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18+ Language Mature Content

The Daughter of War - Chapter 28: Connecting the Dots

by Ley


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.

Chapter 28: Connecting the Dots

Jase put on his armor and prepared himself for a long day on the battlegrounds. Today, he was to start training. Zeus recalled all warriors to train at Ares’ palace ever since the attack on the Grande Hall. Jase couldn’t stop thinking about whether or not Ares would recognize him as being Josephine’s ally in the Trials—but he hoped to the gods that Ares didn’t.

Ares didn’t show up to the training grounds—or battlegrounds—, instead Athena stood at the front of the field, her short chocolate hair pulled back into an intricate braid. The war goddess nodded before the new trainees, dressed in the finest of metal and bronze. This wasn’t the first time Jase stood in front of the goddess of wisdom. Last year, when he won the Trials, he was to do the same thing: prepare for battle and defend Zeus as if his life depended on it. The pay was great, though, so Jase didn’t mind. Plus, it was always nice to get out of the Underworld every now and then.

Around thirty young, unexperienced warriors eyed Jase down—from his black combat boots to his Corinthian helmet. Jase’s face was covered besides his gray, stormy eyes. He ignored the looks from the draftees and focused on the goddess before them.

“My name is Athena. I am the goddess of war and wisdom. Usually, Ares would be here, but he seems to be stuck in an important meeting,” Athena studied them. Jase would normally find women like Athena attractive: the powerful voice, pretty face, and feminine build. But something was off about this goddess, and Jase knew that she was more than just a wise deity. Jase knew that there was some sort of resilience and savagery that stayed cloaked beneath Athena’s bronzed skin.

The warrior beside Jase shifted his footing as Athena continued, “As you all know, there has been an attack on Olympus. We are to prepare you all for war if need be.” Her gaze turned to Jase, who reluctantly held eye contact, “Jase Vitalis. Please step forward.”

Jase hesitated, but stepped forward out of line as Athena moved swiftly to his side. Jase turned around to face the rest of his squad.

“Jase will be the Head of Command. If you need something, go through him. He is this years’ Champion of Olympus. You all will treat him with respect, as will he to you.”

The warriors only nodded lightly. Jase wasn’t prepared to be the Head of Command, but after winning the Trials three times in a row, he wasn’t surprised. He obviously proved himself more worthy than any other contestant. Though, if Josephine hadn’t gotten injured, she also had a great chance of beating him. He shook the thought of Josephine out of his head and bowed his head towards his squad, glancing at Athena from inside his helmet.

Athena clapped once and stepped aside, “Good. I’m glad we’re all on the same page. Let’s start by taking a jog out of the gates and into the Slopes. We need to get your stamina up.”

~

“What’d you find?”

Josephine and Harmonia met each other in their mother’s library. Harmonia smiled and searched the shelves for a particular book, “I went to visit a friend. Tiresias told me that Apollo is definitely up to something, but he can’t see it. Even though he’s a prophet, he can only see so much, and he guessed that Apollo was hiding something when the god blocked all lines of communication. It’s like Apollo knew Tiresias wasn’t going to agree with… whatever he’s doing.”

Tiresias was one of Harmonia’s closest friends. He was blind, and held closely to Apollo because of his gift of prophecy. If anybody knew of Apollo’s plans, it would be Tiresias. It was strange how even Tiresias was blocked from foreseeing the future. Something sinister was definitely in the midst of happening.

“Father is involved, somehow,” Josephine sighed, watching as Harmonia pulled an old, thick book from the bottom shelf, “He touched me, and I felt it. I felt Apollo’s magic. I… what do you think of that?”

Harmonia paused.

She turned around slowly, “Father touched you, and you felt remnants of Apollo’s gift?”

“Light. Pure, utter, light. But it was muted.”

Harmonia bit her lip and quickly sat across from Josephine, “I’ve never heard of a gods transferring power to one another. Sounds like priestesses are involved. Witches.”

“You think that Apollo gave dad some of his gift? For what?” Josephine wasn’t amused.

“I don’t know. Like I said, the things they’ve done… “Harmonia trailed off and opened the book, blowing off the excess dust. She flipped to the index, and then flipped to the middle of the book to find a drawing of Apollo, reining down light on Delphi.

“There,” Harmonia pointed to a figure behind Apollo. There he was, Ares, watching with envy.

“What book is this?” Josephine asked, eyebrows squished together in confusion, “What does this mean?”

“This is the Book of the Oracles,” Harmonia replied, pushing a stray strand of fiery red hair behind her pierced ear, “They wrote this. Centuries ago. There’s no date on this particular entry, though. This is the book of images, for reference.”

Josephine sighed and leaned back in her seat, moving her hands behind her head in frustration, “I’m still lost.”

“Don’t you understand?” Harmonia looked up at her sister, “Father is working with Apollo to create something more sinister. More deadly than just a beam of light.”

Josephine contemplated her sister’s words. If they were trying to create something more powerful than the average god’s gift, how would they do it? You can’t just… draw energy out of something and create a new gift. There was something they weren’t catching onto, a missing puzzle piece.

“We should go to Zeus,” Josephine countered.

“No!” Harmonia’s voice broke from a whisper, “That’s the worst possible thing we could do. Zeus won’t believe us, anyway.”

She was probably right.

“Okay, so what do we do?” Josephine asked, studying Harmonia with confusion.

“We wait. I have a feeling I know what they want.”

“And what could that possibly be?”

Harmonia smirked wider and leaned back alongside Josephine. She placed a hand on her sister’s shoulder, “You.”

~



Persephone was tired. No, more than tired. She was miserable. Every other hour, Penelope, the head healer, came to her beside and forced her to eat nasty crackers that reminded her of stale bread. Not only did it hurt going down her throat, but she could never keep them down. Every time she tried to eat, she threw up and cried to herself.

She never cried. It was unlike her, especially because she grew up used to torture and pain while living with Demeter. She missed the Underworld, missed Hades and Cerberus and all the souls that she’d grown to love these last few years. She missed home.

Josephine hadn’t come to visit the past few days, meaning she hadn’t found whoever did this to her yet. After sitting there, in the same spot for hours, she came up with a couple conclusions, but quickly scrapped them.

So, Persephone waited. She waited for Josephine’s bright smile to walk through the door—she waited for Penelope to dismiss her so she could be helpful.

Persephone sighed and glanced to her bedside table, picked up a sparce piece of paper, and began to write. 


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Thu May 16, 2024 10:19 pm
goodolnoah wrote a review...



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Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

Jase knew that she was more than just a wise deity. Jase knew that there was some sort of resilience and savagery that stayed cloaked beneath Athena’s bronzed skin.


Yes…I usually like Athena. She’s usually one of my favorite goddesses. Here? It’s hard not to hate her after hearing about what she did to Medusa. It’s also great to see that Jase has truly risen up the ranks due to his performance in the trials! Though, both gods of war seem equally capable of mass atrocities.

If they were trying to create something more powerful than the average god’s gift, how would they do it? You can’t just… draw energy out of something and create a new gift


I have to mention how I REALLY like how you are raising the stakes here. For the longest time, it seemed that nobody could hold a candle to Josephine’s rare gift. Now that this experimentation is going on regarding her gift, it really leads me to question if she can handle the upcoming challenges…

She never cried. It was unlike her, especially because she grew up used to torture and pain while living with Demeter. She missed the Underworld, missed Hades and Cerberus and all the souls that she’d grown to love these last few years.


While I am all for Josephine’s goal to find who did this to Persephone, I can’t help but feel like it would be good for someone, probably Josephine to be there with her to help her through the pain. It’s saddening to see her state right now. She truly is one of the only creatures open and willing to give and receive such love.

Confusion and Mistrust ~ Closer

This chapter was a nice reprieve after the chaos of last chapter!




Ley says...


Thank you so much for these awesome reviews <33



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Mon Mar 04, 2024 4:32 pm
RavenAkuma says...



Minor note: me mentioning in my review how this chapter was great at connecting the dots, then realizing the chapter title is "Connecting The Dots."

*facepalm* XD




Ley says...


XDD It's okay! I actually liked how you mentioned the title :D



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Mon Mar 04, 2024 4:29 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

I enjoyed that we got a glimpse from the perspective of the three big characters in this chapter! Jase seems like he'll be pretty busy, a concern since he was one of the deterrents for Hermes in the last chapter. Josephine connecting the dots with Harmonia added anticipation to the situation, and seeing Persephone struggle again was a little emotional moment to remind the reader where she is. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No recommendations for content or structure! That was great! There was only one typo I could spot here:

Harmonia bit her lip and quickly sat across from Josephine, “I’ve never heard of a gods transferring power to one another.


I think you meant either "a god" or "gods" transferring power.

That is all ~

Why The Grin Widened...

Ah, we get to see Athena! Yet another of the Big Twelve. With so many of them already corrupted, and knowing that Athena is sort of on par with Ares, it's hard not to be suspicious of her. Then that feeling was amplified just perfectly here:

Jase knew that there was some sort of resilience and savagery that stayed cloaked beneath Athena’s bronzed skin.


Obviously, could be alluding to Athena's own corruption, but it's also just vague enough to leave room for doubt. Maybe this resilience and savagery has a good direction, unlike Apollo, Hermes, or Ares. Maybe she breaks the pattern and turns out good despite her high status, like Aphrodite or Hades(?). Of course, that's only a small bit of doubt, but just enough to keep things unpredictable.

“Sounds like priestesses are involved. Witches.”


Interesting remark! Alluding to how this could've happened, and the most obvious implication is that it's all spearheaded by Apollo, since there were so many priestesses in Delphi. Although, if I remember right, Artemis had priestess status and a lot of priestesses around in general...And Hecate is the goddess of magic, but I doubt that theory the most lol.

That aside, oh the anticipation! Apollo "raining down light" in the images, and Ares being a part of the picture, was sobering enough until Harmonia mentioned something more sinister than the light. Then, just to add some anxiety, a little reminder that they're after Josephine.

(Live, Josepine, LIIIIIIIIIIIVE!)

And finally, the check-in with Persephone. Looks like she's in rough condition, and it was hard not to feel bad, especially after a mention of her waiting for Josephine. The writing has me curious -and also nervous though I don't know why...

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, great chapter to connect the dots and set everybody on individual paths. With two chapters left, I'd also like to try finishing the book today, so stay tuned for more reviews lol ~ Nicely done! :)

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Sun Feb 18, 2024 12:00 am
DevilBeMyDarling wrote a review...



Oh is this a full on novel? I love Greek mythology, and think you did an excellent job portraying them! Hopefully I can scroll all the way back to read chapter one as well lol... Kinda reminds me of Rick Riordan? Do you know him? He wrote the "Percy Jackson" series, one of my favorite authors to be honest. Actually one of the first long term series I read in like, 3rd grade that really got me into his books.
So since we all know everyone pronounces Persephone differently, how do you pronounce it in your head?
The nasty crackers lololllllll, poor girl!
Interesting concept from what I've read so far, hoping to see more!




Ley says...


Hello! I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter! Yes, I'm familiar with Rick Riordan and I take a lot of inspiration from the Heroes of Olympus series as well as Percy Jackson!

Also, I pronounce Persephone: "per-sef-on-ee" :D




A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
— Steve Martin