Unlike its former appearance, the garden where Gaius stayed looked more like a cemetery nowadays. Skies were dark and grey, plants unkempt and growing wildly, and the marble posts were cracked and some were wrecked. In the middle of it was Gaius himself, never moving from his spot ever since he was defeated by the combined skills of Natasha Bellingsen, and his former servant, Seirna Stephanie.
His knees were already hurting, for he did not know how many days since he last stood. The magic circle drawn by the Saint of Darkness that bound him to that place was potent; he could not fight against its effects. Aside from that, his plans to create a conflict in Chersea and Cherflammen were all but failures, and he was left all alone…just like what happened in that day in the Roman Senate, during the Ides of March.
Gaius could still remember the cold eyes of his supposed ‘allies’, those people who welcomed him as their hero, yet turned on him when it was most convenient. For sure, if they were still alive, they would still look at him with the same ruthlessness, and coldness, as their daggers pierced his flesh, slashed his skin and slowly took his life.
Just like how Natasha and Seirna’s eyes glared at him…
The former god, in a sudden fit of rage, struggled against the magical binds that restrained him. His screams echoed throughout his gardens, as he pulled, lashed, and cursed those people who turned on him. Blood appeared from his wounds, caused by Natasha’s magic circle, yet the Roman never felt pain. In his heart, only one thing remained: kill who opposed him.
“Ah, yes…let your anger fill you, Caesar…”
Before him was a small, barely noticeable, black mist. Then it suddenly grew bigger, and thicker, up to where Gaius knew already who was visiting him. The mist then became a ball, and out of it came a familiar form of a beautiful woman he was familiar with…
“Have you come to laugh at my misfortune again, Arame?”
Arame—the Seductress—smiled, “Of course, Gaius. I love seeing you fall from the greatest of honors, down to your pathetic self, just like now. Imagine that, a powerful deity of old, utterly defeated by the hero he summoned and the daughter he raised as his. Such irony…”
“Like you’re one to talk,” the former god countered. “Looks like you’re not successful as well, controlling your own ‘daughter’. I’m still yet to hear news of your success.”
At that, the Seductress couldn’t help but be irritated, and it showed on her face. Gaius was triumphant.
“Heh, so you also failed!” he jested, and laughed at her.
“Well, it’s no use that we hurl insults at each other, isn’t it?” she told him. “After all, if I have time to watch your misfortune, I’d do so when I’m already ruling over the lands you created. That would be more fulfilling for me, my dear husband.”
“Then what are you doing here?”
The Seductress smirked, and she came close to him, “Simple, dear Gaius Julius. I’m proposing an alliance.”
“A what?” the former god chuckled. “Are you so desperate you’re turning to your enemy for help?”
“What if I say that, yes, I am desperate,” she replied. “I didn’t expect my ‘daughter’, Madelaine, is someone formidable. Well, I get that she takes after me, but she was supposed to be human, and their mental fortitude should be weak. However, I guess I need to admit that I’m mistaken.”
“You’re out of your mind!”
“When did I say that I’m even sane, Gaius? I’m someone from the Void, not a creature made by some god in their comfortable spaces in heaven.”
The former god fell silent.
Taking that as an opportunity to convince him to side with her, the Seductress continued, “Listen. Though we are on the other sides of the fence, I need you, and you need me. I won’t gain the powers necessary for me to return if not for you, and you would never become a god if you won’t fight me. What do you say, Gaius Julius? Would you like to help me, help you?”
Then, with one tap of her foot, the magic circle that was made by Natasha Bellingsen dissipated. Gaius fell on the floor, for his limbs were weak from disuse. However, soon, he recovered his strength. His former wife, Arame, stood before him and gave his gladius, which he received. Examining the weapon, the former god grinned, and thrust it towards the Seductress…
Warning: Strong language