Seriously, review more. That's all I can say. My life is not all too great right now, so I would love to have some form of support, even if I do not know you at all in real life. I own nothing.
The beauty of the Otherworld surprised Kalona when he reopened his eyes. Dragon Lankford stood beside him, appearing edgy, remaining silent. Has Nyx forgiven me? At the spark of hope in his chest, Kalona mentally shook himself, snuffing out the small flame. Immediately he knew he was not ready. Meeting with whichever god(s) and/or goddess(es) had to be about Asteri.
No, he reminded himself quickly. Her name is Starr.
Anastasia walked out Nyx's temple. The immortal envied the love in both Bryan's and Anastasia's eyes. A dull ache opened a hole in Kalona that he swiftly forced away. Jack followed the priestess, Loren Blake trailing after. Erebus and Chaos brought up the rear. Kalona understood that Nyx would not see him in her realm, no matter what she did to bring him here. Anastasia bowed slightly to the group before returning inside.
The sight of Chaos justified his prior assumption. Erebus dipped his head; Kalona turned to see Artemis, Apollo, Ares, and Athena approaching. The Gods of Light and War were hungry for battle. Honestly, so was Kalona. He had failed Starr. He needed to get her back.
"Erik Night and James Stark will remove the charm on Starr's body," Erebus reported. "They have the key."
"Jack, fetch Anastasia and help them," Chaos ordered. "Dragon, go with them. Protect them."
Ares began to pace. "We need to fight!"
"We will soon," Chaos promised.
Kalona shook his head. "If I may," he began respectfully. Chaos turned to him, looking expectant. "Darkness had Starr in the Prisoners' Village until we joined the fight. She purposely forced us out, thinking only about our safety, not her own. If we are to rescue her, the bull or even Neferet might have hidden her from us, posted more guards, et cetera. Starr might simply teleport us back when she sees us." He hated to be the bearer of bad news, but it was truth.
"If Darkness hasn't already, we can seal off her magick before we invade," Loren suggested.
"Perhaps." Chaos eyed him curiously. "Do you think you have learned enough from Hephaestus and Hades to perform that kind of spell?"
Artemis stepped forward. "I can help him."
"You would do that?"
The goddess' silver eyes flashed as she met the former Poet Laureate's gaze. "Hecate will, too. Starr was our friend during her time with us. We will not lose her that easily again."
Apollo moved to stand beside his sister in front of the Creator of All. "I can defend them if need be. I am not sure of Loren's abilities as a swordsman. Even if Hephaestus taught him…"
"I'm not as good a protector as I am a charm-worker," Loren admitted. "We still have to enter the Evil Universe in order to properly seal her magick."
Chaos nodded. "Get to work. We will not invade until we are sure everything is ready." He turned to Artemis. "Find Hecate. Make a signal – combine moon- and sunlight and sent it here. Most importantly, be careful," he finished before a portal swallowed them. Worry shadowed his face.
"They'll be alright," Athena soothed. "They are strong."
"So was Starr," Chaos noted grimly.
The formerly-banished immortal sensed his raw grief. Kalona met Chaos' stricken gaze calmly. "Everything will be fine. We will get her back." Determination gave his voice an edge, filling him with strength.
"You are Warrior to High Priestess Thanatos, correct?"
Kalona lifted his chin. "I will protect her with my life."
"Then why are you on the Isle of Skye and not in Tulsa?"
His resolve crumbled. "Starr is my 'fledgling' of sorts. I have a bit more loyalty to a fledgling as Sword Master… especially if Starr is said fledgling."
Chaos appeared thoughtful. "Your habit to protect a goddess overrules your Oath to defend a High Priestess." He smiled, but it was tight, forced.
"Starr needs all the Warriors she can get," he stated matter-of-factly, hiding behind a neutral mask. Inside, his emotions were raging, his thoughts turmoil.
"Impressive," Ares muttered.
Erebus straightened, stretching out his wings. "I would be pleased to have you on our side, friend, but that is not my goddess' wishes." He seemed apologetic.
"When we rescue Starr, I will serve a new goddess. Thanatos will be safer at the House of Night with the true Sons of Erebus Warriors, not a vigilante like me. Nevertheless, Starr needs me, and it is my duty to fight for her. I will not fail her again."
"Take advice from someone who knows, Kalona," Athena spoke up. "You tread a dangerous path."
His amber eyes seemed to glow. "I understand, Goddess of Wisdom – thank you." He looked up at a sudden flash of light. "Time to go," he confirmed.
"Let's get Starr back," Chaos responded. He dipped his head slightly to Kalona. "You're in charge."
Stunned, Kalona let his fighting instincts take over. In the back of his mind, beyond the haze of battle, he hoped that this would be as easy as it sounded (easier, actually, since it even sounded difficult) – and that they all made it out alive.