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10 [Encounter]

While traversing the forest with Atalanta by my side I began to ponder back to some of the things I had done during my stay here.

Other than hunting and teaching Atalanta I worked on making Mystic Codes for myself. I made 3 more of the explosive pouches and even 3 pseudo-smoke bombs as well.

It took some time to recreate and I even added in some improvements but it basically works like a magic grenade now.

The pouches are made from the remains of a phantasmal beast and are packed with different materials to work as shrapnel. I built in a sort of trigger so that when magic is injected into the pouch it will cause the magical energy to go haywire and explode. Not the most conventional of things but hey, it works.

I also worked on some more mundane weapons such as using alteration to make daggers and trying to see how they can interact with magic and any enchantments I could make with them.

I have had little progress without proper education not materials to do so. Unfortunately, the things I worked on with Daedalus were usually mundane in nature made with the assistance of magic.

The only success I had was a wooden sword with a sort of enchantment to nullify kinetic energy but I failed to think that it would work both ways, making not only strikes that hit me weaker but my own strikes as well. But, it was some progress.

I later worked on it some more so that it can store the kinetic energy instead and release it as well, making it somewhat useful now.

⊱——————————————⊰

It has been a few days since we had left and headed out towards our destination. We mostly ate berries and some meat I had dried and stored in my pack prior.

I had awoke this morning on a tree top with Atalanta snuggled up by my side under a skin blanket.

This morning was different, I heard a loud thunking sound from the treetop. I was about to quickly get up but Atalanta was still asleep and she needed the rest so I quietly slipped out.

I slowly snuck towards the noise and peeked my head out near it from behind a bush.

"....AHHh! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die!" I heard a voice shout from nearby.

I quickly turned my head towards the voice and saw a young boy with blonde hair fighting off.....a rabbit.

"Shit! shit! shit! Why did they send me to catch the food?!" He shouted out.

I watched the blonde boy dressed in black and green flail the sword around with a limp wrist as the bunny shot off with frightening speed.

Just as the rabbit was about to hit the kid, he suddenly ducked at the perfect timing and avoided the hit.

"Damn it! I can do this!" He screeched as the rabbit quickly recovered and used the force from it's missed jump to ricochet back towards the boy once more.

I watched in expectation as the boy's eyes hardened and his stance became firm. I thought he truly had the visage of a hero at this moment and would fight the rabbit to his last breath.

"Eat dirt!" His childish voice screamed out as a cloud of dirt and dust erupted from his hand and in to the encroaching rabbit's eyes.

The now impaired rabbit crashed into the ground in agony due to it's eyes stinging in pain.

"...nice! I'll probably live! Now time to...." I heard the boy whisper to himself with reinforced ears as I expected him to finish it off.....

"Run away!".....until he suddenly grabbed a rock from the forest and threw it to the tree next to me before sprinting off in the opposite direction.

I saw the rabbit charge towards my direction in a rage and clicked my tongue in annoyance.

CRACK

And then swiftly apprehended it before snapping it's neck and chucking it's corpse into my bag. "Sorry bunny."

I don't understand why that kid was so scared of the rabbit, even without a sword they are weak as hell. They are considered rodents or snacks during this era as they ferociously reproduce but are substantially weak. Even a small child half as strong as myself could easily kill it.

I decided to follow that kid from earlier as I have a good idea towards his identity. That immense fear of death and good dodging instincts really helped me identify him.

I prowled towards him from the tree tops and followed him as he stumbled away from the area in a panic, before finally stopping and breathing a sigh of relief.

The relief quickly changed to a screech in surprise as I fell from the treetops above and spoke, "Hey."

"Ahhh! Don't kill me!" He screamed out in fear before collapsing on the ground with a cry of pain.

"OUCH!" He wailed while I tried to speak to him in exasperation, "Hey, I jus—!"

THUD!

Before a blur came upon me and heavily slammed me away and into the trunk of a tree.

'FuCk! I felt like I was hit by a truck!' I thought while clutching my head as stars seemed to appear in my eyes.

Only to have them shoot out from surprise at the boys next words.

"Jason, are you okay?" The previous blur spoke in a childish but low pitched voice.

"Ah! Herc! Save me! He attacked me!" Jason screeched out in panic.

'Herc!? Shit I just got trucked the fuck out of by Hercules?!' I only had a moment to see the boy who appeared to be slightly older than me but much larger.

He had dark skin and masculine features even as a child, he was a over a head taller than me, I barely had the time to scan his face before he charged.

"Hey chill ou—!" I attempted to yell out in panic before quickly reinforcing my limbs and barely throwing my body away to the side.

I didn't have time to breathe as he was already on me, my reinforced body only putting my strength in the same playing field, but the same couldn't be said for skill.

Only my slightly superior dexterity allowed me to barely dodge his jabs and kicks aimed to quickly and brutally incapacitate me.

'Shit—!' I screamed in my head as he broke my flimsy guard and launched me away into a tree once more.

I quickly and shakily picked myself up. I spit the blood that rose to my mouth on the floor and spoke up,

"Fine then, if it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get."

I wanted to join Chiron and this seemed a good occasion to prove myself, I noticed that Heracles wasn't aiming to kill so if I lose I would likely only get injured then dragged to Chiron forcefully.

Heracles spoke no words and charged towards me once more, clearing the ten feet between us in a single second.

I quickly stabbed my hand through the top of my bag before quickly meeting his fist with my newly equipped sword.

"—!" Heracles' eyes widened in surprise as the force of his fist died against meeting my now revealed wooden sword.

I didn't want to kill him nor reveal Chysia right now.

Hercules quickly recovered and launched more punches towards me which I swiftly blocked with my sword, he tried to parry the sword away using his superior skills but noticed that the force he used would repeated be lost upon touching the sword.

So he tried to disarm me instead, of course I couldn't let him do that.

I hastily stopped any attacks he launched my way by blocking with my sword and swiftly dodging his attempts to disarm me.

We were at a draw and he would definitely outlast then defeat me with his greater stamina and longer arm reach. I couldn't help the grin from forming in my face from the fight.

To be honest, I enjoyed it, and guess from the same grin on his face, so did he. But, I would soon lose and I'm sure he knew that as well.

I wanted to win, I wanted to win really bad. I wanted to defeat the greatest hero of Greece regardless of his age.

But it wasn't meant to be, he was way more skilled and powerful than me.

My resolve fell until I grit my teeth, I refused to lose like this, I truly wasn't much of an opponent to him. I wanted to be a hero, a legend, and I really didn't want to half-ass it. If I was going to do it, I want to be the best, and to be the best I had to defeat the person in front of me.

My resolve returned greater than before and my body broke into a second wind, the grin in my face grew at the challenge and my hands pushed to block and dodge his attacks at a greater speed than before.

But, just as I picked up the pace, he did also. He refused to lose as well, and adjusted with me all the same. My reinforced eyes took in every detail and movement he made.

He was more powerful than me, faster than me, and more skilled than me.

Fortunately, he wasn't as tricky as me.

My foot stomped the ground, an action concealed by another block of my sword, as my circuits flooded with magic towards my foot as I conjured forth one of the few spells in my repertoire, alteration.

The ground underneath his feet softened, causing him to lose his footing. Unfortunately, he wasn't the greatest hero of Greece without reason, and quickly stepped back and out of the way.

Fortunately though, that was enough of a window for me to advance instead as I dismissed the alteration and attacked.

I watched as Heracles' eyes widened in surprise before settling in to confusion. I understood why of course, the whole match he learned that my sword would kill the kinetic force used on it, and he had already learned that it worked both ways from our short match.

But, he didn't know that it didn't cancel out the force, but stored it instead. The sword in my hands was thrust, and the stored energy was released right into his chest.

BOOM!

The grin on my face widened almost as far as his eyes did as he was launched with enough kinetic force to throw him completely out of the clearing and from the thud I heard in the distance, a tree as well.

I breathed in heavily from exhaustion but stood up tall regardless, my muscles were fine but my mind ached from exhaustion.

I was able to finally catch my breathe, and just in time to see Jason's befuddled face huffing from the corner.

"....Herc...lost?" I heard him whisper in disbelief.

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Chap fin, I hope you enjoyed.

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