Chapter 33:

Planet Pallas

Elyon - Gods among us

The sky was a dark purple color, and fragments could be seen in it, shimmering like diamonds. The heat was intense, and everything felt heavy. It was difficult to breathe, as if they were underwater. Rodrigo felt like his body could explode at any moment; it was an incredibly uncomfortable sensation.

The scenery wasn't encouraging either. As Rodrigo flew with Epona's assistance, he saw that the land was dry, cold, and devoid of vegetation. It was like seeing a rocky desert without sand dunes. Rustic houses could be seen scattered along the ground.

A massive red sun shone in the sky, and Rodrigo had never seen such a gigantic celestial body before. Two reddish-yellow moons could also be seen near the sun. Upon careful observation, the young man noticed an almost invisible energy barrier shining in the sky.

—It's your first time on another planet, isn't it, Rodrigo?— Epona asked the boy, who had a pained and uncomfortable expression as he flew.

Rodrigo nodded.

—The gravity on this planet is three times stronger than Earth's because it's much larger. The average human wouldn't be able to withstand this atmospheric pressure and would die without remedy. The temperature here is also over 80 degrees Celsius. I recommend that you both adjust as best you can— said the angel.

In the distance, Rodrigo caught sight of mountains with shimmering constructions on them, like pearls. It was strange to see mountains since the surface had been mostly flat until that point.

"That is the Palladium Palace; I will take you there— said the malak, pointing to the structure on the tallest mountain.

—And where is this planet Pallas, do you know?— Epona asked.

—The location of this planet is a secret, known only to Athena, Horus, and the third leader, marked on a celestial map. We all arrived here thanks to the teleportation power of Athena's labrys— the angel answered.

—Labrys?— Epona asked again.

—Yes, it's a legendary weapon that Goddess Athena uses to protect this planet. By using its power, a labyrinth of trillions of possibilities appears, and only the leaders of Orniskem know the way to enter— the malak replied.

—What's Orniskem?— Rodrigo asked.

—That's the name of Athena's rebel group— Epona answered.

—Therefore, if an enemy decides to enter this planet, the barrier will stop them. And if, by some stroke of fate, they manage to break through, they will have to navigate a gigantic labyrinth that could take eons to cross without knowing the right path— the angel continued.

—Impressive— Epona responded.

—Yes, this planet is now home to several gods and malakim who have chosen to reject Lel's orders. It's not a very beautiful place, to be honest, but we call it home— the angel continued.

Finally, Rodrigo and Epona arrived at the palace, guided by the malak.

It was a massive castle, white with blue accents, and Rodrigo could see that it had a similar architecture to the Arab castle he saw in Turtuxa. It had a circular vault of emerald green color and several towers that Rodrigo thought resembled minarets, where Muslims would pray.

—Is this a mosque?— Rodrigo asked.

Epona let out a discreet laugh.

—No, Rodrigo, this is Greek architecture. You can see similar constructions if you go to the great city of Constantinople in the Eastern Roman Empire— Epona responded, gazing fascinated at the enormous palace.

—Of course, Hagia Sophia is insignificant compared to this colossal edifice— the goddess continued.

There was a group of malakim guarding the entrance to the palace, which was behind a massive wall. Rodrigo noticed the energy that covered the sky once again, this time emanating over the walls.

The door where the angels stood was enormous, with golden edges and a massive wooden door that appeared to be made of cedar. Two columns stood beside the grand door, both so white that Rodrigo could see his reflection in them.

—These are the guests of our lady Athena, although two are still missing. They will be brought by Zephon— said the angel who had escorted Rodrigo and Epona.

The angels at the door bowed, and then they placed their swords on the ground. The door slowly opened.

Epona and Rodrigo entered and bid farewell to the angel. Despite the lack of vegetation in the world, the palace gardens were breathtaking. There were two statues, one of the goddess Athena and another of a falcon. Both statues were as white as ivory.

There were fountains and abundant vegetation, with beautiful flowers and roses of various colors. Rodrigo noticed that the suffocating feeling and pressure he had felt outside had vanished, as if the palace had its own gravitational force.

—It's beautiful, isn't it, Rodrigo?— Epona exclaimed in awe.

The garden was immense, resembling a forest. There were white houses with red roofs covered in shrubs and roses. Some malakim walked, read, or trained. Butterflies fluttered in the air, displaying vibrant colors. Horses, deer, and even bears roamed the area. Crystal-clear rivers flowed through the garden, and peculiar wooden bridges adorned them. Undoubtedly, it was more beautiful than any gardens Rodrigo had seen in southern Spain.

Finally, they arrived at the main gate, known as the 'Gate the Beautiful' It was white with golden accents, with an owl sculpted at the top and a falcon and a strange bird below. The malakim opened the door, and Rodrigo and Epona were transported to another dimension.

It was a vast white vestibule, with malakim flying inside and other individuals, possibly gods, walking in the corridors. The room had multiple floors supported by ivory Greek columns. In the center stood a massive obelisk, also white with a golden tip.

A malak approached Rodrigo and Epona, flying towards them, and informed them that he would take them to their room. The angel flew, and Epona, holding Rodrigo once again, followed. They reached a door on the fifth floor, made of cedar with golden accents. The angel opened the door, bowed, and bid them farewell.

Rodrigo and Epona entered and saw a magnificent room. There were very comfortable armchairs and an enormous table with fruits and golden pitchers. Incense burners emitted fragrance into the air. Behind purple curtains were bedrooms with thrones made of cedar and comfortable mattresses, resembling king-size beds. There was also a beautiful bathroom with a gigantic pool of crystal-clear, almost bluish water.

—You won't easily find something like this in the human world, don't you think, Rodrigo?— Epona said as she ran to sit in one of the armchairs and grabbed some fruits.

Rodrigo entered the bedrooms and found their clothes, the ones they wore when fighting against the Nordic monsters, clean and neatly arranged. He took them and changed, then fell onto the bed and fell asleep. He had experienced so many emotions in a single day that exhaustion finally overcame him.