Chapter 61:


Elyon - Gods among us

Ares was drinking wine while sitting on his throne. In his left hand, he held the strange golden sphere, which he observed with interest.

—Just a few more minutes, and it will be ready— he thought.

Suddenly, there were sounds of a fight behind the door leading to Ares' chamber. Within moments, everything fell silent. The door slowly opened, revealing the god Horus, holding his staff in his right hand, still glowing.

—Well, looks like you're the first one to reach my chambers, Horus— Ares said calmly, gesturing with a smile.

—It's easy to escape a maze of illusions when using my left eye, Wadjet— replied the hawk-headed god.

Ares threw his wine cup to the ground and stood up. The god of war donned his golden and red armor and unsheathed his sword, while with his other hand, he drew his spear from his back.

—Do you think you can defeat me in the twenty minutes remaining?— Ares asked.

—I'll only need five seconds— Horus replied, getting into a combat stance as his staff began to glow.

Meanwhile, on the peak of Areopagus, Mithras was attacking the dimensional shield, but he couldn't even scratch it.

Inside, three crosses were visible. To the left, Epona was crucified with blood-made nails on her hands and feet. The goddess was naked and covered in blood, with her eyes blindfolded. In the center, Sol, also naked, was crucified with blood-made nails on his hands and feet. He wore a crown of thorns made of blood, causing him to bleed profusely. His chest had been pierced, and blood was flowing from it. However, his right arm, which was bandaged, remained unchanged, although the bandages were now stained with blood. On the right, Anpiel's face remained unchanged, crucified and blindfolded.

Khonsu, sitting in front of the crosses, found amusement in Mithras' futile attempts to destroy the dimensional shield. The god relished using a huge blood-made lance to torture Epona and Sol, much to the Persian god's frustration.

Mithras' hands began to bleed, but he continued to strike the dimensional wall with his sword of light. Maahes appeared behind him and stopped him.

—Enough, Mithras! There's nothing we can do— the lion-headed god shouted.

—Some gods are said to have broken through these walls— Mithras yelled in frustration.

—They're just rumors. It's not worth hurting yourself any further— Maahes responded, continuing to hold the Persian god.

At that moment, Sol looked at Mithras, his golden eyes filled with strength and determination. Seeing this, Mithras understood the message and stopped his attack on the dimensional shield.

Sol was born in Saturnia, like many Roman gods. However, due to political instability, when Saturina fought against Man, the realm of Etruscan gods, he and his family fled to Syria when he was still young.

In Syria, the boy was known as Elagabalus, but he never had a significant cult, as other solar deities like the powerful Arinna or the just Shapash were more prominent.

One day, a priest from his modest cult, Aurelian, became the Roman Emperor and established an aggressive cult centered around himself. Curious about this development, Sol returned to Saturnia, but none of the gods there showed him support or affection. They considered him a coward for fleeing with his family. Worse, Emperor Aurelian wanted to replace all the Saturnian cults with worship of Sol, calling him Sol Invictus.

When the emperor was assassinated, Sol was tried as a traitor and sentenced to death. However, he was rescued from prison by Mithras, who helped him escape. Mithras, too, was an outcast, as the Roman gods in Saturnia had never accepted Mithraism, considering Mithras a foreign god.

Both gods decided to leave Saturnia and roam the world in search of adventures. They had developed a great trust in each other, and many thought it was because of their strikingly similar appearance.

When Mithras saw Sol's eyes, he knew in advance that the god wouldn't give up and had a plan, so he shouldn't worry. Seeing this, Mithras felt relieved, knowing his friend hadn't lost the fight yet.

—Oh, are you finally tired?— Khonsu jeered as he raised his lance and thrust it back into Sol.

—It's terrible— frustrated Maahes said. —I feel like we couldn't kill that guy. It's all our fault—

—Don't worry— replied Mithras, surprising Maahes. —Because Sol will win this battle— he continued.

Khonsu then tried to pull his lance out of Sol's chest, but it got stuck.

—What the hell is happening here?— he wondered.

Sol's body began to glow with a white light, and the solar crown on his head shone with tremendous intensity.

—M... my power is turning sunlight into sacred energy— said the god, directing the light emanating from his body into Khonsu's lance, causing it to burn his hands.

The evil Egyptian god let go of the lance in pain, falling to the ground due to his missing leg.

—I felt this same sensation when I tried to remove the bandage from his right arm— Khonsu thought, terrified, as he attempted to stand up again.

—Since you were kind enough to strip me of my clothes, I've absorbed all the sunlight here and gained enough manna to break free. And you, being so evil and cruel, these techniques must cause you great pain— the solar god said confidently.

—His stuttering... it's gone— Khonsu said in surprise.

At that moment, the crown and blood-made nails piercing Sol shattered, and the god emerged floating from his cross like a divine entity. Standing in front of Khonsu, the solar god raised his right hand to the sky, shouting: —Solis sanctis!

A white beam of light emerged from the sky, hitting Khonsu directly, causing him to writhe in pain.

Quickly, Sol used sacred rays to destroy the nails holding Epona and Anpiel. They both fell to the ground. Epona, still conscious, dropped to her knees. However, Khonsu started to rise after Sol's attack.

—Without your totema, your sacred attack isn't powerful enough to hurt me— the Egyptian god taunted, displaying the totemas of Sol and Epona.

—My intention wasn't to defeat you— confessed Sol.

—But I'll delegate that task to someone more powerful than me— he said.

Epona, covering her breasts with her blindfold, walked furiously towards the evil Egyptian god with her fist raised.

—Sol!— she shouted, —give me some sacred power in my fist!—

Sol nodded and launched a white energy ball towards the goddess, who caught it with her right fist while running towards Khonsu.

—You can't do anything to me without your totema, but I can rape your entrails with my power— Khonsu yelled angrily.

—Your divine level is so low that I don't need my totema to win!— the goddess retorted.

Then, Epona struck Khonsu's face with all her strength, yelling: —Ép bóithl!

Khonsu's face was disfigured, and he was sent flying, crashing into a dimensional wall and vomiting blood. At that moment, the dimensional shield disappeared, and Khonsu was left unconscious on the ground.

Epona looked at Sol and made a victory sign. Sol responded with a thumbs up.

Mithras, who had finally entered, took off his cape to cover the goddess's body. Epona smiled and thanked him. Without ambrosia, the goddess of horses saw her body covered in wounds and felt sad.

—You were amazing— confessed the Persian god.—You managed to defeat that guy without totemas—

—We were able to de...defeat him because he was also very we...weak. In other conditions, I'm sure we wouldn't have been able to. We...well, I wouldn't, but Epona probably could— Sol confessed.

Epona shook her head.

Sol took Khonsu's totemas from his unconscious body and then grabbed Epona's totema, tossing it to her, which she almost dropped.

—What the hell are you doing, Sol?— Mithras yelled angrily.

Epona started laughing.

—Don't worry, Mithras, I'm just very absent-minded— she said.

The Celtic goddess put on her totema and ran to Anpiel, resting her head on his lap.

—Everything will be okay, Anpiel. I know Rodrigo will defeat that guy Ares— she said, caressing the unconscious angel's head and looking worriedly at the sword that continued floating over the malak.

—So, that's the famous Anpiel— Mithras said.

—He's the person for whom we've risked our lives on this planet— Sol said.

—And he's the reason you'll die— Khonsu's voice was heard. The evil god was struggling to get up, making the blood around him take the form of spears.

—He's awake again— Mithras said in surprise.

—Ba...bad weed never dies— Sol replied.

—To hell with all of you, I'll kill you with everything I have!— Khonsu shouted.

But just at that moment, Maahes and Montu appeared behind Khonsu, and both cut him with their weapons X-shaped attack. The evil god vomited blood and lost consciousness, falling to the ground in a pool of blood, split in half.

—If he gets up again, we'll kill him again— Maahes said as he cleaned the blood off the knife he had used to cut the god.

—And Tania? And Rodrigo? Are they okay?— Epona asked anxiously.

Montu brought Tania and placed her on his shoulders.

—Tannit is fine but unconscious; she defeated one of Ares' most powerful Keres— he said.

—Rodrigo entered Areopagus with Horus and Athena; I'm sure he'll be fine— Maahes replied.

Epona smiled with relief.

—It's just Ares left, but I don't think he'll last much longer— Mithras said, looking at the Chronoxiphos sword.

Sol tried to shoot at the sword, but it didn't receive any damage. In fact, the god's energy passed by without even touching it.

—It'll be impossible to destroy that sword; we can only trust those three— he replied.

Epona nodded as she continued to caress Anpiel's head, like a mother affectionately comforting her child.

—Rodrigo, I put all my trust in you. Defeat Ares— Epona thought.

But Rodrigo was still trapped inside the sarcophagus Ogun had constructed to capture him. Blood continued to flow from inside.

Meanwhile, a mysterious man covered in shadows walked calmly through the mazes of the Areopagus palace.

Athena remained lost in Ares' labyrinth, frustration evident on her face.

Horus and Ares clashed their weapons as the entire palace shook.

Less than twenty minutes remained until Anpiel's execution.