar, Spade had forfeited their stay for the night and soon enough they were greeted by noblemen who escorted the remaining visitors to other areas of the castle. Surprising to him, Eirene insisted on going off on her own. "I'll talk to her later.." Aeolus offered, but decided it would be best for her to have a bit of alone time. What Spade had said was hurtful, but, Aeolus couldn't quite blame him. They had no idea where Apollo was, and even if he were underneath the surface with Hades, how were they suppose to get him out? Little known to them, Apollo was actually in Ares's dungeon! There is a wicked grin upon Ares's lips, to send his travelers on a wild goose chase down into Hades's realm, would buy him enough time to completely steal all of Apollo's light. So, offering them a place to stay this night was blindly deceptive.
Aeolus was delivered to a room courteous of a chamber maid, like many of the rooms here, it was dark, completely dim, with little to no windows and macabre decorations. Anton and Eirene must have been suffering here, but, to Ares's graces, Eirene's room allowed a little sunlight, and a window. Wasn't Ares nice? Aeolus's head leaned against the stone wall, it was freezing in this room, but, it was a cold he could easily tolerate. There was a draft in the room that he could easily do without.
=-= Apollo's Cell =-=
Drip Drip Drop That was the sound of a leak to his right. The faucet could not be shut off completely. The sound of dripping water being collected in the sink was enough to drive him a bit insane. He felt extremely weak, he could lift his limbs, glance around, stand, but to raise his voice passed a whisper was nearly impossible. He could sense other people were here, but who? He glanced around, searching for any sources of light and couldn't find a single ray. "I trust it you enjoy my five star service" Ares questioned as he approached the cell, his finger sliding across every bar. Apollo could say nothing but glare daggers at the man who had imprisoned him here. (r "I suppose you would rather be in Hades's clutches? You should thank me, I had the chance to end your life and I simply passed up on it. I enjoy watching you suffer more. Although do not get your hopes up, your death is inevitable. Consider it payback for what you did to me over a hundred years ago." The God pulled down his shirt a bit to reveal a scar that had healed and skinned over, the discolored flesh could easily pinpoint the length of the scar. "It should please you to know that your lover is here, right up there." The God pointed upwards, what, Eirene was here? (r "But don't expect any touchy reunions, I'd say her and that other boy fit quite nicely together, don't you?" Ares smiled another charming smile that he sported only to mock. "Enjoy your dying days, I certainly know I will." With that Ares departed, he would spare Apollo of any draining, the emotional toll of Eirene being around and unable to see him was satisfying enough.
With a bit of questioning of some maids, Aeolus located Eirene's room and began to knock on her door. "Eirene, it's me, open up, so we can talk" The male begged softly, he had a plan for investigating Ares's castle. Before leaving Ares's study, he saw the God slip into a corridor that peaked his interest.
He wasn't telling the whole truth. That was one thing Eirene was entirely sure of, but how was any of this to her knowledge? Those amber hughes only narrowed as she watched his form move across the room. The devil's book..Hades..she sighed to herself. Though hearing him talk about Apollo like that..struck a chord with her that did not mix well with her intial distrust of the God of War in the first place. And then..what the hell was Apollo thinking? Perhaps he didn't tell her because he knew how she would react. At his comment about informing them out of the kindness of his heart, Eirene couldn't supress the cynical chuckle that slipped past her lips. "mmm…you don't have a heart. Just thought I'd remind you." She informed Ares. This may not have been entirely true but if he truly did have one, it sure was doing a good job at staying invisible. There go..no such evidence of a heart, just deviousness and pure evil. Again..she failed to see just what Ophelia saw in him, he was probably just using her anyway.
Something wasn't right here. Leaning into Anton for support, she wasn't surprised to see he wasn't doing so well. Just like being in Milos affected Spade, and depending on the length of time he spent there he could become very sick, the same was for Aphrodite's servants in Licentia. That's why they tended to stay away. "You feeling okay?" she whispered to him as she watched the red head, checking his forehead to make sure his body temperature was normal. Nothing out of the ordinary but a sneeze erupted from the red head and Eirene frowned. "We cannot stay-" she began to reject his hospitality when Spade shushed her. "We'd be honored my Lord." He bowed deeply to express his gratitude and quickly led the group into the hallways. As soon as they were out of Ares's viewing range, a rather blunt stinging sensation erupted from Spade's side. "ouch Eirene stop pinching me!" he demanded. "Are you crazy?" she questioned him. "We can't stay here. It's making Anton sick and I hate it here!" she exclaimed.
"My Lord almost never displays any hospitality. To reject it, would be very rude and it would risk his good mood." Spade explained blankly. "We didn't come to stay the night. We need to find out if Apollo is okay." She pressed. "I know you think he's a liar.. but he's usually right about these kind of things. Apollo is probably gone and if not..he might be by the time we even find out where he is. " Spade explained trying to be as honest as possible. His trust in his master was absolute and if his master truly sensed that Apollo was no more..it was best to start dealing with that. They still had bigger problems to attend to in the present world. "So.we should just let him die is that it?" he could hear the sense of disbelief in her voice. "That's not what I said Eirene..what I meant was—" "Save it." She spoke. If the nearest body of water wasn't the river of Styx below this hell hole she'd leave. "I'll find a room myself." She turned the nearest corner and separated herself from the group. Anton glared at the shocked blond. Who sighed to himself. "Nice going." He managed snidely before another sneeze erupted from him.
Without Apollo's light, there was no hope of getting rid of the small fry demons running back in Aeolus's home, then there was the fact that Artemis had went to look for her brother and no one had seemed to hear from her sense. Eirene sighed, comforted by the fact that atleast someone was looking for him. Leaning against the wall, she slid down and turned to her school backpack, which had been filled with things needed for this trip. Drawing her knees up, she used her backpack as a pillow and closed her eyes to think. Apollo's time was running out with every day they spent trying to find him. The thought of his death made her blood go ridgid, as if the liquid properties had frozen to ice and gained the weight of led. Apollo's death would be a very heavy cross to bare, but something refused to let her let go of him. He wasn't dead yet, and strangely, while she tried to wipe away her tears of frustration and sorrow she felt comforting by something weak..but familiarly warm.
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