Chapter 49:

A mere competition

Elyon - Gods among us

—Are you okay, Mithras?— Athena asked.

—I can recover with the ichor that remains in me, I don't need ambrosia: but I'm not sure if Sol is alright— Mithras replied as he started to descend towards the mountains to rest.

The three gods descended to the mountains where they found Sol unconscious with a large cut on his back. Shaushka's attack had depleted all his ichor.

—Give him some ambrosia, Athena. I need to go heal my students!— Horus responded defiantly to the goddess.

—Alright, alright— the goddess said as she dropped some ambrosia into the wound on Sol's back. Immediately, the wound closed and the god regained consciousness.

—Where... where am I? What happened?— Sol asked as he stood up from the ground.

—You're alright now, Sol. Good job— Athena replied, giving him a thumbs-up.

—Master A... Athena, Master Horus. I'm glad to see... see you— the blond god responded.

Suddenly, the sky darkened, despite still being under the perpetual sunny day effect of Sol, and the face of Ares appeared in the crimson-red firmament. He looked terrifying and sinister.

—Big sister, welcome to Mars. I've been expecting you— said the projection of the war god.

—We don't need your tutorials, Ares. My personnel were about to brief me on what's happening here— the Greek goddess said as she gestured for him to vanish.

—Always with your sarcasm, big sister. But now I'll tell you the depressing part of all this— Ares continued.

—What the hell are you going to do, Ares?— Horus asked.

—Well, as you can see, this dimension reads the sum of the divine energies of each deity present here, and time is relative to the average of that sum. That means that every time you elevate your power, even for a millionth of a second, that millionth will advance much faster because of your absurd powers. Right now, there are less than five hours left to rescue your beloved Malakim, all thanks to that girl who has lost control of her power— Ares said with a macabre smile.

—So, we'll have to calm that girl down and use our maximum power minimally. Too easy— Horus replied.

—We only need less than an hour— Athena replied as she cracked her neck and put on an indifferent look.

—I just forgot to mention, Anpiel is guarded by a Chronoxiphos. No matter where he moves or hides, the sword will follow him and pierce his heart when time runs out. The only way to deactivate that sword is by defeating me. But first you have to find my hideaut at Aeropagus— Ares said with a smirk.

—Find Areopagus and kick Ares' ass, how long would that take you, Horus?— the Greek goddess asked the Egyptian god.

—The difficult part is finding Areopagus. After that, I suppose ten or twelve minutes— Horus replied, raising his arms in an indifferent pose.

—I assure you I can do all that before you, in five minutes— Athena said challengingly.

—And I in two!— Horus shouted.

—Then I will find Areopagus and defeat Ares in one minute— Athena responded angrily as she looked closely and intensely at Horus.

—Alright, let's see if you can do it within a minute. The first one to bring the head of that weakling will be the winner— Horus said, returning the same challenging look to Athena and pressing his forehead against hers.

—Hey! Are you going to ignore me again?— Ares asked in surprise.

—Shut up!— the two gods of Orniskem shouted in unison.

—Well, what do you want to bet, Athena?— Horus asked.

—The winner, which will be me, will become the master of the loser for a week, which will be you— Athena said with a sarcastic smile.

—Do you desire to be my slave that much? I will dress you with erotic clothing in front of me when you serve me— Horus replied.

—Oh really? And I just want to see you in a loincloth that leaves little to the imagination, and you will kiss my feet as I walk barefoot all that week— Athena replied.

The two gods continued arguing while still pressing their foreheads together.

—Oh come on, just kiss already— Mithras thought as he watched the Orniskem power couple with little excitement.

—If you keep wasting time, you won't be able to rescue your friend— Ares interrupted, clearing his throat.

—Ares is right, it's time to start looking for this Areopagus place— Horus responded.

—Give it a try, I'll be waiting here. My most powerful Keres are eager to engage in combat with you— Ares said, laughing maniacally.

—How cliché, the evil laughter— Athena replied.

Ares made a gesture of disgust and ended the transmission. The sky returned to the normal state that Sol had left it in.

—Hey, Mithras, take this bit of ambrosia and give it to my disciples— Horus said as he tossed a small container of ambrosia to the Persian god.

—I'll head south, and you go north— Athena said to Horus, who nodded in agreement.

—Wait a moment!— Mithras said.

—Ready, go!— Horus shouted.

—Mo...moment!— Sol tried to interrupt.

—Alalalalalalalalala!— Athena shouted.

Both gods disappeared as they ran at full speed through the mountains in the directions they had pointed.

—I couldn't tell them that Areopagus is in that direction— Mithras said with a disappointed expression.

—They always... do whatever they want— Sol replied.

Mithras looked at the ambrosia in his hand, the one Horus threwn to him.

—I suppose I should go and heal Maahes and Montu with this— he said.

Mithras raised his hand and made an invocation. Soon, his sword flew back to him, and he quickly grasped it with that hand. Then, the Persian god turned to look at Sol as he sat on the ground.

—What will you do, Sol? Will you go after the young Epona?— he asked.

—I was de...defeated by a single a...attack from that woman, I don't feel at the moment— the blond god replied, disappointed.

—Don't be scared, that woman also stopped my best technique with just one palm... But Athena defeated her with a single blow— Mithras replied, looking down.

—I feel like we didn't fulfill our promise, we were just lucky— he continued.

—I'll go after Miss E... Epona— Sol said decisively. —Even if I die... I'd rather do it fighting alongside her—

—I wish you luck, dear friend— Mithras replied.

Sol nodded.

Both gods flew off in different directions, with Mithras heading to find the injured Egyptian gods from the battle, and Sol following Epona.

Meanwhile, Athena was running at full speed to the north, leaving a huge trail of smoke behind her.

—Oh, look at that poor fool who doesn't know how to fly— a group of Malakim said as they attempted to attack the goddess.

—I don't have time for you— the goddess said as she raised a fist and punched the air. A powerful gust of wind swept over the desert, instantly destroying several Malakim.

Hundreds of Malakim tried to intercept the goddess, but with simple boxing movements that caused gusts of wind, she defeated them. The Malakim fell in large numbers to the ground.

—Halt, Athena— a voice said in front of the goddess. Athena looked at them with surprise but didn't stop running.

It was a group of ten gods accompanied by various monstrous creatures such as hydras, chimeras, dark pegasus, cyclops, and monstrous crocodiles.

—I am Catubodua, leader of the Celtic war gods. While we may not be Keres, we are strong enough to stop you here— said the short-haired blonde man in Celtic soldier armor.

The other gods were dressed similarly, although the three women resembled druids.

Athena muttered softly, —Piglasia Αtiná— and with a swift punch, she created a shockwave that sent all the gods and monsters flying.

—Sorry, guys, but I'm in a hurry. I wouldn't want that birdbrain to beat me— the goddess said, glancing back at them but not slowing her pace.

—Lady... Menrva... please avenge us— the god said just before losing consciousness.

On the other hand, Horus continued flying at high speed when groups of Malakim began to surround him.

—We won't let you get close to Areopagus— the evil angels said.

The Egyptian god made a slight movement with his scepter, and countless rays of light covered the entire scene. The Malakim were torn apart by the rays, which sliced through them.

—Face someone on your level— Horus said without stopping.

A group of winged gods approached Horus in mid-flight. They were accompanied by monsters such as harpies, sirens, and giant birds called Anzu.

—Are you having fun fighting Malakim, Horus? Why don't you face Grigori like us?— the red-haired winged man who commanded the squadron was saying, but he was interrupted by another attack of light rays. The rays pierced through the gods and monsters, reducing them to pieces.

—You and the malakim make no difference to me— Horus replied, still flying.

—Great Gurzil... Stop this monster— said the winged god just before losing consciousness.

Far away, inside the palace of Areopagus, there was a beautiful room filled with colorful books. The room was adorned with golden walls and marble columns, and in the background, there was a display showcasing an image of a goddess holding a spear towards the blue sky, with a cyclops-like monster at her feet. The walls were decorated with symbols of war chariots, horses, lynxes, and shields.

Inside the room, some nymphs were combing the hair of the goddess Menrva, who was only covered with a semi-transparent towel, sitting on a majestic throne made of cedar and gold.

—She has finally arrived. Athena is here!— exclaimed the goddess, smiling eagerly.

—Your Majesty— said one of the nymphs, —you wouldn't want to meet Athena with your hair disheveled—

—You don't understand, I have been waiting for this encounter since I was a child! My greatest desire is to wield my spear against her— replied the goddess as she stood up, pushing away the nymph who was combing her hair.

Suddenly, static electricity began to emanate from Menrva, and in an instant, she disappeared before the astonished eyes of the nymphs.

Meanwhile, Athena continued running and striking down several malakim who tried to stop her when she felt a divine presence nearby and stopped.

Athena turned to her right and saw the beautiful goddess Menrva standing on a mountain, wearing her semi-transparent tunic.

—M...— Menrva tried to say.

—It's our Lady Menrva! She will easily defeat Athena, guys!— shouted the jubilant malakim of Ares, cheering for the Etruscan goddess.

—Mi...— Menrva continued trying to speak.

Athena stared intently at the goddess Menrva, who remained standing on the mountain.

—Miss Athena! Kyaaaaaa!— Menrva screamed, her face turning completely red as she covered her eyes with her hands.

—I... I am your number one fan. I am the leader of your fan club— the Etruscan goddess continued shouting, filled with excitement and jumping around.

The malakim of Ares looked at her in confusion. Athena had a mixture of disappointment and surprise on her face.

—You forgot to get dressed, princess— Athena shouted when she noticed that Menrva was practically naked.

—Kyaaaaaa! How embarrassing! Miss Athena saw my private parts!— Menrva screamed as she tried to cover herself with her hands, blushing even more.

—Is this... for real?— Athena thought, astonished by Menrva's behavior as a fan.

On the other side of the planet, Horus continued flying when he suddenly felt a powerful lightning bolt, which he easily dodged, but it caused him to land on the ground. A man was standing in front of him.

—Who the hell are you?— Horus asked as he pointed at the man with his white staff.

—My name is Gurzil, and I am the second Keres of the mighty Ares. It is always an honor to fight against neighboring gods— replied the man, wearing his characteristic blood-stained bull mantle.

—Neighboring gods? Are you some kind of Nubian deity?— Horus asked.

—I am a Berber god, mighty Horus, and soon this will be your tomb, and I will wear your skin as a cape, just like I did with this bull— laughed the evil god.

—Ewww, that's disgusting!— exclaimed Horus, recoiling from the putrid smell of the Berber god's skin.

—And I even took a bath before coming here. It's not fair!— Horus continued complaining.

Exactly, four hours left.