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The Daughter of War - Chapter 15: The God of All Gods

by Ley


Chapter 15: The God of All Gods 

Zeus’ chamber was the most stunning and extraordinary place that Josephine had ever seen. The walls were lined with cream satin curtains, which draped from the tallest of marble engraved columns. The floor was more than luxurious—she’d guessed he’d hired Hephaestus to create him the most polished of stones. The one thing that caught her eye the most, though, was the giant throne that sat in the middle of the room. She looked rather tiny compared to the large piece of furniture.

Zeus, the god of all gods, sat atop the throne—his pedestal—, with a smug look on his aged face. He’d called her there for a countless number of reasons, she’d imagined. He surely observed what she was capable of in the arena and longed to know more about her power. He may have wanted to use her, train her, build her up into the youngest warrior he’d ever mentored. On the latter, there was an increased chance that he’d enjoy nothing more than to eliminate her, kill her, or send her to Tartarus.

Those were all plausible outcomes.

Jase and Persephone had ditched her when Zeus summoned her to his quarters. Persephone didn’t know her father, and didn’t want to, so she stayed back in attempt to get some more sleep. Jase, on the other hand, begged to come with—but Josephine knew that she had to do this on her own. If she went everywhere with protection, that would make her look like nothing less than a coward. Plus, she didn’t quite trust Jase just yet.

The sky was turning to sunset, the yellows and pinks shone through the stained-glass windows—creating the most beautiful art projection imaginable in the room. It painted a picture of triumph and power on the marble, causing Zeus to grin wider and lean forward in his seat. 

“What a wonderful Trial it was. I really enjoyed it. I created these Trials for… entertainment at first, but after some time, I decided to use it to my advantage," he announced. 

Josephine stayed quiet; hands interlocked behind her back. She didn’t move a muscle. Instead, she simply stared at the god and all his glory, taking in what her mother had told her stories about all these years. Neither of her parents were fond of Zeus—although, her mother was involved romantically with him at some point. He was an older man, but he looked less like as asshole—as Persephone had described—and more like a wise storyteller. There was envy in his eyes, envy of Josephine’s youth; and his pupils took her in as if she was a fresh piece of meat. As if he could draw her tight skin and healthy heart from her. This, though, was a breakthrough.

Zeus was hiding something.

He seemed like he was growing more and more impatient with Josephine, but she didn’t know what he expected from her. Praise? If so, she wasn’t going to oblige. The god nodded slowly at her silence and sighed, slapping a hand on his armored thigh, “Alrighty, then. So, let’s get to the point, shall we?” he continued, “As you know, based on the fact you never reported this newfound gift to the Trial Council; the gift of fire is extremely rare, and is usually associated with destruction and… death.”

No, Josephine didn’t know that. She shook her head.

“We haven’t seen gods or goddesses that wield fire since Apollo,” Zeus studied her, “May I ask how you could’ve acquired this gift?”

Josephine hesitated but didn’t hold back. She needed to plead her case, and this could be her only opportunity. Not many people received private time with Zeus, “I didn’t…acquire it, sir. I was sure I was never going to receive a gift, and if I did, I assumed it would be something minor. I discovered it recently, sir, and didn’t have much time to report it to the castle between training for the Trials and the Trials themselves. I truly do apologize, sir.”

She lied straight to his face. She told him the partial truth—she did learn about her gift recently. Josephine left out the fact that she’d first used them against his Game Master, that she’d escaped to the Forbidden Slopes and Troy; that she’d fought a Cyclops, trekked the Valencia Desert, and basically died until she got saved by Asclepius. She never trained for this Trial, either, so she hoped that he didn’t go asking around to Theseus.

“I see,” he responded, placing a hand on his gray beard. He caressed it ever so gently, deep in thought, “and when you use this gift, how much strength does it take? How do you feel afterwards?”

“I feel… tired,” Josephine answered, “tired, and sleepy. I’m usually extremely hot—overheated, I mean. I wouldn’t know too much, though, because I’ve only used them twice.”

He studied her, “Ah. It drains you. Common, given the circumstance of your gift. Even gods are not built to withstand fire,” he pursed his lips and frowned, “This complicates things, though. You see, I need a Champion. Someone who is willing to put their life before others. Someone who is willing to fight for what I believe in. Are you that person, Josephine?”

She gulped, “Um, sir. With all due respect, I don’t know much about politics or war. I am doing this to appease my father.”

Appease your father? Did he ask you to join the Trials?”

“No, sir.”

He didn’t respond, waiting for more. Josephine obliged, “I apologize, let me correct myself. I’m here to gain his respect. I want to show him that I am not weak, and I can be the daughter he wants me to be. A true daughter of Ares.”

Zeus grinned again slowly, tapping his finger on the left armrest, “Mm-hm. You didn’t answer my question, girl. If you win these Trials, are you willing to do all the things I just named?”

Josephine hesitated once more, anxiously playing with her shirt, “I-I think so, sir. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.”

“That gives me my answer, then. You’re not ready. I recommend you drop out of the Trials. I will pardon you and you will come to train with my offspring. The gift of fire should be taught responsibly—and I’m not quite sure I trust someone else to teach you.”

It made no sense. Zeus didn’t even wield fire, let alone know how to teach someone how to master it. He needed her for something else. The request left Josephine speechless.

A knock on the large, sturdy door prompted Zeus to his feet. A young lady, about the age of eighteen, popped her head through the crack and refused to look the god in his eyes, “Sir. I have a message for you, from the God Hades. It is very important.”

Zeus’ eyes shifted to Josephine and then back to the girl before he responded, a sense of urgency and irritation in his voice, “If it’s so important, Lily, why couldn’t he deliver the message himself?”

The girl, Lily, looked at Josephine reluctantly. She turned her attention back to Zeus, “He couldn’t, sir. I could explain more if you please—,”

“Okay, okay,” Zeus waved his hand, “I will join you shortly in the common room.”

Lily nodded her head and disappeared behind the door. Zeus looked back at Josephine, “I will summon you again, soon. You tell no one of our meeting, or I will see to it that you are exiled. Do you understand?”

Josephine nodded, “What do I do until then, sir?”

“Don’t get comfortable,” he simply responded, before he became mist and teleported out of the throne room.  


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Tue May 07, 2024 1:37 am
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goodolnoah wrote a review...



Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

“This complicates things, though. You see, I need a Champion. Someone who is willing to put their life before others. Someone who is willing to fight for what I believe in. Are you that person, Josephine?”


Overall, the chapter was great food for thought! The dialogue here was spot-on, Zeus has this…cold, calculating aura about him. Spot-on with how you described him in the last chapter.

Neither of her parents were fond of Zeus—although, her mother was involved romantically with him at some point. He was an older man, but he looked less like as asshole—as Persephone had described—and more like a wise storyteller. There was envy in his eyes, envy of Josephine’s youth; and his pupils took her in as if she was a fresh piece of meat. As if he could draw her tight skin and healthy heart from her. This, though, was a breakthrough.


This quote here, similar to the situation with Hermes gives me a weary feeling. At the very least, Zeus seems to view Josephine as nothing but a tool to use to his will. It is interesting and quite in character for her to see the more “human” side of him. There are so many mixed feelings that come with Zeus. The contrast of “wise storyteller” and the look of pure fury on his face.

Love and…Thunder ~ Story Commentary

Wow, Zeus’ presence is very commanding here! Josephine seems to directly take the seat that the audience is in here. We, and her, have not a clue what Zeus could be planning in his head. Something I’ve always liked about him is how enigmatic he is. One minute he could be working towards a goal that is heavily in the god’s favor, on the other hand, he could be working towards something that is completely unfavorable to them.

What are you going to do, though, It’s the friggin’ God of Thunder! You really seem to lean into that here and it’s a rare sight to see with most incarnations of him throughout media.

Smoke and Mirrors ~ Closer

Hmm…I am curious if Josephine will ever meet Apollo, who has similar fire powers as her. If that’s the case, I wonder how his upbringing was, and if he could act as a sort of comparison to Josephine. Though, she seems to be in a more dangerous spot due to her relatively unknown status as Ares’ child.




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Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:33 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

Second review of the day; I couldn't resist another chapter when given the opportunity, haha. Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Yup. My remarks about Zeus seeming like a powerful character still apply, only now I kinda see the a-hole Persephone warned us about, haha. Still, it was interesting to see his reaction, and his intrigue in Josephine. Not just for her power, but for her motives and goals. Seems Josephine herself was confused on the matter too, but I don't know how to feel about Zeus's offer to train her without Theseus or Ares involved -and again, I don't think Josephine does either. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Just from what I read, I have no complaints or corrections to make for this chapter! Simple but sweet, it read nicely all the way through.

Why The Grin Widened...

Your description of Zeus's throne room was brilliant, I love the imagery of those ivory and cream colors in sunset lighting! The mystery behind Zeus's intentions immediately pushes the reader forward, curious about what's really going on in this famous (or perhaps, *infamous*) god's head.

My favorite moment, just do the kind of possibilities it opens up, was probably right here:

“Ah. It drains you. Common, given the circumstance of your gift. Even gods are not built to withstand fire,” he pursed his lips and frowned, “This complicates things, though. You see, I need a Champion. Someone who is willing to put their life before others. Someone who is willing to fight for what I believe in. Are you that person, Josephine?”


I know Josephine kicked the butt of Hermes already, so we have a good idea of what this firepower can do, but hearing straight from Zeus that even gods are vulnerable to fire was so chilling. To think what Josephine could do with it -it makes the reader understand, to a degree, why someone like Zeus would be concerned about it, especially in the hands of a less familiar member of Olympus with less clear directive. On the other hand, perhaps Zeus just wants to use Josephine and that power for himself, which could explain why he needs a champion to fight for what HE (not Olympus, not "the gods," just he) believes in...

And with a message from Hades to interrupt that conversation before Josephine even gives a clear answer, as if that could be a potential omen, I'm already forming too many theories in my head again, haha.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Another great chapter to fill in the gaps and get the reader thinking. Nicely done! :)

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Ley says...


This is definitely a super important chapter, and you're definitely on the right track! ;)




I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
— William Shakespeare