Got an unexpected error with my project. If you've read my profile, then you knew about that, but unfortunately, it took far longer to solve than I'm comfortable with. Its finally out of the way now, which allowed me the breathing room I needed to finish this chapter. Apologies for the wait, and also, fair warning. Due to it, I'll only be able to release one more chapter this month for this story, as opposed to two like I'd originally hoped, which is a bummer. Especially given it essentially ended up as yet another filler, funnily enough, though it'll most certainly be the last this time.

As for the uploading schedule past this month, well, given the news I've been given related to my project recently, plan is for a double update in October, and another double in November, and for this arc, if not finished going into December, to conclude within it to cap off the year.

Regardless though, on with the chapter!

The Olympian God of Destruction:

Chapter 28: The Titanomachy XXI.

Life could be so dull.

Kalypso would be the first to admit now, that up until recently, this had been the most prevalent thought in her mind. One that always went unsaid, but had also been felt by the goddess for almost as long as she'd existed, which while a preciously short amount of time compared to her allies, was still a long stretch of it in her mind.

A full century. That was how long she'd been around. And for nearly all of it, she'd done nothing other than wander around as she pleased or be stuck in place with little else to do other than sit cosily on her hands, for the most part. She, like many she knew, lounging back and resting however long she wished, conversing with her fellow deities when she desired to, and overall, peacefully coasting through year after year without incident, and without change. She'd never known the meaning of hardship, or any other negative feelings like pain or misery. Only the monotony of a routine repeated near endlessly every day she awoke from Hypnos' alluring and inescapable spell of slumber.

She was certain that, if other universes existed outside of their own, that there were probably beings within who'd do anything to be in the position she'd been in pretty much her entire immortal life. Being in the lap of luxury without a single care to be had, and without even a whiff of conflict.

To her though, after a while, it'd gotten tedious and boring. Secretly, she'd hoped for some time now that something might happen to shake things up. To make a change to her long-established routine, and bring in some real excitement to her life for a change.

That something had arrived in the form of war against Lord Kronos, and by proxy, her father and his fellow Titans, spearheaded by the former's eldest son and his fellow siblings. A war that, with the freeing of the Hekatonkheires and Cyclopes, had turned lopsided in the oppositions favour at first, with them being able to take down Hyperion, and then later on, take out the vast majority of her father's side's forces in the first siege upon Olympus.

She could still remember the day Theia had come to her, and told her of all that'd happened as she recruited her for Kronos' backup forces. She could remember the initial shock she'd felt at being told how badly on the backfoot they were after being horribly outplayed during the siege, as well as finding out about Hyperion's fate before that by Kronos' son's hands. All things she would've previously considered impossible beforehand.

She also remembered the bubbling desire to help her father in whatever way she could after the shock wore off, just as much as she did the thrill she'd selfishly felt deep down, and had never told anybody, not even her own father about, as she realized her wish had been granted, in a way. No more would she be sitting on her hands or moving about without any real purpose in her life, other than existing as a potential bride for a consort she might fancy, at least for a time. Instead, she'd gotten to train and fight by her father's side against the powerful and crafty rebels who'd thrown the status quo out the window the moment their leader, Beerus, had declared war on Kronos.

"Kalypso! To my left!" The blonde beauty heard her father order, and was quick to oblige, making sure she was close to him as he continued speaking. The two of them, alongside the majority of Kronos's remaining forces, flying in the air, and forgoing the use of any chariots altogether. Something they'd been doing since the first siege they'd conducted, and how disastrously it'd failed. "As usual, be sure to follow my lead, and cover any of my blind-spots as best you can!"

"Understood, father!" She nodded obediently, her long, luscious hair trailing and flapping behind her in the pure winds of Aether, as her eyes focused far into the distance, where she could see the towering mountain of Olympus that pierced into the heavens coming closer. A sight she'd become incredibly acquainted in recent times.

"Like always. Hold out as long as you can in your given roles, and give it everything you have against them!" She heard her grandfather, Iapetus, say from above her. "I'd say we've done a good job of convincing them that our constant attacks are nothing more than our attempts to defeat them, just as Kronos planned. We just need to keep it up a little more!"

"Tch. I still think we could beat them without that creature's supposed power, if we just go in hard enough!" Kalypso's gaze flicked to her own left briefly, as she heard her uncle Menoitios complain in agitation. The younger brother of Atlas having a scowl etched on his face as he flew at high speeds not even ten feet away from her.

"And you're an idiot for thinking that!" Her father snapped back, having lost his patience for his younger sibling long ago. "It's that kind of attitude that almost brought upon our downfall in our last few assaults! If not for me saving your ass, the last time in particular would've seen you cut down by Beerus with how reckless you got!"

"As if!" Menoitios snapped right back, with twice the irritation. "All you did was get in my way! I could've handled that bastard on my own, and was doing just fine until you butted in!"

"Handled him, my ass! You were wide open, and he had that blasted sword of his prepped for a swing that would've decapitated you had I not been fast enough to react and push you out of the way!" Her dad rebuked angrily, but not overly so. "Then after that, even when you and I were briefly fighting him together, he was still keeping us on the backfoot without any real issue! Without your True Divine Form, in just your regular state, that monster is far too much for you!"

Kalypso couldn't help the grimace that surfaced from such a reminder. She'd been engaged in her own battle at the time, fighting her hardest against an onslaught of their extra forces as best she could, but during a small lull period in it, she'd been able to see that confrontation in full. From what she'd been told of the purple-haired god, she'd already expected him to be incredibly strong before she'd ever even seen him in action for herself, but even still, she hadn't been quite prepared for just how strong he really was.

His siblings were no joke either, and were able to keep up with their side's strongest at their best – True Divine Forms excluded – for the most part.

His handsome brothers, for instance, each had their own divine weapon that they employed with ruthless efficiency against them, and she knew to be wary of because of what they'd previously done to her father.

The silver-haired one with his thunderbolt that could eviscerate any of them if it landed, and the wavy, black-haired one with the trident that could rip and shred them apart with a single thrust, whilst having control over water to make said attacks even more brutal. Both also leaving side-effects, as shown with her father's state after the first siege. The other black-haired, ghostly-pale one's, while unable to cause side-effects, as far as she knew, could make him invisible and undetectable, and perhaps even more, which made him near impossible to defend against when using his weapon's power.

His sisters too, while weapon-less, also held their own impressive power and formidable skill in combat. The eldest being able to weaken or pacify any of them if they weren't as vigilant as possible, whether she was fighting them directly or not. And then the younger ones, while not yielding any special ability of their own, were perhaps the most aggressive of the other siblings in general, as well as the most intense when it came to their onslaught of attacks. For her especially, they were each downright suffocating with their volley of attacks, like they were both out with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove.

But Beerus? He was something else entirely.

He alone, on multiple occasions, had derailed and put a stop to numerous of their earlier strategies with minimal, and sometimes even zero assistance from his allies. When it was just their side having to rely on their base states' powers, he was like an unstoppable force of destruction, cleaving through them with ease, like there was nobody who was truly on his level. His strength and skill may as well have been in a class of its own, as he always broke past them in that case, and if Lord Kronos was with them, was quick to instantly engage with him.

That, as they'd found out quickly, was the worst-case scenario. As when fighting him in base state, he held a sizeable advantage. He always put Lord Kronos swiftly on the backfoot to desperately defend against his attacks, which took much longer to heal from if they landed. But as they'd discovered the hard way, when one of their other allies got in his way one time, when his blade was out, he was just one sword-swing away from giving Lord Kronos, or indeed any of them, the same fate he'd delivered to Hyperion.

She still got goosebumps from witnessing that male god get bisected from head to crotch in two perfect halves, and whatever light was in his eyes vanish as both sides of him plummeted to Earth below, with not a single drop of ichor spilling. Only purple particles floating and fading away from his cut halves, and just like anyone felled by Lord Kronos mighty scythe, he had never bounced back. Not even months after the fact.

Since then, more than a few times, out of fear that he'd be able to cut him down just like that, whenever Beerus engaged with him with that sword of his out, Lord Kronos always broke whatever barrier held them back from dematerialising and fled the battlefield, as did they. Menoitios had hated it, but in situations where they didn't yet have an opening to have at least one of them go into their True Divine Form to keep the pressure on and force Beerus to back off, it was best to retreat whenever that happened. Lord Kronos had made that clear, and none of them needed a verbal command to know to do it when the situation called for it.

Her uncle naturally disagreed, but they ran the enormously huge risk of their king, and indeed they themselves, if they weren't careful, being taken out in one fell swoop, before Aegaeon could find the Ophiotaurus, if they foolishly tried to press on in a situation like that. These attacks, as he'd stressed again and again, were only meant to be distractions at the end of the day, and in that sense, they'd still succeeded in their goal, even if they were forced to back off faster than anticipated.

Even though she knew it was inappropriate to do so, she couldn't help but find him both mesmerising and terrifying at the same time. The latter in the sense that, as one of his adversaries, she was scared inwardly by both his current power, and his overwhelming potential, for if this dragged on long enough for him to fully attain a True Divine Form of his own, he may well become completely unstoppable. The former – and she knew this would definitely get her in trouble if she ever admitted it aloud – was because, like his younger brothers, only to a greater extent, he captivated her attention whenever she was capable of looking his way.

He was not only just as handsome as the younger sons of Lord Kronos, but also held this edge to him when fighting that set him apart from the others just as much as his immense power did. He was the most skilled, crafty when he needed to be, and barring ascension as well as the hundred-handed giants that a few of them always had to distract with each assault away from the main battlefield, was the strongest being on said battlefield. Capable of seemingly effortlessly holding back any of them, as well as defeating them, if they fought him.

The thrill she got from fighting alongside her father and his allies was one thing, but she felt another one every time she caught a glimpse of him in action, no matter how improper it may've been. Seeing the fluidity of his movements, whether he was attacking or defending, there was just something so awe-inspiring about it, given how young he was supposed to be.

He was meant to be but a fledgling, one that had barely even been a part of this world for a hundredth as long as she had in her own young age, and yet he came across as so much more the longer she thought about him. His siblings' remarkable growth was one thing, but his seemingly eclipsed theirs with ease. And adding on to that, both the look in his eyes and his abilities in combat, when he was serious, spoke of someone, at least in her mind, who had countless years of experience on their belt on top of natural, raw talent. And she was sure she wasn't the only one who held such an opinion of him.

Experience was meant to be the one thing her father and the strongest Titans, mainly the males, should've been assured to have over the children of Kronos, at least, and certainly, they held it over Beerus' siblings. They were prone to making far less mistakes during battle, now that they weren't underestimating the other side anymore, thus making it nigh-impossible for either them, or those that'd joined them to catch them off-guard.

Beerus, however, seemed to spot holes in their guard with practised ease, and exploit them whenever he felt like it, no matter how alert they were. At times, he even made some of their best look like toddlers throwing a tantrum in his presence with how easily he shut them down using his technique, employing a fighting style that none of them had seen before, alongside his regular attacks. One that targeted certain parts of their bodies, and which seemed to be incredibly effective at both disabling the use of limbs, as well as even separating them from consciousness, just by tapping them with his fingers.

It was genuinely surreal every time she'd seen him do it, but also fascinating at the same time. And couple that together with everything else she'd found out about him and it just seemed to make him stand out that much more from everyone else, and make a sizeable part of her all the more curious about him, if she was honest.

He was an enigma. An outlier that she found herself very interested in. One that had her thinking – and would never say in front of her father or Lord Kronos – that it was kind of a shame that things were turning out as they were, and that they would have to put him down, the same way Lord Kronos had put down his father, after they got the Ophiotaurus' boon.

She couldn't help but wonder if circumstances were different, and there was no war going on between them for supremacy, what it would've been like to really get to know him. Because leaving aside that they were on opposing sides of a war, looking to take the other down, she already found him and his brothers highly attractive, both for their looks, and their unending, unwavering confidence, the latter of which they backed up every time her side fought them.

Perhaps in another timeline, where things had remained peaceful, they could've gotten along pretty well, and who knows, maybe he could've even been the kind of consort she was looking for, rather than the enemy that she needed to help defeat and get rid of.

Alas, they didn't exist in that timeline. So, regardless of what physical attraction she might harbour at the moment, or fascination with his character's enigmatic qualities, he would have to be put down, along with his siblings and the rebellion he had helped majorly stoke the flames of. Because if not, and his side won, well… she didn't even want to think about what would happen to them then, given his burning hatred for Lord Kronos and his feelings toward anyone allied to him.

"No, you were getting in my way, brother, which made it easy for him to handle us both!" Kalypso was knocked from her thoughts at the sound of Menoitios sniping back vehemently. "Then after that, we were made to retreat like cowards before I could get him back, just like we've been doing for the last damn year waiting for that bumbling buffoon Aegean to find that Ophiotaurus creature, which in my opinion, we don't even need to win!"

"You're delusional if you think my intervention and decision to aid you is what caused that, you arrogant ass!" Atlas rebuked with a vicious glare. "Literally every time you've done battle with him one-on-one, he's dealt with you handily! At no point have you ever gotten the upper-hand on him in your regular state, no matter how much you claim that you can!"

Letting out a huff of aggravation, Atlas continued, almost as if he were dealing with an unruly and annoying child. "And as should be clear to you by now, little brother, after having fought them as many times as you have, we cannot win with just our strength and strategies alone. The fact of the matter is, we do need the Ophiotaurus' boon to be victorious in this war, and that 'bumbling buffoon' Aegaeon, as you call him, capturing and sacrificing it for us is far more vital to our cause then anything we can do at present moment."

"Damnit, if we only stopped holding ourselves back and ascended together, we could take them down with our combined might! I'm sure of it!" The younger, brasher brother argued, garnering a sigh. Not from Atlas, but from their father, Iapetus.

"Assuming we could all pull that off without one of the Hekatonkheires hurling boulders down on top of us, even with a distraction, and crush us, we'd still have others who can ascend on their side as well to contend with." He said calmly. "And lest you forget, son, in order to keep the Hekatonkheires at bay, at least one of us has to take the risk of ascending already, and fly down close to them to divert attention away from us to them as much as possible, running the huge risk of being flattened by one of them, and taken out of the war."

Glancing toward Menoitios then, he pressed on, shutting down his spawn's logic. "That always puts us down one of our best, and sometimes even two, depending on circumstances. Furthermore, another one of our strongest has to be put on ground duty, keeping that wretched god Pan preoccupied and stopping him from unleashing that horrid, debilitating screech of his. Or must I remind you again of what happened the last time we entrusted that duty to one of our weaker allies?"

Kalypso bowed her head in pity at the reminder, as did Theia, recalling the daughter of Ladon – who was one of Oceanus' and Tethys' countless children – who'd been given the task of keeping Pan busy, and just how badly that'd gone for her.

She'd initially succeeded in stopping him, given they hadn't had to deal with Pan's screech, but they'd all figured out her mission had gone downhill at some point, when Pan had started screeching within moments after she'd made her move on him. She wasn't sure what exactly had happened, but Kalypso knew that she'd been defeated, either by Pan alone, or perhaps been caught off-guard and overwhelmed by his followers.

And sufficed to say, when the retreat had happened that day, the weaker goddess had taken much longer to return to Othrys then they did. She'd been found by herself and Theia, and had been an absolute wreck.

Her once pristine, dark, shoulder-length hair had been all over the place with strands matted against her temple from a ferocious amount of divine sweat that ran down her features and nude body, for she had been stripped of her tunic entirely. And clinging to both her pretty face and the rest of her shapely body from head-to-toe, as well as her dishevelled hair, alongside her perspiration, were huge ropes of whitish sap.

Her expression, which had used to be reserved, had been twisted in never-ending panic whilst her frantic gaze had been on a seemingly endless swivel over her shoulders, afraid she'd get jumped at any moment and dragged back away from Othrys. Which, given the fact she'd come away from Pan and his flock the way she had, it wasn't hard to tell why, especially not with the stench of hers and someone else's sweat along with pungent smell of sex waving off her. Not to mention how she'd been unable to say much other than mutter about how they were going to 'get her again' if she wasn't careful.

The one she'd been tasked to take on wasn't just the god of the wilds and one of various fertility deities, after all. He was also the only god to anyone's knowledge who held a domain in the very idea of panic itself. And a primary one at that.

Pan didn't just induce his overpowering panic with his screech. If he wanted to, he could induce it just by being present, even if it was only effective on weaker-willed gods. The worst form of it he could give, however, from what she'd heard, was when he grew lustful of someone and decided he wanted to get 'intimate' with them. Whether he got off on doing it on purpose, or it was an unintentional side-effect of him being 'on the chase', as a few of her nymph friends had put it, he induced a version of panic so potent that there was a possibility it never wore off.

And that, apparently, was the case for those who'd managed to evade him. Given the state their ally had come back in, she'd clearly been unable to evade Pan's clutches and been captured by him alone, or with the help of his followers. And Pan, knowing she was enemy and that if she broke away and maintained her sanity, might be even a sliver of a problem for his side in the future, had clearly elected to be as rough and wild with her as he could, and had, in this case, absolutely been leveraging his domain of panic.

And all while using Ladon's daughter – Thelpousa, if Kalypso remembered right – as a way to sate his usually unsated lustful side by engaging in as much coitus with her as he pleased. The bastard.

Sufficed to say, Lord Kronos had been quick to deem her unfit to aid them in the war, after they'd told him about her condition. He hadn't even needed to see her to know she was a lost cause, as he knew Pan well enough to know what he could do to someone who wasn't used to his ways, like his followers – both Satyr and Nymph – were and loved to practise on themselves in the wild orgies they partook in. Especially if he meant to cause harm.

This was something he was proven right about not even five minutes later, when in a fit of madness driven by the irrational fear Pan would 'come for her', the goddess had chosen to leave Othrys behind.

That move alone would've been stupid, but what was even more baffling was that she'd done it not by dematerializing or flying away. Oh no. She'd done it by leaping off the fortress and tumbling down the mountain's hide to the earth below, with a total lack of regard for herself. All sense and reason having essentially fled her, filled up by the monstrous panic that Pan had stricken her with, until she'd reached the bottom, and then ran off back to her birthplace in Arkadia.

According to Lord Kronos, as he'd seen her with his all-seeing gaze upon his heavenly throne, when she reached her place of birth, Thelpousa hadn't even interacted with her father, or her sister Syrinx, when they'd seen her. Instead, taking to melding her being into the spring of water near enough to her father's river, which she was bonded to, becoming one with it in such a way that convinced the King of the Universe that she probably wouldn't be seen from ever again. Not with her more physical form, anyway.

Kalypso had almost let her emotions get the best of her when that happened, and had requested to be the one who took on Pan the next time, and get some vengeance for the sad and humiliating way one of her fellow goddesses had to go out. Her father had put the hammer down on that notion quick, saying that she'd probably just end up like Ladon's daughter if she went for him, and he couldn't stomach the notion of that happening to her.

"But you know what, my boy?" Iapetus pressed on, bringing Kalypso back to the current conversation. "Let's say that even with all that, our might overall with those of us left to fight the denizens of Olympus, in our True Divine Forms, would be superior to theirs. Supposing this is the case, their power would still be enough to keep us in check for a little while. And when you add on that the Hekatonkheires would then be aware we're all ascended, do you really think they wouldn't just start firing those boulders at us even with whomever we've put on them to keep them preoccupied?"

"We'd be strong enough then to react to those boulders of theirs, though, even if they throw them as fast and as hard as they can! We could handle it!" Menoitios argued once again, sounding even more frustrated than before.

"No. We couldn't." The elder Titan shook his head with a stern scowl, and nobody could blame him, given he'd had similar conversations like this with the younger Titan for months now. "I've made this clear to you before, and it looks like I'll have to do so again because you refuse to listen. Even if we can react to the boulders in our ascended states, that doesn't guarantee we'll be able to dodge them all the time, and with them being on top of us too," His head motioned in Olympus' direction. "it's all but a certainty at least one of us would get struck eventually."

And even if they managed to withstand the boulder shot by blocking with all they had, or striking the boulder back with their own divine power, it was still bad news for them. For if they managed the latter, despite the insane power behind them even by their standards, assuming they somehow managed to break it or something, it'd leave them wide open to be attacked from a blind-spot by Beerus' other allies, or worse, Beerus himself and that sword of his.

And in the former's case, assuming they managed to tank the boulder shot and not be knocked out of their True Divine Form – which she was positive her father and Lord Kronos could manage – as well as crushed deep into Gaea's plane, they'd still take a ferocious amount of damage from it. And what was there to stop their enemies from following up on that to ensure they were finished off? Nothing. Nothing at all.

At least, given what she knew, that's how Kalypso saw it, anyway. In all the attacks they'd conducted, neither her father or Lord Kronos had ever actually ascended, unlike the latter's siblings and a few of their less powerful allies. Heck, she'd never even seen her father or Lord Kronos ascend at any point in her life, as they'd never needed to, so their full power-levels were a complete mystery to her. She suspected they were holding back on that until they had the notification that they were looking for on the Ophiotaurus.

"It's best to remain as cautious as we have been." Iapetus continued, a part of him hoping this finally stook with his son, but knowing well that it wouldn't. "You'll get your time to cut loose and crush them once we have the Ophiotaurus' boon backing us up, Menoitios. You just have to be patient."

"I'm well out of patience at this point, father." Menoitios angrily bit back, before glancing upward and ahead of him, where the Titan King flew ahead, leading their charge, and seemed to be ignoring Menoitios' antics altogether. "That buffoon's been searching for that creature Lord Kronos spoke about for how long, now? And so far, there hasn't been so much as a whisper heard back from him, yet!"

No sooner had those words left Menoitios then, as if brought on by fate itself, almost mockingly so, a figure appeared before Lord Kronos in a flash of golden particles, stopping them all in their tracks briefly. Thankfully within the cover of a dense cloud to block the Hekatonkheires view of them.

The figure was one that, in all honesty, none of them had actually been expecting to see at any point during the war, and that quite a few of them show open surprise in seeing.

Clothed in a sea-green and white chiton that did nothing to hide his long, thick, coiling, greenish-blue serpentine tail in place of legs, a sea god with fairly muscular arms, a large, dark beard that fell down to his sturdy chest, and long, dark, kelp-like hair that fell past his shoulders floated before them. A wooden staff held in one of his hands, as his indifferent-looking eyes, the same colour as his tail, stared back at them, or more specifically, at Lord Kronos, who met his gaze unflinchingly. However, from the sound of his voice, it was clear even he was a little surprised by this god's sudden appearance.

"Nereus?" Kronos rose a brow in curiosity. "Well, this is interesting. For what purpose have you chosen to appear before me like this, so far away from your deep-sea home?"

"It is not to join you, if that's what you're thinking." Nereus replied with a deep, almost tired-sounding tone, coming across as a being far too old to be bothered to deal with any of them or their antics, which was almost humorous, given Kronos and the other elder Titans were actually older than he was. "I made it clear to you before, and I stand by what I said previous in response to your call, that I have no interest in taking part in your war. I'd much rather spend time as I please, with Doris and our children."

"I ask again, then. For what purpose have you chosen to appear before me like this?" Kronos responded, eyes narrowing sharply with a displeased frown at the sea-god's tone. "Because I know, as wise as you are, you wouldn't dare appear before me like this unless you had something important to give."

"The reason I'm here, is because I was sent to you by Aegaeon." Nereus said, instantly catching everyone's, not just Kronos' attention.

"Oh? Aegaeon sent you, did he?" Kronos' expression was quick to shift into a small smirk at this, as the cogs turned inside his head, and he got a feeling he knew precisely where this was going now.

"Yes. Rather unfortunately, I owed that oaf of a brother of mine a favour, because of something he helped me with a while back, but that's not important. Nor is how he contacted me to get over here to you, so I'll just get to the point, so I can get back to my children and wife."

Sighing, Nereus met Kronos eye-to-eye, with the latter grinning menacingly at this point with glee, before the former even said what he'd been waiting to hear for a year now.

"He told me to tell you all to prepare yourselves for the end, because he's finally found that which you've sought, and will be proceeding as planned today."

Meanwhile… Atop Mount Olympus…

Beerus brought a hand up to his face as he let out a yawn. The rays of Helios beating down upon him within the courtyard, and slightly irritating his eyes, as he gave his neck a few rolls, getting the divine bones within to make a cracking sound, as he loosened them up alongside his muscles.

Everybody was out before him, it seemed, and looked to be prepping themselves for the latest attack coming their way, either by doing some quick stretches to warm up, or in other cases, like his brothers Hades and Poseidon, having a brief little spar. Nothing too crazy though, from the looks of it, as they were mostly grappling with one another and trying to wrestle the other to the ground. Beerus would almost call it playfighting were it not for the dead serious expression on both gods' faces, as they tried to outwrestle the other.

Just from a glance, the god of destruction put his money on Hades coming out the victor in that little scuffle. Not just because he had slightly better form in his eyes, but also because he still preferred him over Poseidon.

Regardless, moving his gaze a bit further away had him looking over at Themis, Prometheus and Epimetheus. The latter of whom looked to be in their own little world for the moment in conversation, with the older, future-seeing brother seeming to be advising the younger brother on something. That is, if the way he was making gestures with his hands was any indication.

As for the former, the Titaness was sat on a rock a few metres away from the brothers with her hands laid flat by her thighs, looking to be in deep thought. Whether it was about the coming attack, her father, or perhaps even the favour he still owed her, he didn't know, and didn't really care – okay, he did care about the last one, seeing as he hated owing debts to people, and her having not cashed in that favour yet, even more than a year in, bugged him more than he'd openly admit. Even if he knew she couldn't ask him for anything he found too ridiculous.

The instant this war was finished, if she hadn't cashed in that favour already, he'd be soon to nip that in the bud by pressing the issue, so he could get it over with, whatever she had in mind.

With that resolved in his mind, his attention didn't even take a second to move on to Styx and Metis, who appeared to be embroiled in a conversation of sorts themselves with the former's children either stood or sat out on the ground around them, idly listening to what was being said between the two.

Briefly focusing on Styx in particular, Beerus couldn't help but think, even now, that it was unfortunate her visit to her father for his help hadn't gone how she would've liked. It'd been as Ouranos suspected, unfortunately, in that Oceanus didn't want to help, and couldn't be budged on the issue, according to the eldest Oceanid when she'd inevitably returned to Olympus. A return that hadn't been on the day she'd left, like he'd been expecting given the way her father had been spoken of, but rather, just a day short of the first attack by Kronos and his lot following their failed siege while he was taking a nap.

In other words, despite knowing what he was like, Styx had still tried to convince him to help even after he'd no doubt rejected her the first time, and had attempted every way she could to get through to him that wouldn't accidently push him to be against them. One of which, apparently, had been to try to get her mother on her side in convincing him to help, which she'd managed to do, by her own word, but even with Tethys' assistance, Oceanus still hadn't budged.

At the time, Beerus had been annoyed at the Titan, he'd admit, but he'd also understood him at the same time. It wasn't like the destroyer god hadn't done what he was doing back in his old universe, when he believed that something didn't concern him, or was too lazy to personally fix whatever problem was going on himself, after all. And while he didn't care too much for showing blatant hypocrisy if he did take issue with it, he also knew that trying to force the issue with Oceanus anymore would be counter-productive, as Styx herself had put out.

The attempt by her had been appreciated, all the same. Additionally, it wasn't like his help was a requirement in them nabbing the Ophiotaurus, anyway. All that his refusal had meant was that them acquiring the Ophiotaurus would take longer than it would've had he agreed, via going along with Ouranos' plan. So, Styx' failure didn't mean much in the grand scheme, and he'd been sure to remind her of that after her return.

It'd been about a year since then, which even for someone as old as he was – mentally and spiritually, anyway – felt like it'd breezed by quicker than even his shortest of naps back in his old universe, which had been disturbed due to external forces. Though that probably had to do with all the training he'd been putting in over that period of time, when he wasn't sending Kronos and his lackeys packing. It probably wasn't necessary, given the Ophiotaurus' boon could likely allow him to skip all the training, but he'd needed something to do during the day, and also wanted to be better prepared.

After all, there was still things that could've gone wrong earlier, and he may've ended up having to face one of Kronos' lot or perhaps even Kronos himself, in their True Divine Forms without someone else being there to hop into theirs and take over that particular battle for him. And if that'd happened before he had reached his current state, it would've definitely presented a problem for him. Thankfully, it hadn't, due to a mixture of luck and his allies being sharp on the draw.

He'd made good progress on his training. Much better than he'd been doing before. Because, as fleeting as it had been, by entering into his ascended state using his weapon's power, it'd given Beerus a feel of what it was like to be truly merged with his domain of destruction. Such an experience that nobody else in this world had enjoyed had given him a much deeper understanding of his domain, you might say, then what he had prior, which had definitely had an impact on the speed with which he was pushing himself through his training.

At present, without using the sword, he'd actually managed to complete the second step of his domain training, and now found himself able to completely harness the essence of his domain at will. Prior to ascending with the sword's aid, his training for the second step had been going so slowly that even he'd been starting to think it'd take a few years, like Gaea had said it could, but after it, he'd seemed to just zip through it much easier.

He hadn't gotten anywhere with the third step on his own just yet, but he got the feeling he didn't need to. Now that his grasp over the essence of his domain was perfect, even though he hadn't done it since defeating Hyperion, he got the gut feeling that if he used the sword to boost himself up into his True Divine Form, he'd be able to do it much faster than the first time. Not to mention be able to last in it a whole lot longer before conking out.

In all honesty, as he was currently, he could probably lead a charge on Othrys right now and win, with everyone who could ascend and the Hekatonkheires by his side. Granted, his siblings wouldn't really get to do anything if he did that, as none of them had a True Divine Form of their own. Or rather, in the case of his brothers specifically, not one they could reliably go into and last any decent amount of time in, if they used their divine weapons to force it like he did.

Actually, now that he thought about it, had Poseidon or Hades even claimed a domain for themselves? He'd asked them about it just before Kronos and his merry band of morons came at them with him being awake, and both had told him something odd. That being that they'd felt multiple domains with a near equally high resonance with them, but when they'd tried to reach out to any of them, they'd been blocked somehow.

Beerus could recall the confusion he'd felt when they'd told him that at the time. Because, from how Gaea had described the process of domains to him, he'd thought it clear you could nab just about any of them if you wanted, regardless of if it was already taken by someone else or not. At no point had she ever even alluded to the notion that domains could be blocked out from claim, and he didn't get the feeling she'd been holding out on such information either, as that didn't seem like something she'd do. Which'd meant whatever was going on there, was an unnatural occurrence.

He wasn't sure if Zeus had gone through the same as well, but if he had, it was clear in his case he'd found a domain for himself regardless. Plus, Beerus had never bothered to ask him directly anyway. Partially out of laziness, and partially because Zeus wasn't undergoing the issue of being domain-less like their brothers, so this wasn't necessarily a problem he'd need to be brought into. And besides, Beerus highly doubted he'd have an answer to something Gaea had no clue of, so what would he really have to contribute?

Adding on to that, Beerus had quickly reasoned that if Gaea had never made mention of such a thing, then it was highly unlikely anyone within their camp would know of a potential reason. It hadn't stopped them from letting the others know anyway, though, and he'd been proven right with not a single soul having any idea of what was going on there. Heck, they'd even mentioned it to Ouranos when he next came around, and he'd been befuddled by it too.

Personally, Beerus blamed Kronos. He had zero proof, and nothing to go on, but something in his gut, which almost never let him down, told him that bastard had something to do with it, somehow.

Not that all this would really matter in the end. For if he did or didn't, it held no impact on how this was all going to end for him, and how he'd bring that about. For the real reason why he hadn't gone to do that had nothing to do with his siblings mostly being unable to contribute much if he had chosen to attack them now. No. The actual reason was much pettier, but one that he felt would be all the more satisfying for his victory.

Knowing what Kronos' plan was, and knowing what it hinged on, Beerus wanted to give that cretin the hope that he could defeat him with it, just so he could see his expression, and see his fear, when his side crushed it right in front of him. He wanted to see that fool suffer before he destroyed him, and by taking the Ophiotaurus from them, which they believed to be their salvation, and using it for themselves to put the final nail in his coffin, he'd get to do exactly that. And when you added on the beating he was going to put on him before ending his miserable existence, it made it all the sweeter.

All there was to do now was wait until Ouranos got back to them with news of the Ophiotaurus' finding or capture by their enemy, and then the real game was on.

Just as he was envisioning it all in his head, the god of destruction was swiftly removed from his thoughts, as the harsh sound of flesh striking against flesh, as well as the sounds of hard and rough grunts that followed penetrated his ears. His gaze being quick to shift over then to another spar that was going on opposite of his brothers' one, which involved his sisters, just in time to watch Demeter's head snap back violently with a mix of spittle and ichor being launched from her mouth, courtesy of a well-placed and timed kick from Hera to her jaw.

Unlike his brothers, his sisters, now that he was looking over at them, had elected once again to spar each other with physical strikes over wrestling. The harsh sounds of flesh smacking against flesh ringing out again, louder this time, as before Demeter could recover, Hera grabbed her by the head with one hand and yanked her down by her scalp and hair, drilling her face with a brutal knee. The blow barely fresh from landing and crushing the blonde's nose into her face, sending out twin spritz of ichor from her smashed nostrils, before Hera followed up on her nasally gasping sibling with a spinning elbow to the cheek that whipped her head and torso to the side.

Beerus watched in silence as Ichor and a few teeth flung from her maw after that, before Hera ducked down and gave a sublime sweep of her leg to knock the blond off hers and send her crashing down on her back. The younger sister was already standing up to her full height again just as Demeter impacted against the ground and had risen a dainty foot in the air to stomp down on her sister's vulnerable, messed-up face, that was trying to mend itself of the previously dealt damage.

Her stomp missed its mark at the last second, as the blonde goddess rolled out of the way, letting the foot bash into the ground and create a small, localized crater whilst making all of Olympus vibrate.

Letting out a 'tch!' at having missed, Hera watched her elder sibling stagger back to her feet, as she sneered at her tauntingly. "That the best you're capable of, big sister? It seems you're even sloppier than you were yesterday!"

"Ugh! Shut your mouth, Hera!" Demeter growled back, her face barely half-healed as she shot back in at full speed. The goddess torquing her body somewhat before throwing a punch that Hera bobbed to the side and easily avoided, before surprising her baby sister as her body spun with the momentum, revealing the punch to have been a feint, as she slammed the flat of her foot into her side.

The spinning kick earned her a grunt of pain from Hera, as she knocked her off balance, before following up by spinning around again on her planted foot, almost like a ballerina, and cracking her younger sibling on the side of her skull with a nasty elbow. One that sent out a sizeable shockwave as it whipped her head away with such force and speed it was almost a wonder that she hadn't decapitated her then and there, as her feet flew off the ground.

Not that they were airborne for long, as Demeter grabbed her by the ankles, turned her back to her, and then, with all her strength, flipped her sister over her head and slammed her face and front-first with a deafening THUD! The power behind the slam producing a crater beneath the two that was much bigger and deeper than Hera's, and made Olympus shake just a little harder.

"That cockiness of yours is far from earned, baby sister!" Demeter exclaimed, face now fully mended, before her body torqued, her back being put to the downed goddess again, before she yanked her up by the ankles once again. The blonde grunting with slight exertion as she flipped her over her head a second time before ploughing her down back-first unto the ground just as hard as the first slam. The impact creating a crater just as large as the previous right next to it, and giving another light shudder to the heavenly mountain that they lived on.

Spit and ichor shot from Hera's open maw at this, as she let out a deep, sharp exhale of breath. Her beautiful face covered in grass and dirt and mishappen in a grotesque manner from the first slam, as she stared up wide-eyed at her older sister, before the latter yanked her by the ankles a third time, flinging her up into the air in a backflip. The younger goddess given no reprieve as Demeter shot her knee up just as her upside-down face was going past being parallel to the ground and her feet were tilting away from the sky, crashing it into her jaw and shattering it one go. The blow sending yet more ichor flying from Hera's lips as her lower jaw was nearly ripped off her face, as her head whipped back, and the rest of her body whipped in like a wet noodle being flicked.

Beerus caught Demeter's eyes flickering over to him in that brief instant, and saw the look in them that read, 'See that?', before she pushed forward with her other leg and thrust it up to smack her sister's solar plexus with the sole of her foot. An attack that, despite all the disorientation from her prior attacks, Hera was able to respond to by getting her knee up to block, resulting in her launched away by a good number of metres. The wind rushing and whipping at her back and make her flap like a bird's wingbeat before she drove her feet into the ground, creating trenches as she slowed her momentum to a stop.

The separation didn't last long though, before both were right back at each other's throats again, as both struck, dodged, blocked and tanked the other's strikes in a whirlwind of swinging arms and legs, making it clear to anyone watching that they were going in hard.

They'd been at it like this for the better part of a year now, being up every morning, regardless of if Olympus was getting attacked that day or not, and throwing hands with each other like this. Conveniently almost always beginning or kicking things up a gear around the time when he'd be making it out into the courtyard, and not doing anything himself just yet.

"They've certainly gotten rather excitable as of late, haven't they, dear brother?" Beerus turned his head to the side at the sound of Hestia's soft voice. His amber eyes meeting her golden, glowing ones as she stopped right next to him, with one hand holding the back of the other by her pelvis. Her expression a mix of concern and amusement, as she flicked her gaze between him and their two younger sisters having their aggressive 'spar'.

Before Beerus could respond, he felt a densely muscled arm wrap around the back of his neck with a degree of affection, as Zeus' laugh pierced his ears.

"That's one way you can put, I suppose, dear Hestia." The silver-haired god quipped with a cheeky glimmer in his stormy pools, and a troublesome grin, as Beerus turned his now not-so-pleased gaze upon him. "What say you, brother? I can't help but notice you're looking a little stiff right now. Is their little rivalry playing out right in front of you perhaps getting you a little excited too?"

"Don't be absurd." Beerus scoffed, easily removing Zeus' arm from around him, though this didn't stop the younger brother from sticking close, nor get rid of the irksome smile that painted his face. "Why in the world would I get excited over this?"

"Ah, no need to be like that." He chuckled mirthfully. "Were I in your position, there's no way I wouldn't feel excited right now. Not every day you get two gorgeous goddesses like Hera and Demeter having a bit of a feud over you, now, is it?" He wiggled his eyebrows in the most suggestive manner possible. "I must be honest, it's kinda making me jealous."

"Don't you have someone, already?" Beerus asked pointedly with a flat stare, referring to Metis. "And leaving that aside, just because you'd be excited over something like that, Zeus, doesn't mean I would. Assuming what you said to even be true."

"'Assuming what I said to even be true'?" Zeus snorted, giving him a raised eyebrow. "Beerus, say what you will about me, but I'm not blind, and I know you're not either." Tilting his head to look over at Hestia then, he said, "You'll back me up on this, won't you, Hestia? Our brother may want to pretend he hasn't noticed, but you've seen their antics as well as I have. Not just for sparring, but also during our battles with Kronos' lot. What say you about it?"

"Uhm… Well…" She let out a very small laugh, as Beerus' gaze flicked to her. "They've certainly gotten much more competitive. Their spars, for instance. Whilst they're not doing anything too far removed from what mother had us doing physically during our hardest training sessions with her, it's become quite clear that they're being more violent with each other than is necessary." Her gaze shifted over completely to her sisters then, as neither was giving the other an inch in their storm of blows, blocks and dodges.

Once Demeter took brief control again, it was impossible for Hestia to ignore how her little sister tilted her head to look back at them for an instant, and she was hardly discreet about doing so to make sure a certain someone was still watching this. Watching her.

"Their progress against each other is also less driven by wanting to just improve, and more so by wanting to be seen as better than the other." The eldest of the Olympians observed, which got a hum of agreement from Zeus, and a very light grumble from Beerus.

"Yeah. Almost like they're trying to impress somebody, wouldn't you say?" The cheeky smile on the younger brother's face was even stronger, as he mounted his hands on his hips. "And then there's when we're fighting against Kronos and his group. You've got to admit, its odd that they always seem to be right by the side of a certain brother of ours, backing him up like they do, even though it isn't necessary. Wonder why that is?"

The way Zeus looked at Beerus then made the latter roll his eyes and sigh.

"Come now, Beerus. No need to play dumb here." The silver-haired deity remarked with a light-hearted laugh, as he gave him a friendly and good-humoured slap on the back that made the older brother stiffen and glare in annoyance at the younger brother. One which was quite ineffective, given Zeus only grinned wider, seeming to enjoy getting to tease him a little bit. "I know there's no way you haven't noticed it either."

"Ugh." Beerus groaned. "Of course, I've noticed it, you dimwit. And don't slap me on the back like that again, if you know what's good for you." He snapped, though the threat held much less weight than it would've around a year ago.

Zeus knew it too, and that's why he let out another healthy chuckle. The brazen-faced little shit.

"No need to be like that. Just having a discussion over what we see, is all. I'm actually rather surprised you're being this stubborn about it, to be honest." He opined, before laying the hand he'd slapped his back with over his shoulder. "I thought you'd be a bit more open about your thoughts on it, instead of being cagey."

"I am not being cagey." Somehow, Zeus' bastard of a grin only stretched wider. Okay, now he was genuinely trying to get on his nerves. "And what do you mean more 'open' about my thoughts?" He asked, as he flicked Zeus' hand off his shoulder.

"Alright, now you really are treating me like a bit of a fool, dear brother." The remark came with a tint of offence, which had Beerus not known Zeus well, he might've thought was genuine. "I may not see it all that often, since I'm usually preoccupied with my own training or fights during the battles Kronos' side wages on us, but don't think I haven't noticed the look you get when they start pulling their antics near you."

"Pardon? What look?"

"The one where you're flattered, dear brother." Hestia cut in, giving him a somewhat amused look of her own when his head whipped around to her, giving her a more wide-eyed look. "I've seen you pull it plenty of times now, particularly during our battles against Kronos' side, when those two keep close to you, and do all that they can to aid you. Like being sure to keep anybody from sneaking up on you, and attack those that either get too close or try to flank you. Even though you don't need them to."

Hestia giggled then, unintentionally releasing her soothing, warmth-filled aura upon her brothers, making the older one feel at ease in a way that only she could manage with her presence. "You're not quite blushing, but the way you end up watching them so intently, with your lips parted in a way that almost makes you look speechless, it's a look you've never given me or any other goddess. Which is a shame because, and I hope you don't take any offence to me saying so, but, whenever I've seen it, I can't help but think it's the cutest look I've ever seen cross your face."

Beerus, despite being completely calmed by Hestia's aura, couldn't help but stare in a semblance of disbelief. She, and he supposed Zeus too, had noticed him pulling a face like that, when they were all in the heat of battle and couldn't afford to let their guards down for even a moment? Damn. It looked like they had become even sharper in their perception than he thought. A small part of him felt a little pride at that, as it showed they were still improving in more than just strength, but a larger part felt a rare form of embarrassment for actually getting caught.

"Me and her aren't the only ones who've noticed either. Hades and Poseidon have too, and given that their efforts have increased over time, it's safe to say both Hera and Demeter themselves have noticed it as well." Zeus chimed back in, whilst casually leaning on him with his elbow resting on his shoulder. "You may be the strongest of us, Beerus, but you're not as good at hiding your emotions as you might think. In fact, when something gets you excited or catches your attention like they've been doing, I'd dare say you're the most dreadful out of all of us when it comes to concealing it. Not that I can really blame you in this instance, though…"

Zeus leaned his head in to whisper in his ear, with an expression of understanding on his features that instantly rubbed Beerus the wrong way. "After all," he continued, low enough to where he was sure only Beerus could hear him. "With two mesmerizingly beautiful goddesses like them constantly showing off for you, I can't imagine it's easy keeping it inside your tunic, if you know what I mean."

He gave another laugh, this one much lower than the others, before giving him a bemused look. "In fact, I'm struggling to understand why you're doing so, in the first place. If I were I in your position, there's no way I could keep it in mine, between you and me. Heck, you're not even involved with someone, like I am with Metis, yet you've still held back. Mind if I ask why that is?" When an answer wasn't instantly forthcoming, he added, rather boldly given who he was talking to, "Is it possible you're just that shy?"

Beerus' eyes narrowed so sharply at that accusation that they were almost snake-like slits. "What did you just call me?"

"I don't say that to offend. It's merely an observation from what I've seen of you with them, thus far. I'll freely admit I could be way off the mark, and if so, I apologize, but come on, Beerus. Even you have to admit you've hardly given the best impression here." He said, looking totally serious over this. "You're better than you were before, as at least now you don't look uncomfortable when someone other than Hestia so much as hugs you, but you're still not good either."

"Well, excuse me for valuing my personal space."

Zeus ignored that comment completely. "Don't think I've forgotten that time when Hera looked after you following the battle with Hyperion. She remained naked that entire time, and there's no way you didn't wake up to that, while being in her arms. Yet, even in a situation like that, from everything I've heard, you didn't go for it, despite the fact that she, as prideful as she is, willingly left herself exposed for you."

Beerus suppressed the snort that threatened to rip through him at that, knowing what'd really happened in that bedroom. Her fleeing after he'd turned her own salacious behaviour on her, and she hadn't been willing to face a taste of her own medicine.

"After that, though it was brief, her interactions with you were sparse, and she looked uncertain if she even wanted to be near you. It looked like you'd turned her away from you so hard with whatever you did before she left that bedroom of yours, that I wouldn't have been shocked if she distanced herself from you entirely and saw you as a lost cause." The younger brother continued, unaware of the snort he almost brought out of his elder brother a second time with his words.

Zeus still hadn't a clue there, Beerus thought. His act had, at the time, gotten her to back off of him almost completely, which is what he'd been going for. And it'd only lasted a few weeks, before ending at Kronos' first attack following his failed siege.

He had Demeter to thank for that one, as she'd, of course, sensed Hera backing off, and taken full advantage of it. The goddess constantly being in his personal space and affectionate toward him when not training, never failing to hold his arm to her chest while walking or standing with him, and even when they were training, each day she'd made sure to always get a personal spar with him, leading up to Kronos' second assault.

That last bit, admittedly, he had contributed with, given he never refused her. Though to be fair, at the time, he'd mostly see it as a way to pass time by when he wasn't doing his own training. He'd be lying however if he said there wasn't a sizeable part of him that'd just felt more at ease around her then he had been not too long before that.

Regardless, it'd all come to a head the day Kronos' remaining forces had showed up again, making sure to distract the Hekatonkheires this time alongside that Pan guy, and which they'd been doing since to ensure they didn't get swiftly squashed. Demeter had gone out of her way to be by his side and fight alongside him, backing him up in every way she could, and refusing to listen when he told her he didn't need her to cover him like she was.

She'd been stubborn about sticking to him until the other side had retreated, and had fought her heart out before that happened, even making sure to land the final blow of the battle right in front of him. She'd even made sure to do it using one of the martial arts techniques he'd shown her during those three weeks of sparring, with her landing it so flawlessly against Kronos' brother – whom he forgot the name of – that even he had had to admit he was impressed with how well she'd picked her moment and executed the move, which was not something he did often with anybody.

He'd never come out and say it, but when Demeter had smacked him away while he spectated her, he'd felt a shiver go up and down his spine that he hadn't felt in eons, including his life previous, and had honestly found himself, for just a split-second, even to his own surprise, thinking of her as cute.

Hera had seen all that, from the training to the battle's end, and after what Zeus and Hestia had told him, he didn't doubt had seen his reaction to her decking what's-his-name with one of his moves. The goddess witnessing Demeter, in her mind, making strides with him and succeeding in her absence – which she had, he couldn't deny – and had been broken out of the funk he'd put her in the instant it looked like Demeter was about to try and make the proverbial 'checkmate' move. That being to gutsily latch unto his face with her hands following the battle, and given the way she'd puckered up, no doubt to plant the strongest kiss she could on his lips.

He'd made no motion to stop it, or rather, it might be more accurate to say he hadn't even had time to react given the suddenness of the act, before Hera appeared right behind the blonde and, without caring how it looked, pulled her away from him without hesitation. A frustrated scowl on her face as she thrusted her miles away from him with her strength, earning a yelp of surprise from her after taking her off-guard, as she sent her careening back into Olympus' hide with a THOOM as her body impacted and made a noticeable shockwave colliding with the divine mountain.

The sight had been downright comical, and no proper explanation was given by her for it, because of course it wasn't. Jealousy was the obvious answer, and there wasn't a chance in Tartarus' bowls that she'd confess to feeling that with her pride. Not in a million years.

What she had done though, to her credit, was both block Demeter from getting too close with him, and impress him herself during the following attack by Kronos and his squad of goons, when she chose to stick to him like glue the same as Demeter did. How did she impress him, you may ask? By one-upping Demeter and making the final attack of the battle on another brother of Kronos he hadn't bothered to remember the name of. An attack which involved replicating one of his pressure point moves, which he'd never taught to anyone, and had only shown off a few times at that stage, while never explaining how it worked.

In essence, she'd observed him using it at some point, had somehow figured it out without a word from him on it, and then performed it sublimely well. Not picture perfect, mind you, but considering it was a more complex fighting technique than anything he'd taught any of his siblings, and she'd pulled it off as well as she had with zero input from him, it was safe to say she'd left him staring wide-eyed and a little dumbstruck.

Her learning curve had been good before, but not that good. At least, not at the time, anyway, from his perspective. He'd clearly underestimated her potential a bit, and sufficed to say, as much of a pain as she'd been prior, he'd undeniably felt it. That same shiver that Demeter had sent up and down his body, as he watched Hera use one of his pressure point attacks, nailing that guy in the forehead with but the tips of her fingers, making him croak and fall unconscious for a small period. His body falling out of the sky before another one of Kronos' brothers scooped him up and teleported out of the with the rest of their forces, after Kronos broke the barrier prohibiting teleportation.

And she'd done it with that infuriating smile upon her features, which in that instance, to the horror of a part of him, he'd also found cute. Perhaps even more so than Demeter. He was thankful he hadn't been holding his sword in that moment, else he didn't doubt he would've dropped it and really looked the fool.

Regardless, following that, Demeter, seeing her act as a challenge, had taken to facing her in a 'spar' every day since then, which Hera seemed to be more than happy to give her. Beerus didn't need to be a genius to figure out why Demeter doing so pleased Hera, as while the latter would obviously never reveal their motives openly, again due to pride, the reasons were easy to understand.

The 'spars' themselves had always ended in a draw so far, with neither willing to admit defeat, almost as if they were fearful that in doing so, they'd be admitting a whole other defeat to their opposing sibling. And every time they had to go into battle with Kronos' remaining forces, their antics spilled over onto the battlefield, and as had been mentioned already, stuck to his side no matter what, always in view, and used the battles as an opportunity to feud in another way. Which was doing all they could to back him up and basically show off to nab his attention and interest over the other.

And all without either stating this was the case verbally. Hera, he got, because yet again, her pride. Demeter though? With how forward she'd been before that, clinging to his side and attempting to make the first move with him herself, seemingly, roughly a year ago before Hera got in her way, he could only assume it was for one of two reasons.

Either A: She was waiting until she finally got Hera to concede, so she wouldn't have to worry about her getting in her way, which, given how Hera was, he doubted would be the case even if she was defeated.

Or B: They'd both come to some sort of agreement, silent or otherwise, where perhaps they were both trying to get him to be the one who willingly courted either, instead, as that would be more meaningful.

The second option made a little more sense given how much the two of them went out of their way, especially during the battles with their enemies, to get his attention on them and maintain his interest, though he could see the former being true too.

Either way, what they were doing was ridiculous, silly, and all around childish, one could even say.

And Beerus, again, would be lying if he said there wasn't a significant part of him that found itself increasingly captivated by their efforts over time, not to mention, as his twin sister and younger brother had put it, flattered as well. Exceptionally so. Hard not to be after being armed with the knowledge of this world's flimsy biology for the gods, which had inevitably rid him of any trace of repulsion he'd previously felt due to their 'relation', and going through this with them for that long.

Nobody had ever fought over him like this. Oh sure, he'd had cute princesses and queens of worlds back in his old universe who'd fought or done other things to keep his interest on them, out of the fear that if they didn't, he'd blow up their planet after tasting that civilization's best food, and it not being up to his palette. These two, however, held no such caveat, and were going through with this purely because, for whatever reasons they had, they wanted him.

"– And now we are where we are now with… You're not listening, are you?"

"Hmm?" Snapped out of his reverie, Beerus' attention was drawn back to Zeus, who'd apparently been talking that entire time he'd zoned out, and was now looking at him with an impish grin.

"Looks like somebody was too busy off in their own head there. And I couldn't help but notice while staring out at Hera and Demeter, too." His tone was practically overflowing from smugness now. "My, my, brother. You're getting even worse at hiding your emotions if you're doing it right in front of me and Hestia like that. Heh, 'Why would I be excited about this', my ass." He scoffed, mimicking Beerus from earlier in a playfully mockful way. "Admittedly though, I'll take this side of you over the one that looked perturbed at the merest touch or sign of affection any day."

Patting him on the back with a kind of pride Beerus had never seen him show, Zeus expertly directed his older brother's gaze back to the 'spar' going on momentarily, where Hera had taken back the advantage. The goddess choosing that moment, through no will of anyone other than her own, to slip a sly glance of her own back their way, similarly to how Demeter did, before refocusing back on battling her sister. The power behind their collisions felt, even if faintly, by all residents of Olympus.

"Have to say, I'm curious as to which one catches your eye more, or if you look at them both equally." Zeus' expression became just a tad too perverted then for Beerus' liking. "Wonder if you might just try to make them both your consorts, in the end. Would be difficult, especially given Hera's personality, but knowing how stubborn you can be, I wouldn't be too shocked to see you try it~."

"Zeus…"

"Yes, Beer-ungh!?"

"Shut up." Beerus found himself deadpanning at his younger brother, as he elbowed him hard in the ribs, making Zeus double over and clutch where he'd been struck in surprise and pain from the blow.

Seriously. Make them both his consorts? As in, like, basically marry both? Assuming that was even possible given who was involved, he didn't care how attractive he was finding them now, he valued his sanity, thank you very much! Not to mention he still held little interest in getting married at all, and if there was one thing Hera had made clear, no matter how much she'd teased him before, it was that nothing sexual would happen unless she got him to agree to marriage. It was no doubt the very reason she'd fled from him after he'd awoken and began getting a little too sexually aggressive for her liking.

And as for Demeter, well, she was more an unknown. She definitely wanted to be intimate, but as to whether or not she wanted a guarantee of marriage as well, he had no idea, as she'd never said. He also didn't really feel like chancing his arm there, either, to see if marriage was a requirement for her or not.

Additionally, just because he found them cute, and was flattered by their antics, didn't mean he wanted any sort of romantic or more intimate relationship with either of them. At least, he didn't think so…

Ugh… He groaned internally. This is becoming a pain to think about. I'll worry about this crap later, after I've finished my business with Kronos.

"Aghh… that hurt…" His little brother wheezed, before the pain dissipated and he stood back up to his full height, while subconsciously rubbing the spot he'd been hit in, as he gave Beerus a look. "Was that really necessary?"

"My apologies if this sounds mean, little brother, especially since I'm not one who enjoys violence, but if Beerus felt the need to tap you like that, then it probably was necessary." Hestia remarked, while looking at both and giving Zeus in particular a sickly-sweet smile, with her cheeks having turned a slight shade of pink.

So much for this idiot's whispering. I can tell just from a glance alone after that comment that she heard every word. The destroyer god thought with some mirth. His twin sister only busted out that smile and look when something didn't sit well with her and got on her nerves. Since she didn't have an angry or bad bone in her body, that look was the closest thing you'd get to her showing any semblance of a mean streak.

"Perhaps it'd be best if we ended the conversation there and moved on to something else, as its clear that Beerus is not in the mood for it, and I'd rather not see my precious brother antagonized. Wouldn't you agree, Zeus?" She asked in that warm and kind way she always did.

Zeus, for an instant, was about to argue that she'd participated in this as well, but caught himself and stopped, quite wisely. For he was smart enough to tell there was nothing in her words that indicated he alone was at fault, even if it felt like it was being pointed at him, and also that arguing such was a pointless thing to do, as she wasn't wrong. That elbow and 'shut up' by Beerus had most definitely been a warning, despite his deadpan delivery, that he was pushing his luck.

If he continued, then no matter if he was right or wrong in what he said to his older brother, he was at risk of aggravating him enough to where he might just go from giving him a 'tap', as Hestia had put it, to a full-on ass-kicking. On a regular day, he'd more than likely be willing to go ahead anyway. Because even if he did get the shit beaten out of him on what could be as loosely called a 'spar' as what their sisters were doing right now, there was never a day where he didn't gain more experience or learn something new from fighting him.

So, in a way, there was no real downside to it then, other than Beerus being ticked off at him for a short while, and possibly having wounds that take much longer to heal, thanks to his destruction domain. However, Kronos' side was attacking them today, as Ouranos had helpfully warned them of a few days ago, and he'd much prefer to be in top shape for that encounter.

With that frame of mind, Zeus sighed and gave a nod of agreement to his eldest sister. "Yeah. Guess you're right." His gaze then shifted back to Beerus, as he gave him a lighter tap on the shoulder. "I'm not about to apologize for my words, brother, but I shall cease speaking of it for now, seeing as I'd rather your full attention be on the coming attack from Kronos' lot, rather than on me in any way for irritating you."

Someone's become quite the cheeky little brother as of late. Beerus was about to pass a snide remark for that, but Hestia ended up replying before he could. Not that he was annoyed by that though, given what came out of her mouth next.

"Whilst it's nice to see you concerned for our dearest brother, Zeus, if he felt truly inclined, well, my sincerest apologies again, if I sound rude or disrespectful to you, but I'm not sure you'd last long enough for our enemies to arrive and that to even be a factor…"

"Ack!..." The youngest Olympian, despite knowing the current disparity in his and his older brother's power levels, flinched and found his face comically scrunching up for a second like a man that'd been shot at Hestia's words. All delivered seemingly with innocence, but also a level of bluntness he hadn't quite been prepared for, and left him momentarily gobsmacked.

Beerus, meanwhile, didn't even try to hold back the snicker that rose up from him. That was basically Hestia's polite way of saying, 'You'd get trashed in an instant, if he really wanted to try'. She wasn't wrong at all, but the way she delivered it, plus the look on Zeus' face, even if he also knew that was the case, was downright priceless!

The real kicker though was the slight change in the smile Hestia had on her face, gaining another kind of amusement as she sent him a secret side-glance where their eyes met. The gesture letting him know she knew what she was doing there, and despite her words to the contrary, was most definitely not sorry for saying them and getting a little laugh out of him in the process.

One of a kind, the goddess was. Even now, for various reasons, like never causing him an issue, being able to put him in a good mood almost no matter what, and always being there for him with a pleasant and comforting presence; she was still his favourite sister.

In her own unique ways, she was just as cute in his mind as Hera or Demeter now were, and though he'd never given a super blatant look to show it, he was certain he'd thought of her like that even as far back as their later days trapped within Kronos' rancid stomach. Always in a platonic way, of course, given his lack of awareness of this world's bizarre biology for deities at the time, alongside how he'd thought they were siblings.

Now that his prior mental block was gone though, well, he'd like to think it'd remained the same, given the thought of her purity being sullied in any way made him more nauseous than shitty food. And didn't that say something about how much he valued her, if he could admit something like that to himself.

There had been that one moment when he'd been horny a year ago where the thought and urge to turn his carnal desires on her as well as Demeter had surfaced, even if only briefly before he'd squashed it down, but it wasn't hard to reason that one instance away. Simply because, he was certain it wouldn't have mattered who'd stepped in front of his doorway that day, he'd have felt and had much the same thoughts with them too. He was sure of it.

Just as he was also sure he'd already decided to stop thinking about this sort of thing for now when it came to his other two 'sisters', and yet here he was, thinking on it again with Hestia. He really ought to do a better job getting his mind to heel then this. At this rate, his own head might end up rivalling his body in terms of treacherousness.

Very thankfully, and to his relief, before Zeus could respond to what Hestia had said, the perfect distraction for this crap arrived. A sizeable cloud began to manifest above their heads and cast a noticeable shadow over the courtyard, capturing everybody's attention, and halting both his brothers and his sisters' physical activity.

The cloudy mass and instantly recognisable presence appeared within the barrier with them, unlike his first visitation, due to a request made to the Cyclopes' a while back to allow the primordial entry inside. They hadn't liked the idea of being in their father's presence like that, and had a few choice words of their own for him, to say the least, but in the end, they'd acquiesced and allowed him access to their abode, purely for precautionary purposes. For while they'd gotten lucky the first few times to have not been found out with him speaking to them, it'd be foolish to assume if they'd continued the way they were with him on the outside and sense-able, that they wouldn't get unlucky and he got discovered.

And the news he brought, was precisely what Beerus had been waiting to hear for a long time now, as his face's visage became clear, voice booming out in that distorted way the destroyer god had gotten used to hearing over the past year, as his expression appeared urgent and excited. "Cease whatever you're doing and listen, rebels. The time has come! Kronos' subordinate Aegaean has finally found the Ophiotaurus, and it will not take him long to capture it. You'd best prepare yourselves immediately, and I don't just mean for that creature's retrieval!"

That's when they all felt it. Numerous powers suddenly skyrocketing to unbelievable heights a fair way's away from them, both straight ahead of their mountain peak, as well as above the isle of Crete. The powers combined altogether in one spot creating an almost rainbow-like melding of colours that pierced through the cloudy cover ahead of them and lit up the infinite sky, whilst a lone, bloody red one rose up from beneath them, and blanketed Crete. The practically simultaneous release of godly power sending an intense shiver down everyone's spine, including Beerus'. Though the latter was most certainly not out of any fear, but of glee at what was about to come.

And Ouranos put it out there quite succinctly. "Now that Kronos and his lot are aware of this circumstance, they've chosen to ditch their initial plan entirely. Forget mere distraction, with this notification, they can afford to take the risk they previously couldn't, and Kronos has finally sent out the order I don't doubt he's been waiting to make since the beginning. Get ready, because they'll be coming at you with everything they have now!"

AND CUT!

As said above, this is the last of fillers, truly, for this arc. The end is nigh, and both Beerus and Kronos can taste it, but only one is under a false hope about how this'll end.

Get ready for a load of fighting, and this time, with all the Titans ascended into their True Divine Forms. Fights won't just be pure power and speed with fisticuffs though. I'll be doing everything I can to bring variety into this, given the litany of domains, and therefore, no doubt unique powers/abilities exclusive to certain deities in these battles.

And for those of you who are wondering about the domain blockage thing, yeah, that'll be explained eventually. I don't doubt some of you will be able to quickly guess what's going on there though, lol.

Beerus also seems to have begun seeing Hera and Demeter in a more similar light to how he saw a certain green-skinned alien girl in Super Hero. Hestia too.

I know you lot won't listen, but don't read into that too extremely. That's not confirmation of ships, for those of you interested about that, but it is an acknowledgment of the possibility of any one, or potentially more being a thing in the future.

And before anyone who didn't fully read that or the chapter gets on my case, because I've seen and had a few of both review about it and PM me, yes, I know about Hera's character, lol. If the harem path is taken – IF I decide to go down that road and she's in it – believe me, she isn't going to be okay with such a thing. I know how she'd take that just as much as you do, which is very poorly, to say the least.

Anyways, I hope you all got some enjoyment out of this chapter, and I'll see you all in the next one!