With Nemesis acting as a guide, it doesn’t take us much time to reach Asclepius’s prison. The route was quite safe as the goddess promised, we didn’t encounter any monsters or beasts.
“Are you sure this is the place?” I ask with a frown.
“Yes, this is the entrance of the prison,” Nemesis replies confidently.
The entrance she’s talking about is, well, a boulder. True, it’s quite a massive one, but other than that, I cannot see anything special about it— no strange markings, symbols, or signs indicating that this boulder has any other purpose than just lying in the middle of the forest.
“If it’s an entrance, how can we go through it?” Lucy asks the question we all have in our minds.
“I don’t know that, figure it out yourself,” Nemesis says with a shrug, grinning ear to ear.
“Brother, I don’t think it’s safe stopping at a place for too long,” Arya mutters from behind.
True, it isn’t. The monsters will definitely catch our scent.
“Nemesis, stop playing around. Tell us how to enter the prison,” I order sternly.
The goddess clicks her tongue. Being my slave, she cannot lie to me even if she wants to.
“Fine, you just need to feel the variation in magical energy leaking out. I guess I will have to do that for you as well.”
Shaking her head, Nemesis moves close to the boulder and randomly place her hand on top of it. The next moment, to my surprise, a rectangular portion of the boulder crumbles down (with Nemesis’s hand at its center) and a plain bronze door appears from within.
“This is the real entrance of Asclepius’s prison,” She announces.
“Really? That’s it? You just have to place your hand against it? I thought it would be more difficult,” I comment with a sneer.
“It is really difficult! Hecate was tasked to conceal the door! You need to have very precise control over magic to make this door appear! Without me— a goddess— you guys would’ve never managed to do it!” Nemesis says angrily.
Is that so?
“Okay, okay, you did a great job. Now, let’s get going,” I say, grabbing the handle of the door.
“Wait a second, I cannot go in with you. Let me leave,” Nemesis says.
“And why is that?”
“Zeus will immediately know if a God enters this place. Demigods are fine, the prison won’t register your presence. Just don’t try to summon me while you’re inside, ” Nemesis warns.
“And yes, if you want me to bring your mother and the twins, just order me. I can hear all your commands no matter how far or where I am.”
Hmm… Well, I know that she is not lying.
“Fine, you can go,” I tell her with a nod.
Giving me a small bow, Nemesis disappears.
“Okay then, be prepared everyone. There might be traps inside or even some dangerous creatures. I will go in first, so stay back a little,” I declare.
Heeding to this, my sisters tense up as well. Sienna and Arya even unsheathe their weapons, preparing to fight the unknown.
I push the door open and barge through. Simultaneously, I press the bronze toothpick between fingers as well, making it grow into a lethal sword— ready to parry any weapon coming my way.
But what I get to see is far away from anything I could’ve thought of.
I am standing at the entrance of a huge, brightly lit hall. The whole place is blindingly white— with white walls, white light, and white marbled floor. There are rows and rows of comfortable-looking chairs that are neatly placed all over the place, though no one is here to sit on them. On the opposite end of the hall, there’s a desk as well, but no one is sitting behind it either.
“Please keep your weapons away. It’s not allowed to take them out in here.”
A sweet and patient voice tells me.
Turning around with a jerk, I find a very beautiful woman dressed in a pure white gown standing just a few meters away from me. She has long black hair, striking green eyes, and a curvaceous figure. A light, refreshing sort of scent is whiffing off from her body as well, that I find very nice to smell.
I can almost swear that she wasn’t there just a second ago, but that’s not the thing I am worried about right now.
This beauty is giving out a strange aura that’s making me feel really weird. For some reason, I suddenly remember that I didn’t shower properly in the morning. I also become aware of the speck of dirt on the back of my hand that I didn’t bother removing.
Well, these small things aside, this aura is also telling my senses that the woman is danger— that she’s a goddess. And I don’t think she’s even trying to hide it.
“I will say it again: please keep your weapons away. And I want to advise your companions to do that same,” the goddess says.
Lucy, Sienna, and Arya enter inside the hall as well, looking as surprised as me.
Having no other options but to listen to the woman, I shrink back my sword to the size of a toothpick and keep is inside my pocket.
“Lucas? Why are you listening to her? .”
Sienna whispers to me in confusion.
“Just put away the weapon,” I tell her.
Lucy immediately listens to me, making her spear shrink as well. Though Sienna and Arya sheathe their weapons rather reluctantly.
“Very good! I like it when children are obedient. Well, just one more thing though…”
The woman snaps her finger and instantly, all the dirt on my body and clothes vanishes completely. My mouth suddenly tastes minty and fresh, as if I’ve just brushed my teeth. Even my hair feels soft and neatly styled.
From the faint gasps behind me, I can tell that the same thing has happened to my sisters as well.
“Oh my, you’re quite handsome. I couldn’t tell with all that dirt and oil before,” the woman says, checking me out with blushing cheeks.
Hey! I was not that unclean!
“Who are you?” I ask with a frown.
“Hmm? You haven’t guessed already? I am Hygieia, Goddess of cleanliness and hygiene,” She answers with a smile.
Asclepius’s daughter, Hygieia? Well, this certainly explains why she’s a clean freak…
Ignoring the shocked voices from Sienna and Arya, I continue speaking.
“I see, and I assume that you are the guardian of this place?” I ask.
“Yes,” She answers honestly.
“But I am not the only one. My mother and sisters guard this place with me! Let me call them out!” she continues.
“Mother! Sisters! We have guests!”
Before I can stop Hygieia, she raises her voice and calls out her family. The next instant, five women materialize behind her out of thin air. All of them are wearing the same pure white gown as Hygieia, looking equally as beautiful as her (if not more).
But unfortunately, that’s not the only similarity between them. They all have black glossy hair and, well, are extruding the same godly aura.
Okay, the situation is officially bad now…
We need to get out of here quickly. I know that these women are minor goddesses, but there’s no way we can handle six of them. As much frustrating as this is, I cannot be reckless here. We can come back here anytime.
As I think hard on an escape plan, a slightly mature-looking woman (probably in her late twenties) steps out from the newly arrived bunch, wearing a rather kind smile on her face. I couldn’t help but notice that she’s the bustiest one out of all of them (her tits are just a size smaller than Sienna’s) and have deep brown eyes that seem to radiate warmth.
“These are the visitors? Just the four of them?” the woman asks Hygieia.
“Yes, mother,” Hygieia answers.
The woman turns to looks at us.
“Welcome, demigods. I am Epione, immortal wife of God Asclepius, and the main guardian of my husband’s prison. What do you seek here?” she asks, her tone calm but deathly serious.
Directly on topic, huh? I guess I cannot say that we came here by accident, can I?
Well, let’s try something…
“Eh… We came to see Asclepius— I mean, God Asclepius. Can we meet him?” I ask stupidly.
“Oh, so you came here to see my husband,” Epione says, her warm smile disappearing.
“Well then, I am really sorry to inform you, but all of you will have to die.”