A/N: This is the updated/slightly rewritten, A03 version of Wise God, originally rewritten on here Fanfiction. It will continue to be updated on both. Hope you enjoy :)
Kratos had lived far too long, in his own opinion.
Despite dying several times, he still drew breath. It irked him. It irked him how, after thousands of years, he had finally realized that no, his body didn't stop aging after a point.
He lost the ability to die.
It started with small things. Blades bouncing off of his skin. Arrows shattering upon his exposed brow. Poison melting on his tongue and going down quick as a flick without the slightest effect. Ice was suddenly a minor nuisance. Fire licked at his clothes, but not his flesh. Lighting parted around him. The sun warmed but never burned. Lava was thick water. Water was breathable. The earth shattered when he fell, not his bones. Monsters died with an errant twitch. The clouds split when he put his all into a blow. He never starved. He never thirsted. Time left him alone.
The world changed.
He did not.
His little log cabin rotted and broke, so he dutifully replaced the failing timber, planting seeds and watching them grow before his eyes. He used them as a method of telling time, seeing as it had little to no effect on him.
Mortals dwindled. Monsters returned in en masse, with new breeds to their name. Humanity found the crystallized substance called dust. It was effective, creative, how they used the substance. But humans were always good at creativity.
Humans rose again, the blood of other-now dead-races mutating some into what they called 'Faunus.'
It mattered little.
He knew they wrote stories when he decided to lend a hand. Knew he was little more than a petty legend, rarely passed around a huntsmans fire, if some knew it. The tales were probably outlandish. Probably called him a hero. Something he wasn't. They probably called him a monster.
Something he was.
He didn't care.
The newest breed of monster, the one that dominated the surface of this world he had exiled himself to, called "Grimm," had been smart enough to leave well enough alone, once he had thrown a bit of godly influence at them. They avoided the woods that were his home like the plague. He attributed that partly to the leftover stave left around his property by his son.
He missed the boy. Missed his wives, and his daughter, and his brother. His many acquaintances. He enjoyed their journeys. He truly did. But most of all did he enjoy his travels with Atreus. His precious son...The boy survived Ragnarok...And many a year after. He was how Kratos learned of death's apparent reluctance of him. While his son grew old and withered over many, many hundreds of years, Kratos did not. He only truly accepted that he was cursed with life after he burned his son's ashes, and carried them to the same peak as his mother after the no-longer-a-boy finally gave in to age.
His gravestone still rested in beside Feya's in the garden he and the boy first faced a fire troll, after the hunting incident just before Baldur arrived.
The soft footfalls warned him of something approached his cabin. His ears caught it mere seconds after his instincts did. One became two, then three, then four, then six, then ten. There was no stench of monsters. Humans? The figures that cautiously came around the bend several hundred meters away confirmed that. Kratos didn't care. If they came for shelter, he had it. Food, drink, and a warm fire too. The blond one near the back seemed as though he'd enjoy the flame he was chopping wood for.
Another perfect split. If Brok and Sindri could see what he was using the Leviathan axe for...well, Sindri would whine, and Brok would be grumpier than he was usually.
But there was no need or time for such thoughts.
Their purposeful strides and the determination of their leader said they were here for him...
Or his house.
He'd like to see them take the latter.
They came to a stop several feet from the gate of the fence he and Atreus had built upon a whim of the boy. He had kept it immaculate and freshly replaced in the boy's memory. They stared silently for a moment as he placed the last chopped pieces into a pile and turned, his eyes scanning the surrounding trees.
Their leader cleared his throat.
Kratos ignored him, ambling out the gate and past them to an older tree, reaching the perfect time for cutting. Perhaps it would give him an excuse to ignore the man now speaking aloud in an attempt to get his attention. Kratos again ignored the man, holding up his hand, fingers spread. The Leviathan axe flew from the chopping block, skillfully through the group so nobody was hurt, and landed perfectly in his grip.
The man who was leading had kindly shut up when the gold-embroidered axe left a small cut in the ends of his scarf, it had come so near to his neck. Kratos pulled back. Swung once, twice, thrice, and the tree fell with a groan. He placed the mighty weapon into its holster upon his back, leaning down and gripping the felled tree. Several of the party scoffed and chuckled when he made to pick it up.
They fell silent when he effortlessly lifted it with one arm, holding it on his shoulder light as a babe, depositing it in his dug-out trench of 'to get to' Logs. Kratos sighed, long and exasperated. He turned to the staring group. "Yes?" He grunted, crossing his muscular arms across his scarred, broad chest. The man who led stepped forward.
"Greetings," The silver-haired leader, "my name is Ozpin." He said, face carefully blank. "Your legend came to my attention, and I decided to gamble on the reality of it." He said, taking a sip of some liquid from a cup that most certainly was not there before. Kratos was instantaneously suspicious. The man had magic, or a hidden pouch large enough to hold a full, steaming, mug of...something. He somehow doubted the latter.
"What do you want?" Kratos asked, unshifting even as the blond caped woman beside the leader bristled. 'Ozpin' stopped whatever she was attempting to do with a look. She backed down quickly.
'Magic, demands respect, knows what I am, or at least thinks he does...intriguing, yet possibly annoying.' Kratos thought, awaiting an answer even as he took in the party. Ozpin stood at the head, the woman slightly to the left of him was blond, and stern. She bore no weapons but a riding crop. Kratos could tell by looking at her physique that she was no physical fighter. Magic, perhaps? Smart. Bringing two magic users against a powerful/unknown source.
Useless, perhaps, but smart.
To the left of the woman were two people he connected as siblings. One male, one female. Both had black hair, pale skin, red eyes, and were confident yet cautious. Warriors, these two. Swordsmen, by the looks of things. Next to them was another woman, this one hidden beneath a white cloak. Her body was inside it, hiding all but her pale face and silver eyes. Concealed weapons? A fast fighter, most likely. Next came a blonde man, he seemed like a hand to hand fighter based on his structure and lack of weaponry. To the leaders right were all males. One stern-looking and bearing a firearm. He reminded the God of a tree, firm, and unshaking. Next was a man who looked much too large to be of any use in combat, despite his cocky stance and axe-gun combination. Beside him was a thin man with green hair, sipping rapidly from a thermos. Next to the drinking man was a Faunus, his tail twitching as he stared unsurely at Kratos' axe.
"I've come to offer you a position," Ozpin said. Kratos was ever stoic, awaiting the man's coming explanation. "I am the headmaster of a school that trains huntsman, and have been seeking you out for a very long time. Seeing as you do indeed exist, I've come to hire you on as a teacher." The old God's eyes roamed the party.
"With an armed escort?" He growled, arms falling to his sides. The party-barring Ozpin-stiffened, recognizing the threat of his position. Good. Maybe this could end without a beating. The infuriating man took a sip calmly, seemingly unaffected.
"They were insurance I would arrive safely. Outside your little forest is as Grimm infested as the rest of our planet." The man said without a flicker of doubt. Kratos called bullshit. The man was strong.
"Do not seek to trick me, wizard, I'm not so foolish as to think a man like yourself would need an armed escort." Kratos snapped, his eyes narrowing minutely. The mortals sought comfort in placing their hands upon whatever they were armed with. Ozpin finally showed emotion, his eyes hardening a slight bit.
"I should be surprised that you know of my magic, but it would be a bit sad if you didn't, Kratos." The mortal even knew him by name. That was a new one. A surprise...and a rather unwelcome one. "After all, what kind of God would you be then, hm?" The rest of the party faltered, looking between Ozpin and himself in disbelief. The Faunus was visibly trembling.
"So...You know who I am." Kratos murmured, eyeing the warlock suspiciously. Ozpin shrugged.
"After being cursed by two of them, I feel I'd remember the presence." The mortals around them stared at Ozpin in open shock. Kratos felt an unwelcome sense of camaraderie with the wizard. If Ozpin noticed, he pretended that he did not. "I feel now would be a good time to-"
"No." Kratos interrupted. The man paused, but to his credit, did not falter.
"Why not?" He asked curiously. Flickers of teaching Atreus both warmed his soul and weighed it heavier.
"They would die regardless." He said, turning back to his home and starting forward.
"So?" The voice made him pause. It had come from the woman in the cloak. "Even if they do die, wouldn't it be better they go out of age, or at least with a fighting chance? If your a God, like Ozpin says, then what can it really hurt? You have the time-" A poor choice of words. "-And the skill. Why not help? I-I, I'd guess that mortals pass like seasons to you, but I…" The woman trailed off. Kratos turned slightly. She was looking at the ground. "I have kids." She said. The memories struck like thunder. "A daughter. And a half daughter." She said. The blonde man and female sibling both placed a hand on her shoulder. The look in their eyes told him of who the half daughter came from. "I love them both deeply. And I would rather die than see anything happen to them." Memories of Freya, the 'witch,' carrying Baldur's corpse. Of her oaths. Of her body bleeding out around his ax, all came to the forefront. His eyes flickered down as well. "Please I...if you're a God, then you could teach them how to defend themselves. You could protect them should something happen to me. Please, I beg of you..." The woman said, breaking from the group and vaulting his fence, running forward and grabbing his pale hand between both of hers. Amber eyes met teary silver. "Please…" She whispered, squeezing his hand. Flashes of his own daughter overwhelmed him. He looked up at the sky quietly, watching the snow begin to fall.
'Feya...Atreus...Lysandra...Calliope...What would you say, if you saw me now?' He wondered for the trillionth time. He sighed, his amber eyes falling first to the woman, then to Ozpin. 'And here I was, calling that Faunus a coward.'
"You will not order me." He said. "You will not seek to hold anything over me. You will not reveal my status-any of you, and you will allow me to leave whenever I so wish." He said, the woman still gripping his hand standing straighter with every word. "Those are my conditions. Take them or leave them." He said. The woman gasped, and he could feel her smile, despite not seeing it. Ozpin nodded, and said an agreement to the terms, as did the rest. The woman dropped his hand and proceeded to hug him for-what he assumed-all she was worth. He sighed again, allowing it.
And that was how the Greek God of War became the combat instructor and field expert at Beacon Academy.