The tale of Hera Vol. 1.1 Chapter 2.4 - Wedding Gift for Thetis

Author: Eica Editor: Eica

The sound of Hephaestus’ hammer drew the attention of many. Both gods and mortals alike watched with a mix of amusement and curiosity, laughing cheerfully as they observed Hephaestus, beads of sweat rolling down, vigorously hammering away.

I wasn’t sure if the dignity of the twelve gods mattered at all. No, perhaps even before that, did my own dignity as his mother ever cross his mind? I suppressed the urge to approach him immediately, snatch the hammer, and throw it away.

“Hebe. Come here.”

With a cool tone, I called out to my daughter. Hebe, who had been by Heracles’ side, perked up her ears and approached me swiftly, like a breeze.

“Yes, Mother.”

“Do you have the wine?”

“Of course. I’ve filled a vase with it.”

“Don’t dilute it with water. Pour a strong cup and take it to your brother over there.”

“Brother Hephaestus, you mean?”

Hebe stretched her long neck to peer in the direction of the sounds of Hephaestus’ hammering, then grinned.

Hebe said.

“Yes. However, it’s an incredibly strong drink, and brother could get so tipsy that he might fall backward. Is that alright?”

“That’s exactly what I’m hoping for. Go ahead, dear.”

I responded as if there was nothing more to add. After acknowledging my words, Hebe took brisk steps toward Hephaestus. As she had a good relationship with her brothers, she skillfully guided the conversation from the hammer-wielding Hephaestus in her usual gentle tone.

The sound of the hammer ceased. Hephaestus, who had been chuckling at Hebe’s story, happened to be thirsty and unsuspectingly downed the drink his sister gave him. In an instant, his face turned red, and with a resounding thud, his body fell backward, collapsing to the ground.

Hahaha, laughter erupted all around. They said Hephaestus was being Hephaestus again. Though the teasing was always sharp as sunlight, it wasn’t entirely unwelcome. It was much better to hear that laughter than the incessant clang of his tiresome hammer.

 

***

 

“The god, Zeus! The god, Zeus, has come!”

Someone with keen hearing shouted. He appeared to be an old man, but I could instantly recognize him as Hermes, even though he was in a disguise. Zeus seemed to be leading him around again like a dog on a leash.

Those who were seated stood up, and those who were standing turned their bodies toward the direction of the noise, tensing their facial muscles stiffly. I, too, momentarily rose from the ornate throne where I had been resting my weary legs, and turned my body to look towards the direction from which Zeus was approaching.

Until that moment, as I waited for his arrival, I had firmly resolved to think this way: Understanding at least to some extent the heartache my husband, who had lost the woman he loved to a mortal man, was feeling, I decided to restrain myself as much as possible from being excessively sarcastic today and not challenge his emotions.

However, the instant I spotted Zeus walking towards us, leading a pure white bull with not a speck of dust, I felt as if I had been struck by Hephaestus’ hammer.

“I must be seeing things… It can’t be, right…?”

I blinked calmly and looked again, but it was indeed my husband Zeus. However, there was a distinct difference from how I usually knew him. He, who had always avoided wearing dark shades resembling the offerings to Hades, which were dreaded for their colors, was now draped in a deep crimson fabric that seemed to be tainted with black blood. Over his right shoulder, he had fastened a golden fibula adorned with an eagle, the animal symbolizing him. The diamonds set into the eagle’s eyes glinted in the sunlight, almost blinding anyone who dared to look.

Zeus’ luxuriant, golden curly hair, resembling a mass of wool, was tied back differently than usual, revealing his ears. Just above it, he wore a 15-centimeter-tall crown made of golden scales, symbolizing his reign as the king of Olympus.

This crown was adorned with various jewels, hanging like bunches of grapes, giving the impression that its wealth surpassed even the treasures of the human world combined. Each jewel was framed by intricate, gilded motifs resembling graceful waves. It was undoubtedly the masterpiece of Hephaestus.

But that wasn’t all.

From his shoulders to his lower back, he wore a silvery himation that draped like mist, and around his waist, a wide and opulent golden belt – about five times more splendid and broader than what Aphrodite possessed – holding a sumptuously adorned bronze dagger with silver and turquoise handle decorations, just beneath his elbow rested five strands of amethyst bracelets, each of different colors but all exquisitely intricate. Between the fringes of his chiton, which swayed as he walked, glimmered golden sandals, and atop them, he wore exquisitely crafted leather shin guards adorned with silver bone decorations.

It was excessive, but certainly far from ordinary. Even among the immortals, it was considered impolite for a guest to dress as splendidly as the bride and groom.

The watching gods and humans let out subdued sighs.

“To witness the mighty Lord Zeus in person! This is an honor that will leave a mark on the family’s legacy!”

“Indeed, it is Lord Zeus. Radiating more brilliantly than the sun god Helios and standing even more majestic than Lord Apollo, the Phoebus (a nickname for the god, Apollo, meaning ‘the radiant’),  making it hard to look upon him with open eyes!”

“I hold great respect for Lord Helios and Lord Apollo, but Lord Zeus, the supreme god among gods, cannot be compared to them. Look at him! Today, he seems even more exceptional in presence. He truly is the king of Olympus.”

Zeus heard those words and they clearly pleased him. His dignified, deliberate stride, initially slow and measured, transformed into a confident and brisk pace, reminiscent of Perseus who defeated Medusa. Zeus walked decisively, with steps so powerful that the following bull behind him was overwhelmed.

The onlookers cheered and applauded his appearance. Zeus’ lips curled into a slight smile, revealing his even, white teeth, as he let out a hearty laugh. He even raised one hand to wave at his enthusiastic audience.

I placed my hand on my forehead and let out a deep sigh. My head was starting to throb.

 


 

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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