Part Five

The Pastor said, “You traded your soul for a chance to get her back?”

“Yes, and it remains there to this day.”

Nikolas needed to confirm things. “Let me get this straight. A powerful god tells you to back off or else, you challenge him and get a permanent curse placed on you. Then, rather than deciding it is a bad idea to annoy a god, you make a deal with a second one that could potentially annoy the second one?

Ambrogio looked sideways at Nikolas. “I think there are people that simply can’t stop challenging those with power. Would it have been better to let things be? For me, yes. But for the world, I would suggest my actions led to a better world”

Nikolas looked stunned. “You have admitted to the deaths of thousands of people over thousands of years, and you think your actions have led to a better world?”

Ambrogio simply nodded. “My personal actions are a product of survival. I feed off my prey, much like you feed off cows, sheep, birds, fish and much more. I agree with you, that for humans, I am an evil monster. And maybe I am. But to the cow, you are as much an affliction for them as I am for you, yet I suspect you believe you are a good person regardless of what the cow thinks.”

Nikolas sat silent. Considering the perspective, the monster was right. Yet the monster was still evil, a creature who torments and plays with its prey.

Ambrogio seemed to simply move on. As if the topic had already bored him.

“While Hades had given me the bow and arrows, impressing Artemis was not going to be easy. What I had to figure out was how to impress her.”

Ambrogio began to pace a little. Hands behind his back.

“It is well known that Artemis was the god of the hunt. It was already clear that hunting was the way forward. But what should I hunt, and for what reason? For that answer, I had to consider that she was also the god of marriage and virginity. This was important because I wanted to marry Selene and that she was a virgin by virtue of her profession. While I believed I was stretching my reasoning, I believed the best way forward was to hunt a bird of love and use the bird in a way to impress upon Selene my love and dedication.”

He kept pacing. Head down as if he was considering the plan for the first time.

“I decided to hunt the swan. Pure white. I also had parchment but nothing to write with. While this may sound uncouth to modern humanity, in my time, what I did was considered an act of romance. I hunted and kill a swan, I plucked a feather, made a pen from it, then used the blood of the swan to write a note to Selene. I explained in the letter the situation I was in with Apollo and that I had a plan to get us together.”

Ambrogio stopped pacing, looked directly at Nikolas and said “I left the note in our meeting place before sunrise the next day. Then ran for the hills to a cave I had found nearby to avoid the sun.”

Nikolas asked, “Wasn’t she able to meet you at night?”

“No, it was forbidden for her, and Apollo was on the watch. While Apollo is a god, he is not aware of all things. But it is very difficult to trick a god, and sometimes the simple and basic methods are the most effective against such entities”

“When Selene read the note, she was at once devastated and angry. But if she deviated from normality, she would be found out. The trick was to keep things normal while I figured things out from the outside.”

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