Back in Black by ACDC blasted out of the speakers as I started the engine and floored the gas. I imagined my hysterical laughter trailed behind the car like the tail of an asteroid. A new era was about to begin. Lord Hades was back, and the world better watch out. The King had returned.
A shimmer of unease settles in my stomach. Triton loves Atlantis, and it loves him. He must have tried to take control when Trix left and failed. Atlantis knows it’s rulers. The throne will only recognize Trix or I, without us, the Jewel of Atlantis withers. Triton was forced to watch as the home he loved fell into disrepair. Atlantis isn’t like Olympus or the Underworld. It’s alive.
Sighing heavily, I tighten my grip on the staff and lift the prongs into the air. Spinning the Trident, I slam the points into the ground of my bedroom. In the same motion, I drop to one knee and press my forehead to the side of the golden artifact. I reach out to the sea monster’s soul, and the glow descends into the earth, slipping through the prongs and sending the creature to its next destination.
I heard the sound of my heart shattering, taking with it the last glint of hope. I fell to my knees, letting out a howl from the depth of my soul. Selene cradled me in her arms as we rocked back and forth together. Sayeh was lost to me forever.
Is Hera alive? Safe? Did my bargaining work? Did Zeus set me free? Am I imagining all of this? Another nightmare? Did I really escape or just trade one prison for another? I have so many questions and no answers.
I groaned in pain as several thousand years of memories rushed back in. I felt nauseous and struggled to put everything into perspective. I felt Zeus kiss my hands, and I opened my eyes, immediately remembering every argument, every laugh, every moment with him.
“That after everything you did, after everything she did, I watched them take her away, and I actually felt guilty.” I stop, raising my head to look at him. It is the first time I admitted that to anyone. Let alone myself. “So yeah, guess my crimes have earned me eternity.”
Helios was released, suddenly and hard. He staggered back, staring at his unmarked flesh, rubbing it as the pain receded. His eyes lifted to the black obelisk as it vanished from sight, no longer needed. Helios is bound – Above, Below, and Between. Flesh, Blood, and Bone – forever.
“No one is in trouble, Eos. It’s good news.” I gulped, trying to figure out how to tell her but not lie to her. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and continued, “I spoke with Persephone and Hades. We get to see him.”
turned back, facing Erebus, an ache forming once more in my chest. This wasn’t the same feeling I had carried all those years with the hatred for my father. No, this one felt different. It was longing for something, I now realized, I wanted more than revenge.