My head jerked in nearly every direction, but I saw no heavenly-being. That didn’t mean it wasn’t there. The flaring didn’t stop. There could only be one solution to this problem. What could it be, you ask? Get the fuck out of there.
I made a sprint, not toward home but into the crowd. The presence strengthened. In fact, it got so strong—I spun but no one was behind me. Shoot. It had to be a hunter, maybe the same one from earlier. It was just a fantastic time to be without allies. Fan-fucking-tastic.
I made sure to stay in a crowd as I wondered. If this hunter could do the same thing as Yulese, it wouldn’t matter. If he or she did have that ability, I’d be dead right now. Triggering an overflow of power against Conus’s annoying lock isn’t something I could do at will.
I pulled out my phone and dialed Amelia’s number.
I tried again.
Still no answer. Something didn’t feel right about this whole thing. This presence…could it really be a hunter?
Suddenly, the presence vanished. I wasn’t buying the charade one bit—I made sure my surroundings were overlooked with my paranoid eyes. Nothing. People were simply minding their own business. I stopped in an alley and scoped some more. I needed to manifest a weapon, but couldn’t risk bystanders seeing. Too bad that thought was too late…
An arrow covered in flames missed my head by mere inches, as it buried itself into the brick wall behind me. Good thing I was on guard. The presence returned, so strongly that my ears rang if I focused on it. Then I whiffed a scent…a soothing scent of honey and roses. Lots and lots of roses. And this wasn’t Amelia’s rosy scent—no… This was another goddess. That’s when I heard her voice—the same voice who had attacked us in the mall.
“Well, hello there, cutie pie. What did the archer say to the handsome guy?”
The goddess smiled as she approached. I didn’t say anything, just scoped the area. “You make me quiver.”
I cringed. “You did not just hit me with an archery pun.”
“Oh, come on, that was pretty good,” the goddess said.
“No, not it was not.”
She sighed. “For being half human, you sure don’t appreciate their humor.”
“What do you want from me?” I said. “Are you really a hunter?”
“Epex Helios, fallen prince of the Helios clan, if I told you now, the hunt would be over. I want to play some more.” The goddess appeared, right in front of me: face to face. Long golden-white hair, green eyes, and natural goddess beauty in a white dress—she smiled. Something about her seemed very familiar, but I was too nervous to put more consideration into that thought. “Make this fun for me.” My eyes didn’t leave the golden dagger that was suddenly at my neck. “You’re not the only one who doesn’t play by the rules. The only difference is that no one will bat an eye for me. But for you, everyone lost their minds.” She paused as if waiting for a response. I didn’t give her one. “Oh, come on! Do you even meme?”
“Never mind, I’m trying to get better at this human comedy stuff. Could make the hunts far more interesting.” She looked me up and down. “With abs like that, it’s crazy that Amelia doesn’t jump you.” She laughed. “This hunt was way too easy, so I can’t claim it just yet. Demigod hunting is once in an eternal lifetime. I’m going to savor it. Make it challenging, become the hero, or you will have hell to pay.”
She walked with her back turned to me, for about three feet. Huge golden wings sprouted from her back. The pressure of ascending hummed through the air as her wings glowed with bright blue heavenly-light. Then just like that, the goddess was gone.
I just stood there. I wasn’t surprised that she had no fear of me—any goddess could insta-kill me with a thought. There were a few things that bothered me.
One was that she didn’t mention Yulese, or claim any intention to avenge him. Two: the protections of the misthanger queen and Amony didn’t work. Nope, nadda. Three: no one batted an eye at Amelia’s actions either.
Did they know Yulese was dead? Are the hunters so confident that they absolutely believe that I cannot harm them?
I shook my head, pushing the thoughts to the back as I got the hell out of alley. At least I had learned something new. I’d better get Ruin, or else, if that huntress reappeared, she’d be ready to make the kill. As I crossed the street, I noticed Sin, waving at me from afar.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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