Chapter 2 - Pertemis: A Wolf’s Tale

Artemis's POV

"Well that's it! I'm out of here!" I screamed, walking out furiously from the place of my stupid yet annoying brother.

"Come on Arty!" Apollo groaned. "It was just a prank, I got the camera right there!"

He was pointing to the bush across the stress from his palace.

He always said that whenever he had done something. Life in Olympus is pretty normal if without his presence. He would screw everything up whenever he has a chance, and I was the first target he would aim.

I hated him most in here. The fact from him being a jerk with every girl he met. With that grin and face of him, wandering around to cause trouble this and that. The only problem was, I couldn't do anything much beside shooting few arrows to the drums on the lower regions of his body. But I would get into trouble with Zeus, my father afterwards for bullying him.

"Just shut jour mouth Fried Brain before I go out of control!" I yelled.

Now the only person I could talk to was mum. She lives pretty far from us, across the sea, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was her home but also prison. You see, our family is quite composted. My mother was a Titan, though she did not participate in the war. Zeus still put her there, he came to her on one night and the next he already fled back to Olympus, scaring of letting Hera notice. I hated him for that, and now my brother had started to turn like him.

Usually I would tell her before I pay the visit. But since I was so frustrated with Apollo, I didn't really think about that.

I teleported to the shore of Hawaii, walking quietly to the dork. The sun was starting to touch the horizon at the sea. It's light just painted on the blue sky to a colour of gold.

I still remember this place, few more paces and I would reach the boatman. He was a tall and slender man with a tattered shirt and pants. He always wore a big hat and despite that, it couldn't protect him from sunburn.

He was the only man who knew the way to my mother island, well except Zeus who was the one that put her there. He wouldn't tell anyone about it, even if it was with Hera.

"It's been a long time my lady" the boatman said, without even looking up at him. He had a croaky old voice perhaps from smoking too much. I never knew his age, and I wouldn't want to ask that. But there was one thing that I certain, he wasn't a mortal.

"Yeah" I replied. "Just want to pay a visit to her. It's been such a long time since the last time we talked."

"Well I don't want to disobey that" he said. "But I suggest you should make that visit tomorrow. Lady Leto would be glad to see you, but tonight may not be a pleasant and perfect night."

I just stared at him blankly. It there was anyone who would tell me to stop doing something, it was only my mother. But somehow, I could feel something in his voice. A sensation of fear but also serious. Perhaps it was just my imagination, but if it was something wrong on that island. I should be the one to investigate it. After all, I wouldn't want my mother to live in a dangerous place.

"Don't worry old man" I told him. "I'll be fine. An immortal can of die, and if there was anything happens on the island, I could've sensed it. Just sail me, I'm not really in a good mood at the moment."

"Well since you have insisted and be so confident" the boatman chucked the cigarette on the sand and climbed on his wooden boat. "Jump on, it will take a while to get there."

It was along sail, perhaps maybe a hour or so. As the island started to appear under the fog in the distance, the sun had already disappeared.

The boat creaking, slowly approaching the shore. The moment I set my foot on the island, I immediately sensed something wrong.

It wasn't like many time I visited this place. Useful the tree would be waving and the wind would be wielding to welcome me. But tonight, it was so quite. Perhaps those time, Leto had cast some spell because she knew I would be arrived. But this time was unexpected.

"Well I should be going back" the old man signed. "You should go to the house. Wouldn't want to wander outside here at night. Beware of things around you and in the bushes. I wished you can sort out whatever you have in your mind Milady."

The man waved goodbye and turned his boat around. I watched him sailing away until his back disappeared in the fog.

I turned my head back to the island. From the shore there would be only one way up to mother's house. In between it was a forest and I loved it whenever I came here. In fact I was born with nature, it wouldn't be a surprise for me.

But today everything just seemed different. I shrugged that thought aside and continued my steps forward into the fog ahead of me.

Lucky tonight is a full moon, which it provided me a bit of light to not to bump into any tree on the way. Walking in the wood made me somehow nervous tonight. I couldn't know where it came from or in more specific, what it was. I was never feared of monsters or darkness. It's just everything seemed creepy and a little dangerous tonight.

Suddenly, I head a sound. Somewhere up the trees making the leaves rustling. I slowly summoned my bow and an arrow appeared on it. If there was anything, it wouldn't escape with my accuracy. I turned to my lady and a sudden shadow blasted at my face. At last, it turned out just to be a bat. I gave out a sigh and continued on my way.

At the the top of the house where Leto's house was located. It was a wooden old house with 2 floors. It looked just like a Mediaeval house. The lights of candles were still shining out through the closed window, smoke still coming up from the chimney. But there was no sign of anyone to be inside.

I knocked on the door, "Mum it's me Artemis! Are you in there?"

I continued to knock again and still, there was no respond. My mind started to pace, something has happened. I knew it had. So I took back few steps and kicked the door open.

I stumbled inside, nearly fall if it wasn't for the table in the middle of the room. It smelled fresh in there, despite the fact it looked really old like front the time of Shakespeare. The room was empty except the candles were flicking. They couldn't have lit up on their own, someone and to do it.

Still with the bow on hand, I started my search for my mother. Most of the rooms had no one to be inside and it was no sight of fighting here. Where could she possibly be? Outside is too cold, she wouldn't go out at a time like this. In the kitchen, the soup was still hot. She can't just disappeared in the mid air.

Just when I was about to search outside, the front door creak opened.

Leto stepped in and startled when she looked at me. "Artemis?" She frowned. "What are you doing here?"

"Well I came to pay an unexpected visit for you mother." I said. "Where have you been and why were you going outside at this time of the night?"

Leto didn't answer me for a moment, like it was something hard to speak. There was a mixture of expression on here face. Most was nervous.

"I...uh...just went out to get some fresh air that's all" she told me.

I gave her and doubtful look but she quickly cut it off.

"Oh let's talk about something else shall we?" Leto quickly closed the door behind her. "I'm glad to see you here Artemis"

I smiled at here. "Me too mum" I said. "You look well."

"I thought you wanted to meet me next month, why are you here now?" Leto frowned.

I gave her a looked and she immediately understood. All around the world, only Leto was the one that understood me most.

"It's Apollo isn't it?" She said.

I nodded and she gave out a big sigh. "Let's go inside and have something to eat first. I've made some soup, we can talk about that there."

I smiled up at Leto and the both of us walked into the kitchen.

After dinner which took a long time since we had a lot to talk about and forget about the dinner and time. Until I noticed a tired look on here, I knew we had to stop.

"Let's get some rest mum" I said. "You look tired. We can talk tomorrow, I'm gonna stay here for few days."

"Well then" she said standing. "Your room is still there."

She took one last glance at the window and door, like worrying about something. But she gave a small sigh and started walking up stairs.

I didn't know the look of that and I concerned about her.

"Oh and one more thing" her voice suddenly came and startled me.

"What is it mum!" I sighed in relief when it was her.

"Don't wander around at night" she raised her eyebrows to emphasise her words, and I knew, it was something behind it.

"K" I replied to which she nodded with a smile and gone upstairs.

That night wasn't a pleasant night for me. The fact of all those odd thing kept happening made me wide awake.

Why the boatman was so hesitated and afraid to sail me here? What's with all those warning? And first of all, what is it in here at night?

I kept rolling from side to side on my bed, trying to sleep but not able to. My mind kept running for like hundred of miles, trying to figure things out.

Then suddenly I heard a sound. It was far in the distance somewhere in the mountains or forest. It was a piercing sound.

It came a again and I sat straight up from my bed. I realised what it was. It wasn't just a random sound, it was a howl, a wolf's howl.

It came frequently and in each time it howled, my ear drum just wanted to shut every noise it received. It sounded hurtful and depressed, but still contain madness.

I slowly open my bedroom door and tiptoed downstairs. As far as I know, there wasn't any wolves on the island. Maybe Leto just brought some here, but then again. How could do she do it? She was not allowed to go anywhere except this island. How did she manage to bring some wolves here?

The howl came again and I knew which direction it came from.

Standing at the side of the mountain was the last thing I wanted right now. I could have just ignored any of that and gone back to sleep. But curiosity had taken over me and I disobeyed my mother's warning.

It was cold for sure and since the winter was coming close. All the trees around me were dead. Which didn't make the scene look any brighter.

Tonight is a full moon, and I could tell something bad usually happen at this time. Walking in the wood for a moment before I came to a halt.

Right in front of my now was a cave. It hollowed deep and down into a secret dungeon or some short. There were lights inside, probably from the torches.

The howl came again, bouncing on the cave's wall. The howl blasted out from the cave like the cave was howling by itself. With my curiosity, I took a deep breath and started to walk closer.

At the entrance, I noticed there were claw marks on the side of the arch. At first, I thought it was a mark of a bear's claws. But until I put my fingers on the marks, they fit perfectly. It was like someone had long, sharp and hard nails just scratched on it.

I looked down into the tunnel. The stairs were leading down and continued to lead straight into the light of torches.

My legs started to move until my feet touched the cobblestone stairs. My heart was steady, but I knew it wouldn't be unless something had made it.

I continued to walked, slowly and quite along the way. The wall was old, with moss and tree roots spreading everywhere on it. The floor was wet and that stench of smell. It was unpleasant and really uncomfortable.

I made it to the light and it was a dead end. In front of me was just a wall of stone. The fire of the torch kept dance along with my shadow.

I gave out a annoyed and disappointed sighed. Maybe I was overthinking it. Those marks must have belonged to a bear. Maybe this was built before Leto was imprison here and I just some chance found it.

As I turned back and about to walk away. I notice there was another passage to my left. It was hidden in darkness and it could trick you if you didn't look properly.

The place some how sent a sensation through my spine. An aura of dark and evil. A blast of cold wind touched my skin made me shiver. I slowly made my steps into that darkness.

It wasn't long until I came to a halt again. My heart started bumping like it wanted to jump out from my chest. I notice a prison cell in front of me. Despite the fact everything was pitched black, the glowing vertical metal bars still visible.

I made a step forward and realised they weren't just normal iron bars. They were made of silver.

That was when I heard a growl. A deep and dangerous one. At that moment, I knew I wasn't the only one inside that tunnel.

In the dark, behind the cell bars lit up to red eyes. It couldn't see its body, only those glowing red eyes like two big rubies in the dark. I knew it was bigger than me, but it was on four legs.

The monster snarl, a deep and threatening one. It's eyes looked at me like two pointed of laser aiming at you. It was burning with anger and madness.

I have killed thousand of monsters before. But I had never have come across a creature such as this. It was too powerful, and too dangerous. The dark aura kept radiating out from it made me shiver. I knew at the moment, that feeling was starting to overwhelm me. The feeling I never wanted to admit, it was fear.

It snarled again, and I could see its white sharps teeth. They belonged to predators. Probably to bears or wolves. Those fangs just like dagger that with one snatch, it could rip your head from your body.

The monster started to move, lurking at the back of the far wall. It's eyes studied me, threatened me. The bars were the only thing between us in the cave of darkness.

I knew I had to do something. It was a threat if if this creature escaped, it could bring harm to Leto. As the thought, I summoned my weapon. But that was a huge mistake.

The moment the now appeared, the moment I set the arrow on the string. It all came to a trigger of a growl, I clenched my teeth and before I could do anything, the monster jumped at me.