77 Harpe (842 BC)

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842 BC, Mount Olympus

(Perseus POV)

Perseus was a son of the king of gods, Zeus, and the princess of Argos, Danae and he would like to consider that he lived a pretty eventful life so far. He and his mother had been abandoned by his grandfather, in fear of a prophecy that Perseus would kill him. He was found later by another king and he and his mother were given a place to live. It was a good life, his mother fell in love with the king and married him, and having been told of his parenting, Perseus decided to go on a journey. He was itching for an adventure; it was in his blood after all.

Even before he was told that his father was the king of gods, Perseus knew that he was different. He was stronger than a man grown, when he was five years old. He had always been at ease in the open air, and whenever he climbed high up in the sky, like he was home. He later learned that his love of the sky was inherited by his father, and so did his limited control over the air. He had trained with his godly powers and loved to use them anytime he could. Unfortunately, doing so was a good way to gain unwanted attention as many people would hunt him down, for the glory of slaying a son of the king of gods himself. Alas, a few mishaps with his powers were enough to rouse suspicions of his origins. He had been young and stupid, feeling invincible of his might, until he realized that his family would be targeted as well.

So, he left his home, his mother and her husband, fearing that his family would be harmed due to his presence. He traveled all over the known world. He even crossed the middle sea itself, unafraid of Poseidon's wrath for stepping in his domain as a son of Zeus. Speaking of his father, Perseus had met him soon after he started traveling. His father had given him quests, or mission, to gain experience during his journey. He had fought many monsters and slayed them all, giant serpents, giant boars even the invincible Minotaur itself. He had earned notoriety due to his accomplishments, both in the mortal world and in Olympus as many gods often came to visit him, giving him quests. To be honest, he was starting to tire from their constant demands, but one does not refuse a god's order. He heard stories of a woman who defeated the goddess Athena in a weaving contest, ended up turned into some sort of monstrous spider hybrid. He doesn't need to learn to offend gods from experience, he was perfectly happy with cautionary tales.

His greatest accomplishment was the slaying of the mighty Cetus, a gigantic sea monster that had swallowed many ships hole. He didn't know how he was able to do it, perhaps his lord father had lent him his strength but he had flown over the monster's head, and killed it by throwing spears into his eyes and pushing the air around them to push them further into the beast's head. It was concerning that a monster that size existed, but in the last few decades, many monsters appeared, mostly came from the west. There were so many that it was theorized that the entrance to Tartarus itself was there, for there was nothing else terrible enough to release such monsters.

But Cetus itself was not the reason he considered that act to be his greatest triumph, but who he saved when slaying the beast. He had saved the king of Aethiopia but more importantly, his daughter Andromeda. He fell in love with her at first sight and was able to gain her hand in marriage; her father was very grateful for their safety and had promised the son of Zeus whatever boon he wished.

After this grueling undertaking, Perseus decided it was time to stop fighting and to settle down. He moved away with his new bride to Athens and lived a peaceful quiet life. He changed his and his wife's name to avoid any enemies and for the first time in his life, he was at peace. When his son, Perses, was born, a year after they moved to Athens, he couldn't be any happier. He then spent years raising his son, he had no need to work, considering the gold he had amassed during his quests. He thought he was finally free of his past but that was not to be.

One day, he heard a familiar voice outside of his mansion. He hadn't heard it in years but he recognized it all the same. It was his father. "Perseus, my son. I have need of you."

Perseus froze, mostly from fright. He had thought he was free from the machinations of gods, but it appears he was mistaken. He walked to the entrance and knelt before the king of gods. "What can I do for you, father."

"My son, I have a quest. A threat to Olympus has been discovered, you have been given the honor to deal with it."

Perseus sighed inwardly; he was turning into Olympus' attack god in the mortal world.

However, his father's next world gave him hope, "I know that you wished to stop fighting and I tried to respect that. For all you have done for us, you deserve your rest. I already have another son, Heracles, to fill the role you left. But in this quest, I need someone with experience and not just brute strength. I need you, champion of Olympus. Should you succeed, you will not be asked for anything by any Olympian."

This was good, one last quest and it would be over. What was the harm in that?

"Father, I am in your service."

"Very well, Perseus, the target here is no mere mortal. She's an abomination, capable of turning men to stone with a simple look. She's the gorgon, Medusa. She resides in a temple in the city of Korinthos."

Perseus nodded; it would be hard but not impossible.

However, Zeus continued, "I am not finished, my son. This woman is also the mighty sorceress. Should you fight her directly, you will die quickly. You need to hide, infiltrate her castle and slay her when she's not aware of your presence."

This made things difficult but not impossible, Perseus replied, "Your will shall be done, father."

"Before you leave for Korinthos, I have a gift for you." A sword appeared in Zeus' grasp. "This is Harpe, a weapon forged by Hephaestus. Any wound delt with this sword will not heal, gods and mortals alike. This is one of the finest weapons ever forged, it will help you in slaying the gorgon."

Perseus nodded, dumbfounded, this was the first time his father ever gave him a gift. This quest must be very dangerous and very important for him to give him such a mighty weapon.

Like every quest he has ever been on, he prepared himself and began his journey towards Korinthos, his final adventure. He flew above the enchanted forest, avoiding any confrontation with its protectors. He had used the sandals given to him by Hermes in a previous quest to do so, as they gave him more control over his flight and allowed him to fly without exhausting himself.

He had done so to avoid the centaurs and the satyrs who protect the city. Centaurs were rumored to be archers as skilled as Apollo and the satyrs' powers over nature made them fearsome opponents in a forest. To make sure he was undetected, he remained unseen using the invisibility helm that the goddess Athena gave him during another quest.

He reached the city walls and flew over them. He was officially in Korinthos, he only had to get to the temple first. His father had no idea about the protections on the temple, but knew that it was powerful. The entire city was hidden from Olympus' eye and the king of gods had given him the impression that the people lived in misery. He couldn't be more wrong; the city entire city was the most luxurious place he had ever seen. The roads were made with what seemed to be marble, the houses were as well built with skill that rivals the ones on the palaces of Athen's nobles. There were no street urchins; every man, woman and child looked fed and watered. These people had better lives than the residents of Athens!

But this was not the time for him to admire the city. He had a mission to fulfill, and for the sake of his wife and son, he would do anything. It wasn't hard to find the temple; it was by far the biggest building and it was in the middle of the city. He stood in front of the temple for minutes on end, invisible, before he steeled himself and walked inside the temple.

Perseus knew that something was wring the second his foot stepped inside the temple. He suddenly felt dread, as if he had no hope in succeeding his mission. Even with his father's sword would not be enough. He then shook his head; this temple was playing games with him. He pictured his wife and son's faces in his mind, and it gave him the courage to continue.

Slowly, Perseus felt drained, like his energy was leaving him. He instinctively knew that should he have not been a demigod, he would have perished long ago, however he was a son of Zeus, his body was stronger than any mortal, his mind clearer. But he was running out of time; he would feel empty in minutes and would die from the exhaustion.

Perseus felt nausea, dizzy. He felt like he was extremely hot, his senses were also muted somehow. He had trouble breathing and kept gasping, trying to breathe properly.

Perseus was in the verge of losing his vision when he found the beast's bedroom. He sneakily entered inside and took a look at the sleeping woman. She was hideous, looked like an old crone but her most defining feature was her hair, it was made of purple snakes that were slowly hissing in their sleep. Perseus didn't expect her to look like this. His father described a woman of extreme beauty but it seems that she had hidden her true appearance from the public. Only a monster could look like this, so sneakily, Perseus unsheathed his sword Harpe and a swing later, the woman was beheaded. Her face slowly turned into a younger one and the snakes disappeared from her head, leaving long purple hair. Perseus didn't care about the severed head, only that the feeling of despair he was feeling before was gone; the protections died with the witch.

When he started to pay attention to the body, he noticed that the body started glowing orange and it slowly disappeared into the ground like some kind of glowing dust. Perseus shrugged, he didn't care what happened and the head, who was bleeding some sort of black liquid, would suffice as proof to his father.

He left the city and flew outside the forest to call his father give him the proof of his kill to his father. He felt ecstatic, he was finally free. When said his father's name, the man teleported in front of him and as usual, Perseus knelt in front of him.

"Father, I have succeeded."

The king of gods looked overjoyed at his admission, "Perseus, my son, you have aided Olympus tremendously. You are now free of the responsibility of being the Champion of Olympus, no Olympian shall ask a quest of you. You are now at peace; you have earned it."

Perseus nodded and gave his father the woman's severed head. For some reason, Zeus seemed to admire it, looking at every detail and smiling cruelly at it.

Suddenly before any of them could react, the head's dead purple eyes opened and started to speak with a gravely voice, "Zeus, son of Kronos, head of the Olympia clan, you have failed your duty and broke our neutrality. You will bear the consequences of your actions, for I curse you. I take away your strength and power. Arrogant you have become, king of gods, for no ichor shall flow in your veins until you are worthy to be king. My sacrifice will forever protect Korinthos from the likes of you, so mote be it."

Suddenly two beams of white light appeared from the eyes of the dead woman and hit his unexpecting father in the chest. It barely took a few seconds but after it was done, the severed head turned into dust and the king of gods looked weakened. The hands that were holding the head looked burned but what was more surprising that was instead of normal ichor, the king of gods bled red, like a mortal.

Perseus did not notice that he was gaping at his father. Nor did he notice his father's scared face when he realized what had happened. Before he could do anything, Perseus father looked at him sadly, "I'm sorry my son, but you know too much. I cannot afford anyone knowing about what happened."

"What, father?"

Before he could even register what his father said, Zeus had already summoned his weapon, a lightning bolt, and hit him with it. He felt pain for barely a second before dying. His last thoughts were of his wife and son, and how they will never see him again.

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