Chapter 30

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Dracon's fingers skimmed across the edges of his granddaughter's gravestone. He'd once been told that the sins of a father could bypass generations, but he hadn't believed it until he buried his granddaughter, Eirene.

Eirene had died while servicing an aristocrat at the Acrocorinth. It was an expensive contract, one that could've earned the family some much needed drachma. So when he gave the opportunity to Eirene, he thought he'd left her in good hands.

He was wrong, fatally wrong.

Seeing the teenager's dead body drained something from him. What was meant to be a business opportunity turned out to be a death sentence. And the worst part was, "I didn't need the money."

It was just a business opportunity, one that wasn't worth the life cost. He always prided himself as an Aphrodite worshipper. He thought he was a crusader, bringing shelter and jobs to abandoned slaves that had nowhere else to go.

He always treated the woman right, giving them a large share of their earnings and good living conditions for working for him at the temple of Aphrodite. Now it all felt hollow. The temple was supposed to be a sanctuary, and now it had killed his own kin.

Dracon kneeled down at the funerary pot. His forehead touched the grass before it, "Gods, please, show me justice. I've served Aphrodite well, I deserve penance."

A flash of light struck through the air. Dracon looked up. He could see lightning shooting down at his temple, setting the Acrocorinth on fire.

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Her vision was blurred by the shadowy mist. Darkness bore around her. The cave was moist with unnatural water covering the walls. Droplets of liquid dripped to through the cavern in rhythmic beats.

"Do not fret child," a metallic voice said in front of her. He had a crooked tone. Like a voice seeming out from a seashell. He wore a long dusty cloak covering his face and body. His shoulders were thin, and his head had no flesh.

The Charon extended his skeletal palm for the girl next to Chloe. "You are welcomed here, in the otherworld."

Eirene walked towards the boat. She looked to be Chloe's age. Younger perhaps, with tan skin and silky blonde hair like herself. The main difference between them were the bruises across Eirene's body, and the strangle marks around her neck.

Eirene walked towards the ferryman and planted a piece of golden drachma into his hand. The ferryman took the coin and helped her aboard the ferry.

The boat ricketed with her stepping inside. It was stable, but ghastly hands in the water tugged at the edges of the boat. Charon hissed down at the wailing souls. "You owe tribute," the Charon said, splashing down at the spirits. "Be silent!"

The waters calmed from his dark resonance. Eirene stepped to the front of the boat and knelt down while hugging her legs. She looked forward, not paying attention to Chloe.

Charon reached over to Eirene and stroked his boney fingertips through her hair. As he did, strands of hair slowly became mist. "Don't fret, hetaera. There is no pain on the path I giveth."

The nimble girl didn't move as he stroked her. She became more ghostly as his hands turned her into more spirit than living. The Charon looked back to Chloe and said, "and what of ye, oracle?"

Chloe took a step back and shook her head.

"Ye binds to the earth?"

Chloe raised her arm up and pointed towards the sky. A clash of lighting hit above the ceiling, making the underworld shake. The Charon turned around and said, "Fare Thee, then. I pull where the rivers flow. Tis why the Gods envy thee."

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