As the flames shined brighter, the temperature around the courtyard increased exponentially and all of the mortals backed off.
Strangely, the fire did not produce any smoke.
Mithras then exclaimed, "I have never, ever said that Olympus and the Yunanite are servants of the devil."
"I demand an explanation." Mithras turned to all of the priests in the courtyard.
No one dared to speak, and he instead harrumphed and ordered, "No one is offering an explanation? Then, you all are demoted from being magi(1). Scram."
The mortals all ran out of the temple and only the three gods were left.
"I will hear it directly from that traitor king Arsak." Mithra glared at them and declared, "I shalln't let you go until this injustice is cleared."
"Our dealings with Olympus back then were clear enough, and we all promised we wouldn't bother the expansions of your realm if you didn't meddle with ours."
He continued, "We ended up being the ones breaking these dealings. I apologize deeply."
Hermes replied indifferently, "I only ask of our treaties to be respected, I do not require nor solicit your apologies."
Mithra seemed both embarrassed and furious.
He asked of them, "Do you wish to see justice with your own eyes?"
Alex wanted to dismiss it and continue on their way but Hermes nodded fervently, "Yes, I cannot let Olympus and our people suffer this injustice."
Hermes then told Alex resolutely, "Alexei-boy, we are an organization, and to keep our dominance over Hellenia, we need to be strong AND act strong. With this kind of disrespect, we should be straightforward."
Mithra nodded and flew away at lightning speed.
Alex and Hermes followed behind on the chariot. The sun god was really furious, as any place he hovered above ignited into flames.
They traversed west on the road back to Ctesiphon and quickly reached the capital city of the Parthian Empire.
The beige palace still towered over the city, and Mithra directly flew into it.
The two, behind, downsized the chariot and also entered the palace.
They were in the same throne room as the last time, except the red carpet blazed as Mithra stood over it and in front of the kneeling king.
"Lord Mithra!" The king kowtowed.
"Stand up, you don't deserve to kowtow to me," Mithra ordered.
The king seemed stunned and stood up. He then saw Alex and Hermes in the corner and exclaimed, "Lord, those are the fiends I wished to warn Lord about."
"Fiends? They're gods from Olympus." Mithra rectified.
"Lord, you have informed me of them being fiends and the servants of the devil and ordered me to prosecute their people..."
Mithra seemed clueless as to everything and asked back in a questioning tone, "I did? When?"
"Lord, about a year ago, your illuminated self came to the palace on a dark night, and passed your divine decree." The king recounted his memories.
Mithra frowned and informed him, "Shah Arsak, I haven't seen Ctesiphon since your coronation ceremony 5 years ago."
The king shook profusely and said, "Lord, that is impossible. It was definitely Your Glory that came upon us that night."
The god placed his hand upon his chin and fell into thought.
He then said, "You do know that I don't...really glow in the night?"
"Lord, you entered our palace in your divine image, and even the dark rooms were lit brightly with your presence..."
'A sun god that glows in the night? That almost feels like a caricature..' Alex found this amusing.
Mithra contemplated before giving his answer, "You said that 'I' visited you to inform you that Yunanites are the wretches of Angra Mainyu, but, I think it was more likely you were visited by Angra Mainyu himself."
The king was sweating buckets, and anxiously replied, "L-lord, it was definitely your image that came that night...."
Mithra looked around the throne room and commented, "You do know that a smoking fire is not a symbol of mine, but that of Angra Mainyu."
He continued, "Divine fire does not produce smoke, only the one corrupted by the devil does so."
"You have either unknowingly or knowingly made the entire city worship Angra Mainyu, giving him more power, while claiming that these innocent Olympians are the devils."
The king was breathing heavily and shook his head fervently.
'If the city was actually under the rule of an evil god, that explains why there were so many monsters....' Alex thought back to the night he spent fighting the monsters and the demoness.
He ultimately decided to speak up, for the sake of Olympus, "Mithra."
"You are the companion of Hermes? Yes, speak."
"On the night that I have spent in Ctesiphon, I have seen a cult dedicated to a demon goddess right outside of the city, and the cult performed bloody rituals involving humans as offerings to the goddess."
Mithra's eyes widened and the king seemed on the verge of fainting.
"I don't believe a city under the protection of a righteous god would have such rampant devilish activities." Alex continued.
Hermes seemed confused as to what he was saying, but Alex would have to leave that for later.
Mithra thanked him for his intervention and turned back to Arsak, "How do you explain that, mortal?"
Suddenly, the king began laughing maniacally as the three gods stared at him.
Unexpectedly, his body began turning a vermillion red color. His head grew horns, and his veins turned white and throbbed upon his skin.
Mithra stepped back and exclaimed, "An avatar of Angra Mainyu!"
The 'creature' then looked at them and spoke in a shrill voice, "Mithra, don't try your divine fire on me, it will not work. I have become strong enough that only that freak Ahura Mazda would be able to harm me!"
Mithra didn't pay the devil any heed and generated a white flame from his hand.
He cast the flame on the devil, yet, the moment it touched its skin, it extinguished.
"How about this, Mithra?" The devil moved his hand and black flames spread out in all directions.
When the flames came into contact with Mithra, the god groaned in agony and stepped back. No matter what he did, the flames never extinguished.
Alex and Hermes didn't know how to react at all, and Hermes took his scepter and tried to heal Mithra.
Unfortunately, that didn't have any effect, and the devil was approaching them in slow steps.
When it was only a few steps away, Alex decided to gamble.
'Let's hope this works....'
Alex took out the red ruby from one of his pockets and inserted his Faith Energy into it. He was hesitant to use the demonic powers of the ruby but it seemed like the only chance.
He placed the now-glowing ruby on the black flames and surprisingly, the flames seemed to turn liquid and all entered into the ruby.
Alex was relieved to see that it worked, but a certain someone didn't share the same feelings.
The moment he laid his eyes on the ruby, the devil screamed, "HOW DID YOU GET THAT?!"
"You don't need to know." Alex charged at the devil and pushed the ruby into the devil's body as if he was stabbing him.
Suddenly, the devil's body started turning into a black goop and he screamed in pain as he melted off and entered the ruby.
When it was silent again, only the king's human body was left.
Mithra immediately turned the king into ash with white flames.
"He submitted himself to the devil, he doesn't need to live."
He continued, "I don't know how you have the ruby of Agas, but I will not ask."
Mithra dropped the subject and said, "We're going to have to find someone to replace the king."
Alex got an idea.
"I know some people who would make great monarchs if they're willing."
3/3 CHAPS DONE!
i hope you enjoy!!!!
Ahura Mazda is the god of absolute good in ancient Iranian polytheism by the way, he's the twin brother of Angra Mainyu.
(1): Magi are Zoroastrian priests(They're the same as the "3 magi" who visited Jesus at his birth)
I am going premium on the 5th of August