Mika: Hello! Time for another chapter!
Pit: Did you get any rest?
Mika: Nope! Also, I just got my laptop back after taking it into the shop. Twice!
Aeria: What happened?
Mika: I don't know, and apparently, the people working there didn't know either! I love technology! Anyways, here's a shout out to SmashBrosFan96 Jr and ShadmeTheAngel! Thanks so much for reviewing, it really helps me get through all of this. This chapter may have a tiny bit of filler. Just a tiny bit. I hope you enjoy this chapter, though! With that being said, Pit, can you say the disclaimer?
Pit: (sighs) Mika does not own any of us, except for Aeria.
Chapter 5: The Underworld's Inhabitants
Pit did not miss the cold air and seemingly wastelands of the Underworld. He vividly remembered enduring countless attacks when escaping and infiltrating this place. This time, however, the skies were strangely empty as he and Aeria flew towards, what he assumed to be, Medusa's reconstructed Temple. Inside, everything was dimly lit, but the atmosphere was surprisingly warm, as if it were a soothing presence. Aeria stretched her wings, which soon changed into arms, and hummed with contentment. "I missed this place." Pit wasn't surprised, this was her home, after all.
In the days that followed, Pit and Aeria were instructed to help the Underworld creatures in a variety of ways. They helped rebuild homes, scavenge for food and even helped the wounded. Aeria taught Pit how to interact with the various inhabitants. He would hold his ground when meeting the protective Werewolves, bow in respect to the Centaurs, hold out his hand for the curious Mermaids to inspect, amongst several others. Pit was highly intrigued about how the inhabitants survive the Underworld's harsh conditions. Aeria explained that Medusa spent her years learning about these creatures, where they came from and how they behaved. The angel never thought that Medusa would be as willing to learn as her sister.
Sometimes, while searching for things to do, Aeria would suddenly tell Pit they had to go back to the Temple. He didn't understand why until he realized what creatures lived in this particular area. The land was jagged and rough, filled with large rock formations. Moments before the two turned to leave, an ear-piercing screech made them jump. Pit looked around and spotted a figure perched on top of one of the rock formations. It was a Harpy, and she did not seem pleased to see them. Pit gulped, "Aeria…?" The hybrid was silent, as if contemplating what they could do to escape. The Harpy leaped from her perch and dove towards them. Several more of the winged creatures started to emerge from their hidden lairs and within moments, both of them were surrounded.
Aeria spread her arms, changing them into wings, and hissed at the Harpies. The largest one hissed back and the unusual exchanges of sounds continued. Pit wondered if this was the Harpies' way of communicating. It seemed to work, but only for a minute. The largest Harpy screeched furiously and slashed at Aeria's side. The hybrid winced and stumbled back. The other Harpies hissed and began to close in on them. A sudden burst of dark energy startled the Harpies and they looked in the direction of the blast. Above the flock was the Goddess of Darkness herself. She had wings made of pure shadows, which allowed her to reach them in seconds.
Medusa dove into the center of the flock, forcing them to move back. The largest Harpy growled, baring her sharp teeth. Medusa responded with a soft hiss of her own. Her mere presence seemed to calm the tension around the Harpies. She landed in front of Pit and Aeria. She carefully picked up her wounded servant before turning away. "Come with me, Pit." The angel followed close behind, noticing the glares the Harpies were giving him. Medusa paused, "Don't look back, and don't run. You should never run from a Harpy, it attracts their attention." Pit gulped and nodded, keeping his attention away from the flock. Eventually, the largest Harpy returned back to her lair. The others immediately followed.
The walk back to the Temple was silent as an uncomfortable tension lingered in the air. After a short while, Pit finally looked at Medusa and asked, "Can you communicate with the Harpies?" The Goddess of Darkness didn't respond for a while, and the angel thought he was being ignored, until she spoke with a sigh, "Somewhat. Harpies do not have a language of their own. Their speech, if you can even call it that, is very primitive, which can be very difficult to understand." She then looked at the hybrid in her arms, who has since passed out from the trauma. "Still, I believe they can be taught how to speak modern language, if they weren't so stubborn." Pit noticed the way Medusa looked at her servant. She was good at hiding her emotions, but he could still see the worry in her eyes. "Why did you choose her to be your servant?" Pit asked. Medusa looked ahead once more, "You have seen the reasons to know by now."
Once they reached the Temple, Pit watched as Medusa healed the hybrid with her mysterious powers. She then spoke softly, "Watch them for me until I return." Pit blinked in confusion as the Goddess of Darkness abruptly left afterwards. A strange giggle echoed in the Temple. The angel looked around frantically, "Who's there?!" The voice that replied belonged to a female, "Don't fret, dear. It's just little old me." A shapely woman phased into the Temple. She had long blue hair, red eyes and wore a revealing white outfit. "Who are you?" The angel asked, on guard. The woman, who appeared to be floating, crossed her legs seductively. "Have you forgotten about me? I certainly remember your annoying questions in my secret hideout." Pit's eyes widened when he remembered the woman's voice. "Pandora?!"
The Goddess of Calamity hummed, "That took you a little while. I suppose my new body is a little distracting to those with simple minds." She ignored the glare Pit gave her and moved towards the resting hybrid. "You really know how to make Medusa worry, don't you? Now I have to babysit you until she comes back." Pit tilted his head, "Where did Medusa go, anyways?" Pandora sighed, "She left to check on her subjects. She does it every day, even though she already sent you two." Pit stared at the Goddess for a long moment. Medusa really seemed to care about the Underworld creatures, much like Lady Palutena would about the humans.
Aeria recovered from her injury rather quickly and she soon started to pace nervously. She was worried when Medusa left on her own. Pit understood how she felt. He always became paranoid whenever Lady Palutena left alone, but he knew that she could handle things herself. Both servants were aware of their Goddess' powers, but they couldn't help but worry because of how much they cared. Medusa returned to the Temple late at night. She went to her throne room and Aeria obediently followed. Pit sighed as he went out to the lower balcony. The Underworld was surprisingly active at night, making him wonder if most of the creatures were nocturnal.
He heard soft voices above him and looked up in confusion. Medusa was sitting on the balcony a few levels above him. She was joined by Aeria, who was standing unusually close to the Goddess. They kept their voices toned down, most likely in order to keep their conversation private. "I didn't know you were an eavesdropper." Pit jumped as Pandora suddenly appeared next to him. "I-I wasn't eavesdropping!" He remembered at the last second to keep his voice down. Pandora hummed, "Sure you weren't. Anyways, how's your doppelganger doing?" Pit blinked in surprise, "Pittoo? I'm not sure. He hasn't come back to Skyworld or Viridi in almost a year." Pandora smirked, "I figured he would be the loner type. He is the polar opposite of you, after all."
The Goddess of Calamity looked up at the two above them and Pit did the same. Aeria was speaking to Medusa excitedly about something. The Underworld Queen, surprisingly, seemed to enjoy her excitement and showed genuine emotion with a slight smile on her lips. Pit's eyes widened in shock as Aeria suddenly hugged the Goddess of Darkness. Medusa, even more unexpectedly, returned the embrace, letting the hybrid rest her head on her shoulder. The angel stared at the display of affection. No. It couldn't be…could it? He looked at Pandora, who smirked at seeing his expression. "You look a little surprised there, Pit. Something wrong?" Pit blinked several times. "Y-yes! There's definitely something wrong!" The Goddess of Calamity tilted her head a bit. "I didn't think you would care about something as little as this." The angel shook his head, "What they're doing is forbidden! You and Medusa would know that!"
It was true. Any form of love between a God or Goddess and their servant was explicitly forbidden by the Elder Gods themselves. If they were caught being too affectionate to their servants, the punishments would be too severe to even think about. Pandora sighed, "Yes, we are both well aware of the forbidden rule, but I must ask you something, Pit. Do you really think we care? Medusa and I have already been banished for our crimes. We lost everything we cared about." She looked at the two above them, who seemed to be quite content with one another. "Medusa in particular has felt more pain than I have. If she finds something that makes her happy nowadays, she will never let go of it." Pit stared at Pandora. He knew she was hiding secrets about Medusa's past that he would likely never learn about. She faced the angel with a mysterious look in her eyes. "Aeria is Medusa's only form of happiness, and she will fight to her death in order to keep what's left of her heart from breaking."
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