The great leaders of Sparta and Arcadia rode through the camp of Queen Andromeda with brutal looks upon their faces. What started out as two great houses of Sparta clashing with each other, became a great war when both houses united to claim their lands from the rest of Greece. The Queen had denied this, still Sparta got in the ear of the Arcadians and they to, wanted their own kingdom. Why should Athens and Argos have their own kingdoms, but not Sparta and Arcadia? Epirus was ruled by many who allied with Argos, however, it seemed that Epirus was not going to join in on this fight.
To which Agaidai and Eurypontidae was thankful for. If Epirus came to Argos' aid in this battle, they were sure to fall and there would be no kingdom of Sparta while the King of Arcadia wanted to be separate from the reign of Andromeda. Echemus rode atop his horse proudly as any King should, but in all honesty, the Spartans didn't care for him. The bronze haired king was egotistical and thought his kingdom better than that of Argos and Athens. This was his other reason for going to war with the other two kingdoms.
The Spartans looked over to the Arcadian King as he dismounted from his horse and stood there in all his overweight glory. He was no warrior and he ate more than any Spartan could on his own. Agaidai looked at Eurypontidae with a smirk and a grunt before they dismounted and the Queen's commander came forward.
"My Lords, we are pleased to see you wish to negotiate." Mantius said as Antiope came from the tent causing eyes to fall on her form. She stood there in her own right dressed for the occasion in armor and her long hair falling over her shoulder.
"Come, there is refreshment inside." Antiope said before turning back around and going to Andromeda's side at the table where they usually discussed battle plans, however, it was to be used to negotiate. "They are here. I half expect them to laugh at us." She said with a smirk on her face as she grabbed her cup of wine she had set down earlier.
"They have no choice." Andromeda stood straight as the three men entered the tent and set eyes upon the Queen, bowing in respect. Even if they were at war, they could not bring themselves to disrespect the Queen in person. "My Lords. Thank you for coming. I know you must think this is a surrender, but it is not. What I have to say, you must carefully consider and think upon for we are all in danger." She held her head high even though she was shaking in fear of them turning around and walking out of the tent. Antiope stood close behind her, offering her comfort to Andromeda. "I must ask that we put aside this war between us temporarily and come together to fight a different one." Antiope took the time to come forward and speak.
"You may have noticed a few things, like the earth opening up and swallowing our men and camps as though they were nothing and of course, the lack of support from the gods in our war against one another." She said and they all looked to her, wondering just who she was to have such knowledge upon what was happening. Antiope showed no fear, but inside she felt the same as Andromeda. "My Lords, I believe the walls of Tartarus are falling." She said and there was a moment of silence as the three men looked at each other and then began to laugh.
"I can't believe this, the wall of Tartarus? Falling? Are you both mad?" Echemus laughed as Antiope began to simmer in anger and closed her eyes as she listened to the retort.
"If you wanted to save face for surrender, you should've just said 'I surrender', not make up a tale about the Underworld." Agaidai said slapping the shoulder of the man next to him who stopped laughing when he saw the angry stares coming from Mantius and Andromeda. They all stopped laughing when Antiope opened her eyes. There was no mistaking the red glow in her eyes.
"Who is she?" Eurypontidae took a step back as he saw the red glow in Antiope's eyes that reminded him of a nightmare he had a long time ago. Antiope allowed herself to calm down and the glow disappeared as the men had stayed quiet.
"Who I am doesn't matter, what matters is that we have a calamity coming and the only way to stop it is to stop fighting each other and fight against it." She looked to Andromeda and stepped back for the Queen to speak.
"If Tartarus falls, the Titan Kronos will be free." There was a silence in the tent as the three men looked at one another and then Agaidai stepped forward bowing his head respectfully.
"If you are sure this is happening My Queen, then we shall talk terms with you." Then he pointed to Antiope. "But, she cannot be here." She was about to say something when the earth began to shake once more and the sounds of the men shouting outside. Antiope ran to the flaps of the tent and pushed them aside to see beasts flying in the air.
"This will have to wait, we have company." She turned around to look at Andromeda who nodded and grabbed her own sword before walking out with Antiope to see what was really happening. "Chimera."
"To Arms!" Andromeda called and the camp sprang into action as the beasts came crashing down into the camps. Antiope looked at her before calling for a spear and the three men behind them seemed to be standing still in shock as a spear made its way to her hand.
"Mantius! Get them into lines!" She called to the commander as she ran to the closest Chimera and threw the spear, hitting it in the soft spot between its two heads.
She didn't have to wait long before it turned its attention to her and she grit her teeth, drawing her sword and prepared herself for a good fight. The time she spent in Ammoudia with her mother wasn't just for retreat, it was also to make her stronger and her mother did not go easy on her. However, now was not a moment to reflect as the chimera wanted to roast her alive, luckily she was able to dive out of the way as it spit fire. She wasn't alone in fighting though, several soldiers had rallied to her side and were feeling the heat with her. They took turns throwing spears at the creature, but it kept swiping at them or spitting its fire.
Somehow its tail had managed to take a few men down with ease and that was the first thing that needed to go. She ducked as the chimera spun around throwing flames at the other men, some of who would not make it out of this alive. Antiope was going to kill this chimera, one way or another and as soon as its tail whipped around, she sliced her sword downward. Instead of it cutting the tail clean off, it hung there at the end with just a little tissue holding it on. This caught the attention of the beasts two heads immediately and it turned to look at her.
"Antiope!" Nikodemos' voice shouted over the chaos as he threw a spear at her. She caught it just as the chimera opened its mouth to blow flames and then shoved the spear into its throat, causing the other head to snap at her.
She watched as the head that breathed fire was unable to stay alive while the other head was trying to snap at her. However, when another spear lodged itself into the other head, she looked over to see Nikodemos standing there with his arm still stretched out from throwing the spear. They both watched breathlessly as the beast collapsed, dead.
Antiope looked at the fallen men around her, at least thirty of them were wounded, but another twenty were dead. She didn't come out without a scratch herself, she hadn't noticed the gash in her arm and how it stung until she relaxed a little. She looked at her wound and saw that it wasn't bleeding as bad as it could have been, but she could see that others had it much worse than she did. Looking to Nikodemos, she motioned for him to help her get some of the men looked after.
"I didn't think you were that good of a fighter." The man said coming to stand in front of her after all the chimeras had been killed. She sat on a bench outside of her tent cleaning her sword after being tended to for the gash on her right arm.
"You do not know what a warrior is capable of when they are standing still." She looked up at him with a smile and motioned for him to sit next to her. He put his helmet on the ground and rested his elbows on his knees.
"Who told you that?" She didn't look at him as she started to sharpen her sword with a wet stone.
"My father told me this when I was younger." She looked at him and saw that he was in agreement with that. He took out a knife he had on his hip and handed it to her. She inspected it and the fine artistry that it had. "What is this?"
"My father gave me this when I was twelve along with a word of advice. He said to me, Niko, do not underestimate the value of a person by the way they stand or what they do. Something similar to your father's words." He said as she handed his knife back to him and he looked at it one more time before putting it back on his hip. "You fought like a goddess today."
"Thank you." Antiope gave him a small smile in thanks before standing up and putting her sword in its scabbard. She held a hand out to him and he took it as she pulled him up from his seat. "I must see to Andromeda." She said as she began to walk away, leaving him there to look after her retreating form.
She walked over to the tent where Andromeda was trying to plan the next course of action with Mantius and the rest of her men. She pulled the flap of the tent back to see her friend speaking with Korrina about something and then she looked over to her. It seemed as thought Korrina was very upset about a particular soldier in Andromeda's army being injured badly.
"Is everything alright?" Antiope asked Andromeda as she moved away from Korrina and over to the table where a map and figurines stood. She watched as her friend moved the pieces to their rightful spots on the map.
"Sparta and Arcadia accepted the conditions of the truce and pledge their support." Then Andromeda handed her a scroll that had the mark of Epirus on it. "Your mother has assembled her army and she is sailing down from Ammoudia." Antiope smiled upon hearing this and then opened the scroll to read it, seeing that her mother would meet them in two days. "Lets hope she makes it in time."
"She will." She said putting a hand on Andromeda's shoulder as shouting could be heard outside. "Not another chimera." Antiope followed Andromeda to the entrance of the tent to see what was going on and saw something she hadn't expected to see. "It's Perseus!" She bypassed her friend and ran out of the tent to meet him as the archers were ready to shoot him down.
"Hold fire!" Andromeda's voice commanded as the panicked soldiers were ready to fire. "I said hold fire!" They lowered there bows as the Pegasus landed with Perseus nearly falling off and Antiope had to keep herself from giggling as her uncle landed.
"Perseus!" Antiope walked up to him with a smile on his face as he dismounted from the flying horse and complained about how they used to be better at landings. The Pegasus was having none of it and hit him with his wing, causing the man to go stumbling forward a bit.
"Hey! No apples for you later." The demi-god son of Zeus said glaring back at the mythical creature as his niece came up to him with a smile. "Antiope!" She hugged him. It had been some time since she had seen him. Five years to be exact.
"It is good to see you again." Antiope was very welcoming where Mantius was not so welcoming. She bade him to follow and where Antiope went, Andromeda was never far behind.
"Great Perseus, if it is a battle you came for, you are a little late." Mantius said as Antiope took her uncle past the soldiers who started bowing to him. Other than looking a little rough around the edges, Perseus was looking well for the years.
"Mantius, Perseus is here for a reason, let him do what he needs to do." Antiope stood up to the commander and he looked to protest but instead he just followed along when the demi-goddess gave him a look. "Mantius is just trying to protect Andromeda." She said as the Queen made her way to them.
"And that is why I am here. To see the Queen." He smiled at his niece and then to Andromeda as she came up to him mirroring his smile. He still admired her and Antiope could see it on his face that he missed her in some regards.
"And the Queen is here." Andromeda told him before motioning him to follow her to the tent ahead. He was not used to people bowing to him still and Antiope took pity on him and made the men stand at attention. "You have seen battle lately?" Andromeda said as she looked him up and down in the tent before going to the table that held battle plans.
"Uh...yeah. Chimera almost burned my village down." Antiope looked up at him from across the table as he moved to take one of the wooden figurines off the table while Andromeda washed her face.
"It's been too long." The Queen said as she dried her face off and took her sword and sheathed it before moving to take the little figurine out of his hand and putting it back on the table. Antiope could feel the awkwardness that hung in the air.
"My wife..." He started but Andromeda beat him to it.
"I know." She said taking a scroll from Korrina and then setting it down on the table. Antiope almost wanted to scream.
"I have a son." Perseus did not know how to talk to women and the demi-goddess rolled her eyes at the way her uncle was making the air stuffy.
"I know. I would like to meet him." Andromeda was more interested in her scroll but still looked up at him and smiled. She was still upset about him leaving her there on the beach the day the Kracken was defeated. Antiope was happy when Mantius came in and broke the awkward atmosphere.
"Your Majesty." Andromeda turned and went to Mantius who bowed to her. "For the sake of the men, we must resolve our differences before sunset." She seemed to be upset with him and it seemed Antiope missed something when the meeting with the Spartans happened. Perseus looked at Antiope and she shrugged before he moved away.
"I've made it clear we continue to fight the chimera invaders." The tone in Andromeda's voice told Perseus she was having none of it and he had to agree with her.
"Today, we lost three hundred men for the deaths of four chimera." Mantius seemed to be afraid and why he had come to say this now was strange. "We have offended the gods." Antiope moved herself from around the table to go stand next to Andromeda and inquire as to why Mantius had brought it up now.
"What has brought this on?" She asked him with concern in her eyes. It was unlike the commander to be so fearful, but she saw the paper in his hand with tally marks on it. "I see."
"We need to pray." The commander said.
"You would pray to Ares perhaps?" Perseus said and the two women turned around to see him staring at the wounded men on the other side of the tent.
"Our soldiers always have." Mantius said and Antiope wondered what her father had to do with all of this.
"Perseus?" She went up to him and he turned around to see her questioning eyes.
"I will be the first to tell you that Ares is your enemy now." He told her with an apologetic look in his eyes. She couldn't understand what that meant, what any of it meant.
"I would make peace with the God of War." Mantius said.
"You would make peace with the God of War? Have you lost your mind?" Antiope said walking up to Mantius as Andromeda looked at Perseus with shock.
"Perseus, what's our strategy?" The Queen asked him and he turned to her with a serious look on his face that caught Antiope's attention as well. What was her Uncle up to?
That is right, I took the Abduction of Antiope down because I really didn't care for it that much. However, as you know, it is mentioned in the previous chapter. Anyway, I am also happy with this one even thought it is dialogue heavy. But really, is there really a right way to write a story? Other than the basic grammar and spelling, as long as you are getting your story across you can write in the style that works best for you. I am pretty sure you can't have a story that characters do not talk to each other.
Fact: The real Antiope was a very formidable warrior and she could defend herself very well, however, in some myths she is portrayed as being softer than her sister Hippolyta.