There was a window in his office where he could see the Aspholids.
He should concentrate, but the sight makes him brooding.
The Underworld was a vast realm of darkness and gloom, the silence occasionally broken by the moans of souls grieving for their lost life.
The worst of the three realms, ruled by a cruel king who never came out, worthy son of the former king of the gods Enji.
Tyrant, abomination, heartless.
Honestly, mortals were exaggerated stories: Shouto was only doing his job, distributing just punishment and rewards to those who deserved it.
What did the mortals know? No one alive had ever come there and then he had come back to tell what he had seen.
Shouto liked the Underworld, and thanked the bad reputation of his kingdom: it was so badly viewed that other immortals, with rare exceptions, also stayed away.
And given his full-time job, it meant he didn't have to interact with other deities.
He had nothing against his brothers, on the contrary, when he had the opportunity, he went more than willingly to visit them; Touya was a better ruler than their father, not that it was difficult, when the old man was more interested in showing himself better than the god of the Earth than in ruling the sky.
The problem was the other gods, the ones who were born after the fall of his father: they were all eager to excel, noisy, chaotic, alive.
He was so used to death that any light seemed strange, unnatural. Fuyumi said he needed to make friends, but he was a king, he didn't need friends.
He had to work.
There wasn't much the goddess could say to him to convince him, and she had to surrender.
"Dad can no longer tell you how to behave. You're free."
He knew. Shouto was free, and powerful, as the old man wanted.
He didn't need anything else.
"Hey, there's an intruder on the banks of the Styx."
Shouto lowered the documents and stared confused Midnight, "An intruder? What do you mean?"
"It means that there is someone very alive with the souls. So move and go see."
"Can't you go there? I'm busy now."
" Are you kidding? I have work to do on Earth. Order from the big boss."
" You work for me. "
" But sometimes your brother needs me. Someone has to send prophetic dreams to the mortal. "
Part of Shouto wanted to order someone else to go and see who the intruder was and sent him away.
But the idea that someone alive had made it to the banks of the realm of the dead, whether by mistake or voluntarily, intrigued him.
Who was he? How had he managed to get in? Was he a god?
Finally, he decided, "Okay. I'll go."
Shouto got up and headed in the direction of the Styx.
Outside the palace, he ordered Charon to take him where the soul was waiting to be judged.
Finally, he reached the shore and immediately found the intruder. It was hard not to see him, he was different from all the other spirits around him: he was a young boy, with tousled green hair and a simple white chiton.
The god noticed that he was arguing with the spirit of a woman and he was touching her.
"He's a good”
Watching him, it was as if the sun had gone down into the Underworld. The new God of the sun? He had heard many rumors about his beauty and his adventures with mortals.
Had the woman been a lover of him? Was that why he was here?
When Shouto arrived, the souls stood aside to let him pass. They knew who he was and they feared him.
Only the boy didn't blink but I keep talking to the spirit, "I assure you, your son will be fine. He's a good boy."
"But Kouta is so young - she moaned - My sister has her family, how can she take care of him too? "
" Your sister loves him very much. "
" I know, but ... "
"He will be okay, trust me. I will be with him and will take care of Kouta."
“ Do you promise?”
“ Yes, I do.”
The young man put his hand on her shoulder, smiling.
For a second it seemed that a gash had opened in the stone ceiling and Hades were submerged in the light of the world of the living.
The woman hugged him. After a while, she broke away, whispered a "thank you" and turned around, mingling with the other spirits.
Shouto stood still in silence. He didn't want to be rude or anything, he just had no idea how to behave, he didn't know what to say or how to approach.
"Hey, hi. You're Shouto, aren't you?"
Shouto blinked, confused. He had expected fear in the other boy's voice, or contempt, similar feelings, but his tone of voice was polite, tinged with a faint tinge of curiosity.
He hadn't called Shouto his majesty. Not even my lord. He did not care about the etiquette, so dear to his old man, but it was strange that someone was referring to him so informally.
He had to say something. Now, he was looking stupid.
"You came to reassure your lover? "
Damn. Judging by the god's expression, Shouto had picked the wrong topic.
"No, she's not ... we were never together. I didn't know her. But I know her son and ... well, it's complicated. "
" Um. I shouldn't have guessed, God of the sun. "
" God of the sun? "
"Was I wrong? It isn't your title?"
The boy scratched his head in embarrassment, "Oh gods, this is the first time this has happened to me. I'm not that important."
"Who are you?"
" My name is Izuko, "he said, holding out his hand.
Shouto looked first at him, then at the hand. He had no idea what to do.
The smile on Izuko's face trembled as he lowered his hand and began to mutter, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be ... rude, that's ..."
Shouto just stared at him, intrigued, "What are you God of?”
The other god wrung his hands in anxiety as he muttered something.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand."
Izuko repeated, only slightly louder, to the point that the only thing the god could grasp was a name, "All Might".
"Are you All Might's secret son?"
It was weird, All Might didn't seem like the type to have affairs lightly. But Shouto didn't know him well, and he had only met him on one memorable occasion.
Izuko blushed, to the point that the vault took on the same color as the flames, while waving his hands to exclaim, "N- no! I mean, not that it's bad, I'd like to, that is, I mean, it's complicated, we're not related, many say it, but we don't share the same blood, I mean, I'd love to, I respect it very much, what I mean is what ...! "
Cute, Shouto thought. He didn't know where that thought came from. It was weird.
Izuko finally said something coherent, "I'm a god of nature. Sort of. I wasn't born a god."
"Were you a demigod?"
It wasn't rare: demigods ascended, especially if they were dear to their parent god. This seemed to confirm that he was the son of All Might.
"No, I was… I was mortal."
Shouto's eyes widened, "You were mortal?"
"I know, it's weird. "
" Did they deify you? "
" No. "
" Are you sure you don't have divine blood in your veins? "
" No, I didn't have anything divine before I met All Might - he signed - I wanted to be a hero. Someone who saved people. All Might helped me. "
" Oh. So All Might is not your father. He is your patron "
" Exactly. "
"And he made you a god."
Izuko shrugged, "That's not what happened. I don't like talking about it and… um…"
Shouto understood. Izumi wasn't ready to tell that. So he decided to change the subject, "If that's the case and you don't have any particular emotional or blood ties to that woman, why are you here?"
Izuku just blinked in surprise, as if such a question was unexpected and the answer was not obvious, but just said with a slight smile, "Well, now that I have become a god I want to continue e and to help others. That's what a deity should do. ”
No, that's not true. The gods don't care about mortals.
"But you take care of mortals!" Izuko protested.
Hell, he said it out loud. He looked at Izuko as if he were crazy, "Don't you know what they say about me?"
“Mortals say a lot of things about me too, but it's not all true. “
“ You don't know me. ”
“ But you look after mortals when they die. I think it's nice to have a place to stay after it's all over. “
“ I don't console them, not like you did. ”
“ But you give everyone what's right, don't you? I've heard of your judges. ”
“ It wasn't much appreciated. ”
“ But then the wicked get what they deserve. Am I right? "
" Yes, you're right. "
Izuko's expression brightened. It was like watching the sunrise after a long night, almost painful to watch.
“You do a lot, and, sadly, no one recognizes your work. You should have at least one temple. Even I have one. ”
“ Where? ”
Izuko looked embarrassed,“ It's small, it's in Eleusis. It's nothing special, not even many people come. Mostly they ask me for a good harvest. Not that I'm complaining, I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I'd love if they asked me for help with something else as well. I know I'm not one of the gods of war, but I can fight too. I would like to help but… am I talking too much? ”
“ No, go on. “
“ Sure I don't bother you? I know you are very busy. ”
It was true, Shouto had a lot to do. But for the first time, he was interested in someone, and he didn't know how to behave without looking like a total weirdo. What would Fuyumi do?
“No, you don't bother me. Do you… want to visit my kingdom? ”
“ Can I? ”
“ If you want. ”
Izuko agreed. He probably did it just out of curiosity. But it was nice to be with him. His heart was beating fast, and it was a new sensation rising in his chest. It had to be Izuko's power. Izuko was a tremendously powerful god.
A few days later, rumors spread among mortals that the evil god of the Underworld had kidnapped the young god of spring.