The tale of Hera Vol. 1.1 Chapter 1.1 - The Dream of Hera

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Author: Eica Editor: Eica

1. The Dream of Hera

 

It felt like I had momentarily fallen asleep. When I regained my senses, I was lying flat on the bed. The familiar frieze encircled along the edge of the ceiling. This was indeed my bedroom in the golden palace gifted by Hephaestus.

I sighed and shifted my body to find a comfortable position. The soft texture of the woolen bedding, woven skillfully by Athena, could be felt against the back of my head and lower back.

Not far away, the crackling sound of burning firewood and sparks filled the air. I turned my head to look towards the source of the fire, but my vision was extremely blurred. It was as if everything before my eyes was wriggling as a whole, like wandering through an opaque mist.

Sensing something amiss, I brought my hand to my face. Even though I was sure my hand was there, the form that appeared before my eyes remained as indistinct as a soul wandering in Hades’ underworld.

I mustered my voice, forcing my tightly sealed lips apart.

“Ah…”

A familiar voice reached my ears. And then, another voice followed. It was the voice of Hebe, who had rushed to my side as soon as she realized I had awakened.

“Mother, are you awake now?”

Hebe’s warm hand gently held my hand. Through that touch, I could sense her presence nearby. However, my eyes still only presented a frustratingly opaque image. I blinked rapidly, seeking assistance from my obedient daughter Hebe.

“It seems like something is blocking my vision, and I can’t see well. Could you blow on my eyes a little?”

“Of course.”

I sensed Hebe’s movement. With small footsteps and a soft rustling sound, she positioned herself in front of me. She had turned my face to the left, directing it towards the crackling firewood as she placed a cushion at the center of the bed and circled around. Hebe, who had been cautiously cradling my cheek with both hands, spoke in surprise.

“Mother, why are you shedding tears?”

At her words, I reached up to touch my face. That’s when I realized that hot tears had pooled on my cheeks. The tears kept flowing, welling up anew before my eyes had a chance to clear.

So, was that why I couldn’t see properly?

I asked Hebe to fill a goblet with refreshing nectar. She swiftly filled the goblet and approached. As I drank the elixir of immortality, I felt vitality coursing through my body. The food and drink of the gods held the power of rejuvenation.

The swelling in my eyes subsided quickly. With eyes considerably clearer than before, I could now see the world.

“Mother…”

Hebe gazed at me with a deeply concerned expression. It seemed she felt a sense of guilt over my profound sadness, to the extent that I had shed so many tears. Why? I wondered in perplexity.

At that moment, Hebe clenched her fist and rose from her seat.

“This won’t do. I will go and speak to Father.”

“To Zeus?”

“Yes. I’ll tell him that today Mother isn’t feeling well and won’t be able to attend the goddess’s wedding ceremony. You’ve been acting composed in front of me since a few days before the wedding, but I didn’t realize the depth of your sadness and frustration that you carry within.”

Seeing Hebe on the verge of tears, I propped myself up on my elbows and sat up in bed, then gently cupped her cheek in my palm. Her large, deep blue eyes were filled with sorrow as she looked at me.

“Don’t entertain foolish thoughts. Thetis’s wedding is a matter blessed by all of Olympus, an event sanctioned by the gods. Why would I be sad about that?”

I gently chided her.

“Him, and t-the goddess T-Thetis… um…”

Hebe hesitated, unable to continue her sentence, seemingly wary of my reaction.

She seemed reluctant to outright say before me, ‘Father truly loves Thetis, but due to unavoidable circumstances, she’s being married off to the mortal king Peleus, and everyone in the world knows about it.’ I chuckled and reached out to pat my daughter’s rosy cheek.

“It’s true. Hebe, the reason I shed tears is because of a dream I had just now.”

Curiosity sparkled in Hebe’s eyes as she asked.

“A dream? What was the dream about?”

I took a moment to sip from my cup before answering. I pressed my lips to the goblet and swallowed three long sips. As the thirst subsided and my voice flowed smoother, it felt as though I had anointed my throat with oil.

“Well, it was a dream about… “

I began to speak.

I closed my eyes comfortably and recalled the content of the dream I had just experienced. The dream was so vivid, as if happening in real life, that I could easily summon certain parts without even trying.

In the dream, I found myself on a plain near the Dardanelles Strait. It was a flat area called the Skamandros field, named after the nearby flowing river. Around me, tens of thousands of soldiers were engaged in a fierce battle, risking their lives and the stench of blood filling the air.

They couldn’t see me, nor could they touch me. I was shrouded in the same dark mist that the Olympian gods often used when peering into the human realm with curiosity.

As time passed, the battle grew more intense. Black arrows rained from the sky, the clash of bronze spearheads against shields, the sound of spears and bronze swords colliding, bones crunching under the weight of stone projectiles, and the agonizing screams of those gravely injured, on the brink of death, echoed ceaselessly.

Amidst it all, I saw a man there.

Several strands of braided blonde hair escape from under the helmet he’s wearing. If let loose, the hair would reach down to cover his shoulders. The man’s height matches mine — for reference, I am as tall as Zeus — yet by human standards, it wasn’t exceptionally tall.

I examined the armor the man was wearing. Made of bronze, the lightweight breastplate covered his chest, abdomen, and sides in a practical design. His shoulders were exposed, and his back was encased in scale armor made of iron, appearing almost impervious even to bronze penetration. His armor was drenched in the blood of Trojans he had stabbed and slashed, causing them to kneel, and it was as if the deep crimson hue had always been its original color.

Was it due to fatigue from the successive battles, or did the combination of blood (shed by others) and sweat (from his own body) accumulating in the gaps of his helmet obstruct his vision? Like a lion swatting at flies that buzzed around, the man vigorously shook his head, committing a rather inadvisable act right in the heart of the battlefield.

He fearlessly removed the golden helmet he had been wearing on his head.

His head was now exposed, vulnerable. It was a fortunate turn of events for his foes, and for me as well. Finally, I was able to see the man’s face.

The man possessed a striking appearance. It was a face I had never seen before.

 


 

Author's Thoughts

Hello, everyone~!!! Eica here~ Thank you for having the time to read my translations.

Due to my ongoing classes and my upcoming departmental and final exam, I'll be taking time off until the end of this January. No worries as I'll be updating it once my exams are done.

Despite my shortcomings in translating this, I hope everyone of you will have a good time reading this.

For any mistakes, you can comment down below, or you can ping me at discord.

You can support me on ko-fi. And please rate this on NU. Any comments of yours will be appreciated. And though I may not reply, rest assured that I'm reading and anticipating each and every comment of yours.

Once again, thank you, everyone~!!! Happy reading~!!!

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Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back.

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