The Mythical Detective Mayura

XXI: Pride

"Hades." Mayura turned to the tall god who had caused her so much grief.

"You look upset," he mused.

Mayura clenched a fist. "Mou, you are so...so...how could you do this? You killed my father and hurt everyone I love!"

Hades shrugged. "Your point?"

"You're such a monster." Mayura was crying. "How can you have no remorse?"

Hades ignored this. "Hm...looks like you're missing a sin, Athena. Where's all that pride? Don't tell me you were making this up as you went. How can you defeat me with only six sins? Especially when pride is strongest..."

Mayura rushed at him with her staff, only to be thrown away by a forcefield.

"Oh, I forgot to mention something. Remember that pill you swallowed?" the god of the underworld asked.

"How dare you say I'm sinful?" Hera growled, snapping her fingers. More balls of energy headed towards the goddess of wisdom. A tiny object that looked like a pill also flew at her.

Mayura smacked them away with her staff again but the tiny capsule landed in her mouth and she swallowed it in shock. Fortunately, nothing happened.

Mayura paled. She thought it was nothing...some random piece of dust that was caught in the energy balls.

"It was a piece of my soul. Now, even if you can find a way to purge my sin, you'll share my fate. You know that removing my sin means killing me...so if you manage to defeat me, you'll die too. Do you really want that?"

She frowned. "You're lying! Envy becomes kindness!"

The green monster emerged from her staff, shifting into the form of a peacock. The peacock rushed towards Hades but he waved a hand through it and it faded.

"Lust is broken by chastity!" A group of pink doves flew at Hades but they passed right through him.

"Abstinence for gluttony! Diligence against sloth! Patience defeats wrath and greed is overcome by liberality!"

The creatures swarmed Hades but none harmed him. Instead, Mayura was left feeling drained of power.

She gripped her staff and swung at him but he dodged, grabbing the staff and snapping it into two pieces.

Mayura picked up the piece of the staff that the ornament was perched on. She backed away from Hades, trying to figure out what she could do.

The virtues weren't strong enough--pride was the greatest sin and she couldn't find anyone who possessed it and was still conscious. Hades contained so many sins that she could not possibly take it from him. Her brute strength as a goddess was no match, either. After all, Hades had defeated the most powerful god already.

Hades laughed at her efforts. "Don't you understand? My life is linked to my sin, and your life is linked to mine. If you remove my sin, you'll die...as will your beloved." He smirked as he glanced down at Earth and she shivered.

"Wouldn't it be easier to just give in? Join me? Then you can go back to Earth and live with your mortal. You'll be happy...the world will be darker, yes, but at least you'll live. I'll even build my statues and order my temples made in China, so you won't have to see me often. All I ask is that you give up. Look at your comrades. Where did fighting get them?"

Mayura frowned, looking around the room to see her siblings' unconscious forms. She closed her eyes, beginning to cry.

"Just let go of those silly morals and you'll have everything you wish for."

She took a deep breath. "Mou, that's not the world I would want to live in, Hades." She pointed her partial staff at him. She had no choice but to try to purify him. "Hades, thy sin is--" She gasped as she saw all the sin surrounding the god of the underworld. It consumed him--sins of every kind, sins of all shapes, sins of all names. She couldn't possibly rid him of all his sins.

Then it came. One of the short bursts of wisdom.

"Our lives and sins are connected," Mayura whispered, spinning her staff.

Hades' eyes widened. "You wouldn't..."

Glancing down as she cried, Mayura spoke with the hopes that it would reach Loki. "I love you, and I'm sorry."

She threw the half of the silver staff into the air and caught it. The sun was facing her. "You allowed your siblings to be hurt. You always think you're the one who can make a difference, that you're the one who really matters. You were the one to leave Olympus because you thought you could save them all by yourself. You think he'll wait for you, no matter how long you take to return to him. You assume that you're the final hope. You think you're better than all those others whose sin you purged."

The staff began to glow.

With a shout, the goddess of wisdom purged her last sin.

"Athena, thy sin's name is pride!"

A pink light came from the staff, dissolving everyone and everything. Earth was swallowed by the light and when it vanished, only darkness remained.

X X X

And only the epilogue is left.