~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Blood of the Moon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The second her son would be born, Artemis would be having a few words with him. Not only was she constantly hungry with cravings, but she also feels sick every morning and is in constant pain.

Four months had passed since Orion's death. Four months since Zeus and Poseidon had become one of her highest priorities on her hit list.

In other words, make sure that she disrupted every child of theirs lives. She would even get on Zeus' nerves when he was trying to meet with mortals. And she told Hera every time he attempted to, and what she did.

Let's just say that she and Hera were getting along somewhat better than before. Which was both good and bad. Good for them, bad for the rest of the world.

A small baby bump was now noticeable on Artemis' lower abdomen, and she would try and avoid high-profile hunts which could risk her child.

Artemis would smile every time she looked at her son. No matter the mood she was in, she would instantly calm and joy would fill her.

Zeus knew nothing of the child. Hera had found out, and promised to help her avoid meetings, especially now when the gods would notice her being pregnant. Hestia had also found out, even volunteering to fill in for Artemis during some meetings (and how did she find out? Well, she's Hestia - she always finds everything out, no matter how well hidden it is). Apollo obviously knew, and delivered all of Artemis' messages to her from Hermes. Or he would ask the Goddess of the Hearth (Hestia) to do it for him.

Why? Apollo just gave Hermes a simple, yet lame, excuse: "Because we're bros, Hermes". It was surprising how the God of Trickery fell for it. But he did.

Even Apollo was surprised that he had tricked his half-brother; and this is Apollo we're talking about - he cannot lie for anything. Not even to save his own skin.

Soon, night began to fall and after eating a dry supper of mutton, Artemis shooed her Hunters off to bed.

She sat alone by the bonfire, staring into the flames. She would always avoid looking up. No matter where she went, the constellation of Orion was above her, which filled her with anger. The only thing that slightly eased it was Scorpio right behind him, his pincers right up Orion's rear-end.

"I see that something troubles you, Artemis." A small voice spoke up from next to the Goddess of the Hunt.

She jumped out of her skin and leapt away, holding her baby protectively. Then, she saw a nine year old with a pair of warm, fiery orange eyes looking at her. Hestia.

"Aunt Hestia, my apologies." Artemis said quickly, sitting back down on the log.

"I must apologise, Artemis. I scared you quite a bit." The goddess smiled, and Artemis nodded bleakly.

"So, what is wrong?" Hestia asked once more, and Artemis looked at the fire.

"I just get this strange feeling... Like something awful shall happen to my little boy and I will be powerless to prevent it. I cannot shake it... It scares me, Aunt." Artemis said meekly, her silver eyes glancing at her growing child as she placed a hand on her abdomen.

"I understand, Artemis." Hestia smiled warmly at her niece. "All mothers feel it, the sense to protect their child, and that something bad may happen to them."

Artemis nodded. "But I've even seen some images when I rest. I cannot shake the feeling, Hestia."

The eldest child of Kronos looked thoughtful for a few moments. "I'll tell you what, Artemis," She began. "On the day of your son's birth, he shall become my champion. I have a hunch that he shall achieve greatness, greater than any hero or heroine to ever walk this Earth."

The Moon goddess looked thankful for the praise. "Thank you, Aunt Hestia."

"Now, I believe that you need to begin your cycle across the sky, niece. I do not believe that Selene will fly your chariot for you every night." Hestia reminder her.

"Oh! Thank you Hestia. I need to do that." Hestia smiled warmly and vanished in a burst of flames, while Artemis flashed out in silver light.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Blood of the Moon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two more months passed, and the Hunt was restricted to traveling only with their mistress, Artemis. Being six months pregnant was a disaster all of the Hunters and Apollo.

The goddess was unable to complete the majority of her duties. Selene was full-time steering the moon chariot.

Artemis placed a hand on her stomach and it glowed silver. When she closed her eyes, she could see her son thrashing around, hiccupping a few times. His eyes fluttered open, releasing a yawn, and Artemis felt somewhat sad.

Her son's eyes were sea green with flecks of silver, giving them a metallic-like sheen.

He weakly kicked Artemis' hand, and her heart skipped a beat with joy. "Well aren't you the cutest little boy." She cooed.

He squirmed and tried to laugh, but ended up hiccupping.

Artemis laughed, massaging her swollen abdomen in affection, feeling her baby punch and kick weakly as it tired itself out. He yawned, and closed his eyes, going off to sleep.

Artemis opened her eyes and removed her hand, standing and leaving her tent to walk around the campsite despite the cramp she had in her feet.

Her son moved inside of her, sending small vibration throughout her body. It constantly occurred, and Artemis had grown used to it (somewhat, since it was still uncomfortable at times).

Many thoughts crossed her mind. What would she name her baby? How should she raise him? With the Hunters or leave him with a mortal family? Would monsters slowly become the hunters, the Hunt becoming the hunted?

True, she had already decided that she would raise her baby and take whatever is thrown at her, but what if it led to her Hunters' death? Her family turning against her? Or worse, her son's demise?

Artemis shook her head. The stress would only harm her son. Being pessimistic would also do her no good. If she thought like this, it could also only lead her Hunters to leaving or death. Both were as bad as each other.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Blood of the Moon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Annoyance. That was on top of Artemis' mind.

Zeus was constantly demanding her to go to Olympus and see him for an urgent matter. It may have been extremely urgent, but there was a new threat starting to brew.

According to a certain amount of gods (namely Hades and Poseidon), Gaea, Primordial goddess of the Earth was growing in power, and planned to overthrow Olympus in vengeance for killing Kronos and imprisoning her children. The majority did deserve it for going against Olympus. However, Zeus did go too far, and then Rhea went missing, which Gaea may have taken as imprisoned. Then, monsters started becoming more restless, escaping at a slight faster pace than usual.

Artemis was eight months pregnant, which really didn't help. She was easy to anger. She shot Apollo the other day for simply talking to her. Fair enough, it was like Artemis to do that, but she had calmed a lot down she got impregnated by the son of Poseidon.

He had been there for her, and dragged her through that horrific experience. He pulled her back from fading!

Putting the thoughts aside, Artemis looked back upon the bonfire. Her Hunters around her were laughing and eating the last of their supper of bear meat stew.

The Hunt surprising still existed, going around and killing the wicked and monsters. But Artemis stayed back with a handful of her handmaidens to protect her in case monsters caught her son's scent and attacked. It was unlikely, but it was a precaution they all had to take. They refused to risk their mistress' safety.

Suddenly, pain shot through Artemis' abdomen. She gasped rather loudly, catching the attention of all of Artemis' adoptive daughters. Kallisto was the first to be by her lady's side, and then Phoebe noticed water leaking down Artemis' legs.

"Lady Artemis' water broke! Quickly, hurry her to the medical tent, while I summon Apollo!" The ginger-haired girl barked, her sisters in arms rushing around the campsite. Most of them had no clue what to do, while very few of the senior huntresses actually understood and carried the goddess whom they all saw as a mother figure.

Phoebe looked up into the skies and closed her eyes. "Father, please," She prayed, "Artemis has entered labour and we need your help."

It didn't take too long for Apollo to show up. In fact, he showed up instantly. Not that the daughter of Apollo was complaining or anything. She was beyond thankful in fact that her father actually turned up, and that he looked... Well... Like he had been expecting this to happen so soon to Artemis.

"Medical tent?" He asked instantly, his sky blue eyes filled with concern. Phoebe nodded, and he dashed over to the tent. His daughter ran after him.

"Right, all of you leave other than Artemis' Lieutenant and my daughters, unless they wish to leave." Apollo demanded. A few girls left, but all of Apollo's daughters and Kallisto stayed. "Get me... ten pieces of cloth! Get some sterile Scissors and knives too, because there will be blood! Last chance to leave!" He ordered, but all stayed.

Apollo smiled broadly, and clapped his hands once all of the equipment and materials were there.

"Right, Artemis, when I tell you to, push. Alright?" He said calmly, and made Kallisto hold her mistress' hand.

"I helped mother give birth to you, you bloody dolt! I think I know what I'm freaking doing!" Artemis yelled, her face red with rage. Her silver eyes, however, were filled with pain.

Apollo's daughters lay seven cloths underneath Artemis. Her breathing was growing worse, and the god of music knew that this would have to start soon, or they would be increasing the risk of a miscarriage.

"Phoebe, get ready." He warned. She stood at the foot of the bed, ready.

"On three, Artemis. One... Two... Three; PUSH!"

It was a long process. Golden ichor covered some of the sheets, and a single cry echoed throughout the camp.

Artemis was panting heavily, completely exhausted. When the cry of her new born son was heard, she managed a small smile.

"Well Arty, he definitely takes after you." Apollo chucked, checking if the baby was fine. Thankfully, he was.

"Let me hold him." Artemis said gently, and Apollo wrapped the baby boy up in a cloth. Her twin handed the baby over to her, and he held him close to her chest, cooing at the sight of his cute face. Artemis thought of a name, because the name chosen didn't seem to suit him.

Thankfully, the young boy stopped wailing once he was in his mother's safe arms.

The little boy opened his eyes, and they were a bright silver, and they gleamed in the light. The orbs were flecked with sea green, and Artemis instantly knew what she was going to call him.

"Perseus..." Artemis whispered, and the baby smiled widely.

"My lady," Kallisto grinned from next to Artemis, "He is beautiful..."

Baby Perseus fidgeted in the sheets, trying to get out.

"Hey, calm down Perseus." Artemis kissed her son's head and held him close.

"Let us change the sheets Arty and we'll leave you to sleep." Apollo said, and Kallisto took her new brother away from Artemis while Phoebe helped her mistress up onto her feet.

Apollo's daughters quickly changed the bed sheets, and Apollo popped his head out of the tent for ten seconds. Artemis lay back down on the bed and her son was handed to her.

"Right, you girls are dismissed. Allow Artemis to rest for the rest of the day and tonight. Call me if anything happens at all. I will return tomorrow noon to check on Artemis and Perseus' condition." Apollo left the tent and flashed away before most of the hunters left to return to their duties and notify their sister's in arms about the birth of Perseus.

Kallisto and Phoebe stayed for a few minutes as Perseus lulled off to sleep.

"If you need anything, we'll help milady. Enjoy your rest." Kallisto offered and Phoebe nodded in confirmation.

Artemis smiled at the two girls and thanked them for the offer, but she just wanted to rest.

"Perseus... My baby boy. Sleep tight, little man. Be a hero, one greater than your namesake. Hopefully you have a happy ending like he did." Artemis spoke, laying her son down next to her. She protectively wrapped her arm around him loosely and his tiny hands wrapped around her index finger, hugging it tight.

A tear left Artemis' mesmerising silver eyes as she drifted off to sleep. She had a reason now, as well as the thing she had always craved: a child. And nothing was going to take her little man from her - ever.

She drifted off to sleep, a smile on her lips.

The Blood of the Moon had been born.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Blood of the Moon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And this chapter is done! Finally!

Sorry about the three month wait, but I've been caught up with a lot of problems lately guys.

Anyway, so I hope you enjoyed the chapter! Next chapter will (hopefully) be considerably longer, so yeah.

Anyway, don't forget to leave a review guys! Until next time!

~ The Prince of Souls