The vivid darkness of the evening passed gradually through the woods of Central Park in New York City. The low soft rustling sound of the leaves could be heard in the eloquent silence that partially surrounded the forest. Going deeper in the woods was a clearing where an odd looking puppy, more like a Chihuahua stood leisurely along with some huge dogs that seemed to be accompanying it. Some were licking their paws, cleaning their freshly bloodstained claws as sharp as a knife. Unknown to the hounds' keen senses, a figure was hiding up a tree, watching the mutts intensely.
Clouds obstructed the beautiful moon until a gentle wind swept it away. The moon in the sky shone brightly illuminating the place beneath it, specifically the trees. It revealed a twelve year old girl with auburn hair tied in a ponytail that reached her back. She was wearing a silver hunting tunic that complimented her silver eyes well. Armed with her symbol of power: a silver bow, she studied her preys critically.
Artemis, maiden goddess of the hunt and moon was out for a solitary hunting. Not just an ordinary hunting but hunting that sought revenge.
Several hours ago, she was on the throne room of Mt. Olympus for an emergency meeting when Echidna, Mother of Monsters disguised as a young maiden and appeared in the camp of her hunt. The younger hunters welcomed Echidna with enthusiasm. Sadly, only the older hunters knew about Echidna's curse and the mother of monsters easily passed them and unleashed several of her children right in the heart of the camp. Zoë and Phoebe, two of her oldest hunters recognized the terrible Echidna but it was too late. The hunters immediately sent a prayer to their mistress and they bravely fought Echidna's children but the hunt was caught off guard especially if the Chimera was one of the monsters mauling them to death. When Artemis arrived to help, Echidna and her children had escaped already leaving mourning maidens for their sisters' deaths. Seething with anger, Artemis silently promised that she would avenge their deaths. Fear that she would lose more of her hunters: she came out with a firm decision.
Without the knowledge of her hunt, she left and tracked the monsters alone. Vengeance is mine, Artemis thought.
Artemis traced their trails and it led her into an unusual part of the forest. There was a strange feeling that her godly senses told her something wasn't right but she continued deeper in the woods. She shook the thought off when she found the monsters in a clearing and climbed a tree silently for a better view. Her golden blood boiled. She was gripping her bow tightly and her silver eyes flashed fury at the hounds nearby. She was certain that these were the monsters that ambushed her hunters. Mortal blood was all over their fur.
She seethed and put all the blame on herself for the death of eight.
After several minutes of surveying the area, she couldn't sense Echidna's presence. The mother of all monsters was nowhere to be seen but the Chimera, one of her strongest children was with a pack of hellhounds. Notching an arrow confidently, the goddess of the hunt released her pent up volcanic anger along with the tension in her bowstring. A shower of death followed when arrows where shot at a very rapid pace, startling the unknowing monsters. The arrows swiftly embedded itself at the heads and necks of the hellhounds turning them into yellow dust except for the Chihuahua that transformed into its true form. It turn into a gigantic creature, the Chimera with the head of a lion, a blood-caked mane, the body and hooves of a giant goat, and a serpent for a tail, a ten-foot-long diamondback growing right out of its butt. The Chimera opened its ravenous maw of death and shot a column of flame straight to Artemis, incinerating the arrows in the process. She dove to her left and shot more arrows at the grotesque monster. With a quick movement of its tail, the arrows were deflected. Artemis stopped attacking when a fat old woman appeared beside the Chimera.
The old woman's eyes turned into reptilian slits and her skin became scaly and green. She smiled, her forked tongue flickering between her sharp teeth. "So, it seems we got your attention daughter of Leto."
"Echidna," spat the silver eyed goddess. Artemis stood there glaring murderously at the serpentine woman. "I'll see to it that you will suffer greatly before I sent you back to Tartarus and prayed that you will never reform."
Echidna patted the head of the Chimera. "You're just making things easier for me, goddess. Anger is really a good piece to invest with. I am sure my master will be grateful once my sonny here dragged you in chains."
Artemis bristled when Echidna implied what happened. It reminded her of the reason why she was here.
The snake mother hissed and more monsters: a mixture of hellhounds and dracaenaes flooded the clearing and surrounded the lone huntress. They were eyeing the goddess like she was the yummiest and tastiest food ever.
Artemis reacted as fast as she could. She prepared herself and glowed brightly ready to assume her true form to obliterate every monsters looking at her when her power outburst subsided abruptly. She stood there confused; she even tried to escape by flashing out but to no avail. Her eyes widened in shock as realization hit her. The place was enchanted that her godly senses acting up strangely the first time she set foot on this area.
The sinister laughter of Echidna echoed in the woods. "I prepared this place just for you Artemis. Your godly powers will be rendered useless as long as you are inside this area. That is why we separated you from your hunt. Tsk. Tsk. Too proud that you can do anything without the help of your demigods. Even the other gods, Olympian or minor cannot find you here. Kampê personally came to my aid in setting this up. We don't want the only deity less bound by the Ancient Laws lurking around killing my children. You want to escape? You have to go through the Original Chimera first." She said sweetly.
For a split second, Artemis expression turned into fear. Kampê the jailer only serve one master: Kronos, the Titan of Time. She steeled her nerves and aimed her bow. "It doesn't matter. Powerless or not I'll avenge the deaths of my sisters even if I had to go through this alone." The goddess hissed.
"Always the brave maiden I see," Echidna bared her fangs and smirked wickedly. "Very well. Have Fun."
Echidna retreated in the tress leaving Artemis' fate to her children. One by one the monsters lunged at her while the Chimera brandished its poisonous tail.
Artemis killed every monster in quick succession that attempted to come near her but the outpouring of the vile beasts at once tired her in the same pace. Volley of arrows bombarded the monsters until she reached the boundary lane being guarded by the Chimera.
She was already tired and it was clearly impossible to kill a monster of that caliber with just arrows. Artemis drew her two long hunting knives, one in each of her hand and ducked underneath the Chimera that leapt directly at her. She slashed its underside causing the monster to grunt in pain. Apparently, it'll take a lot of strikes to take down this behemoth. Artemis gracefully dodged the Chimera's fiery mouth but she failed to remember the Chimera's tail. It whipped across her back and the serpent headed-tail sank its venom dripping fangs in her left shoulder.
Golden ichor, the blood of the immortals stained her hunter outfit.
Artemis screamed in agony as the Chimera wrapped its tail around her body and squeezed the life out of the weakened goddess. She was immortal but she knew that once she lost consciousness, it would be the end of her. Who knew where they would bring her or what they would do to her. She dropped one of her knives and held the last knife with both hands. With all the remaining strength she could muster, Artemis raised her knife and drove it forcefully in its tail. The Chimera howled in anger. Luckily or unluckily, it released her by throwing her into a huge tree. She cried in pain upon impact and remorse filled her heart. She didn't act like a goddess should. She let her anger blind her and doing something unplanned and stupid. Not only had she led herself into torment but put the deaths of her hunters into vain.
Artemis dropped into one knee, her right hand was clamped in her wounded left shoulder and her left hand gripped her hunting knife downward. Poison coursed through her veins making her head dizzy and her vision blurry. She shook her head weakly trying to regain her balance. For a moment, it cleared her vision only to see the fire breathing monster advancing, its maw curled up smoke.
She assumed her fighting stance while kneeling, left hand poised to strike. Her face started getting paler and sweat trickled down her face. Her eyes flared with fiery determination. The pain she was feeling couldn't match the sorrow she felt for losing her sisters. She couldn't fail her hunters.
Artemis arrived into a conclusion: Fight.
The Chimera lashed Artemis with its tail viciously. She tried to block it but failed. The goddess' hand with her knife was shaking terribly. The poison invading her body took effect, paralyzing her little by little. The apparent desire of the monster to inflict serious harm continued as the Chimera struck her repeatedly slamming her in the three. The goddess collapsed in the ground like a ragged doll.
If she was mortal, she could have sworn she would be dead already. The poison and the horrid attacks were excruciating.
Using the remaining strength she had, Artemis sat up slowly and leaned on the tree for support while breathing heavily.
Despair was present in her eyes but the thirst for revenge covered it up. The Chimera's lion mouth heat up, glowing red every second and sent a blast of flame towards her. Artemis braced herself for what was to come; the searing pain that she was about to feel but then a pillar of water rose between her and the monster. The water formed a protective barrier in front of her, extinguishing the fire. She heard a nearby beating of wings and hoping it would be friendly not another enemy.
Relief crossed her face but she was still nervous.
She saw a small figure jumped from the air, a boy about twelve like her current age much to her disdain. She was sure he was a demigod and perhaps a son of Poseidon which means her uncle broke the Big Three oath too like her father. Oh the bitter irony, her Uncle Hades who was casted out of Olympus was the only one who could keep his thing behind his pants.
The goddess watched how foolishly the boy charged the monster that beat her up with nothing but a pen.
She was shocked on what the boy said. "Hey chop-chop victim! How did you come back? I thought I killed you a year ago."
Artemis winced in pain clutching her broken bones and then covering the bite in her shoulder. Even if she was in pain, she forced herself to observe the battle and was impressed of the boy's capability to fight a legendary monster toe to toe. But how could he defeat the Chimera? It sounded like a bluff to her but she had a feeling that the boy wasn't lying.
The Chimera growled pouncing like a lion although it was one-third lion, it tried to swipe a sharp claw on the boy's unarmored chest. The boy simply backpedaled and snapped his fingers. Four water spheres the size of a soccer ball formed in the air circling the boy. He uncapped the pen and a three feet long sword made of glowing celestial bronze sprung out.
"Blackjack!" The boy yelled. Few seconds later a pure black Pegasus swooped down and landed a kicked at the Chimera's mouth making it stagger. The boy mounted the winged horse and with a single gesture of his index finger the water spheres hurled itself to the monster's face forcing its mouth to open wide. He threw his sword to the monster's cave like maw preventing it from closing.
"Just like the old times," The boy said emotionlessly. He fished something in his pocket and it was another ball, a ball made of lead to be exact. Artemis eyes widened. She muttered under her breath. "Like Bellerophon"
The Chimera roared in anger. It tried to move away but the water spheres formed a net and restrained it from escaping. The boy jammed the lead ball down its throat. Just like the old times, the ball melted, poisoning and suffocating the beast. It disintegrated into dust.
He picked up his sword recapping it back to its pen form.
Artemis was glad that the Chimera was sent back to Tartarus but she was upset that she wasn't the one who sent it back. And it was a boy for Zeus sake that stole her chance.
The goddess felt a stinging pain in her chest, a sign that the poison settled inside her already. Thankfully her godly stamina provided her not to pass out. Her legs began shaking badly from the poison and punishments the monster had inflicted. Artemis' lower limbs finally lose control and she fell down leaning her back in the tree.
As the boy slowly approached her, Artemis couldn't help but to gaze at him warily. The moon dimmed reflecting the state of the goddess providing insufficient luminescence to light up his face.
She yelped when the boy scooped her up, carrying her bridal style. He shot her an apologetic look.
To be honest, she was startled but refrained from complaining. The only thing she could think of was how badly she wanted to trash the boy away from her. She gritted her teeth but that was all, her hand felt numb and doesn't have the ability to hold the hunting knife anymore.
The thoughts of the maiden goddess varied, conflicting on how she would deal with the boy. He was lucky enough go near her without turning into a bloody jackalope. He was definitely the luckiest boy ever live to have his manhood still intact or he was still alive for holding her.
Perhaps she would let him be for he came to save her although albeit grudgingly the goddess of the hunt doesn't want to be save by a mere boy. The goddess in her twelve year old form tensed and began panicking in the inside. She couldn't be sure if this boy came just to save her. She was weak and powerless; he could do anything to her without worrying about any resistance.
Artemis grimaced at the thought.
After all what does a boy doing in a secluded area? What if he took advantage of her weakened state?
The moon goddess tried to squirm in his arms but the pain in her injuries inflamed again causing her to whimper. He held her tighter and a wave of warmth the goddess couldn't identify surged through her. It eased her pain and she could feel her body relaxing from the odd feeling. She was surprised that her injuries started to heal.
When she loosened up the boy shifted her a little and made her head lean against his chest. Blood rose to her cheeks in embarassment and she screamed inside her mind. This is not happening.
"What's your name miss?" He asked softly.
"Ar…te…mis," she stuttered, her voice fading with every syllable. "Who—"
"Arty?" the boy interrupted softly. He didn't hear it well and he missed the last syllable of Artemis' name. "Sweet, it rhymes with mine. My name is Percy."
The maiden goddess wanted to strangle him for calling her name wrong. She hated the nickname since her annoying brother Apollo kept on calling her that. Unfortunately, she found herself nodding trying to be nice with her little savior and the fact that she doesn't have the power to retort with. She was defiantly at his mercy.
The Huntress still doesn't know whether to trust the boy or not. But she could assume that the boy doesn't recognize her. "Where—"Artemis started to ask weakly.
The boy interrupted her again. He glanced down at her with concern. "Save your strength Arty. You're still weak and injured. That prayer was just a temporary remedy. Let's talk about what happened here when you're already in good condition."
She nodded again timidly.
Suddenly, she could feel the cold winds touching her skin gently and heard the constant flapping of wings. She then realized that they were flying, perhaps riding the Pegasus. For the first time because of the moonlight, Artemis caught a glimpse of Percy's face showing his glistening sea green eyes.
Involuntarily, the man-hating goddess snuggled closer in the boy's arms. She never thought that position she was in right now would make her feel warm and cozy.
Weariness took over her because of her almost suicidal attempt for revenge; Artemis felt her eyelids getting heavier. As she closed her eyes ever so slowly, she heard him say softly.
"I'll keep you safe." He promised.
And that she drifted to sleep wondering whether something bad would happen to her while unconscious or to just trust the boy who apparently saved her immortal life.
Yeah this is the idea a came up with. AU of Percy's life and the pairing is already obvious.
I need reviews, wanted to know what do you think of it and yeah could give me ideas on how the story would proceed.
This would be an entire new kind of Pertemis and expect to read what Twisted Reality is.
Thanks for Reading.