Episode 52/Chapter 7: The pursuers (7)
The next morning the group moved under cover of the stealth blessing like usual and stopped on a cliff that looked down at a big polis.
Patroclus spread his map and explained their current location to the group.
The group that was first moving to the west from Delphos moved to the north to rescue Athena and after they joined with her they hid themselves in a forest with few people located in the south.
After they battled with the children of Ares with Enyalius leading them the group moved to the north and after that they moved to the east through a forest with few people.
If you split the world in half you could say that the east was the sphere of influence of the ones that wanted to destroy the world.
Especially in the south east, where the group was heading to, there was the sacred force of Artemis.
The huge polis that was in front of them was a place that served Artemis as their guardian God.
The entrance of the underworld was located at the south of Artemis’ sacred force. There were no polises or even small villages near the entrance as expected of a path that led to the world of the dead.
Just looking at the map, it was more comfortable to travel through the southern sea in the first place and then move to the east once again.
That’s because they would be able to arrive at the entrance of the underworld without having to pass through Artemis’ sphere of influence.
But Athena and Apollo insisted on moving like this.
There were two reasons for this.
The first one was the geography. There was only a wide and open field at the west of the entrance. Because of that, the location of the group could only be exposed even if they used the stealth blessing.
The second one was Zeus’ force.
The connecting path to Asgard was empty when the group had come to this place but there was a high probability the heroes that served Zeus were protecting the fortress of the path by now.
If they also were exposed in this situation they would be surrounded by many enemies even before they reached near the entrance.
Athena, who was just standing silently while listening to Patroclus explain about the route they would be taking, frowned. She turned to look at the polis below the cliff and spoke to the group.
“It seems like moving stealthily ends here. Glaucus still hasn’t sensed the children of Ares within his sensing range but I’m sure they are chasing after us.”
Glaucus was complaining about the weird feeling he had been getting for a few days already. It seems like they were chasing them outside of Glaucus’ sensing range at a really slight distance.
There were outstanding hunters among the amazoness. It was plentily possible to do that.
“We aren’t that far away from the entrance to the underworld. We would have to pass a part of Artemis’ sacred force but…it will be fine if we cross it the fastest we can.”
Artemis proposed the path to the east instead of the east of Artemis’ sacred force.
Even though it was inside of the influence of the ones that wanted to destroy the world, Artemis’s sacred force wasn’t like that at the east and the north. You could say that it was a sort of a buffer zone that existed between two countries.
In addition, Artemis should be focusing on the west where Apollo’s polises were at so there was a high probability they won’t care about the east that was already inside the influence of the ones that wanted to destroy the world.
[Athena is right.]
[If the children of Ares are chasing us at a close distance, our destination will be exposed soon.]
[If that’s the case, it’s better to hurry up to our destination before they are able to do something.]
[If we reach the entrance of the underworld, Hades will lend us his strength.]
But of course, there was a really slight probability Hades had turned a being wanting to destroy the world.
But they decided not to think of that probability. It was because there would really be no hope if even Hades had turned.
‘If that really is the case, we can only escape.’
If Hades had turned into a being wanting to destroy the world, the land near the entrance would have also changed to the land of the ones wanting to destroy the world. They would know the situation when they got near the entrance so if the worst were to cime escaping like Cuchulainn had said was their best option.
“So, let’s depart immediately.”
Tae Ho finished speaking and turned to look at everyone at the group. The meaning behind that was that they should say something if they had an opinion.
“I will follow the will of the commander.”
“If we are going to go anyways, going there quickly should be the best.”
Ingrid and Bracky said and the group put on a faint smile. Even the normal maiden Sybilla wasn’t showing fear perhaps because her connection with Apollo was being maintained.
“I will entrust it to you then Rolo.”
Rolo frowned at Tae Ho’s words but then let out a sigh. But he turned around like that and glanced at Tae Ho instead of spreading his wings.
“I’m sorry. It’s an urgent thing.”
As Tae Ho understood his thoughts and answered, Rolo hit his beaks with a face full of complaints but he let out a sigh and spread his wings in the end.
[Saga: Master of flames]
Everyone got on top of Rolo after transforming into Shootingstar. Gandur and Siri spread the stealth blessing at the same time to hide the aftershock generated by the flight as most as possible and Tae Ho used several sagas overlapping them.
[Saga: The charge of the warrior is like a storm]
[Saga: The one that conquers dragons]
[Saga: The one that rode on a Goddess]
Shiny light covered Rolo’s body. After that, Rolo’s appearance changed slightly and almost everyone in the group smiled bitterly.
“Let’s go Lilly!”
“I’m jealous. I also want to become master’s strength.”
Rolo was more bothered at Drakon Ismenios that was sincerely jealous rather than Bracky teasing him.
But he decided to concentrate only in flying. He flew up with rough stroke of his wings and charged in rage.
The queen of the Amazoness Pentesilea noticed the changes. She, who had the sharpest senses and the fastest feet among her sisters, fluttered her red hair and entered Glaucus’ sensing range.
She couldn’t feel Glaucus. She looked at a distant place and then noticed the small change that occurred in the sky.
They were hiding themselves with some mystical magic but they couldn’t hide completely. Rough wind was blowing. When she focused divine power in her eyes a huge and red existence appeared like magic.
Pentesilea didn’t hesitate anymore and blew her whistle. She gathered her sisters and at the same time used some magic to summon a horse she received from her father Ares.
The direction the red dragon was flying to.
Pentesilea charged with her horse and used some divine power once again. She sent what she saw to her father Ares.
The red dragon entered the territory of Artemis. Most of the humans living in the polis didn’t notice that. Some sensitive ones looked up at the sky but the only thing they could see was a red trace that scattered like smoke.
Ares frowned. He stood up at a chariot advancing explosively and glared at the south.
As expectedly, Athena was heading to the entrance of the underworld.
It meant that Ares had read Athena’s play perfectly.
But he couldn’t be happy. It was because one of the plans he had set up had gone wrong.
‘Artemis you useless bitch.’
He had sent some factions to Poseidon and Artemis but the one Ares was actually expecting something from was Artemis.
The ruler of the sea Poseidon had some influence in rivers or lakes but it was really weak compared to what he could display at the sea.
It was impossible to send forces to the entrance of the underworld that was located deep inland.
But it was different for Artemis. In the first place, her sacred force wasn’t that far away from the entrance.
Artemis would ambush them near the entrance and Ares would strike from behind.
It was a strategy to obtain victory against Athena, who criticized him heavily saying that he was a fool that didn’t know of strategies and only knew how to charge forward.
But Artemis didn’t respond. She heard something from a faction of Ares and became obsessed with a small thing.
‘That means that the polises of Apollo are empty.’
She didn’t want to admit it but she had to defend without being able to attack because Idun’s warrior concerned her.
But now, they knew of the location of Idun’s warrior. In addition, she also learned that he wouldn’t be able to obstruct her.
Then, she would attack the polises of Apollo. She make them yield and make them hers. She would take everything that belonged to her brother and in the end make her brother her slave.
It was like Demeter had said. The 12 Olympians that had become beings wanting to destroy the world became more extreme.
The most important thing for Artemis was to put Apollo in her hands, not someone like Athena’s.
Artemis and her army resumed the attack on the polises of Apollo. because of that she could sense Tae Ho’s group passing through her sacred force but she let them be.
The rage and resentment she had towards Idun’s warrior still existed but she would be able to become stronger if she occupied the polises of Apollo. Taking Apollo for herself would be another thing but capturing a mere maiden would be meaningless.
Apollo sensed that Artemis wanted to attack his polises. He felt hurt when thinking of what the polises would go through and the divine power that would get cut off but he decided to be satisfied at the current situation.
‘Artemis, my beloved sister. I really can’t get myself to hate you.’
Because she didn’t become an obstacle at the most decisive moment.
Someone would have misunderstood his words as a mockery but Apollo was being serious. He felt deep love at Artemis that decided to seize his polises instead of stopping them.
Rolo continued to charge.
Pentesilea and the children of Ares charged but they couldn’t close the distance with the red dragon.
The speed of Rolo after sacrificing many things for the group really resembled a meteor.
Ares retrieved his whip. He inserted his red divine power into the horses that were running with all their strength and made them surpass their limits.
Rolo passed over the sacred force of Artemis.
Pentesilea and the children of Ares followed the path Rolo passed through and entered the sacred force of Artemis.
They had almost caught up with the children of Ares that were moving from the south to the north.
“Ares is coming.”
Athena said while lying down in Rolo’s back. Her blue eyes changed like the eyes of an owl and she looked a thousand miles away.
The children of Ares were running wild. She couldn’t see them directly but she could feel Ares’ divinity surging up like flames.
“We can’t decrease our speed. Fly a bit faster oh beautiful red dragon.”
Athena stroke Rolo’s scales and said. Rolo was annoyed at the word ‘beautiful’ but he didn’t decrease his speed.
Tae Ho, Adenmaha and Nidhogg released their divine power from Idun and granted new strength to Rolo.
Idun’s blessing fell on him that had become a Valkyrie of Idun temporarily.
About an hour like that.
Gandur, that was checking her surroundings, yelled something. The surging wind and thunder covered her voice but everyone understood what she was trying to say.
There was a big hole.
An open black hole in the middle of the plains.
It was cold and shady. It was a place that made the believers feel an instinctive fear.
But Athena cheered and Ingrid also let out a sigh of relief.
It was because they couldn’t sense the aura of the beings wanting to destroy the world.
Rasgrid looked behind her. She didn’t have clairvoyance like Athena but she could still feel it.
She could feel the rage of the God of war. His flames like divinity were spreading like fire. It was clear he had joined with his children.
“Hurry up! If we reach the deepest place of the hole and cross the river of Acheron with the boatman Charon, Ares won’t be able to chase after us anymore!”
Athena used her divine power and spoke in the heads of everyone.
Tae Ho granted more strength to Rolo and Rolo squeezed out the little strength he had and entered the hole.
< Episode 52 – The pursuers (7) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~
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