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Home > God Rising: Battle of Atela

3 Chapter 1 Genesis

 With the first peek of the illuminating summer sun, Artemis' father, Noah, got out of bed immediately when he heard noises from the other side of the walls. He had taken a glimpse at his daughter who was still fast asleep before he quietly left.

He had to go to the monastery for a free breakfast before the line would form a snake, and there'd be nothing left when it gets to his turn.

Artemis sat up a few minutes after the door shut. She knew her father was out to get the monastery's tasteless porridge again. It was a Monday routine they both got used to.

She laid back on the bed and pulled the woolen blanket over her body despite the heat that accompanied the radiating weather.

The same door opened an hour later and Artemis' father walked in with a bowl big enough for two. He tenderly pats his little girl as he sat down next to her "Artemis dear...it's your favorite, porridge!" for a split second she frowned at the man who flashed a bright smile.

Not eating it after he'd waited on a queue would always get him upset, she didn't have a choice but to always pretend that his endeavors weren't in vain. The monastery's porridge was fixed on Mondays, but for the rest of the week, the other meals were somewhat manageable.

"Hot!!!" She dropped her spoon and exhaled trying to cool her burning tongue.

"I told you Artemis, always blow before you put it in your mouth." Her father passed a cup of water to her and she swiftly drank it all.

"Do you feel better now?" She gave a nod and received a gentle pat on the head.

"I'm going to be gone for the whole day Artemis...the tournament is coming up soon, and we have to gather enough resources for the beastmen" The middle-aged man wasn't happy to tell her and from her sad expression along with her sudden silence, he could tell she didn't like the news as well.

"I'm not hungry anymore" Artemis disdained whenever her dad had to work all day.

She detested the seasonal summer games. It was the first time the grand tournament was being held since her birth, and she already hated it. Her sadness made her lose the little appetite she had to eat the unamusing porridge, and it got her father troubled. There was nothing he could do about that but apologize.

"I'll come back for you okay. You know I always come back" he placed a tender kiss on her forehead hoping it would be enough to cheer her up.

"Get ready Artemis. I'll help set out your clothes" she obeyed and gradually got up. She'd let her desolate state of mind interfere in all that she did that morning. It was so unlikely for her to show zero excitement whenever her father got her new clothes. He expected her to be content with the new dress he got her, but she didn't even look grateful.

"I'm sorry so cheer up okay. I've explained to you why papa has to work hard. You should understand."

She did understand, but it just wasn't fair that they got to spend little time together during the summer when she's always unoccupied since she didn't have community school or lessons to attend.

"C'mon Artemis! You should've gotten used to this by now" Noah kneeled to her height level putting his hands on her shoulders

"I won't be around forever Artemis. At least you should be happy that you'll surely get to see me again."

She didn't say a word, but her teary eyes said enough. Noah embraced his daughter "I'm not happy as well, but what I'm doing is for us to survive okay." Artemis nodded as she wiped her tears away and forced her mouth shut to muffle the sounds she was making.

The ten-year-old was dropped off at the village's chancel, a place close to an orphanage, where her friends lived.

Noah was raising Artemis all by himself after his wife, along with a great percentage of humans, were taken away by beastmen to work as slaves in Sol. Ever since that day he lost her, he lost himself as well.

He had no clue of her living condition in the other world, he doesn't know if she's still alive, he doesn't know how she's doing, but what he does know is that she's never coming back. No human enslaved in Sol ever came back, even if they did, they'd be nothing but bones.

Every day he wishes he was taken instead of her. she'd do a better job in raising their daughter. He couldn't count how many times he's messed up because he was made a single parent when Artemis was only a few months old and the second he least anticipated it.

It was hard for him to deal with her because he couldn't comprehend why she was so stubborn and a terror especially at night.

His gatherer job was all he could do to get money for his daughter's fees, food whenever he couldn't get some for free, clothes, rent, and taxes. Sometimes he wouldn't have enough, and he'd end up doing extra jobs for neighbors and the chief's family.

Life surely wasn't easy for a human, especially one in the lower class.

Over at the chapel where Artemis was dropped off, she was left in the care of The priestess, Aliah Mercardo. A woman who'd dedicated herself to serving no one else but the Raindrop God, and she was everything a proper clergy was meant to be.

Everyone in her community knew her as someone who cherished children, especially the orphans and those who'd been abandoned. She was kind, honest, an ardent follower of the raindrop faith, humble, never judged harshly and she bore no grudges. No one was perfect however, there was something flawless about her spirit.

"Aunt Aliah!!!" The woman was taken by surprise as Artemis hopped into her arms.

"What is it dear?" A small smile played on her lips as she pats the child lovingly.

"My dad isn't going to be home today..."

"You know the tournaments are-" Artemis didn't let her continue before butting in "That's why I'm sad!"

"Try not to be so surly, Artemis" Aliah said serenely and the young lady acknowledged what she'd done.

"I'm sorry Aunt Aliah" she apologized wrapping her arms gently around the young woman leaving enough space for them both to breathe.

"It will take more than that for me to ever be angry with you child" she assured "come now, I'm sure the other kids are waiting for you."

Aliah led Artemis to the playground and once the orphans noticed them, especially the one they called mother, they rushed to her like stampeded animals.

"Mother! Mother!! Mother!!!" She couldn't make out what they were saying but she always knew they were trying their best to express their love. Sadly, she couldn't spend the whole day with them.

"Goodbye children, I have a lot of work to do. There's service tomorrow and I have to prepare the chapel ahead of time..." she tried her best to free herself from the horde of children tugging and pulling on her robe by explaining her situation but it agitated them even more.

"Do it later-" a random boy shouted from the crowd.

"Yes, play with us!" The kids concurred.

She couldn't tell who and who was talking, what she had in mind was how she was going to free herself from the children who craved so much for her attention. She looked around for Artemis who was with her a few minutes ago.

"Artemis?" The child mysteriously left.

"Okay that's enough kids!!!" A raucous voice came from behind and everyone spotted Nadir Hanson who was called over by Artemis.

The children scampered as soon as they saw the man they didn't like.

"Are you okay?" Nadir and Artemis rushed to her aid.

"I'm fine, I was just worked up a little," she noticed Nadir was holding her hand and she quickly pulled it away as fast as she could.

"I have to go now, excuse me." She scurried away leaving Artemis confused and Nadir sad but, it was something to expect.

It was known all around that Nadir had a strong liking towards Aliah but he couldn't be with her. Everyone tells him to move on, but he was okay with admiring her from a distance because he'd never met anyone like her in his life. She knew as well.

Immediately when she found out she was to become a successor of the reverend that passed a year ago, she distanced herself from all the men that admired her, and even the one she happened to like.

It was hard for her to completely forget Nadir. While growing up with him, she kept all her feelings bottled up. At some point she wanted to let him know but with her new obligations, she decided that it would be best if she discarded that bottle.

She couldn't have a significant order, that was the price a priestess like herself had to pay. The same rule applies to other worlds, but she wasn't so sure if they followed such.

"Seems like she still hates me" Nadir threw pebbles into the glistening pond and Artemis watched it skip some distance until it drowned.

"Auntie Aliah hates no one!" Artemis protested against his words.

"I know but she doesn't talk to me like she used to. I get its because of her title but at least, I want us to keep being friends."

Artemis didn't know how to relate to the subject. She'd always advise him to talk to someone older or his parents but he'd always say "They want me to get married to someone else." Which looked like the only option to take.

"Does she know how you feel?" Artemis tried her best to understand by asking dozens of questions connected to the love issue.

"I've told you a million times Artemis, she does. Whether I told her before she became a priest or after doesn't make a difference... i'm sure we're meant to be but we can't be together."

He pulled on his hair ready to throw a tantrum "God, I don't even know what I'm saying anymore."

"Just relax Sir Nadir" she attempted to calm the twenty-year-old. He was being too hard on himself and thinking too much about what already had an answer wouldn't solve anything.

"Maybe it's the way I look..." he gazed at his reflection in the pond and asked himself questions he never got to ask her, "does she like my blue eyes? is she a fan of freckles? I try my best to style my brown hair but maybe it's not up to her taste" it was hard for him to accept he could no longer love the girl he'd liked for years.

"Well it's almost time for me to get back to work. Take care Artemis" he rubbed the girl's dark maroon hair playfully before leaving the garden they both strolled to. He needed to go clear his head, and stop by the woods later to continue his work.

"There you are Artemis!" She looked back to see her best friends, Shirlyn and Edvin who came looking for her to have lunch with them.

Later in the pitch black of the night, the time when the moon took the sun's place in the star freckled sky, beastmen knights marched into Earth from the twenty-feet-tall portal connecting their planet.

The men watching the entryway woke up violently by the overwhelming sound of boots hitting against the ground causing a tumult on the vast open plains a bit far from the human residence.

One of them rose his lantern midway to examine who they were and as expected, it was the beastmen, the notorious Wolf pack to be exact.

The leader didn't wear a helmet and the ears sticking out of its head showed completely. The insignia on their chest plate resembled a wolf with sharp canines and all that was to prove they were of the evil cub clan.

The humans bowed to them considering their height level, their enchanted armor, and the size of the weapons they held. They had families and they didn't take the job to die but to earn a living. They'd kiss and lick their shoes if it's to save their lives and find mercy in the eyes of the superior races.

The leader, Melvin Welch asked for the location of the chief to the nearest village. They came to take a look at the apple of the chapel, the priestess.