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The Struggle

The Struggle

Page 17

Karina smiled faintly. “That is not important right now. Josie is a part of your—”

“No,” I cut her off. “She is no longer a part of anything that has to do with me.”

“Why?” Her brows knitted together. “You fear yourself around her? That you will hurt her? Have you not realized anything? Feeding is—”

“I do not want to speak of her with you. That is the only warning I will give you.” My hands closed into fists. “What I do from here has nothing to do with her.”

“So your desire to seek vengeance against the Titans is driven by some other need?”

My eyes narrowed. “Careful.”

She raised a shoulder and then turned back to the ocean. “You are the first,” she said after a moment. “You are the only god to be risen, to be appointed with all the godly abilities. Do you know why the gods fear the God Killer so much? It is not just because you have the ability to kill them, but because you are absolute when only three others are. Zeus, Hera, and Cronus. They feared you, because they knew you could become them.”

“And what exactly does absolute mean?” I asked. I’d never understood why the gods had created the God Killer in the first place. Apollo had tried to explain it once before in the vaguest terms possible, claiming it was a checks and balance system. Ares had never explained either. It made no sense that they would create something that could ultimately destroy them.

Then again, the gods seemed to excel in bad life choices.

And mortals consistently created things that would lead to their ultimate destruction.

So, hey, what did I know?

“You have the abilities of the gods, but you wield the ultimate power to destroy a godly being,” she explained patiently. “Since Ares’s destruction, there is no natural end to your beginning. The only true threats to you now are Zeus, Hera, and Cronus.”

My brows flew up. “Wait. I get that Cronus could take my ass out, but how can Zeus or Hera do it when they weren’t able to when I was the Apollyon?”

“Because you were the Apollyon. It added some measure of protection for you, but trust me when I say they would’ve found a way to destroy you, because they knew what was possible.” She paused. “They’ve always known.”

Of course they’d known and failed to mention all this shit. “So I’m guessing they’re absolute?”

“Only absolute beings can kill absolutely. They could fight you and perhaps they would win,” she said. “But you are the God Killer, the Appointed. They would not be wise to seek to do battle with you.”

Huh.

Well, I was more badass than I originally believed.

“You’re immortal, Kýrios. You are a god.”

Those words finally, finally sunk through and it hit me then. Thunderstruck, I couldn’t speak. I’d long accepted that I had no future. That once the gods had figured out how to end me, they would, and that my afterlife meant I’d be Hades’s bitch. It wasn’t until I met . . . I met Josie that I ever regretted making the deal that took away any real chance to have a long, happy life. But now?

I had a future.

I had an eternity.

It didn’t matter what deal I’d made. The gods could no longer control my actions or my future. They could no longer control me.

I shook my head, still bewildered by all of this, but I could no longer deny the truth. “I’m a god.”

“Yes.” Karina pushed away from the railing and faced me. “And there is so much you need to learn.”

Chapter 11

Josie

I was going to die.

I was dying.

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