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18+ Language Violence Mature Content

The Daughter of War - Chapter 34: Traitors Belong in the Underworld

by Ley


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.

Chapter 34: Traitors Belong in the Underworld

Cerberus was angry. Nyx was laughing. Jase was basically about to die. Josephine was stuck, frozen in time, a mere statue in the Underworld Protector’s lair—which happened to be a large kennel the size of a small mountain. How could she act quickly without ending her own life?

There was no way to tell, especially because the Goddess of the Night wasn’t at all any help, at least in that very moment. Each of Cerberus’ three heads bared its razor-sharp teeth, emitting low, guttural growls that reverberated through the air like thunder before a storm. It tensed with anticipation, ready to lunge forward with deadly force at Jase. With each breath, steam billowed from its nostrils, adding to the chilling atmosphere.

With a sudden, savage snarl, Cerberus lunged forward, its three heads converging on Jase with terrifying precision. Before the monster could reach him, Josephine took her chance. She slid underneath its tummy and yanked as hard as she possibly could at the jingly keys locked onto its collar. Even with her godly strength, it was useless, and instead of safely behind the monster—Josephine was now at risk of getting trampled.

Nyx hummed above them, “Oh, no. That just will not do.”

Jase teleported to the other side of the kennel just in time. Josephine rolled over to her left to remain clear of Cerberus’ large body and rose to her feet—her eyes now gleaming with hints of flame and tar. Her fingertips grew hotter, and her brain blossomed with heat to conserve energy, and magic.

“What happened?” Jase asked hoarsely, glaring at his partner, “I could’ve been killed!”

“But you didn’t get killed, so shut up,” Josephine was breathing heavily. Cerberus growled, clearly annoyed and angry. The hound's fur bristled and stood on end; each head reared back with a deafening snarl that echoed through the Underworld. They needed to get out of there before Hades heard Cerberus’ calls of distress. Sooner would be better than later.

The ground trembled beneath Cerberus’ massive paws as it paced back and forth; the weight of its wrath was palpable in every heavy step.

“What element melts metal?” Nyx hovered close to them, “Hm?”

“Fire,” Josephine breathed, “fire melts metal.”

“Good girl,” the Goddess’ eyes twinkled, and Josephine knew exactly what she needed to do. If she was somehow able to get underneath Cerberus again and gain a few seconds to heat up the chain, she could melt the keys right off its neck.

Jase seemed to already understand, preparing another distraction. Shadows emerged from his hands in the formation of humanoid darkness. With deft movements, Jase coaxed the shadows to rise and dance, shaping them into elegant figures that moved with an otherworldly grace. Each creation took on a life of its own, fluid and ethereal, as if drawn from the dreams of the night itself. One moment, a figure appeared as a guardian, clad in armor forged from the darkness, while the next, it transformed into a graceful dancer, twirling and spinning with effortless elegance. Cerberus seemed confused, dazed by the manipulation.

Josephine smirked.

She slid back under its stomach while it was distracted and started welding. She didn’t care about the burns from the sparks that bounced off the large, looped chain. The pain seemed to engulf her, drive her. Josephine wasn’t going to stop, even if her own gift killed her. She winced lightly, her hands feeling as if they’d already melted. The welts started to form by the time she was done, but she managed to snatch the keys. Which one was the one to Tartarus? She didn’t know, but they could figure that out later.

With a brave grin, she slipped from underneath the monster and held the keys up victoriously, “I got them!”

“Let’s get the hell out of here!” Jase yelled over Cerberus’ tempering growls. Nyx grinned along with Josephine.

Nyx used her gifts to swing the kennel door open to give Josephine and Jase time to run. Cerberus was now focused on her.

Josephine followed her invisible directions and scurried out, but just as her foot landed on the darkened terrain, the gate slammed shut again. Josephine halted and spun around to find Nyx alone in there with Cerberus, a tear running down the Goddess of Night’s cheek, “Go. Find your friend.”

“What are you doing?” Josephine yelled, as Cerberus readied himself to strike at the goddess.

“I cannot continue with you,” Nyx whispered, but her voice traveled miles. Josephine banged at the gate, yanking and yanking. She struggled with the keys, her hands shaking uncontrollably.

Jase tried to help, but there was no way of telling which one unlocked the kennel—or if there even was one. Josephine yelped, “Why! U-Unlock the door!”

“I cannot,” Nyx’s face relaxed, and she smiled lightly, never taking her eyes off Josephine’s, “If I come, you will die. Cerberus will smell me and track us. There is no way to lock the gate from the outside. Go. Help your friend.”

“No,” Josephine hysterically tried every single key, but to no avail, “No!”

“You are special, Josephine,” Nyx pressed her hand to the gate. Her face didn’t look scared, didn’t look frightened in the slightest bit. If anything, she looked at peace, “Go. I will be with you in spirit.”

NO!” Josephine screamed just as Cerberus lunged.

Jase grabbed Josephine and pulled her face towards himself to save her from the grueling image beyond them. Nyx didn’t yell, didn’t scream. All that could be heard was the tearing of flesh and crunching bones. Josephine sobbed. Oh, how she sobbed.

“Come on,” Jase’s face was shaken, his voice cracking in the slightest, “let’s go.”

He led Josephine away.

Away from the goddess that gave up her life to help them, away from the monster that killed her.

Yet, she wondered if Nyx wanted this. She wondered if maybe, just maybe, Nyx knew she was going to die at the hands of the hound.

~

Persephone groaned, again.

Tartarus was starting to get the best of her. She was starting to go crazy. The sight of souls no longer scared her, and instead she tried to talk to them. One of the spirits that wouldn’t leave her alone was a forbidden child, just like Josephine. They spoke of live in the Upperworld, the Trials, the fucked-up world they lived in. It didn’t last long, as Hades appeared around an hour into their escalating conversation.

“Hello, my dear,” his voice tore through Tartarus, scaring away the soul and any others that lingered. Persephone spat at his feet.

“How dare you! If I would’ve known you were working with them—”

“What would you have done, darling?” his pale lips smirked, and he bent down to meet her level, “kill me?”

“I don’t know,” Persephone stared him down, not once leaving his gaze, “you’re a fucking monster.”

“I know,” Hades tightened his jacket and straightened his shoulders confidently, “But the real question is, why are you working with them?”

Persephone froze.

“What? I’m not! Are you crazy?”

“Oh, but you are.”

“Please enlighten me.”

“Don’t think I haven’t realized, my sweet flower,” Hades’ eyebrow rose, “befriending the girl, gathering information, relaying it back to Hermes. Oh, let’s not forget the fact you saved Hermes from Josephine’s wrath.”

Persephone swallowed. No, no. He has it all wrong. Persephone loved Josephine; she would never intentionally set her friend up.

“I didn’t save him,” Persephone growled.

“But you did. Why lie?”

“I’m not lying!” Persephone stood, facing the God, “I would never save that asshole.”

“You may think so. But the fates say otherwise.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

Hades backed up, his form slowly dissipating into a million pieces. He winked before he was completely gone, “Think about it, Persephone. Just think. I’ll be back.”

What? You’re just going to leave me here?”

“Traitors belong in the Underworld, Persephone. Aren’t those your words?” Hades smiled wide, “Take care of yourself.”


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Thu May 30, 2024 5:15 pm
goodolnoah wrote a review...



Image

Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

With a sudden, savage snarl, Cerberus lunged forward, its three heads converging on Jase with terrifying precision. Before the monster could reach him, Josephine took her chance. She slid underneath its tummy and yanked as hard as she possibly could at the jingly keys locked onto its collar. Even with her godly strength, it was useless, and instead of safely behind the monster—Josephine was now at risk of getting trampled.


Hoo boy! The battle between Cerberus and Josephine was awesome! Again, some songs I picked for this scenario just so happened to ramp up around the time Cerberus lunged forward, which made this scene even more awesome than it already is! I like that this time around, Jase and Josephine have to use real strategy to get the keys.

Nyx didn’t yell, didn’t scream. All that could be heard was the tearing of flesh and crunching bones. Josephine sobbed. Oh, how she sobbed.


The description and sacrifice of Nyx is quite the sad sight to see, and again, it raises the stakes. To see that someone as powerful as Nyx can fall in a scenario like this really goes to show how dangerous this all is for our pair!

My one critique is about Josephine, and take it as you will. Why is Josephine so sad here? I know she’d heard of Nyx and certainly harbored some respect for her, but since they just met, it doesn’t make sense to me why Josephine would become a crying mess here. Not that big of a deal, just a concern I had.

“Don’t think I haven’t realized, my sweet flower,” Hades’ eyebrow rose, “befriending the girl, gathering information, relaying it back to Hermes. Oh, let’s not forget the fact you saved Hermes from Josephine’s wrath.”


Hades is here again to be ominous…I feel like he’s not really giving answers on whether he is in league with Hermes. He seems almost…jealous but also angry at Persephone for being with Josephine. Seems like a gaslighter, to be real.

Death ~ Closer

The plot thickens…and stakes are at an all-time-high!




Ley says...


Hades is definitely a gaslighter xD thank you for your comments!



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Sat Apr 20, 2024 3:23 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Wow, that was awesome! From the action to get the keys from Cerberus, to that foreboding moment between Persephone and Hades. And man, you did me dirty with Nyx there! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Not much to put here! In that whole piece, I only spotted one potential typo. Right here:

They spoke of live in the Upperworld, the Trials, the fucked-up world they lived in.


I think "live" here felt a bit out of place, perhaps either "living" or "life" would work a little bit better. That's just my two cents, though. Great writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

Right off the bat, returning to this moment between Cerberus, Jase, and Josephine, everything about the atmosphere was tense and chilling, like anything could happen here. Magical details like Jase using his ability to create shadow puppets, and Josephine melting through the chain despite the burns it caused, made it really cool and fun to follow. Then there was this...

Jase grabbed Josephine and pulled her face towards himself to save her from the grueling image beyond them. Nyx didn’t yell, didn’t scream. All that could be heard was the tearing of flesh and crunching bones.


Oof -brutal! It was sad to see such a cool goddess go, but as an unofficial gore-horror connoisseur, I did quite enjoy those graphic details, heh heh ~

(I swear I'm sane lol)

Anyway, seriously, it was sad to see Nyx die already, and the prospect Josephine followed up with -that she may have planned and knew how this would go- was a fascinating revelation. It makes me wonder if there will be more information on Nyx, or if this could be chalked up -like Persephone when she strained her gift- to Nyx learning about her death from Hades.

Swapping to Persephone's perspective, I loved the descriptions of how Tartarus is getting to her. It reflected her ongoing struggle, further built up the environment of Tartarus, and added much more anticipation with the prospect of it starting to 'get to her.' Then, the conversation between her and Hades gave us an interesting glimpse of his possible roles in this whole conflict.

“Don’t think I haven’t realized, my sweet flower,” Hades’ eyebrow rose, “befriending the girl, gathering information, relaying it back to Hermes. Oh, let’s not forget the fact you saved Hermes from Josephine’s wrath.”

Persephone swallowed. No, no. He has it all wrong. Persephone loved Josephine; she would never intentionally set her friend up.


Now this was, for lack of a better term, a mindf*** haha! It sounds like Hades is portraying Hermes and the gang in a negative light, and Persephone is the one betraying them and working with the enemy. It's so weird; I don't know if there is credence to this accusation, if something deeper is happening with Persephone, or if -again, for lack of a better term- there's some gaslighting going on here.

And finally, a perfect ending for such a situation...

“Traitors belong in the Underworld, Persephone. Aren’t those your words?” Hades smiled wide, “Take care of yourself.”


Again, it forces us to ask that question. Who's really the traitor here, and what I'm even more eager to learn, why?

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, great work, nicely done! :D

Image




Ley says...


Hehe yes, all of that is /exactly/ what I was going for xD Im glad you liked this chapter!



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Fri Apr 19, 2024 11:51 pm
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LadyMysterio says...



I really need to properly read this story, from the start. But I just came to simp for Hades XD




Ley says...


We do love a good Hades cameo :3 <3



LadyMysterio says...


We do hehe




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