Pathless Origin: Bane of the Gods
Chapter 3- Do You Know What A Survivor Is?
Artillian was in a state of shock after hearing these words. He kept opening and closing his mouth as if wanting to say something, but no words were able to escape from his throat. He sat there silently for a couple of minutes digesting the information the had acquired, and at this moment he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Then he finally spoke in a low but harsh voice.
“So you’re telling me if it wasn’t for you I would’ve died and been reincarnated without any knowledge of my previous life?”
“No, what happened wa-“
“Who the F*ck asked you to save me, you’re nothing to me and I’m nothing to you, so why would you do something like that?”
Artillian was not willing to let Hestia continue, he couldn’t care less why she had done what she did, all he cared about was himself. As he realised that fact, it only served to further anger him. Hestia was forced to remain quiet due to the rebuttal she had received.
“All I wanted was to forget, and you’re telling me thanks to your little trick I don’t have the luxury of forgetting my horrible past? In the end I thought that death was the hell that I deserved, but I guess I will forever remember my sins and in my opinion… That’s worse than hell itself!”
“Young man you can use this opportunity to look for redemption, there is no sin that is punishable by death. We all get second chances and meeting me was your second chance and that’s what fate willed.”
“Bullshit! You think it’s easy to forget it all? To just throw it away and live on as if nothing ever happened. If you knew what I did before I jumped, you would kill me where I stand!”
“Just stop, Ok? I just want to rest. This is all too much to take in at the moment. Is it possible for me to rest in here till dawn breaks or is there any place that is safer?”
“This is the safest place within a dozen kilometres, there is no one who can possibly find this cave for now.”
“Sigh… i will be resting here then.”
After their exchange Hestia quieted down, whilst he laid down to rest. Time seemed to be slow as Artillian was barely able to sleep due to the smell of blood and smoke from the battle that was taking place. As the night went by slowly he gradually fell asleep due to the slaughter quieting down.
As the first sign of light appeared down at the invasion area, soldiers were in formation whilst saluting a man clad in silver amour
“Sir, the enemy forces have been wiped out and we have confirmed that there are no survivors. We also got information that there was a larger army that was deployed yesterday in order to offer assistance to this small group of soldiers, they are set to arrive by noon. We await your orders Milord.” said an armoured soldier to the silver-armoured man.
The silver-armoured man was silent for a while as he assessed the situation, and it was only after a couple breaths of time that he spoke.
“Send spies over to wait by the mountain entrance and inform them to notify me when the opposition arrives. For now we will retreat back to camp and wait for back up to arrive, I’m positive once they see the scenes here they’ll be hesitant to proceed over the mountain. With that said how many men did we lose?”
“Sire, we lost a total of twenty thousand soldiers during this ambu-”
“Wait!! How is that possible we outnumbered the enemy by 10 to 1 how is it possible to lose so many men?”
After the man clad in amour asked this the atmosphere suddenly became tense. No one dared to utter a single word due to humiliation. There were a total of a hundred thousand soldiers that invaded a camp of only ten thousand, it wasn’t that big of a loss but it was humiliating to have that many soldiers slaughtered by such a small group.
And after a long period of silence a middle-aged man stepped forward and offered an explanation.
“Milord, during last night’s battle there was a man who ran toward a group of our men and unleashed an attack than burnt everything within a kilometre. That is how-”
“…..And where is this great warrior’s body? I would love to see just how he managed to unleash such an attack.”
“Sire, we never managed to catch up with him as he ran awa-”
When he heard these words the armoured man immediately became enraged and started shouting at the soldiers.
“Did one of you not just say that there were no survivors? Do you know what a survivor is? Do you not know that a person who fled from battle is known as a survivor?”
“Shut up! Half of you search the whole area and if you cannot find him in an hour retreat back to the camp we can’t afford any more casualties.”
All the soldiers cried in unison as they spread out in every direction.
At this moment Artillian had already woken up and was attempting to put his mind and heart at ease.
Happy thoughts, just think of happy thoughts.
As he indulged himself in his little therapy session, Hestia’s voice rang out, confusion evident in its tone.
“Young man, might I have a word with you…?”
“Sigh, I doubt I can even refuse, after all you are inside of m-”
Artillian did not finish his statement as he cringed at the fact that he was sharing a body with a woman. Were Hestia present in human, she had no doubt turned red from embarrassment as she quickly noticed why Artillian had not completed his sentence.
“A-anyway you were saying….”
“R-right, you seem a lot calmer than you were yesterday so I hope my word, or rather my request wont anger you…?”
Artillian’s face began to change colour as he stared upward with a blank expression. He did not know what to think of the situation because just yesterday he had shouted at her and cursed at her, but now she had a request to ask of him.
Could it be she’s one of those masochists that enjoy harsh treatment from others? Could I really have enticed a woman like that with my harsh words? Wait…she is a woman!
Artillian was lost in thought and did not notice that he had been drooling over his own words for quite a few seconds.
“What are you busy thinking about that makes you drool so much?”
It was only after Hestia had spoken that he broke out of his daydream. The air turned awkward as Artillian looked down at the ground embarrassed by his own train of thought.
The silenced had lasted for a couple of minutes until Hestia cleared her nonexistent throat and proceeded to ask Artillian a rather strange question.
“Do you wish to die, or do you want to live?”