Jace flinched as his father booming voiced echoed in the halls of the castle. He was sitting gingerly in a settee, reading a novel. He wasn't sure what the novel was entitled or what manner of events occurred in it, but when her appeared to be studious the people of the castle tended to be more generous in leaving him alone.
Sadly, his father was never so kind.
"WHERE IS MY BASTARD SON?" Hades angry question boomed in the caverns of hell.
Jace could feel his father trying to search him out mentally, but Jace had grown wary of his fathers head games thousands of years ago and had long since learnt the techniques of blocking him out.
I'm studying, he shot out with his mind.
Jace could feel his father try to grasp his mind with mental fingers. Felt the smooth talons brush against his memory. Jace knew he was treading on thin ground, no one disobeyed Hades for very long, not even his bastard son.
His mind clouded with pain as his father renewed his attack. "I'm coming," Jace said with a wilful sigh and the throbbing pain receded to a dull ache, a consequence of Hades anger the day before.
He glanced at his fierce expression beneath a face that was a mass of bruises and scabbed wounds, some still leaking blood in places where his fight with a demon that morning had torn off a few pieces of his flesh. Jace knew he could always heal himself to make the pain stop, but when he had done that as a child his father had merely recreated them and increased the pain tenfold. Hades could be a real asshole that way.
So, Jace just dealt with the constantly throbbing pain that was his existence with the toughness of a man many centuries old.
He felt the slight pressure building in his temples again, a sign that his father was getting anxious and angry, and quickly stepped away from the gilded mirror and sauntered his way towards Hades throne room. If there was anything living for as long as he had taught him, it was how to saunter like the best of them.
He spared not a glance at the forever dark, damp stone walls that seemed to be the main material used in constructing Hades palace. Although palace might be a bit of a stretch.
Jace's mother, Persephone, lived in Haven, where the gods had real palaces, made entirely of gold and the climate of a tropical island Jace loved the extremely rare visits he had with his mother. He would play forever as a boy in the small garden, laughing at the little fairies.
Jace began to feel his facial muscles relax slightly from his ever present scowl at the happy memory and quickly tightened the muscles back into the correct position. Any expression resembling anything but misery, remorse, or anger in the underworld and demons and ghouls and all sorts of hellish creatures would set upon you. Although, Jace knew he could take anyone in a fight, he was the son of two very powerful gods after all; he didn't want to give the creatures any sign of weakness. And any pleasant looking expression in this hell-hole was definitely a weakness any creature would exploit.
He was close enough now to hear the loud booms of Hades voice, accompanied by the long, low syllables of his head demons. Jace knew Persephone would not be coming to visit Hades for another week, merely by his increasing foul tempers, and that was reason enough for him to pause hesitantly outside the chamber, weakness be damned.
"What makes you think I give a roasting damned soul about that stupid bitch?" Hades booming voice echoed in the small chamber Jace was paused in, collecting a breath he knew was futile.
"We must appease the Greeks" the demon hissed, referring to the Greek pantheon Persephone belonged to.
"It was the damned Greeks who put me in this living hellhole," Hade complained, the sound of his big body smacking back into the rock chair audible from beneath the door.
"Artemis is quite close to….." the demon trailed off, giving Hades a clear impression that it was Persephone's name that was left unspoken. Hades may live in a hell hole, but he was still a very caring man to Jace's mother. He did not allow any member of his staff or any entity in hell to speak the name of the women many suspected was his one and only love. It was evident that there was no love for the son that had been created by the two, at least not by the father. Jace shook his head, his father was one messed up god.
"I know" Hades released a large breath, the whooshing sound unmistakable, "come in Jace."
As Jace entered the large chamber through the stone doors that had opened silently at Hade's invitation, the demon at his side bowed his head a retired quickly from the room. Jace gave the demon one last pitying look, Hade's demons were lucky if they survived one week, and turned to face the dark god.
"Persephone wants me to do a favour for Artemis, the little whiny bitch she's always complaining about." Hade's began, standing up before his son.
Jace remained silent, typically the best way to remain when in Hade's presence.
"Apparently the little red headed skank had some whiny brats a decade ago or so and know the fates have decreed them to die. Anyway, Artemis won't stop complaining to Persephone and it's giving her a headache. So, I tried to be a gentleman like her frigid bitch of a mother says I'll never be and offered to help and now apparently I have to."
Jace would have snorted at Hade's distraught expression at being caught in an act of selflessness if it would get him sentenced to killing souls for the next five years. Dying souls will grip onto a part of whoever kills them and to be destroyed as well, and that was one of the lighter punishments. Instead Jace kept his expression sullen and focused.
Hades glared down at his son with annoyance "since I have a very important job here taking care of all of the fuckers who end up in hell I have decided you will be the best one to carry out the job."
Jace did a mental pause at the jump in logic. His brain was trying to figure out how favour transferred to job, when his mouth, to his horror, started speaking "job?"
Hades eyes burned liquid fire at his son's interruption. "Boy, you have to babysit a seven year old girl for ten years. That is it. Do not talk back to your sire with such negligent contempt in your voice; you have no idea of the sacrifices I have made for you damn it!"
He did not utter a single syllable, revelling at this new information Hades had released.
"You will keep her from dying until the little girl can be safely rejoined with her twin in ten years. Apparently at that time the predicted doom will be nullified and Artemis believes her twins will be safe. Do you understand boy?" His father levelled a hard stare at his son's scarred face.
Jace thought very deeply, but there was one thing still nagging at his mind "why me?"
Hades scoffed "I may have fucked up with you boy, quite literally as it were, but you have won an impressive amount of battles. Although the ignorant Greeks know nothing of your status as a Demon Lord in this realm they do know that you have been an integral part of winning many battles in the mortal realm."
Jace almost looked thoughtful at the unexpected praise. It was true that 'Demon Lord' was the highest standing one could achieve in the underworld, apart from being 'Underworld Lord', but he had never considered his accomplishments in the mortal realm very significant. When one has lived more than a hundred thousand years battling in the mortal realm was like free exercise and it is hard to look back on one's exercise as being particularly significant, although apparently the Greek god of hunting, was impressed.
Jace nodded his head in acceptance of the praise and spoke carefully "I will guard the girl and make sure she lives to her 19th year, but I would appreciate not reliving my pre pubescent years, once was definitely enough."
Hades laughed sardonically and in that instance Jace knew the smarter option would probably have been not to mention his fears of reliving adolescence. Hade's was a sick bastard and bored enough to make Jace and little boy just to spite him.
Jace felt his bones shrinking and his body reacting, "this is why I never call you father!" he shouted out, his voice cracking halfway through as he was teleported to his mothers estate in the countryside.