As pale tongues of flames danced at the peak of the mountains, the cracks of fire were so loud that even old farmers could hear. Between the cracks echoed down in the village, one could also hear the sound of Hephaestus forging metal. Legends had that the smithy of Hephaestus was located on the top of the volcano, overlooking Athena’s territory down the mountains.

        Having learnt of the legends, the hunter-gatherer tribe living on the mountains revered the might of Hephaestus. They built him a temple of God of Fire, worshipping him every day. Though Hephaestus never revealed himself before his worshippers, he forged them fortified bows and arrows so that they could subdue beasts. Finding the weapons of superior quality surprised the hunters and brought them great joy. Armed with superior weaponry, the tribe started a war with the farming clan tribe in the plains below. With a single battle, they reclaimed control over their homeland.

        Hephaestus could do little aside from regret the invasion of the territory. He was so disappointed in the hunter-gatherers that he rescinded all he had endowed. Since then, he trapped himself in the volcano, forging inside day and night. He never answered the prayers of the foragers.

        It was spring when Hephaestus carried his what he had spent forging down the mountains.

        “How are you doing in the search for the Elder Gods’ power?” Athena asked as soon as she saw Hephaestus.

        He did not reply. Instead, he crowned her with a laurel wreath. He then took out a necklace from the box loaded with treasures and put it on around her neck. Athena could feel the power within herself resonating with the jewelry. “These are... Don’t tell me - ”

        “Yes, that is exactly what they are.” Hephaestus was not good at expressing himself with words, while Athena also lacked the ability to appreciate his action. All she thought was of the waste to forge the power of the Elder Gods into decorative pieces. She threw what Hephaestus gave her on to the ground and rode away on her chariot away. Chasing behind her, Hephaestus yelled, “Since we can never return to heaven anyway, we should make a plan for ourselves.”

        Though ordered by Zeus to drain the power of the elder Gods left in the realm of men, Hephaestus’ only thought was protecting Athena from the struggles among the Gods. From the moment he split Zeus’ head, freeing Athena during his return to heaven, he had swore to himself that he would stay in the realm of Humans forever with Athena as one of their Gods. He never expected that Athena still remembered Zeus’ orders. On the top of the volcano where Hephaestus stayed, he spent of his time defending himself from the southern tidal waves, and the rest of his time, gazing at the maiden down the mountain.

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