Arc: 2 [Chapter 7]
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We're back out again on the platform outside of Hephaestus workshop with the endless sky before me.

Fumes shoot out from the triple short exhausts, accompany with the popping sound of fuel and air exploding in the engine. I can feel the seat vibrate, and rubbing against my cherry as I play with its throttle. I bite down my bottom lip playfully as I feel the 140 horsepower engine purring under me. This beast, I'm not sure I can handle its...thrust.

I let out a moan, "Aaaah..."

"What?" James's eyes widen while staring at me as he stands beside me. In front of the bike, Agnes faces palm himself with his wing.

"What? Can't a girl have some fun?" I lick my lips while a hand is reaching toward my love button.

"Don't make this weird, please..." James let out a sigh while I let out a smile, and changes my attitude back to serious.

"As I said before, this motorcycle is the remade of Brutale 800 RR. The difference between this bike and the other Brutale 800 RR are the engine itself, and the body. Using tougher metal that only available at Mount Olympus, I was able to construct its frame. So, it is capable of withstanding the flight mode."

"And yes, you heard me say it. The bike is capable of flying, by using a complex build that I copy from Hermes winged sandals. I want to explain it further, but I'm too lazy to do it. I especially enjoy building it by myself, so please take good care of it."

"Of course! She is in a good hand." I hug the tank and notice a wing engravings on both sides of the fuel tank.

"I doubt it."

"Wait, what about fuel?"

"It's a hybrid. By that, I don't mean it use electricity. It uses your energy as its fuel to fly and drive, but you can change it to petrol usage when driving down the road, and only on the road. You can't use flight mode on petrol usage, I haven't work out the kinks yet."

"OOooo, very nice." My lip pout as I said it.

"Hmm, It's quite a beautiful design. I see you are using my winged sandal design for its engine."

I turn my head and see Hephaestus is looking at us with intrigued eyes. He walks closer to us and examines the motorcycle thoroughly, scanning every part and frame while nodding his head in approval.

"Pops! I thought you were working?"

"Taking a break, to see my youngest inventions take off for the first time. I've seen you built, but never test it."

"I never had the confidence to test it." James scratches the back of his head in embarrassment.

"You should be more confident on your invention, son." He pats the top of James's head in a fatherly-like manner.

I look at Agnes while ignoring the conversation that James has with Hephaestus. "You surprise me back there. You were a foot away from biting off James's throat. I thought you took an oath?"

Agnes looks embarrassed as I point out the earlier accident, "I don't know what happened, it just the anger overwhelm me for some reason when I see you in pain."

I let out a smile, "Come closer."

Agnes looks at me and takes a few steps closer until he's in my arm reach. I place a kiss on his forehead, and his face redden like an apple. "I appreciate it, but don't break your oath for me, because I want you to keep that oath. Besides, don't worry about me, I can take care of myself."

"I will try." Agnes pecks his lips on my cheek to return the favor.

I brush the top of his head and let out a giant smile. Agnes snuggles up to my hand, wanting more of it. We break off and turn my head to James. "Sorry to bother you, so how do I fly this thing?"

"It's easy. You need to flip that toggle on the left handle to change the mode and flip that toggle on the right to change the fuel mode. Then pull up and down like you are doing a wheelie."

"James?"

"Hmm?"

"Thanks for everything."

"No, thank you, and sorry about earlier."

"Can you stop apologizing? I already forgive yah. Now, own up to it!"

"Sorry, shit. I mean, can you buzz off before I start apologizing again?"

"Hehe, sure. Agnes, lead the way!" I fist bump James, and he takes a step back, but before he got away, I grab the flight goggle off his forehead and wear it.

"I need this."

"You could have asked me."

"Well, you could have warned me."

"Touche."

Agnes runs and jumps off the platform before ascending to the sky. "Wait, before you leave. Can I ask you, where are you heading?"

After flipping the flight mode on the left throttle, two luminescence wings appear out of thin air on both sides of the fuel tank before disappearing into nothingness.

"The underworld." The engines roar as the bike wheelie up and launch itself from the platform.

"Wait! What?! But the—" James reaches out his hand to me, but it was too late, I already up in the sky following Agnes. I couldn't hear what James was trying to say as the winds carry the sounds away from my eardrums.

*****************************************************************

Just like blinking an eye, the scenery change from a beautiful endless sky to another one, but with a sea of dark clouds rest a few feet beneath me. For some weird reason, I could smell the lingering of burning coals along with the stench of rotten eggs. The stench must be related to the dark clouds below me, I peek down, and I still couldn't see anything, but Agnes seems to know the way.

I blink my eyes in disbelief as a pack of hungry looking Harpies are heading our way. "Agnes!" I yell out to him, but I don't know whether he hears it or not.

"Andre, quickly follow my lead!" I could hear a reply from Agnes.

Agnes dives down into the dark clouds, and I lean forward to bring the Brutale down. The layer of dark cloud prevent me from seeing any further, and my flight goggle is cover with black grease as I fly through the cloud, wiping it away with my hands, I could see again just in time as we escape the clouds.

One of the first thing that grabs my attention is the massive amount of active volcanoes on the lands, and there isn't a single green or tree or anything that suggests that this place support life. There are only rubbles and charcoals spread in the entire world, and not even a source of water is in sight.

While following Agnes, I see a large cave mouth with a broken pillar near it, and we are getting closer to it. Agnes land on the rocky ground near the cave mouth, and I follow him down. The tire leaves a trail as it touches down on the ground, the bike comes to a slow stop, and I turn to look behind me, still seeing the pack of Harpies coming toward us. Agnes walks toward the Harpies with a scowl on his face.

"Agnes?"

"It's okay, it's my family, but just in case, be careful."

The flock of Harpies hovers around us, baring their sharp teeth and growling. They look nothing like Agnes, the red mark over their face show their hostility, their scars show their experience in battle, and the smell of dread accompany them strike fear into their enemies. My hand press against my hatchet, waiting and preparing for a fight.

"Well, well, look who came back? The coward who got exiled from our family." One of the Harpies in red feathers taunt.

"Well, at least I'm not the family psychopath."

"Are you calling me crazy? Huh?!" The agitate Harpy raise her voice while her left eye twitch.

Agnes keeps his lips seal while trying to calm himself to avoid further escalation between him and her. But my blood boils as I see Agnes in a painful state, I especially want to beat that shit, but I have to hold it in and believe that Agnes will get us out of here.

"You not gonna answer me, coward?" She taunts him again.

"Please, Uvoah, my sister. Leave us alone." Agnes tries to speak in a calm manner.

"Us?" She glances at me, and take a sniff of the air.

"Candidates..." Her anger is suddenly direct at me, so do the hostility from the other Harpies that are hovering above us.

"She's my friend, don't hurt her." Agnes stands in front of me with his wings spread out.

"Friend? Candidates don't befriend a monster like you, like us! Wake up, she just using you. Just like the gods! Look at her, ready to attack us anytime she wants."

Agnes glance at me, I look at my hand that press against the hatchet, I move it away and raise both my hands up. "Look, I'm not here to fight. I'm here to get into the Underworld."

"The Underworld? Hahaha-haha, are you sending your friend to die, Agnes? Don't you know how dangerous it is inside the Underworld?"

"A risk, I willing to take," I answer without a doubt.

"You're crazy. You know that right?"

"I have been called a weirdo lately, so I'm not surprised." A smug grin appears on my face.

Uvoah laughs uncontrollably until she suddenly stops and stares at us. "Let leave this coward and crazy alone, for now." The pack of harpies rise to the sky and fly away, except for Uvoah.

There is a disappointment in her eyes as she stares at Agnes, "I used to look up to you, I can't believe what you turn out to be." She spits onto Agnes's talon before flying away, while Agnes lowers his chin in shame.

After the Harpies left the scene, I place a hand on Agnes's shoulder, "Are you okay?"

"I'm okay...Damn it." He wipes a tear with his wing and sniffs the sorrow away.

I wanted to say something to him, something to make him feel betters, but nothing comes to mind. Instead, I try to change his focus from the Harpies to the Underworld. "So are we here?"

"Yes, the gate is inside that cave, and guarded by Hades three-headed dog, Cerberus." Flashes of Cerberus comes to mind, but there are so many depictions of it that it's hard to tell which one is the correct depiction.

"Three-headed dogs? How am I gonna get past that?"

"Sneak past it?" Agnes attempt on humor to hide his turbulent emotions, but it caught a few small laughs from me anyway.

"Worst case scenario, I'll have to fight it." I stretch my arms up in the air.

"So let's do it. Guard the bike for me. I have a feeling that I can't use the bike in there or it will be trash by the terrifying creatures living inside the Underworld."

"Andre, be careful you heard what my sister said."

"Nothing can scare me." An arrogant smirk form with my lip.

I look upon the dark cave, after taking a breath to gather my courage, I walk straight into it. I couldn't see anything inside of the cave, but I feel the humidity in the air rises inside as I keep walking deeper into it. 

It must be telling me that I'm getting closer to a water source. Out of nowhere, I bump my forehead into something muscular. It's not a statue because when I run my fingers down it, I can feel bountiful hairs and rough skin. Then a huff of sharp breeze, blast down my hair.

A fist the size of my torso, slam against my chest causing my whole body to fly out of the cave. Time slow into a crawl for me as I fly through the air, I can see at the corner of my eyes, Agnes's eyes open up wide as she stares at me while I'm in the air.

"Son of a beach!"

When my perception of time become normal again, I feel my whole body crash into a rocky wall, cracking it and leaving a crater as I fall back onto the ground. A few of the small rock from the crack cliff rest on my back. I lost every breath I had in my lung, but even with the striking pain on my chest, I move my hands under me and push the ground so I could stand again.

I look upon the maw of the cave and a gigantic Minotaur, part man, and part beast. The body of a man, the legs and head of a bull with pointed horns on the side of its head, and the height of my goddess. The beast bore his sight at me, shaking its horn and hitting his muscular pec with his fist.

The beast is taunting me.

I'm no liar, the beast scares the living shit out of me, just like the time, I meet Agnes. However, I need to remain brave for Adrestia. I won't let this beast stop me.

But first, I need to warn my friend, "Agnes! Run!" The moment he hears my warning, he quickly flies up and away from the Minotaur.

I unsheath the hatchet out of my belt, then spin it in my hand before holding tightly on the shaft. Then I hunch my body forward and let out a deathly battle cry that echoes toward him, provoking the beast.

"AAAARRR!!!" As both of us charge toward each other, the Minotaur pull back his fist, ready for a punch while I pull back my hatchet, ready for a downward strike.

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