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Shot by a golden arrow, Apollo has only truly loved Daphne. He visits her each eclipse, and longs for reunion. He seeks the Fates’s advice and learns he may finally restore Daphne to her true water nymph form by enlisting other gods’ assistance.
If Apollo fails Daphne will be lost to him forever. To regain Daphne’s soul, Apollo must deal with the devil, King of the Underworld. Love-torn and treacherous, Hades would slay the pantheon to remain with his wife for the full year. Apollo’s quest might just give Hades the leverage he needs to do so.Will Pheobus Apollo surrender the sun to try to reclaim love? Can he break Daphne’s curse or will his attempts destroy her forever? Will she still love him after millennia as a soulless tree? With the end of the quest see Apollo rising, or in sunset?
A soft glow beckoned from around a corner. While Hades pretended to be a traditionalist, he indulged in modern conveniences every chance he could. Ultra-violet panels, the ones mortals used to simulate sunlight, glowed from inside the walls. They brought day into the vaulted cavern. Hades had encrusted the ceiling with aquamarines since Apollo’s last visit. The light played off them simulating a summer sky. Another token of Hades’s love. Stalactites wider than a city bus hung from the ceiling. Others met stalagmites to form fluted columns reminiscent of the Pantheon. Stone draperies served as curtains, which separated Persphone’s chamber, and Hades’s media room from the main audience hall.
Reaching the center of the room, Apollo dropped to one knee.
“Lord Hades, I come to you as a supplicant.”
Hades could have passed for one of the stalagmites with his sharp and jagged features. His skin held a bluish cast from lack of sunlight. Obsidian color hair hung loose to his shoulders. Flint hard eyes glared at Apollo.
Persephone, on the other hand, reminded Apollo of a spring breeze. Sunshine colored hair swept away from olive skin, slightly pales in her time in the Underworld. Her bright ginger-colored tunic broke the unrelieved grays and blacks of the great hall.
“What brings you here?” Hades’s voice reverberated through the chamber.
Apollo raised an eyebrow. “I seek information, and possibly a trade.”
The few times Apollo had needed something from Hades, he’d been treated as an honored guest. But not this time.
Enraged to the point of incivility by Persephone’s upcoming desertion, Hades was likely to vent his temper on any target. Sadly, Apollo provided him with one that could give him a decent fight. Daphne’s soul might cost more than Apollo could pay.
“What do you wish of me?” Hades asked.
“I wish to barter for Daphne’s soul.”
“I never said I had her.”
They’d never been friends, but then, they hadn’t been enemies either. There really wasn’t any reason for Hades to oppose Apollo’s attempt to rescue Daphne.
“Does that mean you are going to vie her to me?” Apollo asked.
“Give? Give? Now why would I do that?” Hades’s laugh grated in Apollo’s ears.
“What do you want, Hades?”
His gaze went hard. “A boon.”
“Unlimited. To be provided when I demand.”
Apollo choked. If he agreed Hades could demand anything from him. Even the sun. The God of the Underworld had never been happy with his lot. Hades had helped his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, wrestle the cosmos from Cronus. The brothers then drew lots for their domains. Zeus chose the sky, which is why Apollo as his son, was the Sun God. Poseidon chose the sea. But the brothers tricked Hades into becoming Death. In choosing the underworld, Hades lost the ability to walk comfortably in the sunlight. But if he took the sun from Apollo, Hades could remain above ground with Persphone.
Could Phoebus Apollo lose the sun?
Who would he be without it?
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