Misery's Smile Chapter 1
Hello everyone, and welcome to the story which is Misery's Smile. Now, I have been planning for this story for a long time, and I hope that it is all to your liking, and I would like to thank, firstly, xRinneandSharinx for agreeing to collaborate with me for this story, and his plethora of ideas that effectively convinced me to do this =) Enjoy.
Deep in the plane of Chaos, a loud cry was heard as Zeus finally hurled the Lord of the Titans from his throne with a huge explosion. It was so powerful, it shook the earth. Sensing victory, the forces of Olympus, with renewed vigor, stormed Mount Othrys as they looked to obtain victory against the Lords that enslaved and tormented them throughout the 'Golden Age'. Zeus, finally smiting the last Deity, shouted in triumph as he shot a powerful lightning bolt to the sky signifying victory for the Olympians. Little did he know, as the army started to count their losses, a great being awakened deep beneath the pit.
Misery had never been so powerful, as Akhlys suddenly awoke from the sudden rise of power that she felt building within her domain of Misery. She was, in a manner of speaking, shocked. Even during the tyrannical reign of the Titans, her domain had never felt this potent. Rousing from her slumber, she could only conclude that something must have happened in her father's little creation. She sighed, while debating whether to leave the pit and check on the cause of the sudden shift of power. Besides, she had awoken fully, and would probably stay awakened for the next 5-10 millennia, so she was'nt in a rush. Heaving a deep breath and transforming to her true form, she manifested a portal and entered the world above.
Akhlys could only walk with a sad look as she felt and basked in the despair around her. The Titans might have lost, but it seemed that the opposing side, their children, had suffered great losses, and were still grieving over lost, loved ones. She could feel her power grow and replenish as she consumed the feelings of despair, the deep poison of revenge ingrained deep in their hearts. While Akhlys had neither love nor desire for hope or happiness, it didn't mean she did not envy it. She envied the fact that while the upstart daughters of Ananke cursed her with Misery, unable to feel true happiness while normal beings could learn happiness and teach their children happiness. She envied the fact that the weaker children could move on and hold on to hope while they lived their lives, while she was cursed to live in misery and poison for eternity.
That was when she felt something she never expected. It was hope, buried deep beneath this abyss of misery. She couldn't resist as she tracked it to its source, wondering how even in such a dark state, hope could still exist. She could only shake her head as she remembered how stubborn living beings up here were, and is. They just couldn't let go of hope. They wouldn't give up hope. She let out a wry smile, knowing that the dark state of the world itself would consume that little speck of hope that still existed.
However, curiosity got the better of the great goddess, as she followed the presence, only to hear the sound of a baby crying, while his mother cooed at him, comforting the baby. Probing her thoughts, Akhlys could only smile sadly as she looked at the widow who was getting through her grief by spending time with her child. Jealousy started to fill her heart as she observed how 'easily' the woman moved on from her lover's death, while Akhlys, the Goddess of Misery, one of the most powerful Protogenoi couldn't even get past the misery of others.
Akhlys could only curse the daughters of Ananke for dooming her to this fate. While the Goddess was powerful enough to destroy them, Chaos had decreed that they are not to be touched, unless they disobey his orders to give Man free-will. Her power bubbled as her anger began to grow. Then, it hit her. Her increased power would grant her what she wished. Oh yes it would… All she needed was some advice from Nyx. Now, if she remembered where her elusive sister was…
"NYX!" Akhlys called out as she flared her power.
The mansion of Night was, well, near impossible to find. Akhlys wouldn't admit it, but she found it only by sheer luck. It was, well, just ahead of where she was, as if Fate had a hand in leading the Misery Goddess there. However, she immediately threw that idea away, knowing that Nyx would never allow herself to be controlled by those upstarts. Although, Ananke herself was a different story together… Akhlys shook her head. Ananke hadn't awakened, ever since the Titans first ruled Chaos's plane. She was still deep in her thoughts when Nyx opened the gates.
"What is it, sister? Weren't you still asleep?" Nyx opened the gates lethargically, although her eyes betrayed her happiness.
Akhlys held her chin high. "I need your advice in-"
She paused, her cheeks turning silver. She took a deep breath and looked Nyx in the eye. "Making a child."
Nyx could only gape at how sudden this offer was, but relented, seeing the hidden desperation in her sister's eyes. Nyx sighed. She knew the domains would someday catch up to her sister. Understanding Akhlys' intentions, Nyx gave a solemn nod.
"Sister, before we do this, you must gain permission from Father to conceive a child, as decreed when he brought us, the first-born, into this plane," Nyx said, gaining a nod from Akhlys.
"And you need a massive amount of power to make this work. There is another way, which is to consort with another deity, but knowing you, sister…" Nyx trailed off, as Akhlys chuckled.
"This can be done, but you must first gain permission from Father to conceive," Nyx said seriously, as Akhlys sighed, knowing that it would be a hard conversation.
Deep in the Void, below even Tartarus, Akhlys could only look nervously as Chaos studied her with an extremely calculated look.
"Akhlys, why do you want a child? Surely you know, of the consequences?" Chaos asked sternly, as Akhlys flinched.
"I want to defy Fate for once, Father. I'm sick of misery. I want to be happy for once, Lord Chaos. And I want to show Ananke's spawn the depth of their arrogance," Akhlys said bitterly, as Chaos raised an eyebrow.
"That is selfish, Daughter. Haven't you thought about how the balance of power may be thrown into chaos once that child is born? Haven't you thought about the way you are conceiving the child, using the powers of Misery? Haven't you thought of the consequences of unleashing Misery upon my plane, Akhlys?" Chaos asked, narrowing his deep black eyes.
"I… Haven't, my lord…" Akhlys said miserably, as Chaos' eyes softened for a split second.
Chaos pitied her daughter, knowing her plight, her loneliness and depression. He was split on his final decision, as Akhlys, more than anything else, was extremely powerful, even for a child of his. Akhlys having a child would indeed be potent, and would impact the balance of power between the great deities. However, he looked at Akhlys' defeated expression, and he sighed.
"Very well… However, you will only be allowed to use 70% of your power for this child so as to not awaken the others, and to keep balance. Such is my will," Chaos said with finality, as Akhlys bowed.
"Wait, daughter… I must give you a gift for conceiving a great child, no? I will allow you to defy the daughters of Ananke once. Too long have they defied me without consequence. Now go, daughter," Chaos said with a hint of amusement, as Akhlys' eyes widened.
For the first time in many millennia, Akhlys smiled in triumph.
It was millennia since then. Now, while your normal birth usually takes about nine months, for the Primordials, it was different. Even if they consorted with a lesser being, it would still take close to a century for the child to be born. A reason for this is because simply put, birthing a Primordial Child using the method Akhlys was doing would take a massive amount of power. The power she used would take time to compress and condense to pass onto the child safely, and with the sheer amount of power Akhlys had after she was empowered by misery after the great war, it would undoubtedly had taken time. Nyx, although she wished to shorten the time, knowing that pregnancy would severely weaken the goddess, couldn't as the slightest misstep, or the slightest drastic increase of power would instantly destroy the child.
However, the wait would finally be over. Besides, it needed to be over. Pregnancies would severely weaken a goddess, even one as powerful as Akhlys. She had no desire to wait for her enemies to find out. While she was protected by Nyx, it would only take one chance for her luck to run out. Akhlys could only tiredly smile as she rubbed her swollen belly, only to suddenly fall over as she felt it.
"NYX!" Akhlys screamed, as she went into labor.
"On it, Sister," Nyx shouted, as she stabilized Akhlys and carried her to the bed.
Then, Nyx concentrated her power around Akhlys' womb, and with great care, coaxed the baby out from her womb. She knew she had to concentrate fully here, as birthing from a Primordial with the method Akhlys used was again, a very delicate process. Nyx flinched as she remembered numerous children of hers that faded even before they even left her womb. However, she was confident this time that the child would survive, after sensing the child's power. The child would survive this. She was sure of it. She hoped so.
Then a last scream of pain from Akhlys sounded as Nyx pumped more power, and a powerful glow of grey aura filled the room. Nyx recognized this stage as the final stage, and recognized this to be the most dangerous. Now it depended on whether she could keep her power just under control as she coaxed the baby out. Too little, and the child wouldn't budge. Too much, and the child would be instantly killed.
Sweat beaded the Night Goddess' forehead as she started the process. She felt herself growing shorter of power as the process continued. Awe filled her mind. Just how potentially powerful was this child? However, she refused to let it distract her as she continued, pumping even more power, knowing that if her appraisal about the child's power was true, she could gamble a little. Besides, she needed to, as Akhlys was growing weaker by the second, and if Nyx dallied any longer, Akhlys would not have the strength to birth the child, and protect him/her from Nyx's volatile powers, killing it. Nyx sighed. If only, Akhlys chose a consort, this would have been much easier…
Then, a miracle happened. Just as Nyx was about to take an even harder risk, a cry sounded. Akhlys could only use the last of her strength to look up as she heard the most beautiful sound. A healthy baby, with jet black hair and yellow eyes returned the look as Nyx smiled at the tears forming on her sister's eyes.
"I-I can't… He's beautiful… Thank you, sister… Oh, he's so beautiful, so beautiful," Akhlys said, as she hugged her baby tightly.
Nyx could only smile as she looked at the genuine teary smile that formed on Akhlys' face.
"And the name, sister? What shall you name this child?" Nyx asked, drawing a thoughtful look from Akhlys.
Then, the look became determined as she came into her decision, as she thought about exactly how her child was born.
"Perseus, his name will be Perseus, my little destroyer," Akhlys said with a determined look, as Nyx raised an eyebrow.
"A powerful name indeed, but why?" Nyx asked.
"Because he will have a great fate bestowed upon him by those upstarts, and I am fully confident that he will utterly and completely destroy it to forge his own path," Akhlys said seriously, as Nyx smiled.
"Indeed… But now what?"
"We keep him here in the Mansion until he reaches childhood, after which we will release him into Chaos' plane where I hope he will find his own path and gain his own wisdom and strength that way. I will not allow my child to be weak and ignorant," Akhlys said as Nyx nodded, knowing that the world of the immortals was a treacherous world, especially for powerful children such as Perseus.
"While I understand the wisdom of your suggestion, sister, I'm sure you must know about the new age of the Gods that has already begun. Their arrogant lord, Zeus, is jealous of others with power, and he will surely try to destroy Perseus," Nyx asked curiously, wondering what her intelligent sister had in mind.
Akhlys stroked Perseus' black hair as she spoke, "Let that insufferable son of Kronos try. I will destroy him and his little Olympus without a second thought. I have called in a favor from one of my old acquaintances, the one that little goddess, what was her name? Ah, Hera, yes. The one that Hera banished," Akhlys said.
"Leto? And how exactly are you going to bring Perseus all the way there, so layered under the Gods' watch?" Nyx asked skeptically, as Akhlys drew a thoughtful look.
"I will use the Death Mist," Akhlys said, as Nyx's eyes widened.
"AKHLYS! Perseus is just a baby, not a fully awakened immortal, not even a DEMIGOD! He won't survive!" Nyx said loudly.
"It is the only way, Nyx, and if he is my child, I have full confidence he will have the strength to resist its potency," Akhlys said confidently, earning a resigned look from Nyx.
"For your sake, I hope you are right," Nyx sighed, as Akhlys cooed at Perseus.
(Finally, Perseus's POV!)
Perseus was running. He didn't understand why this happened. It was like the darkness was lifted off him, and suddenly he saw all those monsters running after him. Panting, he could only hide behind a tree as he tried to find a way to avoid the monsters. Then, a cold, dark female voice sounded in his mind as he grew more desperate.
'Use the darkness that was gifted to you, Perseus,'
Then, a claw struck through the tree, narrowly missing Perseus, as he took off and ran, all the while shouting, "Not HELPING!"
Perseus swore he could hear an exasperated sigh as he continued running. Then he felt it. The presence was guiding him, coaxing him to different directions, as if to lead him somewhere.
'Follow it, Perseus… Follow it… Trust me.'
The poor godling was already desperate and tired, so he didn't really have a choice other than to just trust the voice. However, he was tiring, and the monsters were catching up, eager for his blood. It had been a long time since they smelled game like him. Desperate, Perseus decided to heed the voice's advice to uh, 'use the darkness'.
'Yes, just like that Perseus. Feel it, let it embrace you, let it condense into mist, put fear into that scum!'
Perseus only followed the voice, as his yellow eyes started to glow, and grey aura surrounded him as he for the first time, summoned the Death Mist. His body transformed into that of a corpse as the Death Mist embraced him, and poisoned the monsters, which were all writhing in pain and groveling strangely as the poison consumed them and sent them deep into Tartarus.
Percy was still in a state of shock while he sped through the forest, still covered by the Death Mist. He knew he was a godling (he bled ichor), but he didn't expect that.
'Hmm, very well… Now follow it, follow my power, Perseus. Do not go astray, and never on any account, dissipate the Mist.'
Perseus didn't argue, as the voice had already saved his life once. Following the directions that the presence was giving him, Percy then arrived at a lake, and across it was an island. A boat lay on the shore.
Rowing it, Percy wondered what would await him on that island. As he landed on it, the presence gave what felt like a mild acknowledgement, and the 'directions' stopped. He walked through into the forest, admiring the beauty of it, before a quivering arrow was pointed to his face.
"W-who are y-you? Mother says there are never any visitors here!" A blonde boy shouted with a hint of a stutter, while a red haired girl stood behind him.
Perseus was, well, shocked. The only thing he knew about himself was the fact that his name was Perseus, and he was a godling. His memory was still foggy from before he went into this world.
"…Apollo! Stay your bow! This child will stay with us. Artemis, lead him in," A beautiful red haired, older woman exclaimed as she walked up towards Percy.
'But Mother! Auntie Hestia said-"the girl said.
"Don't worry, Artemis. This one can be trusted," Leto said kindly, as she studied the boy's deep yellow eyes.
It was just a decade ago when Akhlys asked her of this request, and Leto would be lying if she said that she wasn't surprised. Akhlys had nearly begged her to take care of Perseus, to raise the boy. It was something she would never expect from one of the most cold-hearted and ruthless of goddesses. However, she did not question the great goddess.
Bringing Perseus in, she felt a powerful suppressor seal on him holding back his power, which alarmed her. The boy was powerful; there was no doubt about that, considering he entered the island using his own Death Mist. His glowing yellow eyes were also a definitive sign. Sighing, she brought Perseus inside the cottage, where she would introduce him to the two spit fires she gave birth to, and try her best to gauge his power such that she can mask it appropriately should the seal fail. Then, she eyed her daughter talking to the boy, and couldn't help but smirk at the boy's wildly moving yellow eyes.
"Did you feel that, brother?" The king of The Gods, Zeus asked.
"Yes, the Death Mist has been summoned somewhere in this world, as reported by Melinoe," Hades said darkly, as Zeus tickled his chin.
"Is it Akhlys? Only she can summon it," Hera asked curiously, as Hades responded.
"No… Her powers would have darkened the world immediately if it was her. Perhaps something else has found a way to manipulate the Death Mist."
"What if she has a child? Surely her child would inherit the use of the Death Mist?" Poseidon asked, earning a raised eyebrow from Zeus.
Zeus was thinking of all the possible scenarios, but if what Poseidon said was true… The child might be an asset to Olympus, or a dangerous threat. And if there was something Zeus didn't like, it was unknown factors like this. A child of Akhlys would indeed be a potent force. This was too big of a chance to pass by, especially if the child could be turned into Olympus' weapon. However, Zeus also feared the wrath of Akhlys if he wronged the child. He came to a decision.
"Send out our best men, and immortals. Find this child and bring him before me. If you find him and he refuses, kill him," Zeus said with a commanding voice, as his daughter, Athena, nodded solemnly and left the meeting, and walked through the night as she passed the order.
Instantly, the throne room erupted as the other siblings recognized Zeus' intentions.
"HAVE YOU GONE MAD, ZEUS?" Hestia shouted, shocking everybody in the room, as Zeus raised an eyebrow.
"Sister, sit down. We must have this child on our side. Surely it is fate he came into this world as we consolidate our power after our victory! We will put his powers to good use, and if he is a threat, we end it before it grows. This is necessary, sister! Think about it. It is either we end a future great threat, or we gain an extremely powerful weapon!" Zeus exclaimed, as Hestia shook her head.
"Have you forgotten what happened with Hypnos and his mother, Nyx? WHAT IF AKHLYS DOES THE SAME, ZEUS?! The Goddess of Misery is not to be trifled with, Zeus!" Hestia retorted angrily, as Zeus scoffed.
"Like that cold Goddess will lift a finger, when I have her child as leverage," Zeus smirked, as Hades raised a palm to cover his face.
"You do realize, if what we felt tells us of the child's strength, we are not dealing with an upstart demigod, or a minor god? We are dealing with a pure-blooded child of Akhlys," Hades reasoned, trying to persuade his little brother to see sense.
"And if what Thanatos says is true, Akhlys will show no mercy, if we try anything. Neither will the child," Hades added, as Zeus started to grow a headache.
Then, the night seemed to darken, as something, or someone, suddenly materialized in the throne room. The Gods could only gape as they witnessed the presence condense into the middle of the room. Standing there was Eris, daughter of Nyx, and acting as a messenger.
"WHAT RIGHT DO YOU HAVE TO COME HERE?! THIS IS A PRIVATE MEETING-" Zeus shouted, before being cut off.
"I have orders to bring you this message, Zeus, from my mother Nyx, who has listened to your – and I quote – 'incessant babbling' – in this dark night. She has issued you a warning directly from my lady Akhlys, Goddess of Misery, Lady of the Death Mist, and Mistress of Poison," Eris added, before pausing to make sure she had the full attention of the Council.
The silence could be cut with a knife, as Akhlys' name darkened the room.
"Touch a hair on my son with your filthy hands, or your little plans and scheming, and I will destroy you and all you hold dear. I will start with your sons, then your brothers, then your sisters as you watch what you built burn. I will have you watch as your 'New Age' breaks down, and your legacy obliterated," Eris said solemnly, without a hint of emotion.
Zeus bit his lip as Eris took her leave. While he hated it, he knew he had to swallow his pride for once and call off the order. However, he would bide his time. He would not let this insult pass. He would make that arrogant Goddess pay for her insolence to imply that Olympus was at her mercy.
"Call off the order, for now," Zeus finally growled, as Hestia eyed him from her throne.
"I hope you are not thinking of something foolish, brother," Hestia said with a soft voice, before flashing away.
OK DONE. Omg, OK chapter, aye? Alright, Mr Eyes, time for your say down here! Go write your own Author's note, aye?
I hope you like it, aye. This is new ground for me, so do comment on how im doing =) If you have any questions or inquiries for this story, do PM or Review and i will try my best to reply to you appropriately.
From my, ah, partner Mr Eyes
Greeting's Lot it's me the one behind the one in Misery's Smile, just call him Boss he loves that name xD... ;p
Hmm this Project of his was very interesting and I must say once you take the time to read this chapter you'll become intrigued and by the time of the third chapter you'll be hooked...line and sinker xD
So let me conclude in saying this that comes right from the bottom of my heart I do hope you enjoy bosses story.
Honestly, i have no idea why he calls me boss, but oh well. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and one last thing.