She covered her eyes against the glare of the sun, lying amidst the endless fields of flowers, and smiled as a lock of dark long hair escaped from behind her and tickled her face.
"Tell us more," pleaded Ianthe, softly tugging on her white dress.
Lycorias inched a little closer and nudged, "Who are the other gods you saw in yesterday's festivities?"
"Well…" Kore replied coyly, raising her fingers as in counting, "There was Aphrodite, Athena was present… Hestia made an appearance…"
"I believe," interrupted an impatient Actea, "Lycorias said GODS… Not GODDESSES!"
Kore pushed herself up into a sitting position, gave Actea a playful scowl and had to stop herself from laughing when she realized that all her friends had now ceased amusing themselves with singing hymns or dancing around the field and were now eagerly awaiting for her next words.
Kore threw Admete a killing look, the redheaded nymph shouldn't have told the others that she had accompanied her mother to the festivities.
Admete rolled her eyes in response and replied, "Forgive me, Kore. Not all of us can come and go to Mt. Olympus whenever we wanted!"
Kore finally laughed out loud with her statement, "And you think "I" can come and go to Mt. Olympus whenever "I" wanted?"
"Well, you're a goddess…" Actea shrugged.
"By all means, tell that to my mother!" chuckled Kore. For all her mother's worth, Demeter can be too controlling at times. She had always been the dominant figure in Kore's life that sometimes she couldn't help but wonder if her mother still sees her as a little girl.
But that doesn't really make Kore love her mother any less though. If truth be told, it made her love her mother even more.
Demeter surrounded her with all the most influential and intriguing beings in the realm. She was allowed to be taught under the guidance of Athena, a feat completely unheard of from a young goddess. She was allowed to learn everything about nature from none other than Artemis herself. And although she knew that it was all a cover so that her mother can keep an extra eye on her, Kore will always be thankful that her mother insisted on surrounding her with the most engaging, most enjoyable creatures one could ever find in the realm: the nymphs. There just never was a dull moment with the nymphs.
But, if there's one thing that her mother had been consistently persistent with, It's her being away from Mt. Olympus. Not that she was entirely against it - in fact, she wasn't; she just hasn't found her footing on her father's world yet - but sometimes, the merriment and festivities can be too tempting one couldn't help but wonder…
It's not as if Kore wasn't aware of the 'activities' that some of the gods engage themselves into. And she knew, it's exactly those certain activities that Demeter is so protective about.
She wasn't sheltered too much to be blind about those stuff, and her constant interaction with the nymphs actually makes gossips impossible to be ignorant with.
Kore just wished she was given a little bit more liberty to decide about things on her own.
"Well…" Actea prettily batted her eyes at Kore, urging her to say a word.
Kore gave a thoughtful pout, "I think I saw Apollo there…"
Admete and Actea instantly joined into a loud excited squeal.
She glanced meaningfully at Lycorias, "…and Ares was there too…" she nodded, "And Hermes, and Dionysius…" she gazed at Ianthe, "Oh that was a very wonderful music he provided last night."
"Well, it should be!" Ianthe gushed, "It's Dionysius…"
"The ever-present Hermes was there, and Poseidon too!" she recalled, "There was Morpheus, Janus and Hypnos, and then…" Kore's voice trailed, lines creasing her forehead.
"What?" prodded Lycorias, "Who else?"
Kore shrugged gently, "And then, there was Hades…"
"Interesting…" declared Admete, her eyes turning as huge as saucers.
"Finally, something was worthy enough to wheedle him out from his cave!" laughed Actea.
"Actea!" gently warned Ianthe.
"But it's true!" Actea insisted.
"He might just hear you…" whispered Lycorias.
"I doubt it!" Actea proclaimed, "How much can one hear from down under?"
Admete gasped, "Actea! You're boldness surprises me!"
"It's the ruler of the underworld we're talking about…" reminded Lycorias.
"Very well," Actea conceded, giving an all too mischievous roll of her eyes and then pronounced, "Hades, lord of the underworld, would you find it in your heart… if there is any…" spoken under her breath, before continuing, "The result of my folly and for having too much wine for lunch! I swear never to say anything unfavorable towards your person ever again!" she looked at her fellow nymphs and said, "Happy?"
Kore wrinkled her nose in laughter and threw a pebble at Actea, "You mocker!"
"I never mock!" joked Actea.
"Mocker!" joined Ianthe.
"I wonder what part of that pledge was even true…" said Lycorias.
"The 'having too much wine for lunch' part!" Actea pointed out herself before all of them fell into laughter.
Recovering herself, Admete faced Kore, "Tell me Kore," she started, a wicked gleam suddenly filling her eyes, "Was he one of the lovesick puppies that circled themselves around you?"
"Nobody circles themselves around me…" denied Kore.
"I heard from the grapevine, Aphrodite is more than a little vexed with you for getting all the attention when you're around Olympus…" assured Lycorias.
"Well, there isn't," maintained Kore, "And just to clear the matter up, Hades hardly even noticed ANYONE else in the room. He was all too occupied with Aphrodite's company," she shared, "So I guess, that also settles the matter of ME gaining ALL the attention from Aphrodite!"
"Oh don't worry," Actea brushed off, raising her fingers as in counting, "There's still Apollo, Ares…"
"No, they don't…" Kore interrupted.
"And here comes another one…" pointed Lycorias.
"Kore!" the golden-haired messenger of the gods, Hermes, came sauntering to where they converged. Flashing one of his best smiles, he announced, "You're mother's been searching for you…"
"Oh, have I been gone that long?" Kore wondered aloud, facing the position of the sun to tell the time.
"Actually Kore," said Hermes, "You're never gone THAT long… your mother just can't survive a breathing hour without you."
"Now you're exaggerating…" smiled Kore, standing up.
"Oh no, he isn't!" chorused the four boisterous sea nymphs.
Kore laughed as she dusted off the soil from her one-shouldered, belted white tunic.
"Are you still going to stay in Olympus?" inquired Ianthe.
"For a few days I suppose…" replied Kore.
"Hmm…" Actea raised both her pretty brows in surprise, "THAT's something which doesn't happen quite often…"
Kore wrinkled her nose, "Mother's got some matters to attend to with the gods…"
"And you're mother is slowly exposing you to the other gods and goddesses finally," pointed Admete, "It won't be long until you'll assume your mother's position, isn't it?"
"I guess," Kore beamed, excited at the very possible prospect.
"Which reminds me…" recalled Lycorias with a wide smile, "Are we not told to stop calling you Kore from now on…"
"Right!" grinned Ianthe, "We're to address you with your official name now, Persephone …"
Kore frowned at the thought. Her mother shouldn't have insisted on telling her friends on using her given name after her formal introduction to Mt. Olympus a year ago.
She made a teasing curtsey and addressed, "You are to call me Kore whenever you wanted! You have my blessing!"
"Sorry, Persephone," shrugged Lycorias, "I prefer Demeter's blessing."
Actea chuckled heartily and said, "Anyway, please send our regards to her…"
"Will do!" retorted Kore, and smiled at the messenger of the gods who once was just her childhood friend but now holds an important place in Olympus, "Well, Hermes?"
Hermes took hold of her hand and muttered tenderly, "Hold on tight," as his winged sandals took them both to the land of the gods.