"Deon!" I woke up to find Adele standing over me. She was wearing a glimmering bronze chest plate and a leather strip skirt. I saw that she was holding a gladiator helmet under her arm.
"What?" I asked sitting up.
"It's time." She whispered. "Please come with me." I managed to get out of bed and followed her out into the street. "I'm going to take you to the armory. I think you'll need a weapon and some armor."
"No hope for peace?" I asked without any real hope.
"No, sadly Blade showing up with an army completely invalidated my argument that he wanted peace." Adele said bitterly. "So now Zack and Mars get what they want. War."
I put my hand on her shoulder. "You did your best, but Blade made his choice." I consoled her.
"No, we made it for him." Adele said. "We were the ones that put him in the Underworld and left him there alone for eons."
"But that wasn't us, that was the Old Olympians." I reminded her. "We had nothing to do with that."
"We are the Olympians now, so shouldn't we be responsible for their actions?" I asked. "That WAS us, or rather it was who we have become. We were made into gods, so those gods live on in us. They didn't just hit the reset button! Their sins and deeds are ours now."
"No." I stated determined. "Like Albany said, we still our old selves. I am Dionysus and Deon. You are Adele and Athena. There is a reason that we are all still called by our regular names. I refuse to belief that becoming Dionysus has changed who I am. It may have made me immortal and a god, but it didn't touch who I am and what I've done. Our old lives didn't just disappear. The world is still out there. We are still Deon and Adele."
Adele looked at me without expression. Then she continued walking. "Life goes on I guess. Your words make sense, but I am still taking the blame for what Athena and the others did to Hades."
"Think about what you just said." I told her. "Athena and the others. Why would you say that if you think that we did it? Shouldn't you have said 'What I have done'? I think that you realize that I'm right, but you can't admit it since you are the goddess of wisdom and you can't be wrong."
Adele made a face at me. "Shut up!"
I laughed. "I just outsmarted the wisdom goddess! How's that make you feel?" I asked her a little too excitedly.
"Wisdom isn't just knowing random facts and other things. Wisdom is knowing when to admit you are wrong as well." Adele told me. "Now shut up and put some armor on." She commanded.
As I lifted the heavy bronze chestplate over my head, the realization that I'd be fighting in an actual battle hit me. Something about putting on that armor and picking up my whip made me realize that this was for real.
"A whip?" Adele asked. Once I had reemerged from the armory.
"Yeah." I lifted it up for her to see. "What's wrong with it?"
"Nothing." Adele said quickly. "It's just…why not something more normal? Like a sword." She suggested.
"Too late to switch." I shrugged. "I'd like to go into battle with a weapon that I've used before." Granted, I've only used the whip like twice in my life. But whatever!
"Ok, lets go then." Adele said leading me onward once again.
We journeyed to Hercules' Platform to meet up with our fellow warriors. Most of the gods were there, but not all. I saw Zack, Mars, and Herman standing near the edge looking over. Nyx and Gaia were right behind them talking. Pan was giving last minute tips to Artie, Paula, and Sid. And Hector was sitting down on a bench by himself. There was a crowd of minor gods, most of whom I did not know, but they looked a lot less nervous than all of us.
"Hmm, interesting." Adele muttered quietly.
"What is it?" I asked.
"I see that Albany, Kara, and Demi aren't here." I understand Demi's absence, but Albany and Kara should be here."
"I don't really see those two fighting." I protested.
"Not to fight. But to wish us luck. We are fighting for their lives as well our own.
"Well, they're not here, so we'll have to do without them." I said. "Looks like all you got is me."
Adele smiled at that. "You would have been my first choice anyway."
Now I smiled, and it wasn't voluntary. I smiled the biggest smile of my life, and I couldn't stop. Just hearing Adele say that had made my life. "Same here." I told her.
"Listen up everyone!" Zack shouted above the conversations. "You're all welcome to kill the skeletons and other rebel gods, but Blade is reserved for me! I WANT TO KILL HIM!" he proclaimed to the heavens.
Down from the clouds rode Helios and Selene, in their two chariots that had carried us here in the first place.
"Get in the chariots!" Mars shouted swinging his Morningstar. "We're going to war!"
"Good luck!" I said donning my helmet.
"You don't need luck. I've got your back." Adele said smiling underneath her own bronze hat.
Once again I lost control of my facial muscles. I'm glad that I brushed my teeth, because that smiled definitely put my pearly whites on display. And then I was handing on for dear life as Selene mushed her giant owl onwards into the Valley of Death.
Time slowed down in the chariot. I watched dumbfounded as Bellerophon streaked past me aboard Pegasus almost in slow motion. I looked over my shoulder and watched Adele tighten the straps on her shield. I gulped down my anxiety.
I was going into an actual battle. The thought resonated within my head multiple times. I was going into a warzone, where I could very well die! Thankfully I had no option of exiting the chariot and returning to the safety of Olympus, because at that moment, I would have. But Selene and her speeding chariot took that option away from me. I shook my head and forgot all about my cowardice. Because right then, we landed.
"Get out of the chariot!" Selene shouted at us all. The other fighters and I steamed out onto the field. Helios and Selene had landed our group just outside of the enemy lines. I thought we would have formed a line or something, but both sides just charged towards each other.
Adele bumped into me and motioned that I follow her, so I did. The two of us ran into the horde of skeletons. Adele did most of the fighting, by the time I brought my whip around to strike, she would have already dismembered the poor undead creature.
There were millions of skeletons on that field, but they fell in dozens. At one point I remember seeing Hector use his hammer as a bowling ball. Ironically he knocked down ten skeletons, a perfect strike.
I noticed that most of our undead foes didn't even have any weapons. Those I merely kicked and watched as they crumbled. Even without weapons, the fiends were still dangerous.
When I paused for breath I realized that Adele and I had been separated. My eyes relocated her just as a sword was stabbed into her lower back.
Once more, time slowed. Adele reared back in pain, and then fell to her knees in slow motion. I ran forward and gave a crack of my whip to Adele's assailant, breaking several of her vertebrae apart. I kicked at two more of the dead things before I felt safe enough to check on Adele. Kneeing besides her I removed her helmet. She coughed and frantically groped for the wound on her back.
I grabbed her hands. "Hey, calm down. You'll be ok." I reassured her soothingly. "I need to look, I'm going to have to roll you over a bit." She nodded and gritted her teeth as I rotated her as softly as I could. Her back and ground were doused in blood, but I couldn't see the wound itself. I pried at her armor, opening up a little window into the red sea.
"What's wrong?" she asked quietly, hearing my sharp intake of breath.
"There's a lot of blood." I muttered. "And it's still bleeding."
"Go get help." She ordered.
"Shouldn't I stop the bleeding first?" I asked preparing to get my hands dirty.
"No! There's no time. Health goddess, Hygeia." Adele's fingers had found her injury and she paused as she assessed the damage herself.
"Go get Hygeia?" I asked for confirmation. "But where is she?"
"She's here somewhere. GO!" Adele rolled completely onto her stomach began trying to remove her armor. I hesitated looking at all her blood. "DEON! I need you to go now!"
I closed my eyes and turned away. I started running, so much of me wanted to look back, just to make sure Adele was still alive back there, but I knew that I needed to find Hygeia to be of any real help.
I ran into Pan and stopped to watch as he bludgeoned a skeleton with a baseball bat. "Deon! What are you doing?" he asked when he saw me.
"Adele got stabbed." I began to explain, but I was cut off.
"WHAT!" Pan shouted amazed. "Why aren't you helping her?"
"I'm trying to!" I shouted. "I need to find Hygeia!"
"Hygeia?" Pan muttered to himself. "I don't think she's here. Don't worry I'll find her. Go back and protect Adele." Pan ordered. He whistled shrilly and within seconds Helios had landed nearby in his chariot.
"You called?" Helios inquired.
"Take me up, we need to find Hygeia." Pan ordered climbing aboard the sun god's chariot. "Deon! Go make sure she's still alive when I bring Hygeia back."
"Hurry!" I shouted as they took to the sky.