Chapter 15: Athena’s Trial
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When Basil's Anima returned to his body he instantly felt an unknown yet familiar aura flying in his direction from afar. 

His blood became slightly agitated as the Runic Image of a lotus flower once more surfaced on his right shoulder.

He turned his gaze to the north and caught sight of a fast moving blue coming in his direction.

"Its Athena." He instinctively knew who it was and turned his head over to The Midnight Blood Dragon.

It too had noticed Athena's presence and seemed to become agitated at the fact that such a powerful being was flying in its direction.

"It'll be fine Lila," Basil walked over and rubbed the spoke just below the back of the Dragon's head.

Lila released a sound of comfort as the tension began to leave its body, but it continued to cast a slightly agitated gaze in Athena's direction.

"It seemed that my assumptions from yesterday were correct though. This day truly will have a significant impact on my future." Basil murmured under his breath and stared in Athena's direction aswell.

"Well it appears that she will be here in about an hour or so. Might aswell fix something to eat seeing as my last meal was around six hours ago." Basil's slightly carefree persona took over as he turned his attention from the situation at hand.

He turned around and walked over to the fire pit still burning with golden colored Sacrificial Flames.

He waved his right hand and the spatial ring on his finger lit up with cryptic light.

A large pot appeared on the ground before him along with; a few crystal jars containing Divine Herbs, a long necked glass bottle holding a clear liquid identical to water with a cork stopper, a few knives of various sizes, a few prepackaged steaks, a sack of potatoes, and a single wooden ladle.

He bent down to pick up the pot before removing the lid and placing it on the rack above the firepit.

He then grabbed the glass bottle and uncorked it. After he did a gentle smell wafted outwards placing his Soul at ease and warming his body.

He then began to pour the liquid into the pot until it was full yet the amount contained within the bottle seemed to only barely decrease.

This was another spatial object commonly referred to simply as a Spatial Bottle and could contain vast amounts of liquid class Divine Materials below a certain Tier.

Basil's held 7th Tier Spirit Water which possessed a very gentle power that was nurturing for both the Body an Soul.

Yet, even though it was gentle in nature beings below the 5th Tier couldn't safely consume it as the power it contained could easily exceed the limit's of their body, unless they possessed a very high-ranking Bloodline.

After filling the pot Basil took a sip from the bottle before placing the cork back in.

His mind was immediately cleared of a large amount of unseen stress and his blood began to circulate more smoothly as he have a contented sigh.

As the water began to boil he went about placing various Divine Herbs into the pot before proceeding to cut the steaks and potatoes into cube shapes and placing them into the pot as well.

He then used the spoon to gently stir the pot's contents before placing the lid over it.

After that he returned the seasonings, knives, crystal jars, and the packages that the steak came in back into the space in his Spatial Ring before taking out a few wooden bowls and spoons.

For the following half hour or so he continued to periodically stir the pot's contents, releasing a heavenly scent whenever he removed the lid.

When Lila came over to sit by his side he looked over at her and asked mockingly, "Are you going to eat like that."

She rolled her eyes before transforming to become a young woman with tender skin.

She had a fair complexion, and a pair of seemingly delicate horns graced her head of dark blue hair. 

Her figure was slender and she was donned in a blank colored cloak with a midnight blue cloak. Below the cloak was a cloth shirt and a pair of leather shorts of the same color. A pair of midnight blue, thigh-high leather boots graced her feet aswell.

After she took on her human form Lila spoke in a scolding manner, "Why must you always act in this way. You truly lack proper manners, and look over their Athena is approaching and here you are sitting calmly as you prepare lunch."

"Hahaha..." Basil gave a small laugh before speaking, "Aren't you now acting in a similar manner to myself, coming over here for a bowl after catching a whiff of the stew's smell? And besides what must come will come. There is simply no use in worrying about it."

Lila blushed slightly at his words as she spoke in an admonishing tone, "While that is true to a certain extent you still have to adopt an attitude of caution in every situation."

Basil new it was of no use to argue with her so he could only sigh and nod his head in affirmation of her words.

He then proceeded lift up the pot's lid once more and take a whiff.

"Sniff... Its done." He spoke in contentment as he lifted the pot off of the rack and placed it on the rock platform beside the fire pit.

He then grabbed a bowl and scooped some of the stew into it before handing it over to Lila.

She thanked him before lifting it to her face and inhale the stem wafting off of the stew.

She released a slightly expectant as she used her spoon to gather some of the stew's stock and swallowed it into her mouth.

When she did a warm feeling spread throughout her body and her taste buds danced in joy.

Seeing the look of satisfaction on her face Basil smiled to himself before scooping out a bowl of his own and settling down to eat.

Not long after they began to eat Athena arrived in the airspace above them before coming to a stop.

She gave off an austere aura of sophistication and majesty.

She possessed long slender legs, a narrow waist, a pert bottom, and modest sized breasts.

She wore a set of silver armor with purple inscriptions. It consisted of a battle skirt, a breast plate, shoulder pauldrons, gauntlets, knee-high boots, and a crested helm.

A deep purple colored mantle extended from her shoulder pauldrons and depicted a ferocious image of a snarling Gorgon.

Her hair was an ash gray color, and her skin was a milky white color giving off a healthy glow.

A calm yet, penetrating light filled her amethyst colored eyes.

Basil seemed undisturbed by her presence yet Lila's body slightly stiffened up as Athena's subconsciously released Divine Might weighed down on her.

"You came to me, Why?" Basil was the one to break the long silence after he finished his first bowl of stew and stood to get his second.

"What must come will come. Our connection is inescapable and our futures are intertwined. But even though that is the case it is not in my nature to willingly give in to fate. Since that is the case I have prepared on a Trial for you that you can challenge as many times as you desire. If you pass I shall swear my undying loyalty to you and join your Household. Any objections?" She spoke with a straight forward tone.

Basil shook his head and spoke, "None."

He sat back down and began to eat his second bowl of stew before suddenly coming to a realization and looking upwards at Athena.

"Did you want any of this, I did prepare and take out an extra bowl and spoon." He held up the bowl in his hands before indicating to the rock platform beside the fire pit were an extra bowl sat beside the pot of stew, with a spoon laying inside.

Athena descend to the ground as she spoke, "Thank you for your consideration, but I am currently abstaining from the consumption of meat."

"Oh? How come?" Basil asked curiously.

"Well I played a role in a few species of Deva and Devaum nearly going extinct. As a form of compensation I swore of meat for 5,000 cycles." Athena responded truthfully.

"Well that's unfortunate because this stew is really good. How much longer do you have left before you can eat meat again?" Basil sighed in disappointment before asking another question.

"Around 1000 more cycles." Athen removed her helmet as she spoke, revealing her delicate features.

Basil was shocked speechless at her immaculate beauty and smiled ruefully.

He then sighed in admiration and spoke, "Intruly respect your commitment now only to the vow you made, bit also keeping the balance. I am sure you weren't the sole person responsible for pushing those species towards extinction, yet nonetheless you have punished yourself for your own role in the event. Truly admirable."

He returned to his meal before looking over and noticing that Lila's body had become more tense.

He stretched out his hand and wrapped his own Divine Might around her.

Although it was inconsequential compared to the pressure Athena subconsciously exuded, its qualities nonetheless helped Lila to alleviate a portion of the pressure weighing down on her, while also relaxing her nerves.

Lila gave him a smile of gratitude before she continued to eat her stew which also helped in easing her tense nerves and calming her blood which had recently began to boil as Athena got closer.

Athena gave an apologetic smile as she spoke to Lila, "I'm sorry about that, my aura is still in fluctuation as I encountered a few rather troublesome opponents on my way here."

She finished the last of her stew and placed her bowl on the rock platform beside the firepit.

She then turned to speak to the both of them, "I'll give the two of you some privacy."

"That's not necessary." Athena was the first to speak as she motioned for Lila to stay.

"Its fine, I haven't gone out for a hunt In a while anyway." Lila laughed before a pair of wings appeared on her back and she gave them a flap, flying skyward.

"Goodbye Lila, I'll see you later." Basil waved as her figure vanished. He then turned over to Athena and continued, "Don't worry about it she just didn't want to get in the way. And it really has been a while since the last time she went out for a hunt, she's probably afraid of getting rusty."

"Okay then." Athena acquiesced and took out 2 fruits that resembled apples but possessed a deep blue, almost purple, color.

"Would you like one?" She offered Basil.

"Yes, thank you for offering." He recieved it with his free hand after finishing his last spoon fool of stew.

He then walked over to stack his bowl on top of the others and  picked up the pot before pouring the rest of its contents into the golden flames.

The stew quickly burned away into golden smoke that drifted off into the distance.

He then waved his hand and a ball of of clear water appeared to rinse out the pot and bowls before turning into steam that drifted off similarly to the golden smoke before.

He returned the pot, bowls and spoons to his Spatial Ring before biting into the fruit in his hand.

It possessed a crisp texture and was the perfect balance between sweet and sour. Its juice had a very refreshing taste that tickled one's taste buds in a subtle manner.

After he finished eating the fruit, stem and all, he turned around to see that Athena had eaten hers aswell.

"Well then, I suppose it's time we get on to the main even." He spoke in a carefree yet solemn manner.

"Indeed." Athena nodded her head and took out an amethyst cube the size of an adult man's head.

"This is something that I asked Hephaestus to make for me. When activated it will transport its targets into a seperate space were their Authority is sealed and they are suppressed to the 2 Tier. Your Trial is simple really. You must enter this seperate space and either defeat me in combat or last 100 days against me." She explained in a straightforward manner, before staring into his eyes and asking, "Do you accept?"

Basil didn't hesitate to respond, "Yes!"

Was this a joke!? Although Athena's spear wielding and overall combat abilities were praised as being the pinnacle of what Celestial Fae could achieve, he had fought innumerable battles against Primrose, who herself had reached the pinnacle of spear wielding. He would never be afraid of any opponent in a battle were neither of them could use their Authority and had been suppressed to the same Tier!

As such thoughts crossed his mind Athena remained stoic and nodded her head before channeling her Divinity into the crystal cube.

It emitted a blindingly light which soon faded.

When it did Basil and Athena's forms had vanished but the cube remained hovering in the air.

Announcement
Hey its Azu here,

So this may be the last chapter of Codex that I release this week dependingon how everything goes so I figured that I should stop by and shamelessly advertisemy Discord Server and leave behind a link; https://discord.gg/JDVN5PC . Stop by if you want to see character pics or discuss the story in greater detail, I also post status updates for the novels of my various novels their.

Anyways, Azu out!

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