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18+ Mature Content

The Daughter of War - Chapter 26: Reflections

by Ley


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

Chapter 26: Reflections

Josephine and Jase sat at a table at one of the pubs in Delphi, right outside the Temple of Apollo. It was almost sunset—the clouds were dissipating by the second, leaving the shimmering golden sun in its wake. Not only did Josephine feel crushed and humiliated by the information she received from Apollo, but she was also extremely hungry. She’d been eyeing the French-onion soup, and watched impatiently as a family of four sipped theirs. Her eyes showed nothing but signs of disappointment and anger. Jase knew this, as he constantly kept trying to offer her a small piece of sampler sourdough.

“You need to eat,” Jase grumbled, moving the bread closer to her side of the table, “You won’t be able to think straight until you do.”

Josephine stuck her tongue out and grabbed a piece of bread from the basket, sniffing it before she shoved the whole piece in her mouth. Jase glanced around them and rolled his eyes as a group of men cheered at a table closer to the bar. A small, petite, brunette bartender stayed cleaning empty glasses at the sink, humming an old wise tune.

She couldn’t stop thinking about her father and how he could have anything to do with the attack. Her first instinct was that Apollo lied to save his own ass—he really was behind all this, after all. But, the more she thought about it, her father always longed for more power. Even though Ares obeyed and followed Zeus, there was always a hint of jealousy lurking beneath his thick exterior.

“Have you heard anything about Hermes lately?” Jase asked, eyebrow raised, “Don’t you think it’s a coincidence that not even two weeks pass after his disappearance, and there’s an attack on Olympus? Doesn’t that seem odd to you?”

Josephine gulped down the remnants of the sourdough. She neglected to tell Jase sooner about her encounter with Hermes, but now wasn’t the time to admit it. What Jase was getting at was plausible, though.

“I guess it is odd, I’m sure he’s on vacation with one of his whores. Wouldn’t be unlike him if he was,” Josephine bit her lip and hesitated before changing the subject, “What was that all about, by the way? You didn’t have to defend me back there. I’ve never seen you so…angry.”

Jase sighed and leaned back in his seat, looking everywhere except for her, “I don’t take well to men who degrade women or treat them poorly. I’ve seen men abuse my mother. When I was young, my mother dated a wealthy and well-known god… I’ve never seen her so depressed. I guess what Apollo said just…triggered me.”

Josephine had never admired Jase more than this moment. She moved her hand, so it rested over his, “I’m sorry you had to experience that, Jase.”

The son of Poseidon nodded gently before continuing, “As men, it is our duty to protect our women. I was only simply doing what should’ve been done. I would’ve killed him if he said anything more.”

Josephine flashed a quick smile, “Us both. I was about ready to burn him to a crisp.”

Jase chuckled and his cloudy eyes met her seafoam green iris’. He started to speak but stopped himself when chair flew by their table. The men at the bar started to fight, fists thrown every which way. The bartender started yelling, onlookers trying to separate the big, bulky men before they destroyed more of the pub than they already had. Josephine and Jase watched with confusion as one of the men started yelling.

“You stole my coins you bastard!” The larger of the two bellowed through his chest, voice echoing slightly.

“I did no such thing!” The smaller man squeaked.

Jase grabbed Josephine by the hand and stood up, “Let’s go before we get involved in yet another brawl.”

“Good idea,” Josephine giggled and followed Jase back into the cobblestone streets. She didn’t even notice that Jase had left some coins on the table—a tip for the bartender who looked like she had way too much on her plate.

On the journey back, Josephine couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching her… following her. She kept turning around to check for stalkers, Jase following suit, but to no avail.

~

Hermes watched Josephine and Jase from the skies. His sandals, known as Talaria, fluttered at his ankles, and his tan arms crossed in front of his body. Talaria skipped a flap of their white feathered wings before speaking to the god,

This way, Master, this way.

Talaria edged the God of the skies to the left, and they soared endlessly over winding streets and mountainous terrain. Jase and Josephine could be seen as little specks beneath the clouds, moving at a speed much slower than he’d been flying. Hermes grunted, perched on top of the nearest cliff, and studied the young goddess once more.

He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t jealous of her gift. When she defeated him—which he still denies to this day—he escaped to Delphi to work alongside Apollo to create a powerful elixir; something that could be genetically modified to replicate Josephine’s power. Hermes returned to his abode in Troy to gather shards of glass that Josephine had unknowingly left her blood remnants on, brought it to Apollo, and they started working with priestesses to develop a power much more sinister than Josephine’s. He wanted to be powerful, indestructible.

Talaria jolted at his feet, tugging him to return to the skies, we fly, Master. Fly.

Hermes kicked one of his feet against the rocky edge; Talaria’s wings drooped and then fluttered once more.

The fact that Josephine was constantly with or around Jase, the son of Poseidon, complicated things for Hermes and Apollo. With him around, they would never be able to properly eliminate her. Ares was their first guinea pig, as he longed for power more than any other god, and the attack on Olympus was a side effect of that.

After drinking the uncompleted elixir, Hermes and Apollo watched as Ares wielded the power of light—but it wasn’t what they were aiming for. In order to finish the elixir, they needed Josephine’s energy—her divine heart. Without it, all the work they’d done these last few weeks would be useless. Their plan now was to lead Josephine to them, alone, and Ares was the perfect pawn.

So, Hermes waited. 

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Sat Mar 02, 2024 11:38 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

I would like to continue my review with the next chapter of this great story! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

WOW! So much to process and understand! I thought this would be another cute, casual chapter for Jase and Josephine to further repair their bond, but instead, we got a shocking revelation -and I was not expecting it! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

This could be very subjective, and could change depending on future chapters, but here it goes:

The revelation was shocking -Hermes being alive, following Josephine and Jase, plotting to take her gift, admitting Apollo is in on it, admitting Ares was a guinea pig, to the attack on the Grande Hall, and now plotting on Josephine's heart. It's a lot of great stuff, but depending on how the next chapters go, I can't help but wonder if it may be just a little too abrupt.

Of course, I am not a professional, so please always take my advice with a grain of salt.

Why The Grin Widened...

Jase admitting that he jumped to protect Josephine due to his past and abuse toward his mother was a heartfelt character moment that told me more about his character. Very different from the common behavior of Poseidon's kids, that's proof enough for sure.

As I mentioned, the fact that Hermes is alive came as a shock, and this was a great and suspenseful way to do it! Mentioning his mysterious disappearance was the perfect segue to the perspective shift too, and his spying on Jase and Josephine.

As they talked about power being a potential motive for Ares's rivalry with Zeus, I became more suspicious; initially, I wondered if he had reasonable doubt in Zeus's leadership and would wind up agreeing with this daughter, but if it is purely a power game, maybe not. Maybe he could be even worse...

Then any doubt I had went out the window with this...

Ares was their first guinea pig, as he longed for power more than any other god, and the attack on Olympus was a side effect of that.


WHAT. THE. HECK. (O_O)

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, there was so much revealed here, it was an awesome chapter! :)

Image




Ley says...


HEHHEEHEH I warned you :D I'm glad you loved this chapter!




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