I was so happy when we returned home, and they allowed me to ride. Of course, that was dulled when I realized I would be confined to a pen on an older mare used to teaching children to ride. Father excused himself, probably not wanting to deal with my annoyance, as he headed to another enclosure to prepare horses to show a customer coming by, leaving my mother and a servant standing by the pen watching me.
“Oh, I hate how he allows this...” I heard my mother sigh nervously.
I know she loves me and, at her core, just wants me to be safe. But her overbearing behavior is going to drive me insane. She was always hovering over me as a child due to my condition. And it only became worse after my brother died. And now it has tripled since the chimera. I can't f
It felt strange talking to her like this. Not odd in a bad way. But I can't place the feeling. She's not afraid of me. She wants my company. Very few wanted my company, and even fewer were women. As she made a point about leaving, I looked up at the sky and realized the sun was going to set soon. Which meant it would be dinner time at Ares House. "I should. It is getting late. But I should also wait for Dio to finish his business. I did arrive with him." I sighed, looking into the distance, and saw Dio talking with a man I assumed to be her father. Dio was indeed a strange man. I'm unsure what he was playing at by introducing himself as Dio to her. Or when Dio intercepted Elaine to give us more time to speak alone. "I hate to say this, but if he loves horses half as much as my father, they'll be there until dinner is cold,” she said with a chuckle. She has a nice laugh. Wait, did I think that? "I could call someone to show you around. I wish I could show you myself if you w
It was that thought that stayed with me the rest of the week. Even as I entered my childhood home of House Zeus for my Sunday lunch with Diokles, it was one of the rare days I was given no tasks. Diokles had always insisted, even when he first came here, that we have a meal together on Sundays. He told me that in the mortal realm, his family would have Sunday meals together with whoever was able to attend. Eugenius felt this was good practice for me. He, of course, wants me to carry on the long-standing alliance between Ares and Zeus. But nothing about Sunday lunch with Diokles is business. It's just a chance to relax. Sitting in the dining area waiting for Dio, I found my mind returning to Ismene-Eirene, again. I need to stop that. But she said she wanted to see me again, to speak again. I don't know how or if I should. I am not shopping for a wife, and I know my father and Eugenius would probably not approve of her, given her blindness. Though they may be talked into considering h
It's been over three weeks since Andy, and his brother Dio visited. Three weeks hoping he may call on me. So we could talk more. But he never called on me. And I've not gotten to leave the house, so I couldn’t try to call on him. I sighed as I sat in my room, practicing my lyre, singing softly, "Oh Nymphs, daughters of the ocean. Daughters of springs and of deep caves. Beautiful virgins, wood-clad priestesses. Xothies of the woods amadryades daughters." I paused as I heard a commotion outside. Something was moving through the woods by our property. Whatever it is, it is knocking down trees. I listened to the servants as they hurried to inspect what was causing the disturbance. After the chimera back in the village, father was extra careful about wandering beasts. After a moment, I didn't hear any fighting, just the sound of whatever was out there continuing to knock down trees. The servants returned, not thinking it was a threat. "The groves resound by their songs. And their choir
I'd been so frustrated about everything that I'd not even paid attention to where my path of destruction led me. No wonder I'm called the Destroyer. But it led me here. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. But I do know I like talking to Ismene-Eirene. Even if I'm frustrated, I can't talk about this with her and be Andy, a mere soldier, which was confusing. Why hasn't her family told her? And then that brought my mind back to what her parents thought of me. And the speculation they probably have about my involvement with her. I sighed again, running my hand through my short hair. She made it sound so easy. Which, on the surface, it was. Diokles seemed to think that too. And I wanted to believe that it could be. "I'm sure people have wanted to use Lord Hades and his power in the past. A previous Lord Hades tried to start a war with his powers, and it landed him excelled and his heirs till the current Lord Hades to be ostracized." I shrugged. I blinked, startled when her hand touched
I know I’m nitpicking. Andy… Androkles… er, Lord Androkles giving me a shortened version of his name may not be a lie. But I saw it as lying, a relatively harmless and honestly helpful lie, but still a lie. I smiled as he promised no more lies of any type. “And as far as I know, you have no ulterior motive. At worst... you kept who you were from me so I would talk to you.” I said. “I have no ulterior motive. It is exceedingly rare to come across someone who doesn’t know me or has a preconceived view of me. And other than Dio, even if it was because I introduced myself as Andy, you didn’t seem afraid of me.” he affirmed. “In that case, Lord Androkles, Androkles, or Andy. You have my permission to call on me as any friend would.” I agreed. “Though please don’t startle our horses anymore.” I smiled softly at him. I can’t call on an heir. Socially... I couldn’t reach that high. It would be like calling on Lord Ares. But if he calls on me… “I will see what my schedule would allow, then
It'd been over a week since I found my way to Ismene-Eirene's home. And worse than before, she seems to haunt my thoughts, mostly my dreams. She knows who I am now, yet said I could call on her if I wanted. Sure, she'd been afraid, but she didn't let the fear she felt, which she knew was only there because of what others said, decide her view of me. It was strange, and it felt nice to know someone out there wanted my company. It was a stark contrast to dealing with my father and Eugenius as they not so covert attempts to arrange my future. Such as this morning. When I entered the dining hall for breakfast, I found my father seated with Eugenius talking with General Thales at one end of the table. At the same time, Kyltië chatted away with Thale's wife, Nomiki, and daughter Daphne at the other. All conversation stopped when I entered. My eyes cut from our guests and landed directly on my father. What the hell is going on!? I don't probably want to know the answer to that. This can't
This was the most awkward my rounds have ever been. The only person who was having fun was Hypatos when he joined us, having been waiting for me at the first stop. The old one-armed soldier was having difficulty not laughing. I’m glad he finds this amusing. I think it’s a damn waste of time. At every stop, her presence created a stir. Soldiers were surprised to see a woman with me, period. They were even more surprised because she was attractive. They held their tongues well enough around me, but I saw how they looked at her and then the fear when I caught them. I don’t care that they were undressing her with their eyes. It isn’t polite, but it’s not going to offend me. She isn’t with me in that sense. I’m stuck with her till my rounds are over, and then I can dump her off at her house and never speak to her again. She can tell her parents I was rude and dismissive of her and that she’d prefer any man but me as a husband. And I can tell my father and Eugenius to talk to me when they
It had been over two weeks since I’d last spoken with Andy. I’ve been busy learning the business and getting more familiar with the house and surrounding streets. Though without Rae, I am still limited on how far I can go. My parents don’t trust many to accompany me far from the house. So, I only get to go into the market if it’s with one of them. It is getting tedious. When I could go out, I heard some news about Andy. He’s talked about much more here in the capital than he ever was in my village. But that makes sense, as he lives here. I recently heard the news that he’d been seen escorting someone named Daphne, apparently a beautiful young woman from House Apollo whose father is a general in Ares’ army. The rumors are that they are to become betrothed. I should be happy for Andy. A friend would be happy, right? But instead, I have this unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t want him to be betrothed to this Daphne or anyone. For all I know, she is his soulmate; if not,