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18+ Language Violence Mature Content

The Daughter of War - Chapter 25: The Temple of Apollo

by Ley


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

Chapter 25: The Temple of Apollo

“Is he as dreamy as people say he is?” Harmonia, Josephine’s sister, sat in their mother’s garden, planting numerous new species of bindweed and mint. Josephine knelt down to help, her braid falling down from her shoulder and barely touching the dirt.

“Maybe,” Josephine chuckled, “Jase Vitalis is definitely… something, but I wouldn’t say dreamy.”

Harmonia and Josephine rarely spoke, but when they did it was magical. Even though Harmonia was younger than her, Josephine still adored and looked up to her sister; she admired the serenity she brought whenever the Goddess stepped into any room. Not only was Harmonia elegant and modest, but she was also one of the more beautiful daughters of Aphrodite. The Goddess of Harmony always dressed in a white haltered gown, as she did today, except this time her strawberry-blonde hair was tied into a messy ponytail. Harmonia lived in Aphrodite’s palace ever since Josephine could remember, but seasonally would travel to the Mortal Lands to settle political agendas.

Harmonia wrinkled her freckled nose, burrowing the mint roots beneath piles of fertilized soil, “Define ‘something’.”

Josephine handed her sister the fertilized elixir, “He’s kind of intense. Intimidating.”

Ooh,” Harmonia purred, “well, from experience, if a son of Poseidon kisses you, run.”

Josephine wasn’t afraid of Jase. But she knew the reputation that came with sons of the sea: players who treat women as pawns in their ever-going game of life. Jase wasn’t like his other half-siblings, though. He didn’t have Poseidon’s blood in his body, didn’t actually have a bloodline. He was created by magic, therefore smashing all the odds that he really was a dickface like all the other kin of the sea. As for Hecate, she didn’t bear many children—if she did, they were mainly Sprites, remnants of the everlasting elements: air, fire, water, earth—so it was unclear whether or not Jase took more after his maternal side.

“I did run,” Josephine smiled lightly.

“Then why is he outside our front door?” Harmonia questioned. A loud knock sounded in the distance, causing Josephine to stand and wipe the dirt from her garments. She rolled her eyes at her sister, who was now in the midst of planting beansprouts, and walked towards the entryway corridor.

Jase stood through the frosted glass, hand scratching the back of his head. Josephine wiped her smile away and unlocked the latch before opening the heavy door, “Two minutes early. Nice, Vitalis.”

“You didn’t expect me to be late, did you?” Jase stepped a foot inside, glancing around at all the feminine décor, “the guards almost didn’t let me through. I had to threaten to mutilate their brains before they finally let me into the courtyard.”

Josephine chuckled and let him up to her now temporary room. She’d allowed her mother’s maidens to bring her bags to the guest house, but she still had some lingering items shoved in her old closet. Her bed was still there too, as Aphrodite wanted to wait for her guards to move it. Josephine pushed open the slightly cracked door to her room, quickly picking up spare underwear or lounge clothes in the process, “Did you speak to anybody, see if you could get any information?” She asked.

Jase wandered his way in behind her, shutting the door gently. His thundercloud eyes scanned her uplifting, romantic abode that was now half empty, “I spoke to my mother. She visited me last night, after you left. It turns out that you and Persephone were right, Hades had nothing to do with this. We’d be better off looking towards the Big Twelve.”

“I assumed this was planned from the inside,” Josephine murmured, tossing the last of her scattered clothes into the overflowing closet, “There’s a barrier around Olympus, especially Grande Hall. It’s a sacred place—Zeus would’ve taken safety precautions centuries ago if he was smart.”

Jase watched her, thinking loudly, “You suggested Apollo, so I say we question him before we go to anybody else.”

“Agreed,” Josephine threw on her black leather combat boots and tied her messy hair into an easy ponytail, “Where can we find him?”

Jase smiled, “Lucky for us, I asked my mom for his coordinates as well. She was easily able to pinpoint them, courtesy of the ancestors.”

“And?”

“Apollo resides in Delphi, his place of birth.”

~

Apollo, the god of sun and light, was one of two twins birthed by Hera; fathered by Zeus. He and his sister, Artemis, were welcomed to the world in Pytho—or Delphi—on the seventh day of Thargelion. Delphi was a broad, mountainous landscape filled with mossy flora and slopes that could slice your hand open if you weren’t careful climbing them. Orange, clay buildings laid sprawled on the bottom terrain of the city from churches to bakeries to boutiques. The Temple of Apollo sat right in the middle of all the architecture, changing the scenery with its cream-colored columns and narrow marble steps.

Josephine’s smile grew as Jase and herself walked through the City Centre, growing closer and closer to the Temple of Apollo. Townspeople didn’t even bother looking at them, as most were too busy bargaining coins for goods or eating their afternoon lunch. The air smelled of fresh paint and burning wood, as a blacksmith’s shop was just beyond the break in the cobblestone.

Jase stepped up the first few steps, and he braced himself for the cold breeze that came from inside Apollo’s Temple. Every time the door opened, a priestess walked out, wearing modest black clothing. Priestesses were common around Delphi. Artemis, the goddess of hunt, was one herself; having dedicated her life to solemn abstinence. Only women fueled her Temple, which was located on the outskirts of Delphi, a few miles from the Sanctuary of Athena Pronea.

Apollo’s laughter could be heard from beyond the heavy cement doors, as beams of light fluttered throughout the main room. Magic covered every inch of the protected venue—shining gleams of starlight slithered between the holster of the Oracle of Delphi, surrounded by a limitless amount of waxy, white candles. Apollo sat in the corner of the room, surrounded by women dressed in white robes. The laughter came to a halt when Josephine took her first step inside the sacred landmark, her face blushing as her eyes contacted the God of Light and Music.

“…And who are you?” Apollo grinned. The god stood, his fit exterior flexing with every muscle movement of his strong, handsome, body.

Jase could obviously feel the tension, being as he shoved his balled fists in his pockets.

“My name is Josephine Amelia, the daughter of Lord Ares and Her Highness Aphrodite,” Josephine’s voice radiated throughout the room, bouncing off the stained-glass windows and echoing into the rows of wood-crafted seats. Clearly, work of Hephaestus. Josephine could recognize that craftsmanship anywhere— the smooth, flawless artwork was endless.

Apollo’s eyes drifted to Jase, who was now glaring at the God in disgust, “My name is Jase Vitalis, the Son of Lord Poseidon and Priestess Hecate.”

The women dressed in robes exited the room swiftly, speaking to each other in ancient tongue. Their shoes squeaked against the smooth quartz as they opened the golden door in the back of the room and closed it behind them. Apollo didn’t move from his standing position; his chocolate eyes took in both deities standing before him.

“You came about the attack on Olympus,” Apollo shook his head, grin fading, “and I’m going to tell you the same thing I told my father. If I wanted to… destroy Olympus, I would’ve done a lot more than just spare a beam of light into a sacred building. This is terrorism, we’re talking about here.”

“It’s obvious it was a targeted attack,” Jase stepped towards him, hands now tangled behind his back. Josephine followed, the redness slowly fading from her cheeks. They stopped four feet from him, but Apollo held his ground, “our friend was hurt. Surely you know of her. Persephone, daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Your…sister.”

Apollo raised a tan finger, “Half-sister.”

“Whatever,” Jase’s voice hadn’t faltered, “You get the gist.”

“It truly is sad, and I hope she recovers soon,” Apollo’s response was brief, “but I didn’t have anything to do with it. You should ask Ares.”

“My father?” Josephine’s face twisted into a look of betrayal, “My father is Zeus’ favorite child. He wouldn’t go against treaty, especially like that.”

“Think again,” Apollo smiled, “I’m his favorite child, by the way, so we’ll get that straight before I say anything else. As for my brother’s loyalty to Zeus… that’s always been forced. If you haven’t noticed that already, you’re dumber than I thought, sweet thing,” he winked.

Josephine didn’t respond, stuck in a place between hell and nothingness. Her skin burned, her heart raced, and Jase brushed his hand with hers in attempt to settle her. Her father was the most respected warrior on Olympus, had fought countless battles for his father, and swore an oath of allegiance to the God of Lightning. Josephine didn’t believe Apollo’s words, not for a second.

“You didn’t know, obviously,” Apollo chuckled, “Too bad. I thought that pretty face actually had a brain lodged in there somewhere.”

Jase snapped, and darkness erupted from his hands—travelling every which way. Apollo’s eyes widened as the darkness swept him from his feet and pulled him in a matter of milliseconds towards Jase, who’s eyes were glazed. The son of Poseidon grabbed Apollo by the neck, pinning him against the wall nearest to them. The stone cracked in reaction.

“That’s not how you speak to a woman. I will let you live today, because you gave us some information, but otherwise I would gut you right here, right now. Consider yourself lucky.”

Jase spat in the god’s face, causing Apollo to wipe his nose with his hand and grin wider. His voice was weary because of Jase’s hand, “Ares is the key.


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Thu May 16, 2024 4:50 pm
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goodolnoah wrote a review...



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Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

He was created by magic, therefore smashing all the odds that he really was a dickface like all the other kin of the sea. As for Hecate, she didn’t bear many children—if she did, they were mainly Sprites, remnants of the everlasting elements: air, fire, water, earth


The conversation regarding Jase’s allegiances at the beginning are a nice refreshment on his character. To be fair, while he has shown that he cares for Josephine, he has shown signs of flaws. The combination of Poseidon and Hecate also makes for the conflicted child, similar to Josephine herself.

Delphi was a broad, mountainous landscape filled with mossy flora and slopes that could slice your hand open if you weren’t careful climbing them. Orange, clay buildings laid sprawled on the bottom terrain of the city from churches to bakeries to boutiques.


Oh wow! Great job with the description of Delphi! I like how it is described as a dangerous place, it seems like the inhabitants either want people out. It does have a bit of regality to it, though.

“My name is Josephine Amelia, the daughter of Lord Ares and Her Highness Aphrodite,” Josephine’s voice radiated throughout the room, bouncing off the stained-glass windows and echoing into the rows of wood-crafted seats.


Again, nice showing of how Josephine has developed with this here! Though it feels small, the fact that she is able to proudly declare her presence really goes to show how far she has come.

Love and…The Sun God ~ Story Commentary

“It truly is sad, and I hope she recovers soon,” Apollo’s response was brief, “but I didn’t have anything to do with it. You should ask Ares.”


“Think again,” Apollo smiled, “I’m his favorite child, by the way, so we’ll get that straight before I say anything else. As for my brother’s loyalty to Zeus… that’s always been forced. If you haven’t noticed that already, you’re dumber than I thought, sweet thing,” he winked.


These quotes from Apollo really show how he’s quite entitled. He seems like he prides himself on his power and his power alone. Kind of like a spoiled youngest child. It was cool to see him put in his place by Jase after all his shit-talking.

The Plot Thickens... ~ Closer

Apollo doesn’t lack wisdom, however. I can only wonder how Ares would connect to this mystery? I wouldn’t be surprised if Ares isn’t as loyal to Zeus as one might think. So far, he’s been one of the more mysterious gods, and he seems to hide much of his inner feelings away from Josephine.




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Sat Mar 02, 2024 11:14 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

Greetings, rival potato! Recalling that a few of these chapters are still in the Green Room, I thought I would use my last hour of Review Day as an excuse to binge some Daughter Of War, so brace for a few reviews! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Ah, Jase and Josephine have found Apollo! He started off as an intriguing enough character, wise and powerful, but quickly turned into...kind of a jerk, I won't lie, haha. Even so, there was plenty of interesting substance in his words. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No corrections or recommendations to make! Good writing job!

Why The Grin Widened...

I really enjoyed Josephine's interaction with Harmonia, and the chance to learn more about her family, specifically her sisters. You captured the spirit of sisterhood well for sure, with the subtle bickering, haha.

Progressing to Delphi, I loved the descriptions offered, in both the town and Apollo's temple specifically. It doubled as a way to give more information on Apollo, and the elusive goddess, Artemis. Then, of course, the words of that god left us more clues...

“Think again,” Apollo smiled, “I’m his favorite child, by the way, so we’ll get that straight before I say anything else. As for my brother’s loyalty to Zeus… that’s always been forced.


What a revelation! I was hoping this situation would force Ares to return, but this was a fascinating way to do it! Apollo seems like a wise god and prophet despite his arrogance, and I learn toward believing he isn't the perpetrator, so I don't have too many reasons to doubt these words --and if Ares isn't as loyal to Zeus as we thought, oh...

I don't know what I think yet, but I feel like it's big and important, and it has me excited!! That eerie final line really drove in the point, of course.

“Ares is the key.”


~ Ah, and as for the main characters, I thought it was both sweet and a bit funny that JAse immediately stood up for Josephine when she was insulted, and I'm honestly a bit surprised he would go as far as to threaten one of the Big Twelve. Likewise, it was downright hilarious that Jase was reflecting "discomfort" when Josephine was caught off guard by Apollo's handsomeness...Totally not jealous ;)

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, brilliant chapter! :)

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Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:41 pm
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Youbeaucupid wrote a review...



Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlights:


Introduction:


SWOOSH! Greetings, lovely hearts! Cupid here, armed with my bow, arrow, and a sprinkle of stardust for an enchanting adventure. Today, I'm diving into the captivating world of reviews with my very own Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlight. It's like the incredible YWS S'more Method, but with a dash of cupid's magic! Let's get flying, shall we?

Fluttering Wings - Initial Impressions:

As we step into Chapter 25: The Temple of Apollo, we are greeted by the delicate bond between sisters, Josephine and Harmonia, amidst the tranquility of their mother's garden. The prose flutters with familial warmth, painting a picture of sisterly affection against a backdrop of blooming bindweed and mint. The dialogue dances with playful banter, offering a glimpse into the dynamics of divine relationships.

Arrow Adjustments - Love Crafting Suggestions:

Alright, let's sprinkle some extra love and magic into this enchanting tale! First off, how about delving deeper into those precious sisterly moments between Josephine and Harmonia? Their bond is like a shimmering thread woven through the fabric of the story, so let's make it shine even brighter! Maybe we could explore some shared memories or inside jokes that showcase their unique connection. It's those little details that make their relationship feel so authentic and heartwarming. 💕

Next up, let's talk about setting the scene in the garden. You've already painted a lovely picture with the blooming bindweed and mint, but why stop there? Let's dive into the sensory details to really transport readers into this lush oasis. Describe the earthy scent of soil mingling with the sweet aroma of flowers, the gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze, and the warmth of the sunlight dappling through the trees. It's like stepping into a living, breathing world of magic and wonder! 🌿✨

And last but not least, let's sprinkle in some extra charm and whimsy with the dialogue. Your characters' banter is already delightful, but why not add a few more playful exchanges or witty retorts to keep readers smiling? Maybe Josephine and Harmonia share a secret joke or two, or they playfully tease each other about their quirks. It's those little moments of levity that make the story feel so alive and engaging. So go ahead, let your characters' personalities shine through in every word they speak! 😄✨

With a few tweaks and a sprinkle of imagination, this enchanting tale will sparkle like a diamond in the sky! Keep weaving your magic, my friend, and watch as your story takes flight on the wings of love and adventure. 💖✨

Golden Harp Strumming - Heavenly Highlights:

Ah, let's dive deeper into the divine delights of this chapter! Picture Josephine and Harmonia in their mother's garden, surrounded by a riot of colors from blooming bindweed and fragrant mint. Harmonia, with her serene grace and freckled nose wrinkled in concentration as she tends to the earth, is a vision of goddess-like elegance. Meanwhile, Josephine's infectious laughter and playful banter add a spark of vivacious energy to the scene. It's like watching a delightful dance of light and shadow, where every movement is filled with love and laughter. 🌸🌿

And oh, let's not forget about Jase! With his brooding intensity and rugged charm, he's like a stormy sea mingling with the tranquility of the garden. There's an undeniable magnetism to him, a hint of mystery that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Together, the trio creates a dynamic tableau that's as captivating as it is enchanting. It's like witnessing a symphony of emotions unfold before our eyes, each note resonating with the magic of storytelling. 🎶💖

“Josephine’s smile grew as Jase and herself walked through the City Centre, growing closer and closer to the Temple of Apollo...”


As Josephine's smile lights up the scene, we can't help but feel the anticipation building within us. The journey to the Temple of Apollo holds the promise of new discoveries and revelations, like embarking on a thrilling quest in the heart of ancient mythology. With every step, we inch closer to the heart of the mystery, our hearts brimming with excitement and curiosity. It's a moment filled with anticipation and wonder, setting the stage for the adventure that lies ahead. 🏛️✨

Cherished Verses - Cupid's Favorite Lines:

"Harmonia wrinkled her freckled nose, burrowing the mint roots beneath piles of fertilized soil..."


🌱 Picture Harmonia, with her adorable freckled nose scrunched up, gently tending to the mint roots in the rich, fertile soil of their mother's garden. It's a scene brimming with earthy charm and sisterly affection. 💖

"Jase wasn’t like his other half-siblings, though. He didn’t have Poseidon’s blood in his body, didn’t actually have a bloodline. He was created by magic, therefore smashing all the odds..."


🌟 Imagine Jase, standing tall and proud, defying the expectations placed upon him by his divine lineage. With each word, the revelation of his magical origins adds an extra layer of intrigue and wonder to his character. It's like discovering a hidden gem in the tapestry of the story. ✨

"Josephine’s smile grew as Jase and herself walked through the City Centre, growing closer and closer to the Temple of Apollo..."


🏛️ I can just imagine walking through the bustling City Centre, with Josephine's radiant smile lighting up the path ahead as she and Jase draw nearer to the majestic Temple of Apollo! It's a moment filled with anticipation and excitement, like embarking on a thrilling adventure with your closest companions. Well done Leya!🌟

Final Whispers - Closing Thoughts:

As we stand on the threshold of divine intrigue and mortal strife, Chapter 25 invites us into a world of myth and mystery, where the bonds of family and the allure of destiny intertwine. With each turn of the page, we are drawn deeper into the tapestry of Josephine's journey, eager to unravel the secrets that lie hidden within the Temple of Apollo. Leya, continue to weave your enchanting tale with grace and finesse, guiding readers on your path illuminated by the light of storytelling magic!

Fly high Writer, Cupid. - 💘




Ley says...


Thank you for the review! As always :D




If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?
— Joyce Carol Oates