I am Epex Helios, born in the Helios clan, and while half of me is human, the other part could still utilize somewhat godly powers.
Before Conus locked my powers, one sneeze from me could potentially obliterate the entire planet. Maybe even the solar system. Honestly, the ridiculous power curse still hasn’t been explained to me, but once this hunter thing passes over, I will find out.
Helios is the crest of the sun—and just because I’ve been exiled doesn’t I can’t turn myself into a solar panel. I had a sneaking suspicious that the sun is why I could manifest things so quickly.
Amelia continued to hum the Disney theme song as we walked to Amanda’s house. I cannot figure out for the life of me why humans don’t give high-priced apartments yards. These prices are ridiculous!
Abruptly, Amelia stopped as an obviously homeless man stared at a group of pigeons, hopelessness in his eyes. I closed my eyes and read his state of being, a trick Amelia recently taught me. A second later, I opened them, knowing what my goddess planned to do next.
I stood nearby as she talked, asking him light questions while spreading hope to the miserable human. Ten minutes later, she stood up.
“I have to go now, but it was nice chatting with you, Mr. Grandon. I have a feeling something good will soon happen. Don’t doubt yourself anymore and go for it.”
I knew I’d never see the man on the streets again.
Amanda hugged Amelia immediately after answering our knock. Despite choosing to live with me over them, they still received her mysterious blessings in full. I figured it had something to do with faith.
Yeah, too bad I won’t have access to such luxuries and extra powers—damn lucky full-born heavenly-beings. Okay, maybe I didn’t care. Amanda hugged me too, despite my past protests. They claimed they wanted to chip away my dislike for humans as much as possible. Damn, I shouldn’t have squealed my past.
“Where’s Keisha?” Amelia asked.
“She went to Jade’s memorial,” Amanda answered.
“I see,” Amelia said in an even tone.
I placed my hand on her shoulder, allowing her emotions to run through me. She still mourned her friend, her human sister. Jade lost her life tragically, eaten alive by the biggest enemy of all beings, the Fallen.
Just thinking about the creatures gave me chills.
“We need to use your backyard again for training,” I said, changing the subject.
I concentrated, absorbed the sorrowing emotion from Amelia, and then converted it to resolve. Think of it like drawing heat from a source and cooling it.
Amelia looked at me, appreciation in her eyes, and then we went around to the backyard, followed by Amanda. The redhead loved watching Amelia go full sadist on me during these training sessions.
Today was perfect for this session. Clear skies, moderate temperatures, and a pleasant atmosphere.
“Alright, as much as you hate it, go ahead and draw your power from the sun,” Amelia said. “Amanda, toss me that bamboo pole.” I frowned as she smiled. “This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
I groaned. “Do we really need to start with the dodge-training?”
“What’s that anime parody you were watching the other day? With the green guy constantly screaming dodge and then punishing that little boy.”
“Never mind,” I said and then focused on the sun. The energy itched and burned as I drew it in. The divine powers fought with my human half and it hurt. I needed to draw in more, maybe on a daily basis to stop the pain completely, but never found myself able to rely on it. My body seemed to produce its own essence, so why go through the pain. Amelia wanted to beat that logic out of me.
“Now, use that energy exclusively to dodge my swipes. Dodge ten and we’ll move on. One hit and we start over.”
“Sir yes sir.”
Amelia glared and without warning, swiped. I barely dodged and then cartwheeled out of the way of the second attack. The goddess quick-ascended behind me. I felt the pain before I could process what happened.
“Teleports are nearly impossible to dodge,” I said.
“That’s because you’re not using any of the sun’s energy. You’re just dodging.” Amelia poked my nose. “Focus exclusively on what you’re treating as invasive energy. Welcome it. Combine it with yours.”
Those words…She’s right. I treated the sun’s energy like a separate entity for so long that I virtually declared it an enemy. It’s my birthright. The only problem is that utilizing it is easier said than done.
I failed the dodge exercise about eighteen more times before Amelia called for a break. I panted, covered in sweat. Amelia didn’t look so much as winded.
“I could only imagine the training the elite put you through to maintain that sweatless state,” I said.
“All you have to do to get like me is one hundred pushups, one hundred sit-ups, one hundred squats, and run ten kilometers every day.”
The reference made me glare at her briefly before we laughed. Amanda brought us water before we resumed the training for two more hours. Keisha eventually joined the ginger to watch and then left to go study after an hour.
In the end, I managed to bridge the competing essences within my body. The feeling was bliss. I felt Amelia’s teleport before she did it and dodged just a second before the strike hit the ground.
“Not bad, not ba—”
I dodged her “reassurance” swing. Amanda clapped.
“You were almost a blur with that dodge.”
“Not bad at all,” Amelia tossed the bamboo to the side. “Now for some hand-to-hand, dirty combat.”
“Nothing below the waste this time,” I said then took a Kung Fu fighting stance. Amelia mimicked me.
We went at it for half an hour. Amelia was true to her word when it came to dirty combat as she took a swing at my balls at least three times.
When the training ended, Amelia and I jogged back to my apartment to shower. About twenty minutes after the shower, I received a phone call.
“Yeah?” I said to Sin.
“It’s time to stop masturbating and come in to work. Amony’s got another job.”
“I bet she ended your session first,” I retorted. “Be there in a bit.” I hung up.
“Well, off I go, I guess,” I told Amelia.
“Pssh, as if the witch is going to break our time apart. I’m coming along. I want to see you use that sun energy in combat.”
“This is more than likely a meeting,” I said. “Most demons don’t come out in broad daylight.”
“Yeah, just the stupid ones. Still, I’m coming. If you guys are serious about going up against Sunset, then you’ll be wise to give me as much information as possible.”
“No argument there.”
The goddess returned text messages to her friends while I put on my shoes. I chose my usual style of shirt and jeans—no point of getting any fancier clothes covered in blood or muck if the occasion came up.
I concentrated essences into my hand and then made a silent call to my sword. Ruin warped from the floor into my grasps. I strapped it to a sheath on my belt.
Amelia’s enchantment activated, which caused it to go invisible each time I sheathed it. I can’t be the lunatic out in public with a sword. The humans would toss me right into jail.
When Amelia was ready, we set out toward Secure Corps. It was only a couple blocks away, so distance didn’t faze us. We could simply ascend there but abusing the use of essence could attract unwanted attention in the form of hunters. And believe me when I say I didn’t need that shit right now.
The Sunset threat had to end asap or they’d attract more Fallen. Fighting one is just impossible. There isn’t a guarantee that Mother Nature aka Amelia’s mom would appear to save our asses again. I forced the thought of my goddess’s mom out of my thoughts. I tried…but holy cow, she was a frightening being at the same time.
There are only a small number of primals in existence. The King of all gods and I think his son are special primals. Then there’s Conus and Amelia’s parents. There were a few more, but I haven’t kept up with Heavenly-being101 lately, so whatever. I’m not too sure about Karma. Maybe I could’ve tried out for the position back in the day. Nah. No matter how strong I get, I can’t be considered an “original deity.”
Just then, I felt a presence, no, multiple presences… The vibe felt off, dark. Amelia stopped, sensing it too.
“That way,” she said, pointing at a park that shouldn’t be abandoned at this time. It was also covered in fog. Just there. How obvious can they get?
Sure enough, when we entered the fog-barrier, we saw them. About six of them ranging from lizard-like creatures the size of a bicycle, to spider demons with human-like teeth and snake-like longs hanging out of their mouths. They noticed us within a second.
I excepted them to attack but the bastards ran.
“Well, so much for no combat,” I said to Amelia then we both chased the demons, grinning. The one with the higher kill count gets the bragging rights.
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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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