9 Chapter Nine:

"Mistress?" I roll over on the bed and see Hyacinth standing next to it. We fell asleep talking about our lives, and the future, and all while I'd allowed Leon to cool off in his room. I notice her expression and feel saddened by the lack of happiness over her face.

The poor girl is still being haunted by the passing of her mother, and I hear her cries often at night. She tries not to cry in front of me, but I see the terrible bags under her eyes from lack of sleep. I see how the light in those green orbs of hers dims each day.

No matter the tender love and affection I give her, she'll always remember what she has lost. And I do not blame her for that, for not much time has passed since her mother moved on into Hades' paradise for the dead; so the wounds of grief are still fresh.

And there is only one cure for the living—and it is unfortunately only a temporary relief:

Time.

We might begin to feel the pain slip away, but it is always there. For instance, the bereaved feel the wounds as if they were fresh in the warm breeze on a summer's day, in the silence of dawn, or within the most happiest of moments. Grief has its way of letting her presence known. She is lenient in some cases, but she tends to be a rather moody creature.

There will never be a day of forgetting, as she has an omnipresent and temperamental memory.

I look at the child and sigh.

"Yes, Hyacinth?"

"I heard a noise, and I am much too afraid to leave the room."

"Well I am sure it is only Leon," I mutter and let out a small yawn.

"But I am still scared. I don't want him to be here anymore."

I sigh and move to stand. "If he never harmed us last night, then I am sure he won't any time soon. But I will check and see what he is doing."

I leave the room and turn my head to see his door open, but no Goblin within the room. I make my way into the living quarters and find it empty as well. I stand there for a moment, and my heart flutters nervously. He would not have fled, especially since he would need an official pass to leave the city. He would be helpless on his own.

"Leon?" I yell, but the house is silent.

I remember the glamour ring he'd thrown and look where the lounge chair had been previously.

But the ring is gone.

"Oh no," I bite my lower lip and look around the room anxiously.

"Come here, Hyacinth," I say.

"Is he out there?"

"No, he left."

It has been hours since I'd realized Leon fled. And for those hours, I have been combing the streets and asking if anyone had seen a suspicious character roaming the streets. With the glamour device, it can be dangerous in the wrong hands. If he wanted, Leon could turn into any person. In my presence, he kept the one I'd given him. But he could appear entirely different.

At this point, I could go to my father. And I should. But I fear for the Goblin's life. Even though he has been nothing but hostile towards me, I understand why. I cannot be angry over his behaviour, but I can worry. Not only for his safety, but every Olympian. We are immortal, but we can essentially die. Only Olympians can return if buried in the heavenly grounds of the city; but it could take years for us to be reborn. We would have the same memories and appearances, but on the odd chance of us being buried elsewhere…

We would rot.

But our minds would be lost in darkness. The body would deteriorate, and then cease to exist. We have no afterlife like the mortals and supernatural beings. There is nothing for us. And the universe would rage upon the land at the loss of us, inflicting fertility on a soul who would give birth to our replacement. This is only if the body has completely disintegrated or perished into the full rot.

We would be lost. I have faced the darkness, felt the loss of my moon and all that I hold dear. At the mercy of my father, I was reborn and allowed to live in the light.

To the mortals facing hardships, such as drought, the gods are punishing them for their sins. But in certain circumstances, it is only because that god or goddess has died. It is a very unnatural process, but it can most definitely occur.

"Leon!" I shout.

"Leon!" Hyacinth repeats, as do I.

I clench my fists. I have not only lost a dangerous Goblin, but also never showed for my duty with the high guard. My father would find this to be incredibly disrespectful and indolent.

I am sure there will be an earful at my expense.

"Sister!"

I turn my head and see the blinding light of my brother's golden aura. Although we are twins, we do not share similar features. Whilst his hair is fiery and bright like the Sun, mine is a deep shade of black. His blue eyes give me a knowing look, and I know he has heard of my lack of punctuality regarding the high guard.

"Who is this?" He says upon seeing the mortal child.

"She is my adopted daughter," I reply.

"You've adopted a mortal? That is not your style. You're not exactly motherly, don't you think, sister?"

"I am now." I turn towards the child, "Hyacinth, meet my brother, Apollo." I don't refrain from hiding his name.

"A-A-Apollo…!" she shrieks and lowers herself into a bow on the ground.

"Sister, I take it she does not know who you are?"

"No, she does not," I sigh.

"You may stand, my new niece. You're a princess now. You only bow to King Zeus and Queen Hera," Apollo smiles and gently pulls her up by the hand.

She stays quiet, which is not surprising. I cannot imagine how strange this situation is for her.

"We are looking for...someone," I inform him.

"Who? I take it you purchased a new servant? Did she flee?"

"Yes, yes I did. And he did flee."

"He? You usually do not purchase male servants. Is he unusually handsome?"

"He is a bad Goblin!" Hyacinth shouts and I freeze.

"A Goblin, you say?" Apollo's playful behaviour turns serious, his expression reminding me of my father's.

"We need to speak. Come, let us go to my house for privacy," I pull at his golden robe and he shakes his head.

"No, you must speak of it now. What have you done, Artemis?"

"Just as your new niece has said. I found a Goblin. A real, living Goblin. And he has now fled," I groan when profanities leave his lips.

"Artemis, oh Artemis."