Chapter 1: Thebe’s Finest Beauty
Thebes, a city blessed by the gods. Aphelius, King of Thebes, had three daughters and had reached the age of marriage. King Aphelius was troubled finding the right suitor for his three daughters who would be a good husband and a fine warrior.
Ever since Princess Persephone, the most beautiful woman was married off to good ‘ole Hades, the rankings of the families’ beautiful women moved higher in rank, and now the two princesses of Thebes were both ranked first and second.
And there was nothing good being known as a beauty. Look at Helen of Troy… she caused the downfall of the Trojans. Literally. In Greece, the fate of beauties was unceasing. There came the frequent visits by wandering heroes to wager a bet or take possession of the kings’ daughters. And lord help the king for he had no say in the matter! And then there exists another problem. The lustful male gods who’d sneak in the middle of the night and have his way with the princesses. Now that, that was the biggest problem.
King Aphelius only goal, or at least at the moment, was to make sure his daughters was safely married off without disturbance that he made sure his men keep a distance from the princesses so as to prevent them from depriving his daughters’ purity.
The palace of Thebes followed an open style of architecture that was a combination of elegance, grandeur, and gentleness. But it could not protect the princesses. Hell, it’d not stop outsiders from breaking in. So to protect the princesses’ purity, the officials said, “We must revise the architecture of the palace so no outsiders can break in and steal our princesses’ innocence.”
Instead of pillars, the king built a wall of cement, and the public bathhouse where the princesses often frequented to was surrounded by maze-like corridors. Even their rooms had been revised, but the princesses, accustomed to the traditional architecture of high-ceilings and open air complained. They slept in a room that was akin to prison. The king therefore allowed the bedroom to have a window. It was modified, of course. It was strong, durable, and could never be opened from the outside.
Even his daughters, who had no knowledge of windows were instructed to close the windows before heading to bed.
The king did suffer from a sense of chronic anxiety. No matter what he did to protect the princesses’ purity, the thought of the gods with their strange methods frightened him to death. So the king came up with another method to protect the two princesses.
But wait, did not the king mention that he had three daughters, so why then only two was mentioned? There was a perfectly good reason. The other princess, Eutosteia, was uncannily ordinary that it was hard to believe she was of royal lineage.
Askitea, was a golden-haired beauty.
And Hersia was a brown-haired woman who had a perfectly sensual body.
There were rumors of many falling in love at first sight and if they continued to look, well, they’d go blind. And what of Eutostea? She found it easy to keep her heart free from all the pressure regardless of what people thought of her as an ugly pheasant among the two beautiful women.
At dinner, Askitea said to Eutosteia, “Since you’ve no chance to marry a prince, why not submit yourself to father? You can continue living the life of luxury everyday like that.”
…. What did she just speak of?
Of course, Eutostea was silent. Her sisters had weird quirks.
Hersia, who sat next to Eutosteia ate her lamb in silence. But after a while, she spoke on her behalf and scolded the youngest. “So you say sister, but who knows, you’ll probably live your whole life as an old maid and die old due to your temper. Be a good girl and serve in the Temple of Apollo instead.”
“If I do, well, I’ll pray that my sisters won’t scare away the people and is married off safely.”
“I don’t need your prayers!”
Hersia and Askitea roared at the same time.
Eutostea sighed. She knew the thoughts of her sister. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to father who struggled to keep their purity alive, the two princesses looked forward to a romantic night with a male god.
Zeus, the king of gods… it was familiar legend that he approached a woman that he’d often disguise himself as an animal before taking shape. And so even though Askitea was allergic to furry-like animals, she continuously brought furry animals with her to bed.
And as for Ares who had the hots for Aphrodite… well… Hersia often moistened herself night with perfume, staring off into a daze, thinking that she is the reincarnate of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty.
Eutostea sighed. Her two sisters’ vain delusions were immature. A god is a god, after all, and man rarely sees the gods’ much less know of their affairs. If they spend the night giving their pure chastity to the male god, won’t they gain the ire and jealousy of the goddess? Unlike her sisters, she had a different wish, and it was for her beloved Thebes to remain prosperous and continue to exist in history.
Hersia and Akistea left the dining hall and returned to their quarters, daydreaming of the male gods.
And so the night of Thebes deepened and midnight came. The two of Greece’s top beauties washed themselves clean, brushed their hairs soft, and the likes. As for Eutostea, she went straight to bed. Meanwhile, the king’s soldier thoroughly guarded the princess. To hell if anyone broke in. The soldiers’ would give them a good beating.
But what of gods? Well, it’d be easier for a god to dispose of a human than to kill an ant.
“Oh my god…”
Eutostea closed the window in her bedroom with lips parted slightly. The latch to the window was missing. The staff wouldn’t be so careless…
“Where did you slip and roll off to?”
Eutostea raised her brows and began to look for the missing latch. In doing so, she did not notice the figure near the window frames.
A gust of wind swept through the room and the fire dimmed. The chimney left behind a haze of smoke before turning into black ashes. The room darkened in an instant. Eutostea’s eyes widened. She saw a man sitting against the window frame with the moonlight as his backdrop.
“The window’s open.”
The man’s voice tickled her ears as sweet as a honeyed drink.
Eutostea prepared to scream.
But her mouth was quickly covered by the man’s large hands. Eutostea felt a sense of pressure she had never felt before.
“Are you Thebes’ princess? Even though I entered through the window… well, don’t worry about it, I won’t hurt you. Forgive me for not being able to reveal myself in the darkness.”
He whispered in her ears.
What was his identity?
He pulled his hand away from her from her mouth. She wanted to speak but she could not. The words were stuck in her throat. She did not know what was going on, but all she knew was that she wanted to get away from the man. But alas, the man shackled her. He placed his hand on her back and waist, pressing his fingers in her flesh.
“I came to be your one-night lover. After this night, you will neither remember me nor meet me again,” the man whispered in a voice like honey.
While the man held her hand and led her to bed, Eutostea wore a grim countenance. The man caressed her hair and grabbed a handful, smelling its scent like an incense.
“I heard you like to use perfume, but I don’t smell anything.”
Eutostea replied inwardly to the man’s strange question.
It was her second sister, Hersia, who was obsessed with perfumes.
Moving from her hair, the man touched her cheek and caressed it.
“If I had seen you in daytime, you’d have rosy brown hair.”
‘No, my hair is black. That is my sister.’
And she whispered.
The man’s face was getting closer and Eutostea could feel it. The man was confused and mistook her identity as the second princess, Hersia.
“Allow me to introduce myself as I spend the night with you. Princess of Thebes, I am Apollo, God of Prophecy.”
He whispered in a sweet, friendly voice before overlapping his lips with hers.
She wanted to resist, but she could not for her lips were instantly devoured. The man’s tongue intruded her mouth and captured her tongue, sucking it so violently that she’d almost forgotten to breathe.
‘You’ve got the wrong room.’
But still, she did not resit. Eutostea clung to him helplessly. She collapsed onto the bed against the will of her own body. Tonight, Apollo would take her.