407 [Bonus chapter]Just because you asked nicely
“Yes, Katie, that I do. So, what do you say? Will you help me?” the goddess asked.
“It’s not like I have a choice,” the girl shrugged.
“No, that’s not it. You do have a choice. I won’t let you help me if you feel I’m only commanding you,” the goddess retaliated, getting deadly serious.
Katie was shocked by her sudden change only to remember what Cirrus had said at the end. Celeste didn’t want to have to command her into helping with her current problem. ‘Does she think that was part of the reason Cirrus did what he did?’
“I will help you, goddess… and I don’t say this because you ordered me but simply because you asked nicely. Also because I was already planning on bringing down the rogue king,” Katie spoke formally.
“No, that’s not it. I don’t want you to kill him,” Celeste panicked.
“I don’t follow. Isn’t that the whole aim of what you’ve been doing?” Katie raised a brow.
“Well… partly. It’s partly what I’ve been doing this whole time. I want you to kill the rogue king, but… I also want you to save Rana.”
Katie stared at the goddess for a long moment, her cogs turning extensively to decipher this annoyingly cryptic piece of information and when it finally clicked within her mind, she thought she heard her wolf facepalm in her mind. ‘Rana and Cirrus are living in the same body… That’s so messed up.’
Now that Katie had made that connection, she frowned. Celeste’s request was so vague and staring at the beautiful goddess whilst trying to figure it out wasn’t helping either. “How is that even possible?”
……………End of Origin Story………..
Selene was a peaceful goddess who spent most of her time in her palace either tending to her precious flowers or chatting with the occasional visitor that stopped by every once in a while.
As a titan that had been spared by the lord of the skies, she had no place in meddling with anything more that could attract his attention.
Selene simply had to carry out her duties as was expected of her. Over the centuries, the goddess became close with another particularly female goddess who would stop by every once in a while and the two of them would have a chat over a cup of nectar.
Dressed in a nearly translucent flowing gown, Selene tended to her lovely garden of moon lotuses. The goddess was nearly lost in their luminosity when a flourish of yellow light breached her peripheral vision, “I was assuming you would visit me in no less than another century,” Selene smiled, however, no reply came back.
The goddess turned around and nearly dropped the flower in her hand. She quickly placed the sapling back in its place and rushed over to her friend. Artemis’s hands were covered in blood, her normally graceful warrior attire was tattered and her face was frozen in a look of shock and despair.
Selene rushed over to her friend and hugged her tight, “Oh Arty, you don’t look so well.”
While the goddess of the hunt remained in her frozen dishevelled state, unable to answer her friend, Selene began to check her body for any wounds. The blood on her hands was red and not golden ichor, the blood of the gods which signified it belonged to a mortal and not hers.
But then, the goddess of the hunt wasn’t one to get emotional at the sight of blood. A closer look at the blood on her hands revealed the slight glow of divinity. This was the blood of a mortal alright, but one that had been touched by the gods.
Selene shook the thoughts clear of her mind and continued checking her friend for any injuries. Finding no sign of injury, the woman got to cleaning her friend, however, at the first sign of getting rid of the blood, Artemis flipped out, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Artemis, you don’t look…” finally coming up with a few theories as to who the blood belonged to, the goddess of the moon changed her question, “Arty, whose blood is that?”
The scowling goddess looked at her hands once more and the depressed expression returned once more. Hot tears began to stream down her eyes, “It’s the blood of my sisters.”
Selene gasped before pulling her friend into a heartfelt hug, “Let’s get you inside.”
Artemis did not object to her friend’s consolation and even allowed her to take her into the moon palace. After a little more resistance, the goddess allowed Selene to help her wash off the blood on her hands.
It did not take her long to get washed up and was soon seated in a room that looked much like a living room. Selene offered her a glass of nectar and sat beside her on the soft cushion, “Would you mind telling me what happened?”
“They are dead. What more is there that I can tell you, Selene?” the goddess snorted. Her tone was bitter, unlike the usual tone the goddess had when they spoke.
“Well, you came here of all places. Tell me why you did that then?” Selene asked.
“Because this is the last place I was before finding their corpses strewn about the lake from where they were killed. All of them, dead and bleeding before my eyes and the toxic smell of… sulphur in the air,” the goddess cursed, the memories returning to her mind, “I’d found one that was still breathing, but even then, another assault rained down on us, explosions, unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.”
“You’re not making much…”
“What’s the use of the overseeing moon if you didn’t see that much? You could have told me what was happening to my sisters,” the goddess was getting frantic.
“Artemis, we were here together. How was I supposed to know it would happen? You needed a place to…”
“I know what I needed, Selene,” Artemis’s voice broke, “and I don’t blame you. I was the one that kept you from the Scrying Pool, but now I wish I hadn’t and all I want… is revenge against whoever did this.”
A look of sadness washed over Selene’s eyes as she watched her friend break. She pulled her into a hug, rubbing circles in her back, “That is not always a gift that can be granted to immortals. I would know.”
Selene was a titan and one of the last surviving titans. Her entire generation of celestials, slain by the ones that reigned supreme now, “But… we can take it upon each other’s creations. Can I use your pool, Selene? I want to know who did this.”
The goddess of the moon sighed, seeing no way out, she nodded, “Go ahead… A word of advice though… No good can come of this. If…” the goddess of the moon went silent when Artemis suddenly glared at her, “It’s all yours.”