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16+ Language Violence

The Daughter of War - Chapter 8: Death Reincarnate

by Ley


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Chapter 8: Death Reincarnate

The Cyclops moved closer to them with every single breath they took. It felt like the air was getting warmer—Josephine’s skin was boiling to the touch. She’d never had to fight for her life like this. Cyclops were known for being rather violent. They usually didn’t usually attack others or go out of their way to harm people unless they were convinced to by a god, or someone wondered into their hideouts. This must have been the home of one.

Her father’s words replayed over and over in her head. Surely Persephone brought some weapons. There was no way for Josephine to smuggle any knives or a bow and arrow through the gates; the guards would’ve noticed immediately. Josephine and Persephone didn’t even discuss the need for any weapons. There was no other way to cut off the Cyclops’ nose or gouge his eyes. Unless…

“How good is your aim?” Josephine asked, her breath scarce with every inhale. They needed to steady their breathing. Ares always emphasized how panicking didn’t help in any situation. She may not be close with her father, but she always knew those were wise words.

“I’m better with hand-to-hand combat,” Persephone whispered, backing up so that her back was pushed up against the stone wall, “Why?”

“We need to blind him. “We need to throw these stones,” Josephine picked up a ragged, chipped stone from the ground, and handed another to her friend, “I’ll throw the first one, but I have to get his attention. If we confuse him, we may be able to get away.”

“Look at you, using your brain and all. I’m proud, princess.”

“We need to talk about that new ‘princess’ nickname you have for me later. Right now, let’s focus on this hungry monster,” Josephine threw a stone behind the Cyclops, which caused it to turn around and inspect. Josephine took that time slot to slide silently across the dirt and onto the large boulder on the right of the one she was previously hiding behind. Persephone nodded.

Josephine chucked the first stone at the Cyclops, barely missing his eye by an inch. It hit him in the cheekbone, causing him to spin back around and groan loudly. The whole tunnel shook—more stones scattered at their feet and dropped from the ceiling, causing them to shield themselves. He knew their general location now. They needed to handicap him, and quick.

Persephone threw the next stone, and in between all the rumbling and dust from the shattered walls, the Cyclops was confused on where it came from. It hit him square in the iris. He screamed in agony and raised a hand to his bleeding eye, “WHERE ARE YOU? I will rip you apart slowly and use your bones to pluck my teeth!”

“NOW!” Josephine yelled as she darted in between the Cyclops legs. The top of her head just barely made it underneath, and her feet ached with soreness as she ran as fast as she could towards the opening of light beyond them.

She could hear Persephone’s footsteps behind her. She also felt the tremble of the Earth beneath her feet, and with each step she knew that the Cyclops could sense their movements. She just barely reached the end of the tunnel before the sound of her friend’s screams caused her to halt.

The Cyclops had Persephone.

“Go!” Persephone screamed in terror, her eyed bulging.

Josephine stood there, frozen. She wasn’t going to leave her friend, but she also wanted to live. She didn’t want to die in the hands of a monster. What would she be called then? A coward is what they’d call her. She took a step towards the large thing that was the Cyclops.

“Drop her or the gods will kill you,” Josephine said to him, “You are holding the Queen of the Underworld in your hand!”

The corner of his mouth curled into a grin, “She will be delicious in my stew, then. Goddesses always taste better than—”

The Cyclops’ mouth dropped. The air became almost unbearably chilly, and darkness surrounded the floor. It danced around the Cyclops ankles, causing him to stumble backwards. Josephine felt someone behind her. She smelled death.

“Hello, my love,” A deep voice purred behind her, “And hello, Daughter of Ares. Brontes, I would drop my bride if I were you.”

~

They trekked the Valencia Desert alongside the God of the Underworld. He was much leaner than Josephine imagined, with his skinny frame and sunken skin. He walked with grace, and darkness followed. He was death reincarnate.

Her mother would scold her if she knew who Josephine was next to. She’d been quite clear to stay away from dark gods—such as Hecate and Hades. Josephine thought he would look older, but appearance wise he was in his mid-twenties. Josephine stayed silent while Persephone and her lover exchanged words—they talked of Persephone’s first two victories in the Trials and about how much Tartarus missed her. They didn’t seem at all like the storybooks told; they actually looked in love.

The Valencia Desert was a wide-ranged land filled with hot sand and sun. The sky was a pink hue, with dunes layered as far as the eye could see. Most people mortals who entered the Valencia Desert never returned, but the three of them were deities. Their skin was created to withstand most elements.

“I would make the weather more bearable if I could, but for some reason my magic doesn’t work in Valencia,” Persephone said as she wiped a heap of sweat from her temple.

“It’s radioactive,” Hades said. His voice was a haunting, seductive growl. No wonder Persephone fell in love with him. He stopped walking and held out his hand to his lover, bowing in her direction, “I have a meeting to attend to, my love. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay and get to know your…,” he glanced at Josephine, “friend. I assume we will meet another time. Remember, stay hidden when you get to Troy. Hermes is not as dumb as one may think.”

So, Hades knew about the plan. This changed things. Josephine now wasn’t sure if Persephone was avenging herself, or Hades. She needed to find out who she was really fighting for.

He disappeared in a cloud of obsidian, and nothing was left of his presence besides the smell of death. Josephine shuddered, “That went well. You’re lucky he sensed you were in danger, Persephone. You could’ve died!”

“I knew he would come for me,” Persephone continued walking. Her shirt was now soaked with sweat. At this point, Josephine had sweat so much—that her undergarments looked one shade darker. Her white blouse was now a deep gray color.

They said nothing to each other for the next hour in the Desert. Josephine was visibly in pain—her limbs and skin burned with every breath, and her cheeks started to blister along with her lips. Persephone slowed down too, her legs shook with every step and they both breathed loudly in order to keep their oxygen intake steady.

The dunes were endless. The further they got, the deeper they trekked into the unforgivable heat.

“We need to stop for an hour or so,” Josephine finally argued, dropping to her knees. She wanted to sleep. Her heartbeat slowed, along with her vision, and she fell forward—her face hitting the scorching hot sand.

Darkness.

~

Josephine woke in an infirmary. The lights blinded her as her vision was restored to normal. She was relieved to find she was no longer in the Valencia Desert. An IV was connected to her arm, so she yanked it out and tried to sit up in her cot.

The room was bare, a few medical tools sat on the revolving desk in the middle of the room. She glanced down at her body to find she was only wearing a hospital gown. Her thin legs had goosebumps by the time she brought herself to her feet.

There was no sign of Persephone, nor anybody else for that matter. She pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.

“Hello?” She said. Her voice cracked, causing her to clear her throat and search for the sink.

“It’s about time you woke,” A male voice sounded behind her, and she spun around to find a tall, broad man standing in the doorway. He was wearing a white doctor’s jacket but was tattooed from his temple to his ankles. Shapes of all sorts outlined his large frame, and his scruffy brown hair sat perfectly over his forehead. He looked to be in his mid-thirties.

Josephine stepped back, “Where am I?”

“You are in Troy,” he said, pulling a clipboard from his jacket. He fixed his glasses before licking his finger and flipping through the numerous pages of paperwork, “You were found by our merchants. You and your friend were on the verge of dehydration when they found you. You’re lucky to be alive.”

“Where’s my friend?” She asked. She didn’t trust this man, even if he claimed to have saved her life.

“She’s fine. Why don’t you lie back down so I can examine your progress? We were quite worried when we saw you pass through those doors.”

Josephine studied him. Could she trust him? She wasn’t done healing, that’s for certain. She could still feel the burns on her body—and her body temperature was still adjusting. She was sure she’d had a fever. She sent him a murderous glare before she sat back down on the cot.

The man walked to her and pulled out his stethoscope. He pressed the hard, cold metal to her chest.

“Breathe in three times for me.”

Josephine obeyed, even though this whole thing seemed eerie. She didn’t hear the rush of doctors outside—no voices echoed through the hallways, and the more her vision cleared the more the room looked like a bedroom in someone’s home.

Something isn’t right.

Josephine grabbed the man by his arm and twisted it so that her face was now facing his shoulder.

“Where is my friend?” She asked with malice, “And who are you?”

He grinned, “Was is the room that gave it away?”

She pulled his arm tighter and gritted her teeth, “I won’t think twice about breaking your arm if you don’t answer my question.”

The man pursed his lips, “I mean, you can. But it would heal. Gods heal, after all. If you let go of me, I can explain where your friend is. If you don’t, well…I’m afraid I’ll have to notify Zeus of your absence from the Grande Hall.”

Josephine completely forgot about the Trials. She was too busy, fighting for her life in Valencia. She let go of his arm and crossed her forearms across her body, furrowing her brows.

“Who are you?” she asked once more.

“Asclepius. The God of Healing and Medicine, Master Healer, Encyclopedia of Cures and Diseases…” Persephone’s voice sounded in the doorway, a smug look plastered across her face.

Josephine bounced to her feet, “What the hell, Persephone!?”

“Stop being such a baby. If it wasn’t for Asclepius’s merchants, you’d be dead. Now sit back down and let him finish his assessment.”

“I’m fine. Forgive me, for being defensive,” Josephine snapped sarcastically, “I woke up in a strange place with no recollection of what happened!”

“Put her out,” Persephone told Asclepius, “Heal her, and then wake her up, if she won’t cooperate.”

“Wha—” Josephine’s voice was cut off by the sting of a needle in her arm. Her eyes widened before she slumped over, and the world went black.

Again. 


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Mon May 06, 2024 2:22 pm
goodolnoah wrote a review...



Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

The Valencia Desert was a wide-ranged land filled with hot sand and sun. The sky was a pink hue, with dunes layered as far as the eye could see. Most people mortals who entered the Valencia Desert never returned, but the three of them were deities. Their skin was created to withstand most elements.


I like the descriptions of the lands you create as always. The pink hue accompanying the sky and the endless dunes are a nice touch. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to also throw in other senses. What does it smell like, for example?

There is also a fair amount of typos here, It might be a good idea to slow down or quickly scan through your passages before moving on!

They said nothing to each other for the next hour in the Desert. Josephine was visibly in pain—her limbs and skin burned with every breath, and her cheeks started to blister along with her lips. Persephone slowed down too, her legs shook with every step and they both breathed loudly in order to keep their oxygen intake steady.


Though I may be wrong about other senses, the descriptions of Josephine’s exhaustion here are bone-chilling!

“It’s radioactive,” Hades said. His voice was a haunting, seductive growl. No wonder Persephone fell in love with him. He stopped walking and held out his hand to his lover, bowing in her direction


Hades is also a great addition here! His descriptions are fun, and the constant air of death that circles him shows that he is no pushover when it comes to the gods.

Love and…Adventure! ~ Story Commentary

For me, this chapter felt like a collection of short stories involving their travels to Hermes. Everything here is interesting and does lead to great world-building regarding the current state of Olympus and surrounding territories.

I think the only dull part here is the battle with the Cyclops. It is very much told in a “beat-by-beat” style. I like to try and streamline fight scenes when I write, cut them down to only the details that matter so the fight seems more fast-paced. Perhaps I missed something! I would call this comment more of a friendly nitpick than anything else.

The important thing about this chapter feels like the idea of loss and powerlessness. Josephine would be powerless to do anything about the Cyclops if it wasn’t for Hades’ intervention, who is quite the cool cat as well.

Loss ~ Closer

The last character shown, Asclepius, is sort of funny. He has this sniveling doctor feeling about him. Like he will act all-knowing until someone like Josephine threatens his life. This chapter really showed that you know how to diversify your characters!




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Fri Apr 19, 2024 12:34 am
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avianwings47 wrote a review...



Hello, hello! Finally getting around to my first review of this novel! I've really enjoyed reading so far. Now, let's get into it, shall we?

We're thrown head-first into action at the beginning of this chapter, which seems quite fitting, given the previous chapter. You kicked it off nicely with a captivating first line, keeping me on the edge of my metaphorical seat the entire time. Some of Josephine's thoughts really intrigued me in this scene.

Ares always emphasized how panicking didn’t help in any situation. She may not be close with her father, but she always knew those were wise words.

This makes me wonder about how powers work in this universe. It seems that Josephine is really calling on her father's inheritance in this scene, which makes sense as she is in danger. From the powers of some of the other characters, we can assume that most of the deities inherit their abilities from their parents. (ex. Persephone having a power that correlates with Demeter's; Josephine inheriting Aphrodite's beauty)
So, when Josephine is really thinking about her father's words in a moment of danger, or when she needs to fight something, it seems that her father's powers are showing through. I'm really curious to find out if my assumptions are correct here, and what Josephine's powers will truly reveal to be!

One thing I will say, though, is that I felt that the battle with the Cyclopes went by pretty quickly. There wasn't much room for me to wonder if the characters would make it out alive, or what would happen next. I felt there was a lot of room for suspense here, which could engage the readers even more if you really built up the scene.
Another thing to think about with this is perspective. Since you're taking on the perspective of Josephine, how you portray the scene through her lens is really important. To Josephine, this felt like a life-or-death situation. Going more in-depth with her emotions as she fights the Cyclopes will add to that perspective.

Now, I'm going to speak a little bit on pacing again. Everything that happens in this chapter feels like it goes by super quick. I find myself wanting more details about each scene. What is Josephine feeling? What does she notice? Why is what she sees important? What is the purpose of this scene? Questions like these can help if you're looking to draw things out.
Specifically in the last scene, I initially found myself wondering why Josephine didn't trust Asclepius. Pointing out specific mannerisms or off-putting things about Asclepius or the room that Josephine is in can help. Now, we also need to keep in mind perspective, and it seems that Josephine is still a little out of it after the desert. So her mistrust might just be a gut feeling.

“Put her out,” Persephone told Asclepius, “Heal her, and then wake her up, if she won’t cooperate.”

You know, I really liked Persephone before this chapter, but now, I'm not so sure. I can't tell if she's just really determined, or if she's using Josephine. Either way, I'm super curious about her motives.
Speaking of which, I think you did really well with leaving a lot of mystery surrounding the gods. Josephine is continuously confused throughout the story thus far. Her father, Hades, Persephone, Hermes, and now Asclepius. (Man, that is a pain to spell.) She doesn't really know what's going on, or what the character's motives are. Not only that, but the mystery surrounding her powers is also unsolved. While keeping the mysteries, well... mysterious, you also provided enough information that I didn't get lost. Well done to that!

Overall, I think you have some really great things going on here. Each individual character has a motive and a unique personality. They all bring something different to the story, and I'm super excited to see where those characters go next!

Happy writing! -Avian




Ley says...


Thanks for the review! :D



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Tue Feb 27, 2024 1:55 am
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KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Loved the fight with the Cyclops there to get a glimpse at the potential that Josephine has. I'm sure she's going to eventually learn to be really strong too the potential is certainly there and well the twists towards the end were quite nice too.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The Cyclops moved closer to them with every single breath they took. It felt like the air was getting warmer—Josephine’s skin was boiling to the touch. She’d never had to fight for her life like this. Cyclops were known for being rather violent. They usually didn’t usually attack others or go out of their way to harm people unless they were convinced to by a god, or someone wondered into their hideouts. This must have been the home of one.

Her father’s words replayed over and over in her head. Surely Persephone brought some weapons. There was no way for Josephine to smuggle any knives or a bow and arrow through the gates; the guards would’ve noticed immediately. Josephine and Persephone didn’t even discuss the need for any weapons. There was no other way to cut off the Cyclops’ nose or gouge his eyes. Unless…

“How good is your aim?” Josephine asked, her breath scarce with every inhale. They needed to steady their breathing. Ares always emphasized how panicking didn’t help in any situation. She may not be close with her father, but she always knew those were wise words.


Well this is nice to see, Josephine really getting a good chance to showcase some of the things she's learnt and bringing it out here to play. I have a feeling this is going to make for a pretty exciting encounter here.

“I’m better with hand-to-hand combat,” Persephone whispered, backing up so that her back was pushed up against the stone wall, “Why?”

“We need to blind him. “We need to throw these stones,” Josephine picked up a ragged, chipped stone from the ground, and handed another to her friend, “I’ll throw the first one, but I have to get his attention. If we confuse him, we may be able to get away.”

“Look at you, using your brain and all. I’m proud, princess.”

“We need to talk about that new ‘princess’ nickname you have for me later. Right now, let’s focus on this hungry monster,” Josephine threw a stone behind the Cyclops, which caused it to turn around and inspect. Josephine took that time slot to slide silently across the dirt and onto the large boulder on the right of the one she was previously hiding behind. Persephone nodded.


Hmm, I'm glad to see Josephine finally calling her out on that nickname, it really does start to sound worse every time that it gets used. At the very least it looks like Josephine's plan is a solid one and its going to work out fairly well here.

Josephine chucked the first stone at the Cyclops, barely missing his eye by an inch. It hit him in the cheekbone, causing him to spin back around and groan loudly. The whole tunnel shook—more stones scattered at their feet and dropped from the ceiling, causing them to shield themselves. He knew their general location now. They needed to handicap him, and quick.

Persephone threw the next stone, and in between all the rumbling and dust from the shattered walls, the Cyclops was confused on where it came from. It hit him square in the iris. He screamed in agony and raised a hand to his bleeding eye, “WHERE ARE YOU? I will rip you apart slowly and use your bones to pluck my teeth!”

“NOW!” Josephine yelled as she darted in between the Cyclops legs. The top of her head just barely made it underneath, and her feet ached with soreness as she ran as fast as she could towards the opening of light beyond them.


Oooh well that seems like they've just about managed a successful getaway there. At the very least the Cyclops is distracted for the moment, and they are scrambling for the escape. The execution doesn't appear to be perfect but then it really doesn't need to be.

She could hear Persephone’s footsteps behind her. She also felt the tremble of the Earth beneath her feet, and with each step she knew that the Cyclops could sense their movements. She just barely reached the end of the tunnel before the sound of her friend’s screams caused her to halt.

The Cyclops had Persephone.

“Go!” Persephone screamed in terror, her eyed bulging.

Josephine stood there, frozen. She wasn’t going to leave her friend, but she also wanted to live. She didn’t want to die in the hands of a monster. What would she be called then? A coward is what they’d call her. She took a step towards the large thing that was the Cyclops.


Oooh well I wasn't expecting her to get caught, but well its pretty clear she has a handle on what's happening and isn't really in any actual danger of dying here. She's just making sure Josephine isn't also going to get eating by trying to save her. I mean given the evidence in the earlier fight at least, there's no reason she'd have trouble here.

“Drop her or the gods will kill you,” Josephine said to him, “You are holding the Queen of the Underworld in your hand!”

The corner of his mouth curled into a grin, “She will be delicious in my stew, then. Goddesses always taste better than—”

The Cyclops’ mouth dropped. The air became almost unbearably chilly, and darkness surrounded the floor. It danced around the Cyclops ankles, causing him to stumble backwards. Josephine felt someone behind her. She smelled death.

“Hello, my love,” A deep voice purred behind her, “And hello, Daughter of Ares. Brontes, I would drop my bride if I were you.”


Oooh wow. I will say that is the first time I've genuinely been caught off guard in this story. Did not see that coming at all. Gotta love Hades getting a cool entrance. Doesn't always tend to happen that. I'm loving the vibes already with that speech of his. Can't wait to see how his addition to the team is going to be.

They trekked the Valencia Desert alongside the God of the Underworld. He was much leaner than Josephine imagined, with his skinny frame and sunken skin. He walked with grace, and darkness followed. He was death reincarnate.

Her mother would scold her if she knew who Josephine was next to. She’d been quite clear to stay away from dark gods—such as Hecate and Hades. Josephine thought he would look older, but appearance wise he was in his mid-twenties. Josephine stayed silent while Persephone and her lover exchanged words—they talked of Persephone’s first two victories in the Trials and about how much Tartarus missed her. They didn’t seem at all like the storybooks told; they actually looked in love.


Well that's certainly quite the detail to register there. It seems these two have quite the relationship there and it appears the Josephine might end up getting into just a wee bit of trouble for her escapades with the two of them, which certainly poses an interesting situation to be in here.

The Valencia Desert was a wide-ranged land filled with hot sand and sun. The sky was a pink hue, with dunes layered as far as the eye could see. Most people mortals who entered the Valencia Desert never returned, but the three of them were deities. Their skin was created to withstand most elements.

“I would make the weather more bearable if I could, but for some reason my magic doesn’t work in Valencia,” Persephone said as she wiped a heap of sweat from her temple.

“It’s radioactive,” Hades said. His voice was a haunting, seductive growl. No wonder Persephone fell in love with him. He stopped walking and held out his hand to his lover, bowing in her direction, “I have a meeting to attend to, my love. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay and get to know your…,” he glanced at Josephine, “friend. I assume we will meet another time. Remember, stay hidden when you get to Troy. Hermes is not as dumb as one may think.”


Well that's certainly quite the place there this dessert. Looks like this area is definitely going to end up sapping both of them of quite a bit of strength. It'll be very interesting to see their state once they actually manage to make it all the way to the end of this.

So, Hades knew about the plan. This changed things. Josephine now wasn’t sure if Persephone was avenging herself, or Hades. She needed to find out who she was really fighting for.

He disappeared in a cloud of obsidian, and nothing was left of his presence besides the smell of death. Josephine shuddered, “That went well. You’re lucky he sensed you were in danger, Persephone. You could’ve died!”

“I knew he would come for me,” Persephone continued walking. Her shirt was now soaked with sweat. At this point, Josephine had sweat so much—that her undergarments looked one shade darker. Her white blouse was now a deep gray color.

They said nothing to each other for the next hour in the Desert. Josephine was visibly in pain—her limbs and skin burned with every breath, and her cheeks started to blister along with her lips. Persephone slowed down too, her legs shook with every step and they both breathed loudly in order to keep their oxygen intake steady.


Well yup the desert is definitely taking its toll on them there. They seem to be handling it about as well as one could be expected to under the circumstances. At the very least it looks like neither of them are close to giving up so that's always nice to see.

The dunes were endless. The further they got, the deeper they trekked into the unforgivable heat.

“We need to stop for an hour or so,” Josephine finally argued, dropping to her knees. She wanted to sleep. Her heartbeat slowed, along with her vision, and she fell forward—her face hitting the scorching hot sand.

Darkness.


Well that seems about right as far as taking a rest when going through a land like that is like, hopefully she actually manages to wake up from that one, or at least Persephone manages to wake her before anything too bad ends up happening to her. It certainly appears like she just collapsed from exhaustion there.

Josephine woke in an infirmary. The lights blinded her as her vision was restored to normal. She was relieved to find she was no longer in the Valencia Desert. An IV was connected to her arm, so she yanked it out and tried to sit up in her cot.

The room was bare, a few medical tools sat on the revolving desk in the middle of the room. She glanced down at her body to find she was only wearing a hospital gown. Her thin legs had goosebumps by the time she brought herself to her feet.

There was no sign of Persephone, nor anybody else for that matter. She pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.

“Hello?” She said. Her voice cracked, causing her to clear her throat and search for the sink.


Hmm well this is quite the intriguing transition there. Wasn't expecting an infirmary of all places and well this one looks especially strange here given the circumstances. This is about to be quite the crazy encounter and I can just feel that things are about to kick up an extra notch with that one.

“It’s about time you woke,” A male voice sounded behind her, and she spun around to find a tall, broad man standing in the doorway. He was wearing a white doctor’s jacket but was tattooed from his temple to his ankles. Shapes of all sorts outlined his large frame, and his scruffy brown hair sat perfectly over his forehead. He looked to be in his mid-thirties.

Josephine stepped back, “Where am I?”

“You are in Troy,” he said, pulling a clipboard from his jacket. He fixed his glasses before licking his finger and flipping through the numerous pages of paperwork, “You were found by our merchants. You and your friend were on the verge of dehydration when they found you. You’re lucky to be alive.”


Hmm ell that seems to be normal enough at the very least if maybe born of some very much justified suspicions given the nature in which they managed to be foudn in that desert.

“Where’s my friend?” She asked. She didn’t trust this man, even if he claimed to have saved her life.

“She’s fine. Why don’t you lie back down so I can examine your progress? We were quite worried when we saw you pass through those doors.”

Josephine studied him. Could she trust him? She wasn’t done healing, that’s for certain. She could still feel the burns on her body—and her body temperature was still adjusting. She was sure she’d had a fever. She sent him a murderous glare before she sat back down on the cot.


Well it certainly looks like we're dealing with the god of medicine here judging by the way this interaction is going. Hopefully that does mean that Persephone is in fact safe if not under some sort of confinement.

The man walked to her and pulled out his stethoscope. He pressed the hard, cold metal to her chest.

“Breathe in three times for me.”

Josephine obeyed, even though this whole thing seemed eerie. She didn’t hear the rush of doctors outside—no voices echoed through the hallways, and the more her vision cleared the more the room looked like a bedroom in someone’s home.

Something isn’t right.

Josephine grabbed the man by his arm and twisted it so that her face was now facing his shoulder.


Well JOsephine certainly isn't afraid to switch into just full attack mode despite just only now waking up from being passed out in a very hostile environment and being very very dehydrated.

“Where is my friend?” She asked with malice, “And who are you?”

He grinned, “Was is the room that gave it away?”

She pulled his arm tighter and gritted her teeth, “I won’t think twice about breaking your arm if you don’t answer my question.”

The man pursed his lips, “I mean, you can. But it would heal. Gods heal, after all. If you let go of me, I can explain where your friend is. If you don’t, well…I’m afraid I’ll have to notify Zeus of your absence from the Grande Hall.”

Josephine completely forgot about the Trials. She was too busy, fighting for her life in Valencia. She let go of his arm and crossed her forearms across her body, furrowing her brows.

“Who are you?” she asked once more.


Oooh that's an interesting choice there, choosing to make her answer by playing I'm going to tell the god card. That will definitely complicate matters just a little bit if there's any role that he's to play in the coming times here.

“Asclepius. The God of Healing and Medicine, Master Healer, Encyclopedia of Cures and Diseases…” Persephone’s voice sounded in the doorway, a smug look plastered across her face.

Josephine bounced to her feet, “What the hell, Persephone!?”

“Stop being such a baby. If it wasn’t for Asclepius’s merchants, you’d be dead. Now sit back down and let him finish his assessment.”

“I’m fine. Forgive me, for being defensive,” Josephine snapped sarcastically, “I woke up in a strange place with no recollection of what happened!”

“Put her out,” Persephone told Asclepius, “Heal her, and then wake her up, if she won’t cooperate.”

“Wha—” Josephine’s voice was cut off by the sting of a needle in her arm. Her eyes widened before she slumped over, and the world went black.

Again.


Well yeah that went about as well as one would expect from Persephone managing to arrive in precisely that way. NAturally as usual she only manages to make herself sound yet more suspicious but that's hardly surprising anymore.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think a wonderful chapter. A couple of proper surprises there and then of course more of Persephone just feeling more dangerous by the second and don't we love that. Looking forward to seeing what happens when Josephine finally wakes up.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate




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Wed Jan 24, 2024 3:49 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello again, my friend!

To start, I love the sense of tension and anticipation throughout this fast-paced chapter, and all the action you managed to condense into here. Not to mention, a whole lot of mystery!

You were really nailing the atmosphere as Josephine and Persephone dodged the cyclops, in the beginning, then the introduction of Hades was incredible. That sudden cut-in with his dialogue, right behind Josephine, was so eerie and foreboding. Perfect for a god of the underworld. And indeed, the fact that he knows about the plan just added another layer of mystery and doubt to the situation -and Persephone's character, including her motives and goals.

As well as the introduction, yet again, I love your use of the more little-known Greek figures. I forgot Asclepius was a god until you brought him up! Very interesting ~

I can't think of any recommendations to make, it was a great chapter. Nicely done! :)





I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
— Bilbo Baggins