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Home > God Rising: Battle of Atela

17 Part V

 "Wake up!!!" Orion poured a full cup of ice-cold water over Artemis and the girl sat up immediately.

"You sleep too much!!!"

"Well it's not my fault when you keep knocking me out!!!" The two glared irately at one another before diverting their eyes elsewhere.

Artemis noticed she was in the four corners of a comfortable building and also lying on a very soft bed. It felt like ages since she's felt such a recognizable warmth. She wished she could stay and appreciate it everlastingly even though she knew it probably won't last long.

"I had to carry you all the way to this village. Back in Sol you humans are used as a means of transportation. You should be happy that I'm nice. Thank me for the unique treatment I give you."

Artemis rolled her eyes as she laid back on the bed.

"We'll have to find a way to sell the necklace at a market tomorrow. We're almost out of money, but I was lucky to come across this inn. The room is worth more than the cheap price put on it, but it's to our potential benefit. Right now, all  I can think about is putting something in my stomach."

"Hey, don't you at least feel bad for Ryu? Even a little?"

"Artemis, I gave up on feelings like that thirty years ago. I don't cry over spilled milk. Well, not anymore" he opened the room door and gestured for her to follow him "Get up and let's search some place to eat."

Inside the fort of the town, public buildings of stones and houses made of wood were jammed too close together. The village was in a declining state and the Townees made it even worse.

It was too crowded and the territory was small. Sewers were opened, and there was little worry for tidiness. At some point or another, the unhealthy environment will affect them when they least expect it, that's if they've not started experiencing troublesome illnesses.

Before the village of Virsa, there was a neighboring town that was better in terms of development and cleanliness but Orion couldn't go there. He had no other option but to settle for Virsa because the attackers would probably go to Minse to search for them first before turning their attention to Virsa. But by that time, they'd be long gone.

The fox was irritated as he walked through the narrow passageways observing those that threw garbage on to the streets and the rodents that roamed every corner. He hoped the eatery close by would be more pleasing and the people running it would have a good sense of proper health practices.

Once Orion opened the medium sized door to the building, the pleasing aroma of fresh pastries beckoned them inside.

Artemis stared at the mouth-watering display of the most perfect wholegrain bread and baked cookies money could buy while Orion continued to evaluate the place.

The eatery was similar to a cow barn at the run down part of the town, rustic on the outside and perfection on the inside, huddled in the middle of a tailor and furniture shop.

His attention was caught by the hasty entrance of a girl, and she promptly headed towards a room after shouting "Sorry for the delay!"

"Hey why are you staring?" Artemis questioned as the girl approached after taking orders from other tables. For a second, she was startled by the seated male. She'd never seen him before and it didn't appear as though he was from her landmass.

"Welcome!" She bowed her greetings as her hair moved slightly in response to her movements.

The girl had a soothing voice that was like melodies and the next thing she does is give the foxman a smile that seemed genuinely sweet.

With the right touch of shyness, a surprising warmth hurried through Orion as she requested what he needed. He didn't think up an response for the question because he wasn't used to the food on the list. The last time he picked, things didn't end well.

"Hey, Orion how much do you have on you?"

"About, three bronze" He still had his eyes fixed on her, and she returned the same stare through the perfect eyes of a human.

Artemis picked something they could both eat and the girl excused herself.

"You weirdo! What was that all about?"

Orion didn't answer. He still did what Artemis found creepy, especially when he gave her cold stares that stayed longer than it should have.

She returned with a tray and set two dishes of dark grape sauce then directed her attention to the next table.

Before Orion could place a spoon of it in his mouth, the sound of a broken plate resounded in the corridor. He looked up to see the girl from before holding her scalded hand. Tears formed at her ducts as her gaze rested down on the man seated comfortably in his master seat, indifferent about what he'd done.

Everyone in the cafeteria turned their attention to the usual scuffle that was about to take place.

An old lady hurried out of the kitchen to stop the fight that regularly occurred between her employee  and the chief's son.

"You klutz, you got food all over the place!" A grin spread over the man's face, wide and open, showing his poor dentition. At that moment his motives were laid bare; he was a mocker, one who enjoyed whatever torment he could dispense on others.

"I'm sorry for what she did" The woman tried to apologize on behalf of what the waitress had done because she knew she'd never get her to apologize.

"But ma!!!" She protested "don't apologize! He's to blame!"

"Anna stop dragging this situation and just apologize" The girl turned briefly looked at the man that was patiently waiting for an apology.

Her eyes quickly settled on a cup on the table in-between them, then with the same scalded hand, she poured the wine in it all over the tyrant.

The Chief's son had a proper reason to beat the shit out of her. Exactly what he's always wanted to do.

The two never got along because she was the only one that chose to be different. The peasants feared him, but she didn't. She made It very clear that she wouldn't let him pick on her the way he wanted to without fighting back. He hated her and she reciprocated the feeling of enmity growing stronger by the day.

"Oi!!" He grabbed her chestnut hair and pulled her close "Seems like you enjoy strict punishments."

"Sir please" the woman trying to separate them attempted to plead on the young girl's behalf but her plea was disregarded.

"You damn widow! Because I listened in to you before doesn't mean I'll hear you out again. This time around, I'm not going to spare her!"

He snatched his knife by its ivory handle then held it at her neck as the girl gulped. People in the restaurant turned to say a thing or two about the scene they were witnessing. It wasn't something new, but the drastic decision the chief's son took was what surprised them.

"I believe it's time you put an end to this drama" Orion was reluctant to go at first, but Artemis was the push he needed.

"Who do you think you are?" The man assessed Orion from head to toe and sneered "Do you believe you're night and mighty because of your pretty face?"

Orion lips lifted upward "I'll take that as a compliment."

The man let go of the girl not forgetting to shove her aside.

"Hey bastard! Are you trying to deride me?" He took hold of Orion's tan brown tunic and glared at his challenger with his deep-set raven eyes wanting to evoke a subconscious feeling of fear but Orion was unaffected by the intense stare of the pig in front of him.

"You're Lucky" Orion placed his hand on the  Man's large one and began to snap his fingers one by one "If it were my hanbok that you put your filthy hands on, I would've killed you" The man got a good look of Orion's malicious grimace and it got his knees wobbling.

The young lady was astounded. Someone brought Zayn the so called great to his knees begging for release. She'd never seen someone so cool ever since she moved to Virsa.

Everyone in the town listens to each and everything the tyrant said without questioning. Letting him stomp all over them regardless of being human simply like every other person and not an uncommon race that would get affection from the beastmen.

"Apologize to her" Orion pressed firmly into the Zayn's wrist causing the young man to cry like the frail individual he'd always been.

For long, he'd pretended to be a man with no emotions, one that would never cry but all along it's been nothing but facade, a mentality he forced people to believe. His shield was his father's position, not his size, not his chilling face but just the favour of his father towards him.

He was reluctant to do what Orion wanted, but the crushing squeeze made him reconsider. His eyes were overwhelmed with tears as he bit hard on his lower lip trying to force his sobs to stop "Anna..."

"Say it!" Orion commanded and the teary-eyed man was forced to consent.

"Forgive me Anna. I'm sorry."

Hearing him say that was a medicine to all of her injuries. She was the first peasant he'd ever apologized to, and she might or might not be his last since the real Zayn had been exposed.

Watching him suffer and listening the sound of his sobs was fulfilling. It was music her ears always wanted to hear.

Orion let Zayn go, and he held his wrist that was now designed with a welt caused by Orion's solid hold. He scowled at Anna with glossy eyes before scurrying out of the restaurant to report to his father so the strange man would get what he deserved for hurting him.

The applauds that immediately followed made him wonder why he did it, and Artemis wondered the same. He wasn't a hero, he views himself as a bad person but then, he saved someone that needed help just like Melissa did.

Anna felt heat rise to her cheeks as Orion looked in her direction. She snapped her head away, knowing that if her eyes met his she'd get lost in his appealing honey colored iris again.

"Let me see your hand"  She shook her head "It's fine."

Orion rolled his eyes as he gently took hold of her blistered hand by her wrist. She winced a bit scared of what he was going to do.

"Relax. I'm not going to do much" Anna's skin tingled where he touched her and her heart beat erratically in her chest, so hard that she thought it would fly out.

In a second, her hand was healed. Everyone present watched in awe, pondering who or what that man was.

"If you want to thank me, I need more food. My sauce must've gone cold by now" His voice, his face, his genuine lips and shoulder muscles were all her mind harped on. Anything else didn't matter.

She failed to take proper note of his words until her supervisor pulled her by her ear to the kitchen to give her what she could serve the man that saved her.

"Ma, he healed my wound. Do you think he's a spell caster?"

The woman looked at her considering the possibility "that could be possible. He's not a beastman, so he might as well be a spell caster!"

***

Artemis looked teasingly at Orion  "I think somebody likes you."

The fox pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed "Artemis please stop saying that. That's a taboo" Anna had placed more plates of the restaurant's specialty before he opened his eyes to see her standing beside Artemis.

"Excuse me Sir..."

Orion answered arching a brow  "yes?"

She clasped her hands together with her eyes gleaming as she jolted forward, her cleavage coming into full view "Please tell me...are you a spell caster?"