Chapter 25

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Astrin and Imani argued as they walked up to the hillside of the marshey lake. Astrin's shoulders were hunched forward while Imani practically stomped her steps. It was warm out, which only flustered their emotions further. "I said I was sorry," he said in a groveling tone.

"You could've at least warned me," Imani growled.

"I thought you knew. She's the goddess of love for a reason."

"That temple was a brothel. A brothel! I wanted to pay my respects, not be approached by nasty old men that wanted to pay for my body."

"At least they were kind about it. Shouldn't you be flattered by how much they offered?"

She scowled at him, "three men wanted to have a room with me, at the same time!"

Astrin murmured in an envious tone, "lucky..."

Imani swung her satchel at Astrin's head, "my chastity is not for sale!"

Astrin covered his head to block the hit, "are you honestly telling me they don't do that in Egypt?"

"Not at temples! There are consorts but it's not some fornication feast. Why would any God be happy with such indiscretions in their own temple of worship?"

"Again, let me repeat myself; Aphrodite. The goddess of love and pleasure. That's exactly how we respect her."

Imani pointed at him with a wagging finger, "well, of course you respect her like that. You sold your perverted ass to the first boy that placed a hand on your shoulder."

"To be fair, he was handsome..."

"Gela Tebi, you disgust me."

Reaching the top of the hill, they found who they were looking for. A young girl stood crouched in front of the lake side with a small hut built up behind her. She had light hair and tan skin. The cloth patches covering her body were made from tree bark. A straw hat covered her head while the tree line shadows shrouded parts of her body.

She was calm. Skimming her finger against the water to feel its texture. There was a calm stare to her. Silent and indulgent. A frog even hopped on Chloe's toe. Rather than brush it off, Chloe began petting it as she hummed.

Astrin looked over with a raised eyebrow, "this is the deviant?"

Imani raised her wrist forward to her. The small gem on her bead bracelet lit up. "Without a doubt."

The two of them stepped forward to meet with her. Imani bowed in respect as Astrin spoke, "Hello there, I'm Astrin. This is Imani. We're travelers from Athens. We were looking for the deviants in this city, but noticed there weren't any deviants except for you. Do you know why there are no other deviants? Did they leave the city somewhere?"

Chloe still petted the frog. Whenever the frog croaked, Chloe croaked as well. Imani and Astrin glanced at each other. Imani said, "if I may, do you know if there's a Charon in this city? Did Atenists replace him?"

The girl still squinted down at her frog. Her eyes almost bulged from the intense stare, "I'm calling you lizard."

Astrin and Imani squinted at her. Imani's tone fell, "are you simply dense?"

"What's your name?" Astrin asked in a straightforward manner.

The girl tilted her head to the side, half listening to what he asked, "I forgot..."

"You forgot your name?" Imani huffed in disbelief.

The frog hopped away from her toe. She looked over at them like she were noticing them for the first time. "oh, hi there. I'm Chloe."

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