"Make sure you don't leave my side," Brystagg whispered to me.
He hadn't needed to tell me twice.
The carnivorous stares we received from Minos's citizens we passed made me tremble with a fear of being shish kebabs.
"Oi!" A burly minotaur grumbled when I accidentally bumped his arm. His expression of annoyance had instantly changed to one of glee.
I'm sure he thought it was his lucky day, bumping into a piece of walking high grade meat.
"O-Oh, s-sorry kind Sir," I whimpered and clung closer to Brystagg's side.
"Don't walk away pretty human boy." Gruffed the burly minotaur.
I flinched when I saw his thick tongue lick his chops
"Keep walking." Brystagg ordered me.
I nodded. Increasing my pace with my eyes fixed to the double doors beyond the porch.
I braved a glance over my shoulder, which made me increase speed to my steps when I saw a hungry procession trail behind us.
My heart raced at the same speed of my walk, which became a light jog up the steps. We found our way to the double door entrance blocked by a mob of common minotaur.
"Dem look tasty," said a salivating minotaur.
"Yeek! Their friendliness is a lot different to Buru's." I hid behind Brystagg's back as the crowd closed around us.
"LEAVE THEM BE OR BECOME NULL!" Boomed an omnipotent voice from within the temple building.
The temple grounds roared and trembled with voices bellowing out with pain. The crowd dispersed and scattered, holding onto their horns or cupping their ears. Our way to the gold double doors was clear.
"Well." I smugly dusted off my hands.
My attention was drawn to a white robed minotaur standing at the threshold of the double door entrance. His whole image was a feeling of wisdom and a peaceful age. Gray fur was flecked with the odd strand of youthful brown and deep-set brown eyes seemed to be smiling with a friendly expression. He had his hands out with a gesture of welcome.
"Galais. You have my gratitude old friend." Brystagg respectfully and warmly greeted the minotaur with a firm pat to his shoulder.
"I am grateful you heeded Our Lady's call Prince Brystagg."
I felt calmed by the elderly minotaur's soothing, deep voice. I'm sure the burning incense at the small homage shrines, on either end of the porch, was partially to blame.
"She has been expecting you Lord Famine." The elderly minotaur directed his words to me with a respectful bow and prompted us to follow him inside.
I gawked at the gold and silver statues of snakes or minotaur of old that I passed. Each one showed majestic forms of either caught within a moment of battle. As I peered lower toward the nameplate of the statues' pedestals, I noticed humans were depicted as teeny tiny fillers, littering these creatures' feet.
"I take it that humanity is not number one here," I carefully whispered.
"Majority of the minotaur race see us as cattle. Only a minority view us as other intelligent beings." Lyra answered for me.
"You think?" My eyes darted about the various statues to confirm that fact.
I returned my focus to Brystagg's lead and our way up steep marble steps.
"Oh!" I let out sounds of awe at the stained-glass domed roof high above our heads. I hadn't noticed it when we were trailing the sparrows' flight.
Outside light seeped into the temple through the roof's colored glass. Streaming gentle rays over our bodies as we crossed a circular floor depicting a lotus in full bloom on a dark watery surface. I marvelled at the water ripples my footsteps created as I walked across the lotus floor like I was skimming across the surface of a pond.
"Fascinating. The floor is of dark silver imbued with semblance magic to cause that rippling water effect when walking," Death said with a voice that was almost a whisper in my head.
We stopped before a set of steps that led up to a dais where an enormous gold statue of a robed Minotaur stood proudly before us.
His billowing cape carried starlight to his back. It ran the length of his body. Right down to the train of his robes, which covered his ankles and part of his forefeet. I noticed the statue's feet were the same structure as a human. I wondered if our similarities had them view us as the insignificant beings in the end.
"It is fact. They are here in the Age of Apocalypse." A wise and motherly voice warmed my ears.
Any aches I felt in my heart were soothed by the sight of the white robed bull-woman at the top of the dais before the statue.
Her white fur was free from any blemish a bull would carry. Delicate ears were pierced with gold, silver and jade studs. They glistened with an impression of starlight that was similar to statue's cape. Her eyes were bone white. I felt like I was staring at two balls of milk candy.
Her balletic walk towards us was enchanting.
"Your highness. Lord Famine and friends. I welcome you to Minos. There is much we must discuss."
She gestured for us to follow her lead past the statue. Down a blue carpeted and silver marble hallway, which ended into a jade and tourmaline circular chamber.
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