Here's the fifth chapter of MMA. Hope you enjoy!
Miss Minerva's Academy
Chapter 5: "Sacrifices"
A loud, sharp voice rang through the room. "Open your eyes, Ladies of Olympus. Why have you summoned me today?"
While the whole city of Athens slept, six women stood wide awake in the palace. Five of them were the rulers of Olympus and one was the powerful goddess Hecate. Hecate stood in the center of the chamber. She had arrived in Athens because she had been summoned by the rulers. She serenely examined the five women who stood in front of her.
"You want me to help you build a secret academy in Athens. This is not a simple request Baroness Demeter."
Demeter nervously spoke, "Lady Hecate, we ask this huge favor because it is necessary. For centuries, people of Olympus have been stripped of their powers. We may be rulers by name, but Zeus continues to make laws that are slowly weakening us."
Unable to stay silent any longer, Artemis spoke up, "Ares has corrupted the kingdom. He is poisoning the Olympian council using seeds of misogyny. Those who agree with him are rewarded and those who stand up to his oppression are brutally murdered. How unfair -"
Hecate smiled sadly and raised her hand to stop Artemis's rant.
"I know what is happening to Olympus, Artemis. If the ancient laws did not exist, I would have blasted Zeus from his throne long ago. I can fulfil your request, but there is a lot you all must sacrifice."
Assertively, Athena answered, "We are ready to do whatever is necessary, Lady Hecate."
"I need something that is very important to you. It need not be precious or beautiful, but it must be something you hold dear to your heart. I will use my magic to turn them into soul shards."
Curious, Athena asked "What are soul shards, Lady Hecate?"
"Every mortal has affinity for one of the five elements – Fire, Water, Earth, Wind or Sky. Usually, for most mortals the affinity is so small that it does not have any actual effect. With my help, each one of you can use your soul shard to summon one of the five holy beasts. These beasts will guard your academy and will be the key to your plan."
A stunned silence filled the room. They had heard of the five holy beasts but had always dismissed it as a legend. These beasts were said to be so powerful that even a single one could destroy all of mankind in a matter of seconds. The thought of summoning these beasts was terrifying.
Artemis slowly shook her head, breaking her stupor. She slowly walked forward and bowed in front of Hecate. She reached into her quiver of arrows and pulled out a beautiful silver arrow. It seemed to glow with a brilliant silver light, and its tip was sharp enough to pierce even the strongest armor.
"I am not a person who likes material things. As the huntress, I only keep what is necessary for survival. This arrow has been passed down for centuries from one ruler of Delos to the next. It is said to be the arrow of Selene, the foundress of Delos. It is a symbol of strength and perseverance. This is the only thing I can offer you, Lady Hecate."
Aphrodite stepped forward and took off her ring. It was a golden ring with a large pearl embedded in it. She hesitantly offered it to Hecate.
"When my father was overthrown by his general Eros, his body was thrown into the ocean. After a couple of days, some women found a baby on the shore. It then became a legend in my kingdom that I was the daughter of the ocean. This ring was found along with me and it is my only connection to my history. Accept this as my offering."
Demeter brought out a small velvet box. She opened it carefully and brought out a dried-up sheaf of wheat. She delicately set it on the ground next to Hecate.
"This is the first sheaf of wheat that grew on the ground of Crete. Years ago the fertile lands used to be barren and the city lay in ruins. The people starved and poverty was everywhere. This single sheaf of wheat turned Crete from a poverty stricken barren land to one of the most prosperous kingdoms in Olympus."
Athena and Hera looked at each other, each expecting the other to step forward. Both were nervous about this situation because just the thought of sacrificing something so important to them was terrifying. Both women had experienced so much betrayal and hurt that they were not accustomed to baring their hearts. After a moment, they both stepped forward together.
Athena produced a quill from her writing desk. It was made of owl feathers tied together with a fine thread of gold.
"This is the very quill that Lord Thoth, my grandfather, used to sign the declaration that a woman could sit on the throne of Athens. I am the first female ruler of my kingdom, and I would never be here if it was not for this quill."
Hera looked at Athena with a sympathetic gaze. She understood how difficult it had been for Athena to part with the quill. With a small sigh, she took off her crown and pulled off a small peacock-feather that adorned it.
"My offering is not historically significant, but it is something I hold very dear to my heart. This feather belonged to a peacock I had in my childhood. When Zeus chose me to be his bride, I was forced to become a socialite and act charming. I was taught to be loyal to the king and accept whatever he said. "
"This feather is a symbol of strength for me because I refused to give up my pet peacock even when I was told that true queen did not care for inferior creatures. This still reminds that I am not a slave to Zeus, but a powerful woman on my own."
After her monologue, the other women looked at Hera with a newfound respect. They had always seen her as a cruel and heartless woman who hated everyone, but this showed that though it was subtle, even she had a sensitive side.
Hecate looked at each article placed in front of her and waved her had. Each started glowing a bright purple color. Her eyes began glowing and started chanting a spell in a powerful voice.
"Storms brew and Lightning strikes
The Earth shakes, destruction reigns
The sea churns, shows miracles grand
Powerful winds blow across the land
Fire erupts, only the pure-hearted thrive,
Oh Holy beasts, you must arrive."
Words - 1117
Beta Reader - Dgreatsparky
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