The harpies lunged forward, half heading for Adrestia while the other half came right at me. I barely had time to unsheathe my blade before I was slammed to the ground. I winced as pain blossomed from the back of my head as it bounced off the asphalt. I shoved the pain aside as I slammed my fist into the chest of my attacker, causing her to burst into flames.
“Oh, honey, it’s going to take more than a little fire to stop us,” the lead harpy laughed before trying to shove a dagger into my face. Kicking my legs out, I caused the blade to deflect to the side, leaving a cut across my cheek. Celestial Bronze.
“Androkàpraina,” I spat.
“No, I don’t get paid for it,” the harpy laughed as she slammed her blade into my shoulder. I gritted my teeth as pain ripped through my left arm. My attacker giggled, almost like she was getting high from this attack. Flames engulfed my right arm before my right hand slammed into her side, knocking her off me.
I rolled to the side, trying to come to my feet, but the other harpy’s blade nicked my back. Thankfully, my armor deflected the attack. I managed to roll to my feet, reaching for my sword. “Sithspit,” I snarled as I discovered it had been left on the ground. I needed a weapon. I tried to snap my left hand out to throw flames, only for nothing to happen. Pain shot through my arm and side, forcing me to a knee.
Before I could react, the second attacker’s foot slammed into my jaw, sending me flying back. I felt pain lance through my mouth. I barely had time to catch my breath before I rolled to the side to avoid the first harpy’s leap, my blade in her hands. I cried out as the dagger dug into my shoulder blade.
As I came to my feet, I yanked the Bronze Dagger out of my flesh, a spray of my blood leaving a line of gold across the ground. “You’ve been sponsored to get this,” I hissed through the pain.
“That’s for us to gain power and for you to die finely,” hissed the owner of the dagger.
“Don’t mess with the humans and us. That’s been the rule for thousands of years. Why break the status quo now?” I asked as I spun the dagger in my hand, so the spine of the blade rested on my inner forearm.
“You and your ilk broke the status quo first,” my attacker spat. Wait, where was the second one? I stepped back and to the side just as the other harpy would have slammed into me. As it was, she slammed her wing into the back of my head and grabbed my waist with her right arm, sending us both to the ground.
As we rolled together, I slammed the dagger into harpy’s leg. I knew exactly where I was hitting, thanks to my extensive knowledge from millennia of meat cuts. You have to know precisely where to apply a killing blow, after all. When hunting or fighting, expending the extra energy would leave you dead.
Only I missed. Not only did I miss the artery, but I also missed the leg entirely. “What?” I hissed.
“Oh, honey, we’re the new and improved harpies. We’re faster, smarter, and stronger,” the second harpy hissed into my ear after we hit the ground. She grabbed the back of my head and started to slam my face into the grass. Stars appeared in my vision from each impact.
“So, you’re the six million dollar harpy,” I spat, my golden blood spraying from my lips due to the bloody nose. “Zephyrus, you are just an androkàpraina, as I said.”
Zephyrus slammed her fists into the ground. “I am not an androkàpraina!”
Her screech caused me to grit my teeth as I took advantage of my attacker’s rage, which allowed me to roll onto my back. My leg hooked around Zephyrus’s arm and over her chest. With a snap of my hips, the harpy was slammed into the ground. The sound of wet sticks snapping ripped through the air.
“You might want to talk to the guy who sold you your body. You’ll need the extended warranty,” I said while I sat up. I drove the dagger into Zephyrus’s stomach, catching her before she could recover.
I barely had time to look up before I was slammed back to the ground. A fist hit the right side of my face, followed by the left side. Since when have harpies presented a challenge to the gods? We send our mortal children against them as a challenge for them, not ourselves. I’m sure Tia was doing better than I was.
“Play time’s over,” I hissed. It was time to charcoal these fools. With a flick of will, my body was enveloped in flames. The harpy on top of me giggled as she lifted her wings to avoid the flames.
“Is someone trying to get hot?” The harpy laughed.
I shook my head as I twisted my right hand up. “Well, at least I don’t have to pretend,” I spat as I threw a jet of nearly colorless flame into my attacker’s face. To my amazement, she managed to dodge, followed by knocking my hand to the side. I cut the flame off before it hit one of the houses. I think.
Wow, I am either that bad at fighting, or she’s had an upgrade too. Then again, my left arm is useless to me right now. That leaves my legs as my primary weapon and my right hand. Time to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. I slammed my knees into the harpy’s backside, pushing her over my head.
Rolling to my feet, my hand snapped to snatch the bronze dagger from Zephyrus but only came up with empty air. The winged creature was on her feet, giggling at me. This was despite the blood running from her stomach. Goddess, I could see her insides. What are these Harpies on?
“How the Olympians have fallen. Without the mortal’s worship, you’re nothing,” Zephyrus said as she swung the dagger at my face. I arched my back, dodging the blow. Snapping my legs to roll myself, I avoided her friend’s strike while I landed a right hook, sending her flying back.
Before standing, I had to dive to the side as Zephyrus slammed the dagger into the ground. “Hold still,” she hissed.
“No,” I said simply.
“You are nothing,” Zephyrus spat.
“Then hit me again,” I said sweetly as I dodged another swing. I dove to the side, avoiding another fist.
“Get her,” snarled Zephyrus.
“What do you think I’m doing? She’s more slippery than trying to catch a cat,” the other harpy snapped as she started to beat her wings, raising about ten meters into the air. Zephyrus moved to the side, forcing me to dodge right.
Zephyrus snapped her foot out, trying to strike my head. I dipped under, turning that into a dive, rolling back onto my feet just in time to see both harpies crumple to the ground. “You gotta get a lot faster than that,” I taunted.
“I was able to hurt you before. Why are you not dead?” snarled Zephyrus.
I paused, shrugging, “I am a goddess, and your not?” I stepped to the side as Zephyrus lunged at me, causing her to slam into the ground. “Oh, too slow.”
Zephyrus spat blood out of her mouth. “Stop that.”
“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a harpy,” I laughed, settling into the fight’s pace.
“What does that even mean?” Zephyrus asked, her broken wing dragging behind her.
“Oh, come on, you don’t know the classics?” I asked, stepping to the side to avoid the other harpy’s dive.
“Homer never said anything about a wrench,” Zephyrus said before leaping at me. I dove, letting her sail over my head, catching her friend in a flying leap.
“Homer wouldn’t know a wrench if it hit him in the head, which I am pretty sure happened in the show,” I said.
Zephyrus blinked at me, confusion evident on her face. “Homer never was in a play, was he?”
“With as much as you fawned over him, I’d expect you to know,” the other harpy said with a shrug of her shoulders. “Goddess here must be losing her mind or something,” she said with a lift of her hand at me.
“The Simpsons? Homer Simpson? Loves donuts? Nothing?” I asked.
“Did I knock a few things loose in your head?” Zephyrus asked.
“Tia, down!” I bellowed. I dove to the ground, grabbing fire from the exploding house behind me. I must have set the damn thing on fire with my jet flame from before. Fire and meth houses don’t exactly get along. The fireball engulfed the two harpies near me. Their screams of pain caused me to wince.