The clang of swords slammed against each other and sounded through her ears. The armor weighted her down as she trudged through the mud, fighting toward the top of the hill. The sweat on her brow stung into her eyes, making them blur her vision, she gasped. Her hand pressed into her side as the sword sliced into the muddy ground. The blade held her up as she kept tried to walk up the hill. The blood seeped between her fingers. Like red ribbons falling to the ground, the blood poured, but lay hidden amongst the blood of others. The forces ran across the field below, those that were still alive stepped over them and kept fighting on. The screams and battle cries of soldiers’ sounded in her ears as they rushed past her.
Her world became a battle. Destruction waited for her, and she turned with tears in her eyes, letting them spill over like droplets of rain. This was the war she had entered without thinking of what would come of it and all for what… what? Why was she here? Where was she? She didn’t know these people; she didn’t know the faces that ran past her to keep fighting, but for who where they fighting for? She turned to see a boy on the top of the hill, calling for her to hurry, to keep running towards him. His voice called for her, and the sound of swords clanging together as she struggled up the hill.
Her body numbed and shivered, from the loss of blood. She fell to her knees and gasped for breath. Carina hand stretched out for the boy on the hill, her voice caught in her throat as she saw an arrow flying towards him.
The arrow pierced through his chest, and she watched in horror as he fell to his knees. He looked down at the arrow before his eyes turned to her. The shocked look in his eyes matched hers as he fell to the ground with the rest of the dead, and she cried as her heart clenched with agony. She looked down to the sword beside her. Tears spilled over before she’d blinked them away; she rose with a newfound strength. A flash of light slammed to the ground and coated over her as she gripped the sword. She turned as another set of soldiers came towards her; she called for them, to lend her their strength and swords.
She gripped the horn in her bloodied hand and blew a shaky breath. The sound gained the soldiers attention and they charged down the hill. She screamed for death, for hatred and revenge, over the death of the boy. Steel pressed against steel and her heart bled for the loss of someone she hadn’t known.
Carina bolted from her bed, gasping as sweat covered over her body. She trembled from the dream. The air tasted stale as if she could still taste the blood and the dirt, swallowing hard. Carina stared down at her hand; she remembered the feeling of the sword in her hand. The vivid dream had caused a start in her heart, the aching she felt for the unknown boy. Carina remembered from the way the mud felt to the warm blood the seeped through her fingers. The warm steel in her hand as she held that sword, so confusing why she kept having this dream. She fell asleep only to wake up with sweat dripping down her forehead as the memory of that one dream kept playing over and over again.
Sadness, it’s always the same feeling, the same agony. How could a dream hurt someone so much?
She’d held that thought as she turned to look at the time. With an hour left before Morus Academy began, she had lay on the bed again. Her body had finally calmed down and she turned on her side. After the dream, Carina knew she would not be able to sleep. Each night when the dream came, she would wake up with such a fright of what she saw that she would stay up for the next few hours until dawn came. She pushed the covers off and slipped out of the bed walking over to flick the light switch on. The light illuminated and coated each surface in a sea of various purple shades. Carina walked to the vanity and sat down.
A tired girl, who had wanted nothing more than the warmth of her bed, stared back. Her skin was pale and blended against her light purple tank top, the mark of Aphrodite on her neck Carina had full thick red hair that spilled over her pale shoulders. Her lips full and light pink as they pressed together in a thin line as she stared into her icy blue eyes that reflected back to her. The last of her bloodline, she was the last one to bare her mark too. If she didn’t revive her bloodline then Aphrodite would die along with her. Her fingers brushed over the mark; the splayed out rose entrapped in a circle, keeping it inside. Trapped in a nightmare that would not stop, she had felt like the rose; it became harder to sleep now with such a nightmare waiting for her.
The Academy ensnared her and those like her. They’d bore of the Gods and Goddesses. The Academy took special care sine there were only a handful in the whole world. Each one marked when they were born, and some parents rejoiced when the mark faded on their newborn child but not others. They feared it, for a marked child was a dangerous one and some parents gave up their own children because of it. She thought frowned bitterly to herself. Some of the new kids arrived at the Academy this year; some had looked as if they came off the streets of the mortal world. However, here they would be safe from any danger, well most of the time. Sometimes incidents occurred between the marked kids roaming the halls. The marks often formed groups and used their surrogate parents in fights aimed toward other marks.
Carina dropped her hand as she stared into the mirror, she kept brushing her hair, and she was working out the tangles. She needed to talk to someone about this dream; maybe Mr. Lightning could help her understand the nightmare. Nevertheless, he would worry about this and would want to talk to Aphrodite, and that’s the last thing she wanted. An overbearing, wanting to be her mother Goddess, who tried to force her to open up. She was the only daughter that had ever pushed the Goddess away. The alarm sounded and she jumped, turning as the beeping echoed through the room before.
Another day had begun, but what would today actually bring for Carina?
Carina dressed and tied her hair into a ponytail. She slung her purple backpack over her shoulder as someone pounded on her door. The urgency told her that her friends had waited. She flashed timid smile as their voices carried from the hallway. They argued over something, but she could not make out what. Carina opened the door and stared at the back of a tall boy. Beneath his long black hair rested his white backpack with people’s names written in sharpie. Marcellus shook his head, and his long hair trailed over his shoulders as she heard a soft voice in front of him. Leaning to the side to peek over him, she smiled as she saw Reselda her golden hair curled around her heart shaped face.
“You know some people actually do their work, not just copy off others. I think that’s the point of being in school, you know, to learn.”
Reselda rolled her eyes and tossed her hair behind her shoulder as she turned and walked away. Marcellus had turned to look down at Carina and winked before following Reselda down the hall, Carina trailed after them. The sounds of the first term of the year started, those with family in the outside world could return home, but for those without stayed in Morus Academy. Each year those with family said goodbye to a handful of people, including herself and her friends. This year was no different as calls from old friends rang through the halls of the Academy.
Morus Academy wasn’t the average school, given that the school was an Academy for the Marked Ones. The students here weren’t demi-gods; they were the direct bloodlines of the ancestors that were demi-gods. They were our great grandfathers or grandmother’s that used to be heroes in the stories told from generation to generation. The Marked Ones were actually mortals with special needs and were brought up here to make sure no harm came to them in case a certain bloodline was in danger of dying.
The Academy stood in the between the Forest of Hedone and the Forest of Ania. The barriers around the forest concealed the Academy from those that wanted to harm anyone from the Academy. The city of Somnia lay out before the forest, but the mortals there seldom came into the woodland. And for those that did, well there were many stories behind what happened to them. The only people to ever make it out of the forest alive have been known to go mad from staying in there for too long.
“Did you get your new schedule yet?” Reselda asked and, turned to look over at Carina and Marcellus.
“No, I have to go to the office to get it, and no doubt there will be a long line to get new schedules,” Carina said rolling her eyes as she nodded to the front office and the line of students.
“We’ll wait with you; Marcellus didn’t get his schedule either.” Reselda pointed out as Marcellus grinned at them both.
Marcellus glanced at Carina and smiled at her. He winked as they moved behind two other boys. One of the boys scarcely gave them a backwards glance while the other boy smiled wide and hugged Reselda.
“Yo Kalas, where’s Evangelos?” he asked patting his back.
“No clue, he disappeared the minute he finish changing. He was like a bat out of hell.” Kalas said as he waved at them.
Kalas smiled towards them, he was Reselda twin brother, tall with a lean body that his clothes nearly fell off his own body. His curled blonde hair tussled over his heart shaped face. Kalas slanted smile was killer over the women that fawned over him, being marked with Apollo. The mark splayed over the back of his hand, matching Reselda own mark of Artemis. Marcellus looked over to at Brone, who had stared straight ahead and ignored the rest of the group. Brone was a silent one. No one knew why he had stayed away from the rest of the marked ones. Well they had an idea, since the mark of Hades that had appeared on him lay splayed over his left cheek.
Brone had a fierce look to him with black coal eyes and matching hair. He tried his best to keep his hood up and passed the year being nothing more than a ghost. The teachers had caught him more than once, in the graveyard, leaning against one of the gravestones. When asked why he was there, he said that he spoke to his friends. Nothing should have scared the teachers in Morus Academy, but when Brone said those words, they had all went pale as a ghosts before walking away from him.
However, for some reason, he would drift to their region, staying close to them as best as possible. They didn’t know why he was around with their little group, but when he was, they seemed to bring him out of his shyness and he talked just a bit more than usual. Brone glanced over his shoulder before turning around as the line moved. Carina talked with the others until Marcellus had looked up and stiffened. Her eyes scanned for the source and she found commotion at the end of the hall. His eyes flashed with excitement, which had meant only one thing in this school. A fight had broken out and Marcellus was edged to join in, after all, he was marked with Ares sign on his bicep.
The air sizzled with rage and anger; they sensed the need for power as screams from the end of the hall reached their ears. They turned to see Evangelos run from a group of boys yelling at him to stop. The grin on his face made Carina roll her eyes again. Evangelos was six feet tall with short blonde hair that spiked up. His blue mischief filled eyes cast around as he ran from the boys. He no doubt had said something to them that angered them all; they knew of his prankster ways. Evangelos was the one that kept on giving, even when there was nothing they wanted, being marked with Hermes on his palm; he was quick to escape from those he angered. He was one of those friends that would do his best to make you smile on the bad days. Carina shook her head in dismay as Evangelos headed towards the line they were in; Marcellus smirked as he saw them and appeared ready to crouch down and tackle them when he stiffened again.
Brone’s head whipped from the side to stare at the entrance of the school. His eyes widen as fear spread through the kids of Morus Academy. Carina’s heart clenched as she felt something, something bad was about to happen and every single kids in the Academy knew it too. The screams of the students in Morus Academy echoed through the halls; she saw them trying their best to run into the safety of the halls as teachers tried to push past them. Carina’s heart pounded against her chest and, she stared over the sea of heads scrambling away from the entrance. Her hair stood on the backs of her arms and Carina caught Brone staring at her. She faced him and swallowed hard.
“What is it?” she whispered to him.
“Nine, nine dead.”
Morus Academy Invasion
Carina eyes widen as a scream echoed through the golden halls of Morus Academy, The Marked Ones fell to their knees as they clasped their hands over their ears. The students that were running tripped and fell as pain crossed their faces over the scream that entered their minds. Carina looked up to see that only Brone and the teachers fought against the screams, she could see through squinted eyes that Brone eyes twitched from the pain of the scream. Brone coal eyes flickered with surprise at the entrance, Carina turned to look, her jaw unhinged as what stood before the entrance. The blood soaked whips dripped onto the white marble tile as the Academy turned silent and the screams ceased.
They were donned in black cloaks, serpents curled around their golden hair as their hideous faces twisted in what look like disgust. Their wings stretched out, blocking the entrance of the Academy, teachers formed a line between the students and the Erinyes before them all. Carina stood up slowly as she stared at them; she couldn’t believe that they were here or that they were even alive at all. The stories that she was told by the teachers, the books that had pictures of them did no justices for what she was seeing now. Carina thought that Hades had banished them all when they had all went rouge, they had disappeared for centuries. However they were now standing before them, the serpents hissed as they twisted up their arms.
The Erinyes eyes scanned the teachers before them, they students slowly getting to their feet and it was as if the whole world was standing still for that very second. And that was when it all began; the Erinyes took to the air and swooped down towards the line of teachers. The marks on them glowed as they grabbed their weapons; they were ready to fight them off, all of them. But what they did not expect was them flying over them and towards the students behind them, the screams came back but this time from the students as they turned and ran. Brone grabbed Evangelos from the floor while Kalas and Reselda took off running in the same direction. Carina stood frozen as if her feet were cemented on the floor as one of the Erinyes flew towards her. The whip ready in her hand, the ugly fierce face glaring at her, Carina mouth open to scream but silence only came. The whip in the Erinyes hand was at its ready when a blast of lightning zigzagged around her, hitting the Erinyes on its chest. She watched the creature fall only inches away from her, whirling around she saw the head master.
“P-Professor Lightning…” Carina stammered as she trembled.
“Get out of here! Marcellus take her and the other students and head towards the forest, hurry! Run!” Michael Lightning shouted at them, pushing Carina into Marcellus arms.
Carina was being dragged away from Marcellus as he barked orders to the other students; being marked with Ares he knew how to take command. The students respected him enough to listen to him, following his orders they headed towards the exit that lead to the Forest of Ania. Carina looked back to see Professor Lightning surrounded by Erinyes, his striking blue eyes narrowed, electricity flicker over the tips of his fingers. Professor Lightning mark looked more of a jagged scar then the Mark of Zeus as it lay over his cheekbone. His lean body swiftly moved around the Erinyes touching them lightly and slowly they fell one by one as electricity flowed through their bodies.
“Protect the students, protect The Marked Ones!” Michael yelled to the teachers around him as more Erinyes swarmed through the entrance.
Carina watched as Marcellus dragged her away from the fighting, the students running out the back door and into the Forest of Ania. The Socordia River ran along slowly as if it had no idea what was going inside the Academy, the pounding footsteps on the wooden bridge that crossed over the river. The Forest of Ania was just ahead of them, they were just in arms reached from the forest when a scream came from behind them. Marcellus head snapped back to see one of the Erinyes chasing after them, he cursed under his breath as he urged the students to keep running. Carina knew that he wanted to fight; it was in his blood, in his genes to stand and fight against those that attack him or his home.
Marcellus bellowed out, “Keep running! Head to the Forest of Ania! RUN!”
Marcellus jerked Carina forward, pushing her in front of him, he looked back to see the Erinyes closing in on the students behind him. Carina saw the desperate look in Marcellus eyes, he wanted to save them, but he had orders to get them to the forest. And no matter what, Marcellus always followed orders; she could hear the wheels in his mind turning. However he didn’t have to do anything as lightning slammed into the Erinyes. The teachers along with the Professor Michael where running towards the students but what was chasing them were more Erinyes. All hoped seem lost as the thundering footsteps on the bridged echoed in her ears, the forest was just ahead, but the invasion of Morus Academy seems to have been won. But the teachers they kept fighting, fighting for their home, for the school and for the students that they were trying to protect.
“Keep going! Into the Forest of Ania and towards the Valley of Quies!” Professor Lightning yelled.
Looking back to the swarm of Erinyes, Carina didn’t know if they were all going to make it but as the teachers fought and the students ran. There was still hope that they would be safe, that they would live another day to come back to their home. A home they only knew from the golden halls to their dorms that splashed with colors of their souls. Carina couldn’t look back towards the Academy; she couldn’t see the destruction of the beloved Academy she has lived for many years since she was only five years old. It was the only place for those that have lost family to call their home. Their own little sanctuary from the cruel world beyond the forest of Hedone, it was only Academy that they ever knew.
The sounds of the teachers fighting behind them, the pounding of running feet on the wooden bridge, the rushing water of the river underneath them. The smell of burning wood came from behind them, the thundering clouds rolled as Michael stood in front of the bridge. He called on to the lightning as the Erinyes flew towards him. By the power of Zeus, he was a Descendant and he would protect the others while the lightning strikes around him, the electricity sizzled through his body. Michael looked up to the sky and prayed that the Gods didn’t do this to them, that they had not made this same mistake once more. Michael turned to see that they were almost to the forest; they were almost safe, turning back to the Erinyes.
“Why are you doing this!?” He yelled towards the Erinyes.
They looked at him with darkness in their eyes, their knuckles turning white from gripping their whips too tightly. The teachers lined up beside Michael, buying the students time to enter the forest and leave the battle to them as the Erinyes moved closer. Michael only saw the darkness that dwelled inside of them, they were ones to bring justices and yet here they stood. They killed nine innocent people, draining the powers of the Gods and Goddesses, had he gotten there in time those nine innocent students would have still been alive. However this was no time to overthink what had happen, he still had hundreds of students behind him trying to stay alive. But he had to know why the Erinyes where doing this, why they were killing off The Marked Ones when they have done nothing to them. As he said, they were all innocent; they had done nothing but the Erinyes where still here and they were hell-bent on getting passed the teachers. Their coal-like eyes fixated on the running kids behind them, they would have to kill every single one of them to get to those students.
“Tell me! Why!?” Michael roared.
The leader of Erinyes stepped forward; a mocking smirked coated her hideous face as she stood against Michael. Her chin sticking out in a stubborn manner as the wind whisper against their cloaks as silence dawned on their small battle.
“For he has returned the one that they banished into Tartarus, he has woken from his forced slumber. And he comes, Michael, he comes from the darkness that dwells in the shadows. He seeks the vengeance that he so deserves, for it has been foretold by his lips, do not forget the day has come. It is time to bring the justice that the Gods had forced upon their beloved children, it is inevitable. For he comes and he will not stop until those that imprisoned him has fallen onto their knees in front of him. Have you forgotten so easily?”
Michael paled at the Erinyes words he could not believe them, he did not want to believe them for this was something even he couldn’t stop. Michael had not prepared them for this; this was too much for them as they ran into the forest to get away from this horror. The beautiful lie had lain behind him, while the reality was now facing him, so he prayed to the Gods above to save the students from this tragic foretelling. His fingers twitched as electricity coursed through his body as he watched the Erinyes.
“You may know only one part of the foretelling, Erinyes, daughters of Hades! But I know the other half; your God will not win!”
Michael’s hand shot out, the lightning zigzagging through the air, striking the Erinyes each on the chest, sending them flying against the cobble walls of the Academy. Those horrific faces twisted in pain as they glared at Michael with a murderous look in those black eyes. Their window of destroying The Marked Ones had closed as most of them were now disappearing in the forest that had lain behind the Academy. The Erinyes knew they had failed; this was one victory they could not give their God. They may have lost the battle, but the war was to come and they would make sure that they would win. For their God; they pushed up from the stone wall, looking over to the last of the students that were crossing the bridge.
They looked back to the proud Academy, standing tall with smoke spilling from the windows, they may not have won. However they will take at least their last shred of hope from them as the Erinyes took flight. They dove into the Academy, setting flames to their beloved school, destroying everything that was inside. The flames licked at their black cloaks as they stared down at Michael from the top window. His horrified face gave them such glee, for this was the pride and joy of the Gods above. The Erinyes were merciless in their consent attack of the Academy; the teachers watched on with sadden faces.
They were half way across the bridge when an explosion was heard behind them; screams filled the air from the Erinyes. Smoke filled the air, Carina looked back once more and gasped in complete horror, she halted making Marcellus turn around, his eyes widening. Standing before them was Morus Academy in flames, the smoke slowly trailing up to the graying sky. What little hope they had had completely disappeared now as they watched their home being destroyed. The students who were on the bridged watched with the same matching horror expression as they saw the flames licking over the cobble stones of the Academy. Through the sea of faces Carina could see Reselda crying silently with Kalas hugging her tightly. Brone and Evangelos were already at the tree line of the Forest of Ania, they both watched with sorrowful faces.
“By the God of Prometheus… Elpis is gone,” Carina whispered tearfully.
“We have to go,” Marcellus cleared his throat, brushing a jagged tear away.
She grabbed the railing of the bridge walking slowly towards the forest with the others as the flames heated their backs and their home was destroyed. As she knew, the invasion had been won with nine dead and their home lost to the Erinyes. Carina didn’t know what to think but she blamed the Gods and Goddesses as they left them alone to fight against the Erinyes. They didn’t bother to come down and help them and the result was the students being homeless. And with the death of their friends, what would happen now to the students of Morus Academy?
What good where the Gods when they did nothing but sat in their mountain and merely looked down on them with blameless eyes. They knew nothing of feelings or loss, they were heartless and destructive, and yet they wanted them to welcome them with open arms. Carina could not do that, not with what she has seen, the Gods turned around when bad things happened to them. The bitter thought fueled her to keep going, to keep walking towards the forest as she heard the silent cries of the students around them. Carina heart was heavy as they kept walking further into the forest, she could hear the leaves crunching under their footsteps. The crackle of the flames behind them reached their ears, making their steps even heavier. Slowly the forest was parting and the Valley of Quies came into view, the students and teachers looked down towards the runes of the old village that use to thrive with life. This was their safe haven, she had hope that they were safe here, not knowing when the Erinyes would attack or if they had followed them at all.
“We’ll camp here for the night, tomorrow we’ll send the students home,” Professor Lightning called out.
Carina whispered softly, “and those that have no homes?”
Michael looked down at her and sighed as he moved forward towards the valley, the students walked after him while Carina and Marcellus stayed behind waiting for the others. Brone and Evangelos reached them while Kalas and Reselda walked up to them; they turned slowly to look over smoke that claimed the sky. They only knew one home and that was destroyed, where would they go now? Who would take in a Marked One?
“What do we do?” Marcellus asked.
“The only thing we know to do,” Carina said, “we hide.”
“We’re cowards, aren’t we?” Brone asked as he looked behind him to see the students moving into the old homes.
“Cowards? No, I doubt you six are that, you all have a fight in all of you. You do things on your own terms, you practically run the school when the teachers aren’t looking,” Professor Lightning chuckled, “so enough of this doom and gloom talk, we’ll survive, we’ll rebuild, but right now we must get you all down into the valley to keep you guys safe. We’ll figure this out, we always have, now let’s go.”
Carina sighed in despair, she knew that the Professor was right but she as they moved down towards the houses, she couldn’t help wonder if Brone was right. They hide all the time, from the villagers, from the world itself and what good did hiding do when those that want them dead have now found them. The chilled air wrapped around them, the shock over their lost home had finally set in and they could hear the sobbing of the students in the houses. It seem that they lost everything now, however Professor Lightning was right, they will rebuild, they will survive, but what happens until the next attack. The Erinyes where supposed to be extinct or gone, banished from this world and the underworld, so what where they doing back?
The questions piled into Carina’s mind; bouncing around her head as she was trying to seek the answers she was looking for. However she knew that those questions would not be answer, not without going directly to the Gods themselves and demanding an answer from them. Like that would ever happen, such fantasies are only for those that chase dreams; she moved into one of the house further away from the other students. Carina could not handle the sobbing of those around her; she only wanted silence to mourn for the home she just lost. While the others had moved into the house with her, they stood there not knowing what to do. This was a huge loss for them, while the others can go home and live with their parents. They could not.
As they sat in silence, they could finally hear the students calming down over the loss of the school. While they were still mourning, they could hear the footsteps coming towards the house they were in. Professor Lightning looked inside, the darken expression passed over his face as he saw them huddled together in the harsh coldness of the midafternoon fall.
“So why didn’t they come?” Carina mumbled under her breath, she stared up at Professor Lightning.
“You know I can’t answer that question, Carina, things just happen,” He answered back to her, the doubt that coated Carina’s eyes had only brought guilt to Michael.
Michael didn’t know how to tell them anything, all this should not have happen in their lifetime, had he known he would have prepared them all. However, time was irrelevant now, he knew he had to tell them and this was something that would eat him alive. To him, they were merely children, to the Gods they were their lifeline, and to the others they were in the way. This God that dwells in the darkness was coming out the gate of Tartarus as they stood there. He couldn’t stall anymore, for once; he blamed the Gods for bringing this curse upon these six Marked Ones. Their bitterness over the Gods was only going to be fueled when he told them the reason why their own home was destroyed by the Erinyes.
“There is something we have to talk about,” Michael said, “it’s not something that I wanted for you to find out. Not in this lifetime after all, but it can’t be avoided either.”
Carina stood up listening to her Professor and the sound of his voice, the guilt that covered his face and the sadness that resided in his eyes. She knew something was wrong and she knew it had something to do with the Gods that sat on their mountain doing nothing but looking down on them. The hatred she felt for them only grew stronger with each passing day, they had taken so much and given so little and yet they want them to be happy for what they have done. Carina couldn’t be like the others, she couldn’t embrace them when they enter the halls of Morus Academy, she would turn and walk away when she saw Aphrodite. She couldn’t stand them at times; it wasn’t in her to be buddy-buddy with a Goddess that did nothing to save her family. Carina was just not that type of person to let something like that go and they all knew it and some would agree.
Marcellus was staring out the wind when he mumbled from under his hand, “you’re going to end up pissing her off, so be quick, like a Band-Aid.”
Michael chuckled, “it’s not something that I can explain, but someone else can, we need to leave to meet her soon. You all have to come, that means you too, Brone, let’s not sneak off, alright?”
Brone was already half way out the door with Evangelos walking after him; he gave a curt wave as they left together. No doubt they would be going to the cemetery; it was one of Brone’s favorite places to relax. And Evangelos only went after him because he knew he would get distracted and forget that they had something important to do. It was in Brone’s nature to just wander away from the school or their small group to end up in the cemetery and it was Evangelos job to make sure to bring him back. They had a weird friendship that Carina couldn’t explain, they seem more attached to the hip then anything and it was hard to find them apart. But then again, what else was there to expect from a descendant of Hermes and Hades, they were meant to be friends.
“Aren’t the Erinyes daughters of Hades?” Kalas asked callously as he stared at the door.
“Oh, here we go again, let it go Kalas!” Reselda snapped, shaking her head over her brother’s vendetta over Brone.
“Hey, it couldn’t just be a coincidence that they are the daughters of Hades, come on like you didn’t think the same thing!” Kalas snapped right back to his sister and her naïve mind.
Carina sighed over Kalas and Brone’s hatred towards one another, she didn’t know how all this started but she knew enough to stay out of it. And it seems that Professor Lightning was taking the same path as he walked out of the run down house along with her. She could see in the distance that the smoke from the Academy was fading away, the fire must have died down by now. It seems that tragedy was fading away along with it, but the death of nine was going to loom over their heads for days. Their friend lives where cut too short, she hoped that they had a painless death and not one to suffer. Carina wiped a tear away as she felt remorse over the people that lost their lives today; it wasn’t something she was used to seeing. She could blame the Gods all she wanted but she knew that there was some other reason than the Gods that those nine students lost their lives. Maybe Kalas was right, they should be cautious over the fact that the Erinyes where the daughters of Hades. Even the thought made Carina’s stomach churn at the thought of suspecting Brone of calling the Erinyes. They may have been banished by Hades for their disloyalty but they could still be called upon by a descendant. She looked up to see Brone and Evangelos coming back together, Brone’s coal like eyes pierced through her. Carina shivered at the soulless look that he had given her, he had the power to command them but he had no motive to kill another Marked One.
“We need to leave now, Marcellus, can you bring the Wonder Twins out before they kill each other,” Professor Lightning nodded towards Kalas and Reselda still arguing.
Brone brow cocked up as he heard his name being yelled from the run down house, a snort came from his direction as he turned to leave. Evangelos hand shot out and grabbed his arm, stopping him from leaving, Carina didn’t know why but it seems it was always Evangelos that stopped Brone from doing something stupid. Brone stopped and stared at where Evangelos hand when Kalas and Reselda walked out of the house with Marcellus herding them away from Brone. Kalas shot Brone a look that told them that he blamed him for what happen to their school and the people that had died. Brone just stared at him with a bleak expression that covered his features; it was always the same thing over and over again with those two. They couldn’t even be in the same room alone without the other trying to provoke a fight from the other. And it was mostly Kalas that would provoke that fight, this back and forth with them seemed more one-sided then anything.
“Where are we going?” Evangelos asked as he pulled Brone back beside him, giving him a stern look that a parent would give not a friend.
“Phrice Swamp, she’ll be meeting us there,” Michael told them as he started to walk in the direction of the mountains.
Carina heard them groan from behind her as she walked alongside Professor Lightning; she gave a sideways glance and saw his solemn face once more. Something was hovered over their heads; it wasn’t just Professor Lightning that knew this but everyone else. Carina looked behind them to see a small group of their teachers watching them with dismay expressions. Something just wasn’t right, why did Professor Lightning want to talk to just them? Why weren’t the other students coming with them? Carina heart slammed against her chest as her mind warped to the bad place in her brain, she didn’t like not knowing what was happening. And she defiantly didn’t like that only they were the ones to be following Professor Lightning to the Phrice Swamp.
As their small group trudged forward over the opening of the mountain that lead towards the swamp. The musky scent wafted over them, making them gag and cover their mouth and nose, which was a sign that they were close to the swamp. But first they would have to get through the jagged rocks of the mountain entrance. Marcellus jumped from rock to rock, looking up ahead towards the exit of the mountain. He reached down to help Carina, pulling her up alongside him while the others tried to follow their lead.
“You’re not the only that thinks the same, Carina,” Marcellus said, “Why do you think they’re walking so slowly?”
Carina looked up to Marcellus before turning back to see Reselda and Kalas stepping over and around the rocks while Brone and Evangelos were walking just a mile behind them. They looked as if they were talking in a nonchalant manner, it was just another day for them all, or they pretend it to be. Professor Lightning was just ahead of them, he was avoiding their questions that he practically ran ahead of them while they were left there to avoid the sharp rocks. They were all stalling, Marcellus was right she wasn’t the only one that had that same dreaded feeling deep inside of the pit of her stomach. They didn’t want to know what was happening, but being the last of their line they knew it had something to do with them. Guilt settles inside of her heart as she notice that nine innocent people died because The Erinyes were after them.
Carina hadn’t made the connection until now, the death of those students where on them; she stood on the rock as Marcellus jumped forward. Tears streamed down her pale cheeks as she covered her mouth, muffling a sob. This whole thing was their fault, their home, those lives, all of that was because of them. Being the last of the Marked Ones for the Gods wasn’t something that she wanted. Had they not been the last of their line, those nine people would still be alive; they would still be in line laughing at Evangelos antics. They would have all been walking to class together, but now they’re here walking towards a swamp. Marcellus looked back towards Carina and sighed as he saw that she was crying, he held his hand out for her to grab.
She looked down at the blurred hand, wiping the tears away; she breathed in a shaky breath before taking his hand and jumped onto the rock that he was on. Professor Lightning was just a few feet ahead of them when they saw the exit just ahead of them. Whoever wanted to meet them really wanted to be discreet about it, meeting them out in Phrice Swamp was one of the places they weren’t allowed to go. As far as she could remember, Carina remembered hearing the stories of lost students wandering past Pothus Mountain and never to be seen again. Some say they fell in the small gap between the lands and swept away in the ocean. Others say that once they reached the swamp they fell in and just kept sinking into the earth until there was nothing left of them.
Yeah this was what Carina needed, to scare herself silly until she couldn’t move anymore and Marcellus waving his hands above his head to get her attention. Carina shook her head before jumping towards the rock that Marcellus was on; he was helping her down from the rock when the others finally caught up with them. Carina looked up to see someone waiting for them on the other side of the island, the small gap that kept them from the villagers to walk over to where Morus Academy stood. Carina looked back to see Brone and Evangelos lagging behind again, she sighed as she pushed forward with the others. A plank had lain over the gap so they were able to cross, the ocean water lapped over the wooden plank. Slowly one by one crossed over and followed the path to where the person was standing.
She had long reddish-brown hair that brushed past her shoulders, her rectangle glasses stood on the bridge of her nose as she looked over them to stare at the six of them. A hidden smile played over her pale pink lips as they slowly moved towards her.
“Hello everyone, I know you guys are tired and want some questions answered for once,” Professor Daphne smiled towards them.
Carina frowned, she wonder why they came all this way only to meet one of their history Professors from the Academy. Marcellus looked just as confused while Michael eyes gleamed at the sight of Daphne in front of them. Daphne smiled widen as she notice Michael looking at her, her cheeks colored a light pink before disappearing as she remembered the others where there.
“Right so why don’t you follow me further into the swamp and we’ll get started.”
“No, I think I’m done walking for now, is there anywhere to sit without getting mud on us, my converse are already ruined,” Brone rebuked from the back as he lifted up his foot.
Daphne head turned to look over her shoulder; she frowned at Brone’s insensitivity over what was going on. But death was nothing new to the descendant of Hades; he was always around it, always bothered by it. The dead would always bother this one, no matter where he walked; he was tormented by the souls that could not pass on. And yet he still wanders towards Tenebrae Cemetery, she knew the stories the other teachers told. How Brone would talk to the souls, how he listen to them as he leaned against one of the gravestones. Those cold eyes could never warm up; Daphne turned to look over to the others who were waiting for her to speak.
Her eyes landed on Carina, the poor child had so much hatred in her, her heart was clamped in a dungeon and locked away. No one could enter such a place without Carina leaving the keys, but it had seem that even she had lost them. Carina may appear to show the emotions but she could never be true to herself as the pale face of a crying child appears before her every single day. The bitterness that she has will be her downfall if she does not learn to let the past go, however that past is what makes her strong. Daphne knew this was going to be hard, she just didn’t know that it was going to be this hard. Carina was to bring them all together, but the road that lay ahead of her was a dark and broken one. And she is not one to take the first step towards forgiveness as her stubbornness would rule her mind and heart.
Daphne didn’t know what she could do to help these lost souls that stood in front of her as Kalas glares seem to intensify as the longer he was around Brone. That broken friendship between them would only cause the rift between them all to spread even more. Whatever happens between them was enough to force Kalas hate Brone enough to want to harm him. And Reselda’s naïve mind would have to stop, they all had to grow up but she would be the first to take that step. Marcellus leadership was what will fall apart if he doesn’t let his doubt go, he would lose such respect if he second guesses himself in leading his friends to victory. And then there was the last of them, Evangelos, how life has torn this one to cause others to smile while he harbors a secret with Brone. His trust is broken, this false life that he lives while the others just laugh along with his pranks.
Oh, she knew that she had much work to do and little time to do anything about it; it would be up to them to slowly piece these things together. What little time they have now as Daphne had just been standing there in her own thoughts. Michael cleared his throat to get her back into the matter at hand; Daphne gave a short laugh, shaking her head at how caught up she can get in her own head.
“Alright, so here’s the short story of it,” Daphne said, “it gives me no pleasure in telling you this but as the teachers at the Academy knew that bloodlines of the Gods were slowly being brought down to one person. That would mean you guys here, you all are the last of the line, and the Erinyes were looking for you.”
“Tell us something we don’t know, this is old news to us,” Brone snorted.
“Brone remember when we talked about if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all,” Michael arched a brow over to Brone.
“I remember talking about it; I choose not to adopt that saying for the motto of my life though.”
Evangelos stifled a laughed before elbowing Brone in his ribs to shut him up, he sighed in defeat before turning his head away to stare at the sky. His eyes going blank and distant as he ignored everyone around him; Carina looked over to Professor Daphne as she had that same blank look in her eyes.
“Professor?” she whispered.
“Carina, I’m sorry, you have no idea how sorry I am to tell you this,” Daphne said, “it was not something that I wanted to bring into your life or the others. It was not a life I wanted to give you, you deserve a life of happiness, one where you could find love and explore the depths of the world. But I feel that I am going to be taking that away from you because of what has happen today. Michael, if you would.”
Carina confusion flooded over in her mind as she listens to what Professor Daphne had just told her. She didn’t know why she was apologizing, it seem that not knowing was a theme of today as they stood in the swamp. The sun was setting, the fireflies slowly drifted into the air; Carina had another dreaded feeling that burrowing in the pit of her stomach. It seemed like an endless day that was now ending with even worse news for them all.
“You see long ago, before any of us where born, before there were demi-gods, there was a God with a forgotten name. You see this God helped the Olympians by giving them varies of items to help them rule. However, only six of the Gods received these gifts and they vowed to always help this God if he ever fell into conflict. However as you know, the Gods have not always kept their promises and at times even broken those promises. This God had put his trust in these six Gods and Goddesses and they had broken that trust as easily as stepping on a twig.
“When the God called for them, for their help that they had so promised, they never came, they ignored his call. And so this enraged the God and he cursed the six Gods and Goddesses and so it went…” Michael looked over to Daphne and nodded.
“For you have betrayed me, for you have left me in darkness where I have dwelled. And so I curse thee, for when your children’s children are at the end of their bloodline, I will so wake and destroy their lives,” Daphne whispered the words into the wind, letting them carry and pass over them.
“Wait, ha-ha, so if I’m right the reason this is happening is because of they broke a promise?” Evangelos arched a brow towards Daphne and Michael.
Michael rubbed the back of his neck; he looked as if he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and being scolded. Carina balked at the revelation over the fact that all this was happening was because the Gods broke a promise. Carina snorted in disgust over what they had caused them, it was bad enough that they had done nothing but brought misery to them. But for them to do something like this, Carina was right about them, they were all selfish. They never thought of the consequences over their actions and now here they were cleaning up their mess.
“So we’re just here to clean up their mess,” Carina laughed harshly over this.
Michael sighed as Daphne face fell from the comment that was made, they retorted back badly over this. Their angry voices carrying over the nightly sounds of the swamp that they were in. They knew that this was going to happen but they didn’t have time to argue with them over this.
“There is another part of this foretelling that this God said!” Michael yelled over their voices.
Carina shook her head, holding her hand up before Michael or Daphne could say anything. She was done with the Gods and their little petty problems; they had done enough damage by even existing.
“No, I don’t even want to know, this is their problem.”
Daphne sighed softly, “Because if you don’t do this, then the world will be destroyed.”
Carina stiffen at her words, they echoed through the swamp and slammed back into them.
“One of the Oracles of Delphi foretold that when this God would rise, seven would stand against him. Seven would form a great army with the items that the Gods and Goddesses were gifted and use those items against the forgotten God. When the sun and the moon meet, the war will begin and seven with the Mark will stop the God in his tracks. However should they fail, the world will be plunged into darkness and the forgotten God will tear Mount Olympus down. And slay the twelve Gods and Goddesses of new. For only now seven could save the Gods and Goddesses of new and the humanity that stands before them.”
Brone had finally caught up over what was happening an arched a curious brow over the foretelling over the Oracle of Delphi while Carina stared blankly now. She couldn’t believe this, there was no escape from this, there was no way out. There was only the fact that she must stand against a God that she had no conflict with. Carina couldn’t help but feel so much anger towards the Gods at this moment, the way they were how life meant nothing to them. She had half a mind to just tell them that the Gods and Goddesses deserved what’s coming to them. Carina wasn’t going to risk her life because of them, to die for them; they never did anything for her. So let them die and feel what it is to lose everything in one single day.
“Why should we save the Gods? They are only using us to clean up their mess.”