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16+ Violence

The Daughter of War- Chapter 3: Ares

by Ley


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

Chapter 3: Ares

Josephine hadn’t seen her father for a few weeks. He was out on war duties for almost a month and spent the recent days in the Asphodel Meadows with Athena and Enyo. Josephine watched Ares walk down the steps, his stride casual yet mighty. A golden sword was clanged to his holster, and his glamour really eccentricated the body of a god. And a god Ares was, indeed.

Ares’ silver eyes connected with Josephine’s seafoam irises. He stopped moving once he reached the end of the stairs and stared his daughter down with curiosity. Is this Ares’ way of communicating with Josephine? It dawned on her that maybe, just maybe, Ares could be congratulating her for her victory yesterday.

Josephine didn’t break eye contact until Ares moved suddenly into the study next to the stairs. She contemplated following him but decided against it. Ares was a very shallow, blunt, and private god. Anybody who disrespected him, or stepped boundaries was never seen again, and Josephine wasn’t in the mood to receive a lecture from Anteros about giving her father some space. Instead, Josephine stayed in her seat and waited for Eleni to return with her breakfast.

The dining hall started to get busier as Josephine waited. Soon enough, she decided that Eleni wasn’t going to come, and that concerned her. Quite frankly, she may have been upset with Josephine for putting her life in danger—which was understandable. Almost everybody in Josephine’s life had told her to quit these trials and become a wife or a garden-keeper. She sighed and stood up before she began to walk back towards her quarters. As she strode through the large hallway the smell of ivory and metal filled the air. The smell was faint yet familiar, and Josephine stopped in her tracks, studying her surroundings.

She sensed an energy behind her, and then in front of her—

“And yet, I thought you were the weak one,” A familiar voice sounded from behind her. She recognized that voice anywhere, the dark undertone warped his voice into some type of growl. This was the voice of a victorious, mighty king.

She glanced to her side to see her father stood there with a sly grin on his face. She’d never look in his eyes—it was a form of disrespect. She straightened her back and aligned her arms at her side and curtsied before the God of War. She stayed silent and took one step back as she studied him. What was this? Was he too afraid to be seen with her in public? Was she that much of a disgrace?

“Oh, don’t act so defensive,” He placed a large and heavy hand on her shoulder, and traced the outline of her arm ever so gently.

“Excuse me, Father, for not being excited to see you. I’m trying to prepare accordingly…,” She mustered out, her hands slightly trembled.

“I have come to… visit you to congratulate you,” Ares sighed, and stepped in front of her—blocking the entryway to her corridor, which led to her quarters. Josephine couldn’t help but feel a sense of awkwardness, as if her father was forcing himself to approach her.

“No need, Father, it’s quite all right—”

“I’ll be watching your trial this evening,” He stepped aside and allowed room for her to pass, “Good luck.”

Josephine didn’t move as her father started walking in the opposite direction. She released the breath she’d been holding during their interaction and, once he disappeared from her line of sight, leaned against the wall in the hall. That was the most Ares had said to his daughter in months. She allowed herself to smile lightly and continued on her walk back to her quarters, feeling like she may have been taking steps towards the right path.

~

The trees swayed around Josephine as she got into position, facing Theseus on the training grounds. Josephine thanked her mother graciously for securing a training session with the divine hero, and she was destined not to fuck this up. It was now only a few hours before her next trial, and she needed all the knowledge and strategy that she could acquire.

“Your stance is a little wobbly,” Theseus told her, poking the end of his large harpoon at the bottom of her frail ankles, “When was the last time you strengthened your legs? They look like sticks!”

Josephine glanced down at herself and then looked back up at her trainer, “Has my mother not told you that I was never a warrior?”

“Child, everyone is a warrior,” He circled her as his eyes gave her a taunting bellow, “Your mother, being one of them. Just because she draws from emotions and love--- does not mean she is incapable of fighting for her beliefs. You need to find the growth within you and let the battle become a dance—one step after the other. One step after the other. You are a goddess, are you not?”

Josephine paused and lowered her sword. A goddess, she was not. At least, not yet. She didn’t feel comfortable claiming that title until she found her powers.

Theseus brought down his harpoon on her and the sharp tip barely missed Josephine by an inch. Before she knew it, she was laying in the mud—covered in horse feces. She felt anger boil in and up through her windpipes and charged at her sparring partner. The wind blew in her face and her knees locked when she connected the dull blade of her sword with the wood of his staff.

One foot after the other. Like a dance.

Theseus’ harpoon snapped in two. Josephine didn’t realize how quickly it all happened—all she knew was that she had won. She had won a sparring duel against the Athenian hero, the son of Aegeus and Aethra, the man who killed the minotaur in the Cretan Labyrinth—the god who battled the fire breathing bull of Marathon. She had a chance.

Theseus’ expression was just as puzzled as Josephine's, his mouth wide with gape as she held her blade to his throat. He dropped the remaining shards of what’s left of the harpoon and threw his hands up in defeat.

“How did you do that?” He questioned her as she dropped her arm, yielding to him.

“What do you mean” Josephine asked.

“I know for a fact that blade is dull,” Theseus grumbled, and took a step back from her.

“It was a lucky shot,” She responded to him and handed over her weapon. Was Theseus now scared of her? Had no one ever beat him in battle before? Of course, someone has—he’d probably sparred just about a million times and Josephine was definitely not the first person to be victorious.

Theseus studied her for a few more seconds. There was profound curiosity in his face, and Josephine could clearly see that he was trying to find the words to say. Although, she was the daughter of Ares—after all. She didn’t understand why he was that shocked. Maybe it was her frail yet curvy figure, lack of muscle, and horrible stance.

“I want you to go visit Athena.”

“What?” Josephine started laughing and her torso tipped over like a stack of cards. Athena would never agree to see her. The goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft would have more pressing matters to attend to, “We all want a lot of things, Theseus. And why would you want me to visit her, anyways?”

“I believe she can help you forge your power—and it’s worth a try. I’ll set up a meeting with you and Athena after your trial tonight,” He walks over to the mercenary shed to their right. Josephine watched him with concerned eyes. She’d never met Athena before, but her father spent most of his time in her quarters rather than his own. The two gods were more alike than she had originally thought.

“How do you know that I’m going to even make it through this Trial?” She asked, “Isn’t it a little early to make plans regarding the future?”

Theseus eyed Josephine, “Why are you so unsure of yourself, child? You are the offspring of two major deities. You have the ability to change the world.”

Josephine thought about that for a second. Why was she so unsure of herself? When she was a young child, she was given anything she wanted. She could recall a time when she was about four years old—she asked her mother for a unicorn and Aphrodite bought her a horse and put a sparkly baby pink horn-hat on it. In her eyes, that was a real unicorn. During that time in her life, Ares was more invested in her. He would shower her with countless gifts, from crowns, to jewels, to dolls. She was daddy’s little girl.

There were so many things that changed after her eighth birthday. Her mother had bought her a violin, and she had been playing it every day until Ares condemned it to stop. Instead, she was to take sparring lessons and take classes on war strategy. She was never good at it and had always lost every match until this week—when she defeated the son of Zeus.

“I’ve never been good at this stuff, you know,” Josephine said, her eyes watering as she sat down on the large rock next to the mercenary shed. She wiped a loose tear from her hot cheek, “This is all new to me. Well… not really new—per-se—but definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m still learning. I guess I put all this ‘battle’ stuff off as long as I could, and now it’s time for me to face it. I really am the daughter of war, aren’t I?”

Theseus moved to stand in front of her and lowered himself down on the back of his calves to meet her face, “You are the daughter of war. You are strong, divine, and underestimated. You are battle. You are beauty. You are you. But that doesn’t change your soul, your mind, or your future. You create your own. And tonight, you move onto the next chapter--- if the Gods will allow it.”

Josephine only stared at him as he wiped her wet face with his wrist and held out his hand for her to take. She hesitated but took it.

“Now, are you ready?” He asked.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”


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Sun Apr 14, 2024 11:54 pm
goodolnoah wrote a review...



Hello again!

College has been busy lately, finally, I’ve come upon a moment of reprieve, which I wanted to use to read some more of your story!

Writing Commentary

“I have come to… visit you to congratulate you,” Ares sighed, and stepped in front of her—blocking the entryway to her corridor, which led to her quarters. Josephine couldn’t help but feel a sense of awkwardness, as if her father was forcing himself to approach her.


Ares’ awkwardness is both intimidating and a little silly for the lack of a better term (in a good way). While Josephine is threatened by him, he seems to not want to exude the aura onto her. Nonetheless, he is overbearing mainly by habit, it seems. I like that you convey this by him blocking Josephine’s exit.

“Your mother, being one of them. Just because she draws from emotions and love--- does not mean she is incapable of fighting for her beliefs. You need to find the growth within you and let the battle become a dance—one step after the other. One step after the other. You are a goddess, are you not?”


This quote from Theseus is also very well-crafted! He’s both eloquent, prideful, and wise!

Stellar writing again! I really like the emotional descriptions from all types of characters here!

“This is all new to me. Well… not really new—per-se—but definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m still learning. I guess I put all this ‘battle’ stuff off as long as I could, and now it’s time for me to face it. I really am the daughter of war, aren’t I?”


SHE SAID THE THING!

Story Commentary

Ares was pretty interesting this chapter, I have to say, he gives me a “thuggish” feeling when thinking of the contrast between him and Athena. I know in original mythos, Athena was the strategist, where Ares was more about the battles and bloodshed relating to war. He has this almost Yakuza(?)-like aura. Big, violent crime boss who bares his teeth at even his own underlings.

The battle between her and Theseus is also fun! I like how he is pretty honorable all-around. A bit smug before their match, and after she is able to defeat him, he seems to be more confident in her than even herself!

Where she talks to Theseus about her complicated history with being the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite is where the chapter is able to dig a bit more into her character! The conversation they have is really beautiful! Some of my favorite dialogue from you thus far!

Closer

Overall, great building for the world, as well as Josephine’s character! This felt like nice buildup for the second trial she is to face.




Ley says...


Ah! Thank you <33



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Sun Feb 25, 2024 6:42 pm
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: Well the plot certainly continue to thicken in this one. Two very important encounters there and I can't wait to see what the result is going to be from the both of them. It certainly does seem set to make things fairly interesting at the very least.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Josephine hadn’t seen her father for a few weeks. He was out on war duties for almost a month and spent the recent days in the Asphodel Meadows with Athena and Enyo. Josephine watched Ares walk down the steps, his stride casual yet mighty. A golden sword was clanged to his holster, and his glamour really eccentricated the body of a god. And a god Ares was, indeed.

Ares’ silver eyes connected with Josephine’s seafoam irises. He stopped moving once he reached the end of the stairs and stared his daughter down with curiosity. Is this Ares’ way of communicating with Josephine? It dawned on her that maybe, just maybe, Ares could be congratulating her for her victory yesterday.


Oooh well that stance sure does tell us quite a bit about exactly what Josephine feels for her father and what she also seems to want from her father. I'm very excited to see what Ares does her, just to get a little bit more knowledge about that character of his.

Josephine didn’t break eye contact until Ares moved suddenly into the study next to the stairs. She contemplated following him but decided against it. Ares was a very shallow, blunt, and private god. Anybody who disrespected him, or stepped boundaries was never seen again, and Josephine wasn’t in the mood to receive a lecture from Anteros about giving her father some space. Instead, Josephine stayed in her seat and waited for Eleni to return with her breakfast.

The dining hall started to get busier as Josephine waited. Soon enough, she decided that Eleni wasn’t going to come, and that concerned her. Quite frankly, she may have been upset with Josephine for putting her life in danger—which was understandable. Almost everybody in Josephine’s life had told her to quit these trials and become a wife or a garden-keeper. She sighed and stood up before she began to walk back towards her quarters. As she strode through the large hallway the smell of ivory and metal filled the air. The smell was faint yet familiar, and Josephine stopped in her tracks, studying her surroundings.


Well that little detail about Eleni doesn't bode too terribly well. I really hope nothing's happened to her so soon after us having met her. Things are definitely looking a little bit odd here.

She sensed an energy behind her, and then in front of her—

“And yet, I thought you were the weak one,” A familiar voice sounded from behind her. She recognized that voice anywhere, the dark undertone warped his voice into some type of growl. This was the voice of a victorious, mighty king.

She glanced to her side to see her father stood there with a sly grin on his face. She’d never look in his eyes—it was a form of disrespect. She straightened her back and aligned her arms at her side and curtsied before the God of War. She stayed silent and took one step back as she studied him. What was this? Was he too afraid to be seen with her in public? Was she that much of a disgrace?


Well that definitely makes things very interesting. I was a bit disappointed that Ares was just going to leave like that, but well this definitely makes up for it and now adds a whole extra layer to proceedings here.

“Oh, don’t act so defensive,” He placed a large and heavy hand on her shoulder, and traced the outline of her arm ever so gently.

“Excuse me, Father, for not being excited to see you. I’m trying to prepare accordingly…,” She mustered out, her hands slightly trembled.

“I have come to… visit you to congratulate you,” Ares sighed, and stepped in front of her—blocking the entryway to her corridor, which led to her quarters. Josephine couldn’t help but feel a sense of awkwardness, as if her father was forcing himself to approach her.

“No need, Father, it’s quite all right—”


Well that was certainly quite the move there to block her way. If that isn't some sort of message about where he's going with this little secret conversation I don't know what is. Well things are definitely going to get a bit spicy here. I am loving the lines though, they may be brief but the are telling us quite a bit about both of them.

“I’ll be watching your trial this evening,” He stepped aside and allowed room for her to pass, “Good luck.”

Josephine didn’t move as her father started walking in the opposite direction. She released the breath she’d been holding during their interaction and, once he disappeared from her line of sight, leaned against the wall in the hall. That was the most Ares had said to his daughter in months. She allowed herself to smile lightly and continued on her walk back to her quarters, feeling like she may have been taking steps towards the right path.


Oooh that smile is absolutely everything there. It most definitely speaks volumes about exactly how Josephine felt that conversation went and well that is going to prove a very interesting addition to the next fight that's coming up here.

The trees swayed around Josephine as she got into position, facing Theseus on the training grounds. Josephine thanked her mother graciously for securing a training session with the divine hero, and she was destined not to fuck this up. It was now only a few hours before her next trial, and she needed all the knowledge and strategy that she could acquire.

“Your stance is a little wobbly,” Theseus told her, poking the end of his large harpoon at the bottom of her frail ankles, “When was the last time you strengthened your legs? They look like sticks!”

Josephine glanced down at herself and then looked back up at her trainer, “Has my mother not told you that I was never a warrior?”


Well the more we here about her, we definitely get the feeling she is very much in the infancy of becoming a warrior skillwise although her determination is definitely on an entirely new level given the odds that are stacked heavily against here.

“Child, everyone is a warrior,” He circled her as his eyes gave her a taunting bellow, “Your mother, being one of them. Just because she draws from emotions and love--- does not mean she is incapable of fighting for her beliefs. You need to find the growth within you and let the battle become a dance—one step after the other. One step after the other. You are a goddess, are you not?”

Josephine paused and lowered her sword. A goddess, she was not. At least, not yet. She didn’t feel comfortable claiming that title until she found her powers.

Theseus brought down his harpoon on her and the sharp tip barely missed Josephine by an inch. Before she knew it, she was laying in the mud—covered in horse feces. She felt anger boil in and up through her windpipes and charged at her sparring partner. The wind blew in her face and her knees locked when she connected the dull blade of her sword with the wood of his staff.


Oooh well that's some very classic foreshadowing there. Looks like we're going to have a bit of the very typical heroine gets very mad and the air blows and we promptly discover some hidden potential kind of moment, which is always fun so I'm not complaining although it could do with being a little bit less telegraphed.

One foot after the other. Like a dance.

Theseus’ harpoon snapped in two. Josephine didn’t realize how quickly it all happened—all she knew was that she had won. She had won a sparring duel against the Athenian hero, the son of Aegeus and Aethra, the man who killed the minotaur in the Cretan Labyrinth—the god who battled the fire breathing bull of Marathon. She had a chance.

Theseus’ expression was just as puzzled as Josephine's, his mouth wide with gape as she held her blade to his throat. He dropped the remaining shards of what’s left of the harpoon and threw his hands up in defeat.

“How did you do that?” He questioned her as she dropped her arm, yielding to him.


Hmm well yup that was pretty much exactly what I was expecting. Now to see how long its going to take for Josephine to realize and then exactly how long its going to take to actually gain some sort of mastery over this power.

“What do you mean” Josephine asked.

“I know for a fact that blade is dull,” Theseus grumbled, and took a step back from her.

“It was a lucky shot,” She responded to him and handed over her weapon. Was Theseus now scared of her? Had no one ever beat him in battle before? Of course, someone has—he’d probably sparred just about a million times and Josephine was definitely not the first person to be victorious.


Hmm a little bit of a jump to a conclusion there to think he'd be scared of her, but besides that loving the general vibe of the scene. I'm excited to see what Josephine is going to do with this little discovery or if she even realizes at this point the magnitude of what just happened there.

Theseus studied her for a few more seconds. There was profound curiosity in his face, and Josephine could clearly see that he was trying to find the words to say. Although, she was the daughter of Ares—after all. She didn’t understand why he was that shocked. Maybe it was her frail yet curvy figure, lack of muscle, and horrible stance.

“I want you to go visit Athena.”

“What?” Josephine started laughing and her torso tipped over like a stack of cards. Athena would never agree to see her. The goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft would have more pressing matters to attend to, “We all want a lot of things, Theseus. And why would you want me to visit her, anyways?”


Hmm well it seems Theseus realized at least so that's something, assuming of course Josephine actually listens. It is a bit rare that in this situation the advice actually ends up being listened to.

“I believe she can help you forge your power—and it’s worth a try. I’ll set up a meeting with you and Athena after your trial tonight,” He walks over to the mercenary shed to their right. Josephine watched him with concerned eyes. She’d never met Athena before, but her father spent most of his time in her quarters rather than his own. The two gods were more alike than she had originally thought.

“How do you know that I’m going to even make it through this Trial?” She asked, “Isn’t it a little early to make plans regarding the future?”

Theseus eyed Josephine, “Why are you so unsure of yourself, child? You are the offspring of two major deities. You have the ability to change the world.”


Hmm well that was certainly an interesting little detail to reveal there and on top of that quite the interesting question there to be posed in the direction of Josephine. Definitely the kind of thing you don't immediately think about, but is certainly fairly important to how she's been acting so far.

Josephine thought about that for a second. Why was she so unsure of herself? When she was a young child, she was given anything she wanted. She could recall a time when she was about four years old—she asked her mother for a unicorn and Aphrodite bought her a horse and put a sparkly baby pink horn-hat on it. In her eyes, that was a real unicorn. During that time in her life, Ares was more invested in her. He would shower her with countless gifts, from crowns, to jewels, to dolls. She was daddy’s little girl.

There were so many things that changed after her eighth birthday. Her mother had bought her a violin, and she had been playing it every day until Ares condemned it to stop. Instead, she was to take sparring lessons and take classes on war strategy. She was never good at it and had always lost every match until this week—when she defeated the son of Zeus.


Hmm well it does seem at least like she'd have ample reason to doubt herself a little although the determination to stick it out through losing quite that much does sort of then take it back a little by making you question why she'd doubt herself that much and still keep going. Its an interesting detail nonetheless.

“I’ve never been good at this stuff, you know,” Josephine said, her eyes watering as she sat down on the large rock next to the mercenary shed. She wiped a loose tear from her hot cheek, “This is all new to me. Well… not really new—per-se—but definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m still learning. I guess I put all this ‘battle’ stuff off as long as I could, and now it’s time for me to face it. I really am the daughter of war, aren’t I?”

Theseus moved to stand in front of her and lowered himself down on the back of his calves to meet her face, “You are the daughter of war. You are strong, divine, and underestimated. You are battle. You are beauty. You are you. But that doesn’t change your soul, your mind, or your future. You create your own. And tonight, you move onto the next chapter--- if the Gods will allow it.”

Josephine only stared at him as he wiped her wet face with his wrist and held out his hand for her to take. She hesitated but took it.

“Now, are you ready?” He asked.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”


Hmm wasn't expecting to have that much of a rousing pep talk there, but well certainly I wont be complaining about it, they are always quite fun to see. I can't wait to see what becomes of this particular one when Josephine goes forward either with this fight or that visit to Athena.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think a powerful little chapter this one. Two rather important events with us meeting Ares and then getting a glimpse into both the potential of Josephine and more of a look at just how low of a point she's been at in life.

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

Stay Safe
Kate




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Thu Dec 21, 2023 4:56 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello again, my friend!

Great to see the introduction of more Greek figures. Theseus, and now Ares himself! I love how you presented the war god; powerful and mighty, naturally demanding respect, but when it comes to interpersonal relations, kind of awkward and more like a general speaking to his troops. This is a stark contrast to Aphrodite, a goddess of love, who greets Josephine like a loving mother. Needless to mention how this dichotomy is elaborated on with your description of Josephine's childhood.

I hope to see the gods fleshed out a bit, so "war" and "love" are not their *only* characteristics, but I can't even make that judgement yet; I'm only on Chapter 3 for goodness sake, I have to catch up, haha. You already have a good start on that with Ares, too. Even though he was kind of stiff and awkward, and he has an evident history of being strict and pushing combat onto his offspring, he was at least *trying* to greet his daughter and congratulate her.

Seeing Josephine's emotional recounting of her childhood, elaborating on why battle is so hard for her, really makes the reader empathize with her. Likewise, Theseus's guidance created the perfect bridge from somber exposition to amping things up for the next chapter. This quote, right here, was probably one of my favorites in the book thus far.

“You are the daughter of war. You are strong, divine, and underestimated. You are battle. You are beauty. You are you. But that doesn’t change your soul, your mind, or your future. You create your own. And tonight, you move onto the next chapter--- if the Gods will allow it.”

It felt like Theseus was pushing Josephine forward while still being empathetic to her personal struggles. Likewise, he comes off as a wise character who has more to offer in future chapters.

And, of course, we're left anticipating Josephine's trial and the introduction of another god that almost everyone should be familiar with. Athena! That's exciting.

Nice chapter! :)




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Sat Dec 16, 2023 10:59 pm
LadyMysterio wrote a review...



Ze Lady Of Mystery is here to review!

I'm a sucker for Greek mythology so I was drawn to this so fast in the green room!!

I'll start with some general story/descriptor things, and then maybe get into grammar a bit. I'll also let you know what I love about it.

First off, I love the description you used in this sentence!!

A golden sword was clanged to his holster, and his glamour really eccentricated the body of a god. And a god Ares was, indeed.


Not quite sure what this glamour is, but since this is a few chapters in I probably missed something!

I also like the way you describe voices, like in this sentence.
“And yet, I thought you were the weak one,” A familiar voice sounded from behind her. She recognized that voice anywhere, the dark undertone warped his voice into some type of growl. This was the voice of a victorious, mighty king.


This part did confuse me, as I recall her making eye contact with her father at the start of the chapter. But maybe since Ares initiated it, it was ok?
She’d never look in his eyes—it was a form of disrespect.


However, I did enjoy the sense of tension and almost awkwardness we get between Ares and his daughter. Especially when he congratulates her.

I Love this little bit from Theseus
Child, everyone is a warrior,” He circled her as his eyes gave her a taunting bellow, “Your mother, being one of them. Just because she draws from emotions and love--- does not mean she is incapable of fighting for her beliefs. You need to find the growth within you and let the battle become a dance—one step after the other. One step after the other. You are a goddess, are you not?”



Spotted a lil grammatical thing here. Should be "what was left" "whats" is the wrong tense. It doesn't sound right when you read the sentence.
He dropped the remaining shards of what’s left of the harpoon and threw his hands up in defeat.


Again wrong tense here, easy fix though! "walked, instead of "walk"
He walks over to the mercenary shed to their right.


Also, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be "commanded" instead of "condemned"?
it every day until Ares condemned it to stop.



I enjoyed this chapter! I love the character relationship and how you play and describe him, Theseus 's gentle yet strong mentoring, and Ares's strict closed-off parenting. Keep up the good work, I look forward to other chapters!!

Until the next time! I shall now vanish in a puff of smoke!





“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents!”
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