The Reviver’s Passage: The Battle Against Animus

The Reviver's Passage

The Reviver’s Passage: Chapter X
By: Prappies

 

For the first time in what felt like a long time, Hestia wasn’t awoken by a slap hitting her somewhere on her body. She rolled over, to see the god watching her. She quickly pushed herself up. 

“What the hell are you doing?!” She asked exasperatingly. 

“Waiting for you to wake up.”

“Why were you watching me like that?” 

The god stood up from his seat on the ground, and shook his head at her. 

“I was looking at you for 3 seconds, and you chose to notice me just then. I was bored, so I was looking around at my surroundings, and 5 seconds… 6 seconds now, I chose to look at you. It’s your fault for waking up at that point.” The god, looked around him before once more turning to her. He walked toward her, and ruffled her hair. She growled at him. 

“Get up now since you are awake. Let’s go. We have a god to fight.” 

He then grabbed her collar and yanked her up to her feet. Hestia frowned when she noticed that their campsite had been packed up. She then noticed the small cloth pack in the god’s palm. He tossed it into the air like a ball, and caught it. 

“Oh this? I’m sure you already guessed I packed up. All our stuff is in here,” he said holding the tiny pack up in her face. “I shrunk it all of course.”

“Of course,” she repeated. Why am I surprised by these things anymore?

“Right then… ONWARDS!” he screamed loudly, Hestia winced slightly. But then started laughing at his exuberant reaction. The god grinned back at her. 

“Right then. Let’s go fight the first of our gods then.” she was as excited as him. Her hand fell on her sword, which was on her thigh. 

The walk had been rather quiet, until the end. 

The god walked in front of Hestia. She trailed slowly behind him. 

“Look, don’t get scared. Just let me do all the work. All you have to do is stay calm. Don’t panic. Stay calm. You hear me? Stay calm… there is no need to freeze up and panic.” 

Hestia just nodded quickly, saying nothing. She decided to let him do all the talking. 

Time passed by quickly. After what seemed like a good 2 hours. The god stopped walking, Hestia not having realized this, walked into his back. The god turned around to look at her. 

“See that over there? That’s Animus’s castle.” He pointed in the distance to something in the distance. Hestia squinted her eyes and sucked in her breath. The god was right, there was a huge castle there. A huge, majestic castle. 

An utterly terrifying looking castle. 

The castle was ginormous. It stood multiple stories high, and was multiple stories wide. It seemed to be made of the dark blood red rock that made up much of the underworld, as well a lot of black rock. 

As they got closer, Hestia sucked her breath in as she took in the design of the castle. They stood on a large black bridge that led to the enterance of the castle. The castle itself reminded her of gothic castles. The details on every part of the castle was amazing. 

When they stood in front of the door of the castle, Hestia studied the art on it. It was a stone carved, black mural of people. People killing eachother, blaming each other, screaming at eachother. 

It was a mural of people hating each other. How fitting for the god of hate. 

“Stand tall, have hope. We got this,” said the god, now beside her. He gave her shoulder a squeeze before turning his attention back to the door in front of him. 

He took a deep breath, and screamed. 

“ANIMUS!” he screamed, loud but clearly. “I AM HERE BROTHER. I AM HERE TO FIGHT

YOU. OPEN UP! I CHALLENGE YOU TO A DUEL!”

For a good few seconds, there was no answer. 

“Maybe he’s not home,” Hestia leaned towards the god and remarked. 

“Oh, he is definitely home,” the god refuted. 

“Maybe he is ignoring you then.”

“Would you shut up?” Asked the god in mock politeness. 

Before she could open her mouth again, she heard the door click. Suddenly, the huge doors opened. The swung open relatively slowly, revealing a long dark maroon corridor. The god pushed her forward gently. They walked for around 2 minutes before arriving at a huge room, it too was dark maroon in color

The room was decagonal in shape, with ten huge pillars at each corner. The huge decagonal room’s floor had a dark colored geometric design on it. There was a huge black chandelier hanging from the high ceiling. 

But neither Hestia or the god were looking at the castle much. Their eyes were focused on what sat in the very middle of the room. 

A man, a very well decorated man. 

He wore dark maroon armor. He was broad shouldered, and very muscular. The dark maroon armor covered the entirety of his body, from chest to toes. His armor was made of thin metal, unlike the god next to her who wore more dark leather. His shoulders had a spikes on it. 

His face was clean, but looked very similar to his brother. His face reminded Hestia of a man in his late 30s. His hair was a dark black, and slicked back. There was a sword sheathe on his back. 

His sword was in his lap, he was wiping the blade with a cloth. It looked as if he did not even notice his guests. He continued to clean his sword, he didn’t even look up to acknowledge them. 

After a few minutes, the god beside her cleared his throat loudly. Animus still ignored him. 

“Brother,” said the god. “Stand up. Is this how you treat your guests? Even the god of hate must have some respect…”

Animus let his comment linger in the air for a few seconds, before he stood up. He admired his sword, which now stood at his right side, in his right hand. 

“Brother, we both know that you are no guest here,” Animus finally looked up. “You are nothing but an intruder.”

“We are here to fight you. I hope you are ready. Just because you are my younger brother doesn’t mean I will go easy on you.” The god had his hand on Hestia’s back, readying himself for a tough fight. 

“Is that so?” Animus arced an eyebrow. He tapped his sword against the palm of his left hand. “I’m going to guess this woman here is your vessel… your human…”

“You are correct.” The god blankly stated. 

“Well then,” Animus turned to Hestia. She froze under his harsh glare, she felt many emotions in her heart. Hate, searing hate… was the most prominent. She then felt stunned when she saw him put his hand to his heart, and bowed slightly. 

“M’lady… it is unfortunate that we meet under such circumstances. Ah, but it is what it is.” Animus’s mouth tilted upward in a cocky grin. Hestia flared, she eyed him with contempt. 

So this is the man I have to fight to get Wally back… he is partially responsible for this… this is all his…

“Calm. Steady yourself Hestia,” whispered the god behind her, he leaned into her ear as he spoke. “His power is winning you over. Right now you should let go of your hate. It should not be hard for someone like you. You are not someone who hates easily… I’ve known you for a short amount of time and already know that. Do not go under his influence. If you do, all our training will be for naught.” 

Hestia looked at the god from the corner of her eyes.

“Is that so?” She asked curiously. 

The god smiled. “I am nearly never wrong in my judgment of character. But, I do need you to calm down.” 

Hestia nodded, and closed her eyes. She took multiple deep breaths in, knowing that Animus was watching her with morbid curiosity. She attempted to cleanse herself of any hard feelings. 

“Think of happy memories, happy memories,” advised the god, quickly. 

Hestia’s mind was filled with memories of her friend, the day they met, all the fun they had together, ten years worth of happiness. When she opened her eyes, both gods knew she had done it. One sighed with relief, and the other one looked very surprised. 

After a few seconds of surprised silence, Animus smirked. “Interesting woman. I feel that this fight may be more enthralling than I had originally thought.” 

Animus shifted his feet, he held his shoulder in front of him, holding the handle in both of his hands. He gave his brother and Hestia a cold smile.

“Let this fight commence then, brother.”

And he rushed in. 

“Hestia!” yelled the god behind her. She was caught off guard by Animus’s sudden attack. Seconds before Animus’s sword managed to slice Hestia clean in half, the god had forced himself into her. And her arm flew up to counter Animus’s sword.

When the dust cleared (having been blown upwards from Animus’s rush in),  Hestia noticed that Animus was standing over her. She, herself, had been forced down. One knee on the ground, and her back arched. Her arms were over her head. One hand on the hilt, and the other on the blade as it parred Animus’s blade. Her arms felt as if she was holding the sky up, Animus was pushing his blade down, and she had somehow managed to block it. 

“Incredible. Quite incredible. For such a flimsy woman. I am beyond impressed. I am impressed your body could withstand all this. Of course, my brother is the one in control of the blade. But the fact that you have enough strength to not crumple in… I have to hand it to you,” Animus commented gleefully from above her. He let out a wicked, booming laugh. 

Hestia suddenly felt her leg come up and kick Animus in the thigh. Animus let out a groan of surprise just as Hestia fell backwards. 

Animus raised his sword and attempted to slice her as they both lost their balance. Hestia’s other leg quickly kicked off his other thigh. Which sent him spiraling backwards even faster, and sent Hestia, now on her back, sliding backwards out of his reach. 

That was a close one huh?” Asked the god inside her. Hestia could see his cocky grin in her mind, and she rolled her eyes.

“Oh, just be quiet. Get me out of this situation please. Alive preferably.” She gasped back, from the 10 seconds she had been fighting Animus, she was already exhausted. 

Yes ma’am” the god chirped back. Hestia’s eyes flicked towards Animus, who was running towards her. 

“He is coming back in, get ready,” said Hestia, getting into a battle position. Her sword behind her, her feet firmly on the ground, standing sideways

I think its more that you should get ready, properly get ready,” the god countered back playfully. Her feet shifted so that both her feet were now facing Animus instead, instead of only one. 

He is coming in now, get ready.” 

Animus came hard, really hard. 

Once more his sword hit Hestia’s blade. Animus then jumped back slightly, and sent a slash at Hestia. Hestia stepped back, just avoiding the sword. Hestia herself then pushed her sword forward, attempting to stab Animus through the abdomen. 

Much to her shock, Animus smacked it away using his hand. 

This is not going well. We haven’t gotten a single scratch on this Animus guy. She found herself seething. 

What did I tell you about calming down? Calm yourself!” The god barked inside of her. 

“I’m trying!” Hestia whispered harshly. 

“Are things getting antsy over there brother?” Asked Animus. Animus kicked her in the gut. Hestia felt the wind get knocked out of her as she flew backwards. Her back slammed into one of the pillars. She fell to the floor like a ragdoll. 

“Why the hell did you not dodge that?!” She accused harshly. She spit out blood. 

Because you’re fighting me! Your fear of Animus is immobilizing you. You have begun to fight my control.

“No, I am not fighting you!” refuted Hestia. “You are failing to win this fight!”

Hestia jumped back to her feet as Animus sauntered forward. She ducked when Animus suddenly threw his sword at her. The sword dug into the pillar she had just crashed into.

This was where Hestia saw her chance.

Maybe I can grab the sword away from Animus. He wouldn’t have a weapon any longer and might not be able to fight me anymore. 

Hold on there sweetie, don’t rush in and… 

Hestia lunged forward, reaching for the lodged sword.

Almost there… just a bit more forward. 

A sudden breeze swung her hair to the left.

She looked up to see Animus right in front of her. Her hand was centimeters from the sword, but Animus’s fingers were already wrapped around the hilt. Hestia slowly looked upwards, and her face was inches from Animus’s. 

Animus’s hand crept up and grabbed her throat. He squeezed hard. 

Hestia began to choke. Her hands flew to her neck, attempting to release the god of hate’s large finger’s from her neck. 

Stop fighting! Give me control! I will get us away from this. Let me in! For the sake of your mission! STOP!” The god screamed. Hestia winced, as his thunderous exclamations inside her gave her a headache. 

“What is this brother? Have you not taught your little vessel obedience?” snarled Animus. 

Animus threw her to the side, as he plied his sword from his castle pillar. Hestia laid on the floor, gasping for air. Multiple large red marks were visible on her neck. 

YOU DAMN FOOL! LET ME IN! STOP PANICKING AND MAKING DECISIONS ON YOUR OWN! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE UP AGAINST!” howled the god. 

“Ok..ok.. I’ll let you in,” conceded Hestia, as she wiped the corner of her mouth of saliva and blood. 

Don’t fight me this time,” the god gritted. 

Hestia felt her body move. Animus had finally released his sword from the stone pillar. Unlike Hestia, he had not broken a sweat, and he had no injuries of any kind. 

“I see, brother, it seems you finally convinced the little girl. Let’s see how this goes.”

And much like before, he charged. 

Hestia sidestepped his sword stab.

“Bravo brother!…” congratulated Animus. Hestia turned around and swung her sword at Animus’s head. Animus ducked and easily dodged. He then moved sideways. 

“…But how long will you be able to keep this up? Poor girl looks exhausted now. What can a mere human do against hate itself?” Animus put the very tip of his blade in his mouth, resting on his tongue. Hestia knew he was trying to antagonize her and the god inside her. 

I guess we will have to find out brother. A mere human against a god wouldn’t be able to do much. But an exiled god… and a human. Now that sounds interesting, doesn’t it brother?

Animus smirked. “Indeed it does.”

Hestia was the one who was charged in, this time. Her lungs hurt, her legs felt like they were being torn apart, and her arms were basically dead. But Hestia and the god surged forward. Her sword was swung behind her, as she came closer and closer towards the god of hate himself.

When she was close enough, she jumped. 

Her eyes widened when Animus smirked, and his blade lifted up. She could do nothing but watch as the blade descended upon her front side. 

She fell to the ground groaning in pain. Her hands pressed to her chest and lower abdomen. Blood stained her shirt, as the huge slit from the top of her left shoulder to her right hip bled out.  

Hestia was on her knees, gritting hard. She removed her hands from her front and studied them, blood was freely running down her arm. She winced from the odd tingling feelings that the dripping blood created on her forearms. She wiped it on her sleeves and pants. 

“Scared already?” slurred Animus. 

Hestia turned her head up slowly, and stared at Animus, who stood right in front of her. 

She slowly backed away. 

She was on all fours scurrying backwards. 

No, no, no, this is foolish. In what world could I beat such a man. Such a vile man. Evil… cruel… horrible. I can’t do this. 

CALM YOURSELF! You neither hate nor fear Animus. Just calm down. Give me the ropes. Let me do the fighting. Let-me-in.” seethed the god.

“We can’t win this fight…” Hestia said to herself. She put her face in her hands in grief. 

We can… you need to let me IN!” 

“There’s no use…”

Let me in, and then we can see if we lose this!

“Oh gods, we are going to die. I am going to die in the land of the dead itself…”

MY DEAR GODS CHILD LET ME IN!

“Everything going ok brother? Your vessel seems to be losing herself. Not going well, brother?” Animus was now crouching, just above Hestia’s eye level. He reached out and tilted her chin up, so that she was looking straight into his eyes.

His eyes were dark red, much like most of the underworld, Hestia noticed. What she didn’t notice was the sword that had been raised to the side of her neck. Animus swung it to the side, about to slice her head clean off, when a hand yanked Hestia back. 

Hestia gasped as she tumbled suddenly, a strong arm stopped her from falling backward. She looked up to see the god right next to her, his arm around her, and a humiliated smile on his face as he faced his younger brother. Hestia hadn’t noticed him coming out of her. 

“W-we surrender. We surrender brother,” he croaked out, his face a bright red. 

Animus, who had been taken by surprise when Hestia was yanked from his grasp. He cleared his throat and collected himself. His surprised expression turned into his very notable smug one. 

“Well, it’s always been like this. No surprise. You are the weakest of all us after all. ”

Hestia felt the god’s grip on her tighten on her arm. she let out a little yelp of  pain which went unnoticed by the god.

“We will take your leave, but mark my words brother, we will be back. And we will defeat you,” the god snarled at his younger brother. Animus yawned in reply. 

“You do that, take your time though. I’m going to take a little nap, and I don’t want to fight someone again… even if that someone is so weak that he could only land one hit on me.”

The god beside her didn’t answer that time. He gripped her arm hard and spun around, dragging her behind him as the castle doors reopened to allow their exit. 

The duo left, Animus watched them leave with an amused expression on his face. When the doors closed, Animus fell down to the ground. He pulled one leg up to his body, and the other laid on the floor aways from him. He rested his chin on his knee, staring at the now closed door. 

His face softened considerably. His formerly smug expression turned into a thoughtful one. 

“Interesting woman… don’t you think Death?” Animus’s eyes shifted to his right, where a dark figure materialized behind a pillar.

“What are you doing here Death?” Animus turned his head to properly face him. Death put his hand to his chest and bowed.

“The woman, Hestia, was close to death. I came in case she would need to be escorted out. Forgive my intrusion Lord Animus,” said Death respectfully. 

Animus observed Death for a few seconds, before sighing. 

“Don’t lie to me Death. I am no longer the young boy who could be easily fooled. I wouldn’t have killed her anyways. We both know that… I quite like her,” Animus admitted. 

“Yes, she is an interesting human. I, too, have taken an interest in her. Your brother may not be the strongest fighter, but he sure knows how to pick intriguing people,” said Death. 

“Indeed.” Animus turned his attention back to the door.

Death looked at Animus.

“Yes Death?”

“Lord Animus, do you think she will be able to do the task? Do what your brother had chosen her for?” 

Animus frowned for a moment. “I don’t know about that. But I think she definitely has a chance. I mean… considering the situation, and her relationship with this situation. I think she has a chance.” 

“I think so too Master…”

“Death?” asked Animus, turning to him once more.

“Master?”

“Will you be following her?”

To this, Death smiled. “In my freetime yes. Bringing the new dead to the underworld is very hard.”

“I see.”

<– The Reviver’s Passage: Chapter IX                                                                                                                       The Reviver’s Passage: Chapter XI –>

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