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“I… I had no idea things were that bad,” said Phanes, stunned by the revelation. “We have to do something. We have to bring back The Three!”
“Not we, but You. Their fate, and that of the universe rests in your hands,” said Chronos with a hint of questioning in his tone.
“It’s not that I want to… of course I don’t want to fight them, they're my kin! Erebus is my brother! But, I have to, don’t I?” asked Phanes aloud. The question, directed at Chronos and I, was really a question he was asking himself. As such, Chronos and I remained silent.
Phanes turned to face us and said, “Chronos, Moirai, I will not let you down. I know not how I will defeat them, but I know I have to try. The fate of the universe rests on my shoulders and I can ignore my duties no more. Thank you for your patience with me.”
He had made up his mind. He had to fight them… and he had to win.
He made his way back to camp to gather what he would need to defeat Erebus, Aether and Pontus. Since making the decision to fight a quiet calm had come over him. As this peace had washed through him, all fear and doubt had left. Nothing mattered besides his efforts. Nothing mattered besides what he could control. Everything else was simply a distraction.
As he entered the clearing of his encampment he was surprised to see someone waiting for him. Immediately, he dropped into a fighting stance. He was ready.
“I am not here to fight you, cousin.” said Pontus, his hands raised.
“Then why are you here? Speak. Now,” replied Phanes, his weight resting on the balls of his feet, ready to pounce at a moment's notice.
“I come in peace. I seek a treaty. I was a fool to trust Erebus to share the rule of Celestia. Things are worse now than they’ve ever been. I can’t stand it. I want you to help me fight him and to free The Three. Things have to return to how they were before.”
Pausing. Phanes relaxed his body, stood up straight and looked at Pontus. No, he looked into Pontus. He saw more than he ever had before. He saw to the very core of the being stood before him.
“I know you seek to betray me,” Phanes stated matter of factly.
Taken aback by the claim, Pontus stuttered, “what? No… of course I won’t…”
“It is Ok, cousin. I need your help to defeat Erebus and Aether. I cannot do it alone. I must accept the possibility of betrayal. But I ask that before you make your move, truly think about what you want.”
Pontus stood, frozen in bewilderment. Then, Phanes moved towards him. He moved slowly and assuredly. Just before Phanes reached Pontus he opened his arms, and embraced him. “I have missed you, dearest cousin. I am glad to see you again.”Phanes held Pontus in his embrace. Pontus, too stunned to do anything, simply stood there. Then, all of a sudden, he began to weep. His sobs were deep and filled with anguish. Pontus threw his arms around his cousin and squeezed him tight. As they held one another, the clearing was filled with the sounds of Pontus letting go of his pain, one sob at a time.