Hey look, this chapter only took a month to update ;) yea I'm a fail... It's a smidgen longer though.. And I'm really sorry for taking forever, but I'm constantly adding one-shots to fictionpress account (link under profile) so, if you wanna check out some more ArtemisFrimm writings you should head on over there... Thanks so much, enjoy!
Orion wasn't surprised to find Apollo waiting for him as soon as his eyes were closed. He also wasn't surprised to find him looking just as irritable as always.
Orion bowed respectfully, "My Lord Apollo. What can I help you with?"
"Were you planning on contacting me any time soon boy?"
Orion bit his tongue in attempt to control his anger at the way the sun god called him 'boy'. "My apologies Lord Apollo, but we haven't had much time to ourselves where we could contact you without alarming the Persians."
"Tell my sister to make time. Our father is furious at her, and it would be in her best interest to contact me as soon as possible, preferably before she does something truly idiotic."
Orion felt anger swell in his chest, "Lord Apollo, how dare you speak of your sister that way?"
The god's eyes narrowed and his blue irises were replaced with white-hot flames. "Do not question me mortal or it will be the last thing you ever do." The flames died down in his eyes, and he watched Orion smugly, "In fact, if it weren't for my sister's strong feelings towards you, you'd already be dead, and she back in Olympus."
Orion froze, momentarily forgetting his anger towards the sun god. Artemis has feelings towards me? Impossible.
Apollo smirked, "Of course she has feelings towards you, whether they are feelings of of gratitude or affection I cannot tell, but let me tell you now demigod, just because my sister may have any type of feelings for you, does not mean you have my protection. When I find it necessary, I will kill you. I hope that's understood."
"Clearly." said Orion icily.
Apollo gave him a dry smile, "Good. Now, wake, and remember to have my sister contact me."
When Orion opened his eyes, the sky was still fairly dark, though he could make out the sleeping figures within the camp.
He stood up and walked over to the fire which by now was nothing more than a small kindle.
"Mehtab." A groggy voice spoke from the other side of the fire pit. Javed was laying on the ground rubbing his bleary eyes. He was hungover, "Go fetch more firewood. Bring someone with you." he was asleep again in a matter of minutes.
Orion sighed and walked over to Artemis who was still asleep. He bent down next to her and placed his hand on her shoulder, "Artemis, we need to retrieve more firewood."
Her eyes opened as if she had not been asleep at all. He held out his hand to help her up.
She took his hand and Orion couldn't help but notice how her hands, though small and delicate in appearance, were calloused from archery and sword practice. She eyed him for a moment before nodding her head, "Thank you Orion."
The two walked in silence as they began gathering kindling. Orion couldn't help but noticing how distant she seemed. He knew that the conversation with Apollo would only trouble her more, but he figured now would probably be the only time alone they'd have for a while.
"Artemis." she seemed to come out of her reverie. Orion pulled out the drachma Apollo had given him so long ago, "Your brother wishes for you to contact him."
Artemis sighed, "Does he? He can't have anything pleasant to say." she frowned, "Follow me, I think I saw a small creek a ways back."
"How are we supposed to contact your brother?" Orion asked after a moment.
"Have you ever heard of Iris Messaging?" Artemis asked.
He shook his head no.
"Well you know that Iris is the goddess of rainbows. She's also one of the messenger gods." Artemis explained.
Orion nodded, "Yes."
"Well, if she's in a good mood and you can conjure up a rainbow, all you need to do is toss a drachma into the rainbow as tribute to her, and you can speak to someone as if they were there with you." She said.
The two reached the creek, "I need you to create a mist that will reflect off the sunlight." Artemis instructed.
Orion closed his eyes and concentrated on the water in the small stream. Individual orbs of crystal clear water slowly floated into the air catching on the sunlight making it appear as if it were stained glass.
Artemis smiled quickly before tossing the Greek coin into the rainbow, "Oh Iris goddess of the Rainbow, accept my offering. Connect me with my brother."
As if by magic, the rainbow shimmered and Apollo's image appeared. He didn't look happy.
"It's about time you called. Zeus found out that you left Greece and he's absolutely furious!" Apollo was steaming.
"I'm sorry, but-"
"Yea you will be sorry once you get back here, if you even get back. It took all of my persuasion to keep Zeus from blasting you to smithereens the moment he found out you left!"
Artemis bit her lip, "Apollo I'm sorry I didn't mean to get you into trouble."
Apollo let out an angry laugh, "Doesn't matter now does it? The damage is already done."
"Apollo-" But he interrupted her.
"Anyway, Zeus wanted me to tell you that he's tired of your recklessness, so, if you die on this quest, there won't be any coming back. This is officially your quest now, so you must either be successful by the next solstice meeting or die trying. And this time, you must succeed without immortality." His voice softened but he still looked furious, "Artemis if you die, that's it. Game over. Your officially mortal now."
"How could you do this? Can't you say something to dissuade him?" Orion snarled wanting to defend the goddess he was so fond of. "She's doing this for your children remember Apollo!"
"Orion hush." Artemis said coldly.
Apollo narrowed his eyes and little flames began to dance within them, "Don't patronize me mortal. You have no right to speak to me about my father, especially being the son of that insufferable sea god. I'll smite you now if I must."
"Apollo that's enough. Is there any way you could talk some sense into him? Please? This quest is more dangerous than I thought and-"
"I'm done covering for you. Sorry sis but you're on your own." He stared at her sadly once more as if that would be the last time he would see her alive. "Goodbye." And then they were disconnected.
Artemis was frozen staring at the spot where her brother had been moments ago.
Orion was unsure of what to do. He had never seen her like that. She looked absolutely hopeless. "Artemis?"
She didn't respond.
"Artemis, what are we going to do?"
She finally looked at him, and he almost wished she hadn't. She looked so... broken. She let out a sigh, and Orion could tell she was trying to keep her emotions in check. She would not break down in front of him. "We don't really have a choice now."
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"We are going to be successful on this quest." she let out another heavy sigh, "We're going to be successful or we're going to die Orion."
Buh, Buh, buhhhhhh
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