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Chapter 139: Chapter 137:

(Titus's POV)

The boar, the size of a school bus, charged like a crazed lion, its tusks aimed at my flesh. I barely dodged, feeling the wind of its attack ruffle my hair. This wasn't just any boar; it exuded an aura of ancient anger, fueled by Artemis's own divine will.

My fists crackled with Bifrost energy, a desperate counter to the beast's size and fury. Each punch landed like a miniature tempest, leaving craters on its hide and sending shockwaves through the earth. The energy drain was immediate, my magic reserves dipping precariously. But with each hit, a surge of power pulsed through me, momentarily replenishing my mana. It was a risky dance, fueled by desperation and a flicker of hope.

"Enough!" I roared, leaping onto the boar's back. It bucked like a wild bronco, trying to dislodge me, but exhaustion and my relentless blows had taken their toll. My fist, charged with raw Bifrost energy, connected with its skull. The boar's eyes glazed over, and it crumpled to the ground with a shuddering sigh.

My breath came in ragged gasps as I surveyed the battlefield, my arms a tapestry of raw wounds. But as quickly as they appeared, they knitted themselves shut, the healing properties of my magic working overtime.

Atalanta rushed to my side, her eyes filled with relief and something deeper, a warmth that sent a comforting spark through my chest. Such a treasure, this woman I called wife.

But the air grew colder, the tension thicker. Artemis, her face contorted in a mask of fury, materialized above us, a bow materialized in her hands. Her target: me.

"You didn't kill it?" she questioned, her voice laced with ice, her eyes fixated on the boar's gasping breaths.

I met her gaze, a faint smile playing on my lips. "I am no hunter, driven by ego and bloodlust. I am a challenger, and I have proven myself." I knelt beside the boar, its head nudging my hand in a gesture of submission. "This creature's life is not mine to claim."

Artemis's glare intensified, her fingers tightening around the bow that materialized in her hand. It was aimed at me. "You remain a threat, one that must be eliminated," she declared, her voice devoid of emotion.

No point questioning her logic, her sense of justice.

Madness. That was the only explanation for her actions. Here, in this era, questioning the gods was akin to blasphemy.

The tension crackled in the air, heavy enough to choke on. Artemis's bow, aimed at me, pulsed with a malevolent energy. But before the arrow could fly, Atalanta stepped forward, her slender frame a shield against the goddess's wrath.

"That's enough," she declared, her voice trembling but resolute.

"Move, Atalanta," Artemis snarled, her divine aura flaring, "or I'll be forced to slay two disobedient scum." Her gaze narrowed on me. "He's a liar, a deceiver, a human playing at godhood. He's fooled everyone but me. Move, or face the consequences."

"I won't!" Atalanta defied, her voice ringing out. "Hippomenes is my husband, and I love him!"

The confession echoed through the clearing, a declaration that stunned both me and Artemis. Never before had her love been so openly proclaimed.

"From the moment you laid eyes on him, you targeted him," Atalanta continued, her voice rising with righteous anger. "Why? We've done nothing wrong! What fuels your judgment?"

"Are you questioning the gods, Atalanta?" Artemis thundered, her glare icy. "Has your mind been corrupted?"

"Yes, I am questioning!" Tears welled up in Atalanta's eyes, glistening like defiance. "You gods are meant to guide us, to nurture us. Yet you meddle, you interfere, and when we pray, you remain silent! What is your purpose, if not to serve your own whims?"

Artemis faltered, the goddess's facade momentarily cracking. She could have silenced Atalanta, banished her with a flick of her wrist. But the raw emotion, the pain and confusion in the young woman's eyes, struck a chord within her. The weight of her own actions, the countless atrocities committed by other deities, pressed down on her.

"Atalanta," she finally spoke, her voice softer, "know this: he will betray you. He will deceive you one day."

Atalanta looked at me, a silent question hanging in the air. I offered no answer, neither confirmation nor denial. A smirk played on her lips, laced with a touch of sadness.

"He won't betray me," she said, her voice firm despite the tremor. "But even if he did, I won't back down. You want him, you'll have to go through me."

A sharp sneer twisted Atalanta's lips. "Jealous, are we?" she spat, her voice laced with venom. "Perhaps you envy me my love, something you've never known in your immortal existence. Gods, pitiful creatures you are! You claim divinity, yet you stoop to human desires. Craving love, yet forever condemned by your eternity to miss its true essence. You call yourselves parents, yet you slaughter your own children like savage beasts! You are nothing but...frauds!"

SMACK!

Atalanta's tirade was abruptly cut short by the sting of a slap to the head. She rubbed her sore head, glaring at me in disbelief.

"Respect your savior, Atalanta," I said firmly. "Lady Artemis, despite your...differences, is still the one who nurtured you."

Atalanta visibly deflated, shame replacing her anger. "I...I apologize, Lady Artemis," she mumbled, bowing her head.

Artemis, her weapons lowered, seemed lost in thought, likely grappling with Atalanta's outburst. A sigh escaped my lips.

"Let us put this aside for now, Lady Artemis," I proposed. "Allow me to escort you to a safer location."

She nodded silently, and we began our walk. Once we reached a secluded area, she stopped, her voice laced with suspicion. "What are you plotting, scum? Why the sudden charm offensive?"

"Lady Artemis," I replied, my gaze unwavering, "why the hostility? Have I wronged you in some way?"

"You reek of corruption," she declared, her voice tight. "The second individual I've encountered with such a foul taint. You pose a danger not just to Atalanta, but to the entire world."

Ah, she sensed my ability to transform into a Beast. Perhaps she saw echoes of Draco in me. But unlike him, I wasn't consumed by darkness. And Artemis, I realized, seemed less tainted by his influence than any other god I'd encountered. Perhaps she could be an ally.

"I understand your concern," I replied, feigning submission. "I leave my fate to your judgment. For now, I propose we avoid unnecessary conflict."

A faint blush crept onto Artemis's cheeks. "You are...most peculiar," she muttered, her voice betraying a hint of curiosity.

I chuckled mischievously before drawing closer to Artemis, wrapping my arm around her waist, and pulling her towards me. Artemis was taken aback, unsure of what was happening.

"Thanks for saving and raising Atalanta, and for everything you have done for humanity. As a token of gratitude, accept my tribute," I expressed before leaning in and sealing her lips with mine. Artemis widened her eyes in confusion, her cheeks flushing red.

Confused but intrigued, Artemis let out a muffled sound as I began to fondle her buttocks. My hands moved swiftly, tempting even a goddess with their touch. Though I wanted to explore further, I refrained from venturing toward her breasts, not wanting to overstep boundaries.

The kiss remained natural yet passionate, and when we parted, a slender silver thread lingered between our lips. As Artemis regained her composure and realized what had transpired, she glared at me, though her flushed face betrayed her emotions.

"W-what on earth do you think you've done?" Artemis demanded, her voice tinged with both embarrassment and indignation.

"Hmm? Isn't this a new way to show gratitude to gods these days? Lord Zeus and others do this all the time," I replied innocently, feigning confusion.

Artemis searched for a retort, but even her divine gaze seemed to falter this time.

"Besides, I thought you were enjoying it, so I extended the time," I added nonchalantly.

"W-who said I-I was enjoying it...?" Artemis protested, her cheeks tinted with the blush of maidenly shyness. Satisfied that my purpose had been achieved, I prepared to depart.

"Before I leave, there is also a prophecy from me," I announced just as I was about to vanish into the darkness.

"What is it?" Artemis inquired, raising a brow.

"You will also fall in love soon," I revealed before disappearing entirely. Artemis was left pondering my words before sighing and departing as

I walked for some time before smirking, "So, did I win the bet?"

From the shadows, a figure emerged—it was my pet goddess Aphrodite.

"Ugh, I can't believe even gods could get fooled so easily. Humans are really unpredictable," Aphrodite remarked, rolling her eyes. "As for the answer, Zeus, along with Poseidon and Hades, is almost as strong as when he had his machine body. They are far above the league of any god in Olympus."

I was momentarily speechless but not surprised, as Tamamo had already confirmed this theory.

"However, all of them have also become totally paranoid. For centuries, they have never once left their territories. They may occasionally make a spirit appearance, but they never move with their actual bodies."

That was something I had anticipated. It meant that they wouldn't be coming in person to fight me, confirming my theory about the mystery of their strength lying with their residing places—the ocean for Poseidon, the underworld for Hades, and the Olympian throne for Zeus.

"Thanks for the info," I said, about to leave, but then I turned around and kissed Aphrodite on her forehead.

"Huh?" Aphrodite blushed. "What's with this all of a sudden and... why not on the lips?"

"Don't be disappointed, Aphrodite. You have a rocking body, but I think you need to experience some gentleness," I remarked, caressing her cheek.

Aphrodite disappeared into thin air, leaving me shaking my head. "Man, I couldn't control my rizz."

Returning, I found Atalanta still pouting. I chuckled and lifted her up like a toddler with one arm.

"Sorry for before," I apologized, kissing her cheek.

"It's okay. I know I was going too far," she replied, wrapping her arms around my neck. "She said you would betray me. Is it true?"

"Yes," I answered, meeting Atalanta's gaze. "What I'm becoming, even I'm not sure. But don't worry, I will fulfill your wishes before anything happens. I will also not hurt you."

Atalanta blinked cluelessly, then tightened her embrace, whispering, "Titus, no matter what happens, I will always love you." Her hand roamed my chest as she sniffed my neck, her breath growing hazy. "Titus, I love you so much that… I want to make love…"

"Well, let me introduce you to 'backdoor' and '70-1' tonight," I responded, carrying Atalanta all the way home. With her confession, Atalanta fell hopelessly in love with me.

===

Hey guys, its been long time but I am finally here. Updates might be slow but I would be updating from time to time. Please get to my new fanfic about Mix anime: "How not to be Multiverse Mercenary"

I would appreciate it.


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