Zeno and Styx dangerous encounter with a the Valkyrie, Hrist -edits pending-
Strolling along the perimeter of her temple at a casual pace, Styx ran her fingers across the mystical barrier imprisoning her. The normally invisible field came alight with a dull blue aura, electricity arced between the fingers of her lantern and trailed her as she continued along.
“How much longer must I remain a prisoner?” she mused aloud
Zeno’s snoring attracted her attention and she shot a glance across the temple to her bed chambers. She smirked, thinking it adorable the way he slept and she found herself grateful for his presence. He was right; she was only attracted to him, initially, because of her solitude. It was also irrelevant, she knew an improvement in their situation wouldn’t change how she felt.
He belongs to me. she asserted inwardly
“I wonder child…” Styx whispered softly “If we ever escape, will you try to leave me?”
“abso…zzzzzzz…fuckin-lutely” he mumbled in his sleep
Despite the fact that he was half conscious, his words still stung her deeply. She frowned and sent a telekinetic blast that upended him from the bed.
“What the hell woman?!” he barked
“You would leave me to solitude child!?” she charged
“After all the shit you put me through?! Hell yeah I would!”
“Does my love mean nothing to you?!”
He turned his head towards the indentation left by his body in the marble wall then, pointed to it as he returned his attention to Styx.
“…love? Is that what you call the abuse I‘ve been putting up with?”
I levitated towards the bed chamber to confront him openly. With a smug expression she asserted with a simple “Yes…”
“Then why?!” she yelled “Why do you feign affection for me?! Why do you toy with my emotions child?! Why do you receive my divine pleasure ingratitude?”
“What else is there to do…I’m trapped here just like you. If I try to escape, you just recall Phlegathon.”
“Is that all I am to you, just some cheap whore to pass the time!”
A tear fell from the goddess’ eye, followed by many more. Styx hated the fact that his words brought her to tears; she hated feeling such bothersome emotions. She loathed baring her soul to Zeno. With concerned caution, Zeno approached; embracing her arms as she bawled. Styx would have none of it however, and wrestled free from his gripped, her arms flailed in a half-hearted, flustered attempted to discipline him for his slights against her. Zeno intercepted her desperate flailing and pulled her in closer to him.
“Stop…” he ordered flatly
Styx did not have a chance to respond as she was drawn into the iridescent field of the astral plane. The goddess could see the traces of frustration on his face give way to general concern, a concern she felt radiating from him through the floor of that spirit world.
“I guess even the gods…er, ageless feel too.” He murmured
“Of course we feel, you twit!” I berated “I feel, and I feel…I feel for you!”
Guilt ridden he responded “I…I didn’t believe it. But…can you blame me?! Did you or did you not attempt to kill me repeatedly?!”
“I did what was necessary!”
“So did I! I did what I had to not have my soul eaten by you! ”
“Regardless…Now that you have drawn me into the astral you know exactly how I feel!”
Styx left the astral with Zeno following soon after. He gripped her by the shoulders, but again Styx would have none of it.
“Unhand me you bru--” she protested
Zeno Interrupted, with a tighter embrace and planted his lips on hers.
“I don’t understand why completely…why I don’t run, or try to escape, I hate you.” he admitted “But if you love me as much as you say you do, you’d understand my feelings, knowing that we weren’t married under the most ‘ideal’ conditions.
“And if you loved me, you would extend that same understanding to me.” Styx countered
“Ha! I never said I did.”
“What?! Well I never!”
“But yeah, I understand…I’m not exactly sinless either…”
He held up his left hand as it reverted back to the nub he had the day two met. Reaching for her lantern, he placed the hand of the prosthesis on it.
“Zeno…” Styx whispered, wiping away tears.
“Well, I’m awake now…guess it’s your turn.” He shrugged
“Indeed,” a sniffle as the goddess collected herself “I require a distraction from this….weakness. Very well then…”
“That night, after the altercation, I finally managed to convince the child to join me for a feast, in celebration of newfound matrimony. As flawed as the union may have been, we were partners, and he was a worthy of standing by my side as a proper deity. He sat across from me on the floor, his back against the bed. The wind whispered softly, whistling as it passed through the hinges of the chamber doors.
‘Will you not speak to me?’ I asked
‘About what?’ He said as he turned his head slowly to me
‘I demand to know more of you. Entertain me with more tales of your mortal mischief. Like when we first met.’
He scoffed, ‘You do realize…I fucking hate you right?’
He took a sip of wine. It was then I had noticed that his physique had much improved since being blessed with divinity.
‘Why must you continue treating me with such disdain? Gods and men would kill to be the husband of this Goddess.’
My remark caused him to expel his wine.
‘Husband? Are you serious?! I’ve seen what happens to your ‘husbands’!’ He pauses before laughing with a snarky attitude ‘Shit, I didn’t know you had a sense of humor.’
‘I did not marry Charon.’ I corrected ‘Besides, without me you would have not been victorious.’
‘The battle was your fault in the first place!’ He said.
The child was always so animated when he was angry. Standing, pacing, throwing things…I admit I found it entertaining, cute even, at times.
‘I saved your ass! Even after you flung me halfway across the damn temple!’
‘I see, saving me was your admission then.’ I deduced confidently
‘Admi..huh..fu..what the hell are you talking about!?’
‘Of your love and undying devotion towards me, your goddess.’
‘You saved me because you love for me.’
‘Bitch you have lost your god damned mind…you’re crazy, you’re fucking crazy! And you’re not a damn Goddess!’ Zeno espoused animatedly as he walked towards the bedchamber door. ‘Ughhhhh! I need to get the hell off this island.’
He grabbed his phlegathon in a huff, stomping out of the room. I raised my hand casually recalling the phlegathon, with him attached, back to my grasp as he sighed in exasperation. I released my telekinesis on the phlegathon, and he plopped down in front of me. The realization that he could not escape me finally sank in and he sat back against the bed and resumed shoving food into his gullet with frustration.
‘It shall only be a matter of time before the gods catch wind of our machinations, if they have not already.’ I instructed
‘Why don’t you just create some kinda flying contraption for me? You have your powers back don’t you? Or teleport like Charon.’ Zeno asked
‘My powers do not work like that. And teleportation was ability unique to Charon, being a demigod responsible for transportation to and from the underworld.’
‘Wha? That doesn’t make any sense, so you’re telling me you can only conjure food out of your ass?’
‘The food came from a cornucopia. It was a gift from Charon long ago, his initial attempt to court me. I used it to feed those that nourished me’ I explained ‘My conjuring it was simply an illusion, a trick of light, and a little levitation.’
‘Well don’t that just beat all…I cant believe.... So all that time I spent nursing you was…caring about you was…’
‘You were quite affectionate; I must admit I rather enjoyed being pampered.’
‘No sense getting angry about it anymore at this point. You’re a deceptive whore, it is what it is.’
‘You dare insult your goddess!’
He stood to leave, I chased him grabbing his arm and spinning him to face me.
‘At least the sex was good...’ he said ignoring my castigation ‘or was that a damn illusion too?’
My emotions got the best of me, and I spat on the child. I paused, and then I slapped him. I leaned in to slap him yet again and he caught my arm and pinned them both against the wall. He glared at me, his brown eyes locked with mine. I could feel his heart race through his body as he pinned me with it against the wall. His hostility towards me began to fade, as did my own. I suppose the constant bickering between us had been masking ‘other’ tensions that had been building between us.
He claims to hate me, but he will learn to pay reverence properly to his goddess. I kissed him as he pulled away, then he kissed me. He released my arms, kissing my neck as I embraced him. I found myself wanting, nay, needing his admiration and devotion. But at that moment, I needed his body. I wanted him.
I rested my head on his body after we finished our tryst, it felt great to finally find a bit of peace amidst so much chaos. He embraced me as I twirled my finger through his hair, I tracked it as it traced a path across his skin and down to his chest. I could feel his body shift as he looked down at me, I looked back up at him. I know he is no stranger to women and their affection, but I am no ordinary woman. I am a goddess and he would do well to remember that. And I could tell through his gaze that I was eroding his emotional barriers.
‘Why won’t you let me leave?’ he asked
‘Why would you want to? Does the physical affection of a goddess not satisfy you? It would satisfy any man.’ I countered
‘Apparently I am more than a man now.’
‘Yes, you are a proper partner for me now. You are a god.’
I do not know why he insisted on dredging up the past, he did not even fully understand the concept of which he spoke.
‘Why do we fight, Zeno?’ I queried as I snuggled against him
‘You already know damn well why.’ He replied calmly ‘You lie’
‘I did what I had to in order to survive.’ I explained ‘It was nothing personal.’
‘So you say, I guess a coup against that Zeus character was part of surviving, too, huh?’
‘It was not a coup; you would not understand of the machinations of the gods.’
‘Ageless,’ he corrected again ‘I’m not participating in that delusion.’
He got up from the bed, stretched and paced about the bedchamber. He rubbed his face in frustration, and exhaled.
‘I guess…I guess it doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing matters. Anyways…I’ve been thinking.’ He said
‘About what?’ I inquired
‘What to do next.’
With all the commotion, I had not stopped long enough to realize that we were indeed trapped. With Charon dead, we had no method of transportation.
‘What will we do...’ I sighed
I had become quite dejected at the realization.
‘Yeah, I’m stuck here.’ Zeno said gulping; his voice waivered as if he was holding back tears ‘I can’t escape your crazy ass. You would just pull me back, even If I could survive swimming in that shit out there.’
I sat up from the bed, holding the sheet to cover my breast.
‘I am not crazy, Zeno.’
‘At least you call me by my name now’ he said, his voice still quivering ‘I’m stuck in this situation its hopeless but…as much as I hate
you. I suppose there are worse fates than being stuck here with a delusional goddess that suckered me into marrying her. Gotta look at the bright side, at least you're beautiful.’
We both sat on the bed in silence; the hopelessness of the situation had finally struck me. I do not know why I had not realized it before. I suppose the child was correct to accept his fate, and I admired his strength of character for it. I was jealous, because in that moment, I could not. I broke down and sobbed pathetically. I was immortal again, but still trapped. I would be stuck in this prison forever, only now, without the option to die. Now, I could never die. Zeno held me as I collapsed with hysteria; he consoled me, like he had before, when I had pretended to be vulnerable. Only this time, this time ‘twas no farce, I could not dissimulate my feelings.
‘I….I am trapped here!’ I wailed ‘I will never be ascend to Mount Olympus again! I want free from this wretched prison!’
He continued to hold me, my tears rolled down his chest. I beat the ground, cracking the marble beneath easily with deific strength. I could not accept this fate, I refused to accept it. I was a goddess, and I was destined for more than this. I thoroughly enjoyed his touch, I always did, but even it was not enough to assuage my grief and heartache. I could not stand the thought of being trapped here any longer with no hope of escape.
‘I am truly outcast! Completely and utterly!’ I continued wailing
My words were nothing more than incoherent babbling at this point. And then he shushed me softly, placing his finger on my lip.
‘Yeah…’ he said softly ‘We both are.’
‘I’ve never belonged anywhere, either. Never, even within my own family I was a black sheep. I’m a nomad, a vagabond, a thief…a nobody. I find power…and I still can’t do shit with it. I guess I just have to accept that, as much as it sucks, I’ve found where I belong. And I’ve resigned myself to that fate.’
‘Wh…where? Here?’ I asked still sobbing. ‘Where do you belong?’
‘I guess…here…with you…’
My tears stopped instantly at the sound of his words, and I gazed into his eyes, in that moment of silence, that enslaving emotion fully emerged within me. I could not believe the words I henceforth uttered.
‘Zeno…I…I Love you.’ I uttered softly.
His face wrinkled, and his eyes widened.
‘I…’ he paused ‘still fucking hate you though.’
I was at a loss for words, and I sat there dumbstruck. And then he smiled at me, with that stupid mischievous grin.
‘You cheeky bastard…’ I swore.
I grabbed a pillow from the bed, and smacked him about the face with it. He chuckled and wrestled with me, playfully as we rolled about the bed. We found ourselves laughing merrily from the diversion, and then we embraced. He lay there above me, our gaze locked as if to peer into one another’s soul. Our eyelids fell as Zeno leaned in slowly to kiss me. A kiss which evolved into a passionate embrace, we clutched and ripped away each other’s clothing. He turned me over, and entered me from behind while kissing my neck.
‘This…’ he said as he thrust inside me ‘is where I belong.’
‘With me…’ I moaned.
My loins frothed as they had never before and I bit my lip while he pleasured me. The emotional satisfaction of the child finally admitting his servitude to me was almost as satisfying as the physical satisfaction he delivered. In fact, I would say it magnified the experience. I was his goddess, and even though he would not verbally admit it, he knew it to be true.”
“Leave it to you to ruin the good parts with your damned ego.” Zeno bemoaned
“What? ‘tis the truth.” Styx asserted with her typical arrogance “You are too rebellious to ever admit it openly. However, whether it be through open admiration or through your ‘stirring loins’, you worship me.”
He wiped the exasperation from his face with a sigh.
“I don’t…I don’t fuckin worship you woman.” Zeno muttered
With a chuckle, Styx responded “Oh ho ho…I am no mere woman child; as you have experienced repeatedly.”
“…hrm I can’t argue with that.” He muttered under his breath
“Our lovers embrace was interrupted by a raven fluttering to the ground outside the bedchamber door. It flew to the bed perching in front of us. I grabbed it with the lantern ripping its soul from its body, before returning to intercourse. I did not want to be interrupted. The wretched bird was not alone however, and soon a conspiracy of ravens descended just past the steps. It was then I realized the horror that was in store for us.”
“damn, I didn’t even notice that.” He mused
“Of course you would not, I am a divine experience after all…” Styx explained
“I leapt from the bed, summoning my clothing to cover my nude figure; I levitated to the center of my temple. I took notice of the ferryman’s poll in the distance and used my telepathy to recall it to my grasp. It maintained residuals of Charon’s magic. Zeno, now donning his tattered pants, joined my side with his phlegathon at the ready. With raven’s wings, she descended as the unkindness of black birds obscured her arrival. They cleared to reveal the fearsome warrior of Asgard.
The Valkyrie, Hrist.
She was adorned in ornate heavy armor, from head to toe. Her long, ponytailed hair was as black as her wings and the ravens that accompanied her. She drew her sword pointing it at Zeno as she addressed him.
‘By order of the All-father of Asgard,’ she spoke in a booming authoritarian tone, ‘You will relinquish that phlegathon to me!’
Zeno began to rush headlong into combat, but I stopped him, recalling the phlegathon.
‘What the hell are you doing?!’ he asked glaring at me wild eyed.
‘This is a Valkyrie you fool! You do not stand a chance!’
We do not stand a chance, I thought to myself, Especially against THIS Valkyrie.
Then my oath began to sear itself into the skin on Zeno’s chest.
‘Well, thanks to you, I don’t have a choice…’ he remarked coldly. ‘Arrrgh…this fucking oath!’
‘You would do well to listen to her boy. This is your final warning.’ Hrist continued ‘Surrender the weapon of Hephaestus, or die.’
‘Fuck off,’ Zeno responded, ever defiant.
Before he could attack, the Valkyrie was upon us. Her speed was beyond anything Zeno had ever encountered, and what I could handle. He barely managed to block her downward slash with his phlegathon and countered with a horizontal swipe, but the Valkyrie dodged without effort, spinning out of the way. I moved to attack as well, but I could not compete with the Valkyrie’s speed either. She butted me with the pommel of her blade, and then punched me in the midsection sending me flying into the wall.
Zeno cocked back to retaliate; but the Valkyrie preempted him and thrusted her sword through his mid-section. Hrist then rocketed upwards; she blasted through the roof of the temple. I retreated from the falling rocks before rushing to the hole. I could only watch as the Valkyrie escaped into the upper atmosphere. My connection to the phlegathon was not as strong as Zeno’s, the Valkyrie had gained too much distance and I could not recall it against the force of her acceleration. Instead, I focused, using my magic to increase the range of my sight. I watched in hopes that Zeno would emerge victorious.
He struggled to free himself from the blade; his efforts were made more difficult by the Valkyrie punching him in the face repeatedly. He was not yet used to going without air for long periods, and he struggled to catch his breath, heaving and gasping desperately for breath in the thin atmosphere. The constant blows to the face rocked him hard, he struggled to remain coherent from the trauma, but he mustered the strength for one last attempt to free himself from Hrist’s blade.
He swung upward, but the Valkyrie dodged. The force of the swing managed to dislodge him from the blade, and he began to plummet back to the surface. He threw the phlegathon as she approached to reacquire him; she spun as it blew past her. She chambered the blade for another thrust, but was struck in the back of the head as the phlegathon was recalled by Zeno. It did not kill her, but she was rendered unconscious by the surprise attack. The phlegathon returned to his grasp, turning him with its momentum as he continued his descent to earth.
I could see him look around as he fell, I assumed he had never known the earth to be a globe. I watched as his lips uttered a single word as he was rendered unconscious from the trauma of his wounds.
‘Fascinating.’ He said
His trajectory carried him on a path away from my temple, I attempted to summon it, but it was still too far. I had finally found some semblance of peace in this cruel world, and now I could only watch helplessly as it was ripped away from me.
“I had forgotten how painful that day was...” Styx recalled wistfully “You have no idea how painful those years without you were.”
“Yeah, they weren’t exactly a picnic for me either.” Zeno remarked equally melancholy. “Dying like that, it left a…mark. Shit!”
Zeno stomped out of the bed chamber. Surprised, Styx watched silently as he left. She decided not to give chase, despite everything within her yelling to the contrary. She knew he was disturbed, and deeply so and decided to leave Zeno to his own devices. It was not as if he could escape her grasp, she could always recall him if necessary.
“Do not ever leave me like that again Zeno…” Styx whispered to herself