“Did it go as you expected?” Hephaestus asked.
“Precisely as I anticipated,” Athena answered. “Divine interventions, from any God or Goddess, are forbidden. All we can do is watch and trust in their abilities.”
“Seems a lot of bother,” Hephaestus said.
“Perhaps,” Athena stated. “But we can’t allow another Reina to be unleashed on the mortal realm. Scotius must be stopped, as much as it hurts father.”
“I’d forgotten about Reina,” Hephaestus muttered. “She still alive?”
“Imprisoned, within Tartarus,” Athena answered. “Though I fear it will inevitably lead to further trouble.”
“Captain, we’ve sighted it!”
“Understood,” Omec said. “Everyone, prepare for the sortie!” He turned to Sylvie & Serena. “You sure your friend’s okay?”
“She’ll be fine,” Serena said. “Just trust her.”
The ship approached over the waves. Scotius watched from the stem. He was muscular, with curly blond hair and bright yellow eyes.
“Listen up, Ghuji,” he called, his voice thundering. “My troops and I are here to take your city. Surrender peaceably and survive or die in pain!”
That was when a violent water spout burst through his ship, shattering it into pieces. Scotius’ soldiers fell into the depths, some emerging others being swallowed by the waves. Those that emerged found themselves quickly beset by Ghuji’s soldiers.
Scotius himself floated above the water, looking down. His face clouded with fury.
Inés burst from the water on a second spout, swinging her staff at Scotius. Lightning burst around him, sending her flying into the waves.
Scotius floated to the shore, lightning flying around him. “Your little mage is through and all you’ve done is make me angry.”
A series of bright flashes went off in front of him. As he moved to wipe his eyes, Sylvie and Serena struck.
Sylvie’s rapier pierced his side while Serena’s tonfa bashed the back of his head.
Scotius screamed and lightning flashed around him. Both Sylvie and Serena were tossed aside.
“That hurt,” he muttered. He gingerly rubbed his eyes. He glanced at the fallen priestesses. Sylvie was struggling to rise. Serena managed to get to her knees, but couldn’t get to her feet.
He moved over and grabbed Serena, holding her aloft with one hand. “You’re a rather comely little bitch, aren’t you?” he asked. “I’ll make you a deal. Give me your weapons and I’ll make you one of my concubines. You’ll live very comfortably. Or you can die. The choice is yours.”
Serena spit in his face. “Wrong answer!” he said. “Lightning surrounded his hand.
“Hey!” Scotius turned. Inés was riding atop a massive tidal wave. “Get your filthy hand off of my lover!”
The wave crashed. Inés decked Scotius directly in the face. He countered with a lightning-enhanced fist to her gut.
“You can’t win,” he said. “I’m a son of Zeus!”
She executed a high kick directly to his face. “I don’t give a damn who you are.”
He tackled her, sending her sprawling and then slammed his fists into her back. She quickly regained her feet, giving him an uppercut to the jaw.
The two circled one another warily. He spit out one of his teeth and lunged, lightning scattering in front of him. Inés ran to shield Serena, taking several bolts to the back as a result.
Scotius pressed the attack, landing several heavy blows to her head. She head-butted his forehead, wiped some blood from her brow and delivered several kicks to his stomach and face. After taking a few hits, he managed to grab her leg and tossed her aside, towards the ocean.
A wave reached up to catch her. She landed softly on it and stood, arms crossed, glaring down at him.
“How are you not dead yet?” Scotius demanded, breathing heavily.
“I’m stronger than I look,” she said, her breathing was also laboured.
He launched himself upwards directly at her. As he tackled her from her perch, she kicked at his stomach. He went flying backwards into the sand while she went back beneath the water.
The two both regained their footing quickly and launched themselves at each other. Scotius’ fist landed squarely against Inés’ right eye while her fist landed on his jaw. Both staggered back momentarily before resuming their match.
Scotius got in the next blows, delivering several brutal hits to Inés’ stomach. She responded by kicking his legs out from under him. Then she hurriedly grabbed his arms and caught him in a lock.
“You… can’t hold… me for long,” he struggled. Lightning flying from his body into her. In spite of the pain, she held him fast.
“Don’t have… to,” she responded, tightening her grip. “Sylvie!”
Sylvie grabbed her rapier and limped towards them. Scotius struggled more fiercely, his lightning strikes causing Inés to cry out in pain and her body to involuntarily spasm. Still, she held on.
“Always having to play the damn hero,” Sylvie muttered. She brought her rapier down, running it through Scotius’ chest. For a brief moment, lightning burst out stronger than ever, pushing Sylvie back. Then he went still.
Inés twitched uncontrollably by his body.
Sylvie reached down, grabbing Inés’ cheeks and drawing the energy into herself with her own lightning magic until Inés went still. She proceeded to take the other woman’s vitals.
Scotius found himself facing a thin figure with a fair face, pure white hair, rose earrings and bright crimson eyes.
The figure approached him kindly, beckoning him.
“No!” Scotius cried. “It’s unfair! I’m a son of Zeus! How, how was she stronger than me?” Tears began streaming down his face.
The figure hugged him tightly, whispering gently to him and enveloped Scotius in their black cloak.
“We dealt with his soldiers,” Omec reported. “How is she?”
“Not good,” Sylvie answered. “She got hit by a lot of magic. She needs a cleric, quickly. If it’s not already too late.”
“I’ll see to it,” Omec said. “If we can save her, we will.”