Can our unlikely hero Damon win and defeat the the evil Arsalan, or will Greece suffer?
| The Vial of Arsalan
There stood two men: one the leader of Athens and the other a Persian enemy. In their eyes, the flame of hatred blazed with the winds of time that move us all. Such a fire now, the two men glazed in each other’s eyes. The Athens leader, Hypatos kept all muscles frozen and stiff. The wind blew his long hair, waving it much like a flag. The Persian Enemy Arsalan growled toward Hypatos, with his sword clutched so tight in his fist that Zeus could not have ripped it away. Such rivals attracted the whole city that all citizens came out to the white marble balcony and fixed their eyes down in the courtyard.
“So you return to me once more, much like the full moon returns to the sky,” shouted Hypatos.
“Yes, I have come to avenge you. Your selfish actions have set my own city to unbuildable ruins. And so I must overthrow you, leader of Athens!” screamed Arsalan.
“You and all your people know that my actions were just. Your people have posed a threat to my Athens city and further, the vast of the almighty Greek Empire!” declared Hypatos. “This may not be allowed, not by the Greek Empire nor the top of Mount Olympus!”
Arsalan replied, “So you say. But I do not believe in your Mount Olympus nor do I favor the Greeks. But I do favor revenge and power; therefore, I return. I return to finish you and soon your city and beyond!”
“Well then, we shall never know why you came here unless we draw our swords,” Hypatos denounced.
“So let us fight!” attacked Arsalan.
In that split second, the two enemies rained in a battle. All the spectators clung to the balcony’s railing, fearing and grieving for their Greek ruler. And a reason the spectators had for grieving! Their ruler was down below at the hands of a Persian mad man! Hypatos, with his heavy, silver sword barely was able to defend himself. Hypatos is a fine warrior, but Arsalan gained finer skills through the ages. How could Hypatos win?
The swords of the fierce fighters clashed so loudly and sharply that Ares himself grew nervous. While the sun glistened off the shiny metal, weapons, the swords were destined to pierce the soft, tender skin of humans. Soon sweat dripped off the two enemies and crashed into a sweaty puddle. And no further than another second, Arsalan had pierced Hypatos’ chest.
“You fool, you thought you could win? I have been training in the Persian army for years! I am a master fighter,” Arsalan gloated.
“Yes, I do see” choked Hypatos. “You have pierced my chest well. My blood is raining out to the ground soon to leave me lifeless and cold.”
“And now,” Arsalan roared, “my troops shall intrude this grand city as I fill your lifeless blood! Athens shall be mine!”
Hypatos whimpered back, “You must do me one final request before I part. My troops may not match those of yours nor can I defend myself. But if you are to seize control, you must continue the culture of Greece. Don’t replace it with those sour Persians. If so, may Medusa stare at you in the face!”
“No promises there, my enemy” Arsalan scolded.
With that, Arsalan quickly stabbed Hypatos in the neck; thus, impeding only a hollow shell of once a dynamic and fluent ruler. Such a ruler, full of culture, wisdom, and wealth now lied motionless forever as his spirit went down to the Underworld with Hades. The battle was now over. All the flabbergasted spectators glared down at their dead leader in his white, bloodstained robes. Then they looked at Arsalan who only nefariously smiled back. Instantly, Persian troops stormed in and raided the courtyard, destroying and killing whatever they pleased. Arsalan now reined as the new ruler of Athens.
Just outside the city Athens, there was a quaint village on a steep hill. The grass grew freely while the wind forced it to gracefully dance. Feeble dirt roads connected modest stone houses. A stream gently flowed at the bottom of the village. Life appeared to be slow as a snail and relaxed as a prancing fox. But yet this nameless village lied in the shadow of the bustling city Athens.
“Hey Damon,” called Maeja. “I thought I told you to fully wash my robes outside.”
Maeja showed Damon one of her pure white robes that hoarded a speck of dirt on it.
“Your gonna’ clean this right now Damon!” demanded Maeja.
“Yes, mother,” Damon responded.
Damon went outside into the warm, radiant sunshine. Nevertheless, such rays from the sun could not cleanse the broken heart of Damon because of his parents. He went down to the cool, crisp spring to rewash his mother’s robe. He dipped the cloth into the fluent spring and scrubbed it with a brush.
“I just wish she would understand me more,” Damon whispered to himself. “I honestly try my best. I work hard in my education and combat skills. I personally think I’m a pretty decent person. But now all I do is labor so much that my back is destined to break like a twig.”
“Who are you talking to?” Straton asked his son while sneaking up behind him.
“No one, father,” Damon croaked.
“Well, then. I very well know you were complaining to yourself again. Quit your chatter and get that robe clean. Oh, and bring up five pots of water when you’re done.”
After that, Straton stomped up the hill back to the house. His steps caused mini landslides of rocks to slither down the hill much like a snake and crush tiny insects in the way. His steps were so loud and startling that many neighbors cleared a path for him because they feared for being in his way.
Damon could hear Straton mumble on the way up, “That worthless son! He has become too educated and rebellious! Only if he were an obedient daughter like I wanted, then my wife and I would have perfect lives. Although I do give him credit for looking handsome with spikes if hair as firm as tree trunks and a muscular, tan structure. But it is still not perfect or anything close!”
With that, Straton disappeared into the heavy fog that lingered on the hill every morning. These very words angered Damon greatly. He knew that his father and mother both despised him greatly. And with that manor, Damon released his mother’s robe into the stream to be drifted all the way to the ocean, much like a tangled, twisted journey. However, he did bring his father’s request of five pots of water, each one containing two gallons of water. Up the hill he went, trudging slowly with two pots of water at a time only to endeavor in many more trips. Each one took the time of a burning piece of soggy wood. And upon completing his last trip, he went into the house to relax a little.
“Hey Straton, dear,” hollered Maeja. “Has Damon brought my robe yet? It is my finest and I must wear it to the Grand Festival tonight over in the neighboring village.”
“He should have, he’s in the dining room lounging around lazily again” Straton politely replied. “I too must find fine clothing to wear to the Grand Festival. It is the only time we get to go out on the town without Damon.”
“Hey Damon, where on Earth is my robe?” demanded Maeja as she entered the dining room. “I must have it now.”
“Um, I sort of dropped it in the stream, dear mother” Damon stuttered.
“What!” Maeja bawled. “I need that outfit tonight! You are going to go back down to the stream and find it now! I should smack you for this.”
Poor Damon rapidly scrambled out of the house and down the hill to the stream. Once there, he ventured downstream, swiftly running like a deer being hunted through thick, lush vegetation. His eyes did not leave the stream once for he was very frightened by his mother. Although the water flows sluggishly, he knew much time has surpassed since he left the robe to the mercy of the elements. His feet picked up faster and faster, his heart beat faster like a throbbing drum. His face swelled with blood. Damon knew that if he did not return with the robe, he should not return at all. He also had wished he never let the robe drift away. Otherwise, he could have been recovering from lugging the heavy water jugs up the hill. Despite all that, he still ran. He ran nearly as fast as Zeus could throw a lightning bolt. He ran as if Medusa was chasing him! Suddenly, Damon had spotted the robe caught on an extended tree branch dangling in the water as if it had nothing better to do. But as he went to fetch the clothing, he took a second look at the tree that hosted the extended tree branch. It was there that he heard little whispers conversing back and forth.
“Yeah, I know” one of the voices whispered. “This is not good at all.”
“What do you think will happen?” another voice blurted.
“Personally, I think Arsalan wants to control us all. He advocates a certain change, too. I don’t know what kind of change yet. Zeus is calling all of us to the meeting hall in Athens tonight to address it.”
“Why in Athens, why not Mount Olympus like always?”
“Nobody knows why. But whatever he says goes.”
“Also, we’re only the dryads of the nymphs. Why do we have to attend?”
“Zeus says that it affects all of the gods and goddesses.”
Damon, who was brutally shocked, grabbed the robe and ran. He had just intervened in a conversation between dryads, a form of the gods! His heart, which was already beating quickly, only picked up more with excitement and fear. Any faster and his heart would burst open like oozing hot lava from a steaming, hot volcano! Damon sprinted even faster than before, hoping to return to civilization.
“Almost there,” Damon panted. “Just a little further.”
Once he arrived at his village, he darted up the hill of bumbling dust and entered his house.
“Well it’s about time Damon” his angry mother snorted at the doorway.
While Damon panted, Maeja ripped her robe right from her son’s hands.
“As punishment, you are to be in your bed for the rest of the day,” Maeja commanded. “No exceptions!”
“But mom,” Damon gasped. “It’s not even noon yet.”
“I don’t care! Get to your bed!” she wailed.
Damon slowly trudged into is cold, hard bed. He tried to make himself as comfortable as possible, but this task was unlikely. Anyways, Damon sat there in his bed thinking to himself, still stunned by hearing the dryads in the tree.
“I can’t believe I just heard the sacred dryads!” Damon thought. “Although I am grounded for the day, my curiosity throbs at my head giving me a headache. I must go to Athens tonight! I shall depart when my parents leave for the Grand Festival.”
Damon’s mind grabbed the best of him. He was thirsty for knowing who Arsalan is, what he wants to change, and how it affects the Gods. Damon himself took a high interest in the Gods for they were his only hope. After all, his parents, who he wishes to impress, despise him greatly. Therefore, Damon would sneak out into the grand city Athens.
The yellow, burning sun began to finish its daily course. The bright flame diminished into an eerie, gargantuan circle in the sky like a dying fire that was once bold and gargantuan but now weak. It is much like that the once big fire has grown to weary to burn and has decided to rest; thus, impeding nightfall to descend upon Earth like rabid wolves descending from the mountains to the woods to hunt down their prey, however, the weary fire shall rise like a growing tree soon to break the nightfall and then grow weary once more like an infinite cycle. Anyways, clouds covered the sun creepily, and the sea birds scampered back to their nest. The evening was in full swing.
“Maeja, dear, are you ready to go yet?” questioned Straton, who was anxious to head towards the Grand Festival. “I don’t want to miss the grand bonfire like last year again.”
“Just a minute, Straton,” Maeja replied. “I’m just adding the finishing accessories to my robe.”
Maeja finally came out from her room to the kitchen were Straton was impatiently waiting.
“Where’s Damon?” she grumbled.
“He’s in his room still,” Straton stated. “Are we ready to depart now?”
“Yes, dear. Don’t get all worked before a special night like tonight,” Maeja soothed.
Damon, who pretended to be asleep, was actually listening to his foul parents. He was waiting for them to leave, too. And at the instant he knew they were gone, he sprung up on his feet, tossed on his best clothes (which weren’t that elaborate), and carefully snuck out the door. With his shadow slowly fading from the dying sun and increasing clouds, he ran quickly to Athens. In just a few minutes, he saw the gorgeous structures casted against the sky. They were so grand that it seemed they could reach the sky and tickle the newly forming storm clouds. The buildings also appeared so sturdy and clean that Poseidon could not cast an earthquake of any magnitude to topple them. Once inside the city, he saw the bustling activities of nervous people, for a new leader as taken power. People in fine clothing dashed in every which way, entering and exiting buildings. Torches amplified the streets as horses carrying men galloped franticly. Damon stepped onto the stone sidewalk only to become mixed in with the crowds of people. He looked up at the sky to see the very tops of building that scraped the newly forming stars and escalating storm clouds. He also wandered why Athens was so bustling tonight. Damon continued walking, turning at various streets and navigating narrow passages. Then he finally came to the highest mountain in Athens, the second highest in all of Greece. The mountain seemed so tall and monstrous, just waiting for poor mortals to climb it only to fall down to Hades. He took a deep breath and began the climb. And that the top, there was quite a sight to see!
Gods and goddess flooded the front door of the fine square shaped building with pillars thick and tall, only to intimidate mortals. Damon stood there, dumfounded and amazed. But his curiosity still took the best of him. He snuck in behind all of the Gods and Goddesses. He crept into the room where they assembled. It pictured with a big desk in the front and center for Zeus, with smaller desks in neat lines facing Zeus. With such godliness in one room, it was very hot and uncomfortable for any mortal present. Damon ducked under a desk in the back corner of the room and listened silently.
“Order, order,” commanded Zeus. “All take your seats now. We all face a situation that graves us all Gods and Goddesses, good or evil. A situation of mortal power has arrived and it points its light down in Athens, the very city we are gathered at now. Without aiding Hypatos with are godly powers, he has been slain to the nasty Persian Arsalan. Arsalan has now taken over Athens, only to spread his power to all of Greece.”
“But sir,” objected Aphrodite. “Why should we care, how does it affect us?”
Zeus barked back, “I’ll tell you why. The reason us gods truly continue to exist with our powers is because of the humans who believe in us. Without their beliefs, we cannot exist. And Arsalan wants to overthrow all of Greece’s beliefs on us Gods and Goddesses! This proves to be disastrous!”
Hera commented, “But dear husband, what can we do about this matter?”
“Nothing can be done!” Zeus wailed. “Unless, we obtain a mortal man to do the deed of killing Arsalan!”
“And why exactly that,” Hermes said.
Zeus responded back, “He is a Persian man who does not believe in us. Therefore our powers are useless.”
Just then, Zeus stopped in dead silence and the room appeared to be frozen as a river in winter.
“I smell something,” Zeus shouted. “And it smells like a, like a mortal is in here!”
Damon, who was still listening behind a desk, began to freak out. His heart raced again, his face filled with blood again. It was almost as if his parents were yelling at him. Damon only hoped that all would turn out okay, but Zeus ordered a thorough security search. Damon could hear the guards, but he could not see how terrifying they looked with their muscles bulging like mountains, their swords, with a point as sharp as a bee stinger, snuggly tucked to their sides. All activity other than the security search halted, and silence flooded the room as if rains have tormented down causing a river to rise. Damon could hear the guards circumnavigate the room with their metal chains dangling at their sides. The guards looked over the whole room except for the corner where Damon was hiding.
They hovered over to that corner but Zeus barked, “Forget about it. The meeting must proceed itself.”
The guards left the room and conversation shattered the silence like a vase shatters on the ground after being dropped. Damon slowly tried to recover from his horrifying moment. He didn’t really listen to the meeting anymore for he had heard enough and was too shocked. Soon enough, the meeting terminated and the godly figures began to depart in disgust with the current events. As soon as Damon thought all the gods and goddesses had left, he bolted from the desk to the front door. Just when he thought he was in the clear, Athena popped out in front of him. Damon instantly stopped and fell over in surprise and fear.
“It’s okay Damon. I knew you were here all along,” Athena said trying to calm Damon.
“But how do you know my name, Athena,” Damon stuttered still in fear.
“I’m a Goddess; I know all the names of mortals.”
“But what do you want from me, Athena,” Damon asked.
“I,” Athena began, “know you very well Damon. I have been watching you very closely. And I do believe you are the chosen one, not by me, not by other Gods, but by wisdom and faith alone. You are the one. And I do very well know that you are aware of Arsalan and the Gods’ status. Therefore, you must.”
“Must what?” Damon wondered.
“Time will tell you. We shall meet tomorrow at dusk right here.”
“What do you mean?” Damon said.
Without hesitation, Athena vanished elsewhere. At this point, Damon was very confused. Athena had just informed him that he is the chosen one! What could this truly mean? What would he have to do? Damon’s minds thought about these factors. But most importantly, he very well knew that midnight was approaching. His parents would return from the Grand Festival soon! Damon quickly trotted out of the building into the now raging thunderstorm. Obviously, Zeus was very angry for lighting slashed throughout the night sky and thundered shortly shook the Earth. Even more so, he cried heavy drops of rain that fell to Earth only to irrigate the well dry crops in the heat of early summer.
Nevertheless, Damon darted down the steep hill without hesitation and zoomed throughout Athens while buildings passed by as a white blur. Damon quickly escaped the city for few people were active around midnight. Then he crossed down into the hill where his house sat. Soon enough, Damon stopped his feet rapidly, fell flat on the ground, and slid in the mud right into his parents who were just returning from the Grand Festival. While his mother jumped surprisingly, thunder echoed through the sky. Then Straton turned around and grabbed his son by the neck.
“Listen here, you worthless son, “Straton screamed. “You were to be in your bed, not running around.”
“But father,” Damon begged.
“No excuses,” Straton declared.
His furious parents dragged Damon by his ear the rest of the way to their house . His father tossed him into his room and slammed the door shut. Another roar of thunder boomed again. Poor Damon dried himself off and fell fast asleep with much on his mind.
In the city Athens, Arsalan transformed the former home of Hypatos into his own.
“Yes, my servants,” Arsalan rejoiced. “Athens is all mine! My troops have begun the invasion today. By evening, all shall be transferred in my name and soon Sparta, with its powerful army, shall be mine too! Once Sparta is captured, I will already have the Greek Empire, able to replace the Gods and Goddesses and other silly customs!”
“Yes, your majesty” Arsalan’s servants monotonously replied. In fact, that is all that Arsalan’s servants were allowed to say.
Many servants began decorating the mansion in Arsalan’s favor. The previous possessions of Hypatos were burned in a blazing fire outside in front of the public. Arsalan wanted to strike fear into his new subjects. Even more so, he burned one of his servants alive in that fire. His spine-chilling screams that traveled through all of the streets served as an example for those who dared to oppose Arsalan.
“Oh, and one more thing,” Arsalan commanded. “That vial, the vial that literally represents all of my blood and my kinsmen’s blood, the vial that is essential to my life and those of my kinsmen, should be displayed proudly over the hearth to honor all in my glory.”
“Yes, your majesty,” a servant obeyed.
And so the vial that represents and gives life to Arsalan and all his kinsmen was proudly placed above the hearth.
That very day, evening once again erupted. Damon knew that he needed to meet Athena up at the highest mountain in Athens. But how was he to surpass his parents this time? Then Maeja called him.
“Damon, get in here this instance!” she howled.
“Yes, mother,” Damon groaned.
“My robe from last night is all dirty from the big feast. You are to go down to the stream and wash it again this instance.”
She shoved the clothing in Damon’s face and he happily skipped down to the stream again. He had a plan in his head. He bent down to began washing when Straton came back down again.
“Also, worthless son,” he ordered, “bring up two pots of water for me.”
Straton, like before, stomped up the hill and repelled anybody in his path. Also like before, Damon repeated what he did the first time. He released his mother’s robe once again and carried up two pots of water in one trip. By this point, his brawny legs and broad shoulders were accustomed to such labor that his parents forced him into doing. Anyways, he brought the water back home and rather quickly, Maeja stood before him tapping her foot repetitively like a woodpecker.
“Where is my robe?” she yelled.
“Um, I dropped it in the stream again,” Damon murmured.
“Well go get it!”
Damon zoomed back down towards the spring with a gleam on his face. He then turned around when his parents were not looking and darted back up to Athens to meet Athena. Upon entering the city, Damon noticed many damaged or demolished buildings. Many still standing appeared to be a shiny bronze instead of a pure white. Foreign looking soldiers marched through the city, yielding to nothing in their path. Damon knew that something was occurring and it is not for the better. He hurriedly bolted up the mountain without hesitation just at the death of dawn before night painted the Earth. Just outside the godly meeting hall, Athena was waiting patiently for Damon.
“Ah, there you are,” Athena welcomed.
“Yep,” Damon retaliated.
Athena continued, “As you very well know, chosen one, Athens, the Greeks, and the Gods and Goddesses are in great peril because of Arsalan. But there is a way to stop him and save us all.”
At that moment, the Goddess Hestia manifested.
She whispered softly, “As being the goddess of the home, family, and the hearth, I very well know that you, Damon the chosen one, are greatly abused by your parents, who you only want to please.”
“But I don’t…,” Damon reacted. Hestia interrupted him.
“It is very much true that you want to please your parents. It lies deep within your spirit and may it not be denied! I am sure that I have the solution to that problem. Anyways, I also do know that Arsalan has placed his life-giving vial above his hearth. By these means, the legend goes that the only way to defeat Arsalan is to fight in a battle twice in one day, once at dawn and the other at dusk. Then before midnight, you must drink the vial.”
“Wow, wait a second” Damon said with confusion. “Why me?”
Athena reminded him, “You are the chosen one and so the legend may only be fulfilled by you. Therefore, we will all see each other tomorrow at the foot of the mansion of Arsalan with all the other Gods and Goddesses. Be there at dusk and return at dawn. Then, retrieve the vial before midnight and drink it. It is the only way Arsalan will die.”
With that, Athena and Hestia both vanished and nightfall crashed upon Damon’s head. He knew that his parents would be angry with him, but at this point, he did not care. He was already used to their abuse and punishments. Plus, he obtained more important matters on his mind. So instead of running, Damon casually lingered back home. He took a closer look when wandered through the streets of Athens. There were Greek slaves pulling heavy loads of stone to construction sites. He saw rebellious citizens burned alive by Persian troops. Whips snapped sharply at poor people’s backs. Fires paraded through some streets, burning anything it could. It was a tear jerking sight for Damon. He is accustomed to seeing a beautiful city with pure white buildings, splendid gardens, and joyful residents. Now everything was turned upside down. Athens was falling apart.
Meanwhile in the bedroom of Zeus and Hera in Mount Olympus, Zeus was becoming an emotional wreck, despite that he is king of the Gods.
“It’s okay Zeus,” Hera soothed. “I talked too Athena and Hestia today. They finally found the chosen one.”
“So what,” bailed Zeus. “All mortals in my sense are weak. How can the chosen one defeat Arsalan? He’s practically half mortal and half god.”
“Now Zeus, honey,” Hera comforted. “Faith has chosen the chosen one. Not any of the gods. Faith alone is very powerful.”
Zeus cried, “Yeah, I know. But what if faith doesn’t work this time? What if the Fates decide that the chosen one should die?”
“Zeus, please stop these what-if questions. You and I both very well know that faith and destiny can overpower the Fates.”
“Whatever,” Zeus stubbornly sobbed. “It is the end of the immortals I tell you! The end is near! Arsalan shall convert all of the Greeks and we shall be nothing! The immortals shall soon die!”
Damon awoke before sun break the next day. He did not remember much from when he came back home. All he knew was that he had to fight Arsalan and that there was a huge lump on the back of his head. He stumbled out of his room and into the kitchen.
“There you are, Damon,” Maeja snorted. “I told you, Straton, that you shouldn’t have whacked him in the head so hard. Just look at that lump!”
Straton retorted, “Who cares. It’s neither my head nor yours.”
“Yeah, your right,” Maeja agreed as she flung Damon’s breakfast on the table.
“So what exactly is this food for breakfast, mother” Damon politely asked.
“It’s a salad of grubs from the ground,” Maeja grunted. “I’d feed you some of our warm, flakey, and soft bread with rich, creamy, and smooth butter but you never brought back my robe from yesterday!”
Maeja and Straton both plucked a seat at the table and slowly enjoyed their breakfast, making sure that Damon was jealous. Nevertheless, Damon slowly remembered that when he returned home last night, his mother asked about her robe and then the extremely livid Straton smacked him in the head because of it. Instantly, Damon swiftly stole some of the bread in a flash. It took his parents awhile to process what he had just done. Soon later, they grew once again irritated and went to chase him down. Damon, who could outrun his parents from all of the labor he has done, ferociously shoved the scrumptious bread in his mouth and ran quickly to Athens to face his fight. He once again darted through the Persian polluted city with his evil parents slugging behind and headed straight to Arsalan’s mansion. Once there, he stopped dead on. He scoped the situation. All of the Gods and Goddesses lined an empty square arena for Damon to fight. Above, surviving Greeks lined the Persian distorted balconies. Nonetheless, Maeja and Straton finally caught up to Damon only to be stunned by the scene prevailed. They soon backed away and decided to find a seat somewhere. Most predominantly, Damon saw Zeus, who looked extremely nervous, and Athena and Hestia. Without further delay, Arsalan whipped open the doors and stepped outside. He could not see the Gods and Goddesses, for he did not believe in them.
“So this is what the prophecy has brought to slay me,” Arsalan chuckled. “A rather young adult in his late teens or early twenties? Faith or no faith, strength shall triumph it all. So today, we shall see who the great warrior is!”
Damon felt embarrassed but he soon turned it into hatred after he thought about the destruction Arsalan had brought to Athens.
“So it is you that brought death to my beloved city,” Damon accused. “I used to love the pure white paints on the buildings and the hopefulness in everybody’s eyes. Now you destroyed it all.”
“Young boy,” Arsalan argued, “this is not even a speck of dust of my works. Athens is not fully transformed yet, but soon it will be with the rest of Greece! Already people have began converting to the real faith of the almighty Persians! You can convert too, or die here now. Enough talk, let us choose our weapons!”
Athena flew over to Damon and handed him a powerful sword with godly powers to it. However, due to the lack of people worshiping the Gods, the swords power was drained and was destined to only a normal sword. Only faith could save Damon now.
“But Athena,” Damon questioned, “I have never fought before, how will I ever win?”
“The chosen one is destined to win, not to die,” Athena said. “Therefore, you are immortal to Arsalan.”
Damon questioned again, “How do I know that I have won the battle?”
Athena answered, “Stab him once, and you win. Stab him at dusk and you win again. Then drink the vial to kill him. Others shall help you obtain the vial.”
Arsalan, who already had his weapon, announced, “Let us fight, for we shall never know the real reason you came.”
With that, the battle commenced. Arsalan came in rather quickly. He swayed his sword with such might that Zeus began to weep again. Ares again was nervous about this battle. But Athena and Hestia showed no fear as Arsalan swiped his sword near Damon’s head. However, Damon blocked every attack. Despite any previous experience of sword fighting, Damon was winning the battle against a skilled Persian fighter! This led him into believing that he really was the chosen one. Thus, his confidence rose higher and higher. Almost as if the sword knew what to do, Damon began lunging himself at Arsalan like a lion pouncing on its pray. His sword began picking up with speed and power, giving Zeus a little sense of security. And eventually, the prophecy was fulfilled when Damon made the first stab on Arsalan, although he could not die yet.
“So I see that I have not killed you in this battle,” Arsalan glared with sweat oozing off his head. “But I’ll get you tonight at dusk for sure.”
Without Damon saying a word, for he was catching his breath, Arsalan returned into his mansion. All of the Gods and Goddesses cheered and Zeus actually smiled for once. Then his parents came charging in like a rhino. They were mainly confused, but they showed little spouts of anger. Right when they were in front of him, Athena and Hestia appeared before Damon. Maeja and Straton were startled to see their son conversing with Goddesses.
“Now Damon,” warned Athena, “Arsalan will only grow in strength until this evening. You must come with us for proper training in Mount Olympus. If you do not stab Arsalan before nightfall, drinking the vial will be fruitless and Arsalan shall take over everything.”
“Damon,” Straton interrupted. “What do you think you’re doing fighting? I don’t care if you are a peasant from the streets! That is not how we have raised you!”
“Straton, sweety,” Maeja said. “I think this time is different. After all, Athena and Hestia are right here. They must be right.”
“And indeed we are,” Hestia confirmed. “Whether aware or not, your son Damon is indeed the chosen one. He is destined to defeat Arsalan.”
“What do you mean?” Maeja asked in a rather humble tone. She began to show actual concern for her son.
“It means,” Hestia explained, “that Damon will fight Arsalan twice, once at dawn and once at dusk. Already, the battle of dawn has been victorious for Damon. However, Arsalan’s power will grow until dusk. Damon must be more prepared. Henceforth, he shall train amid the Gods and Goddesses until then. And after, he must drink Arsalan’s life-giving vial to slay him.”
“I’m still confused,” Maeja stuttered awkwardly.
“No more talk,” Hestia ordered. “Only do from now on.”
With that, the two Goddesses, Damon, and even his parents disappeared to Mount Olympus.
“I cannot accept this!” Arsalan screamed while pacing through the lobby with its clean, fine pillars and open marble floor in his mansion. “A near peasant-like boy has defeated me once!”
“Yes your majesty, but the war is still not over yet,” his secretary Abda mentioned while sitting in a lounge chair watching his master pace.
“That I do know of. But I have still been defeated once. I must, therefore, move units in faster!”
“So what should I do sir?” Abda responded.
Arsalan barked, “I’ll tell what you can do. Send more Persian troops into the border. I must rapidly begin the expansion! Sparta should be conquered by dawn tomorrow! Then, a week of time shall allow my troops to fully capture Greece, with the aid of the Spartans, as well!”
“Yes, your majesty,” Abda agreed. “How many troops should I send in?”
“Oh, Abda,” Arsalan sighed. “You don’t get it, do you? You must spread my message, from base to ground zero. All of my troops are to be dispatched immediately. They shall receive enough time to arrive to Sparta by dawn tomorrow, only with consistent marching, of course.”
“Yes, sir,” Abda chirped nervously.
“What was that you said to me?” Arsalan bitterly snapped.
“Um…yes…sir,” Abda stumbled.
“I am to be known as your majesty, not sir!” Arsalan roared. “For that, I order you to execution; burning alive! Servants, take Abda to the slaughter grounds and bring in my new secretary!”
“Yes, your majesty,” the servants groaned.
To be continued...