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Home > God Rising: Battle of Atela

12 Part IV

 "I can't believe it myself. The duke's daughter got herself pregnant and i heard the father is human. They deserved their death!" Orion admired the dark blue sky for some time, recalling scenes of his past and and how much they were similar to his present.

"You bastard!!!" Soaked Artemis charged towards Orion who'd dumped her in a river overnight.

"Did you enjoy your sleep?" He asked.

"You tossed me into a river!!!"

"That was something worth being thankful for. You should be giving me the praise I deserve. Presently your body can adjust to water and you can inhale like the fishes with your gills" Orion didn't see anything amiss with what he'd done. He even ensured her leg was appropriately attached to the bank so the water wouldn't convey her somewhere else.

Instead of thanking him, she rudely confronted him to express ingratitude.

The girl raised a brow in disbelief "Gills?" She felt her neck looking for scales at least but her neck was normal and at the same time perfectly fine.

"Yes, you're a fish now and I love eating fish."

Artemis yelled "This is no time for jokes!!!" The fox laughed knowing that's all Artemis could do. Yell. If she tried anything else, he wouldn't go easy on her.

"I believe it would be easier for you to catch fishes now. Find something to eat because training continues."

Artemis recalled something. She actually punched down a tree with her hands and her swollen red knuckles seemed to have healed.

Ryu floated to Artemis's side. Her bickering with Orion woke the Olth who couldn't sleep properly because it spent half of its sleep time monitoring the girl sleeping in a river.

"Honestly Artemis, you sleep too much. I'm jealous" it stretched then proceed to read Artemis stats.

"Goodness, your survival skill is currently a C! I guess sleeping without shelter is finally paying off. Your magic is now four points. Your health is six and finally your strength level is now twenty. There's still room for improvements Artemis. This is just the beginning!"

"And where's my thank you?" Orion interrupted their discussion reminding them to settle up what they owed. He was taking full credit for Artemis's advancement because to him, he was also working hard. In fact, twice as much as Artemis.

The Olth and the human looked at each other then burst into laughter with aims to annoy the beastman that demanded their respect and gratitude to feed his pride.

***

"Today, We're focusing on mental health. You can't be crying all the time Artemis. Get too emotional and you die. You can't let your emotions make you use more than the power your body can carry. Is that clear?"

"So I can't use my magic to the max?"

"That is correct. Unless it's a suicide mission, you have that option."

Those implied things would definitely be hard for her. She needed to enhance her body, so she'd be able to use more magic and be strong enough to compete again. To do that, she also had to control the emotions she'd gotten so used to.

Its what made her who she is. In a world of pain, it is human to cry when vital, giggle in the happy occasions, get angry when disappointed. Her feelings resembled influxes of the sea, and her psyche was dry land. They go to her when they feel like, and she winds up absorbed sentiments.

She doesn't know if emotions exist in the heart, soul, body and mind of beastmen but it's what made her human and not some kind of machine.

"To start this, follow whatever I do" Orion took in a deep breath then started to move his arms whilst keeping his widened legs glued to the ground.

"Relax yourself Artemis. Empty your mind" The fox's meditation was a medication, a creativity that cures wounded souls. It was an approach to reconnect with lost purposes, a search to find the life force within.

"If you can you can taste paradise in these movements, you're doing it effectively."

Artemis missed some moves because Orion was too fast for her normal pace. She was struggling, getting her muscles tensed, and being the opposite of relaxed.

Empty her mind? She didn't even know where to start from. Even if she tried, her inner peace won't last long because of fear and guilt.

Orion sighed deeply. Artemis was a difficult case. He could do nothing but wish he didn't promise Melissa.

"I miss the warmth of a house. I think it's time we look for a village to stay in for the meantime."

"Do you have money with you?"

He shook his head. Artemis and Ryu were shocked "Wait! Aren't you supposed to be super rich? You were Melissa's assistant for ten years!"

He pinched the bridge of his nose then closed his eyes "There's something you need to understand child. You are right about the fact that Demigod's assistants are financially stable. Truth be told, there are money spells government authorities use however it has a daily limit."

"Can you teach me the spell?" That question made him thump her head "you dimwit, you're not a government official. What part of that didn't you understand?"

Artemis wailed "I get it now, but why did you have to hit me. You should've just said no" she placed her had on the spot that had developed a lump.

"I felt like, and if you dare cry...I'll hit you again" He threatened and it forced the girl's mouth shut.

"Now that Melissa's tenure is over, I can no longer use those spells. Bringing the money I saved over time wasn't an option because it could be tracked. I can't afford to be careless about those little details. If we're caught, I'll be arrested and forced to reveal Melissa's whereabouts."

"What about me?"

"You'll probably be killed, or maybe turned into a slave" he shrugged "it's not like anyone cares about that."

Artemis crossed her arms as she glared at the fox "A lot of people will care! I'm the one that's going to save earth!"

"And do you think they'll believe you after the circus show you put on last year? Who would care really? Do you have friends? Family? Pets apart from your parasite? Let us be real, nobody will care the slightest bit."

Artemis strongly disliked the fox. Whenever he said mean things like that, she wished she could choke him to death, but she's not strong enough to fight back or threaten him. But one day, when she gets everything right she'd prove herself that contestant 99 is the best thing that could ever happen to humanity.

***

The trio traveled down an over used dirt part meandering through the woodland, following Orion's direction for long without knowing the fox had no idea of where they were heading. None of them had the slightest knowledge.

Orion wasn't used to earth, Artemis has never been out of her village until now, and Ryu was just three days old.

They just had to follow the muddy prints of hoofs and feet until they find signs of a village.

Once they spotted a wagon moving towards them, Ryu stowed away in Orion's gat, and he immediately put it on his head to cover his ears.

It was a merchant riding the wheeled vehicle. He'd just finished trading in a nearby village, and he was heading out to his next destination.

He commanded his Ox to a stop once he set his eyes on the foxman. He ran his finger through his thick beard that was shaved into a goatee. Orion looked rich and foreign. He thought that he might as well advertise a few of his goods before he finally leaves the premises of the village he was coming from.

"Greetings Young Sir"

Artemis giggled once he mentioned the word young. To her the fox was a grandpa that was only fortunate with looks.

"Do you have anything in mind that you want to see?"

"Swords!!!" Artemis blurted out with no consideration of what Orion had to say.

The merchant looked at the girl then back to the male who had no interest in seeing because he was ashamed of admitting his pockets were empty.

"Very well then" He brought out a display box cover with glass to show the small swords he had.

Artemis pointed at one that stood out from the rest. He grinned at her through fat lips as he brought out what her eyes were fixed on.

She marveled at the four inches piece of cold stainless steel fixed to an ivory handle.

"This dagger here was forged by the best blacksmith in Persia. It's so sharp the lightest touch could draw blood from a cut and this blue gem in the middle is a rare treasure. Only experienced adventurers could find it."

The merchant couldn't hide the greed in his eyes. Orion could tell the Merchant was feeding the child's mind with lies. Anyone but Artemis could tell that gem was obviously fake.

The man proudly spoke from his sugar-coated lips

"I'll offer it to you for 500 gold pieces" he was certain the cost wouldn't terrify the six foot five man standing before him. He appeared as though he could even add more gold to it.

Orion scoffed at the human who looked nothing more than a pig in his eyes  "You might have this nitwit fooled but not me" He walked away and Artemis was forced to follow.

"You know we don't have money Artemis. What were you expecting us to do? Moreover, that man's a fraud. I could tell all those swords were cheaply made. A goblin could break them in seconds."

"I just wanted to see them that's all" she didn't understand why he was getting so upset. The girl was used to not having money all the time, but Orion was inexperienced in that aspect.

Ever since he came to earth he'd been leaving like a homeless person. He was forced to eat what normal foxes find nutritious such as frogs, wild berries, rodents, and bugs. He was of a regal bloodline. He'd never eaten such ever since he was a kit.

He stopped in his tracks then turned to look at Artemis who was panting after she'd tried so hard to walk the same pace with him.

"Artemis before we continue. We should make an agreement."

"On...what?" She asked heaving in-between words.

"Learn how to steal properly and I'll let you in on some secrets you have to know."