There, sits on his throne, looking forlorn after hearing the new reports on the border was once famous warrior called by the name of Red Axe by his peers.
The name was domineering and powerful. But none such qualities could longer be found in this man
This man is the King of Asgaro.
King Fjord of Asgaro is now nothing but an old man but he always possesses the vitality of youth. But no longer had such vitality reflected in his body.
His visage is the image of a defeated man. His short braided red hair and red beard was unkempt showing how much of trouble these couple of weeks for him
When standing he is seven feet tall and look mighty and heroic but nowhere now that mightiness could be displayed.
The Red Axe that used to roam the battlefield, the great hero that brought back enemy general head with one slash of his axe is no longer.
Now, sits on the throne is a defeated king. The war has taken its toll on him
King Fjord in his desperation wrote a letter to the renowned strategist in Vanheim that repel the larger army of Vetten to come aid him.
If the strategist agree, he would not mind showering the man with riches and all that he desires
Alone, in his throne room, he shows the face he could not show his subject. It was a face of fatigue.
He is tired fighting a war that he is destined to lose. Many nights, he spends on his room looking at the moon and sighing.
He was waiting for Aero to come to his Kingdom and was hoping the man would have a solution for him.
When he heard the strategist was intending to come, he was overjoyed. He has heard that Aero has departed from Karak delegates and was sailing to his Kingdom.
Hearing this Fjord send some of his officers to escort him.
With the threats of Leo Clan and the King Zeus in Veva he is hoping that Aero would be his salvation.
Then he heard a bad news just a few days ago in his war room.
It seems a great unnatural storm has hit the ship carrying the strategist in its journey to Asgaro.
The sailors that passed the region has witnessed the event and said they could see a wreck of a ship, wooden planks scattered about in the shores of the nearby small uninhabited island.
However the fates of the crew are not yet certain.
Hearing this King Fjord is discouraged and was frustrated. The longer the battle became with Leo clan, the more King Fjord become pessimistic about his chance of winning the war.
Not to mention he dreaded facing Zeus of the North. It is why he pinned his hope on Aero. The whole continent knew the poem.
Zeus of the North, Aero of the East.
Zeus of the North was akin a God in battle. His track is hidden by the wind and the weather help him in opportune moments
It was like the Gods of Olympus helps him in his deed. The more it is like this the more Fjord dreaded meeting that young king in battle.
Leo clan attack is proving too brutal and powerful, smashing his armies like they were made of brittle bones.
With King Zeus of Veva eyeing his Kingdom like a hungry wolf, how could Fjord sit comfortably on his throne?
After Zeus conquered Veva, Fjord believes that the young king was satisfied. But hearing from the spies that he sent to infiltrate Veva, the news only added to his worries
He heard that Zeus is preparing for another war.
His army is trained night and day and they were even more disciplined than before with more emphasis put in the military in Veva.
Farming is cultivated so that they will have enough supply for food and Fjord knows where the supplies would go.
It is the most basic of warfare. To field an army, one need to remember supplies.
How could not he be worried, night and day?
The advisors have all given him all kinds of advice but none of them knew how to stop the advancement of their enemies and none give him a solution that could ease his heart.
He hoped that by hiring Aero, that the renowned strategist would give him a solution for him to escape the predicament.
Even now with the nobles united under him for the first time since the formation of the kingdom to push back their enemies, still no progress is made.
'It seems even the Gods have abandoned me.' He sigh as he got up from his throne and walk to the garden.
Trying to ease his worries he tried to enjoy the scenery and smell the flowers but it did nothing to solve his unease.
Finally before night came, he went to the Temple of Athena near his palace and kneel in prayer
'Daughter of aegis bearing maid, Wisdom child, the bright eyed bringer of abundant wit, aid me in my bold endeavor, on whose guidance I rely, I fulfilled my vow and burn sacrifices in your name, so please I pray to be friendly to me now, and hold thy hand above my works and give success on this and all the days I live'
He prayed religiously and then he throws some cattle meat into the sacrificial fire. He then went back to his palace and began resting
That night, he went to his bed to get a little sleep and refreshes his spirit. Lying down, he closes his eyes and he went to sleep.
Deep in his sleep, he dreams and this dream was unlike any other dreams he had before.
He arrived in a meadow filled with vibrant green grass and beautiful flowers of every kind filling the vast field
The surrounding was beautiful and captivating, revitalizing his spirit and made him feel like he was a youth again.
The fragrant smell of flowers is soothing and has a calming effect. He walk forward surrounded by these beautiful scenery as he felt a presence behind him
Sensing something he looked back.
And there he sees a woman standing behind him, unlike any other mortal woman he has ever seen in his life.
The sunlight illuminated her like she descended from the heavens. She has a crested helm, armed with shield and spear that emits powerful aura.
Her helmet was decorated with a number of beasts that seems to be alive.
Her shield shone like the sun, blinding and hot. She looked slender but strong and even one might call mighty.
Her black hair is combed backwards. Her bright eyes shows an unbroken determination and bestow bravery to anyone that saw her gaze
She looks like a mighty warrior ready to spring to action.
Fjord immediately knows who she is.
'Anyone who ever gone to the temple knows.' He thought to himself as he quickly kneels to the ground, honored that he could meet one of the Goddesses.
Goddess Athena is the patron goddess of Asgaro Kingdom since time immemorial.
The story of how Athena and Poseidon vie for Asgaro which was called back then Athena is famous.
"The Kingdom of Asgaro is deserving of praise, not only from the citizens but from all men, on many grounds, but first and foremost because this Kingdom is god-beloved. The strife of the gods who contended over Her and their judgment testifies to the truth of our statement."
His father once says to him of this praise when he was young. He was always proud to be the King of this Kingdom.
But now the Kingdom is in a brink of collapse. And now the Goddess Athena come to his dream.
Could this be an omen?
"Rise mortal" the Goddess said, her voice was calm but there is also a stern quality to it like a mother. The voice echoes in this meadow
Fjord rise and look in the Goddesses face. And how fierce must the Goddess looks, for Fjord almost tremble in fear.
When he saw her before, she was not like this, Fjord thought. Then Athena spoke
"I have heard that you have asked for a boy named Aero to give you wise counsel, mortal?"
Quickly Fjord replied, "Yes, glorious Goddess, savior of cities"
Fjord words were laden with praises. This is common knowledge in any encounter with Gods or any supernatural entity beyond human powers.
Many stories of old, tell stories of people who fail to respect the Gods and supernatural entities and invited their wrath.
The story of the three princesses comes to his mind as he tries to shows how obedient he is.
The three sister fate was tragic. As punishment Athena drove them mad and they leapt to their deaths from the heights of their castle.
Fjord will not repeat that mistake. Athena nodded and then she speak, her voice is authoritative and firm
"I have need of the boy and I have taken him under my protection. He will be tested by my trial. So he will not come to your aid. Do you object?" she asked calmly but it was also like she is daring him to reply no.
Of course Fjord is not stupid. He will not invite the wrath of the Gods unto him.
"No, of course not, bright-eyed Goddess."
'But-'still Fjord also could not help but worries about his Kingdom. Athena saw this so she said
"Long before mortals laid claims to this land, Cerkrop, a king that has a body of a man and serpent was a king in this land. In that time, the gods resolved to take possession of cities in which each of them should receive his own peculiar worship." Athena suddenly spoke cutting Fjord from talking.
Fjord knows better to interfere so he listens.
"So Poseidon was the first that came to this land, and with a blow of his trident on the middle of the kingdom, he produced a powerful spring that flows and become a river which they now call Erenthesia which flows into the Sea of Sorrow."
Fjord nodded. He knows the story. It is the story of how Athena was granted Athens as her patron cities
Athens was the old name for Asgaro Kingdom.
"After him came me," Athena puffed her chest as she declares
"And, having called on Cerkrop to witness my act of taking possession of this kingdom, I planted an olive tree, given to me by Demeter, which is still shown in my grandest temple."
She said proudly.
"But when the two of us strove for possession of the country, Zeus parted us and appointed arbiters. The arbiters are but the other remaining major Gods."
Then she continued speaking.
"And in accordance with their verdict the kingdom was adjudged to me, because Cerkrop bore witness that I had been the first to plant the olive. I, therefore, called the city Athens after myself, to show how greatly I love them and Poseidon, in hot anger flooded the Kingdom with his godly powers and almost laid this Kingdom under the sea."
Then he was beaming at Fjord.
"I came to you to lend my strength and wisdom to you, for you are the descendant of a Kingdom once blessed by me. I have heard of your prayers and your love for me"
Fjord was overjoyed. A goddess will help him.
Gods helping mortal openly. He had never heard such occurrence since the War of The Gods the first time.
"So, ease your worries, mortal for I will aid you in your trouble. Rejoice and prepare for war. I am glory-personified. And if you want glory, you need to be prepared and wise. For no victory comes without a price" She said warningly.
Fjord cry tears of joy.
"Tell this to your people"
"Of course, of course, Wise one."
Then Fjord wakes from his sleep.
Part one o the chapter
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