8DRainbowManVan8D: So Hichi-Ichi…. Mweheheee…. I'm intruding on new found territory. –taps fingers together evilly- We put a lot of time and effort into this, please enjoy! Oh, please read my stuff too? -puppy dog eyes-
Hollow Ichigo-Ichigo: You mean WE are. :D Yes folks! This is a collab between myself and the awesome and talanted 8DRainbowManVan8D! She writes GrimmIchi. We decided that, in order to help herself get better well known, we would collab a fic. Now I will say this; I may be posting, but we both wrote here, so I hope you all remember to give her credit as well.
And yes, as she begs *gives her a treat* please do go read her stuff! And one more thing; if I see in the reviews that you are forgetting to give her some credit, we WILL delay updates. Other than that, I hope y'all enjoy! And when it gets uploaded, the cover art is also done by Rainbow! So enjoy Divinity's Revenge!
"Demaratos!" The angry young woman threw the vase at the half dressed young man. He dodged as he yanked his chiton back into the right and adjusted his fibula, laughing all the while. People in the market street barely spared him a glance. Tapestries to purchase, wine to sample, and slaves to reprimand. So it was without doubt that no one even noticed the rowdy young man slithering through and away from his most recent conquest. Sneaking into a darkened corner, stepping around the stinking mud, he hid.
A smirk most lecherous stained his face, brown eyes gleaming and burning with a sick sense of accomplishment. Household slaves scampered past, pointing and yelling, calling out his name in anger. He couldn't help but chuckle evilly. Good luck finding him, you blinded snakes! Standing up straight, he relaxed and leaned back against the marble, shifting his koplos a bit higher into a more comfortable position upon his hips.
Needless to say, he was not expecting the hand that grabbed him from behind.
"AAAAH!" The poor young man jumped high into the air, twisting about hurriedly, ready to fight for his freedom. Laughter filled his ears. Finally, he saw the man who dared sneak up on him and instantly irritation took root. "Really, Thrasius? Nothing better to do than to scare me out of my wits?"
The tall, blue haired man swiped at the tears trickling from his eyes. "Aye, I do not. But then again, you should not have any reason to be so easily frightened. What have you been getting into, eh Demaratos?" He cocked an eyebrow higher, a shark like grin growing. The insufferable man knew exactly what had taken place.
Demaratos sniffed indignantly and crossed his arms. "I've done nothing wrong, good friend and I'll have you know I have a clear conscience."
"Oh, the conscience I don't doubt but the rest of it… Be careful my friend, I've heard that lying will make those pretty orange locks of yours turn white."
"Oh as if I'd believe such fancy!"
"Aye? You do not? Not even when your precious hair is at stake?"
"Not even then, my lovable fool."
"So say you now." The tall man, adjusted his chlamys to cover more of his bared hip, sculpted muscles peaking out. There was a silent pause as both stood, caught in their thoughts. "… You slithered your way into another maiden's bosoms yet again, have you not, dear Demaratos?"
The answering smirk was nasty, the smaller man laughing with lustful glee. "And what bosoms they were, Thrasius! Gorgeous! Round! Perfect! They sat so nicely in the palms of my hands, friend! By the skys, I wish you could've part taken! Those breasts made me believe in the immortal gods for a moment!"
Thrasius laughed heartily. "Sounds heavenly. But… You know I'd rather spend my time with someone else." He eyed Demaratos up and down openly. The red headed man laughed.
"Oh Thrasius! We are as if family! To lay with you would be to lay with my brother! Mind you not about the gender."
The taller man scoffed. "Oh please, not this again. Just because we are kept in homogeny apart from the fairer sex does not make it alright to hunt them down and devour them as if they were cattle! Why waste such effort on a woman that will hate you as you sneak away come morning light?"
Demaratos smirked at the annoyed man. "Why must I limit myself to one type of flesh when I can taste in plenty both? Thrasius, I tell you, variety makes life beautiful."
Thrasius stared silently at Demaratos for a good while, face blank. The young soldier sighed, and rubbed his temples. "You have a plan, haven't you? Something big and stupid, I am correct, yes?"
Demaratos had the audacity to laugh. "Big? Yes. Grand? But of course! Stupid? Never! My friend! Have more faith in me!" He wrapped an arm around the taller man's neck and lead them both out into the market street. "I plan to seduce and bed none other than, Acantha!"
Thrasius froze, eyes horrified. He twisted around and latched tightly onto his friends shoulders. "As much as I love your brazen attitude, that would be most unwise."
"Oh please, I see no reason not."
"Oh aye! Because you are an ignorant sacrilege." They glared heatedly at each other. Thrasius sighed. "Demaratos… Normally I'd condone and even cheer your many conquests but this I must back down from. Acantha? Most beautiful and fair Acantha? Said to be Aphrodite's daughter? No, you shall invoke the gods wraths should you even attempt this foolish endeavor! And I shall not and will not help you. You are dear like family, but my immortal soul is more important. Let it be known that I, Thrasius, did tell you so."
The younger man, cocked a brow and brushed the hands from his shoulders. "How touching a story, Thrasius. But you shall find, I am not swayed. That woman shall be mine and will be so by the morrow."
"And what of the tales of your father?" Thrasius called out to the leaving man. Demaratos spun around, walking backwards to scoff at his friend.
"Oh please, that rubbish? Father left to return home to his wife, and left mother with a piece of his fortune and wealth. He was not a god. Besides, what's done is done. That was two and twenty years ago, I shall not believe in such fairy tales. And you, dear soldier and ever logical Thrasius, are four years older than I. Or are you still a boy at heart?"
Thrasius took the insult with a sneer and a menacing step forwards. "Make no mistake, dear Demaratos. Your actions tonight shall have consequences be it divine or not. You shall find a smiting hand upon your cheek."
Demaratos cowered in mock fear. "Oh no! A hand! Whatever shall I do?" He stood up, chin pointed to the sky and hands clasped together, eyes pinched shut. "I know! I shall pray to the gods! Oh, my goddess Athena, be my shelter this dreadful night! As I deflower yet another beautiful maiden, cast down your spear and shield and protect me from jealous fathers! May I borrow thine holy aegis?"
"Sacrilege!" Thrasius yelled out, appalled. "You are calling upon their anger! Our gods are just but should you so readily mock them… I fear for your soul, Demaratos!"
The smaller man waved him off with a grimace. "Oh stuff it, Thrasius! It's naught but myth and legend. If you shall need me, I will be chatting most ardently." Voice heavy with sarcasm, "with my dear friend Ambrosios, the man you so desperately wish to lay. Good day to you, and may the gods smile upon you in favor and perhaps grant your wish." The young man mockingly bowed and smirked as he sauntered away, Thrasius's lip curled in disgust at his foolish friend.
"Milady, you simply must rest!" Acantha turned around, her long white hair swaying in the summer breeze. Small, silver bows were strung up to keep her bangs from her eyes as her long, light blue dress flowed around her. "It is night now as it is."
"I am aware of that, but I feel tonight is speacil." She turned her liquid gold eyes to the servant and smiled warmly. "Please go join the other servants. You must be tired."
"Hush and go. And may the gods watch over you as you sleep." She chuckled as the servant bowed and left her alone. She looked out the large window and sighed,a view of Aphrodite's temple met her gaze, the smell of incense burning around her. "Mother, please have me not a virgin my whole life. I do wish to meet him one day...one I love from a distance."
"And who may that be, hmm?" Acantha quickly turned to see a young man with striking orange hair and warm, yet mischevious brown eyes gazing her way. "rumors of your beauty travel fast, yet do little justice to you."
"Who are you?" She asked, although she knew full well. It's him...the one I see every day...worshipping my mother... "How did you get in my bedchambers?"
"A servant here is an old friend. Nothing a few coppers couldn't fix to persuade him to let me in." He grinned. "So...you are the beautiful Acantha, supposed daughter of Aphorodite and wanted by many men, yet each one you have denied." He said as he drew closer to the pale skinned maiden.
"You know so much of me, but I nothing of you. I have seen you worship in Aphrodite's temple, and you wave and smile to me. I would also assume the white lillies are from you as well?" She asked, looking at the large boquet sitting in a deep blue vase.
"Ah, you read me well fair lady." He chuckled and walked closer to her, their faces kissing close. "Yet you are the most lovely flower yet." She smiled, but gently pushed him aside.
"Flattery and flowers will get you nowhere young man. As much as a gentleman you seem, I am to be wed soon to a wealthy merchant." she sighed, walking towards her bed. She didn't see the look of frustration on the boy's face. "I am to be his wife, and he would not want a soiled wife."
"Then forget the man, and come away with me." She turned to him, a warm hand placed on her white cheek. "Allow me to show you a pleasure that no old man can show you." She looked into his eyes and saw the sincerity in them.
"Might I have your name, milord?" She asked quietly. His lips met hers in a gentle, fleeting kiss. Her eyes fluttered shut at the caress, and she found herself being gently pressed to her bed. She opened her eyes to see the man smile, yet she shivered at how unfriendly it seemed.
"My name is Demaratos, sweet, beautiful Acantha." He chuckled. "Be sure to remember it tonight..."
Demaratos awoke before sun fell, looking at the pale woman curled next to him, her body only covered by the sheets pooling around them. He slowly made his way out of her bed and pulled his clothes on once more. Acantha stirred, watching him get ready. "Milord? It is barely dawn and you wish us to leave?"
"Not 'we', but I, yes." He smirked evilly at her. "I have done what no man has; I have bedded the beautiful, virgin Acantha." He made his way to the window and began to climb down the vines. Acantha rushed after him, her heart broken and an odd pain in her chest. She stared at her mother's temple, her eyes red with tears, but a determined light shone in them. She felt her stomach and cried.
"Oh little one, we have displeased the gods..." she glared at the retreating form of the orange haired youth. She stood on the balcony rail, and looked down below. "I curse you, Demaratos! May the god's curse you for what you have done!" She looked at the temple again, fresh tears falling down her face. "Mother...forgive the sins I have caused you. As atonement, I take my life...and the life of the bastard child within me." She heard the servants call to her, but she ignored them. She folded her hands together, and allowed herself to fall.
Demaratos ran quickly through the empty courtyard, laughter bubbling past his cruel lips. Straight to the servants house he went and right inside. Slithering his way up the stairs, he knocked on the door to the room he wished to find and waited.
A voice very gentle called, "Come in."
Demaratos threw the door open with gusto and stood in the doorway like a conquering hero. "Ambrosios, my dear friend! I must thank you for helping me to sneak in! I would not have gotten far without you."
The dark haired man barely spared a blank glance back at his loud and bright friend before turning back to his studies. There was a long pause in silence as he continued to write. "… If you so choose to be as loud as that so early in the morn, I shall ask you to leave at once. Many others are still sleeping."
The bright youth laughed and rushed in, hugging the pale desolate man. He stared into the shorter man's eyes; lifeless green on burning brown. "Oh but Ambrosios! I am victorious because of you! I mean of course all those pointless days going to the temple of Aphrodite paid off in the end. All that bending on hand and knee for some false specter." Demaratos shook it off as if it were a deadly stain. "It all paid off because you let me in."
Ambrosios righted his fibula, casting a burning stare at the fool. "Your appetite will be the end of you. Much more of this fooling around and soon mothers and fathers will shun your name and soon you'll find yourself unable to wed."
The insufferable man waved him off. "Oh, trite that is. My family name has much influence in this city. I, as man of the household, own most of the farmland and tenants outside the city, as it was passed to me by father. What man in his right mind would turn down my hand in marriage to his daughter? Naught but sheep to bear children I say."
Ambrosios' eyes narrowed just slightly. "They will turn down the hand of a man cursed by the gods and with speech like that you are on a sure track to damnation indeed."
Demaratos shrugged and leaned against the wall. "Only if you believe such things." With a sigh, he stood up straight. "Well, I must be off. There are lands to be checked after and slaves to sort out. Good day to you, dear Ambrosios."
He stopped halfway out the door, turning back with a smirk. "Oh and," he paused for affect. "Thrasius says good morn, my dear."
Ambrosios' face turned pink and his eyes twisted to look at his cluttered table. Demaratos left in a hurry, jumping the estate wall and ran the whole way home. He did not hear the screams of the servant woman when she found Acantha's body and the hysteria that soon followed.
Farmers were out in the fields sowing seeds and plucking weeds while Demaratos kept a keen eye on them. This year's crops were looking great considering and with it, business would grow. His mother stood naught but a few feet from him demurely, but beautiful none the less. And that's when it happened.
Mother and son alike both jumped in fright, turning to watch a furious Thrasius storm towards them. His face was twisted in pure rage. Demaratos's mother turned to look at him in askance and he returned the stare just as bemusedly. "Ho, Thrasius! What troubles you so?"
"What ails me? What ails me?!You contemptuous pig!" The bigger man threw his fist forward and it connected most painfully with the side of Demaratos' face. His mother screamed as her son fell, a cry of pain and surprise torn from his throat. From upon the ground, he glared up at his friend.
"Damn you, Thrasius! Explain yourself!"
He stepped forwards, arms thrown wide open. "Explain myself, you say?! I needn't explain ANYTHING! What did I TELL YOU?!"
The smaller man stood up with help from his mother. He angrily shook her off as soon as he was upright. "I DEMAND TO KNOW OF WHAT YOU ACCUSE ME!"
Thrasius' face darkened and he took another step forwards, his voice deadly calm. "I told you to just let this pass by, to not so heedlessly jump to your doom. But you did, and now it has lead to someone else's as well."
Demaratos watched his friend in utter confusion, glancing over his shoulder as Ambrosios came running up, guards meters behind. He looked back to Thrasius. "What? Who's doom?"
"Acantha's. She took her life. Because you are a fork tongued snake in human's flesh!" Thrasius yelled as Demaratos choked in shock.
The color drained from his face and he grabbed for support from his mother. "D-dead?"
"Aye." Thrasius's voice was hard as steel and he stepped forwards. "I told you there would be repercussions to your actions but you took no heed. And now the guardsman are on their way to throw you to slavery. I think they are too kind. And now, the gods are demanding blood."
Demaratos' mother gasped as her face paled. "The gods?!" Thrasius stepped forwards, drawing his sword. Both the woman and son's eyes widened.
"Th-Thrasius… What are you doing?" Surprise and fear escaping down his spine.
His friend's face was set in stone, but his eyes were full of sorrow and regret, damn near tears. "I'm sparing you the wrath of the gods you so vandalized."
Ambrosios' eyes widened in horror as the woman screamed out in fright. "No! Not my son!"
And then his sword was pierced through the bright young man's chest. Gurgling and cries of pain filled Thrasius' ears, weak hands grasping at his back. "Forgive me… Someday, Demaratos… I-I am sorry."
He then ripped his sword from his friend's chest and the young man fell to the ground as his mother continued screaming. The guards were upon them in moments, grabbing handfuls of Thrasius, tying his hands behind his back.
Amrbosios staggered forwards. "Thrasius… You will be put to death for treason… Why did you do that?"
The taller man stared forwards, eyes red with unshed tears. "… To save him the pain… It was right to do." He glanced down to the smaller man his eyes burning with a deep sadness and regret. "Ambrosios… I did… Love you. Forgive me for never acting upon it but I wished you to know that I did love you."
The guards dragged him away and Ambrosios stood frozen, tears threatening to fall, standing next to the cold corpse of his friend and hysterical mother. A fleeting voice on the wind called his name.
Ambrosios… My son… Take hold of his soul for it is lost within his flesh. Bring him to us, upon Mount Olympus. Be here by nightfall.
Ambrosios looked up to the sky, tears staining his face. "… Athena." Glancing back to Demaratos, he stepped past his mother and reached to his forehead, taking hold. A ball of light filled his palm, and he took off running to the stables.
He had a mountain to reach and reach it he must.
"HADES!" The God of the Underworld watched as a beautiful woman with auburn hair and rainbow dress stormed in, her bright yellow eyes aglow with a fury and determination rarely shown. "I demand to have the soul of Acantha and her unborn babe!"
"Now you know that is forbbiden, sweet Aphrodite." The man chuckled as he stood from his throne, his black cape flowing behind him. Although he appeared to be in his forties, his eyes shown with wisdom and cruelty. "Besides, I wish to have the soul of my rotten son, Demaratos, but sadly Brother has a plan for them."
"It was Acantha's wish for him to be cursed!" She spat. "I wish to have her...she must also bear punishment for the death of an innocent child...her own nonetheless!"
"If Mount Olympus were under my reign, I would have you banished into Tartarus for your mouth and demands." He growled, the sound seeming to shake the rocks around them. "However, I am not. So here." He handed to her a small cage which showed the apparition of Acantha, holding a small baby in her arms. "Take them I'm sure the fates of these souls will be...most entertaining. But know this...her soul will be mine...one way or another." He said. Aphrodite took the cage, watching as her daughter looked at her. She tried to speak, but her voice was unheard. Aphrodite walked out and back to Olympus just as Ambrosios appeared.
"My Mother called to me."
"She did, but I am to handle this." Aphrodite spoke. "Ambrosios, you were a loyal servent, to us gods as well as my lovely daughter." She sighed. "And I know you have lost someone dear to your own heart as well." She watched as Ambrosios looked away. "But I must request this one last act. Follow me." Ambrosios followed the beautiful maiden goddess and was a bit surprised as they appeared in a forge.
"Milady? Why are we here?"
"Zeus gave out Demarato's punishment; imprisonment within a body of flesh and metal." She said. "Until such a time that Acantha is reborn. And if he can truly love her, he will be free to make a choice...for the ultimate sacrifice." She explained with a heavy heart. "I truly did love my daughter, but this act also shames me. Acantha is to be punished as well. For when she returns...she will not live long. Her soiled body has infected her very soul, and will cause her to be sick and worsen until she is of age and dies."
"My wife, it is ready." Aphrodite rolled her eyes as Hepheastus appeared and kissed her cheek gently. He looked at Ambrosios and smirked. "Consider yerself lucky laddie. You are about to be given a gift."
"Me? I want nothing of material value." He shook his head. "I just wish..."
"I know what you wish." Aphrodite sighed. "And if you follow your duty, you will be rewarded with it." She handed Ambrosios a cup filled with a shining, golden liquid. "Your namesake is within this cup, the nectar of immortality. When you drink it, you will become an immortal. And only the gods can release you." Ambrosios blinked and handed Aphrodite Demarato's soul in exchange for the cup of ambrosia. "Do you accept?" Ambrosios looked at her and nodded. "Faithful as ever. Then drink."
When Ambrosios drank down the liquid, it felt as if his insides were being burned by the very fires of Tartarus itself and he fell to his knees, the cup clanking to the ground. He screamed as his entire body burned, tears rolling down his cheeks. Every moment of his life seemed to burn into his eyes and melt into his skin all at once, and when he remembered Thrasius, the tears fell and burned the flesh of his cheeks, turning as green as his own eyes. When it was finally over, he lay on the ground, gasping for air. Aphrodite helped him to his feet and he shook. "I...I am sorry Milady, I-"
"You were a mortal, it was bound to burn you." she said. Ambrosios turned to see a life-like sized statue of Demaratos looking back at him, posed as if he were against a wall, waiting to be executed.
"D...Demaratos?" He watched as the eyes seemed to move, but only a fraction. "What has happened to him?"
"He's an automaton, my husband's creation." Aphrodite explained. "Human skin covering mechanical innards. Fits such a cold hearted creature. He is to remain within, looking but unable to move or act until such time as my daughter is reborn into the world once more." She explained.
"So he is aware?"
"Very much so. Also, his sleep is to be plagued by his memories, especially my daughter's." She then turned to Ambrosios and rubbed a cool hand across the tear stains on his cheek. "Your job is to ever watch him, and make sure he is there when acantha returns. If you do this...you will also see the one you hold dear return to you. But be warned; not all will be as it is now, and they will have suffered...as will you." She whispered. Ambrosios looked at the frozen Demaratos and bowed to the goddess before him.
"I will do this milady, to repay the debt of my former mistress, Acantha." He said. Aphrodite simply touched him and when he next blinked, he was back in Greece, alone with the automaton. How long must we wait? He wondered. Thrasius...Acantha...Demaratos...please do not take eternity...
I jumped from the balcony. No! Not me! I feel my bones crushing as they pierce my insides, organs rupturing and pain unlike any other for a flash before my eyes blacken.
A sword sliding through my chest, stabbing through my lungs, blood filling them as I choke for air. The blade slides higher and stabs through my heart, pain unlike any other surrounds me. No! Not again! I fall to the ground as I feel my blood slowly leaking out onto the ground. I see my mother's crying face as my eyes blacken.
"I curse you, Demaratos! May the god's curse you for what you have done!" Anger and despair tearing at my heart and soul. My child in my womb, I cannot live with this guilt. My only choice is to end it. I will not birth this abomination. Curse you Demaratos!
Thrasius running to me, screaming at me, She's dead! No! Guilt and horror choking me! I had no idea! I didn't know it would end like this! Regret stopping my heart. I didn't mean it to end like this!
No! I ache to pull at my hair, shift away from the constant pain. My body aches, constantly dying over and over. My mind breaks, choking on the emotions suffocating me. I can't see! I can't see!
It's black and I can't move! How long have I been frozen here?! How long have I endured?! I scream inside my mind, my eyes staring at the black around me. I can't escape this pain.
I can't escape. This pain is unbearable. My screaming grows louder. How long has it been?!
I HATE YOU ACANTHA! I HATE YOU THRASIUS! I HATE YOU AMBROSIOS! AND I FUCKING HATE THE GODS!
But my screams fall upon deaf ears and I suffer in darkness and madness for unending years. How long had I been in here, choking on tears and phantom blood?
… Long enough to feel nothing but hate and the encroaching madness. At some point… my screaming turned to laughter. Choke on it, choke. They'll get theirs. Wait and see, they'll get theirs.
~8DRainbowManVan8D: BOOYAH! Oh and, TELL US WHAT YA THOUGHT! LOVE YA GUYS!
Hollow Ichigo-Ichigo: Yup! :D We FINALLY finished it! And this is just a prologue! O.o For fun, I wanna see if any of you guys can tell what I wrote and what she wrote. Your hint is that we each wrote a section. :3 The lines seperating sections are what divide us. :D So review and tell us what you think!