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They managed to save their own, but at the cost of massive sacrifice. Yes, they lost their own in order to keep others alive, but with that went the tranquility Amaurot had since its upbringing. Tensions began to grow once they managed to regain their bearings. Those aware of Zodiark’s demands push to get started while others object and insult the effort.

Hades interjects during each member’s speech, reminding them that without Zodiark, they would not be here. He emphasized with the opposers, saying that he wanted their lost brethren to be here too, but such a perfect outcome could never happen realistically.

“We must persevere and keep their memory alive. Do not let their sacrifice be in vain.”

It was not a cruel slaughter. The Amaurotines chose their path, knowing what awaited them. Questioning Zodiark disrespects their valor. He continues to remind his counsel that.

Another round of offerings is inevitable. But they must do what they can, what they should. He along with many of Zodiark’s followers started this and they will continue to see it through to the end.

Even with his words, his friends, his brethren, continue to fight.

After the lengthy assembly, Hades finally has a moment to breathe and collect his thoughts. He nearly forgets that Persephone is by his side, her voice pulling him from his deep musings.

”Zodiark mended the city, yet fractured its heart.”

He looks back at her with a small smile, “How rare for you to speak about this subject. I will not deny your words, but I think that this is a struggle meant to help tighten bonds amongst ourselves not to break them.”

That’s what he wants to believe, anyway.

He then looks at one of the glass fixtures close to them, staring out at nothing. “I know that they’re frightened. But we must have faith in Zodiark. If our summoning proved fruitless during the impending Calamity, then…”

Hades trails off, leaving the possibility unfinished. He then withholds a sigh as Persephone casts her doubt. She’s just as curious, if not cautious, of Zodiark like several other members of the cabinet. Which is fine… To a point. “Unfortunately, I cannot give a clear answer at the moment, but I’m sure He will tell—or perhaps show us soon.”

To cast their own upon Zodiark is one thing, but to throw some of the other organisms into the mix shouldn’t be a continuing issue. There will be a time when Zodiark is satisfied with what they give him, it’s merely a waiting game. He’s prepared to play it, but of course, there will only be more objections with that agreement.

The opposition is taxing. Their concerns are sound but to doubt Zodiark after the primal saved them from the Calamity… What a thankless act.

The sigh finally escapes him as he removes his mask temporarily to rub the bridge of his nose. He’s exhausted, close to completely spent. While he’s aware that he won’t be on good terms with everyone, it’s his responsibility to listen and understand to both sides. He can’t satisfy everyone, but—

“We are making the best we can with this endeavor,” he says as he puts his mask back on, “Not everyone will be content, but it is all we can do at this moment.”

He doesn’t hesitate or hide anything from Persephone. Both she and Hythodaeus are his closest friends, after all. Hades keeps his eyes downcast, recalling the chaos that ensued prior to Zodiark’s salvation.

That day he no longer deserved the title of Emet-Selch.

"My role is to protect... yet if this fractures our city in twain, which side will I be expected to safeguard...?"

Her question leaves Hades breathless and silent. He’s not entirely sure how to answer, truthfully. Whatever he ends up saying won’t be satisfactory, that much is certain. Whatever Persephone’s decision is, he hopes it is inevitably by side. For Persephone, he would do anything. With that devotion comes a new fear, however. With the ever growing divide, there’s a possibility where she too will side with the opposers. But he wants to believe in her…

“I don’t believe it’s in my place to give you the answer you seek, Persephone,” he looks away from her again. “But… I’m sure it will come to you in due time.” They only continue to twiddle their thumbs in confusion and uncertainty. Hades sighs again, keeping his eyes on his companion. “Shall we drop the topic? It appears that no amount of discussion will alleviate the weight that continues to drag us down.” He gives a weak smile, “You leave the worrying to me.”

They can only stay distracted for so long.

His closest companion stands in the midst of destruction, near the great amount of aether pooling just inches behind her. She’s clad in white with sorrow and determination in her eyes. She pleads—

”Please. Don’t come any closer.”

Their star is becoming undone. Rampant energies of both light and dark have plunged their world—their home—into complete chaos. The power has beckoned countless beasts to ravage on the Amaurotine mercilessly. Those who attempted to stop Persephone and her companions lay unconscious beneath Hades.

Her betrayal twists into his heart, digging ever deeper.

“I see. So this is your decision.” To cast her own aside for weaker, meaningless lifeforms. Whatever faith she had in Zodiark—if she had any at all—has been relinquished to her beloved Hydaelyn. He’s disappointed. He’s upset. He’s devastated. “You chose this path, knowing full well what it would do to us, to our world? Summoning this other Primal as a feeble attempt to subdue Zodiark—and for what?!” Hades casts his mask aside, allowing it to be swallowed up in the ruin behind him. “All to protect each and every lifeform?” Persephone was always so soft. So gentle. Caring. Loving.

“How dare you reduce our efforts to nothing.”

He takes a step forward. It is his duty as Emet-Selch to protect his peoples, his brethren. He was supposed to protect Amaurot, to keep it from falling from annihilation. He did not want to fight Persephone. The thought never crossed his mind.

And yet. And yet!

Hades lifts his hand and summons a red glyph over his face. There is nothing left to be said. He looks at Persephone a final time before closing his eyes.

Zodiark beckons.