They were still going at it when I got there, as if evenly matched. Persephone appeared as a young woman with white hair and Grecian features. Anansi was clearly recognizable. He had the artifact in one hand, and I had a brief hope we could knock it away from him.
And right now, he was winning. Persephone was throwing a bolt of energy at him, but he was pulling it into the artifact.
Okay. So, no magic. Easy enough. He couldn’t absorb my sword.
As long as I didn’t touch him. Or…dang it. If I got too close. Maybe I wasn’t the one to do this. Maybe we needed a mortal to sneak up behind him and hit him over the head.
“Stay out of this,” he snarled.
“Sorry, I’m acting under orders.”
I swung the blade, but I was using the flat, for now. I wasn’t sure what “killing” him would do. Would he leave the artifact behind or take it with him?
I didn’t want to risk it. He ducked away, but his attention was off of Persephone. “Who’s orders?” he demanded.
“Give it a guess.”
I wasn’t sure what Persephone was doing. Rummaging in a belt pouch for something, apparently.
“Odin really should…”
“Stay out of it? Maybe you’d rather deal with Zeus? You’ve crossed the line. You’ve attacked Persephone and we both know you wanted to use me to lure Hel.”
“I have to have them all.”
“Well, you won’t get Brother Death back. Give it up. Give it up and let us help find her.”
He stopped. He looked at me.
“She’s not in the realm of the dead. She’s somewhere in this world, hiding where you can find her, you idiot.”
Persephone had pulled a vial out of her pouch. It was probably some kind of mystical grenade.
“You’re lying.” Beat. “How did…”
“How do you think? Now, leave Persephone alone and let’s talk about this like civilized people before you piss off every pantheon head on the planet.”
She had the vial up and was looking at me.
He swung the artifact around. For a moment, I felt utter cold, frozen in place. Then Persephone threw the vial.
Into Anansi’s face. He lifted both hands to protect it, then fled.
“What was that?”
She laughed brightly. “Mace.”