The tale of Hera Vol. 1.1 Chapter 2.1 - Wedding Gift for Thetis

Author: Eica Editor: Eica

2. Wedding Gift for Thetis

 

My lionesses knew the sky path well. However, with me holding the reins, I couldn’t afford to be careless, for their curiosity-driven instincts might lead us down the wrong path. I held the reins loosely and watched between the pointed ears of my lionesses as they galloped steadily ahead, focusing only on what lay ahead.

Hebe quietly boarded the chariot. I felt a sense of calmness in the air as she closed her lips. Among the tasks assigned to Hebe when the gods gathered was to pour wine for Zeus and me. Inside the chariot, she had a separate flask of wine, the clear liquid that had come a long way from the springs of Mount Olympus, and now it made a splashing sound without restraint as the chariot vibrated.

Two wheels followed in the wake of the sky path trodden by my winged lionesses. Within the rotating axle, the gears turned smoothly and silently, propelling the chariot forward in a swift motion that left a glinting trail of sparks. Like the leaves of an autumn tree falling to the ground, the wheels spun tirelessly, forming a seamless circle when viewed from outside.

This golden chariot I rode upon was also a gift from Hephaestus.

The god of blacksmith, Hephaestus, possessed the skill to shape metal into flawless spheres and perfect circles without a single flaw. It required meticulous hammering, precise control, and keen craftsmanship. Therefore, among the intricate castings that adorned the chariot I received as a gift, the most painstakingly wrought pieces were undoubtedly the pair of bronze wheels. While the outer rim was made of bronze, the eighteen spokes were of gold. These spokes were intricately interconnected like a spider’s web, designed so that even if one spoke broke, the others would sustain the wheel’s motion, ensuring its continuous rotation.

Before long, a vivid expanse of blue filled my field of vision. Ever since departing from Mount Olympus, I had been steadily descending in altitude. And now, beneath the path my chariot raced along, the silver sea ruled by Poseidon stretched out like a silken expanse.

It was the waters that flowed from Greece to Asia Minor, and in the far distance to the north, the intricate coastline of Greece was visible against the horizon. Also visible, to the south of our destination, Mount Pelion, is the island of Crete – resembling a sweet potato – standing out distinctly.

Crete is a special place for Zeus. It is where he hid and grew up, the sole survivor among his siblings who were being devoured one by one by his father. It’s the same for me. It’s where Zeus and I had our wedding, on the slopes of that mountain over there.

“We’ve arrived.”

I noticed the gathering of the gods in a valley at the base of the towering Mount Pelion and slowed the chariot’s speed. After commanding my lionesses to descend, I then tethered the reins to the chariot’s horn.

The chariot’s wheels touched the ground fully. Just as other gods had done, I guided it to a spot with dense thorn bushes. I unfastened the iron fastenings of the leather straps connecting the chariot and the lionesses. The lionesses stretched and yawned as they stepped away from the chariot, circling around me. I tossed chunks of fresh deer meat that I had caught earlier that morning to the lions.

Hebe tilted the goblet and washed my hands stained with deer blood. I watched with affectionate eyes as the lions enjoyed their meal. The lionesses, who had been hungry from running hundreds of miles in one breath, devoured the deer meat as if savoring a delicacy, and then they lifted their damp noses to the earth, sniffing the scent. These skilled trackers must have caught wind of the water’s scent nearby, for they rose gracefully to their feet, their four paws moving elegantly as they leisurely walked toward the unnamed valley in the middle of Mount Pelion. Perhaps they planned to rest by the side of the valley, nestled under the shade of trees and lying on pebbles, dozing away until the end of the wedding and the feast.

Hebe spoke.

“Mother, look, there are the goddesses. It seems that Thetis, the goddess who is getting married today, is being adorned with the help of others.”

I looked to where she was pointing. Atop a low hill stood a cluster of beautiful tamarix. Beneath the trees, spread like a natural carpet, was a bed of moss, and there sat the Olympian goddesses in a circle.

And at the center of them all was Thetis. Like a single blooming lily amidst wildflowers, Thetis stood proudly on the white cloth laid out by the goddesses for the bride.

A new grace flowed from her, unseen before. Her platinum hair, cascading down to her shoulders, was held in place by a conical tiara adorned with a central part. Her small, peach-like face, framed in the finest linen veil that extended to her shoulders, remained as enchanting as ever – captivating enough to make even Zeus swoon. Yet, like all brides on the eve and day of their weddings, she appeared slightly ethereal, caught in an ineffable mixture of excitement and apprehension.

But even if sadness were reflected on the bride’s face, compared to the loss and frustration that Zeus is feeling right now, it would be like a drop of blood in the sea.

I, the husband of Hera, ruler of Olympus, and the great Zeus, son of Cronus (Κρόνος), have always possessed whatever has pleased my heart.

Especially when it comes to matters of women, there has been no hunter of beauties who could surpass him. However, this time, the daughter of the sea, Thetis, whom Zeus has fallen in love with, is a woman he can never possess, no matter how much he desires.

Thetis had long been entangled in a foreboding prophecy: that her son would surpass his father. Zeus, who dreaded being overthrown from his throne on Olympus by a son greater than himself, couldn’t bear to let this prophecy come to fruition.

Historically speaking, there was first the instance of his father, Cronus, overthrowing his own father, Uranus. Following that, Zeus, either his own father or mine, overthrew Cronus and ascended to the throne.

Afterward, hundreds of years passed. Whether fortunate or unfortunate, a son surpassing Zeus had not yet emerged. Even looking at the likes of Heracles, who came and went, and also Apollo and Ares, it was the same. Those heroes who inherited Zeus’ blood were destined to become not distinguished figures but rather pitiable ones, always twisted in some way and reduced to insignificant characters.

 


 

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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