When Basil breached the surface the sun had begun to descend beneath the western horizon as the moon rose from the east.
After taking a brief moment to orient himself he began to swim towards the shore where he had left his change of clothes.
As he approached the shore he caught sight of Athena sitting in a meditative pose beside his clothes as she patiently awaited his return.
Instead of the armor she had previously worn she was now garbed in a snow white dress and a pair of sandals.
Her hair had been tied into a single ponytail bound by a violet ribbon.
He unabashedly left the lake and began to approach her so as to dress himself.
As he did she opened her eyes and gave him a cursory glance and picked up his clothes before bringing them over to him.
After she handed him the clothes she turned on her heel to walk away.
"Our battle drew on for much longer than 100 days, you have passed the Trial. We will take care of the Induction Ceremony tonight."
She spoke as Basil pulled his pants on above his underwear.
Her tone was one of impassiveness, yet her words struck a chord within Basil.
"You think we came to a draw." He stated matter of factly.
"Didn't we?" Athena stopped walking as she asked coolly and turned to look him directly in the eye.
"We did not. You collapsed from exhaustion first. Therefore, it's my win."
At his words Athena's pupils suddenly dilated.
A breeze swept between the two of them as they lapsed into silence.
Athena slowly spoke, "I did indeed collapse first, but you actually lost consciousness first. Therefore, it is a draw."
"Fine then, rematch." Basil spoke.
"Very well then, I will oblige you."
Basil suddenly called out as Athena began to summon Pallas and don her armor.
"This time we fight unarmed as we are now."
Athena's eyes flashed with understanding.
"Then let us begin."
And so began their second round; the worries of the sealed spaces various wildlife proving to be correct.
Primrose arrived in front of Aphrodite’s bedroom door and gave it a gentle knock.
"Come in Prim."
Aphrodite's voice sounded out from within.
Primrose pushed the door opened and entered the room beyond before closing it back behind her.
Aphrodite was currently sitting on a terrace overlooking the watergardens behind the palace.
"Come and sit." She waved Primrose over after the latter entered the room.
Primrose walked over and sat across from her mother, briefly looking down at the scenery below.
"Here have some tea and cake." Aphrodite poured some tea in a cup for her and cut her a slice of cake before putting it on a plate.
Primrose drank some of the tea and used her fork to eat a piece of the yellow cake.
"I see your cultivation is progressing quite well. At this pace you should reach the 5th Tier in just a few more years."
"En." Primrose nodded in affirmation.
In the 20 years since similarly to Basil she had devoted her time to cultivating her physical body.
But, unlike Basil her Primordial Sovereign Bloodline was a fusion between the Human and Deva species making it so that she could follow the path that most Deva took.
After the Divine Accumulation Realm she entered the 3rd Tier Divine Refinement Realm and used the sea of Divinity filling her Internal World to refine her Anima.
While doing so she also placed her Divine Armaments through the refinement of her Divinity.
Afterwards she had formed her seed of Authority stepping into the 4th Tier before beginning to gestate it within her Internal World.
The process was many times easier for her than other Deva as both she and Basil were born with complete understanding of their Authorities and had developed the power of their Animas to profound levels during the coubtless cycles that they spent in their Mental World.
After taking a sip of her tea she looked upon Aphrodite with slight confusion.
Her mother in this life was very frivolous in appearance and often engaged in dubious acts.
But beneath the surface she was a very caring and driven person; willing to go to any lengths to care for those close to her. This was especially so for her children, as could be seen in the actions she took to ensure Primrose's growth.
In fact the one of the reasons she had created a Faction and constructed this Palace they were currently sitting in was so that her children could have a place to return to when they grew weary of their adventures in the outside world.
It was the same for her Household, she created it to endure that her Subordinates could develop their own strengths to protect both themselves and her children when she Withdrew back into the world.
Withdrawal was something that happened to all Celestial Fae such as her.
Celestial Fae which The Heavenly Will and World as a whole had a hand in giving birth to, would at some point be called to The Garden of Eden; where they would be placed in a state of eternal sleep until their came a day that they were Awakened to protect the World Tree.
They were The World Tree's final line of defense against any form of harm.
The plan had always been to pass her Household over to one of her children before her Withdrawal. Now that Primrose had been born she (Aphrodite) could hand over her Household to her (Primrose) before leaving for The Garden of Eden.
"Why exactly did you chose to give me your Household over the others. Was it simply because of my Primordial Sovereign Ranked Bloodline?" Primrose asked.
Aphrodite released a beautiful smile before gently shaking her head and speaking, "No that had absolutely nothing to do with it. I chose you because your future will be fraught with the most difficulty and I want to do all I can in support of you before I leave."
Primrose looked down briefly before looking back up and speaking softly with tears in her eyes, "Thank you."
*Boom!* *Boom!* *Boom!*
Sonic booms rang out as Basil and Athena's bodies continuously flashed about at a speed surpassing sound.
Shockwaves continued to ripple outwards blowing apart the clouds in the sky and causing the waves to form on the lake down below.
They had initiated the second round of their fight only a few hours ago. The sun had now descended over the horizon and night had descended over the world.
As Athena threw a punch his way Basil retaliated. Their fists met in mid air and and caused yet another explosion.
Basil then twisted his body and and launched a kick Athena's way.
As his foot was about to make contact with her body Athena's gaze remained steady.
She stepped on on air and she she instantly accelerated and maneuvered through his attack's gap and threw another punch at his exposed chest.
A ray of purple light surrounded her fist as it made contact with the orb in the center of his chest and a shockwave spread across his entire body.
His eyes dimmed briefly as blood flew out of his mouth.
He flew backwards and crashed into the surface of the lake at the speed of sound, causing a water column to explode upwards.
A large amount of the blood Basil spit out landed on Athena's body yet her expression remained impassive, as she awaited Basil's return.
But when jt suddenly permeated her skin through her pores and entered her bloodstream her expression suddenly worsened.
After entering her bloodstreams Basil's blood had fused with her own causing the latter to boil.
A fiery aura then swept across her body and her normally flawless thought process became muddled as her expression wavered slightly.
This sudden change confused her and she could do nothing but immediately adopt a meditative posture as she circulated her Divinity through her body at top speed in order to clear her mind.
In their earlier fighting his blood had never landed directly on her skin, instead sticking to her armour. Although the smell it had given off then had been attractive she hadn't paid it attention as the blood of many Deva had a beneficial affect towards others.
She never expected it to affect her mental state and body to such an extent after entering her bloodstream.
After a while Basil suddenly rushed upwards from the lake's surface, with a slightly pale expression.
The Divinity that Athena had wrapped around her fist in her earlier attack had a suppressive affect towards the Divinity of other Deva. Her strike had also landed on his Ruhk directly, managing to stir up his Internal World.
When he left the lake he had originally intended to use his Bloodline and Divinity to give her an equally harmful attack using his Authority of Destruction.
But as he laid eyes on Athena he immediately paused, a troubled expression on his face.
He knew the affects his Blood coul have on other lifeforms.
When he saw the blood on her dress but none on the rest of her body as well as her wavering expression he knew that his blood must've entered her bloodstream through her skin.
He knew that it must be affecting her mental state and causing her body to undergo a change.
He also new that his presence her would only exacerbate the issue as the aura he gave off naturally would multiply the affects his blood had on others.
He also didn't have much hope in her suppressing her blood in a short time as the higher Rank one's Bloodline and the Stronger they were, the more profound of an affect his blood would have on them.
Take Gaia for instance, his blood entering her body her body had been set ablaze with lust.
This caused him to worry that even Athena wouldn't be able to suppress her urges if he was to close. As such he turned in the opposite direction of Athena and took flight at his fastest speed, transforming into a ray of golden-black light.
But it was already to late.
The moment Basil had breached the lake's surface his aura was no longer being blocked by it. In that moment Athena's blood was set ablaze like a a pile of dry blood.
Her mind immediately became even more muddled as her body suddenly moved appearing in Basil's path above the lake shore.
Basil crashed into her and both of them tumbled to the ground.
He had just managed to climb to his feet when Athena tackled him, pressing his back against the ground.
He looked up and they locked gazes.
Her expression was one of confliction as she failed to fight off her urges and pinned him to the ground.
A red colored blush had spread across her supple skin, giving her an aura of allure and seductiveness.
Basil's body suddenly erupted into motes of golden-red flame as Athena struggled internally.
A light of relief flashed through her eyes as she did, along with some self-ridicule.
When had she ever been the one to push someone else down; it was often others trying to push her down and getting wounded if not killed. And now here she was with a muddled mind attempting to force herself on someone else. A truly ironic situation.
She forcefully closed her eyes and attempted to suppress her burning blood.
Yet, she could feel that her blood was only growing further out of control as her Soul trembled.
At this time a spout of flames formed a few miles away, from which Basil's figure emerged.
He cast Athena a glance before he began to run across the grassy ground, transforming once more into a golden-black ray of light.
He didn't get too far before his Soul quaked aswell and the Runic Image of a lotus flower appeared on his shoulder and emitted purple rays of light.
He briefly lost control over his body and tripped, slamming face first into the ground.
"The contract! Her body absorbing my blood initiated the contract forcefully, similar to the incident with Gaia. If we don’t stop it and allow the contract forms now it could further incite her body. But, if she loses her Virginity in this way it could affect her future mental state? Truly a sticky situation..." Basil mumbled as he pushed himself up from the ground.
At that moment Athena appeared before him. Her eyes had regained some of her earlier clarity, but she still struggled to remain in control of herself.
She walked up to him slowly as she stared into his eyes.
"We need to form the contract now. It is the only thing that will calm both my body and mind."
"While that is true you yourself should understand that their is also a significant chance that it goes the other way. And in that case it could also begin to affect me due to our contract. Are you prepared for such an outcome?" Basil questioned directly.
"Yes I am. The main reason any of us avoided losing our maidenhead up until now was because doing so would force us to join the Household of whoever took it; take Hera for example. But you are the prophesied Holy Emperor, and if you recall I already had the intention of joining your Household." Was Athena’s straightforward response.
"Then why did you seem so unwilling when you first pinned me down over there?" Basil asked with some confusion.
"Because my maidenhood is something I have maintained for countless years, I wasn't ready to part with it just yet. But there is no avoiding that which must come, and I have never been one to run." Athena responded earnestly.
"Very well then." Basil nodded in admiration.
He suddenly walked up to her and pressed his forhead against her own.
A golden-black ripple of light spread outwards from them and their Souls once more trembled as a Divine Edict appeared in the air above them.
Aura flames then engulfed their bodies forming a pillar that poured into the Divine Edict as a mental connection formed between the two of them.