7 More Labors

"I have waited outside these gates for three days. Where is the coward King Eurystheus? He has not even sent one of his messenger boys. I demand to hear from him," Heracles yelled. Loud enough that he could be heard in the royal palace.

"You can't speak of our king like that," a guard reprimanded Heracles.

"What," Heracles asked.

"The King, do not speak of him in such ill fashion," the guard stuttered this time, realizing he had drawn Heracles ire.

"Wait, Heracles, he is not worth it," Azeus stood in front of Heracles arms stretched wide.

"You tell your king to bring me my next task, or I will sack his city myself," Heracles demanded of one of the guards.

The guard did as he was told, rushing to King Eurystheus begging for him to speak with Heracles. The King knew this moment would come, and he would have to do as he was instructed by Hera. He would need to tell Heracles his labors did not all count. He still had to complete seven more, not the five he was expecting. The King quickly scribbled a message for one of his messengers. He promised the man his family would be well taken care of and that the gods would bless his bravery.

Soon the man stood in front of Heracles, or beneath him. He had rumors but was unaware that Heracles was truly as large as they claimed. He did his best to stand tall and not fall to his knees in front of such a massive man. When he finally spoke his words came out as those of a young boy whose voice had just began to break.

"You have done well mighty Heracles but two of your labors shall not be accepted. You did not defeat the Hydra without help and the Augean stables were cleaned but you received payment. Your next task will be to cleanse the woods of the Stymphalian Birds."

Heracles was enraged. Enough that he only heard the part about his labors not being counted. He walked past the herald towards the towering city gates. There he lowered his shoulder and rammed the gate. On the first blow the great stone gate crumbled as if it were made of sand. Heracles could enter the city now. There was no one there that could stop him. What would they do if he rushed the king. They would watch as he died.

He was only stopped by Azeus once again standing in his way. Where had the boy gotten such bravery? He was so afraid of life he was willing to die when they first met. Now he was willing to not only stand next to Heracles, but in front of him. Heracles was amused and left the city. Allowing Azeus to guide him to the next labor.

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