When I said things get worse in this chapter, I wasnít kidding. Letís jump right in and see why.
Weíre back in 1940, and someoneís voice causes Votan to wake up and fall out of the hammock. He looks up and sees a little girl. Her face "glows with innocence" and Votan immediately notices some kind of energy radiating from her body.
I donít believe I mentioned this last time, but Gabriela is the name of Emmaís grandmother. Yup.
Votan seems shocked about something, but the narration has yet to explain what. She asks again who he is, and he tells her heís Votan. Before they can chat any longer, Peten enters the hut and screams at Gabriela to leave. Thereís a woman behind Peten, and Gabriela runs over to her. Said woman is terrified and just stares at Votan. Peten tells her to leave and she does, taking Gabriela with her.
Peten, suddenly curious asks if heís the
Votan. Votan ignores him and asks what "the man" did to Petenís cousin, because heís magically figured out that thatís who the woman with him was. Peten says he doesnít know. Votan screams at him and demands to know.
Peten really doesnít know. Itzel didnít tell him much. She was brought to a little village with a bunch of other women, and one night a bunch of dark priests called the Maaskab came and started killing the women. In that case, scratch what I said about the sacrifice not being lethal. Itzel mustíve gotten lucky.
Turns out Votan knows exactly who Peten is talking about.
Images of priests with black souls and bloodshot eyes, their naked skin covered in a sooty paste, flashed in Votanís mind. Their long, blood-caked hair hung in putrid dreadlocks that dangled to their waists. Their black teeth only served to strain the blood-streaked saliva pouring from their lips as they growled in his mind. He could almost smell the rotting stench of darkness seeping from their pores.
Because as we all know, bad guys are ugly. Admittedly, that was a pretty effective bit of description.
Peten goes on to say that his cousin escaped, and was pregnant with Gabriela when she got back. Votan is shocked, and asks again if Gabrielaís father is the one who took Itzel. Peten confirms it.
This cannot be. But there she was. Proof. Undeniable proof. One of his brothers had found a way to make a child. With a human, no less.
Alright, so letís apply some logic.
-Gabriela is Emmaís grandmother
-Gabriela is half-god
-Therefore Emma is part-god.
This is what I meant when I said it gets worse. Thatís right, folks, Emma is one-sixteenth Mayan god. Not only that, sheís related
to Votan, however distantly. Not only that, but itís safe to assume that Votan knows this.
Creeper points: 3
Votan canít seem to wrap his head around the concept, because apparently it makes no sense for gods to sleep around with mortals. Apparently heís unaware that itís a divine tradition. Ever heard of Zeus?
He decides that heíll figure it all out later, and that heíll go after the priests now. He asks where he can find them.
Peten continued staring, seemingly transfixed by the six-foot-nine shirtless man with the massive hulking frame, thick waves of long blue-black hair, and fierce turquoise eyes.
Way to shoehorn in description. Besides, this isnít the first time that Peten has seen Votan, so why is he just noticing what he looks like? Unless he suddenly wants to hit that,
thereís no real reason for this.
"Are you truly the God of Death and War?" Peten whispered.
Oh. Thatís why. Death and war? Seriously?
Guess we can add "taming a war god" to Emmaís list of accomplishments.
Votan nods, and Peten says heíll draw up a map for him. Votan says he wants weapons, and Peten agrees to provide those as well. Also, he wants to see Gabriela before he goes. Peten agrees, but he doesnít seem too happy about this.
The scene changes, and Votan is finishing up tying daggers to his bicep. (No, seriously.) He closes his eyes, looks up, and starts reciting the "ancient prayer of Loyalty and Protection." Apparently heís...um...bonding himself to Gabriela.
Creeper points: 4
To be fair, it appears to be a platonic kind of bonding, but still. He cuts his braid off and tells Itzel to burn it with a lock of Gabrielaís hair. Thisíll "tether her light to his" or something.
The bondís purpose is to put Gabriela under his protection and that of the gods. Well, the gods who havenít turned evil. Plot point!
Votan starts getting all philosophical, wondering if he could create life instead of just taking it, which he realizes is a strange thing for the God of War and Death to think about. He kisses the top of Gabrielaís head, and leaves her with this.
"Goodbye, my little one. Iíll be back for you."
Creeper points: 5
Thatís the end of the chapter. If I had any chance of finding this book romantic, itís gone now. Nice job shooting yourself in the foot, author.