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        “Time for this to end.”

        Athena stood over the fallen Galio with her pronged spear raised high. Summoning elemental power, she prepared to deliver the strike that would bring victory. The thought of revenge against the Courts of Zodiacs, who had humiliated them, brought cheers to Athena’s lips.

        “Galio, you disappointed me! You were once one of our soldiers!”

        Athena fiercely swung her spear at Galio; yet, a massive hammer dropped from the skies, knocking the spear away. Athena was shocked. From the hammer alone, she could identify the culprit. However, she could not comprehend his actions at that moment.

        “Hephaestus! What are you...?” Athena angrily asked Hephaestus. He had interrupted her joy. The humiliation she had so resented again appeared in her mind.

        Hephaestus picked up his massive hammer, and stood between Athena and Galio. With a stern expression on his face, he answered: “Do you feel there is nothing at all wrong about everything we have built? Not even a little bit?”

        “This is survival. The strong devours the weak. Only the fit survives.”

        Hephaestus fell into a silence. He had not expected this from Athena. With her sights set directly at Hephaestus, she lifted her spear and ordered: “Get out of the way. Stop helping these future-less people!”

        “Whether they have a future or not remains unknown...” Hephaestus struck the earth with his massive hammer, sending the soil erupting into the air. The strength of his blow was so powerful that the surroundings have become clouded, impossible to see through. When Athena looked in Hephaestus’ direction again, she could no longer find any trace of him or Galio.

        “Hephaestus, I shall never forgive you!” Athena bellowed with rage.

        At the same time, Hephaestus carried the severely wounded Galio back to his forge, and took careful care of him. Hephaestus realized that in this war, the Courts of Zodiacs’ power is indispensable.

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