Humanity blossomed brilliantly like a morning star under the fire granted by Apollo, the potential granted by Athena, the strength granted by Artemis, and the love blessed by Aphrodite.
The fire blazed across the continent, igniting the first vestiges of human civilization.
To honour their patron, the first human settlement was built around the magnificent Delphi.
It would go on to be known as the City of Trier, the literal and figurative epicentre of the world.
The progress of civilization had just began. Even with the assistance of a titan, Epimetheus, the rate of progress was only slightly accelerated. It could be centuries before Europe is graced with a proper civilization.
It was how it was meant to be, until the Angels of the Eternal Blazing Sun descended on the world. They arrived bearing 'His' will, 'His' knowledge, and 'His' guidance.
They also spread 'His' name and 'His' gospel. The angels, on the other hand, were merciful and kind. They gave humanity a choice. It was up to them whether they would follow the Lord and Saviour, the Eternal Blazing Sun.
And the angels were more than just generous in guiding those who were willing. But they were also impartial, completely devoted to their lord's will.
Humans who believed in the Eternal Blazing Sun began to grow faster under their consul. The foundation of civilization was gradually being laid.
And as humanity grew under the guidance of Phoebus Apollo, the other gods saw an opportunity, and began to send their will to the mortal world.
The faiths and influences of the gods spread across the lands of Europa. With the assistance of the gods, temples and statues were built as humanity overcame many difficulties.
However, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, took a completely different approach among the gods. She didn't want humanity's faith, nor did she wish to be worshipped by humanity.
She only cared about humanity's knowledge and wisdom. So, she began to drew plans for a solely dedicated institution just for that.
On Mount Olympus, she made her declaration. With that, the wheel of time began to spin faster and faster, ushering in a glorious era.
Ten months later. The first settlement, Delphi.
In the snowy streets, Apollo and Athena walked shoulder to shoulder, overlooking the burgeoning civilization. Humans in soiled clothes walked past them, oblivious to their existence.
"Your angels did an excellent job." Athena remarked, gazing through the settlement. She then took a scroll, continuing. "They accomplished so much in such a short time."
Apollo's lips had the semblance of a smile. It was enough to tell Athena that he was very proud of his angels.
She opened a scroll and handed it to him. Apollo took it and examined it. It depicted a massive structure with a statue of him and Athena in front. There were numerous notes all around it.
Athena indicated the structure. "This is my structural plan for my institute of knowledge and arts. I want to build a branch here in the first settlement." She then classified her terms. "You will also be honoured as this branch's patron deity."
While Athena waited, admiring and analysing the settlement's progress, Apollo skimmed through the parchment.
Apollo finally returned the parchment to her, saying lightly. "I will accept on the condition that my muses lead the branch."
"No." Athena immediately denied it. Then, she gazed at the silent Apollo, knowing he wouldn't concede to the demand, so she sighed, offering a compromise. After all, this was his settlement.
"Your muses will have the same standing as my appointees in this branch. This is all I could offer."
"Happy cooperation, then, O' Great Goddess of Wisdom." Apollo smiled and reached out his hand.
With a roll of her eyes, Athena shook his hand.
"I will take my leave, Apollo. There's a lot left for me to do before I finalise it," she said, pointing to the parchment.
Apollo gave a nod. Athena tapped her right foot on the ground before leaping into the sky and sweeping the clouds away, leaving the words behind.
"See you on Olympus."
Apollo gazed at the bright sky, watching her fading figure. Then, he strode through the chaotic, snowy lanes of the settlements, observing the progress in this free time.
Soon, someone interrupted him. The sky darkened as a dark-winged angel descended in front of him, scarring the lives out off many humans.
The dark-winged angel was Nicholas, the Angel of Death.
Apollo merely waved his hands, concealing their presence.
Looking around, he said. "They are afraid of you, Nicholas."
Nicholas bowed, saying indifferently. "Everyone, milord, fears death in some form or another. Many people wish to deny or refuse it throughout their lives. However, it is a natural process that is unavoidable and inevitable. Cold and uncaring." He stood tall, his gaze fixed on Apollo.
"But, this is a duty that you gave me, Milord. I don't hear opinions or pleas; that is the domain of Anastasia. I will only guide them to the gate of the underworld when their time arrives, nothing more and nothing less."
Hearing that, Apollo nodded contently, taking out an emblem engraved with the image of a black helm and throwing it to Nicholas.
He stated. "I spoke with Uncle Hades on your behalf. And he gave this to me, allowing you to enter the Underworld as my representative. It will help you with your responsibilities. But be cautious. Even with your abilities, the Underworld remains a dangerous place."
Nicholas accepted it, examining it. He then bowed lightly. "Thank you, milord."
Apollo merely nodded, asking. "Now, tell me, what happened?"
"The Goddess of Magic wishes to meet with you." Nicholas informed. "Milord, she's on her way from the underworld."
"Hecate.." Apollo arched his brow, his figure fading in the light. Then he was gone, leaving Nicholas with the words.
"A demigod is trying to **** my believers near the settlement. Kill… No, send him to my sister. It is better. And also inform Anastasia to add a law to the order forbidding ****, which if broken is punishable by death."
"Yes, Milord." Nicholas nodded, while gazing at the fading light particles.
He finally turned to face the sun, spreading his black wings and zapping into the sky.
After an hour. Delos, the Home of Eternal Blazing Sun, The Goddess of the Moon and Titan of Motherhood.
The eternal sun in the sky poured a golden glow over the divine island, attesting to its otherworldly ethereality.
A gigantic castle perched on a lush auric fields with a backdrop of white clouds splattered with gold pallets.
It stood there, emitting a divine aura, as if it had been conjured from a dream of a God. It was flawless in every sense of the word. The white castle had lofty towers that were made out of golden marble, as were the spires that held the symbols of the sun and moon.
Every stone in the castle was even and square, as if the creator were obsessed with perfection, as if they truly loved what they created.
Inside this dreamy castle, through the winding corridors, Apollo and Hecate walked slowly.
Hecate looked around in wonder, smiling. "It is alive, Apollo."
"Mother gave the castle life. It's in a state of semi-consciousness." Apollo remarked. "And I constructed it. Visualizing it from my dream and making it a reality with light."
"It's astounding." Hecate expelled her breath. "You are astounding."
Apollo proudly smiled. Then he walked to the side of the room and opened a silver door.
"All right, come on." He cocked his head, indicating the room. "It is my room."
And he went in. Hecate started on his back, breathing in and out. Then, she followed him into his room.
Apollo's room was massive, dimly lit by the sunlight. It was wall-to-wall books, decked out on bookshelves. There were various completed drawings scattered on a table facing a large window. One of the drawings showed a semi-sphere with many rings encircling the sun. The sphere drawing, which was placed on top of the others, obscured the remaining drawings.
In the right corner of the room, there was also a small model of the solar system floating alongside a drawing of a starry sky with constellations.
A massive telescope was erected on a platform, and it was extended outside to face the bright sky through the short opening in the ceiling. There were several tables around the platform, each with stacks of paper scribbled with notes and calculations.
This is not what Hecate expected the personal dwelling of the God of the Sun to look like. She expected gold, a lot of gold. Flashy yet magnificent.
However, the room was warm and cosy. The smell of paper immediately assaulted her senses, and it felt like a treat to her mind, calming her down in the ocean of tranquillity that permeated the room.
It was completely different from what she expected. This made her realise it all over again.
Apollo was different from the rest. He was filled with mystery and wonder, drawing her in.
Apollo turned and snapped his fingers. In the middle of them, a table with two chairs appeared. And he gestured.
They took their seats at the table. The sunlight brightened the room, giving it an auric glow.
There was a moment of awkward silence. They just started looking into each other's eyes. Apollo's golden eyes still had that ever-present glint of indifference, though it was waning visibly.
Hecate whispered, breaking the silence. "You created angels?"
"Did Nicholas cause any trouble?" Apollo inquired, his gaze drawn away from her.
"No. Not at all." Hecate shook her head, smiling. "He was very welcome in the underworld. Lord Hades was also elated that someone could finally assist him with his responsibilities."
Apollo simply nodded, unsurprised. Finally, he inquired, getting to the point. "So, Hecate, what brings you here?"
Hecate took out a scroll of pure magic and handed it to him calmly.
Apollo unrolled the scroll. It was a comprehensive plan for humanity and magic. There were numerous human anatomy drawings. It details the effects that magic would have on the human body and how it would evolve. And where would the magic be stored within humans? Everything that could be considered was considered.
It was a meticulous plan to create a completely new race of humans, one with limitless potential.
"Why are you showing this to me?" Apollo frowned, as if mystified as to why she would reveal such valuable research to him.
Hecate responded calmly. "I've always planned to create a magical race. Humans, which you and others have created, have limitless potential. They might be able to bear my magical blessing. So I want to realise my dream through them."
She took a brief pause, "I need your permission to begin. Only in a stable environment can magic be practised. Your first settlement is the only place in Europa where there is true order." She continued, her gaze averted. "I'd also like your opinion on this."
Apollo remained silent for a moment before gently stating, "Let's put the word 'permission' aside for the time being. And concentrate on the 'advice' part."
He emphasised, looking at her. "You are the Goddess of Magic. You wield the power to blend all of reality according to your whim. It is the epitome of mystery. Nobody, not even me, is qualified or capable of providing advice on this. This is your path. And you have already achieved more than many, Hecate."
Hecate turned to face him, her emotional eyes fixed in silence.
Seeing this, Apollo just sighed. "Why are you here, Hecate?"
"I told you already," Hecate said.
"No." Standing up from his chair, Apollo said. "No, you didn't."
Hecate gazed at the nearing figure, her hands quivering. Then, she immediately said, avoiding his eyes. "I want to work with you, Apollo, in Delphi."
"Lies." Apollo pressed. "Hecate, tell me the truth."
Hecate snapped her purple eyes toward him, struggling. Then, it turned resolute and serene.
She got up from her chair and walked over to Apollo. They finally faced each other, their faces inches apart.
She rested her hands on his cheeks, while Apollo just watched her silently.
Their gazes locked on each other as she confessed. "I love you, Apollo. I heard of your tales in the underworld and always wanted to meet you, and I did. My mother brought me to you. I met you under the blanket of stars and the gleam of the silver moon, but you were brighter and more brilliant than all of it in my eyes, scorching and warm, and you completely drew me in."
Her voice lowered with each word, almost a whisper. "I tried to fool myself, you know, until I played our song with you, and then I realised it. I fell hopelessly in love with you."
She took a deep breath and said firmly. "I want you, Apollo."
Their breathing intertwined, scorching and mythical. Hecate gazed at Apollo, who remained silent, though his ever-calm eyes were surging. But he still remained silent.
Hecate closed her eyes, a crystal tear trickling down her cheek. She averted her gaze. However, a warm hand caught her and froze her.
Ever so gently, Apollo appeared in front of her, his hands clasping her cheeks. He muttered, ruefully smiling.
"I am just afraid. I am afraid that I will break your heart in the end."
Hecate's eyes dimmed immediately, but her lips rose to form a merry smile. "You will not. You worry too much. I believe you with all my heart, Apollo."
Apollo looked into her eyes before leaning in. And they kissed lightly. Time seemed to stand still, and the world faded away. Only they remained.
After what seemed like eternity, their lips separated reluctantly. And the world returned.
Apollo snapped his fingers. The table immediately turned into a bed. He pushed her onto it, climbing on top of her.
He still asked her, taking her hand in his and kissing her fingers. "Are you sure?"
Hecate smiled, "I never been so sure in my life, my love."
Apollo waved his hand, and their dresses faded away in the light. Then, he kissed her vehemently.
Light brightened, consuming and concealing them.
Seven days later.
Hecate laid in the messy bed, her body covered in hickeys, gazing at the sleeping Apollo beside her. Her hands gently caressed his cheeks.
She then retracted her hand and rose from the bed.
Hecate waved her hand, and magic swirled around her, cleansing her. Then, it morphed into robes that covered her naked figure.
She turned to face Apollo, her gaze darting across his chiselled figure, falling. But she immediately looked away, suppressing her overwhelming feelings.
She looked ahead at the balcony. She walked towards it to distract herself.
Hecate opened the doors and entered it. She didn't forget to close it.
There it was, the dark sky dazzled with millions of stars. She gazed at it, taking a deep breath.
Hecate suddenly wiped her eyes, feeling wetness.
"Tears…?" She whispered, confused.
"Feigning ignorance, I see." A silky voice suddenly sounded.
Hecate looked around, her eyes brilliantly glowing. Her magic erupted, forming a slew of esoteric circles around her. It contained enough power to scorch worlds. But she found none.
Then she turned and looked around the room for Apollo, who was still sleeping.
The silky voice laughed. "Don't be concerned; he won't notice us. He is already deep within my brother's realm."
Hecate's pupils dilated. "You are..."
The dark sky brightened more than ever before. The millions of stars turned billions, swaying and flickering, unveiling the swirling milky way.
In the light of the galaxy, a figure materialized. Their skin was as pale as smoke, and their shoulder-length hair was midnight black. They wore black dress with golden shawls hanging over their ethereal figure.