The reason why Cerberus appeared in the intersection between that of heaven and the realm of men remained a mystery. It has been there since the day the Gate of the underworld was built. The gate seemed to connect the realm of men with heaven with one side facing the realm of men and the other facing heaven. Hence, people regarded it as a shortcut.
However, no one knew that a boundless emptiness laid behind the gate. Those who entered would be deprived of their flesh and blood and become souls. Before their bodies were retrieved, no one could ever leave the underworld. All they could do is wait as they drift endlessly. Nevertheless, adventurers from the two worlds were always dreaming of the uncertainties in the other world. They wanted to go through the gate to reach the another world, and learn about the secrets hidden behind the gate.
Gnome Garroter: Stupid cur, why’re you always standing before the gate?
Gnome Decapitator: My brothers, let’s kill this three-headed monster.
Gnome Decapitator: The unexplored land behind the gate awaits us!
Cerberus guarded the gate. It stopped the souls inside from getting back their bodies and leaving the underworld, and obstructed travellers from entering there. But sometimes, Cerberus would intentionally give way to the defeated challengers who annoyed him, so that they would walk into the underworld and lose their bodies forever.
The locations of the realms were determined by time. Those who travelled between different worlds knew the principle well, but they could not explain it clearly, “Space is time. You will only know when you can travel to a world again, but you can never know the exact location of that world.”
In order to find the son deserted by Hera, Zeus inadvertently discovered the realm of men. He summoned the Goddess of Order to capture the scenery of the realm of men at that moment in time, so that the image of the realm was frozen as a painting and floated in the sky of heaven. The image amazed the Gods. Although it was stationary, time inside kept on running and plants bloomed and withered.
Other Gods did not know the origin of this unknown depiction in the sky. They scrambled to fall into it, losing themselves as the lost their bodies eternally in the timeless and boundless space. After a long wait for the realms’ reconnection, Zeus called for his formerly abandoned son when the moment arrived. But before Zeus allowed his return to the realm of men, his son, a craftsman with an impaired leg, would have to build a gate, red-hot as burning charcoal, to seal the channel connecting the two realms. And Cerberus seemed to exist ever since.
Hephaestus: The realm of men is my home.
Hephaestus: But Zeus has bestowed upon me his godly power. I must make use of it.
Hephaestus: Let me test you out with my blades, my creation.
Hephaestus: You should be strong enough now.
Hephaestus: You will be the guardian of this gate.
Hephaestus: From now on, stop every person or god who wants to go through it!
Cerberus had battled a few minor gods, but it just panted a little, and still looking relaxed. It raised its head and gazed at the last challenger. It was the first time Cerberus had seen someone like him and it was interested. It decided to stop getting entangled with those minor gods and allow them to push open the gate behind it as they were going to lose their lives anyway.
The God in front of him did not attack Cerberus immediately. He was just laughing, leading Cerberus to treat the fight more seriously. Who was he? Why must he go to the realm of men? In his eyes, Cerberus could neither see the boldness of human adventurers, nor the will to win of Gods. He just came here with a playful and mischievous heart. Cerberus could see the challenger’s determination from his levity. Its three heads frowned as it stepped forward to find out the challenger’s purpose.
After a few rounds of battle, Cerberus gradually realized that it was losing. He was the strongest opponent that it had ever met. As it did not have the heart to see him become a soul in the underworld, Cerberus continued battling him even it was on the edge of dying. It tried its very best to hang in there, standing between the gate and the challenger. “If you go pass the gate, you will be dead,” Cerberus warned the challenger.
God of Underworld - Hades: This is the consequence that I have known long ago.
God of Underworld - Hades: You don’t have to stop me.
God of Underworld - Hades: Gods only want to rule over the realm of men and heaven
God of Underworld - Hades: But they are all afraid of this space of emptiness.
God of Underworld - Hades: I am not going to compete with them.
God of Underworld - Hades: What I want is just this piece of crap which receives no attention.
God of Underworld - Hades: I shall be the ruler of the underworld.
When the Gods were busy battling each other in the realm of men, Artemis had already realized that Demons were getting stronger quietly in the realm. She knew that, at this rate, Zeus’s plan for the realm of men would fail completely. Artemis hoped that she could return to heaven before the situation worsen to oblivion, so that she could report to Zeus the ongoing situation in the realm of men, and a disaster could be averted as the Gods returned to heaven in time.
Artemis came to the front of the gate and shot an arrow at the gap of the gate, causing a great shock in the underworld. As a result, Hades and Cerberus rushed to the gate to guard the entrance.
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: This is Artemis, the daughter of Zeus. Open the gate immediately!
God of Underworld - Hades: My good niece, what is your purpose?
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: If you don’t step aside, I won’t be responsible for where my arrow goes.
God of Underworld - Hades: Hold on. You should know behind the gate...
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: Get out of the way, get out!
God of Underworld - Hades: What happened in the realm of men rendered you to distress.
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: I will only report to my father.
God of Underworld - Hades: It’s alright if you are not unwilling to speak
God of Underworld - Hades: But if you go pass this gate, you will become a corpse.
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: What are you talking about？
God of Underworld - Hades: You may know everything about the realm of men...
God of Underworld - Hades: ...but it seemed that you have no idea about the origin of the underworld.
God of Underworld - Hades: Alright, I haven’t fought a decent opponent for a long time.
The gate of the underworld opened. Artemis was no match for Hades and Cerberus as they attacked together, so she finally calmed down.
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: The realm of men is reaching an irrevocable situation.
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: If Zeus doesn’t know about it, the Gods will die there.
Artemis, Goddess of the Moon: Please think about your brothers, your nieces and nephews.
Hades told her the origin of the underworld and the reason that she could not travel from one realm to another. After that, he turned to Cerberus, who was standing next to him. He sighed as he spoke to it.
God of Underworld - Hades: Cerberus, please go with me this time.
God of Underworld - Hades: After all, the channel connecting the two realms is being opened again.
God of Underworld - Hades: Can you see the images of the two realms moving again?
God of Underworld - Hades: Can you see Hephaestus, your creator in the realm of men?
God of Underworld - Hades: I like dead souls. That’s why I love the underworld.
God of Underworld - Hades: The silence here is something that you cannot even imagine outside.
God of Underworld - Hades: Cerberus, for the sake of the goddess of the hunt in front of you, die once!
God of Underworld - Hades: Accelerate the wheel of time, and travel through the underworld in place of her.
God of Underworld - Hades: And what I want is just the eternal peace of the underworld.