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30 Part II

 Just like Artemis, Orion also found it difficult to believe.

"Her father was executed by humans, but the Chief of her village was persecuted by the council for being reckless. She still has to face severe punishment for her actions."

Orion was certain he could handle the issue. He had done so many times before "But that's crude! Artemis didn't do anything. Melissa spared her at her own free will..."

"We don't know where Melissa is hiding. That's why we have come to this."

Orion didn't know why they were thinking illogically. Even though the Summer games were halted for the first time in nine hundred and eighty years, Artemis only played a secondary role. Melissa was meant to be held accountable.

"I don't think this is about the Summer games. I'm certain you all know about the rumours of spell casters. Information about Melissa giving some of her powers to this girl must've leaked."

The Demigod was impressed. All he heard about Orion wasn't a lie. He was interested in listening to everything the smart man had to say.

"So this is more about fear. You're afraid she might have a potential to join this council and seat on your throne!"

A smile spread across the face of the Demigod who was of the wolf clan that was assumed to be the strongest because of the capacity of their strength. He extolled Orion's smart thinking, and so did everyone else.

Vikckson was irritated. He wished he'd be allowed to kill Orion on the spot.

He couldn't believe that they were actually giving an outlaw the chance to talk.

"Why should we be afraid of humans or spell casters? They're still humans. The same weak humans we've always known and hated" Artemis turned to look at Orion who had his eyes fixed at the Demigod. Silent tears streamed down her face because of the statement of her father's death.

The bitter truth brought a heart-ache that was too much to cope with. "It hurts" her words came out low and suppressed, however from what Orion could hear, her words were made out perfectly.

"Truly, Melissa gave Artemis the little power her body could convey. She's not much of a threat my lord. This isn't a match she can win. The humans aren't even on her side. Just because one human stands out doesn't mean the rest of humanity has a chance!"

The little girl was swamped with negative emotions. All along, she was holding onto a tree branch of hope. With every word he said, her fingers were slipping. What was the purpose of hanging on? What was the point of trying, struggling or being hopeful?

She let go. There was nothing else to grab unto, nothing else to motivate her to claw at the walls and make her way back up.

Accepting the faith of the bottomless pit of swirling darkness and misery was all that was left to do. There was no hope, and there never was.

"We are beastmen. We vary in size, form, abilities, and so many other features that can and can't be listed. The spell casters or whatever are scared. That's why they aren't starting a rebellion. This diminutive human here is making every one of you shudder? Look at her! She's even crying!"

The way Artemis's eyes glanced was different. Her face went ghostly, and her will power had dropped. Sorrow had gobbled her up from the inside, and left her empty.

"Why do you support her? If she's of no use, we might as well kill her. Or have you really developed feelings for humans?"

He shook his head "I haven't. That woman that I was with, she was my bed slave. It's not against the law. It's not against our traditions as well. I'm sure most of the Senates have human sex toys they play with" Murmurs sparked up, but the raised demigod's hand made it cease at once.

"You are quite the debating type. But, I am not moved to spare the girl unless Melissa's whereabouts Is revealed."

Orion clicked his tongue. He had no idea of where Melissa was. Even if he said so, they wouldn't believe him.

"I assume you were training her. Whose side are you on?"

"Once a beastman, forever a beastman. I did train her because Melissa wanted me to. I didn't have anything to lose. I no longer had a place in the council. A forty-year-old like me had nothing else to do but retire and move to a quiet place and live there until death. When she raised the thought, I was interested in whiling away time. Whenever I look at Artemis Rivera, I laugh at how optimistic she is. Just like how she was when she stepped into that battlefield, thinking her god would intervene for her sake. She has no chance. Her powers aren't suited for her female body. She can't be a demigod because of the gender rules. So what's the point?"

"You knave!"  She was offended and enraged by all that was spewing from his mouth. She rocketed towards him, and smashed her forehead against his, but she ended up being the one that passed out from the impact.

Orion sighed, "This girl" He shook his head. On the bright side, she should be happy that she didn't risk getting too emotional and getting herself. On the other, Orion had to worry if her brain was alright.

"You are saying reasonable things, and you've managed to clarify most of the allegations Vikckson Seryin placed on you" Orion's eyes twitched. He knew Vikckson had something to do with it. So much time was wasted because of jealousy and fetish to fail to get him killed.

"The main issue is Melissa, and this girl, Artemis Rivera. If you can't tell us where Melissa is, We might as well kill Artemis in her stead. Melissa's life for Artemis or Artemis's life for Melissa"

The senate were expecting Orion to reveal where Melissa was, but the beastman had no other clue, and to protect everyone he cared for, he had to sacrifice if his plan was going to work.

"I will do the life exchange for Artemis's sake!"