Chapter 6 - Pertemis: A Wolf’s Tale

Artemis's POV

"We're here" he said.

In front of us was the entrance of a cave. It was opened at the side of a cliff. It was wide, with diameter of two meters and high about one. One either sides, crystalline rock had been shaved into Grecian columns. The arch was glittering with little diamonds or some kind of precious rocks. At the top, moss and some kind of seaweed plants dropped down like curtain. The aroma of sweet and fresh coming out from the cave really caught my attention as they assaulted my nostrils.

Next to the cave was the cliff, few meters below of white limestone. The sea clashed its wave on the rock, but instead of the roaring crashing sound, it sounded calm and pleasant like a sequence of piano.

The ocean sent a tinkling breeze of cool air and little of sea water to my skin. The sun was now starting to hit the horizon far far away. It mixed its orange and golden colour with the blue clear sky.

I turned to Perseus to see his annoying grin. "You coming?"

He set the natural seaweed curtain aside for me with a gesture of inviting.

I huffed "And why should I?"

"Well if you don't want to come" he said. "I'm going. There's something I want to show you."

He stepped inside, not thinking of what I was going to say next. I gave him a glared and looked away. There's no way I'm gonna enter that cave. Get along with him in one room. That would tear down my reputation. He has already slept with me on the same bed, I wouldn't want anything similar like that to happen again.

But the moment he's gone. The warmed sun turned dark by the clouds. The breeze from the sea turn to strong winds wielding in. I shivered from the contact.

Really? Do you really have to do that Fates? First my mother wants me to go with him, now you want that to happen to?

I stared at the cave. True the smell coming out from it was so drawing and fascinating. It wouldn't hurt if I paid a visit anyway. Besides, this cave could block Leto's vision. I might have a chance to decapitate Perseus in there or bless him a bit of torture.

As the thought, I slowly entered the cave.

The seaweed curtain swept aside and I immediately being blasted by a warm breeze of fresh and sweet air. I looked around, my mouth formed an 'O' at the view of it.

The walls glittered with crystals—red, green, and blue. In the strange light, beautiful plants grew—giant

orchids, star-shaped flowers, vines bursting with orange and purple berries that crept among the crystals.

The cave floor was covered with green moss. Enormous chasms with various flowers grew up from the soil bed below. Overhead, the ceiling was higher than a cathedral, sparkling like a galaxy of stars.

In the centre of the cave was an massive chasm filled with water. It's source came from the line cracks between the wall, flowing and wriggling around the big boulders, making a stream. The sunlight outside came through the seaweed, reflected on the lake surface creating a green and purple screen of water with the lake glittering of stars.

Perseus stood at the edge of the lake, looking down at the bottom. Some how, his features fascinated me. The messy black hair always made me want to curl around and play with my finger. His tan skin

opposite with my pale and that red lips made him more of catching attention. That sea-green eyes of his always looked so innocent yet piercing that I never made eye contact with him for long. His eyebrows knitted together made him look even cuter than-wait what the Hades!? Why am I having those negative thoughts now? Twice I have thought about a male, twice my heart twisted and the weird feeling happened. So far I could control it, perhaps from thinking about my personality and conservative mind, also from the fact he was my brother. But whenever I stared at him for too long, those guards just somehow slipped away. Like I couldn't tense with him long enough for him to scare me. And that was really frustrated.

Perseus turned to me and smirked, his eyes sparkled that I took all my will not to smile back at him.

"So you came after all" he said in a singing voice.

I folded my arms and huffed. "I don't know what spell you casted out there Perseus, but don't think that you won this time."

"Ok firstly lady, I did that to help you from getting away from mum's observation. I could've let you being scowled when you return instead, but I brought you to this place despite the fact that I might be in danger staying alone with you. If you don't like it then fine, suit yourself and go outside, I bet some of mum's pets already waiting for you at the entrance." He turned back to the lake, his eyebrows knitting as a sigh of frustration came out from him.

I scowled under my throat. Why does he have to be so annoying? It's not like I wanted to hurt him or something, it just the way I treat males. He knew that was my nature. I couldn't hold myself from hurting them. Why can't you just be a girl Perseus? I might like you that way.

He didn't give me a look back. Suddenly, a cold chill came to me as the cave got darker and darker. I guess the air in here somehow related to the mood of people. At that moment, I felt that I've overdid it. He was right in the first place. He could've just let me be outside instead of letting me in. He knew that I

could easily attack him without the watch of Leto. Yet, with normal people and being selfish, I wouldn't be standing here right now. Perseus was brave enough to allow that.

Suddenly, my judgement for male being selfish just being wiped off the list by his action. Gosh how can he just slowly erase my judgement for him so easily!?

I knew I had hurt him, disappointed him to be exact. I guess an apology should be enough, but yet, I've never apologised to anyone. Maybe cheer him up would be better.

I made my steps forward, faking to look around.

"Nice place in here don't you think?" I said, glancing at him for reaction at the corner of my eye. "How come I didn't notice it before?"

"I made this place" he muttered with out looking back. "Now I have regretted it."

"Wow you made it?" I tried to compliment him. "I didn't know you had that ability to build."

Right again, it turned out to be a sarcastic compliment. Ok Artemis, cheer him up not turn him down.

He turned to me sharply, his face was increasing temperature. I stepped back nearly fell into the excavated pit behind me.

"And I didn't know that you would be that unpleasant and repulsive!" He snarled.

I felt bad for hurting him now, then again, my blood also boiled up a bit from getting insulted. He was the first also to be the last.

"Just stop whining already!" I complained. "You know it's my nature to hate you. How would you expect me to be nice to male. It's against my own personality."

"Right 'personality'" he mimicked me. "It's just that you are stubborn to accept our presence that's all. Nothing is wrong with having male in this world."

I glared at him. If because I didn't feel guilty and a bit sympathised for him, I would've shot few arrows to the middle of his head. Not even Zeus would humiliate me this way. Yet this single male, three time humiliated me.

"Why do you have to be a hard head anyway!?" I yelled. "It's not like I hurt you that much. You're just exaggerating stuff."

"Don't push me to the edge Artemis!" He turned back and step closer. "You wouldn't be standing here right now after all of the insults for me. Don't erase the image of Artemis that I always thought of!"

I stared at him in shock. How could he know about me? Whenever I came to the island, I always found his presence missing. So now, how could he possibly imagine me.

"Y-you what?" I stammered, my voice suddenly dropped.

"I used to like you ok!" He screamed at the ground. "I used to admire you so much that I always dreamed to talk to you just for once in my life. Now I have actually regretted for hoping and waiting. It wasn't worth any of it. I hate you!"

I stared at him with my mind trying to compromise. Perseus glared at me one last time before jumping down into the lake and disappeared under the purple water.

"Perseus wait..." I tried to call him, but it came out just as a soft whisper.

He was gone, left me alone in the dark carven.