To honor the new Minotaur Hotel build. Contains spoilers for both the ruthless and normal routes.

***

He sleeps soundly, arms wrapped around you.

You already don’t really feel the urge to sleep, as his peace and happiness warms your chest.

But you have something important to do, and so you calmly wait until he rolls around, as instincts demand weight to be distributed around different parts of the body as one sleeps.

Even if it takes two hours.

You take a deep breath, and become your most ninja self. Limbs are a forest already opened, you just need to avoid the gusts of wind and the cracking of twigs.

You leave the bedroom barefoot. You walk the halls barefoot, and hum a most peculiar request: for light to refract and hide you. This will put a strain on the realm’s power, but the employees only need to get paid next week. You have a pile of diamonds stocked just in case, as recommended by Themba.

Like a sexy ghost you run out of the hotel evilly, reaching the passage to the valley. You are still barefoot, and the pebbles and limestone edges hurt, but you curse the land to feel your pain. It doesn’t actually solve anything, but the land suffers with you.

You carefully dig out at the side of the entrance. It also hurts, but moving the hands slowly over sharp rocks bleeds less than walking enthusiastically over it. Alas, you come across a grim relic: the flayed skin of your beloved, long worn by the Foreman.

Argos is no more, he left as the role was obsolete. You paid no mind to this because you didn’t know the truth about that snake, but an experimental prayer to Wepwawet sent you into a catatonic state where you had holy visions, finally unveiling what the Olympians had hid. You also saw Set with the head of a flamingo, as in the Book of Fayum, bowing in fear before Horus in the form of a crocodile. That was very funny.

You learned of the pelt, and while not spoken outright you put the two and two together when you read the votes of the Olympians. You had immediately requested privacy, crying tears of joy. Asterion was worried when he found you with dried tears but you distracted him away from that, and enjoyed a peaceful day doing pretty much anything that made him happy. Suspicion remained within him, but he had reluctantly accepted your claims of allergies and fungal infections.

You know lying is not healthy for a relationship, but this was a gift too precious for him to learn without surprise.

The path treads on, the land submissive to its master. Occasionally horrific things gnaw and dare come closer, but you are living the power fantasy with well aimed blades cutting even the most harmless of creatures and shredding them into blood butterflies. The jouney is long and your feet are essentially caked in dried blood and screaming at you for not wearing shoes, but it’s fine.

Eventually, you come across a cave with a wine-dark lake. Before it is a statue of Poseidon, which you would normally ignore if not for the most welcoming of circumstances. You utter a silent thanks, not a prayer but a link of gratitude to the figure before you. You don’t much see fit to utter a hymn to the Hellenic gods, but you assume the correct posture for a sacrifice.

The waters are ink black, but they’re not salty, so you spray them with bath salts. Given the lands restriction on spices and other currencies you were not sure if proper sea salt was something you could summon into existence, so in case you run a conquest in which anyone capable of supplying you with roughly a ton of salt would be granted an elephant-sized sum of platinum (not considered a currency until very recently so not restricted by the Olympians). Asterion assumed you’d be using this salt to improve the wave pool, and you did. But you also stored an amount comparable to your body weight etched within your clothes, then an additional amount in pockets which you attached to your teeth as you left the hotel. You considered also surgically insert an additional kilogram into your thoracic cavity, but it was already filled with love.

You tear your clothes and the pockets and unload them into the water. If not accepted as a sea, then you’d just force the fact that Poseidon started off as a chthonic god associated with rivers anyways. There is no way out (like that Phil Colins song in the Brother Bear movie), you will succeed (unlike anything written by Phil Colins).

Finally, you lay the pelt into the water. It thrashes horribly as if it was alive, and your heart darkens with images of Asterion being flayed. You grimace and wait for the thing to be over with, for the skin to sink into the dark abyss.

Once it is, your reward is clear: something glistens in the water. You remember a book explaining the origins for the whole light thing in the Bible, that to the people of the Ancient Middle East light was used as a metaphor for a god’s presence and darkness for the god’s lack of favor. Well, Poseidon’s will is certainly manifest, and you retrieve the light from the dark waters, like the sun rising from the sea.

You use the remnants of your clothes to shield it, then walk back. Pain nor awareness of nudity can stop you, you run madly with joy cross the desert, until a greater light rises in the horizon.

And, when you reach the passage, a third white form awaits for you. He momentarily sighs in relief when he notices you waving at him, then goes back into panic at seeing your state.

“Have you lost your mind!?” he panics, “[insert your name] you’re bleeding all over! Why would you do this!?”

He edges a bit into the valley side of the entrance, but you don’t need to wait long until he wraps your arms around you and drags you to the safety of the hotel.

“Babe, I got you gift!” you say ecstatically.

Asterion shakes his head. You almost visualize him saying something to the effect of “No gift is worth you getting hurt” or something more emotionally powerful, so you waste no time in unwrapping the light and making it touch his hand.

And then he knows.

Words fail to escape him, when he’s in shock, when he hiccups, when tears well in his eyes, when his hand touches his muzzle.

“You’re free.”

Asterion sniffs, and as he begins to bawl he hugs you dearly, nuzzling you deeply as he weeps. Tears worth thousands of years of torment are let out, and you both sit down. You consider creating some sort of barrier to shield the two of you, but your attempts are met with a violent force. Either you completely abused your power with the light refraction thing or the contracts are no longer operational now that the prisoner is emancipated.

“T-thank you” Asterion says, wiping his eyes, beaming love and joy that make all stars look bleak and lifeless in comparison, “Thank you so much!”

You want to say an righteous “it was the right thing”, a flirty “it’s the least I could do”, perhaps even a sheepsih “you’re welcome”. But silence is the apropriate response. No words can do justice to the weight of this moment. Asterion was already free the moment you came into his life, but the end of so much torment doesn’t come lightly.

So you just remain entwined with each other, two souls basking in a sunrise. Helios was Eleutherios, the liberator, so while entirely accidental on your part you couldn’t help but feel that this dawn was beyond appropriate.

After Asterion’s hiccups die down a little, you dare:

“What now?”

Asterion kisses your forehead, taking in your sweaty, salty scent.

“My mission remains. I dont know if the contracts uphold, but Hestia’s fire remains as a gift. Now I’m free to go wherever we want, but nothing will really change. Other than the fact that you’ve done yet another miracle, and that I won’t stop loving you for all eternity.”

“Good” you say, the only word out of many in your mind that come out.