“The price I paid was too high, far too high this time.”
The image of the symbol of Hades flashed in my mind, courtesy of Ambrogio. I couldn’t hold myself back. I threw up violently as Lycaon held my hair back. “Gods above and below.”
“I don’t know what they were doing, but it was serious,” Gio commented softly.
“Alright, you all need to get back. Get healed up and rested, Medea.” I could tell Lycaon was trying to usher us out, but that image was stuck with me.
“This could have been concocted from my child with Selene, that is a Vampire, and your son,” Gio explained as another wave of nausea rushed over me.
It had been both too long and not long enough since I’d seen that magic. “That magic shouldn’t exist anymore. Nor should there be anyone left alive who can teach it.” I felt my eyes darken to black. The chain scars on my arms blackened as well. “I… Gio, if your child is teaching that magic, I need to end them,” I said to Gio darkly before turning to Mino. “Mino… keep Morgan safe. Keep Baba safe.”
“What’s going on Medea?” Mino asked, worried. I knew I’d have to explain part of this to him.
Lycaon chuckled and I tried to ignore him. “Now who’s the one going on a crusade?”
I shuddered as I looked at Lycaon. He was old enough, but I couldn’t remember if he had been around for it. “The last time I saw that magic was in Troy. Once I’m healed… once I’m married… I’ll bring all of you in on this.”
Lycaon snarled and I knew he had been there. “Troy…” Troy was not as heroic as Homer made it out to be. It was bloody, violent, and all sense of decorum had been thrown out the window. Colchis was their ally so I had fought beside the Trojan army. I didn’t know what side of the fray Lycaon had fallen on, but this magic had been used by the Greek army to bring Hades to them, and help with the war. All the other gods had pitched in on one side or the other, but Hades had stayed neutral.
“I don’t know what that was. I’d rather we not try to figure it out while standing in the middle of a death bed, when our enemies know where we are. We are leaving,” Ambrogio stated. I agreed.
I stopped us from leaving. I needed to explain this. “Wait, I need to explain something to Mino, since he can go on his own. Mino, magic like this is very addictive.” Gio clawed at the ground, but I paid him no mind and continued. “You cannot let Morgan anywhere near this magic. I love my daughter, but I don’t want to chance her darker impulses rearing their head.”
Lycaon prodded us to leave. He probably planned to go back through the building to search for clues to Nyctimus’ whereabouts. Mino kept the conversation going when he asked “So, it’s addictive for any magic-user? Got it.”
“Yes, I’ve,” I gulped slowly, “I’ve had my run-in with it. I’ll have to deal with that later. Now,” I tried standing again. Mino reached his hand out to me and I took it gratefully.
“How does it spread?” Mino asked as he helped me up.
“It’s not a disease Mino. It seeps into the mind. Once she knows of it… well, you saw how she was when I told her about the red string of fate. You saw how upset she was that I’d never taught her about it. Mino, this is one secret you must keep from her, for her and Baba. Morgan is strong and if I had time to properly teach her about this, I would. Maybe once the magic is exterminated from this world I will.”
Mino smiled at the mention of his wife. “I can see she’s getting stronger every day.”
Gio snorted after roasting the remains of the headless vampire. “You and the Wolf are about the most hard-headed people I know, and I know Mino.”
“Who and the wolf? I mean, yes, he is -” I began giggling softly, which was out of character, and definitely wrong for the location.
“You Medea,” Lycaon retorted. Gio and Mino agreed.
“You’re spent. Stop trying to exert yourself more,” The vampire commented.
I giggled more, “Me? Nope.” The giggles didn’t stop. I sounded like a drunkard. “Oh… oh no.”
Mino gave me an odd look, but I could feel myself making a silly face. “Medea?”
I kept giggling. I couldn’t stop it. “Yeah, something’s wrong. We need to leave,” Gio stated again as if we didn’t already know we needed to go.
My eyes swam as I looked around me. “I wonder if he remembers… shhh I’m sure he doesn’t.” Shit, I knew it. I overdid it. That last spell I used to try bringing back the soul of the vampire was a step too far.
Strong arms wrapped around and lifted me. Looking up, I saw Mino’s face looking back down at me. “Hey, let’s get you home.”
Lycaon agreed with him and spoke sternly, “Go, get her out of here now. Mino, go. Now.” It was as if I hadn’t just saved their lives an hour before, the ungrateful whelp.
Gio asked about teleporting both of us, but I wasn’t sure who he was talking to, or about. “But… we’re having so much fun here!”
“I can try. Hold on,” Mino replied. Oh, it was him.
“It’s ok Mino. I’m a big girl. I can portal! I learned all myself,” I commented, making the motions to portal but without any intent. Mino poured a circle of bright red and yellow rose petals, sprinkled with essential oils, and the aroma caught my nose. It was pleasant. “I can fly too!”
“A drunk witch, Minotauros, King Wolf, and a Vampire walk into a bar.” Gio sounded like he was going to start a joke. If he was, it was already very good.
“Did you know that? I have wings all my own. My drakon gives them to me,” I giggled out. I couldn’t help it. I knew what was happening, but I couldn’t stop it. Mino lit a match and the petals caught fire. He stepped into the center of the circle with me. I watched him close his eyes, his fists holding the crystals tightly even as he held me so gently.
“I’d love to see you fly, but not today Medea,” Gio replied to me. I’m not sure what Lycaon was doing. He had been busy the whole time. I felt bad for him. He was going to have to face his son, but he was refusing help again. I’d find a way to get rid of these scars so I wouldn’t be notified every time he got into trouble.
“Buuut…” I found myself pouting, “they’re pretty.”
“I bet they’re the most beautiful wings in the world,” Gio replied, his voice getting soft as Mino and I teleported and began to phase out of sight. Mino brought us outside the wards of my house.
I continued though as if Gio were still there. “My wings pop out from ma back. They were a gift. Gifts are always beautiful, even these scars.” I sighed softly, and looked up. “Oh looky! It’s home! Wait, is this my home? I live with someone… don’t I?”
“Come on Medea, let’s get you into bed,” he carried me in through the front door and saw the drakon-man.
“Hello Lord Mino. Oh… Medea….” He commented softly.
Mino, to his credit, didn’t drop me at the sight of a random man in my house. “Uh. Who are you?”
I felt the scars burn on my back, so I knew Lycaon was in trouble again. I tried squirming out of Mino’s arms, “I have to help him!!”
The drakon-man looked at Mino and his eyes flashed. “I believe, the cranky old bastard, is what your wife calls me.”
Mino held me tighter to stop me from getting away. “Hey, he’s going to be okay. You’ll know when he needs us,” he whispered soothingly. I calmed a little. “Wait, wait, wait. You’re the Drakon?”
The drakon nodded and chided softly. “Let me guess, magic overuse?”
Mino just stared at him. “Could your being human be causing this? She did use a lot of magic.”
The drakon didn’t lose his chiding tone, but he softened it for Mino. “No child… when Medea uses too much magic, or I suppose now when she draws on Helios too much, she becomes infantile.” I went limp in Mino’s arm. “She’ll sleep mostly, but I need to bandage her up. Who did the healing?”
Mino blushed a little. “Uh. Me?”
The drakon-man reached out and brushed an errant hair from my face. I felt it and smiled. “She’ll have those scars too, for the rest of her life. You did well, young one.”
Mino sighed and held me tight. “It hurt me to heal her. I felt her pain as it escaped her.”
“It isn’t your forte, but you did well enough. You didn’t draw her injuries into yourself and that is what’s important. Here, let’s get her to her room. Phoenix is down for the night.”
Mino carried me further into my home as the drakon-man began leading him to my room. “Thank you”
I woke for a moment, aware of everything and nothing. “Kide! My Kide!! Mino, you’ve met my Kide!”
“I have Medea, I have. They’re precious.” Mino replied as he stroked my hair. I thought he meant Phoenix.
I saw Kide, the drakon-man, roll his eyes. “That’s what you’re naming me? From Kidemonos?”
I just giggled some more. “Not my kid Mino, my Kide!” I pointed, rather rudely, at the drakon-man who looked utterly affronted by the whole thing.
“Ah, yes! I have met him,” Mino said kindly.
“Shhh, do you remember the last time I got like this Mino?” I whispered and pressed a finger to my lips.
“Do I?” Mino asked simply.
I giggled and poked Mino’s nose. “No silly! You weren’t there!! Only one of us was! Well… two if you count my Kide!! Threeee if you count Lycaon!” My giggling grew louder as Kide opened the door to my bedroom.Mino just arched one of his eyebrows.
Kide stopped and stared at me. “It was Medea’s first night at the cabin, the original one.”
“I miss that place,” Mino lamented.
I sighed sadly, agreeing with him. “Me too. I didn’t want to burn it down! Burn… burn… I can burn things.” I began waving my arms around, still with no intent.
Mino simply smiled and nodded, “No, no, no burning things.”
“Buuuut…” I pouted again. I think that time was hitting me worse. It was going to take much longer than a couple of hours sleeping on Lycaon’s couch to get over this penalty.
“Let’s get you to bed.” Mino laid me down gently on the bed and kissed my forehead.
Kide sighed, “Lord Mino, thank you.”
Mino looked up, “Of course. She… you’re family.”
“Ahhh, Mino dear! I’m gonna see Pasiphaë soon. Shall I give her a message?” I asked while yawning.
“Tell her I’m trying. I’m trying to right my wrongs. I’m trying to protect my family. I’m trying to do
right by her because I already failed her once, and I love her too much to fail again,” He replied. I don’t think he quite understood what I meant.
I yawned again. “You never failed her. Don’t think that for a minute.”
“If I hadn’t, she’d still be alive,” Mino replied.
I shook my head at Mino. “I will be resting in the Underworld soon enough.”
“That wasn’t on you,” Kide replied kindly. I began snoring so the men left the room.
Mino looked down and followed Kide out. “It’s something I live with every day. What if I had left the Labyrinth, and been able to truly protect her. I could have taken us far away from Minos. I could have protected her from the wrath of Zeus.”
“Because that’s not what the Fates had in store. Now, go home and get some sleep, and when you can, send Morgan over… or a doctor.” Kide replied.
Mino reached out to shake Kide’s hand. “I will,” Kide took Mino’s hand carefully but shook it firmly. Mino made his way back out to the portal area and left quietly, while Kide began preparing things to care for two children, Phoenix and Medea.