Episode 52/Chapter 2: The pursuers (2)
“Tae Ho master!”
Nidhogg and Patroclus raised their voices almost at the same time. Nidhogg was surprised at Patroclus’ yell and called out to Tae Ho louder like she couldn’t lose to him.
[Apollo let’s out a sigh of relief.]
The voices of the Gods was heard. Tae Ho realized that he had gotten out of enemy camp and removed the saga on Rolo.
Rolo returned to a male gryphon once again and hit his beaks with a displeased face. Adenmaha embraced his neck soothing him and said.
“I’m glad Rolo. You returned.”
Rolo rubbed his face on Adenmaha because he felt eased at her sincere feeling.
In the other hand, Gandur checked with Patroclus who had Athena handed over to him and said while releasing Ullr’s divine power.
“I strengthened the stealth blessing. Let’s hurry up and get out of here.”
They were in a situation that they didn’t know where the enemy was at. They couldn’t guarantee safety just by having fled far from Athens.
“There’s an abandoned forest where nymphs don’t live in it near us. There are few humans so it will be a good place to hide.”
Patroclus glanced to the east while holding Athena. The group moved hurriedly as they had no reason to decline.
[Idun’s warrior. I want to check on Athena’s state.]
Apollo’s voice came out from Sybilla’s mouth as soon as they entered the shelter Adenmaha made underground.
Ingrid laid down a coat hurriedly and Patroclus laid Athena down on it carefully.
Apollo checked on Athena’s state through Sybilla and spoke in a regretful voice.
[She’s really weakened just like I expected. Having lost Athens has become fatal.]
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the current Athena was like a nymph but a bit stronger than that. Taking into account the point that Athena was one of the higher ranked great Gods even among the 12 Olympians, she was almost at the brink of death.
“Apollo, is it impossible for her to recover her divine power?”
Apollo answered Rasgrid’s question.
[It’s not impossible. Our divine power itself exists independently from the polises.]
[If she recovers from her wounds and is given enough time to recover her divine power, she will at least be able to recover half the strength from her prime.]
Just like Apollo explained, it wasn’t that the existence of a polis decided on the existence and nonexistence of the divine power but it was clear that it had a big role on deciding the strength of the divine power.
Actually, Apollo wasn’t in a much better situation than Athena. He still had Delfos but it fell completely to Artemis so he had many difficulties on supplying his divine power through the polis.
But nothing would change by lamenting something that had already happened.
Apollo was satisfied only with having Athena alive and started to check other things.
[These traces….Did they fight with the children of Ares?]
“Yes, the God of defeat and the God of fear Phobos were there.”
Apollo’s eyes became serious at Tae Ho’s answer.
[And the results?]
“They all died. This is the axe that guy used.”
Bracky smirked and raised the axe of Phobos.
“Hehe, Siri and I defeated one of them and Tae Ho defeated the other one alone.”
Bracky boasted as he became happy at Apollo’s admiration.
[Indeed. I already knew it but you are certainly amazing warriors.]
[But this is no good.]
“Uh……is it because they can track this? I did cover it with Thor-nim’s divine power for now.”
Bracky pointed at Phobos’ axe with a non confident face.
But fortunately Apollo shook his head with Sybilla’s head.
[That’s not it. I wouldn’t know if that axe represented Ares himself but they won’t be chasing after us even after you release Thor’s divine power.]
“I’m glad. I was almost at my limit anyways.”
Bracky let out a sigh of relief and took the axe once again.
Siri asked instead of Bracky.
“Apollo, can you tell us what is the problem?”
Apollo had put on a serious expression when he heard Deimos’ and Phobos’ names. It was obvious there was a problem.
Apollo closed his eyes once and said with a sigh.
[Deimos and Phobos aren’t beings with an outstanding divinity. They are just lesser Gods.]
[The problem is that they are treasured children of Ares.]
[Ares has more than dozens of children but he only takes the two of them to every battlefields.]
There was a saying that there wasn’t a finger that didn’t hurt when you bit all ten of them but there was always one that hurt more than others.
Deimos and Phobos were purebred Gods between Ares and his most beloved woman Aphrodite. They could only be more special than his children born between humans or nymphs.
[I think that Ares’ persecution will be more obstinate than I imagine.]
There was the possibility Ares himself would move.
The faces of the members of the group became dark when they understood what Apollo had meant. But they had already spilled the cup of water and even if they went to the past they could only act the same way they did.
“Apollo, we want to rest for now.”
[Right, let’s speak again when Athena wakes up.]
[I hope you rest well as you have accumulated a lot of fatigue.]
Sybilla collapsed like a puppet that got her strings cut off when Apollo said his last words.
She had already received several divine messages in this day so she was also quite exhausted.
Gandur embraced Sybilla softly and frowned as if she felt pity for her but it only lasted a moment. She put a bright expression once again and said.
“You are hungry right? Let’s eat everyone.”
They couldn’t make complicated food as they were inside the shelter but they had quite a lot of food they prepared beforehand.
Ingrid and Rasgrid took out food from their bags and started to prepare the meal and Adenmaha turned to look at Tae Ho and said.
“I will serve Athena-nim separately. I think that the both of us we will be able to rest more comfortably.”
It was impolite to rest comfortably when the patient was in front of them. So their meal could also be more careful.
‘Such a deep thought. I wondered why she made two shelters but it was because of this.’
Cuchulainn felt admiration for her and said with a satisfied voice.
Tae Ho also complimented Adenmaha and helped her move Athena.
And after some time.
Tae Ho finished his meal and went to the room Athena and Adenmaha were at.
Adenmaha, that was sitting quietly in front of Athena, moved sideways to make some place for Tae Ho to sit.
“What’s her condition?”
“She’s fine. She is plainly asleep.”
Adenmaha answered in a low voice and smiled. Tae Ho paused for a moment at her smile meaning to relax and said.
“You have worked really hard today.”
“I did a lot. I also entered the mouth of a monster.”
It was certainly Adenmaha. She just snorted instead of denying it so Tae Ho could only put a sorry smile.
It was because he had been too much now that he thought about it.
He had been able to defeat Glaucus easily thanks to that but he still felt sorry about it.
But it was at that moment.
“If you are sorry give me a reward.”
“A reward. Reward.”
Adenmaha pouted and said. She was acting affectionately in a really long while.
“Do you have something you want?”
Because she always did the hard work. He was planning to listen to her request even if he had to overdo it if she really had something she wanted.
But Adenmaha started to hesitate as Tae Ho told her to tell him anything.
“I’m a bit embarrassed now that I try to say it.”
What kind of prize was she going to request that she was acting like that?
Adenmaha smacked her lips with her red face and then closed her eyes as if she had made a decision. She looked at Tae Ho head on instead of glancing at him and said.
“Uh, hug me once. Not as if you were holding some luggage.”
Adenmaha’s face heated up in an instant as Tae Ho asked back. She hit Tae Ho’s chest and spoke quickly.
“Don’t pretend to not have heard. Quickly. I already received permission from Heda. Why is the person that’s going to be the king of Erin pulling back?”
And then bit her lips slightly.
Tae Ho gulped dry saliva unconsciously and then spread his arms sloppily and Adenmaha buried her face on Tae Ho’s chest carefully.
Adenmaha mumbled in a small voice. Tae Ho gulped dry saliva once again and embraced her small body softly.
It was warm.
He felt like a sweet aroma was coming out from her.
That scent was so good and Adenmaha was so warm in his embrace that his eyes closed by their own.
‘Hey! How is this giving a reward! You are the one receiving it.’
Cuchulainn spoke harshly but it wasn’t heard by Adenmaha and Tae Ho.
Because the two of them were really exhausted.
They had two big battles in this day and had spent quite a lot of their stamina and divine power for having used their sagas and mystical powers several times.
They fell asleep at the same time while leaning on each other.
‘Sleep well. I will at least stand on night guard.’
Cuchulainn said in a low voice and put on a warm smile. He moved Gae Bolg and blocked the door to the room.
Athena woke during the afternoon of the next day.
“Patroclus. You have done well.”
As Athena, who was leaning on the wall, spoke in a low voice and smiled, tears started to fall down from Patroclus’ eyes.
“I’m sorry. It’s because I’m insufficient.”
“What’s there to be sorry for? You have raised great merits. Don’t lower your head like that. I’m really happy because you are safe.”
Athena patted on his shoulders and looked towards Sybilla.
She had been introduced to the group before having a conversation with Patroclus so she knew that she was Apollo’s maiden.
The voice of Apollo flowed from Sybilla. Athena put a smile once again and said.
“Apollo, you have been safe. I could never imagine that I would be this glad to meet you.”
[It seems like you are fine looking at how you speak.]
Athena laughed when Apollo also laughed. Originally, the relationship between the two Gods was quite vague. It was a relationship that wasn’t particularly bad or good.
But it was different now. They felt like they were feeling comradeship that didn’t exist before.
“Heroes of Valhalla…..no, warriors. I express my gratitude once again. You have saved me.”
Athena turned to look at Tae Ho, Bracky and Siri and said.
“I want to give you a big reward but it will be hard because of the situation. I will certainly give you a big reward when the opportunity arises.”
‘Certainly. She’s the same as Apollo.’
Cuchulainn spoke harshly but those were just casual words like always.
Requesting a reward to Athena when she had lost Athens, her heroes and her believers was just too much.
“It’s fine. It’s not that we saved you to receive a reward. But of course, it’s not that we won’t ask for it later.”
Bracky smirked and said and Siri pinched his side and gave him a warning.
But it seemed that Athena liked Bracky’s direct attitude that she spoke with a gentle face.
“No, he’s right. Big merits have to be followed by big rewards. I won’t forget your merits while I’m still alive.”
Gods never made empty promises. They had to keep the words that came out from their mouths.
Bracky expressed etiquette with a serious face at Athena’s pledge.
After some more minutes passed.
Apollo explained Athena about the connecting path that was closed up and the battle against Artemis and then asked with a heavy voice.
[Athena, can you tell us what happened in the mount of Olympus?]
[You should know better than me.]
“Basically, it’s the same as what Patroclus knows. You must have already heard the story from him, right?”
“Yes, we heard that there was a clash between Hera-nim and Zeus-nim.”
Athena nodded with a dark face as Rasgrid answered.
“Right, we were able to get out of the mount of Olympus thanks to Hera buying time for us.”
[Did you receive the injury when you escaped from there?]
Athena’s divine power was quite depleted even before she lost Athens.
She nodded this time too at his question.
“I ended up receiving a blow from Astrapex. After that, I received an ambush from Ares who had completely turned into a being wanting to destroy the world.”
Astrapex was the strongest weapon of Olympus that the king of Gods Zeus swung.
If it was compared to Asgard, it was an object like Mjolnir.
She had taken a blow from Zeus and even received a surprise attack from Ares so it was already a miracle that she was alive.
[Athena, do you know what happened to Hera?]
“I don’t know exactly. The last thing I saw was her back stopping Zeus-nim with her body……”
Athena bit her lips. She could still remember Hera resisting desperately to save everyone when she closed her eyes.
What could have happened to her?
If she hadn’t died in that place, there was a high possibility she was captured and was still alive. It was because Ares also wanted to capture Athena rather than kill her.
“Apollo, I don’t know if you know this but Poseidon has turned into a being wanting to destroy the world. But I think that Hephaestus has remained as a being wanting to maintain the world.”
“Right. But I think that he’s caught by Ares. Whatever the case, we have to save him.”
Apollo nodded but it wasn’t because he was planning to save him just like Athena had said.
He got satisfied just by the fact that Hephaestus wasn’t an enemy.
[Then, the remaining Gods are Aphrodite, Hermes….and Demeter and Dionysius.]
Only four of the Gods of the 12 Olympians had remained as beings wanting to maintain the world.
There were also four Gods that had turned into beings wanting to destroy the world so it was really important what side the remaining Gods were.
“Originally, I planned to stay in Athens and defend it while gathering the strength of the remaining Gods and waiting for the rescue of Asgard. But now that it has become like this, we have to go on an adventure even though it may be dangerous.”
Athena paused at that moment and turned to look at everyone in the room.
“Warriors of Valhalla. I will be shameless enough to make a request once again. Help me, Apollo, and Olympus.”
“Asgard will never leave Olympus.”
Rasgrid exchanged gazes with Tae Ho and spoke in representation of everyone.
Athena expressed her thanks once again and said.
“I will speak about how this turned out like this and who is the culprit at a later time. I want to speak about where we should head to before that.”
They couldn’t keep hiding in the shelter forever. They had to move to improve the situation.
“The day the change started, all the 12 Olympians were gathered in the mount of Olympus. They each had a bit of a time difference but almost everyone excluding Zeus heard the voice on that day for the first time.”
“Are you saying that the voice isn’t heard outside of Olympus?”
Rasgrid went straight to the point. Athena nodded.
“That’s right. Actually, It can be seen that the humans, nymphs and the lesser Gods changed sides depending on the Gods they served. They didn’t hear the voice directly.”
[Certainly. There’s no one among my believers that have heard the voice.]
Apollo nodded and said.
The only ones that heard the voice were the 12 Olympians.
“Zeus hasn’t turned completely yet. But I think that it’s a matter of time. In addition, Poseidon has been added to this. The scale of the problem is different to having Ares or Artemis having changed sides.”
Poseidon was the strongest God next to Zeus.
His authority ruling over the sea was equal to Zeus’ authority to rule over the sky.
“Now that we have lost Athens and Delfos, we need a new base. And there’s only one God that can be of help to us and can provide us with a base.”
Someone that wasn’t one of the 12 Olympians.
So he wasn’t able to hear the voice.
They weren’t few. But there was only one that had strength equivalent to the 12 Olympians and didn’t serve anyone of them.
“The God of death Hades.”
Tae Ho said and Athena smiled.
The brother of Zeus and Poseidon.
The ruler of the underground that was at the same level with the ruler of the sea Poseidon.
“We have to go to the underworld.”
To the world of the death, where Hades was at after crossing the river Styx.
Hope shone in Athena’s eyes.
< Episode 52 – The pursuers (2) > End
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