Zoë grunted as she deflected the sword from the enemy dracanae by catching it with the edge of her twin knives, one that had originally belonged to Artemis but had lost when she killed Perseus, and the other one as a gift from Artemis herself when she had joined the eternal Hunt. Spinning to dodge a slash of the recovered monster, she slammed one of her knives into her opponent's sword arm and then when the dracanae was occupied with screaming in pain, thrust her other knife into the dracanae's throat, silencing the creature until she reformed.
Zoë slowly let out air from lungs. They, the Hunters and Amazons, had been fighting for the past hour now. Though she was feeling fine thanks to her brutal regime that she had kept up since her time with Perseus, the same could not be said for her companions. They were tiring slowly and for every monster sent to Tartarus, four took their fallen ally's place. How the current Underworld Queen had managed to occupy a good deal of the Underworld with her army in such a short time, Zoë would never know.
Zoë allowed one of her sisters to replace her in the front lines of the massive battle which gave her ample time to re-assess the battlefield with an eagle's view. At first, they had all been eager to simply fight and very nearly charged the monster army as soon as Thanatos, Enyo, and Artemis had left them to challenge Pallas but Zoë had shot them down immediately. Instead, she had organized the strike force into two teams so that while one team could fight the monster army while the other team could rest and recuperate. Her strategy had saved lives that would have been lost in the initial charge.
Zoë cast her eye on the trio of gods facing the smirking Titan of Warfare. Her Lady, Enyo, and Thanatos were at a complete disadvantage. While Thanatos was in his element as he resided in the natural darkness of the Underworld and could see as clearly as he could in the daytime, he was unused to battling with two other beings. Death, after all, was a lonely domain that no being wanted to be a part of. Artemis could see especially well in the dark though that was a given considering her domain of the night but was not especially talented in working well with others. She enjoyed solitary hunting and had never before encountered a being or creature she could not defeat alone. As such, her teamwork suffered greatly despite the hunting she did with her handmaidens. Enyo was perhaps, the direct opposite of Artemis. Enyo completely understood the necessity of working well with others. Wars had never been one by a single person. However, she could hardly see ten feet in front of her. As such, she could not fight at her full potential.
Zoë shook her head. The gods needed to slay Pallas before they were all overwhelmed by the monster army. With a shout to one of her sisters and a wordless battle cry that promised pain to any that stood in her way, Zoë entered the fray once more.
Perseus wanted to kill himself as soon as he leapt off the Boar. Well, that was not quite accurate. A kick on his own arse would suffice. What on Earth, or more accurately, the Underworld, had possessed him to leap off his relatively safe position on the Boar, to challenge the obviously powerful being before him. Why had he done so then?
Ah, now Perseus remembered. He had been hit with an overwhelming amount of bloodlust and rage that induced anger and did away with caution in any being within the range of the Titan. It was far more potent than Ares's own comparably meager anger inducing power and perhaps even stronger than Verethragna's own similar power at the peak of his fury.
Yes, the being before Perseus was a construct of malice, demise, eternal fury, and a willingness to always create havoc. This was a creature, for no immortal could possibly be this vile, that would be an excellent ally for causing unbridled destruction but would stab the ally in the back simply because it meant even more destruction. This was a being that could not be reasoned with and was as powerful Verethragna judging simply from the sheer aura of power that surrounded the Titan.
And Perseus, in the many times he had sparred with his father, had never before beaten his father in combat.
Perses was a tall Titan; Perseus only reached up to his chin. Perseus supposed the Titan made himself that tall because it compounded with the longsword he wielded. Brown eyes that had seen the fires of war and desired more of the destruction caused by war were focused intently on him. His hair was brown and cut short, likely so his view was unobstructed during combat. He wore a single piece, undefinable colored clothing that fit his battle-molded form perfectly.
"You're the one causing all this destruction?" Perses waved his unoccupied all over the Underworld. Screaming dracaena trampled upon by the Boar, wounded hellhounds littering the floor of the Underworld, and golden dust scattered all about from the defeat of countless monsters in the span of minutes. He smirked. "Thanks for the power boost. Now, let's fight!"
Perseus had only moments to realize the implications of Perses's statement before he was forced to bring up Leonidas's sword to defend against Perses's steel-shattering first strike. The force of that single strike was unbelievable. It was only the high quality of the blade coupled with Perseus's continuously growing strength that allowed Perseus to bat the longsword away from his head and launch himself into the air in a reverse somersault and reassess the situation.
Perses was stronger than, far stronger than he had anticipated. It had taken too much of his strength to simply deflect his sword, he would never be able to match the Titan in single combat. Suddenly, Perseus kneeled in pain. He brought a hand to his cheek, the origin of his sudden pain, only to discover that he had been cut. A peculiar green and red colored mix trailed from the cut.
What is this? Poison? Why the hell does this cut hurt so much? No matter, now I have to fight dirt to win. Which means...
Perseus shakily got up to his feet, sword clenched tightly in both hands as he shot the Titan a furious look.
"What's the matter little demigod? Having trouble keeping up? I would have thought that someone who could partially deflect my sword would at least have a little more fight in them," Perses grinned with animalistic lust at the pain he had inflicted on the demigod.
"Almighty Bird of Prey, grant this one your speed," Perseus whispered and suddenly, in Perses's eyes, he had disappeared. "Where have you-" Perses was cut off as a wound was inflicted just above his left eye. Blood flowed freely down his brow and past his eye, obstructing some of his vision. Then, he felt an intense flame on his left leg that burned for a single instant before dissipating, causing the Titan to roar as his foot was cooked like a prime slab of meat.
Perseus reappeared behind the Titan, to which the Titan in question bellowed out a furious roar. Perseus simply grinned.
That's more like it. His depth perception's now nonexistent and he's favoring his left leg now that his right leg's been burned. He probably doesn't have any experience fighting like that but I still shouldn't underestimate him or his strength. Unlike with Ares or Heracles both of whom I could easily overpower, this Titan can overwhelm me with his strength so it'll have to be a battle of attrition. I'll have to cut him in places where his overall speed and reflexes are diminished down to my level but those wounds should be enough. And neutralize that poison. Gotta get it out of my system too.
On Perseus's index finger, a small, red flame appeared and then traced the flame over the cut on his cheek he had received from Perses and then wiped the blood with back of his hand. It wouldn't be good to have an open cut in high speed combat. But to neutralize his poisonous blade...
Perseus's blade suddenly caught on fire. Then, the red flames slowly turned green. Greek fire was a chemically created fire that burned hotter than any other mortal flame and was among the most dangerous of all explosives. As the servant of Mithras, the Persian God of Light, Verethragna had been granted the domain of fire. Fire and its many forms, from simple fire to Hellfire, was under his control. And the domain of fire had been passed down to his only son, Perseus.
Perseus grinned in anticipation. Though he did not wish to wield this deadly flame very often for fear of making it a crutch and subsequently degrading his skill, against an obviously powerful opponent with strength superior to his own, Greek fire would make up the difference in physical strength between the Persian demigod and the Greek Titan.
Perses charged the demigod, eager to cleave his enemy's sword and his opponent in two only to have it blocked by his opponent's horizontal counter. It was as soon as the two swords had met, the Titan was blasted off his feet and sent spiraling into the dark, rocky sky of the Underworld.
Perseus grinned at the Titan's fading curses as he was sent to the opposite side of the Underworld. Greek fire was an explosive human creation, that coupled with Perseus's formidable strength and Perses's inability to stand his ground properly thanks to his burned leg or properly dodge an attack because the attack appeared to be coming from a slightly higher point of origin. These factors are what allowed Perseus to send the Titan flying.
A loud booming noise signaling the impact of the Titan on a hard surface resonated through the air.
"I'll kill you, demigod bastard!"
"What the-" Perseus turned only to find the equivalent of a speeding boulder launched from a catapult flying through the air, sword equipped and prepared to skewer him in the heart. It was easy to dodge considering that Perseus still employed the power of the Raptor but meant nothing in the end as the Titan instantly recovered from his earth-shattering landing and launched himself at the demigod.
Mighty Mithras! Perseus thought in between clashes of swords, his Greek fire seemingly neutralized by the anger fueled strength radiating from the Titan. I guess I really don't know my own strength. I would never have expected for him to land on the ceiling. And this monster is only getting stronger. Even now, I'm losing ground and his slashing is getting faster and faster. What kind of monsters are these Greek Titans that they seem as powerful as the Persian gods? What in Mithras's name am I supposed to do now?
Perseus stepped backwards to avoid a fatal thrust to his heart before wincing as danced outside the blade's sharp edge, receiving a small slice on his ribcage for his troubles. Perseus grimaced as he manage to deflect the Titan's next lethal blow to his head but stumbled backwards at Perses's unorthodox method of throwing his sword away and using his fists to pummel Perseus into submission.
A bright light filled the edge of Perseus's vision but he ignored it in favor of using abandoning his own sword for fear it would shatter under the Titan's mighty fists and began using his own knowledge of weaponless combat to counter the Titan's devastating punches until finally Perseus made a mistake.
Perseus had raised both his hands to defend his face against Perses's next punch but instead received a punch to his gut which lifted the demigod a few inches off the ground before Perseus was hurled a short way away into the river Phelgethon, one of the five rivers of the Underworld and the river that was the origin of Hellfire.
Perses laughed loudly. "Scream, demigod! Let me hear your your screams of agony as you bathe in the black flames of Hell. Let me here your wails of despair and desperation as the black flames slowly melt the skin of your pitiful mortal carcass. Let me hear your cries of pain as your bones and skull become liquified!"
Perses waited for five minutes before sighing and turning away, "Pity. You must be one of those demigods who became incinerated as soon as you fell into the river. How boring."
It was as Perses began walking away that he felt a hand cloaked in flames rest on his shoulder, stopping him, and burning his immortal flesh. A voice that chilled his very core spoke deliberately. "Funny. I was about to tell you the same thing."
Without further need to inspire action, Perseus threw the Titan into the river Phlegethon. Screams echoed all around the Underworld.
"Idiot. I guess he didn't get the Iris message that I was impervious to all flames in existence. Actually, that reminds me..." Perseus trailed off as he search his admittedly burned clothing, since his imperviousness to fire for some reason only partially extended to his clothing, before finally finding what he was looking first. "Hey Phelgethon, I heard that you have a relationship with Styx but can't see her. With this and a rainbow, just ask Iris to message Styx!" Perseus shouted before tossing a drachma at the river. "Make Perses hurt for me!"
A hand made of fire caught the drachma before a huge column of Hellfire spouted out further down the river, bathing the entire Underworld in light for a few seconds and presumably hurting the Titan even more, considering the screams intensified for the duration of the tower of fire.
Perseus chuckled before walking away, making sure to pick up his own sword and Perses's longsword.
I really need to get better at fighting. I bet a river of fire won't be around if I have to fight another Titan. As strong as the Egyptian and Persian gods for sure. I wonder how strong an Olympian truly is- would they be stronger or weaker than their ancestors?
Enyo batted Pallas's sword away from her torso one last time before switching in with Artemis who easily deflected Pallas's sword at the twice the speed of his strikes. Two knives diverted the Titan of Warfare's single strike, and allowed Thanatos an opening to strike at his heart which he did so with his scythe.
It was unfortunate that at that moment, Pallas summoned a second sword into his empty hand and blocked the attempt to kill him.
"Two sword style," Pallas smirked as Enyo's, Artemis's, and even the typically unflappable Thanatos's eyes all widened. If they had only barely managed to counter Pallas wielding a single sword, how would they fare against him using two swords?
The answer was not well. Though he had lost power behind his sword strikes, he had gained immense speed, rivaling that of Artemis. He was easily able to counter every slash of Artemis's knives, each precision thrust of Enyo's sword, and each peculiar angle that Thanatos launched his scythe from. All three gods were being pushed back by the lone Titan.
Then, the tide of the battle turned. They had all backed off as Pallas had simply stopped and smirked at the pantings gods. "Surrender godlings and I shall end your existence swiftly. Continue to persist in your futile existence and I shall make you suffer before you die."
"You know, in my experience, when someone says that, they're usually about to die," Enyo lifted her sword.
"Do you honestly believe that I am about to-" Pallas was cut off as an enormous column of fire created light for all the denizens of the Underworld to see as if they were under the sun for a short while.
Pallas blinked and in that moment, the deadly war goddess struck the Titan's heart with her celestial bronze sword. A second later, Artemis followed with quick strikes, both to his hands to force him to let go of his blades. Finally, Thanatos followed up with a massive horizontal stroke that completely cleaved the Titan in half.
"T-that's not fair..." Pallas managed to stutter out before he burst into golden dust.
"Called it," Enyo smirked before running into the large monster army, causing them to scatter in multiple directions in fear of facing a goddess.
"Let us go free Lord Hades now," Thanatos said once the last of the remaining monsters foolish enough to challenge three gods had been dispatched. He began walking in the direction of Hades's prison.
Artemis followed, after ensuring that her Hunters were all still alive. Enyo transported the bodies of her fallen Amazons to the Village of the Amazons. She sighed unhappily before catching up with Artemis.
Enyo looked down to her ichor soaked armor. "Do you think Perseus likes his girls dressed in gold?"
Artemis hesitated only slightly before responding.
"He likes his women dressed in silver."
A/N: Ah, this was a pain to space. For some reason, no matter how many times I uploaded the document, it only uploaded as a block of text. I don't think there were an reviews for me to address. Hopefully, you all enjoyed the battle scenes since I have little experience writing them. Chapters will definitely slow if not completely stop in May; I have many examinations then.
Thanks for reading!