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Prince

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Chapter 1: Who I Am

Percy’s Apartment, New York City, Percy Jackson has just turned 18 and has finished the second semester of his junior year. Christmas Break has started.

Percy stared at his father. “Say again?”

Poseidon’s proud smile grew nervous. “I said that Amphitrite has agreed to let you stay during your Christmas break. I’ve been showering her with gifts and she’s finally agreed! Isn’t that wonderful?!”

Percy slumped further into his seat. “And what about Triton? Your ‘son and heir’ hates my guts. Don’t bother denying it. He would agree.”

Poseidon sighed. “I know, but I’m hoping that spending time together at the palace will forge a friendship between you two.”

Percy’s stare became incredulous.

“Don’t look at me like that! It might happen!”

Percy raised an eyebrow. Poseidon sighed.

“You’re right; it’s never going to happen.” He rubbed a hand through his beard.

Percy cracked a smile. “I’ll go, just keep in mind that any and all blame for fights and arguments should be divided equally.”

Poseidon grinned. “Okay, thank you!” He vanished.

Percy shook his head. Terrific, I’m going to spend a Christian holiday with Greek gods. He cracked up.

“Mom?!”

“Yes, honey?”

Percy walked out of my room. “Can you and Paul spare me for the holidays?”

She paled slightly. He rushed to ease her mind. “No! No, mom, it’s not a quest. Dad’s invited me to the palace for Christmas. Amphitrite, it seems, had decided to give me a chance and not hate my guts.”

Sally laughed. “I’m glad it’s not a quest.” Turning to Percy she said, “Just promise me one thing, dear.”

“Yes mom?”

“Don’t get into trouble. Don’t bring shame on your father.” Percy swallowed and nodded. He would try, but trouble followed him everywhere. Sally seemed to know what he was thinking. She kissed his forehead and smiled. “All I ask is that you try.”

He braved a smile and nodded.

POV Change - Atlantis

“Welcome to Atlantis, my Prince.”

I stared at the dolphin. “I’m not your-”

“Percy!” I turned to see Tyson barreling toward me.

“Uh oh…Tyson shrink first!” My eyes widened. Controlling the water, I pushed the dolphin out of the way and shot myself directly upward. Tyson zoomed past me. The big guy look around confused.

“Percy?”

“Tyson, shrink first!” Tyson looked up and blushed.

“Sorry.” He shrank down to a proper size. I allowed myself to sink back down to Tyson. My baby brother hugged me tightly, too tightly. “How is Ella?”

I smirked. “She’s doing really well. It was hard to explain where you were, but she finally understood. She’s eager for you to come back.”

Tyson smiled happily. He grabbed my things and led me inside. I nodded goodbye to the dolphin and followed my brother.

Tyson didn’t stop talking until he got to my bedroom. I laughed at him and casually glanced inside. My jaw dropped.

“Um…is this my room?”

“Yes, brother. Do you not like it?” Tyson looked worried.

I stared at him. “Um…it’s huge.”

Tyson realized that I was in shock and laughed. “Daddy said it is third most larger room in the palace.

“Largest.”

“Huh?”

I shook my head. I had been spending for too much time with my Grammar Geek Girlfriend. “Never mind.” Tyson nodded.

“Come on, brother, I’ll show you!” He pulled me around the rooms, showing me a room that heated the water inside it. Another group of rooms were filled with air, for when I was tired of swimming and breathing water; there was a dry bed, human food, and a shower and bath. Outside of those rooms, another room with a fishy kitchenette for me. Tyson showed me all the different kinds of foods. He continued to show me everything that there was to show. I smiled.

“And this is a lamp! It is made from a glowing pearls that need to be digged out of the ground.”

I internally cringed at Tyson’s speech. Why hasn’t anyone taught him grammar? I needed to talk to Dad about that. Then again, maybe I needed to see a shrink, because I’m starting to care about correct grammar? I shuddered. It was a sign of the apocalypse. Annabeth must never know!

“I think that’s enough Tyson. Father wants to see brother.”

Tyson and I turned to see Triton at the door. My gut clenched, but I managed not to be offensive or anything. “Hello Triton.”

“Perseus.”

I ground my teeth and chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he didn’t know that I hated my full name?

He smirked. Oh no, he definitely knew. I closed my eyes and then opened them again. Don’t make trouble. Don’t make trouble. Don’t make trouble. Don’t shame Dad. Don’t shame Dad.

“Triton, Percy is your brother. I will not see you try to antagonize him.” I breathed a sigh a relief. Dad gently pushed his eldest son towards me. “Percy has made it clearly known that he prefers to be called by his nickname, not his full name.”

“You mean Seaweed Brain?”

“Triton.” There was a warning note in Dad’s voice. I smiled viciously.

“It’s alright Dad. I’m alright.” I gave him a I’ll-be-good-no-matter-what-Triton-does-to-hurt-me look. I saw Triton grind his teeth. It took all my self-control not to smirk. Contrary to popular belief, I do have self-control. I just choose not to exercise it often.

Poseidon smiled. “Excellent. Tyson, boys, come it’s time for dinner.”

I was about to follow when Triton said. “Father, you seem to be forgetting something.” Poseidon grimaced.

“Yes, of course. Percy, now, before I tell you this, I need you to swear that you won’t overreact.”

My eyes narrowed. Triton muttered something inaudible in Greek, in English he said. “Way to put him on the defensive, father.”

Poseidon cursed. “Percy…Percy don’t back away from me. Percy get back here right now!” Too late. I was gone. I took one look at Triton’s evil smirk and Dad’s glowing Trident, and I knew shit was about to hit the fan.

Three hours and twenty-seven minutes later, Atlantis Palace – POV Change

Triton rolled his eyes. “You just had to start it off that way didn’t you father?”

Poseidon shrugged his shoulders. “How was I suppose to know he’d bolt?”

They left the sparring/gym room. Percy was still nowhere to be found. Poseidon growled. “Come on, let’s eat. He’ll show up when he’s hungry.” Triton nodded. “TYSON! Come on! We’re going to dinner.”

POV Change – Meanwhile…

Little did they know, I was hiding in my spacious rooms. The dry ones. I had already made myself some delicious blueberry pancakes with maple syrup. I was thanking the god of cooking that Mom had taught me how to cook.

I smiled a sticky smile. Dad didn’t think about searching the most obvious place. I snickered. I entered the water side of my room, and started poking around on my own. I touched the water bed and gave a yelp as the bed sheets became animated and tied me up.

“I told you he would hide in here. I’m just glad he stayed put until we finished dinner.” Triton smirked. I sighed.

Poseidon stared at me sadly. “Why did you run, Percy?”

“Why was Triton grinning like a fishy version of Hermes on caffeine? Why was your trident glowing? Obviously something bad was going to go down. I didn’t stick around to find out what it was.”

Triton blinked. “Actually, that makes sense.”

Poseidon glared at his eldest. “Silence Triton.” He turned back to me. “As an explanation for what happened earlier, I have spread the news that I have a second eldest son.”

I blinked. “Eldest?”

“Tyson is younger than you. Triton is my eldest son. You are my second eldest. I personally view Sally as a Queen among mortals; therefore, you are a Prince. Royalty flows through your blood. Your Uncle Zeus is a King of the gods. Your Uncle Hades is the King of the dead. Your father is the King of the seas. You are royalty.”

I stared at him. “And you’re telling me this because…?”

Triton hissed out a sigh. “Father has told his kingdom that you are a Prince. Therefore, you need to have an ornament, symbol, or even a circlet to signify your status. Also, in order not to raise too many eyebrows, and to make things a lot more efficient for you, father is also planning on making you a merman. Get over it, it’s already been decided.”

Poseidon sighed. “Triton, would you have like it if you had been spoken to that way?”

Triton blinked. “No…”

“Then what made you think Percy would take well to it? Hmm?”

I wasn’t listening anymore. I started screaming obscenities at Triton and my father. Tyson just stared at me.

“Big Brother’s got a dirty mouth.”

Triton snickered.

“But not as dirty as Big, Big Brother when he loses at a sparring game.”

It was my turn to stop shouting and start laughing. It was Triton’s turn to start cussing. Unbeknownst to my elder brother, younger brother, and father, I was manipulating the water to untie the bed sheets. When I was completely free, I manipulated the water and threw the sheets onto my father and Triton. I was laughing uncontrollably as I shot out of the room. Tyson just waved to me.

I had no idea where I was going, so I just fled upwards to the second floor and shot into the first room I could find.

“Oh my!”

I whirled around and paled as I realized that I had intruded on the Queen of the seas. “M’lady, please forgive me, but I am currently running from my father.” I put my head back onto the door to hear. I needn’t have bothered. I heard my father shouting for me while he was still in my room. I fled behind the desk that Amphitrite was working at. “Please, m’lady, hide me.”

She smiled with amusement. “Is this about turning you into a merman?”

I blinked and then nodded. She looked back up, her face completely stoic. The door opened.

“Ah, Poseidon, Triton, and Tyson, my, what are you three doing here in an obvious huff?”

She reminded me slightly of my mother. I smiled at the thought. Maybe she could learn to tolerate me?

“Percy has slipped away again. Father should have just transformed him while he had the chance.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes Tyson?”

“Why does Big brother have to become a fish boy?”

I viciously held back a snicker. I felt Amphitrite press her fin into my back warningly. I went completely still.

I heard my father sigh. “As a human he would attract too much attention. Too many monsters would try to grab him. They would recognize him as Percy Jackson, Bane of Monsters. However, no one would expect Percy to have fins. This is a way for Percy to have a safe, peaceful stay at my palace and in my kingdom, and for people to realize that he is a Prince.”

Tyson sighed. “But Big brother doesn’t want to have fins. He also doesn’t want to have titles.”

“What do you mean by that?” Amphitrite asked. Poseidon interrupted.

“It’s nothing dear. Percy is just slightly peculiar when it comes to being called things.”

“Hush dear, Tyson, tell me.” Her voice left no room for argument. I understood why Dad didn’t want his wife to know about all the stuff I’ve done and me turning down immortality. Who knows how she would react?! Triton sure didn’t have a good reaction! It made him hate me all the more.

“Uncle Zeus offered Big brother a big reward, becoming a god. Big brother said no. He also hates it when his friends call him by his titles.”

Triton spoke up. “What sort of titles? I don’t know them all.”

“Hero of Olympus. Retriever of the Master Bolt. Victor over Kronos. Savior of Olympus. Giant’s Bane. Bane of Monsters. Retriever of the Athena Parthenos. The one he really hates is Survivor of Tartarus.” I heard Triton intake a sharp breath. Obviously he hadn’t heard all of them.

I closed my eyes stifled a groan and a curse. Thank you, Tyson…

Amphitrite gasped. “Poseidon, is there a reason you have told me so little about your son?! All that I know about Perseus Jackson is that he is the son of Sally Jackson and you! I know nothing else!” She looked in the direction Triton must have been in. “Did you know of all this, Triton?!”

I heard him clearing his throat. “Father told me to keep it a secret. Besides, I only knew of a few of them!”

Poseidon groaned. “I didn’t want you to hate Percy any more than you already do. Triton, I already know, hates Percy far more than he has any right to, and don’t think we’re not going to talk about that either, young man!” I could practically hear Triton rolling his eyes.

I looked up to see Amphitrite blinking in shock. She glanced down at me, and I bit my lip. I tried to send a message, Do you hate me more because of what I’ve done?

She paused and then gave a minute shake of her head. She glanced up again. “I do not hate him. He has done much, it seems, to defend a group of gods who have done nothing to endear themselves to him. Such sacrifice should not go unnoticed. Percy, get up and become transformed. I will personally teach you how to used your fins.”

Poseidon’s jaw dropped as I rose from where I was hiding.

I flushed. “You’ll turn me back?”

Poseidon smiled softly. “Of course son. Actually, Triton didn’t explain it all that well. I’m giving you the ability to transform at will. However, I do not want you to change back until your visit here is done. If you need to get on land you will flop around until I let your body transform.” Dad raised his hands and looked like he was getting ready to conduct an orchestra. He closed his eyes and the summoned his trident to him. It glowed. I gulped.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: To Be A Fish

He shot a bolt at me, and I gave a cry of shock. What my dad didn’t tell me was that it would HURT LIKE HELL! I should know; I’ve been there!

I screamed and panted. Suddenly the pain was gone, I looked down. I had fins instead of feet. I examined my new appendage. The scales were black, but if in the right light would show a deep emerald green. The very tips of the fins were obviously emerald green. I sighed. I moved my hand to push my hair up and saw that my skin was light green.

“Do I have shark teeth too?”

Poseidon rolled his eyes. “Forgive him, he doesn’t know anything about Mer hierarchy.” He turned to me. “Percy, Mers who have shark teeth are common Mers. The ones of Royal blood, they have rounded, human-like teeth.”

I nodded. “Okay, one more question.”

Poseidon looked at me expectantly. “Yes?”

“HOW DO I FUCKING GET UP?!” Amphitrite smacked me sharply on the back on my head.

“Language young man!”

I sighed. “Yes, ma’am.”

Triton snickered. I shot him a glare. It wasn’t one of my best though, because he wasn’t an enemy…yet.

Amphitrite sighed. “Boys, please, ease up on the animosity. Percy try to flick your fins.”

I did. It was more of a halfhearted flop. She pinched the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger.

“Perseus…” I sighed again. I flicked my fins more powerfully, and suddenly I was off the ground.

“Whoa…” I tried to balance myself. She flicked her fins, and I copied her. She showed me how to steer myself with my fins and how to just hover in the water without using my hands for anything but balance. I’m proud to say that I learned quickly. We practiced for nearly an hour and a half.

She smiled at me. “Excellent work. Now come. Poseidon?”

He looked up from his work at his desk. “Hmm?”

“The crown.”

He shot up. “Of course! Come along Percy.” Triton was too busy doing his own paperwork to take much notice of our departure. Tyson had said goodbye a while ago to go back to the forges.

They left the room quickly; I tried to keep up with them. “Uh, guys? New fish here.”

Poseidon smiled sheepishly. “Sorry Percy.”

Amphitrite smiled. “You’re a lot like Triton than either of you wish to admit.”

I opened my mouth and then shut it. “No comment.”

“You just did.” I rolled my eyes.

“Couldn’t you have stayed in your work world, Triton?”

“And miss what’s coming next?” His voice was positively dripping mirth. “Not for all the salt in the seas, little brother…”

I suddenly realized how Apollo must feel when Artemis said that in public. I slapped his face with my fins, snickering at his outraged expression. Amphitrite giggled and then proceeded to pretend that such a sound never escaped her.

Triton’s jaw dropped at the sound that had come from his mother. Obviously, the Queen didn’t giggle a lot. I smiled. Leave it to me to cause someone to do something out of the ordinary.

Poseidon cleared his throat. His quiet smile showed me that he was proud that Triton and I were teasing each other. I rolled my eyes. Triton still probably hated my guts.

“Boys, stop sea horsing around.” He continued swimming for the treasury vault. I swam after him. Triton bumped me slightly, and I bumped him back. Amphitrite cleared her throat. We both looked back at her guiltily and quietly followed Dad.

He swam through an open hallway. By open, I’m mean that the ceiling wasn’t there. There were soldiers and servants swimming above us. They all stopped and bowed. I knew they were staring at me. I was the fresh gossip after all. The second eldest son of Poseidon, prince of both above and below the surface and all that crap.

Dad led us farther into a huge chamber. It had high vaulting ceilings, and no windows. There were guards that lined the hallway to the single door. I smirked. It practically screamed PRECIOUS VALUABLES LOCKED BEHIND THIS DOOR! I rolled my eyes slightly.

“Obvious much. You need to put up a sign too.” I muttered. Fortunately no one heard, or so I thought.

“I know right? I told Father to make the vault in a nondescript place. Maybe a false floor under his personal office?”

I raised my eyebrow. “I was thinking someplace outside of the palace. Like cave of sorts that only the Royal Family knows the location to.”

“Slightly hard to get at though.”

“That’s the idea, brother dear,” I snarked.

He rolled his eyes. “I see.”

We finally arrived. Seriously, that hallway was long. Dad opened the double doors and we entered. There were luminescent pearls put in strategic places to give maximum light.

At the very front and center was a silver circlet. It was just four, thin, silver wires twisted around each other in an intricate pattern. At the front of the circlet was fastened a small, drop let shaped, dark emerald stone. On the same black velvet cushion sat two silver armbands. Both armbands had the same type of stones. The only difference was the there was inscriptions on the armbands. Words written in Greek.

My father gently picked up the circlet and placed on my head. It fit snugly, the stone dipping at the center of my forehead. Poseidon murdered something in Greek My brain automatically translated it. “Crowned at last, Prince Perseus Jackson, son of Poseidon, Hero of Olympus, Savior of Olympus, Retriever of the Master Bolt, Victor over Kronos, Victor over Iapetus, Victor over Hyperion, Giants’ Bane, Bane of Monsters, Leader of the Demigods, Retriever of the Athena Parthenos, Survivor of Tartarus.”

I sighed. I wasn’t the leader of the demigods. Dad was crowning me under false pretenses. He slipped the armbands on me as well. Once the last armband was placed all three stones glowed. I felt power surge through me. Gasping, I stared at Dad.

He smiled. “These will be with you always. They will appear when you desire them to. They will appear when I desire them to. They are symbols of your heritage. Do not be ashamed of them. Do not try to hide them.”

I nodded and bowed. “Yes, sir.” Of course I would try to hide them. Mortals wouldn’t understand. My father then proceeded to give me something that I never thought I would ever have been given.

He gave me my own trident. “This has as much power as Triton’s. It will come whenever you wish it and where ever you are, even in Hades. It can never be broken. It can never run out of power. Use it well.”

I took it reverently. I was about to ask if he could teach me how to use it, but as soon as my fingers touched the metal, I knew every minute detail about it. It was mine. My power. An extension of myself. It hummed and glowed in direct connection to my mood. I instantly knew all the secrets of throwing it and using it for combat.

The trident was silver, like my circlet and armbands. It was a three prong spear. The prongs were dangerously sharp. It was a simple silver trident, with no inscriptions, no stones of power, nothing. I gripped it tighter, and it glowed brighter. I didn’t know it, but there was a smile on my face.

Poseidon smiled at how happy I was. “Percy…”

I snapped out of it. “Yes, Father?”

His eyes widened slightly. I heard Amphitrite gasp. What I didn’t know, until much later, was that I sounded exactly how Triton sounded when Poseidon first gave him his trident.

Dad shook his head. “It’s time the Royal Family went out and greeted the people. We do it every other night. They’ll want to meet you.”

I gulped. “Okay.”

Triton snickered. “What are you afraid of? You’re not the one making the speech! Father will be.”

I forced a smile. “I just don’t like being in the spotlight.”

Triton narrowed his gaze at me, as if trying to see if I was lying. I bristled slightly. He forced himself to relax and give a laugh. “Come on brother.”

I followed the rest of my pseudo family, well, except for my father. I still didn’t know what to make of my immortal family.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three: Tartarus

“Percy! Wait up!”

I laughed and zipped through the water. It had been two and a half weeks since I was first transformed. I’m glad to report that I’ve gotten exceedingly better at swimming. I can even match Triton’s speed! I gained speed and shot into the air. Laughing, I twisted in the highest point of my arch and sliced back into the water like an upside swan dive. I swam in a lazy circle around Triton.

“Why so serious, Tri? Honestly! Lighten up! Father knows where we are.” I had discovered his nickname when Poseidon forced Triton to introduce me to his circle of friends. At first it had burned Triton up when his friends quickly accepted me into their group. I later overheard Triton’s close friend, Mako, giving him a harsh talking to.

“Triton, the reason we’ve accepted your brother is because that he’s cool! We don’t care who his mother is! If you randomly met him at the Atlantis Academy for Royals you would have become fast friends with him. Admit it! Swallow your pride for once and give him a chance!”

I had snuck away and gone for a long swim. Later, Triton had caught up with me, and I told him that I had overheard. I told him that if he didn’t like me, then I would accept that and request father to let me return to the above world. I would break surface and never return to Atlantis when he was there. I remember him being slack jawed as he realized that I wasn’t being sarcastic but very genuine. He had assured me that he didn’t want me to leave.

We decided to try again. I found out what pressed his buttons and why, and he found out the same for me. He even helped me pick out a ring for Annabeth. We were planning on getting engaged some time during college. Right now we were just dating, but I wanted to get her something that would tell everyone that she was my girl. In the end, Triton helped me find a beautiful silver ring with an emerald stone in it. It was the same kind of stone that was in my armbands.

I snapped back to the present when Triton’s friends caught up to us.

“Do you have to go so fast?!” Mako, Elise, Fresca, Tolo, and Hunt swam over to us.

Mako, a sandy haired, brown eyed, blue scaled, blue skinned merman, was around 1,000 years old. Triton was the oldest at 3,000, and then Mako. The third eldest was Tolo, who had long black hair, always braided, purple eyes, as well as purple fins and green skin; he was 768. Fresca was next, she was 604 years old, with striking orange scales and vibrant red hair and slightly red skin, a lot like Rachel in personality actually. I was beginning to think all red heads were.

Elise, Fresca’s sister, turned 600 just a few days ago. She had light blue scales, which I thought were beautiful, light blue skin, and startling silver hair and eyes. Hunt was the baby in the group at 579 years of age. He had brown hair, brown eyes, and green scales, with green skin. Hunt, Fresca, and Elise had shark like teeth. Their blood wasn’t royal. Mako, Tolo, Triton, and I did have royal blood, so our teeth were human.

Yeah, at the age of 18, I was a kid to them, but I had seen, done, and met more people in my eighteen years of life, than they had even dreamed of meeting. It was rather amusing in a way.

Mako slung an arm around Triton. “Seriously Triton, your little brother is fast!”

I laughed. “Or maybe you’re just getting slow in your old age?”

He lifted an eyebrow at me. “Oh really?” I laughed, but suddenly my laugh was cut off. My face froze.

“Percy?” Triton didn’t like that look on my face, that much I could tell.

They turned slowly and looked down where I was looking. “What does that dark hole lead to?” Hunt asked. His voice shook slightly.

Fresca looked at it and shrugged. “Don’t know. Why?”

I grabbed Hunt from going any closer. “Don’t.” There was something in my voice that froze them all. “Triton, Mako, get the rest to the cliff.”

“Percy, Father will kill me if you get hurt.”

I laughed. “I’m not going to get hurt.”

“What if it’s a serpent?” Tolo whispered.

“Don’t worry, I killed a couple of those before; they’re not that hard to kill actually. Any of you guys could do it, especially Mako and Tolo. Triton could do it, but that’d be cheating.” Elise’s jaw went slack.

“You have got to tell us that story, Perce.”

Despite my fear of that tunnel, I smirked. “Maybe.”

Triton glared at me. I relented. “Fine, tonight at dinner.” She gave a small squeal. They retreated, but Triton went with me.

“Oh yes, this is brilliant.” I muttered to him. “Let’s have both of Poseidon’s sons go and investigate a mysterious and dangerous looking cave.”

“Shut up. If you think I’m going to let you do this alone, you’re insane.”

“You sound a little like Annabeth.”

“Then she is a very wise girl.”

“Being the daughter of Wisdom, I wouldn’t be surprised actually.”

“Shut up, Percy.”

I snickered. We moved closer to the mouth of the cave. A chilled current swept us closer. I knew that feeling. My eyes widened. I yanked Triton away just before a strong current swept inside. It would have yanked us far into the cave with no hope of swimming out.

“It can’t be…” My face was pale. Triton could see that I was sweating, which was certainly an accomplishment in water.

I yanked him away from the entrance and swam as fast I could back to the others.

“Percy, what was it?”

“Triton what happened?” Mako pulled Triton aside.

Triton shrugged, still trying to keep up with me. “A strong current almost pulled us inside the cave. Percy suddenly started freaking out and then we were swimming away from it.”

I had no time for chit chat. “Hurry!” I barked.

We swam for the palace. Amphitrite saw us. “Well now, did you have a nice outing?”

I didn’t answer. “Where’s my father? I have something urgent to speak to him about.”

She blinked. “In his study.” I nodded and shot away. “But he’s in a meeting, Percy!” I didn’t listen. Triton didn’t follow me as he was too busy being interrogated by his mother.

I knocked on the door once, but didn’t wait for welcome. “Father!” I saw that he was speaking with his higher generals.

Poseidon, I could tell, was quite disgruntled with me. “Percy, I’m busy, as you can see.”

I swallowed. This could not wait. “It is of utmost importance.” He didn’t look convinced. “Father, please.”

“Leave us for a while.”

The men bowed. I noticed a few gave me dirty looks. I glared right back at them with my deluxe wolf stare. The one Lupa taught me the hard way. My face and eyes said that I would kill them without a second thought or single shred of emotion, without even raising my heartbeat. That unnerved them, and they skittered out of the room.

“Yes, Percy? I trust that this is important?” His voice was strained. Poseidon hated it when I threatened his generals. Haha! An 18 year old kid like me…it made me want to grin, but the threat and reminder that hung over me made it impossible to.

I stared at him. “There is an entrance to Tartarus not even ten clicks outside the city. Is that important enough?” He froze. Okay, maybe I was little too snarky, but memories of Tartarus were making me edgy.

“What?”

“It’s completely unguarded, and anyone could enter. Why wasn’t it guarded?!”

Poseidon stared at me. “Take me there. Now.”

He summoned our chariots. It only took five minutes before we swept past Triton, his friends, and Amphitrite. Triton stared at me. Poseidon didn’t even notice them.

“Hurry Percy, take me there now!”

I whipped the water near the hippocampi, urging them faster. Before long, I slowed and pointed. “There. That cave entrance.”

Poseidon dismounted. I did too. “Careful, Father. There is a strong current every so often that pulls the unsuspecting inside it. He slowed his pace. Staying a healthy distance away from the cave, he studied it.

“It’s identical to the one in the Underworld. How was it formed? Why is it here? It wasn’t here last year, that’s all I can say.”

“Can they be made from the inside of Tartarus, Dad?”

He froze. “Titans could make them. Tartarus himself could make them.”

“Maybe Gaea hid it, but maybe, when she fell asleep and became obliterated, she lost control of hiding it.”

“And it became noticeable? Possibly, possibly. I need to post guards here.”

I barked a laugh. Poseidon stared at me. “Father, I’ve studied how Tartarus is made. The monsters, that the demigods kill, keep coming back. They keep reforming, thanks to Tartarus himself, and coming through the doors. However, the only monsters that can do that are ones that Hades lets exit. Monsters who aren’t allowed to leave Tartarus, like Night, Giants, Titans, and such they will find other ways to escape. If this is what I think it is, then this is the ‘other way’. Gaea was probably planning on using this cave just in case the doors didn’t work. What I’m saying is this, if any monsters could survive escaping from Tartarus into the living world through this way, then no Mer would be able to stand against them.”

Poseidon stared at me. “I wouldn’t know that because I have never escaped Tartarus. What is it like?”

I sighed. Me and my big mouth. “Annabeth and I took the Doors of Death. We escaped in a metal box that protected us from the changing atmosphere. As long as the doors were closed we would survive. If those doors were to open bye, bye Annabeth and Percy. One time, our doors slipped open slightly, we smelled sulfur. We were moving through the heart of Gaea to the surface. We were moving through both magical, metaphysical stuff and physical, geological stuff. Now, think, a cave, a tunnel, those wouldn’t have the protection that a magical, metal elevator would have. Any monster surviving that trip would have to be insanely determined and insanely powerful. Any monster that powerful who not bat an eyelash at a handful of Mer soldiers.”

Poseidon stared at me for a moment. “Very well. I’ll post a watch tower. Any sign of activity then they are to sound the alarm and then get out of there. Better?”

I smiled. “A lot better actually. We’re probably talking Giants, Titans, Tartarus himself maybe.”

My father closed his eyes. “I have never met that primordial. I hope I never do.”

I shook my head. “I hope you don’t either. I still have nightmares about his face. It was worse, far worse than Typhon’s. Far, far worse. It’s like staring into Typhon’s face for hours and taking in every detail.” Poseidon paled.

“Holy Hera, Percy, it’s amazing you’re still sane!”

I smiled grimly. “Sometimes I’m not sure I am.”

My dad looked at me with concern.

I didn’t blame him.

Chapter Text

Chapter Four: Moodiness

I swam over to the coral garden. It was one of my favorite places to hide, I mean, hang out. I looked up. There was no light from the sun what so ever. I couldn’t even see the surface. It was just black water, where the light from the pearls and enchanted torches could not reach. It would be sunset right now. I leaned against a pillar and sighed. Right now the campers would be singing at the campfire. Annabeth would be leaning against me with my arm around her. We would all be teasing Nico and Will about kissing in the firelight. Katie would be lecturing Travis and Connor and then smiling and kissing her boyfriend. After the sing a longs, Mr. D would tell us how much he hated us and then go to bed. Chiron would say capture the flag would be tomorrow, and everyone would cheer.

I sighed again and pulled out my pen, taking off the cap. I studied the inscription. I didn’t get to study my sword all the time, usually it was a blur. The metal was bronze. The sword itself was thicker at the handle and eventually narrowed into a deadly sharp point at the end. There were no inscriptions on the blade itself. The handle was nothing fancy. On the cross guard was the name Riptide in Ancient Greek. The handle was covered in black leather strips for grip. Everywhere else was bronze. I shook my head. Taking the cap I touched it to the pommel of the handle. The sword shrunk in my hands and became a pen. I wrote on my hand, Annabeth, in Greek. The pen worked underwater as well. Interesting.

“Percy?” Turning, I saw Triton coming over.

“Yes?” He looked at me closely.

“Why are you moping so much? What’s gotten into you? You race the waves all day long and still come back long faced. You’re so tense and restless that you put Father’s moods to shame! Yesterday, Mako and I took you hunting and yet you still sighed at dinner as if you lost your…oh…”

I smiled. “Lost my love? Yes, I miss Annabeth.”

Triton sighed. “Percy, it’s only been three weeks! One more month and you’ll return to the upper world.” He looked slightly insulted that I didn’t enjoy his company as much as Annabeth’s.

I laughed. “I’ve enjoyed it here. I like Atlantis, I really do. It’s just…I promised Annabeth I would never be parted from her.”

“Why’d you promise something as silly as that? Of course you’re going to be parted from the girl. Everyone has to be, that’s called life!”

Elise swam over to us. The rest of the gang was with her. I gave her a hard look. The kind of look Triton sometimes gives them to remind them of their place. I was still a Prince, even though I hated being reminded of it, I did not enjoy it when Elise dissed my girlfriend and friends. She looked away and flushed slightly.

Triton cleared his throat, and I answered. “I was taken away by Juno, the Roman avatar of Hera, for a mission. Juno told no one where I was, or that she was the one that took me. She wiped my memory and left me with the Romans. For nearly eight months I was lost to Annabeth. She had no evidence that I was still alive. Imagine living eight months thinking that the one you love with all you life is dead, but you have no closure at all. It is for that silly reason that I promised never to be parted from her again, not even…” I closed my mouth with a click of teeth.

“Not even…what?” Fresca whispered.

I stared at her. My stare shifted into a glare. “That is not your concern.” She swam a little away from me. Triton coughed.

“We have pried too much into Percy’s life.” He looked at a loss on how to change the subject. Mako’s eyes lit up.

“Let’s break surface! The mortals will never see us. Truly! They think we’re dugongs!”

Fresca laughed, relieved at the break in tension. “They always do!”

Tolo barked a laugh. “Maybe they thought Mako a dugong because he truly does resemble one?!” Tolo took stock of Mako’s glare and shifted a little behind me.

Hunt grinned. “Come on, Percy! Let’s go!” He sent me a pleading glance.

I forced myself to smile. “Very well.”

They swam on ahead, and Triton swam close to me. “Elise likes you.”

I stared at him and muttered a curse. “Why in Hades would she like me?!” I hissed at him.

He raised an eyebrow. “Because you’re the great Percy Jackson! The one demigod who has spoken to, and is on good acquaintance with nearly all the Olympian gods. The demigod who has done more, seen most, and experienced all there is to experience. Percy Jackson, the only demigod to kill over two thousand monsters, maybe even three thousand! What is there not to like?” He stared at me, as if expecting me to agree with him.

I scoffed. “I’m just me. Half of those stories are exaggerated.”

He was about to disagree when I put a hand on his shoulder. “Tri, please don’t. I hate those titles. I hate them.”

“But, why…?”

I raised an eyebrow. He genuinely looked confused. I shook my head. “I don’t know how to explain it, but…the titles bring the memories. Memories that I don’t want to remember. Titles…ruin friendships. They cause jealousy where there really doesn’t need to be any. Titles…cause…” I searched for the right word, waving my hand slightly in the water. “Strife.” Triton looked at me closely and then nodded.

“Very well. I shall not bring it up again.”

I grinned. “Thanks man.” I looked ahead in the blue water. We were swimming in the Atlantic, well away from any ship lines. There was nothing in the water except fish. The bottom was too far for even me to see. The surface was about seven meters above us. The other had given us a decent amount of space to talk privately. I whispered slightly, sound travels through water surprisingly well. “Elise is jealous? Or is she above that?”

Triton looked at the silver haired girl. “I would like to say that she is above jealousies, but…”, he shrugged, “with women, I really don’t know.”

I chuckled. “Who does?” He smiled. I looked forward and saw a dark shape in the water. Land. “Guys! Wait up!” I recognized this area. I swam over to them. We cautiously broke surface. I smiled. “It’s camp!”

I swam over to the shoreline. Triton swam up after me. “Father said that he didn’t want you on land, Percy.”

I waved him off. “I’m not going to leave the water. Don’t worry!”

I looked around. Mako, Fresca, Tolo, Elise, Hunt, and Triton crowded next to me. I started pointing out things to them. “Over there, beyond the bushes is the arena. That over there is the pavilion, where we eat. That big building over there is called the Big House. That’s where Chiron and Dionysus live. That man made mountain is where the Oracle of Delphi usually stays.”

Fresca cocked her head. “Usually?”

I smiled. “It’s winter now. She’s with her family.” Fresca made an ‘ah’ sound and nodded. “Anyway, over there is where the cabins are.”

“Who goes there!”

“Duck!” Mako shouted. The others splashed underwater again, but Triton and I stayed where we were.

“Clarisse! How are you?” I shouted.

“Percy? What’s that all over you?”

I realized that she was talking about my new skin color. “It’s my skin. Father made me a fish.” I felt a sharp tug on my tail fins at that comment, no doubt from Fresca.

Clarisse came over closer. I laughed. “I’m not going to drown you! That’s only fable.”

She smirked and walked to the shoreline. Peering at me in the light of the sunrise she started laughing. “You’re skin is green!”

I laughed. “Yeah, but green is better than any other color. You should see this one mermaid. She’s got freaky orange skin.” I felt a painful tug on my fins. I snickered.

Triton cleared his throat. I coughed. “Uh, sorry. Clarisse this is my immortal half-brother, Triton. Son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. He’s also the heir of Dad’s kingdom.”

Triton smiled and nodded at Clarisse. I continued. “This is Clarisse, daughter of Ares, Retriever of the Golden Fleece, Drakon Slayer, and Blessed of Ares.”

Clarisse beamed at that. Unlike me, she liked titles.

“It is a pleasure to meet you.” I felt another tug on my tail.

“Oh for the love of…get up here, all of you! Stop yanking on my fins!”

Clarisse’s jaw dropped as Mako, Fresca, Hunt, Tolo, and Elise appeared. Mako smirked. “It was Elise that time. The other two times it was Fresca.”

I glared at the two girls. They glared at Mako. Triton just chuckled.

Clarisse cleared her throat. “Uh, Percy, do you want me to…call Annabeth?”

My eyes lit up, but Triton decided at that moment to speak up. “Remember your vow to Father. This is pushing it already.” I growled.

Speaking to Clarisse I said, “Never mind. Father made me promise not to spend too much time above surface. I shouldn’t even be talking to you. He wants me to spend all my time with the people of the sea and my immortal family. Learning the culture of the Mers and their history. Give this to her though, will you?” I handed her a folded water proof page ripped from my journal. Triton made to grab it but Clarisse snatched it before he could. My brother glowered at me. The land trembled.

“Now father’s angry. Good job.” I shrugged. I could handle Dad.

“Bye Clarisse!” I dove under the water again, followed by my new friends.

Triton continued to mutter. “You know he’s had a fight with Athena. You know that he forbade you from communicating with the children of that goddess. You know what you did was directly against his wishes. Yet you still did it, why?” His eyes flashed.

I sighed. “She is my betrothed, Triton. I love her.” I ignored the intake of breath from Elise. I shot him a grin. “Father will just have to either send me back or forgive me. Now, come on! Let’s race! One, two, three…GO!!” We shot off, leaving Triton slightly behind, but he caught up quickly again. I laughed. I loved racing with my friends.

Chapter Text

Chapter Five: Lines Crossed

I gave a shout of laughter that seemed to echo throughout the water. Triton was right behind me. I beat my tail faster than a blur, and headed for the surface. The feeling of breaking into air at top speed isn’t only exhilarating, it was freedom incarnate. I twisted in the air and sliced back into the water with my arms stretching forward. I kept my dive shallow, leaving half a foot between me and the skin of the water. Triton was shooting to the surface in a similar fashion as I did. I dove down and shot upward after him, gaining speed and velocity. We met in the air and, in tandem, flipped and hit the water together. My laughter could probably be heard for miles around.

Elise grabbed my hand and pulled me for another shot to the surface. Mako called to a nearby pod of dolphins and they played with us.

For the span of time I was in the air, I looked toward the camp and saw all the campers staring at us and watching. I waved and sliced back into the water. I shot higher next time. I blew a kiss to Annabeth, who was practically standing in the water. She kissed me back. Even from this distance, I could see tears in her eyes. I winked at her and fell back into the water. Elise was laughing as a dolphin jumped right above her.

Triton and Mako jumped in time with two dolphins. I treaded the water and watched them. Elise popped up right in front of me. I swam backwards a little to make a decent amount of room between us. She swam closer, right up in front of me.

“Kiss me, Percy.” She grabbed my hand and placed it on her hip.

I yanked my hand back and swam away from her. My forehead furrowed. “Elise, do not ruin our friendship. I am betrothed. Do not bring this up again.”

Her eyes widened. “But-”

My eyes narrowed. My frown was could be clearly seen. In a flash, my crown appeared and so did the armbands. It did that whenever I was angered or displeased. “Do not forget your place, Elise. I am betrothed to the woman I love. You will find another that you will love more.” I pulled away from her and swam over to Triton. “Get that girl away from me. From now on, I don’t want to be with her alone.” Triton nodded. He pulled Elise away and challenged her to a race. The water trembled slightly in my silent rage. Mako and Hunt faltered in their play and stared at me in shock. I waved them away. Fresca pursed her lips. Tolo just shook his head.

Fresca spoke to me. “I will speak with Elise later, m’lord.” It was times like these that reminded them who my father was.

I nodded to her. “Thank you, Fresca.” I cleared my head and glanced over to Annabeth and the campers. I could see Annabeth staring intently at Elise. She looked like she wanted to take a scaling knife to the girl. I smiled at her in reassurance and waved. Annabeth blew a kiss to me, and I sent one back to her. Turning back to my Mer friends, I said. “Let’s get back. I think it’s time for lunch.” They nodded and ducked back under the water. My crown and armbands vanished from sight, but I could still feel them. I would have to physically remove them if I didn’t want them on me. Otherwise, they were just invisible unless I so deemed them to appear.

Triton kept Elise away from me the whole time. Once we returned to the city, Elise fled to her father’s home, who was a general in Dad’s army. I rolled my eyes.

“Women.” Triton nodded. I scoffed. “I’ll be in my room.” He nodded again. I swam fast past the guards and past my father. Both Poseidon and Amphitrite could see that I was in a rage.

POV Change

Poseidon looked at the retreating figure of Percy. “Triton?”

“Yes, father?”

“What is the matter with Percy? Is he angry at me for ordering him around so much?” Poseidon sent a worried glance at Amphitrite. The woman seemed to be oozing vibes of ‘I-told-you-so.’

“That is only a little bit of it. We were breaking surface and playing with the dolphins. He saw his friends standing on the beach of the camp, watching us. He also saw his betrothed. He seemed to be in happier spirits than usual, but Elise ruined that.”

Amphitrite sent a worried look in Percy’s direction. “What did she do?”

Triton sighed. “She tried to get Percy to kiss her, in front of his above surface friends and girlfriend.”

Poseidon cursed. “Percy lashed out at her?”

Triton shook his head. “He handled it quite well, but his rage was apparent. Elise forgot her status. She tried to force herself onto him.” Triton shook his head. That was the problem with Percy. He acts so much like the commoners that everyone forgets he is royalty. He really needed to be taught how to carry himself better.

Poseidon shook his head sadly. “I will speak to him.”

Amphitrite blocked his path. “He is angry at you for stopping him from seeing his above surface friends. I will see him.” She swam away.

Triton sighed. “I need to prepare for dinner. Excuse me, Father.”

Poseidon looked at Triton. “Won’t you ever call me ‘Dad’ anymore?” He looked sad.

Triton raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t Percy enough?”

“Percy is not you. I want both of my sons to be close to each other and to me.”

Triton smiled grimly. “In time, Father. Perhaps in time. Now, if you’ll excuse me?”

Poseidon waved his hand, and Triton left.

POV Change

I stared at the mirror in front of me. What could Elise like? Come to think of it, what could Annabeth like?

I shook my head. “She must be farsighted.”

“Who must be?”

I turned to see a smiling Amphitrite. “Annabeth.”

My step-mother laughed. “Why?”

“She says I’m handsome. I’m not. Therefore, she must be blind.”

Amphitrite shook her head with amusement. “Or perhaps, you are blind?”

I looked at her. “Huh?”

She smiled even more. “We are too close to ourselves to judge ourselves clearly, physically at least. Even when we look in the mirror, we see only what we expect to see, not what is truly there.”

I cocked my head. “You mean like a self-imposed Mist?”

She nodded. “Exactly. You think yourself not handsome, and so are confused that Elise would like you.”

“Yeah…”

“Elise has excellent eyesight, so does Annabeth.”

I stared myself in the mirror and sighed. “If you say so.”

“Percy, why were you so angry?”

My fists clenched. “She keeps criticizing Annabeth out of jealousy, and then she just goes and tries to kiss me in front of my girlfriend! She doesn’t respect me. She only loves herself. She’s in love with the thought of being in love with the hero.” My voice was full of scorn. “I thought she was more than just a husk of a woman with nothing but vanity in her skull.” My face twisted into rage, and the water churned slightly around me. My step-mother’s eyes widened.

I continued to speak. “See, this is why I hate titles. It causes people to try and manipulate me. Causes girls to ‘fall in love with me’ just because of what I am not because of who I am. It’s like a wealthy person being courted for their money, or a beautiful person being courted only for their looks. Elise loves my accomplishments, not my mind. Annabeth loves me, me. She’s seen me at my worst, when I was a nobody, with an unknown parent. She was still my friend when I hurt her, again and again. She looks after me, looks out for me, because she knows me, because she wants to know me!”

Amphitrite sat next to me on my bed. “I’m so sorry for this having to happen, Percy. You have become like a son to me.” She gave a demure smile. “If the world suddenly got amnesia and forgot your titles and ignored you, I would still love you like a son no matter. I know your personality. I know you.” She placed her hands on my shoulders and put me at arms length. “You know? One time Poseidon and I were swimming in the coral garden, and I saw you teasing Triton for reading books. You two were looking at each other and interacting like you were true birth brothers, like you grew up together! You even look like brothers!” She hugged me. “You may run into people who care only for what you can give them, but never forget those around you that want to build you up with good memories. Never forget you family, mortal and immortal.” She smiled at me and kissed my forehead. “Now, get ready for lunch.”

I smiled and nodded.

Chapter Text

Chapter Six: Bounty

Triton was arguing with Dad about how many soldiers should be left in the standing armies. Poseidon was saying five thousand. Triton was saying seven.

I sighed. Even if I was a prince of the seas I still had no true say in the government here. Delphin came into the chambers. “My lord!” I stayed where I was.

Triton and Poseidon looked up. ““Yes?””

Delphin looked as embarrassed as a dolphin could look. “Lord Perseus.”

I started with surprise. “Yes?” Triton raised an eyebrow an glanced at Dad.

“A message for you. It is from Chiron. He says it is an emergency.” I jumped up. “Were there any details?”

“A fight has erupted in a camp call Camp Jupiter. He wants you to go to a place called San Francisco, immediately, before war erupts.” I paled.

“Fuck.” I turned to Dad. “Unless you want a headache, I suggest you let me leave.”

Poseidon paled. “Go.”

I shot out of the room. I got into my chariot that Dad had made for me and left for San Francisco.

Now you may be thinking ‘how can he get to Camp Jupiter in time, if he’s in the middle of the Atlantic. Hippocampi, like centaurs, can bend time during travel. That said, I arrived at Camp in 15 minutes.

I willed myself to transform. I found myself in the same clothes that I was in when Father transformed me. I climbed out of the water and hailed a taxi. I walked into Camp Jupiter expecting fighting between demigods. What I saw instead were demigods fighting together against monsters. I rolled my eyes. Delphin, you messed up, or maybe Chiron did. Who knows?

I looked for Renya. She was fighting against three empousai. I swept in with the element of surprise and destroyed two. She killed the third.

“Thanks.”

I stared at her. “Chiron called me to get over here. What in Hades happened?”

Renya stared at me. “No offense, but we don’t really need help. We’ve got it mostly covered. The monsters came inside the camp in droves. I honestly don’t know how they broke through.”

I frowned slightly in thought. “What about the civilian sector?”

“Locked down. So far, no fatalities.” I sighed in relief.

“Wonder why Chiron called me over here. Looks like you’ve got it taken care of.” Renya didn’t get the chance to respond. The Minotaur spotted me and roared into the air. It was twice as large as it had been before. Almost like it had been taking monster vitamins. All the monsters, as one unit, turned away from their enemies and started moving towards me.

Renya hissed. “Trap! It was a trap for you!”

I ducked to one side, and she dove to the other. The Minotaur’s axe landed where we were standing.

I ran up his arm and landed on his neck. Drawing Riptide I stabbed directly into the back of his neck, the tip of my sword coming from the front of his throat. I had gotten faster and more talented with the sword and gymnastics since the invasion of Manhattan. I flipped off the crumbling Minotaur. As one, the monsters rushed me, completely ignoring the other campers.

I parried, stabbed, rolled, slashes, dodged, hacked, ducked, and flipped and the repeated the process all over again. The memories came rushing back. Facing Tartarus. Hades’ armies at the Styx. The battle of the Labyrinth at Camp. War in Manhattan. The battle on the Andromeda. Fighting the giants. The battle at Camp Jupiter. The battle in Alaska. The battle at Gaea’s altar. It all meshed together into one barbaric blur of carnage. There were roughly three hundred monsters of all shapes, types, and sizes…against one demigod. The monsters didn’t stand a chance.

It ended all too soon. I didn’t even notice it was over until I realized that there were no more enemies. I stood alone in the middle of a field of monster dust. All the campers stared at me, Greek and Roman alike. Though the Romans looked more stunned than the Greeks. The Greeks had seen me fight against mass numbers before. They were still stunned, though, because this time I didn’t have Achilles’ curse. Renya was staring. Jason was staring. Frank was staring. Hazel was staring. I flushed with embarrassment.

I put away my sword and walked away quickly before they could speak to me. I couldn’t believe I had just done that. I let my memories, my triggers, my flashbacks take control of me. I could have killed my friends if they had come up to me during that frenzy. I shuddered. I had completely blacked out, so to speak. I had had zero control of my actions. I had been back in Tartarus. I had been back in New York. I had been back at Camp Half Blood.

Was I scared being called a monster and getting rejected? Definitely.

Was I scared of myself? Absolutely.

I sank into the water and willed myself a Mer again. Swimming to my chariot I hugged my hippocampi. They nuzzled me back. The water around us became saltier from my tears.

My Prince? The female, Delta, looked at me with her huge eyes. She could sense my sadness, my fear, my panic, and she wanted to help.

I shook my head. I want nothing but to hug you two.

The male one head butted me and I smiled. We sat at the bottom of San Francisco Bay for a little while until Current, the male hippocampus, asked if it was time to leave. I nodded and they bent the time and swept me away.

Tartarus – POV Change

Tartarus growled. He glared at the monsters that had just arrived back in his domain. “Summon Iapetus.”

The silver haired Titan was brought to Tartarus in chains. Iapetus laughed. “I told you that no monster could kill him! Percy Jackson is the greatest demigod of all History. Nothing could defeat him.”

Tartarus glared at the upstart Titan. “He is mortal, that is enough! Any mortal has to die!”

Iapetus nodded. “Yes, any mortal can die.” His silver eyes glinted. “However, Jackson is not any mortal.” The Titan gave great booming laughs. “He defeated me, befriended me, trusted me and now-”

“And now has abandoned you! Choose your own people. Jackson will never retrieve you! He has forgotten.”

Iapetus shook his head. “I shall not be as faithless and as shallow as Atlas’ daughter. She cursed Percy because he did not return. I will not curse him. How can he return?! His tears were real. His grief was real! His shouts of refusing to leave me behind were real! Percy Jackson is unlike any other.” Iapetus stared at Tartarus cunningly. During the time in Tartarus, his memories and ability to speak properly had come back completely. “That is why you hate him so.”

Tartarus smiled. “Yes. He is unlike any other. That is why he will die unlike any other. Jackson’s head will be severed from his body. What you don’t know until now, Iapetus is that I have organized all the monsters. Every time they return, they’re goal is to kill Jackson before they are killed. I have put a bounty on Jackson’s head and ever single monster knows it.” No matter how old or how powerful, every creature in existence likes to brag.

Iapetus’ silver eyes widened.

Tartarus smiled again. “Summon Kronos!” Iapetus gulped. He did not like his brother any more, not after Percy opened his eyes. When they were younger, Iapetus looked up to Kronos. His younger brother was the best of all the Titans.

Kronos walked into the hall of Tartarus. He was free of chains. His hair glowed gold, as did his eyes. Tartarus eyed him. “Gaea thought it best to split her energy and focus the larger amount not on waking but on restoring you. I have to be honest. I do not know why.”

Kronos smiled. “Because I know Jackson best. Because the memories of Luke Castallan are still with me. Because I know all the conversations, the training, the weaknesses and the strengths of Percy Jackson. Gaea knew that, even though the other demigods were troublesome, and the gods were annoying, Percy Jackson was her only true enemy.” Kronos smiled viciously at Tartarus. “And because you need me.”

Iapetus stared forlornly at Kronos. “Brother, do not trust Tartarus. He is the pit itself!”

Kronos stared at his former brother. “And you are a traitor to your kind. The gods shall forever be enemies to the Titans, and yet, you have befriended, not only a son of a god, but my arch enemy as well! I will not listen to you.”

Tartarus started laughing. “Take Iapetus away.” He turned to Kronos. The doors clanged shut. “Tell me, what I want to know.”

Kronos smiled, and proceeded to tell Tartarus what Tartarus wanted to know.

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven: Rescue

Atlantis – POV Change

I was resting on my bed, staring at my sword, thinking about nothing in particular. I didn’t want to think about my black out.

Sword…Monsters…Tartarus…Bob… I turned onto my stomach and groaned. Bob…

I thought about the first time I met Bob. We had been looking for the sword that Persephone was making. It was stolen because Kronos wanted to summon his brothers from Tartarus…

I sat bolt upright. SUMMON HIS BROTHERS FROM TARTARUS??!!!!! BOB!

I shot out of the room. “DAAAADDD!!!!!!” My father raced out of his study with Amphitrite hot on his trail. Triton rushed out of his own room.

“Percy! What’s wrong?! What’s the matter?!”

“YOUHAVEGOTTOORDERHADESTOSUMMONBOBFROMTARTARUSIPROMISEDTOGETBOBOUTOFTHERE.HESACRIFICEDHIMSELFSOANNABETHANDICOULDESCAPE! Dad! Are you listening to me?! Get him out of there!”

Dad just stared at me. “What?”

“The sword! The sword!”

Triton shook his head. “He’s been under water too long.”

I glared at my brother. Amphitrite took my by the shoulders and looked me into the eyes. “Start from the beginning.”

I took a deep breath. “Hades has a sword that can summon any creature from Tartarus. I left two of my friends there. They are the only reason that Annabeth and I escaped and helped save Earth. You have got to persuade Hades to summon them out of the pit!”

Poseidon nodded. “Who are they?”

“Bob and Damasen.”

Poseidon frowned. “I know of Damasen, but who is Bob?”

I shook my head. “I pet us….no. Impetus…nope…uhh…”

Triton rolled his eyes. “He’s your friend but you don’t know his name?”

I shook my head. “He hates his former name. He always went by Bob.”

Poseidon stroked his beard. “I think you mean, Iapetus?”

I nodded. “Yeah!”

Triton paled. “You became friends with the Piercer?!”

I shrugged. “He saved my life multiple times. Besides, he’s different now.”

Poseidon nodded. “I’ll speak with Hades right now.” I hugged Dad. He smiled and ruffled my hair.

Tartarus’ Prison for Monsters – POV Change

Damasen sighed. This was the hundredth time they tortured him for information about Percy. The only reason they let him re-form was because Tartarus wanted information about that demigod. He gave a shout. His body was glowing. It was tingling. The torturers stared at him. Damasen heard a voice in his head. Damasen, son of Gaea and Tartarus, antithesis of Ares, I summon you from the pit. Damasen gasped and blacked out.

Tartarus’ Prison for Monsters – POV Change

Bob paced his prison. What was Kronos saying to Tartarus? Bob hit his cell wall again. He hated not being able to warn Percy. Thousands, if not millions, of monsters were becoming bounty hunters and going after him. Little Bob rubbed up against Iapetus’ leg. He picked the cat up and scratched him behind the ears. Little Bob started to purr. Bob froze and stared at his hand. It was glowing. Was this another trick of Tartarus? He almost shouted when he heard a voice in his ear. Iapetus, son of Uranus and Gaea, Titan of Mortality, alias Bob, I summon you from the pit. I also summon…Little Bob. He tightened his hold on Little Bob and blacked out.

Hades’ Palace, Underworld

Bob opened his eyes and saw Little Bob licking his face. He chuckled. “At least you are with me.”

“You hold an almost disgusting regard for that animal.”

Bob looked over to see a god. Not just any god, but Hades. He glared at him. Opening his mouth, he started to say a few words against Hades, but another familiar voice spoke up and cut him off. “Don’t anger the one who called you from The Pit, Bob.” He turned to see Nico di’Angelo.

His glare softened. “How did you bring me here?”

Nico pointed to Hades. “My father has acquired new powers that allows him to do so. You may remember the sword that pulled you from Tartarus in the very beginning of your adventure with Percy?”

Bob’s eyes widened.

Hades scoffed. “Jackson owes me big time for releasing you from Tartarus!”

Bob swallowed. “This was Perseus’ idea?”

Nico smiled. “Yes it was. He remembered my dad’s sword and asked his father to persuade Hades to release you.”

A groan came from the other end of the room. Bob glanced over.

Hades growled. “Great, the giant’s awake now too. I’m leaving this place.”

Nico smiled sadly at his father. “Don’t mind him. He just can’t cope with the idea of enemies becoming allies.”

Bob nodded. He understood. He suddenly gasped when he remember what Tartarus had said to him. He relayed the information to Nico. Nico frowned.

“This isn’t good.”

“That has got to be the understatement of the century, boy!” They turned to see Damasen up and scowling. “Where am I? And how did I get here? Who are you?”

Nico re-told the story of Percy getting them out. Damasen smiled slightly; he looked a little shame faced. “I doubted him.”

Bob laughed. “I did not.” He glanced eagerly at Nico. “When will he come and see us?”

Nico frowned. “He’s been banned from land for a while.”

Both giant and Titan frowned. “Why?” Bob asked.

Nico scowled. “His father, Poseidon, turned him into a merman. He wanted Percy to get to know his immortal family a little better. Percy’s being taught the culture of the sea and the history of the Mers. He’s also being taught how to act like a prince.” Nico’s scowl deepened.

Bob cleared his throat. “What is so bad about that?”

Nico wiped his face clear of any emotion. “Nothing. It’s only bothersome and annoying. Come on. I’ll show you both to your rooms. You both are guests of Hades currently. However, I’m going to take you to Camp Half-Blood tonight, where you’ll be introduced to the other children of the gods.” He turned back to the Titan and Giant. “Behave. It will take a while for them to get used to you, but they will. You’ll also find a hellhound living there, by the name of Mrs. O’Leary. She’s Percy’s dog. Don’t hurt her, or you’ll have his wrath to deal with.”

Both immortals nodded. Nico brought them to their rooms and they rested a little while before Nico traveled them to Camp Half-Blood. They stepped out of the shadows and came face to face with all the campers. Chiron nodded to Iapetus. They knew each other from time long since past.

Chiron cantered forward. “Welcome to Camp Half-Blood. I’ve brought all the campers here so they can see you and not be startled by you later.” He then started telling them all the rules of the Camp. When he was finally finished both Iapetus and Damasen swore on the River Styx not to cause trouble or hurt, maim, or kill any of the campers. Dionysus swore not to start any fights. The campers also swore not to start any fights. When all the red tape was over Annabeth broke formation and ran to Damasen and Bob.

She hugged them and kissed them both on the cheek. “I’m so sorry that Percy’s not here to see you! He’s in the ocean.”

Clarisse started laughing. “Since when has that stopped Percy? Look!” They all turned to see Percy in a water spout, that was looming over the camp, waving at them and smiling.

Annabeth started laughing and she waved back. Bob and Damasen grinned. Bob shouted. “THANK YOU, PERCY!!” It echoed through the camp and many campers grabbed their heads from the noise. Percy waved and dove back into the water.

Both Giant and Titan could see a small glimpse of Percy’s tail. Bob turned quickly and informed Annabeth what was going on down in Tartarus. She paled. “So that was why all those monsters attacked Percy and no one else…”

Bob nodded. “Tartarus sent five hundred monsters to Camp Jupiter.”

Annabeth frowned. “The Romans and Greeks already there must have killed off at least two hundred of them before Percy arrived.” She shuddered. “And you say Kronos was going to tell Tartarus everything that he gleaned from Luke’s memories?” Bob nodded. Annabeth groaned. “This isn’t good.” She ran over to Chiron and whispered the news to the centaur. He frowned worriedly.

“I’ll contact Poseidon.” Annabeth nodded and went back to the two newcomers. The other campers were curious but wary. The newer campers were more willing to interact with them. However, the older campers kept seeing Hyperion and Kronos and stayed away from Bob and Damasen. The memories of dead loved ones were too much.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eight: Protective

I entered the dining room. The first thing I noticed was that everyone was tense. “Okay, what’s going on?”

Amphitrite opened her mouth to speak, but Poseidon beat her to it. “You have stayed here for a month now. We originally arranged for you to return to land in one more month, when the Winter Break is over; however, the plans have changed. You’re staying here indefinitely.”

My eyes widened. I opened my mouth to protest but Dad spoke first. “The only three places that you will be allow to visit above the surface are Olympus, your mother’s home, and Camp Half-Blood. I am assigning five body guards to you as well.” He motioned them forward. “These men will protect you. This is Telheim, Gisha, Farook, Bitsa, and Lal.”

I stared at the five men and then at Dad. “Father, why?!”

Poseidon sighed. “Tartarus has put a bounty on your head. All the monsters have one goal only, to kill you. Tartarus was boasting about his plans to Iapetus. Hades summoned Iapetus out of the pit and the Titan told Nico di’Angelo and Annabeth. Annabeth told Chiron. Chiron told me. And if you think you can get out of this, you are sadly mistaken!”

I sent a pleading glance at Amphitrite. Poseidon spoke again.

“She will not help you. You will do as I say.”

I slumped into my seat. “Yes, Father.”

Poseidon nodded. “Now that that’s settled. Triton, what did you and Percy do today?”

Triton swallowed his food and spoke. “We practiced with out swords. We also did a tournament of sorts with our friends.”

Amphitrite smiled. “Really? Who won?”

Triton had a trace of a grimace in his smile. “Percy came in first, and I came in second.”

I sighed. “Once again, Triton, you only came in second because you refuse to let anyone use their powers. You’re the most powerful of all of us.”

The grimace lessened slightly on Triton’s face. “Thank you Percy.” I grinned at him.

“Why thank me when all I’m saying is the truth?” I watched my bodyguards out of the corner of my eye. They had fanned out and had become as unobtrusive as possible. I sighed. This would take a lot of getting used to.

Poseidon smiled. “I think we should all go and show Percy some of the famous sites in Atlantis! We haven’t toured the city yet.”

Amphitrite beamed. “That’s a splendid idea!”

I smiled. “Okay.”

Triton’s eyes lit up. He really did seem more of a teenager now that the wars were over. I grinned at the thought of Triton with legs and in jeans with an iPod in his ears.

“Father?”

“Yes, Triton?”

“Could my-I mean our- friends come with us, or is it only family?”

I blinked. I was considered family now?

Poseidon stroked his beard. “I suppose they can come.” He leveled Triton with a no nonsense stare. “Keep that wretch away from Percy though.”

Triton nodded. I sighed. “Elise is not a wretch. She just doesn’t know when to show her affection and when to keep it a secret.”

Poseidon growled. “She tried to kiss royalty. That is under the category of treason. She is lucky that I have let her live.”

Triton sighed. “She is lucky that Percy is so kind.”

I blinked. Treason? I fell under the category of royalty, yes, but I kept forgetting about all the rules concerning how to treat royalty. “Um…”

Amphitrite sighed. “Don’t ‘um’ Percy. Speak what you want to say, and speak it clearly.”

I nodded. “Yes, ma’am. Where are we going?”

Poseidon thought. “I thought perhaps I would show you the forges where Tyson works first. Then maybe the Ruins of Old Atlantis. Perhaps the museum of Ancient Greece.” I opened my mouth to request no museums, but Dad steamrolled me. “Also, I want to show him the Atlantis Academy for Royals.”

Triton smiled. “That was where I went.”

I nodded mutely. Amphitrite spoke. Her eyes were gleaming with eagerness. “We need to visit the Duke and Duchess of Thule. They have long desired to see our son.”

Poseidon nodded. “Of course.” He frowned suddenly. “But that would leave out all the other officials and upper class…”

Amphitrite clapped her hands. “We’ll throw a party! Poseidon I’m ashamed! We should have thrown a coronation party for Perseus long ago!”

Poseidon looked guilty. “I’m sorry darling. I didn’t think.”

I was still reeling from what Amphitrite said ‘…our son.’ But what they were planning finally sunk in, I paled. A PARTY?!!!

“Wait!” I jumped up, or tried to with fins. “A party? N-no, no… I really don’t think you should go to all that trouble. No one would really care if they didn’t-”

Poseidon frowned. “Perseus Jackson. You are a Prince. You are my son. You will mingle and mix with others of your rank and class. You have cooped yourself up in the palace for far too long. I demand that you meet others.” That said, he turned back quickly to Amphitrite.

I slumped back down to my chair. I sent a wide-eyed glance at a chuckling Triton.

“You’re stuck, Perce. Live with it. You’re having a party in your honor.”

I groaned and put my forehead on the table.

“Percy sit up straight.”

I straightened and shot a look at Amphitrite. She hadn’t even looked away from Dad!

I whispered to Triton. “How does she bloody do that?”

Suddenly I got whacked on the head by her hand. “No cussing.”

I gaped. “But I’m not British!”

She whacked me again with her hand. “No back talk.”

I sighed.

“Don’t sigh like that Percy, you sound like a tire going flat.”

Great, now Dad was joining in.

I stood up. “I’m going to bed.”

Amphitrite looked up. “Very well, but don’t say it like that. Say, ‘I’m going to retire now.’” I raised an eyebrow. “But I don’t have job.”

That got me a whack on the head. I was about to sigh but a sharp glance from Dad told me not to. “I’m going to retire now.” I gritted out.

Amphitrite nodded and smiled. Her eyes widened. “Poseidon! We need to teach Percy how to talk to nobility!” Poseidon looked at me and then back to his wife.

“Yes, you’re correct. I’ll have Triton get a tutor.”

“No need, Father, I can teach Percy myself.” I shot him a warning glare. He just smirked at me.

I groaned and left the room, completely aware of five shadows following me.

I fell face forward onto my water bed. Mumbling into my pillow. “My life is going to become hell.”

When I first arrived here, Amphitrite had taught me how to talk to commoners, how to eat properly, how to swim properly, and how to act around others. They said that they would only give me an overview because I wasn’t going to stay here long. I groaned again. Indefinitely. I was going to live through an indefinite amount of interpersonal lessons, speech lessons, dance lessons, eating lessons, and etiquette lessons as well. How to swim like a Prince, talk like a Prince, wine and dine like a Prince. Step-mother said that it was going to be a ball.

Ugh, I liked it better when she hated me.

Not really. Amphitrite had become really nice to me. I sighed, and then did it again just because there was no one around to tell me not to.

I groaned and went to the dry section of my room. My legs formed again. They hurt…badly. Only in these rooms was I allowed to shift. I slumped into my pillow. My whole body hurt. I groaned, but then a thought came to me, and I smiled. My guards couldn’t follow me in here without shifting too, and they were reluctant to do so. Royals could shift immediately, non Royals had to rest five minutes or so before continuing in the shifted form. I smiled.

“Hermes!” I whispered. “Dude, come here!”

He appeared right beside me on the bed. He peered at me owlishly. “Yeeesss?” I jumped slightly and then threw myself on top of him.

“Save me.”

He blinked. “From what?”

“Amphitrite and Dad are going to throw a ball for the nobility to meet me! Help!”

Hermes chuckled. “Okay, let’s get you up to Olympus.” I closed my eyes and suddenly I was standing on solid ground with my two legs. Once Hermes let go of me, I collapsed.

He laughed. “Whelp, I guess you’ll have to get your land legs back.”

I chuckled. “Land legs? I have to get my legs back.”

Hermes gaped. “You mean you’ve been a merman for this whole time?”

I nodded. “Yep.”

He sighed. “I’m amazed you could even turn back!”

I froze. “Explain.” It wasn’t a request. I had gotten used to having people obey my orders faster than the speed of light. Hermes raised an eyebrow but let it slide.

“Shifting is a delicate art. If you shift and stay in that form for too long, then you can get stuck that way. Your body will forget that you had another form.”

I paled. “How often do I have to shift for that not to happen?”

Hermes thought about it. “I’d say at least three times a week.”

I almost fainted. “I’ve only shifted twice this whole time.”

Hermes stared at me. “Wow, and Poseidon never told you about this?”

I hissed. “No, he never told me about this.”

Hermes gulped. “I think I just started an argument.”

I smiled, baring my teeth. “Later. Right now, I want to enjoy walking.” I stood up and then gripped Hermes tightly. “Is that…Annabeth?”

Hermes nodded. “Yeah. She’s visited Olympus more often now because you’re not around, and she’s had work to do with all the temple building.”

“ANNABETH!!”

She turned and dropped whatever she was carrying. She was crying when she tackled me. We fell the ground, and she started kissing me. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed back. I loved my Wise Girl. Hermes chuckled and said something about being over at the pond. I didn’t catch all of it; I was kind of busy at the moment. She was holding onto me so tight I thought my ribs were bending. I laughed and slipped a hand through her curly hair. She was beautiful, absolutely beautiful, even with tears on her face. I covered her face with kisses.

She started showing me around the actual city of Olympus. Hermes had mentioned something about going back to work. His was smirking. I wonder why?

Annabeth’s tour kind of dissolved when I saw a nice secluded pagoda near a pond filled with lilies and pads and orchids. We didn’t talk much after that…

Chapter Text

Chapter Nine: Changes

Percy swam in lazy circles around Mako and grinned. “So what did he do next?”

Mako sighed. “You’re not taking my lecture seriously are you?”

Percy shook his head and chuckled. “Nope.” He popped the ‘p’. “Dad deserved the scare I gave him.”

Triton sighed. “You keep saying that. Why?”

Percy just wink at Triton. His smile was easy, but anyone of the group could see that his eyes were like shards of sea glass.

Poseidon came roaring into the room. Mako and the rest bowed instantly. Triton nodded. Percy insolently raised his chin.

“Hello Father. Care to explain why you didn’t tell me the rules of shifting?”

Poseidon halted his swim to Percy. He took in Percy’s genuine rage. His calm before the storm. “I have a reason for that.”

Percy’s eyes flashed. “So I was right?” He swam closer to his father. “You know, Dad, I was hoping that it was different for sea shifters. I was hoping that I had been told a lie about shifting. I was hoping that you hadn’t betrayed me.” He swam behind Poseidon. “Seems like I was wrong.” Percy shrugged and said mockingly, “I guess I deserved it. I should never trust a god, so far, all that they’ve done is lie, manipulate, and deceive. No better than my old enemies really...” With that, he flicked his tail and swam out of the room.

Poseidon was frozen. He had just majorly damaged his son’s trust in him. He straightened and swam after Percy quickly.

Twenty Miles from Atlantis – POV Change

I couldn’t believe my dad’s betrayal. It hurt worse than the Styx. Worse than Nico stabbing me in the back. Worse than Luke’s attempts on my life.

I swam faster. I had to make it out of Atlantis. I knew my shadows had been called off. Triton had seen to that after I summoned my Trident rather violently and demanded it. I was done being controlled and told what to do.

“Percy!”

I stiffened. The old man just would let up. I twisted around. “Yes?”

Poseidon looked downright miserable. “I suppose it wouldn’t help at all if I said I was sorry?”

I gave a scornful laugh. “You lied to me. I don’t care about apologies. I want an explanation. Why?!”

He heaved a sigh. “If you became a merman permanently, your lifespan would greatly increase. Not immortality, just a longer lifespan. Mako has about another thousand years or so before he will die. Since you’re half god, you would live to the ripe old age of four thousand years. I just want you to be near me, as my general. I love you Percy. You’re my son. I wouldn’t want to say goodbye to Triton or Tyson either.”

I smiled at Dad. “I suppose I understand your ‘reasoning’, however, it was still stupid. What about mom? What about me? I’d live forever without choosing it for myself? That wouldn’t make any good feelings between us.”

Poseidon sighed and slumped against a rock. “I was a fool.”

I nodded. “I am your son, yes, but you have to understand that I am also Sally Jackson’s son. I am not just from the sea. I am also born for land.”

Poseidon nodded. I smiled. Maybe forgiveness was my fatal flaw. I couldn’t stay mad at my father. I kept remembering all the good things he’d done for me.

“I forgive you, Dad. Just, don’t lie to me again. Please?”

He nodded fervently. He looked like he was about to say something else when we both felt a chill. I summoned my Trident, since my tail didn’t have pockets, I didn’t have Riptide. Dad summoned his as well.

“Well, well, well…Perseus Jackson? I see that you’re having some bonding time with you father. What good timing! I was just going to kill you. Now you can die without any regrets.”

I turned to see a man on a chariot pulled by snakes. I closed my eyes and sighed through my nose. “Oceanus?”

He grinned. “Yes. I feel flattered that the great Percy Jackson recognizes me.”

I sighed. “If I defeated three of your brothers, what makes you think you can beat me?”

Oceanus cocked his head. “Three?”

I nodded and casually blasted his chariot with my trident. “Iapetus, Hyperion, and Kronos.”

Oceanus struggled to escape the burning chariot. He gazed at me with newfound wariness and respect. I guess he thought I was one of the heroes who went by the rules. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not.

“You have no qualms fighting me, I see.”

I sighed. “None whatsoever. The only drawback is that this will be boring.”

He gave a roar of rage but had to dodge Dad’s attacks with his own Trident.

I smiled and started to create a whirlpool of sorts. The rocks, sand, and chariot parts were swept into a funnel. Oceanus had to keep debris out of his eyes and fight both Dad and me as the same time. Not easy. Surprisingly, he held his own. Poseidon lunged for Oceanus. I was blasted from the fight by Titan power. My head slammed into a rock.

“Percy?!”

“I’m fine. Keep fighting! Don’t get distracted!” I felt a chill and looked to the right. That damned cave entrance. I-

I blinked. I smiled. I began pulling the water, creating currents, coaxing Oceanus and Dad closer to me. I blasted my father away with a strong current. He was sent tumbling twenty yards from me.

“Percy!”

I shot toward Oceanus. “You’ve made just a few mistakes.”

He parried my attack by blocking with his spear. “Oh? What is that?”

I kept my father away from us. It was hard work, overcoming my father’s strength, fighting Oceanus, and keeping time all at the same moment.

Just one more minute. Sixty seconds. How long could that be?

“One: You attacked me when my father was present.” I dodged his knife swipe. “Two: You attacked me.” I cut him across the chest right when he was about to summon more Titan blasting power. He glared at me with hatred. Another Titan hated me. So what? “Three: You didn’t do enough research.”

He raised an eyebrow at that and paused slightly in his fighting. I was tiring out fast. Keeping the water swirling around my father so he wouldn’t get hurt and fighting at the same time was harder than I had anticipated.

“What research was that, whelp?”

I smiled. “You weren’t aware of this little entrance to Tartarus.” I summoned all my strength and pushed him into the cold current that swept into the cave. I heard his scream of pure terror fade out into nothing. “Go rot in hell.” I muttered.

I would love to say that I stood bravely after that and greeted my father, but the truth was, I collapsed and fainted. Brave. Really…manly…

I woke up in my room with my immortal family surrounding me. I realized that I had two feet. I smiled at Dad. This was a silent apology for what he did.

Speaking of Dad, he looked rather angry. “Percy, don’t ever take on another Titan alone again! What you did was brave but stupid! You could have asked me for help!”

I sighed. “There was no way I could. If I shouted it, or told it to you, it would have had to be right in front of him. If he found out what I had planned then we would’ve lost the element of surprise.”

Poseidon sighed. “I know. I know.”

Amphitrite smiled hesitantly. “So, is everything okay?”

I sighed. “As well as it will be for now.”

She smiled more. “Good, now that that’s all put behind us, Percy I need some feedback from you about your party, which will be three weeks from today.”

I tried not to scream and claw my way out of the room. “You mean, we’re still doing it?” Triton started laughing. I shot him a glare. He really wasn’t helping. Dad shuffled slightly, looking torn.

She looked affronted. “Of course! And we’re going to continue your lessons in court as well.”

I sighed but didn’t fight it. It was like fighting against Tartarus. It was impossible to win.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten: Tours and Tales

Two Days Later, Atlantis City Tour

I sighed and looked at Triton. Dad droned on about the beauties of Ancient Atlantis. He smirked. Mako was playing a game similar to rock, paper, scissor with Tolo. Except this game was shark, spear, shield. Fresca was watching over her younger sister, Elise. The blue scaled girl was very low today. I hadn’t entered into any conversations with her. I missed Tyson, but Dad said that he had work to do. I secretly think it’s because the other Mers didn’t looked kindly on the Cyclopes. They would have thought it scandalous for the Royal Family to include their Cyclops son… They arrogantly viewed them only for manual labor and nothing else. They didn’t even view them as living creatures to be respected!

I snorted. I absolutely despised racism. Hunt swam next to me. “M’lord, would it be alright if I courted Elise?”

I stared at him. “What? You think I’m Eros now? Go and do your best to distract her away from me. I hope you succeed.”

He beamed at me and swam to Elise. She gradually started smiling again; he even got her laughing. Triton shook his head.

“Mother’s won. I had hoped she wouldn’t.”

I gave him a sideways glance. “Won at what?”

“Your speech. You’re beginning to sound like me.”

I clutched my heart and pretended to die. Triton rolled his eyes.

“But seriously, Triton. Am I?”

He nodded. “Yep. ‘Go, and do your best to distract her away from me. I hope you succeed.’ Since when does Percy talk like that? The old Percy would’ve said, ‘Good luck, man, I hope you net her.’”

I paled. “I’ve got to see my camp friends. Leo will set me straight.”

Triton snickered. “I certainly hope so. It was positively disconcerting to hear you talk like me. We already look alike, I don’t want anymore insults to my character.”

I gave him the stink eye. “Shut up.”

“So eloquent.”

I snorted. I looked around and realized that we had moved inside the museum. I gave a shudder. “Hey, Triton?”

He sighed and looked at me. “Yes?”

“The Kindly Ones can’t go underwater, right?”

He gave me a double take and then nodded. “That’s correct.”

I heaved a sigh of relief. With this bounty, I didn’t know what monsters would be included in it.

“Why?”

I didn’t look at him. “Nothing really, just curious.”

He gave me a nonplussed stare. “You’re a horrible liar.”

I glanced at him and snorted in derision. “Dude, I wasn’t really trying.” He raised an eyebrow, but I had already moved on.

It was weird for everyone to bow to me. We passed random civilian Mers and they would quickly bow. They were probably bowing to Dad. He was the king and god after all. I just ignored them until Triton pulled me aside.

“Don’t ignore them, Percy. That’s rude.”

I blanched. “But, weren’t they just bowing to you guys?”

He stared at me and then groaned. “No. They were bowing to the whole Royal Family. You are a part of that now.”

I stared at him and groaned. “I keep forgetting!” My voice echoed slightly. I turned back and waved jubilantly at the Mers I just passed, smiling at them. They hesitantly waved back.

I turned back to Triton and saw that he had his head in his hands. “You will never be a Prince. Never.” I snickered.

“Percy! Triton! Come over here!” We turned to see Amphitrite waving us over.

“Yes Mother.” Triton said. I just nodded and followed my half brother. I spied a couple of girls drooling over Triton and snickered.

“You got a fanbase, brother dear.” Triton glanced over at the group of girls. He grinned at me.

“Are you sure that they’re here for me?”

I blinked. “Duh. They ain’t here for me, dude.”

Amphitrite was staring at me. “Perseus! Watch your grammar!”

I sighed. “Apologies, Mother.” She had told me to call her mother. I was really uncomfortable with it, but Dad said that Amphitrite was only trying to get closer to me; she wasn’t trying to replace Sally.

Triton made little choking sounds. I sent him a smirk. Poseidon continued to swim through the museum with Amphitrite on his arm. I bumped Triton once accidentally. A few seconds later, he bumped me. I bumped him. He pushed me a little. I pushed him back. It would have started a pushing war, if Mako hadn’t cleared his throat and looked at us warningly. We flushed and swam on, albeit a little dejectedly. Our tails drooped.

The tour was boring. I breathed easier when we left that museum. Triton noticed. He whispered to me so Mother wouldn’t notice.

“Care to explain your allergic reaction to museums?”

“No.”

“Percy…” He wouldn’t admit it, but he was pleading with me. I sighed.

“Back when I first discovered my powers, both Zeus and Hades thought I had stolen something of theirs. Hades sent a Kindly One after me to either kill me or get his item back, hopefully both. The Kindly One attack me in a museum. I was alone with it. Well…Chiron appeared out of nowhere to throw me Riptide, Anuklusmos, my sword, but I pretty much was alone in the fight.”

Triton stared at me. He forgot to whisper. “How in Tartarus did you survive?!!”

Poseidon turned and raised an eyebrow. “Regaling your brother with some past quests, Percy?”

I blushed. “My first monster.”

Mako and the others crowded around. “What was it?” Tolo and Hunt asked together.

Amphitrite sighed. “What is it with men and war stories? Anyway, Percy can tell us that story when we get to our picnic.” We went to a sandy area that was nicely isolated. It overlooked the Ancient City of Atlantis. We started eating our food. Poseidon motioned for me to continue my story.

I cleared my throat. “I’m not very good at story telling. That’s more of a Hermes trait, but I’ll try my best. My first monster happened before my father claimed me as his son. I was just Percy Jackson. I didn’t even know about the Greek world.”

Tolo raised a hand. I smiled. “How old were you?”

“I was twelve. I was actually on an outing of sorts with a bunch of other classmates of mine. We were going to a museum that held a bunch of old things from the past above surface. Anyway, Hades and Zeus were ticked off at my dad. They thought I did some things that Poseidon wanted me to do. I was accused of stealing Zeus’ master bolt. I didn’t, but that didn’t stop Zeus from thinking it. Anyway, Hades was also ticked at me, so he sent Alecto, one of the Kindly Ones to collect. She was going to either collect my soul, or the item that he thought I had, or both.

“I was alone in the museum with her. Chiron popped in out of nowhere to throw me Riptide, or Anuklusmos. He didn’t give me a helping hand though.” I huffed. “The Kindly One attacked me and I killed it.” I munched my sandwich. Underwater food was actually pretty good.

Triton, Hunt, Mako, and Tolo were staring at me as if I had grown two heads.

Triton cleared his throat. “So let me get this straight. You killed a Kindly One by yourself? Untrained? With just a sword? No armor?”

I nodded and kept eating.

Poseidon chuckled. “That’s my boy. Triton took on a sea serpent when he was four.” He looked proud. “Both sons of the Sea are strong and powerful.” He preened slightly. I rolled my eyes in tandem with Amphitrite.

Triton waved that away. “I’m immortal father. The rules are slightly different for a mortal.” He stared at me. “How did you kill it?”

“I swung my sword.” I pantomimed swinging my sword like I had done then.

Mako whistled. “That would do it. You just did an advanced maneuver when you were twelve and untrained. How are you not famous now?”

Poseidon coughed. I could tell that he was about to spout my titles. “Dad! Have a sandwich!” I all but stuffed a sandwich in his mouth. He raised an eyebrow but caught the message.

“Thank you, Percy. I was getting hungry.” He smiled gently.

Mako slumped slightly. He realized that his King wouldn’t be giving forth any info on me.

Elise looked at me. “There’s a sword competition among the nobles. Why don’t you join them?”

I laughed. “I don’t fight for fun. It’s just not…me. I fight monsters, not nobles.” I squinted my eyes and stuck out my lower jaw. She giggled, and Fresca smiled.

Amphitrite shook her head. “Do not make rude impersonations of the nobles, Perseus.”

I nodded. “Sorry Mother.”

Triton snickered.

“Do not snicker Triton. You sound like you’re choking.”

He nodded. “Yes, Mother.”

I sent Triton a smirk when Amphitrite’s back was to me. He glared at me in good humor.

Poseidon cleared his throat. “So, how are Percy’s lessons going Triton?”

Triton shook his head in mock despair. “Horrible. Once I asked Percy how to greet a Duke. He just stuck out his hand and said ‘Hi! How ya doin?’”

I started laughing. “That’s how we greet each other above!”

Triton closed his eyes. “Percy, that’s how commoners speak. You are a noble.”

I pretended to die. Poseidon sighed. “His eating lessons?” Triton groaned.

I couldn’t help it. I snickered. Amphitrite shot me a warning glance. I flicked my tail lazily as I listened to Triton gripe about my lack of manners.

Mako was shaking silently as Triton continued to tell Dad the horrors of my eating. I knew he was laughing. All of them were. I smiled at them. I was pretty dorky.

Once we were done eating, our friends had to leave. Triton had to go do some military general stuff. Amphitrite was doing Queenly business. Dad was about to go, but I stopped him.

“Dad?”

He turned and smiled at me. “Yes Percy?”

“Everyone has something to do. Can I go visit my friends in Camp? Please?!”

He sighed and then nodded. “Come back at sunset.”

I nodded and hugged him. “Thank you!!”

Chapter Text

Chapter Eleven: Camp

I rose out of the water. The water swirled around my fins. Two feet formed and the trunk of my tail split apart into legs. Next came the clothes, I smiled. Magic was a handy thing to have. I continued to walk up the beach. No scouts, I frowned. That was weird. Walking through the beach access, I saw a giant. At first I bristled but then I recognized him as Damasen. Of course, he and Bob were here! I had waved to them. I smacked my head in disgust with myself. How could I have forgotten?

He seemed to be telling everyone a story. I chuckled. No wonder there were no sentries. I walked closer, but kept to the shadows.

Damasen was telling them how it was back in the days before modern history, during the times of Hercules and Jason and Perseus. I smiled.

I stepped into light. The fire danced off my armbands and circlet. I slipped my hand into my pocket and felt Riptide. I felt complete. No one noticed, until Annabeth looked up to see what the flashing was. She cried out and ran to me. I laughed as I picked her up and spun her around.

I held her close to me. “I love you, Annabeth.” Everyone stayed where they were, waiting for our moment to end. It ended when our kiss ended, which was long in coming.

They started crowding around us. Asking me question. I laughed. “Do I not get to sit down?”

They ushered me to a log. I smirked. After hugging Bob and Damasen, I wrapped an arm around Annabeth and we sat on a log together.

Clarisse spoke first. “Are you breaking your vows being here?”

I shook my head. “Father released me from those vows, as an atonement.” Annabeth stared at me. I blinked and frowned. My princely speech was getting in the way. I shrugged. “He felt bad for something.”

Leo nodded. “So, dude, what’s it like down there?”

I chuckled. “It’s deep. Very deep. It’s like a city at night. Constant night. Sunlight doesn’t reach that far down.”

Nico stared at me. “Who was that girl?” His fist clenched and relaxed. My eyes narrowed and I flicked my gaze to Will before settling back on Nico.

I held Annabeth tighter. “Elise Vako, daughter of one of my father’s top generals.” I smiled down at Annabeth. “Don’t worry, she hasn’t and won’t approach me anymore.” She smiled.

The question and answer continued on for quite some time, right through dinner and into sing a longs, until quite a few of the campers were yawning. I glanced at the sun. It was setting. I frowned. Standing, I turned to say goodbye to everyone, but Annabeth clung to me. She was crying, softly and quietly. I held her closer.

“I’ll come back Annabeth. I can visit any time now. Father won’t dare stand in my way.” She nodded and stared at me. The firelight made her tears look like diamonds. I smiled. Using the language that Triton helped me learn, I spoke. “I love you. Telia lun-pan sere-us, Annabeth.” She blinked. I kissed her softly. “The language of the sea. It means, I give you my soul, Annabeth.” She smiled. And repeated it with Percy at the end. I chuckled and held her closer. “I have to go.”

She nodded and let me go. I waved to everyone else and walked to the beach. I sighed as the water swirled around me and my tail formed again.

I swam through the dark waters. I felt five presences. I frowned. I exerted my control and summoned my Trident. A silver light shone through the darkness, illuminating the faces of my bodyguards.

I sighed. “Poseidon disbanded you.”

Farook spoke. “He reinstated us as your bodyguards.”

“Why was I not told of this?”

Gisha frowned. “You should have been told.”

I motioned them. “Swim ahead of me. Three meters radius at all times. Do as I say.”

They obeyed. We reached the palace. I swam into the throne room and stared at my father. He was speaking to Delphin.

“Dad? Why have you put my bodyguards back on their guard duty?”

He sighed. “Percy, sea monsters have attacked three Mer boys your age and of similar description to you. I cannot take any chances.”

I sighed. “Fine.” I stormed out of the hall and to the battle arena. I was practically snarling in anger. I raised my voice. “Il-liala ruum!” [Someone fight me!]

Mako stopped talking to Tolo and hesitantly moved forward. When in a rage, Triton was ruthless. He didn’t know how I would be.

The battle was quick and decisive. I sighed. “Tolo, Hunt, Mako come over here now .”

I started teaching them the quirks of fighting. Quirks that I had learned through Daedelus, Luke, and experience. Also research. Google was an awesome thing.

Triton had entered the arena and watched as I thrashed the three Mers. Fresca and Elise were with him. Hunt noticed. I didn’t…until later.

“Hunt, raise your sword!”

He shook his head. Triton would later tell me that he didn’t want Elise to think him a coward, but he also didn’t want her to think him incompetent.

I growled. “Raise. You. Sword.”

He fought me. I taught him. “Keep your point up. Don’t overextend, you’ll loose balance! Keep a tighter grip on your handle. Focus Hunt!” It went on for as long as he could stand it.

He threw his sword at me. I dodged it easily. “NOT EVERYONE’S AS GREAT AS YOU, PERCY! NOT EVERYONE’S AS TALENTED AS THE HIGH AND MIGHTY PERCY JACKASS!!”

I froze. Everyone froze. His brown eyes were glistening; he swam out of the arena as fast as he could. I watched him go.

“What. The. Hell?” I stared at my friends. “Anyone care to explain that to me?”

Tolo shrugged. “Hunt is Hunt.”

Mako sighed. “Perce, look behind you.”

I glanced at my half brother and the two girls. “Yeah, so what? We’ve fought in front of the girls before.”

Mako just sighed. Triton shook his head. “Leave us.”

They left. Triton drew his sword. “It seems to me, that I am the only one under the surface who can fight you for longer than five minutes.”

I grinned. I loved sparring with Triton. He always succeeded in getting my mind happy again.

All that followed was the echoing of metal on metal and taunting from both of us. The practice lasted for twenty minutes. We had abandoned out swords halfway through and had gone to hand in hand combat. I was weaker in that, and he taught me.

After our fight, I had won in the blades, but Triton had won in the hand to hand, we were lounging on the benches. My fins twitched.

“Care to explain why Hunt went all Drama Queen on me? Usually he loves learning more.”

“Elise was watching, dearest brother.”

I stilled and then rested my head on the stone bench. “I’m an idiot.”

“Yep.”

I groaned. “Dude, what do I do now?”

“Nothing. He was in the wrong.”

I looked up at Triton. “What?”

Triton looked angry. “He shouted at you. He has never, never cussed at me. No matter how much I humiliate him, he would never.” A muscle danced along Triton’s jaw. “He is in the wrong. He has twenty four hours to beg forgiveness, before he will be punished for crimes against the Crown.”

I jolted up. “What?!”

Triton raised an eyebrow. “What?”

I sighed. “Tri, I’m not-“

“DON’T YOU DARE SAY THAT YOU’RE NOT ROYALTY!” He roared at me. I stared at him. He took a deep breath. “Your father is Poseidon. He is a god . He is a king . You are a Prince ! What is wrong with that? You have royal blood coursing through your veins! You may be treated like a commoner among your above surface friends, but you will not be treated like one here! Get used to it. That is life!”

I nodded numbly.

Triton sighed. He rarely used his godly powers around me, but he summoned a small booklet. “Here, read this. This will help you get your mind around Royalty.”

It was a book of etiquette for how a commoner should treat the Royal Family. He left me with one last thing to say.

“Do not apologize to Hunt. You did nothing wrong. He shouted at you. He let his insecurities get in the way of friendship. You’re right, Perce, titles do cause strife, but it isn’t always the one with the titles who is at fault.”

He swam out of the arena. I growled slightly and glared at the booklet. “Flatiss!” I cursed.

“M’lord?”

I turned and saw a common Mer. I stood. “Yes?”

She stuttered. “The Queen wishes to see you in the ballroom, m’lord.”

I nodded. “Yes, thank you.” I smiled sadly at her. She blushed and bowed her head as I passed. I was troubled. An archaic way of saying things, but it fit rather well. I was troubled. I was pissed. I was frustrated. I had lived eighteen years of my life as a commoner and suddenly everyone expects me to act like a noble. I scoffed.

“Mother?”

Amphitrite turned. “Tr…Percy…” She stared at me. I stared back.

“Yes?”

She blinked. “Is something the matter?”

I sighed. “Not really. What was that you wanted?”

She nodded. “You fitter is here. We heed your measurements.

I stared at her, and then I stared at the cecaelia, a half man and half octopus. His tentacles were holding a numerous amount of things, measuring tapes, stylus, pad of paper, material, string. I stifled a snicker.

“For what?”

She looked at me in surprise. “Your armor! It is a formal party after all.”

I held back a groan.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twelve: Retribution

Twenty-Four Hours Later, Outside of the Palace – POV Change

Percy was currently sparring with his bodyguards. They had proved to be a very good distraction for him. Triton smiled grimly. He knew that Percy would stop him from doing what he was about to do.

Triton swam over to the group that masqueraded as his friends. The minute he approached he grabbed Hunt and struck him across the face. All the others moved back and waited Triton’s rage out. They didn’t dare speak out at him.

“Vlahas!” [Traitor/Betrayer!]

Hunt winced.

Triton grabbed him by the throat. “If you ever shout at Prince Perseus again, I will personally order your execution! Do not think that your long term friendship will save you from law! Shouting at a Royal is considered a felony! Cursing a Royal is the DEATH SENTENCE! You IDIOT!” He slung Hunt across the lawn. Mako, Tolo, Fresca, and Elise flinched. They didn’t want to incur the wrath of Triton. They trusted that Triton wouldn’t kill Hunt. Hunt was like a baby brother to him.

“Percy was being kind to you. He could have laughed at you and told you to go waste someone else’s time! He could have not even blessed you with the opportunity to cross swords with him! You want to know why he’s so good?!” Triton had lost reason in his rage.

“IT IS BECAUSE HE HAS FOUGHT IN TWO WARS AND HUNDREDS OF BATTLES, YOU FOOL!!”  Triton breathed heavily. “He is the Savior of Olympus. The Hero of all Heroes. The Bane of Monsters. You have shouted at and insulted a man who has walked with gods! Who is the friend of gods! Who is the son of a god!” Triton’s trident appeared in his hand. He aimed at Hunt’s fin. It would be a crippling shot. The boy would never be able to swim well again.

A hand placed itself on his. Triton whirled around to face a calm Percy. The teenager had a small smile on his face.

“While I am happy that you are so ready to defend me, dedo-na [brother-love], I don’t think Hunt deserves to have such a permanent punishment for his first offence. Perhaps something less severe?” Percy spoke calmly, his voice slipping through and soothing his brother’s rage. “I trust your judgment on how best to punish him.” Percy smiled.

Triton took a shuddering breath. He didn’t apologize to Hunt. “Since it is you who has been offended, I will leave his punishment to you.” Triton nodded to Percy. Percy sighed. He gazed down at the cowering merman.

“You are young.” Percy murmured. “You are foolish.” He sighed again. “Get up Hunt. Look at me when I talk with you.”

Hunt rose.

POV Change

I stared at the brown eyed kid. He really was a kid. Five or six centuries of life haven’t really matured him. Everyone treated him like a teenager. All his other friends his age were treated like teenagers. They had been bred to be irresponsible. Age didn’t matter a thing if the person could get away with not maturing. Physical age was nothing in comparison to Maturity age. I shook my head.

“I really want to slap some sense into you, but I know that won’t work. Unnecessary violence never brings anything positive. Hunt Tohani, you will report for work in the fields and work there for two harvests.” Elise gasped.

“That is a job for peasants!”

I leveled my gaze on her. “Would you like to join him, Elise? You have slipped out of punishment; do you want to remind me of your actions?” She paled.

I sighed. “According to this book that Triton gave me in a huff, approaching a Royal with a sexual intent is punishable by death.” I stared at her. “Do you want to push me? Do you want to die?” She shook her head. I nodded. “Good. I’m not the bad guy. You guys aren’t the bad guys. If fact, if you look at things properly, I’m saving your lives.”

I turned back to Hunt. “What I’m hoping, is that hard labor will knock some sense into your head.” His eyes were glaring at me. I sighed. “I was seven years old Hunt. Seven years old when I got my first job. Equivalent of seven is a seventy year old Mer. What were you doing then? I was working in the freezing weather shoveling snow so my family could eat next weak.” I swam closer. “What were you doing?”

Hunt lowered his gaze.

I scoffed and glared at all of my friends. “You sneer and mock and tease the Mers that you call common, but it is their work that enables you not to work! It is their hard labor that helps you afford your fine tastes and lazy attitudes, pet-uga [Worst of idiots]!” I hissed at Hunt.

“Get out of my sight.” I shot through the water. I had to get away from them. Idiots. Spoiled. Pampered. Racist. Idiots!

My body guards followed me.

The Next Day

I sighed and leaned against Triton. “Tell me, do Mako, Tolo, and Fresca hate me?”

Triton shook his head. “They are older. They understand. Mako and Tolo have fought in wars. Hunt was too young. Fresca helped with the wounded, that sobered her up fast. Elise was too young to help. They don’t hate you.”

I sighed. “Good.” I looked up at the high ceiling. “I never asked to be this. I never expected to be anything but a kid with an…awesome mother.” I swallowed. Triton stared at me. He knew I was covering something. I didn’t really want to get into my former life with Gabe.

“What was Elise punishment to be? You never made it clear.”

I barked a laugh. “What’s going on with her now?”

“She is being grounded by her father. When he found out her crimes, he was shocked and afraid.”

I nodded. “Summon him to me. I want to talk to the old guy.”

Triton smirked and nodded. He summoned a dolphin. “Summon General Ginar Vako to the throne room.”

“Yes, m’lord.” It swam away quickly. Triton and I swam lazily to the throne room and reclined on a throne my father had made for me. Ten minutes later the general came rushing in. He was one of the ones that I glared at. This time I smiled icily at him.

“Ginar! Welcome. Come forward.” The man swam forward uneasily.

Triton covered his smirk behind his hand. He let me handle this.

I sighed. “You know what your daughter has done, correct?”

He nodded.

I continued. “She has approached me, a Royal, with sexual intent, even when I made it clear that I loved another.” I looked at him sharply. “I was willing to let this go. I didn’t want to make a fuss. I even allowed her to accompany my family’s tour of Ancient Atlantis. However, when she spoke out against my punishment for Hunt Tohani, she brought the attention back on herself.” I sighed. “My family has been frustrated with my lack of family pride. They were shocked when I asked them not to execute her. It was the law. Laws have to be followed. I didn’t think her actions called for death so I stopped it. I still think death is too harsh a punishment.”

Triton sighed. “Percy, we’ve been through this. If the people think you soft then they will try and abuse your goodwill!”

I smiled. “Then they will be sadly mistaken. General Ginar, I want your daughter to be put to work in the Atlantis Orphanage. This is for her to be able to count her many blessings. She has what hundreds do not.” I noticed Triton’s surprised face. I smiled. “She will work in the orphanage and continue her studies. She will live separately from her family. You are allowed to visit her, but you are not allowed to give her anything. The money she earns will the be only thing she has to spend.” I chuckled. “I hope you taught her how to manage her books. She will live like this for two years, starting today. Oh, and she will be able to get more than one job.”

I floated up and left the room. The general was pale. I felt tired. I didn’t want to give out punishments. I didn’t want to be the one with the responsibility. I sighed and stared out at the garden. I wanted to visit my mom. I wanted to speak normally again. Normal, like ‘dude’ and ‘man’ and ‘freaking awesome’. When was the last time I said awesome?

Growling, I went to Dad’s study.

“Come in.”

“I’ve just given General Ginar the punishment that his daughter is to be given.”

Poseidon looked at me eagerly. “Oh? And what is it?”

“Working and living separately from her family. The wages she earns will be her only income. She’s also to work at the orphanage.”

Poseidon frowned. “But the orphanage does not pay enough to live on.”

I stared at him. “What do they pay?”

“One hundred copper drachmas an hour. That’s the equivalent of seven dollars an hour.”

I laughed. “Then it will be plenty. My mother and I lived off of sixteen dollars an hour and both of us had to work to get it! Elise will be fine, especially since she doesn’t pay rent.”

Poseidon chuckled. “Elise is not your mother.”

“Then she will starve and learn her lesson.” Harsh. I hadn’t meant for it to sound that harsh. I shrugged. “I want to visit Mom.”

Poseidon nodded. “Very well.”

I smiled and turned to leave when he spoke again. “Oh, Percy, your classes start in two weeks, don’t they?”

I nodded warily.

Poseidon sighed. “Until this threat with Tartarus is dealt with, you will have to go to Atlantis Academy. Don’t worry. No one will bother you.”

I sighed. No one would bother me. I was a magnet for trouble. I’d like to see the day when no one would bother me…. Shalem-uga! [worst of moment/luck/light curse].

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirteen: A Visit to My Mother’s

I sighed and knocked on the door. It was awkward to walk again.

The door opened. I barely had time to see who answered before my mom tackled me in a hug. “PERCY!!!” She pulled me inside. Paul, grinning, tried to close the door but found that there were men in black armor, covered in knives standing in the doorway.

“Come inside.” I turned to Paul and Mom. “These are my bodyguards. Dad assigned them to me for my protection. Chiron told you what’s up right?”

Paul nodded. Mom pinched her lips tightly together. She did that sometimes, when she was worried. “Yes, he told us.”

I smiled tiredly. “This is my mother, and this is my step-father.”

They bowed and then fanned out. Telhiem stuck close to me, like he always did.

I sniffed. “Cookies?”

Mom laughed. “Do you want to help me make them?”

My eyes lit up. Manuel labor! Amphitrite and Dad wouldn’t let me do anything except combat practice. I had tried to clean my own room and cook my own food but they threw a fit.

“YES!!”

Three Hour Later

Mom and I came out of the kitchen looking like flour monsters. We had a food fight. Paul just shook his head. I was laughing my head off. For all the fun I had below the surface, nothing was like coming home, feeling safe in my mother’s arms and eating blue cookies.

Paul cleared his throat. I waved my hand. “Speak.” My eyes widened. “Um….uh… yes?” I blushed. I didn’t want to treat Paul like a servant, obviously.

He chuckled. “I was just going to ask what you’re going to do about school. You can’t just skip indefinitely.”

I nodded. “Dad’s enrolling me in an academy for royalty, and high class.” I wrinkled my nose. “Mom, tell him to stop!”

She raised an eyebrow. “Stop enrolling you?”

“No! Stop forcing me to learn manners! How to swim, talk, eat, interact, and act like a Prince! He’s even forcing me to learn how to dance !!” I threw my hands into the air. “How in Hades can a fish dance?!”

Paul started laughing. I threw a pillow cushion at him. Something I would never had been allowed to do at the palace. He threw it back at me.

“PILLOW FIGHT!!!” Paul obliged.

Mom just shook her head and laughed. “You break something, you pay for it, Percy!”

“Yes, Mom!”

We fought for a while. I knocked his glasses askew and started cracking up at how funny he looked. Paul snagged me in a wrestling hold. I chuckled. I had taught that to him. “Say it!”

I laughed. “Uncle!”

He released me. I just stayed on the ground, laughing until my stomach hurt.

“Dinner’s ready!” I shot up.

“DINNER!!”

Paul raced me to the dining room. My mom had set the table for eight places. I chuckled. “The guards don’t eat with their Prince, Mom.”

She blinked. “Oh. Oh!” She shuffled around and started picking up the place settings. “Well, then they can take turns watching you and eating at the kitchen table.” She started setting up the kitchen table.

I nodded to Telheim and the others. “You have my permission. The food will not harm you.”

They bowed, and three left while two stayed. Sally served them and then joined Paul and me at the table.

I picked up my knife and fork while Paul just grabbed the chicken leg with his fingers. I blinked. I looked at mom. She was doing the same. I grinned.

I started digging in too. I was out of Amphitrite’s jurisdiction!!!! Woohoo!

The dessert was brownies. Brownies! The way Mom makes them, they melt in your mouth. Ahhh….

I relaxed on the couch. “The food down there is great, but I don’t want to go back.”

Sally chuckled. “Then don’t. Stay the night.”

I nodded. “I will.”

After a Long IM with Dad

I sighed. To have two legs. To sleep in my old bed. This was heaven. A light knock. The guards were stationed in discreet and impossible to see places in my room. I had gotten used to them watching me sleep.

“Come in.”

Paul came into my room. “Percy, I was just wondering if I could see your crown. You mentioned it being always on you just invisible unless you want it to be visible.”

I sighed. “Sure.” My armbands and crown appeared. “Can you see them?”

Paul blinked and then he blinked again. “At first I saw two tattoos and a ball cap, but now I see the crown and bands.”

I nodded and sighed. “It’s a bit bothersome. Sleeping in it, I mean. Dad won’t let me take them off. Every time I try, I get a small, electric shock.”

Paul smiled. “He wants everyone to know that you are his son.”

I smiled. I hadn’t thought of it in that particular way before. Paul nodded, got up, and left.

The sun was setting. Darkness was taking over my room. I let it. The bathroom light illuminated only a small square of my bedroom. I tilted my head back and sighed. Was what I did to Elise and Hunt right? Would the others resent me? This was why I didn’t want to become a leader. This is why I gladly let anyone else take over. Anyone but Jason. That guy just quietly egged me on. I mean, we were friends, but we weren’t close. Not a chance. Zeus and Poseidon just didn’t get close . Thalia was an exception all to her own, and besides, she got blessed by Artemis. That must have diluted the Zeus in her.

There was a small tapping on the window that broke me out of my musing. I turned to see Nico sitting there.

I grinned and opened the window up. “Yo, Nico! What’s up?”

“I’m in the dog house.” He looked glum, glummer that usual, which was saying something.

I blinked. “What’s wrong?”

“Will and I had a fight.” He threw his hands up in the air. “It was so stupid ! I had just shadow traveled to California to talk to Thalia, who was camping there, and when I came back he exploded. He accused me of not taking care of myself.” Nico sat angrily on Percy’s bed. “Percy! I wasn’t even tired!”

I smiled slightly. “Ah, lover’s quarrel. Don’t worry. Solace will IM just about everyone, frantically asking where you are. Then when you go back to him, he’ll slap you across the face and then hug you and everything will be fine.”

Nico had the grace to smirk at that. “That’s what happens with you and Annabeth?”

I chuckled. “Nope. That’s what happens with every normal couple. Annabeth and I aren’t your typical couple. In our case, if I overexerted, or if she thinks I overexerted myself, then she’ll give me an hour lecture, pout a little, guilt me with thoughts of leaving her alone if I die by my own stupidity, and then I kiss her and promise not to do it again. Then I will promptly break that promise in the next fight against a monster.”

Nico was chuckling now.

I sighed. “So, that doesn’t seem like enough material for you being in the dog house. What else happened?”

Nico sighed. “We fought over someone.” His dark eyes flashed. “You would think that Will wasn’t a jealous person!”

I chuckled. “Who was it?” I grabbed my glass of water and started drinking.

“You.”

I started choking. “M-ee?!” Cough! “Why?!” Cough! Ah, classic choking in surprise. I could see a small grin tugging at Nico’s lips. He had waited for me to drink my water, the little grimlani! [gremlin/devil/imp]

Nico shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I hadn’t been talking about you at all. I was just looking at the photo album that the Athena cabin put together. You know, the one they gave to every cabin as a tribute to the last five years?”

I nodded. He continued. “I was laughing at one of them. You were in it. Clarisse was trying to beat you to death with a hot dog.”

I started laughing. “I remember that!” I cocked my head. “What’s wrong with that?”

Nico groaned and fell back on my bed. “How should I know?! Will suddenly just got in a huff and said, ‘If you like Jackson so much, then go and date him!’”

I sighed. “Well, you can bunk over here if you want. I’ll get you a spare toothbrush.” He sent me a thankful glance. I just smiled. I stood up in the light. He gasped.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Fourteen: Miscommunication

I paused at the gasp, my sword instantly out. “What?!” All my bodyguards were tense, ready to spring.

He blinked and shook his head. “Boy, you have violent reflexes. I was surprised about your new jewelry.” He smirked.

I groaned and made a small motion to stand down. They did. Nico didn’t see anything. “You weren’t at camp? I thought you were at camp? You were there and saw them like everyone else.” I was confused.

He shrugged. “I guess it didn’t hit home to me.”

I nodded. “And it’s not jewelry. I think it’s rather manly.”

“A circlet.”

“A crown that a Prince wears. Don’t push it, di’Angelo.” I gave him a good natured shove.

He chuckled. I put my sword back. Then I had a thought. “You were right by the way.”

He blinked. “Right about what?”

I pulled out my pen and touched the cap to the pommel. “It does form into a pen. And the ink never runs out.”

Nico stared at in it in shock. “You remembered?”

I chuckled. “Yeah. I remembered.” I sat next to him on my bed. “Also, Piper started giving me surfing lessons last fall. She said I was a natural. And I said, ‘well naturally!’”

Nico started laughing a little at that. “You can’t even pretend to be arrogant!”

I huffed. “Why is it that everyone says that I have a heart of gold, or that I have a pure heart, or that I would be the god of humility?” I groaned. “I’m not perfect. Just ask Annabeth and Calypso!” I spoke quieter. “Just ask you.”

Nico sighed. “Percy, I forgave you. It wasn’t your fault. She acted too fast for you.”

I jumped back up and punched the wall. A crack appeared. “Don’t. Don’t make excuses for me, Nico. I watched as she died. I watched!” I turned away. “You have full right to hate me.”

Nico took my arm and pulled me back to face him. “But I don’t.” I sighed and let him hug me. It was a rare moment when Nico di’Angelo hugged someone.

Of course, with my luck, that was the time Will Solace IMed me and saw us. I saw his jaw drop and his eyes grow angry.

“I knew it.” He raised his hand to slash through the mist.

“Will, no!” He disconnected. I cursed.

“Ziangen! [meaning censored] Great. Just great. I seem to make everything worse for you!”

Nico gave a small sigh. “I’ll talk to him.”

I looked up as he stood. “Want me to come along?”

He shook his head. “It’ll be better if you weren’t there for him to try and punch.”

I snickered. “Ah you do care!”

He gave me a strange look and then smiled. “No, I don’t want Will to get hurt. You don’t know your own strength sometimes, Perce.”

I frowned in confusion. “Huh?” But he didn’t answer. The shadows enveloped him, and he vanished. I sighed but got ready for bed anyway.

The Next Day

I smiled. A new day. IMing my dad, I asked him about Elise.

“She’s begging and beseeching us to recall our punishment.”

“And the general? I don’t want to raise trouble in the ranks.”

“He is fine. More than fine. He is happy that his daughter will learn hard work, and he’s also wondering if his other children shouldn’t go through something similar too.”

I chuckled. “Good. As long as he’s on our side, I don’t need to worry too much.”

Poseidon smiled. “Are you coming home soon?”

I gave him a sharp look. “Dad, I am home.”

He looked embarrassed. “I meant to your second home.”

I sighed. “Yes, I suppose. Mom is at a college class and is going to work immediately after. Paul is teaching right now until five. I suppose I should go. I’ll stop at camp and visit and then I’ll return. Okay?”

Poseidon nodded. “That’s perfect. Don’t forget the ball that’s being held in your honor. It’s tomorrow.”

I sighed. “Horrific.” I wanted to cuss but Poseidon would tell Mother.

“Perseus. Amphitrite has gone to great lengths to do this for you.”

I sighed again. “I suppose.” I looked to my calendar. “Dad, how is Olympus?”

He gave me a curious glance. “Everything is fine. Zeus is calm. Hades is happy. No one’s been robbed, and no gods have gone missing.”

I smiled. “Good. Everything’s peaceful isn’t it.”

Poseidon chuckled. “Must be weird for you.” I nodded.

“Yeah. What are we going to do. Actually do about Tartarus. It’s not like we can go down there and beat him up.” I fidgeted with my hands.

My dad sighed. “That’s been troubling everyone. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. No one has ever escaped Tartarus, either the prison or the primordial. What you and Annabeth did was unprecedented.”

“Nico escaped too.”

“He didn’t. He got caught and dragged through it. Tartarus allowed him to leave, under the giants’ supervision.”

I nodded. Made sense. “But why isn’t he going after Annabeth too? Not that I want him to. I’m glad he isn’t.” I smiled slightly. I preferred Annabeth not in harm’s way, thank you very much.

Poseidon sighed and rubbed his face. “I don’t know. Maybe, in your well-practiced ability to tick everyone off, you became a specific thorn in his side? Maybe you caused him more grief than Annabeth?”

Flashes of memories came back to me. Of me rupturing all the veins and rivers in front of the Doors. Those were Tartarus’ arteries and veins! I smirked as I realized that I must have given him heart burn.

“I think I caused him more discomfort than he let on. I think I became personal.” I shook my head. “But it was Leo who did the final blow against Gaea, his consort. I hardly did anything at all in the final battle.”

Poseidon, for some reason, just sighed and shook his head. “Percy, stay just the way you are. Never change.”

I tilted my head to one side. “What do you mean by that?”

He just laughed. “Nothing. I’ll talk to Zeus about Tartarus in more detail. I don’t like the thought that Kronos, your old enemy, is giving him council.”

I sighed. “Me either.” Something wasn’t right though. Something was wiggling in the back of my mind. Something about Kronos. I shook my head. As soon as I stopped searching for it, it would come back to me. I smiled to Dad. “See you later.” He smiled back, though it was tinged with worry.

I packed up my things and wrote a note to Mom and Paul. I smiled slightly and walked out the door. I noticed my bodyguards melt into the crowd. I hailed a taxi and once again wished that I had that water misting travel thing. I had to be immortal to have it, or so Dad said.

It wasn’t fair. All my other friends got really cool powers. I only had control over water, and the ability to talk to Mr. Ed.

Camp Half Blood

Annabeth curled up against me. I smiled and kissed her temple. I had arrived only three hours ago. She gave me a flying tackle as a hug. I chuckled. Now we were on the pier at the lake. Her hands were wrapped tightly around me. I gave a small worried frown.

My absence wasn’t helping her dreams. Her dark circles were getting darker. I thought back on the conversation that Malcolm had with me while Annabeth was getting food for lunch.

“She’s staying up at night. Late, sometimes all night. Percy, she’s probably only getting three or four hours of sleep, and that’s not even solid sleep!”

I sighed. “What do you want me to do? Tell her to go back to sleep and face her worst fears? I can’t tell her what to do, Mal. I can’t. I don’t have a leg to stand on. She knows I stay awake at nights too.”

“How can you hide it so well?”

I smiled. “There a medicine that Amphitrite is giving me. It knocks me out, near coma. I’m going to give Annabeth some. It’ll keep the dreams away. The only issue is that’s it’s addicting. The comfort of no dreams…it’s dangerous. Also not having dreams is dangerous for a demigod.”

Malcolm agreed.

I sighed again and looked down at Annabeth. She had taken it instantly. She wasn’t a coward, but if you offered any demigod a way to sleep without dreams, they would practically rip you apart to get that wonder drug. That was actually the reason I was keeping it a secret. Malcolm was too. Any of the demigods here would want something like that.

Annabeth didn’t even stir when I picked her up and took her to my cabin. Too many eyebrows would be raised if she slept soundly again. Too many questions that I couldn’t answer.

I sighed. I hated this. Drugs were all well and good, but nothing beat natural sleep. I set Annabeth on my bed and slipped a hand through her hair. It was golden in the sunlight. It was only 3:25PM. I glanced at my water clock. I smiled and held my love close to me. She had been asleep for two hours now. Good.

“Telian comboro, dussel ella lannen-pan. [You are beautiful, love of my life.] So precious to me. If you weren’t here, I wouldn’t give a damn if the world ended. To me, the world would have ended already.” I held her closer. I would have to spend more time with her. She was strong, yes, but no human being should have to see the horror of Tartarus. I fell asleep beside her.

Chapter Text

Chapter Fifteen: Jealousies and Discussions

I woke up three hours later. I sighed and kissed Annabeth. My door was opened rather hastily. Clarisse was standing there. She looked at an actual sleeping Annabeth and gawked for a second. I guess everyone knew that Annabeth wasn’t sleeping.

Clarisse shook herself. “Percy, Will is out for blood. No one has seen Solace so angry before!” She cursed. “Damn it! I didn’t even know he was capable of being angry!”

I sighed. “Very well. Let’s get this over with.”

Clarisse shook her head. “You don’t understand. He thinks you’ve seduced Nico!”

I started laughing. “Me? Seduced Nico? Oh please.” I stood up and kissed Annabeth one last time. “Sleep well, love.” She seemed so lonely without me lying beside her. I felt a sudden, uncommon anger towards Will for pulling me away from Annabeth.

I walked out of my cabin straight and tall. “Where is he?”

Clarisse pointed to the arena. “He wants to fight you.”

I rolled my eyes. “Oh puh-lees.” Clarisse didn’t snicker. She looked actually worried.

“You haven’t been here in a while, Perce. Will has…changed a little. He’s become more controlling over Nico. More protective. A lot more jealous.”

I sighed. “Great. And I had thought they made a cute couple. This is just what Nico needs, more heartache.”

I walked confidently to the arena. Nico was there waving his arms and shouting at Will. Will was testing a sword. I shook my head.

“I don’t suppose we can talk this through like civilized beings?”

Will’s gaze snapped to mine. “You’re going to pay for taking Nico away from me.”

I sighed. “Has the world drunk some insanity juice while I was gone?” I turned to Nico. The solution was so simple; Annabeth would’ve laughed. “Kiss him.”

He blinked. “What?”

I sighed in exasperation. “Kiss. Him. Smooch. Make out. Osculate. Exchange spit. Eat his face. Perform tonsil hockey. Commence physical contact concerning lips and tongue.”

Rolling his eyes slightly, Nico grabbed Will and kissed him. I stared in astonishment. That kid could kiss. It made me miss Annabeth. She could kiss me till my toes actually curled.

Nico broke the kiss. Will looked dazed. I glanced at Piper and nodded. She smiled and sidled up to Will.

“It’s true. The saying that you can tell love from a kiss. Nico loves you, Will. He loves you more than you know. You will always love him as well.” I nodded to Lou Ellen who nodded back and then murmured something quietly and wiggled her fingers.

Will blinked. His pupils dilated a little and then he looked at Nico and then at the sword. “Oh my gosh…” He dropped the blade. Nico was explaining what had happened to him.

I sighed and slipped away. If he saw me, the spell might snap. I pulled Clarisse away. “Tell Nico that he’d better not spend much time with me or talk about me much. I don’t want Will to fall under whatever trap he was in. It wasn’t him. It wasn’t natural.”

She stared at me. “You think it might be the gods?”

“One god. One god that doesn’t like Nico all that much.”

“Hades?”

“Eros.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh Holy Hera…Nico’s made enemies with the god of Love?!

I nodded. “Jason told me. It happened during the War with Gaea. I’m going to tell Chiron. Spread the word that everyone should distract Will from thinking about me. I don’t want Eros to have any more footholds.” She nodded and walked quickly away.

I went to the Big House. Come to think of it, why hadn’t Chiron been at the arena to talk sense into Will? I frowned. That wasn’t like him. Had Eros done something to him too? I started jogging to the Big House faster.

I only started slowing down my pace when I heard shouting. I could hear it from the veranda!

“YOU CANNOT JUST GO AND SHOOT RANDOM ARROWS AT CAMPERS! THIS IS A SAFE HAVEN FOR ALL DEMIGODS. NO GOD IS ALLOWED TO COMMIT ACTS OF WAR ON CHILDREN OF OTHER GODS. DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN!”

I froze. I had never, ever heard Chiron raise his voice before. I peaked through the window. Dionysus was holding Eros by the collar holding up against the wall, and Chiron was shouting in his face. I swallowed. Things were being well handled. I moved quietly away from the mugging.

Walking quickly up the mountain that led to the cave of the Oracle, I took the second path. The Hephaestus cabin had made two other large caves for Bob and Damasen. I smiled as I walked in. Damasen had decorated his in early American. The Hephaestus cabin must have made his things for him. Or he made them with material provided. Anyway, he was making stew, and Bob was helping him. Little Bob was eating some raw meat in a bowl in a corner.

“Well, this reminds me of the only moment of peace that I had in the hell hole.” I smiled.

They both turned and grinned. I only had a moment to prepare before Bob grabbed me and pulled me into a hug. “Percy!!”

Damasen smiled and hugged me too.

When we broke the hug, he looked down in shame. “I’m sorry for doubting you.”

I nodded. “Yeah…well…I…never forgot you two. I couldn’t. You sacrificed too much. I…couldn’t abandon you.”

Bob grinned. “I never doubted you.” I smiled at the big guy.

“I’ve wronged you in so many ways.”

He just shook his head and smiled some more. “We are all fallible. I cannot expect more from you than I could expect from myself. Just because you are a hero, does not mean you are perfect. It would be unjust to have such a high expectation.”

Damasen nodded. I smiled and sat down with them. “I’m glad you can see the stars. I’m glad you can see them for yourselves.”

Bob smiled. Tears misted his eyes. “The stars…I cried when I saw the stars.”

Damasen smiled softly. His face was smoothened by the firelight. There was sounds of scuffling rocks. We turned and saw Annabeth yawning widely.

“That stuff knocked me out for five and a half hours!” She toddled over and kissed me. “I knew you’d be here.” Damasen gave her some stew. She sighed in contentment and leaned against me. “This brings back good memories actually.”

Damasen smiled. Bob was grinning. Little Bob mewled slightly for more.

Annabeth shook her head. “Brilliant idea about the sword, Percy. Brilliant idea.”

I blushed. “Only because I spend so much time with you, Wise Girl.”

She laughed. “Have you ever taken credit for something?

I nodded. “My mistakes.”

Damasen nodded. “That makes Percy a better human than any of us ever will hope to be.”

I grinned. “Yeah, considering you two aren’t human.” The giant and titan chuckled.

Annabeth smiled, but then frowned. “Iapetus, what did you hear Kronos actually say?”

Bob sighed and lowered his bowl. “Nothing much. I was being led away.”

I sighed. “Then what did Tartarus say?”

Bob cocked his head and looked thoughtful. Small Bob hopped into his lap and started purring. His hand stroked the cat’s fur absently. Bob didn’t even notice Small Bob start eating his stew. “He said to me, before Kronos entered, that you were, ‘…unlike any other. That is why he will die unlike any other. Jackson’s head will be severed from his body. What you don’t know until now, Iapetus is that I have organized all the monsters. Every time they return, they’re goal is to kill Jackson before they are killed. I have put a bounty on Jackson’s head and ever single monster knows it.’

“And then when he spoke to Kronos he said, ‘Gaea thought it best to split her energy and focus the larger amount not on waking but on restoring you . I have to be honest. I do not know why.’

“Kronos then replied, ‘Because I know Jackson best. Because the memories of Luke Castallan are still with me. Because I know all the conversations, the training, the weaknesses and the strengths of Percy Jackson. Gaea knew that, even though the other demigods were troublesome, and the gods were annoying, Percy Jackson was her only true enemy. And because you need me.’” Bob looked at us curiously. “Do you know what this means?”

I was amazed that Bob could remember all that. I guess it was an immortal thing, because Damasen and Annabeth didn’t looked shocked.

Annabeth sighed and shook her head. “It seems weird that Kronos would work with Tartarus. Tartarus doesn’t care about the world. He wants total chaos. Kronos has always wanted a population to rule. An audience to threaten. It doesn’t add up.”

I stood up. “That’s…it. That’s it.” I stood up and turned to face them all. My back was to the fireplace. “The Crooked One! Kronos is trying to pull a fast one on Tartarus! What does Kronos want more than anything else in the world?”

Annabeth was thoughtful. Iapetus spoke quickly. “His throne. Revenge comes second. He wants his throne first and foremost.”

I nodded. “What does Tartarus want first and foremost?”

Damasen spoke up. “Revenge. He couldn’t care less about a world full of insignificant humans.”

Annabeth nodded, catching on. “Kronos want humans, because he wants his throne. A throne is nothing without it’s subjects. No subjects and the throne becomes a chair. He wants Tartarus to fail!”

I sighed and slumped back on my seat. “But what’s his plan?! How is he going to double cross the Pit itself?”

Annabeth sighed. “I don’t know…” She kicked violently with her leg. “I hate not knowing.”

Iapetus nodded. “You better tell Zeus what you have found.” He frowned as he noticed Small Bob eating his own stew. Gently picking up the cat, Bob set him on the floor with a light bop on the nose.

I smirked. “Athena’s probably already figured it out, but we might as well, just to cover our bases. Chiron can IM them once he and Mr. D are done mugging Eros.”

“What?!” Three voices assaulted me. I winced. Even Small Bob yowled, staring directly at me.

“Right, you guys didn’t know.” I proceeded to tell them.

Chapter Text

Chapter Sixteen: Peaceful Interlude

Annabeth and I walked on the beach. I smiled at her. The moon was bright. Artemis was probably smiling down on us. For the maiden goddess she sure like Annabeth and me being together. I grinned and stopped.

“Percy, what’s-”

I cut her off with a kiss. “Annabeth Chase, I think I love you.” I grinned at her. She smiled back.

“I love you too, you Seaweed Brain.” I chuckled.

I spoke a bit huskily. “I don’t care what Dad says. I’m going to visit you guys more often.”

She looked at me. “What about senior year?” I sighed.

“I’m beginning my senior year under water. There’s an academy for Royals in Atlantis.” I shivered. “It’s full of nobles.” I stuck my jaw out and squinted up my eyes. Annabeth giggled a giggle that could only be described as an ‘Annabeth giggle’, because she certainly didn’t giggle like any regular daughter of Aphrodite.

She kissed me. I held her tightly. “I never want to let you go. If only I was a scientist. I could graft fish DNA and gills into you and then you could come below with me.”

She smiled. “I’d like that. Then I could bring a scaling knife with me and have a nice long chat with that merbitch.” I winced. Elise. Yeah…I forgot about her.

“Um…she’s being punished for coming on to a royal. Don’t worry.”

Annabeth nodded curtly. Her curls bounced. I smiled.

“You’re beautiful.” She blushed. I grabbed her hand and twined my fingers with hers.

I heard a low laugh. “Soo! This is the girl you abandoned us for? I must say, she’s ravishing.” I sighed and turned to see Mako, Tolo, Triton, and Fresca.

I smirked at Tolo. “Down boy. This woman, this Princess of Mortals, is mine and mine alone.”

Annabeth blushed deeper. “Percy!” She whispered. I smiled at her.

“But you are mine.” She forced a laugh and kissed me. Mako wolf whistled.

Fresca smiled at her. Her eyes were sad though.

I swallowed. “Is everything…okay?”

Mako nodded. “Fresca?”

Fresca nodded and gave me a smile. “Elise needed this punishment, m’lord. She needed to be taught humility. Too many of the younger generation are starting to feel entitlement. They do not know what manual labor is. They scream and rant when they are forced to clean up after themselves.”

I snickered. “You’re correct.” Annabeth raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“Correct? Not ‘right?’” She shook her head. “Your vocabulary is expanding. Your style of speech is also changing. I’m not exactly sure what I think about it.”

I flushed. “Amphitrite!” I hissed. Triton started laughing. I blinked. “Oh! Annabeth this is Maco, Tolo, Fresca, and this is Triton.”

Annabeth nodded to the Mers and then bowed to Triton. “My lord.”

He smiled. “Since you are to become my sister-in-law, you can call me Triton. I do not mind.”

She smiled. “Thank you.” I grinned.

“Hey Tri, is there any way for us to bring her down under the surface?”

He became thoughtful. “Well, you can turn her into a Mer…” My eyes lit up.

“I can ?!”

“With your trident, yes, just like Father did to you.”

I frowned a little. “I don’t know how, though.”

Annabeth moved away a little. “That’s all I need to know. No thanks, Perce. I’m happy with feet.” She kissed me. I pouted.

“But it doesn’t hurt.” I sighed and amended. “Not much anyway.” She shot me a look.

“Nope. Nope.” She shook her head decisively. “No.” I pouted but didn’t push it.

“Fine.” I brightened. “Can you SCUBA dive?” She started laughing. “What? You can see the palace then!” She didn’t stop laughing.

“You…you Seaweed Brain!” She kissed me on my cheek. I touched her own cheek lightly with my pointer finger. She was beautiful. Absolutely and utterly breathtaking. I stared into her eyes, examining those little flecks of white in her irises. Hypnotizing. Everything faded around me, it was only her. Annabeth was the only person in my world.

My lips found hers. She opened her mouth to me. Slipping my tongue inside, I tasted what could only be described as Annabeth. She had her own distinct flavor. Her tongue slid along mine, and she pulled on my own with suction.

I loved her. I couldn’t show her enough. The words ‘I love you’ were trite and used too often. They’ve lost their meaning. Love, adore, beautiful…what did they mean anymore? Annabeth couldn’t be described. My love for her could not be described.

She was my soul.

She was the very fabric of my reality.

Without her, I am…típota…nothing.

“Annabeth…” I whispered. We were breathless.

“Well…this isn’t…awkward…” Annabeth’s half closed eyes shot open.

“Olympus! Oh Hades…” She was blushing furiously. I sighed. Moment officially ruined.

Triton was looking up at the sky, cheeks slightly red in embarrassment. Tolo was wiggling his eyebrows at me. I snickered. Fresca was blushing and looking anywhere except Mako…what?

I’m pretty sure my eyes gleamed. Annabeth nudged me. I glanced at her and she smirked and shook her head. She had noticed too. I pouted. She shook her head more. I sighed and nodded grudgingly. She smiled and kissed my cheek.

Triton took a breath. “I’m sorry, but we have to go now.”

I barely gave him a glance, too caught up in Annabeth. “So go.”

“With you.” He said it dryly.

Annabeth sucked in a breath. She clenched her fists. I knew she hated appearing clingy, but the truth was, we needed each other . I sighed. “Fine.” I unclenched Annabeth’s fists. Triton and the others sunk below to give us a moment.

“Annabeth, honey, look at me.”

She looked at me. Her eyes were clear and bright….with tears. “Yes?”

“Take that sleeping med I gave you, okay?”

She nodded. I smiled encouragingly. “I love you. So much.” Kissing her gently on her lips, I then waded into the water. Five shadows entered the water too, completely unnoticed by Annabeth. She waved to me. I waved back and then completely submerged.

The trip back to the palace was subdued. Not even Tolo cracked a joke.

Atlantis

I looked around. The palace was in chaos. The servants were swimming everywhere, above me, below me, to the right and left. Half of them looked like nervous break downs waiting to happen.

“What, exactly, is going on here?” I raised an eyebrow.

Fresca looked like she was planning my funeral. Triton, Mako, and Tolo all smirked. “You’ve forgotten already? You’re party is tomorrow.”

I groaned. “Ziangen.” Mako snorted with laughter. Tolo hung onto Mako so he wouldn’t fall during his laughing fit.

Triton positively oozed smugness. “Father is planning on making a speech in your honor. He’s going to mention all of your titles .” I looked at him in horror.

“NO!!”

He nodded and grinned. “And you’re lucky that Mother wasn’t here to hear that word you just uttered.” His eyes became brighter with keen mischief. “Mother is going to make you dance with all the eligible ladies.”

I stared at him, completely ignoring the veiled, blackmail threat. “But I’m already engaged!”

Triton shrugged. “I had to at my party. It doesn’t mean that they’re going to marry you, Percy.”

I groaned again. “Oh, this will be hell.”

Mako cackled. Tolo finally collapsed on the ground, laughing.

I glowered at them.

Some friends.

Chapter Text

Chapter Seventeen: Hell Incarnate (Alternate Title: The Party)

I was woken up by seven man servants at seven AM.

I was scrubbed, bathed, marinated in scented oils, pushed, shoved, and forced into armor bearing my father’s royal crest.

By that time, it was three PM.

Triton then met with me, similarly dressed, and took me through a reminder course of all that I had supposedly learned. Supposedly.

I still claim that he hadn’t taught me it and was only pretending he had.

That had taken two hours.

I was promptly shipped off to Poseidon, who showed me pictures of all the dukes and generals that I would be speaking with. He told me what I could say to them and what I was not allowed to speak of. That part had been common sense. I had to remember all the ways to brush off nobility without starting a war. That had been my favorite part.

After my dad was through with me, an hour later, I was dumped at Amphitrite’s fins, who gave me a reminder course of all the latest dances. By that time the clock struck seven, my brain was mush and my body exhausted. It didn’t help that I had a nightmare last night. A big one.

I yawned again. Triton sent me a concerned look. “That was your fourth yawn. Are you okay?”

“Didn’t sleep well last night. Nightmare.”

Before he could ask, the announcer cried out.

“His honor, Duke Nemino of Torrents!”

I snickered. Triton glared at me. “Percy, no . You cannot make a Nemo joke.”

I pouted, but refrained. Merely nodding my head and shaking his hand, the man beamed at me a completely unimpressed, fake smile and moved on. I groaned internally, but smiled for the lady of Torrents.

It went on…

For a whole hour.

Nothing but shaking hands, giving stupid smiles, and becoming a bobble head toy.

I repeat: for a whole hour. Sixty minutes. 3,600 seconds. Just hovering in the water and shaking hands. I hated my life. I craved for Tartarus.

Finally, finally, all the guests arrived. There were three tables. Two longs ones parallel to each other in the main part of the hall. The third was a smaller one. It held the Royal Family and the families of Dad’s top generals and advisors. It was in front of both tables on a dais creating a rough symbol of pie (π). Elise was conspicuously absent, as was Hunt.

The wife of Dad’s chief advisor had been pushing her daughter’s accomplishments down my throat for the past fifteen minutes. Amphitrite caught my gaze. I mentally told her that if this lady did not back off, I was going to do something drastic. She immediately distracted the creature with the latest gossip.

I sighed.

“Enjoying yourself, usi-dedo-na?”

I glared at a smirking Triton and ignored his usage of the term ‘usi’, meaning younger. “How come they aren’t hounding you?”

He shrugged. “They know me. All my life in fact. You are the novelty.”

I gave a silent groan. Dad stood up, or hovered up, I don’t know what they call it under the surface, but for all intense and purposes, he was standing up and calling for attention.

I gripped my armrests. Here I comes. My titles. I dropped my gaze to my lap.

“They will think you ashamed. Look them in the eyes. ” I pulled my gaze up and stared at every single guest.

Smile.” Triton whispered.

My lips twitched into what could be called a smile. To me, it was a painful grimace.

I looked at my father.

He was grinning like this was his big day. I sighed.

“18 years ago, my son, Perseus Jackson, was born to a mortal woman. A Queen among mortals. My son has done much in the eyes of the gods. He has walked with gods, befriended and fought with gods.” My tongue was in my cheek. Clever wording on Dad’s part. I had fought with gods and with gods.

“He has gathered many titles and done many quests. I am glad to fully introduce to you, my son, Prince Perseus Jackson, Hero and Savior of Olympus, Retriever of the Master Bolt, Victor over Kronos, Victor over Hyperion, Victor over Iapetus, Victor over Oceanus, Former Praetor of New Rome, Giants’ Bane, Bane of Monsters, Leader of the Demigods, Retriever of the Athena Parthenos, Survivor of Tartarus, and Prince of the Eastern Seas!” Poseidon pointed his hand to me. I rose from my seat and bowed. There had been a hush when Dad said ‘Survivor of Tartarus’ and quiet awe when he said ‘Prince of the Eastern Seas’.

I could see Mako, Tolo, and Fresca stare at me in shock and horror. I sighed. Terrific.

Father started talking about other stuff that I had done and how much of an honor it was for me to finally be able to come home. I ignored him.

I turned to Triton. My voice was low and intense. “What does he mean by Prince of the Eastern Seas?!”

Triton beamed; he didn’t catch my tone. “We didn’t tell you; we wanted to surprise you. It was actually Father’s and my idea. He’s giving you control over the Eastern Seas. You get the Atlantic, and I get the Pacific.”

I shook my head, completely confused and not at all happy. “Triton, I have to be immortal in order to control the oceans.”

Triton sighed. “Father is planning on telling you our proposition after the party.”

I scoffed quietly, my eyes flashing like exploding Greek fire. “Now that he’s already announced it, I don’t get much choice without shaming my father and making a fool of all of us, now do I?”

Triton frowned. “I do not understand why you are so upset. It is a great honor. No son of Poseidon has been given this title.”

I sighed. “No mortal has ever declined godhood either, Tri. I make it a habit to do the impossible. In fact, I often do six impossible things before breakfast.” I quipped, but I knew the movie quote from Alice in Wonderland was lost on him. Except, he smirked.

“That is a very admirable trait, but for now, you might want to focus on giving your own speech.” My eyes widened.

“I hate you.” I stood up, or actually I…oh skip it. My voice echoed throughout the hall.

“Lords and Ladies, it is an honor to be able to sit in this hall of my father’s and meet you all.” I forced myself to smile at them. I mentally scrambled for any shred of memory of my speech. “I…am at a loss for words. My father’s introduction of me was very…commending, but I’m afraid that I don’t deserve such praise. Without my friends, my family, and of course my father, I would be nothing. I wouldn’t even be alive.” I smiled at my father. “I was blessed by the Fates when they chose Lord Poseidon to be my father. I was blessed and honored when my father chose to claim me. Thank you.” I bowed to Poseidon. He smiled at me softly.

The occupants of the hall applauded. Some were even grinning. The party continued. The music was made louder, and I had to dance with one hundred and forty-two women of all ages, sizes, and shape.

Hellfire.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eighteen: What Ails Thee?

I smiled as the last guest left. The minute the doors closed I whirled on my dad.

“WHAT THE HELL?!”

Poseidon shushed me. “Percy, please, do not cuss like a common servant.”

I ground my teeth. “What in Tartarus, Hades, and Olympus were you thinking , announcing to everyone that I would be Prince of the Eastern Seas without first asking me?!”

Poseidon looked at me and then nodded. “Ah…well…I was hoping that you would be pleased.”

I stared at him. He sighed.

“Percy, let’s go to my den. The servants are staring.”

I shot said servants a glance and they scurried back to work. I sighed. “Very well.”

The whole Royal Family swam to Dad’s den. He closed the doors. “Now Percy, Triton came up with a brilliant plan. When you are on your deathbed, I will visit you and make you immortal. You will revert back to your youth and stay that way, and if Annabeth is still alive, then I will make her immortal too, and she shall be your queen. That way, you can live a mortal life and also an immortal one. You shall be immortal, like a Hunter, but not a god. How do you like that?”

I thought about it. “What about accidents?”

He looked confused. “Accidents?”

I nodded. “What if I don’t die on a death bed but a battlefield. What then?”

Poseidon looked slightly pale. “Then I try to come to you as quickly as possible. Annabeth too.”

I nodded. “Fine. I can’t very well get out of this gracefully, can I?” I huffed. “You’re trickier than the Crooked One in some ways, Dad.”

He smiled at me completely innocently. I wasn’t fooled. “Now that that is settled. It’s very late. I think we should all go to bed.”

I nodded and everyone dispersed. I fell asleep almost instantly. My dream was dark. My first thought was oh great, I’m going to dream of Tartarus . But it wasn’t. It was cold, not hot. It was dark and chilling but not sinister and evil. Just old. Very old and very powerful. Very… cold .

“Perseus Jackson…”

I turned and saw a figure dressed in a cloak and a hood. “Who…are you?” My voice was faint.

“Three times we have cut your thread. Three times your thread has glowed gold and renewed itself.”

My heart froze in my chest as I realized just who was talking to me. I swallowed but my throat stayed dry. “Why..?”

“If we knew that then we would have mended the issue. In our book it says you should have died two years ago, in the Throne Room of Olympus. You did not. It said that you should have died of Gorgon poisoning in the Pit. You did not. It said that you should have died by a Giant’s hand in front of your father. You. Did. Not.”

A second speaker, another female voice, but lighter, more feminine than the first, spoke up. “We have finally decided to bring this to your attention. There is no god, no titan, no giant, no primordial who is more powerful than us. What we decide is law.”

I was struck by how unbalanced that was. These three women have no accountability held to them what so ever. “What now?”

The third figure walked out of the mist. She had been hiding behind a pillar. I was in a smoke and mist filled pavilion that was surrounded by the dead of night. I couldn’t see the stars. I couldn’t feel a breeze. All was still, and everything was cold. I realized that I had two feet and was barefoot. The black marble was freezing.

“We have consulted the ancient rules. We have spoken to him. He has told us what is happening. We have summoned you to tell you.”

I nodded. “O-okay.”

The first figure moved closer to me, but I still couldn’t see under the cowl. “You and all demigods are considered a bridge between the mortal and the immortal. All demigods can be conduits. A channel of the gods. Through you, the impossible has happened over and over. Through you, the impossible will happen again. All is not Lost, Perseus Jackson. All is not Lost. Remember what I have told you. It will help you understand, when the time comes.”

The mist was starting to clear. The second figure spoke. “He wishes to see you. He wants to see the mortal who has escaped Tartarus’ grasp. Who has escaped Death and the Fates themselves. Fare thee well, Perseus. You are the only mortal who has and will ever see him.” They all vaporized.

I sighed. “I’m always ‘the only mortal’ to do anything…”

There was a sound of chuckling. “If you weren’t then the word ‘impossible’ wouldn’t exist.” I turned slowly. This man sounded awfully similar to Kronos.

I turned and saw…the stars. I blinked. “Who…”

“Am I? I am Ouranos.” The man was covered in stars. “My sister is Night. My brother is Chaos. I am Kronos’ father. Zeus is my grandson.”

I blinked. “Um…I thought Kronos…kind of…well…killed you.” I shuffled on the black marble. There were white strains through the black now. Interesting.

He nodded. “What do you know of deities, Perseus?”

I stared at him blankly for a few seconds. He waited patiently. Then what wait Hermes said came back to me. “You can’t kill them!”

He nodded. “We fall asleep. We loose consciousness. We cannot die.”

I tilted my head. “But…what about Pan?”

He paused and then said. “Pan was not a god. He was a creature of nature. An immortal.”

I gave a sound of understanding and nodded.

He continued. “I do not know why your thread refuses to be cut. This has not happened since Heracles.”

I growled. I hated to be paired up with him. Ouranos gave me a funny look. “I am aware of your dislike towards him. Yes, he isn’t a pleasant character. But the facts are there, we cannot deny them.”

I sighed. “Did you ever find out what happened to him?”

Ouranos shook his head. “It worried the Fates, but it hadn’t happened again and even they forgot about it.”

I sighed. “Why tell me? Aren’t you afraid I’ll abuse this? I pretty much can’t die now.”

Ouranos nodded. “We did not tell Heracles, but he would have abused it. You, would not. I would not be here if you would.”

I smiled slightly. “But why tell me anyway?”

The First god smiled. “Because, you deserve to know. You must know in order for everything to turn out right. With this knowledge you will make the right choice and return the world to normalcy. You cannot die, Perseus, of disease, of poison, of old age, of a sword, of an arrow, or of too much exposure to power. You will live on, but you will age. If I were you, I would accept your father’s proposal of immortality.” Ouranos smiled grimly.

I shook my head. “What about by my own hand. What if I cut my own thread?”

Ouranos paused. “That may be possible. But why suicide?”

I shrugged. “Elysium with Annabeth sure sounds cool.”

He chuckled. “You are a puzzle, Jackson. You are a puzzle.” He waved his hand. “Do not tell anyone of this dream or of this meeting. To everyone else, you had a nice, dreamless sleep. The gods do not know I am alive.” He smiled conspiratorially.

I smiled back and then frowned. “What about Annabeth?”

He sighed. “Very well. Tell her, but no one else. Now wake.”

I woke up with a sigh. “Oh boy. This’ll be interesting.”

Breakfast

Triton stared at me. “Percy, what’s the matter? You seem distracted.” We were swimming to the dining room.

I blinked at him. “Nothing’s wrong. Nothing. Tri?”

“Yes?”

“Where’s the library?”

He almost ran into a pillar. “Why do you want to know that?!”

I smiled at him innocently. “Why does anyone want to know where the library is? Because I want to read.” I continued swimming, leaving him behind, gaping at me.

He suddenly started swimming again but kept giving me shocked glances. We sat at the breakfast table. Amphitrite noticed her son staring at me weirdly.

“Is something wrong?” Triton didn’t respond. He was gaping at me like a codfish.

I chuckled. “Triton’s in catatonia because I have suddenly possessed the desire to read something.”

Poseidon smiled. “Triton, snap out of it. If Percy wants to read, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

A little while later, after we were all served, I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything. I kept thinking about my thread and Ouranos being alive and the Fates and how they had kept hinting of what was to come. I fiddled with my food. My dad glanced at me with concern.

“Percy, is something wrong?”

I shrugged. “I’m not hungry.” At this, everyone stopped what they were doing. Even my bodyguards stared at me in shock.

Amphitrite moved towards me nervously. She touched my forehead. “Are you sick?”

I huffed and moved away. “I’m just not hungry.” I pushed away from the table. “May I go now?”

Poseidon nodded in a daze. I left the room and headed to the library to do some research. Hopefully, most of the books would be in Greek.

Chapter Text

Chapter Nineteen: Planning

I sighed and shoved the scroll back. Nothing. Nothing that the history books hadn’t already mentioned. Nothing that Annabeth hadn’t already told me in passing. I groaned.

Grabbing a stylus and a pad of pressed pearl feather papers, rainbow paper for short, I started writing everything out.

How are we going to defeat Tartarus?

What is Kronos’ plan?

Why does Tartarus care so much about my destruction? Is it only pride?

Why have the sea monsters not attacked?

Why the sudden quiet?

What has Kronos told Tartarus about me? If he is truly out for himself, then he would use both Tartarus and me to his best advantage.

What is his best advantage?

Is Olympus completely aware of just how dangerous this is going to get? If O and Fs have their tunics in a twist then some serious shit is about to hit the fan…

If I can’t die by from godly power then I have a huge chance at defeating Kronos. However, what if I can’t die by godly power but I can die by Titan. Is Titan more powerful…more potent…?

I sighed and erased everything. Writing it down helped organize but it did nothing to answer the questions. I wondered if Rachel was having any visions. I suddenly felt the desire to smack my head against the table. Of course, I should have asked her first! I raced back to my room and grabbed a gold coin, angled a prism through a pearl light and created a rainbow. Hopefully this would work.

“Do me a solid and connect me to Rachel Elizabeth Dare.”

The rainbow through the water shimmered and Rachel appeared. Sleeping. Dang it.

“RACHEL!”

She nearly hit her ceiling. I started laughing. She started cussing.

“Rachel, have you been having visions?” Blunt. I sighed.

She glared at me. “Yeah, of a black haired boy getting castrated by a red headed Oracle.”

I tutted. “Annabeth wouldn’t like that. She’s looking forward to it.”

Rachel turned a little green.

“What I’m talking about is end of the world visions. Kronos coming back? A man made of chaos? Anything?”

She sighed. She looked troubled. I would even say haunted. “I have. I’ve seen you in pain. A choice Percy. You have another choice. To destroy the world or destroy yourself.”

I felt very cold. Maybe contacting the Oracle hadn’t been a good idea after all. I swallowed. “Okay…”

She sighed and was about to say goodnight when her eyes turned green.

“The secret of the gods revealed-

Time’s fate through Wisdom’s words is sealed.

Overrun, the Earth will be-

The Sea shall change Earth’s history.

His choice will help the world or steal it.”

Rachel collapsed onto her bed again. “What…just happened?”

I blinked. “I’m asking the same question. I think you just gave another Great Prophecy.”

Rachel sighed. “Two in a two years. That’s terrific.” She snickered. Growing more serious, she asked. “What did I say?”

I repeated it.

She raised an eyebrow. “Sea? His choice? Poseidon, Tyson, Triton, or you?”

I groaned. “I have no clue. I’ll have to talk with the gods.”

She nodded. “Okay. Good luck, Percy.” She bit her lip. “Should I return to Camp?”

I sighed. “Stand by. I’m not sure yet.” She nodded and cut the connection. I groaned and swam to Amphitrite’s study. The very same place that I was first transformed.

“Mother?”

She looked up and smiled. “Yes?”

I sighed. “I contacted the Oracle. She gave me a prophecy.”

Amphitrite’s grip on her stylus tightened. “We must alert your father.”

We swam together to the Throne Room. “Poseidon!” He looked up from his advisors.

“Ah! Percy! I was just issuing guards for the entrance that popped up. We now have a security system in place.”

I smiled tiredly. “That’s wonderful. However, we might have something more pressing. I need an audience with Olympus immediately.”

Poseidon frowned. “Come then.” He turned both of us to humans and flashed us to the Throne Room. He leaned against his throne pedestal. “You could have a throne too, Percy.” He said. I sighed.

“No, Father.”

“Percy-”

My nerves were frayed. That’s all I can say in my defense. I summoned my trident. My crown and bands appeared in a flash. “I said, no.”

He nodded. “I don’t understand. Annabeth could become your Queen. Both of you immortal. Why are you so against it?”

I sighed. “It’s unnatural. No one should live forever. It’s…depressing. To be forgotten over time. To just watch as you lose power and status. To see yourself fading. I would go mad if Annabeth faded. No, gods can’t go to Elysium, but mortals can. That is where I am going.” I sighed. “Call the gods, Dad.”

He sighed too and summoned Zeus.

His brother appeared. “What is it?”

I chuckled. “You’re lips are bleeding. Might want to heal yourself before Hera sees.” He instantly started wiping the lipstick off.

“Now see here, Jackson-!”

Poseidon moved closer. “He is a Prince now, brother. Have care how you speak.”

Zeus huffed and sat on his throne. Poseidon did to. All the other gods started filing in.

Apollo and Artemis entered the room arguing about who was a better shot, and throwing fast insults at each other.

Aphrodite came in with an angry pink cloud. Ares was following her closely. “Honey! Baby, I’m sorry! I was in Afghanistan! I could get you your present in time, there was some sort of delay in the post. Sweetie, please forgive me! It wasn’t my fault!”

I spied Hephaestus giving Hermes a small bag of drachmas. I smirked. I looked around and realized that everyone was there. I cleared his throat. Zeus raised his hand, and everyone fell silent.

“Jackson, why have you brought us here?”

“This better be good, Jefferson!”

I muttered. “Jackson, Jackson, Percy Jackson .” Taking a deep breath, I spoke. “I’m afraid I have some bad news.”

Apollo looked up. “As in end-of-the-world bad news, or I-lost-my-car-keys bad news?”

I smiled slightly. Grimly. “As in the-Oracle-has-given-another-Great-Prophecy-and-Kronos-and-Tartarus-are-actually-going-to-rise-again-together bad new.”

Everyone froze. Athena leaned forward. “Tell us what she said.”

I nodded.

“The secret of the gods revealed-

Time’s fate through Wisdom’s words is sealed.

Overrun, the Earth will be-

The Sea shall change Earth’s history.

His choice will help the world or steal it.”

The gods were still. Athena sighed. “Wisdom’s words…that could mean me. Time’s fate…Kronos’ fate.”

Apollo nodded. “The Sea shall change Earth’s history…Poseidon? Triton? Percy?”

Artemis sighed. “His choice will help the world or steal it…what does she mean by steal it? How can you steal the Earth?”

Hades frowned. “Stealing Gaea?”

Demeter shook her head. “No. Steal...power, thrones, influence…that you can steal. The Earth symbolizes control. Those who would control the Earth.”

Athena nodded. “She is right.”

Zeus clenched his fists. “Steal it… his choice….where have we heard that phrase before?”

I winced and started backing away. Apollo stood up. “You cannot kill Jackson just because there was a prophecy was about him. This might be about his half brother! It might even be a different ‘His’ altogether!”

Athena nodded. “He is right. We cannot jump to conclusions.”

Hephaestus smiled at me. “Besides, Percy Jackson has been a great ally to us. It would do us ill to kill him.”

I sighed as many other gods nodded in agreement. Poseidon was glaring at Zeus. “Unless you wish to have two fronts to fight, you would do well to put down that bolt, brother .”

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty: Not Again

Zeus practically pouted as he put his Master Bolt away.

I breathed easier. My trident had vanished when the other gods had entered, leaving me unarmed. I sighed. “Have you all been alerted what Kronos is probably planning on doing?”

Zeus nodded. “It certainly seems like Father.”

Poseidon sighed. “But what’s his plan?”

Athena shook her head. She hit her armrest. “I don’t know . I hate not knowing.”

I almost snickered. Annabeth’s exact words. I sighed. “Is there a weakness of the primordials? Of Titans? Anything we can exploit?”

Silence coated the room. It was not confused, ignorant silence but uncomfortable silence filled with unspoken information. They knew something important, and they were looking around to see who would speak first.

I sighed. “Keeping secrets is not a good thing when it might save the world and your thrones.”

Athena nodded. “He’s right. Percy-”

“SILENCE!” Zeus thundered. Literally. There were thunderclaps outside. I guess he felt strongly about this. “You will not tell a mortal. We have all sworn to keep it secret.”

Athena stood up. “At the cost of our children’s lives? Our thrones? The world?”

I muttered. “Nice to know the world is third on the billing.”

They ignored me. Zeus stood stubbornly. “He is mortal!”

“Perseus Jackson is no mere mortal!”

Artemis nodded and stood. “He is a god in all but body!”

Athena nodded. “She’s right.”

I blinked. Now that was pushing it.

Hephaestus stood to and started complaining that Zeus was being too strict about laws and rules. Apollo was seconding him. I sought out my father’s gaze. Poseidon just sighed and shook his head. It wasn’t his place to tell, I guess.

I sighed. “WHAT’S OUR NEXT MOVE?!” Hera shot me a disapproving look at shouting at gods. I ignored the old bat.

They quieted and contemplated. Apollo sighed. “I hate to suggest this, but the only way that Percy was able to stand up to a Titan in the first place was because of his-”

I interrupted him. “No. I am not going to swim in the Styx. Nope. Nope. Nope.”

Hades sighed. “My boy, would you really see the world be destroyed because you didn’t want to experience some pain?”

My jaw went slack. “Some? Some pain?! Have you ever done it? We don’t even know what the effects will be for someone who’s done it twice!”

Athena nodded. “He is right.”

Zeus glared at her. “Will you stop saying that?”

Athena huffed. “But he is .”

I snickered at their exchange but the severity of the situation settled on me again. Groaning, I tried to reason with them. “Listen. How about some other demigod goes up against the enemies. I’ve had my fill. Let someone else get titles and fame. I’m done with that life.”

Zeus sighed. “It was spoken that the Sea will changed history.”

I brightened. “Triton!”

Ares scoffed. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid, kid?!”

I turned and stared at him. My eyes filled with fire, smoke, monsters filled with darkness, and absolute horror. “Take a walk through Tartarus and meet the Primordial face to face in his domain and tell me how you like it.” My voice was quiet and haunted. Filled with untold stories that would remain untold. Ares stayed silent, unnerved by what he saw through my eyes. I turned back to the now quiet Council.

“Find someone else. I can’t do it. I’ll help. Most certainly. But I won’t lead the charge. Frank, son of Mars. Jason, son of Jupiter. Thalia, daughter of Zeus and lieutenant of Artemis. Nico, son of Hades. It’s their turn.” I walked out of room. “I’ll fight, but I won’t lead!” The door slammed behind me.

POV Change

Apollo was pale. “We have to change his mind. We have to!”

The gods didn’t argue. They knew that they needed Jackson. Dionysus huffed a laugh. “We push him around and threaten to kill him, and when we need him most, he walks out. Two of our enemies have waged war on him. He can’t walk away when the battle is coming to him!”

Athena sent a small smile to Zeus. “He’s right.”

“AHHH!!!” Athena started laughing.

POV Change – The Next Day, First Day of School

I sighed and swam through the halls of Atlantis Academy for Royals. Elise and Hunt go here. Whoopee.

“My lord!”

I turned to see the Dean of the school. “Yes?”

He skittered nervously. Oh yes, the Dean of the Academy was a giant crab. “My lord, just follow this way please. I have your schedule.”

I just nodded and followed him, completely aware of all the stares on me. The boys sniffed in disdain; the girls giggled and waved to me discreetly. I got my schedule and a guide.

“The girl who volunteered will be here shortly.”

I nodded. Great, a girl. Wonderful. What did Triton tell me was the polite way to brush off female nobility? GET THEE TO A NUNNERY!! I snickered quietly.

Elise Vako glided into the room. I tilted my head back and didn’t bother stifling my groan. “I just had a thought that maybe facing a Titan is better than facing a girl who hates my guts.”

She smiled slightly. “It is good then, that I don’t hate you.”

I blinked at her. “Huh?”

She wrinkled her nose in a smile. “It is also good that Amphitrite isn’t here to hear you.”

I smirked and cocked my head in confusion. “Why do you not hate me?”

She shrugged. “My father talked some sense into me. So did my sister. Oh yes! At first, I hated you, but then they explained to me that could have died because of my forwardness. I have learned my lesson.”

I nodded. “Good. How are the orphans?”

She smiled. “I have made friends with the little girls, and I have discovered that I adore babies. Except when they spit up on you.” She wrinkled her nose. We had started swimming.

I chuckled. “I’ve never been all that great with kids. I’m either too lenient or too strict. I’m never a happy medium.”

She smiled and began her tour. “This is the arena where all those who have to learn, or wish to learn, go for sword lessons. You do not have to, I think.” She smiled wider and continued on completely eating up the fact that all the girls were glaring at her. I had no clue why they were.

“Hey, Elise, did what’s happened somehow make enemies of all the girls with you?”

She lifted an eyebrow. “No…none know of my punishment except my close friends, who hate you by the way.”

I swallowed and braved on. “Then are all the girls glaring at me ?”

She looked at me curiously. “No. They are glaring at me. They’re jealous of the fact that I’m giving you the tour. A lot of girls volunteered.”

I stared at her. “What?”

She started laughing. “Oh Percy…” She shook her head and continued the tour.

We finished our tour just in time for lunch to start. I floundered. I didn’t know if it was right to invite her to eat with me. The problem was solved for me. Her friends stole her away, glaring at me all the while. I rolled my eyes and briefly wondered if glaring at a Royal was also punishable by death. I inwardly scoffed. According to that rule book, almost everything concerning the interaction between a ‘commoner’ and a ‘royal’ was illegal.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-One: Pleading and Problems

Sitting at my table, I sighed. I was completely alone.

“You look lonely.”

I turned and almost drowned, which is saying something. Apollo was standing there in all his two legged, water breathing glory. I blinked. “What are you doing here?”

He grinned and slid next to me. “I volunteered to do this.”

“So did I.”

My head whipped around to see a smiling Hermes. I sighed. “Because the gods just can’t accept a ‘no’.”

They laughed and pinned me in like book ends. Hermes on my left. Apollo on my right. I was acutely aware at how everyone was staring at me slack jawed. Well, I guess not a lot of the students were visited by two of the Olympian gods.

“Not really. We just know who’s best for the job!”

I sighed. “Oh really?”

Hermes nodded and stole my grapes. He started munching them as he spoke. “Try and deny these facts. One, Tartarus is after you, so no matter what you do, you have to face him eventually. Two, Kronos is helping him, so no matter what you do, you have to face him eventually. Three, the gods are powerful; we would definitely be fighting alongside you this time instead of fighting Typhon.”

I sighed. “Four, I’ve already been included in two fucking Great Prophecies and have had my fill of them! Thanks for that, Apollo.”

He lifted his hands. “Oi! You know how the future works, Perce! I had nothing to do with it!”

Hermes nodded. “Yeah, it’s all on the Fates.” Apollo shivered.

I snorted. “And yet, there are some things that they don’t know either.”

Apollo looked quickly at me and leaned in closer. “What do you mean by that?” His eyes gleamed with curiosity and unease.

I started. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

Hermes moved closer. “I don’t think that was nothing.”

I gulped. These guys were still gods and would be seriously determined to find out a secret that even they didn’t know. “Styx! I swore on the Styx. Don’t push me guys!”

They sighed and relaxed. “Fine.” Apollo muttered. His eyes lit up again. “But anyway, you can’t deny that you’ll have to fight Tart and Grandpa sometime. Wouldn’t it be better to have us with you as you do it?”

I groaned. I was silent for a long time, ten to fifteen minutes. Hermes continued stealing my food.

“I’ll do it, but I…” I stared at them both, back and forth. My eyes were pleading. “I can’t go back in that water. I can’t .” My voice was faint. “I’m not as strong as everyone seems to think I am, guys. I…just can’t…” I rested my head on my forearms.

Hermes rubbed my back. “I know, Perce. I know.”

Apollo sighed. “At least we accomplished 50% of our mission. That’s something.” He looked at me. His voice was sad and grave. “I don’t want to see you die, Percy. You’ve been the closest mortal friend I’ve ever had. If we fight Tartarus and Kronos, we’re going to have to fight with our full strength. You know that means our full glory. You’ll be incinerated. The curse will give you a fighting chance.”

I sighed. “I…”

Hermes leaned forward and rested his hand on my shoulder. “Please Percy? You can bathe in the New Tiber afterwards.”

I groaned and muttered. “I’ll have to make a visit to my mother. Also, you two are going to have to duke it out with Dad.”

Apollo gulped. Hermes went pale. “Fuck.”

I snickered grimly.

Palace

Amphitrite saw me first. “Percy! How was you first day of school? Oh! Poseidon!” She stood and bowed slightly to Hermes and Apollo. Poseidon came in.

“Hello Percy! Welcome…oh no, not you two.” He gave them a guarded look.

Apollo looked slightly affronted. Hermes just rolled his eyes. “Listen, Percy practically commanded us to come here.” I just shook my head.

“Tell him what you told me.”

They gulped and did as I asked. Poseidon agreed with the first part but scoffed at the second. “No amount of bathing in the River Styx will prevent Percy from being incinerated! This would just cause him needless pain!”

Hermes sighed. “Bathing in the Styx was the only thing that kept him from dying against Kronos. The stakes haven’t changed much except that Kronos is even more powerful! And Tartarus will be with him!”

Poseidon sighed and leaned against his throne’s back. He looked weary. “What do you think about this, Percy?”

I sighed. “It gives me an even higher chance of surviving.” Hermes gave me a curious look, but was distracted when Delphin came rushing in.

“My Majesty! The entrance is trembling!”

I cursed. “My chariot!” Triton was calling for his as well. Dad was ordering our armor to be brought to us. I summoned my trident. Apollo summoned his arrows. Hermes’ caduceus was instantly in his hand. Amphitrite also has her armor brought to her.

We arrived at the entrance ten minutes later. Poseidon’s entire standing army was floating nervously in front. I stared at them. “PART WAYS! DON’T STAND DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE TUNNEL, YOU FOOLS!”

They instantly parted. Not a second too soon. An enormously strong current pulled inward. One Mer was caught in it. I cursed and pulled the current back. Triton helped me, so did Dad. Tugging him. I grunted in effort, and the man was suddenly free. He floated above the tunnel. I leaned against my chariot. Triton and Dad were also exhausted. The strength of Tartarus was extreme even out of his territory.

Apollo touched all three of us, and strength flowed back into my body. I sighed and looked at him.

“Handy…” He grinned.

The tunnel shivered. We all stilled. Something appeared. A hand. A giant hand. With a triumphant roar, Polybotes and some of the other giants emerged from the cave.

Apollo cursed.

“JACKSON! I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD!”

I sighed and swam forward. “If you couldn’t take my head in Tartarus, what makes you think you can kill me now?”

He grinned. “Because I know your secrets! You cannot fight against an axe! Kronos has told us all!”

I raised an eyebrow. “How long does it take you to reform?”

He blinked. “Ten years. But I will not need to reform today!” He drew a mighty double headed battle axe. I sighed. His brethren were all grinning stupidly. The Twins were there too.

“Long enough. Good planning Kronos. Really smart.” I grinned and used my new Trident. Suddenly, he screamed. His eyes bulged. He had a hole in his chest. Apollo grinned and shot an arrow into his brain. Hermes shot a beam of energy from his caduceus at the Twins. Poseidon did a killing blow on the last giant. Triton was blasting the other giants to pieces. I was busy blasting them to pieces with my handy dandy forked stick as Tyson called it. They didn’t stand a chance. A demigod and a god together can kill a giant.

I smiled. “Slightly over did it, but it’s good to be on the ‘easy win’ side for once. We got one good piece of info from all this too.”

Apollo looked at me. “What’s that?”

I smirked. Hermes answered for me. “Kronos is feeding them complete bullshit. His basic plan is to have Tartarus fight us, get both Tart and us cut to pieces and then swoop in and finish us off, while we are exhausted, and he is still fresh.”

Poseidon nodded. “Makes sense.”

Hermes sighed. “Looks like we’re going to have a Titans/Primordial vs. Demigod/Olympian War.”

I smiled grimly. “I can’t wait.”

Darkness was creeping out of the tunnel. I stared at it. “Something’s coming.” Everyone readied themselves. “Something big. Only really powerful monsters can come through that tunnel.” I stared at the darkness. Pitch black. Come on! Think like Annabeth. What was coming? What lived in Tartarus and was completely dark. Dark…Nyx! I cursed.

“Night! She’s coming!”

Apollo gulped and suddenly turned brighter. I blinked and looked away. Triton muttered something under his breath.

I breathed a prayer to Ouranos. If you still hear prayers. If you care at all about this mortal that’s praying, then please hold back your sister. Please.

I heard chuckling. Very well, little, brave demigod. I will hold her back. I will speak with her myself.

The darkness paused. For a very long time. Then it receded until it was completely gone. I heaved a sigh of relief. Poseidon looked confused. All the immortals did, as well as the soldiers.

Tyson called the Cyclopes to order. He looked grimly at the tunnel, waiting for something else to come out.

Amphitrite swallowed. “I don’t understand. Why did she withdraw?”

I sighed. “It did not suit her needs to continue this course of action.” Hermes was staring at me again.

“Percy-”

I interrupted. “I’d better go and get my blessing. Apollo, taxi?”

He grunted. “Great. I’m a taxi service now, am I?”

Hermes slung an arm around him. “I could use a lift.”

Apollo raised an eyebrow. “Get your own ride!”

Hermes huffed. I snickered.

“Close your eyes.” I did as Apollo said. When the glow ended, I was at home.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Two: Momma

Apollo was with me. Hermes appeared next to us too. I looked around. “Mom?”

“In my study!”

I smiled and walked in. Apollo and Hermes were looking around the place. Hermes sniffed and meandered into the kitchen, sniffing all the while.

I kissed Mom on the cheek. “Hey Mom, I have something that you need to do for me.”

“And what’s that?” She hadn’t looked up from what she was typing. Apollo leaned against the doorframe of her study.

“Give me your blessing, ya?” I said it as casually as possible, hoping that she wouldn’t remember two years ago when I said that exact same thing. Hermes quietly entered and stood next to Apollo. He was munching a blue cookie. Apollo gave him a double take. He tried to steal the cookie. Hermes stomped his foot.

Mom smiled. “Sure honey, I’ll-” She stiffened. Her head snapped upwards, and she stared me in the eyes. Her own eyes were wide. “ Blessing ?!” It came out almost in a hiss. I winced.

Apollo stopped hopping up and down and watched.

She stood and grabbed my by my shoulders, gently, but firmly. “Percy, no! I won’t let you go through that again! No!”

I held onto her. “Mom…Mom!” I cupped her cheek in my hand. “Do you trust me?” She gave a half nod. I looked her in the eyes. “Do you trust me, Mom.”

“Yes, Percy, I do.” It was quiet.

I held her close to me. She came up to my chin now. “Mom, I’m not going to do anything stupid or brash. There’s a big fight coming. I need all the protection I can get.”

She inhaled sharply and cried out. “Why do the gods always pick on you?! Why can’t they go torture some other family?!” Tears were coming down her face. “You might not come back, Percy! You might not come back! Not from the Styx! Not from this fight that’s obviously a war! Not from battle! I might never see you again! And if you die, will the gods be happy then?! Well ?! Will they?! Will they finally be satisfied that they’ve shredded any hope of any happiness that we might have?! WHY DO THEY TORMENT US?!” I held her while she had this outburst. She sobbed onto my shoulder.

My mother was a very strong woman, but for six years she’s been forced to watch on the sidelines as her baby boy has been scrapped, been kidnapped, been burnt alive, fallen into Tartarus, been mind wiped, and vanished from the earth for eight months. She couldn’t take anymore, and I couldn’t blame her. But, I needed her to be strong. I needed her to stay strong and safe and sane.

I studiously avoided eye contact with Apollo and Hermes while this was going on. “Mom...Mom, if I don’t go, there will be no home for me to return to. Do you understand…”

She nodded brokenly.

“I have no choice in the matter. Actually, this time it’s me who needs the gods’ help. Tartarus is going after me with monstrous bounty hunters. Kronos wants revenge on me for foiling him. Two of the universe’s biggest bad guys are after my skin. The gods could have just tossed me to the wolves, but they’re actually wanting to help me. The Styx is just another way to ensure me being able to come back home again. Okay?”

She nodded and gave a small sigh. She was limp in my arms. “I…” She took a breath. “I give you my blessing.” I smiled at her.

“The sooner I beat up Tartarus and Kronos, the sooner I can come back to you.” She nodded and released me, only to collapse onto her chair. When she looked up at me, I could see a tear sliding down her face. I wiped it away, wishing I could just wipe away all our problems like that. I kissed her cheek.

“I’ll come back to you, Momma. I will. I promise.” I hadn’t called her Momma since I was five. Her eyes widened, and she hugged me fiercely. When she finally let me go, I smiled at her and left. Apollo and Hermes had left the doorway when Mom started her tirade about the gods.

I didn’t look at them. “Hermes, I guess you should take me to the River now.” He nodded and looked at his shoes as he grabbed my hand. Apollo cleared his throat.

“I…um…I’ll just go report to Zeus.” I nodded. All three of us vanished. The sound of Mom’s soft sobbing in our ears as we left.

Hermes and I appeared at the shoreline of the River. He shuffled. “I’ll just wait over here.” I nodded and walked closer.

As I casually waited for Achilles to appear, I went through my plan. I had to make my skin look pink…I focused on the water in my body and looked at my hand, raising the water closer to the skin. It was pink. Good…good.

Achilles appeared. He glanced at me and then did a double take. I sighed. “I was forced to bathe in the New Tiber. It washed the curse away. Anyway, I’m not here to take a dip. I’m here because the gods want me to. I need your help to fake it.”

Achilles looked over at Hermes. “Tricking the gods might not end well for you, mortal.”

I gave a frustrated sigh and waved my hand. “I don’t have a choice!” He nodded.

“What will you have me do?”

I sighed. “Distract Hermes. He can’t be able to sense me using my power.”

Achilles nodded and vanished, only to appear next to Hermes, complaining loudly about protocol and no double dipping. I snickered.

I took a breath and did a canon ball into the black water, making absolutely sure that the water didn’t touch my skin. Then after about ten seconds, I pulled my own body water outward to my skin to create a pink look and pushed my body out of the Styx. I collapsed on the ground. Hermes ran past Achilles to me.

“Percy! Are you alright?!” I nodded. He smiled tiredly. “Good. Let’s get you back to Camp.”

He turned away slightly; I nodded to Achilles. Achilles smiled and vanished.

Camp Half Blood, 9:30 PM

I sighed, glad for once that Dad was allowing me to stay the night at Camp. I had IMed Mom and told her that I was okay. She had apologized for breaking down like that. I had assured her that it was completely understandable and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

My body guards were at Camp to meet me. I could tell that they were slightly put out at the fact that I had been all day without them.

I lounged in my cabin. Annabeth was fooling around with something on her computer right beside me. I looked around at my guards. I motioned for them to take positions outside. They left. Annabeth gave me a curious look.

“What’s up? You’ve made out with me in front of them before.”

I smirked. “Not really planning on doing that, but we can later on if you want.”

She smiled and then frowned. “What’s wrong? You look worried.”

I sighed and leaned my head on her shoulder. “I am worried.” I told her everything that the Fates told me. Everything that Ouranos told me. It was Annabeth’s turn to look worried.

“Hell.”

I nodded. “Yeah.” She sighed and grabbed a paper and pencil.

“Okay, let’s get organized.” She started writing down everything that happened in a chart like way. “First: Tartarus wants revenge on you, therefore, he puts a bounty on your head. Second: In order to know everything about you, he summons Kronos, who had been unified by Gaea as a second line of defense against you.

“Kronos, who has his own agenda, is feeding Tartarus absolute bull about you. Kronos’ plan is to tire both you and Tartarus out. He wants the throne, but he also wants revenge on you. Tartarus will stand in his way for the throne and so he has to get rid of Tartarus through you.

“Meanwhile! You have been visited by the Fates. They have told you that you can’t die, because for some reason your thread refuses to be cut. They contact Ouranos about it. He tells them to tell you. He then meets you and tells you that this piece of information will be important for you to remember in the near future.” Annabeth threw her pen down in disgust.

“This makes absolute no sense!” She huffed and crossed her arms. I snickered and pulled her into my arms.

“The Fates also told me that all demigods are conduits. You have any idea what that means?”

Annabeth nodded. “The gods are able to channel their will, power, and goals through a demigod, whether spiritually, physically, or mentally.”

I nodded. “I see…so pretty much, I can’t die. I’m a conduit for the gods. I’m going up against a Primordial and a Titan. Tartarus is probably planning on overrunning Earth with monsters, spreading the gods and demigods thin. No sweat.” I snorted.

Annabeth gave a grim smirk. “The important thing is that they both want you.”

I sighed. “How can we defeat a Primordial?!”

Annabeth sighed. “Kronos will be in full Titan powers as well.”

There was a light knock on my door. I got up to answer. I saw a young girl in brown and instantly realized it was the eldest of the gods. “Lady.” I knelt. She smiled and touched my shoulder.

“Hermes did not notice. You do not have the curse. Why not? And how did you avoid it?”

“Being the son of Poseidon, it is an easy thing to keep water away from me.”

She cocked her head. “But why?”

I smiled thinly. “I do not need it.”

She gave me a curious look but shrugged. “You have vowed secrecy haven’t you?”

I nodded. She sighed but accepted it. “In that case, you will need to have this, hmm?” She smiled and handed me something very carefully wrapped up. “Be very cautious unwrapping it.”

I nodded and took it from her. I placed it on my desk. “If you wish to enter, m’lady, you may.” She stepped inside. Gods weren’t allowed to enter into another god’s cabin without express permission from the children of that god or the god represented by that cabin.

Annabeth moved over to my side to see what I had unwrapped. I was staring at it. My blood had completely drained from my face.

Annabeth gave a startled cry. “Kronos’ scythe!”

Hestia nodded. “His old one. Tartarus is probably having another being made. I must show you how to use it.” She touched my hand. Some of her knowledge flowed into my brain, and I instantly knew everything in wielding this weapon. It was hard to and would take practice and time that I didn’t have. I sighed.

“I can’t use this.” Hestia smiled.

“Take it’s handle.” I did.

“Will it to change to your desire.”

“Whoa!” It transformed into Backbiter. I smiled. “Nice. Now this I can use. Does it have the same properties?”

“It will reap the soul of any who gets cut by the blade.” I nodded.

I wished it into a penlight, and it shifted into a two tone metal penlight. I grinned and slipped it into my pocket. “I will return this to you after the battle, Lady.”

She shook her head. “No need. I do not want it. I have no use of weapons.” With that, she vanished.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Three: Hellish Interlude

Kronos stood beside Tartarus. “I am certain, m’lord, that you will not need to do this. Leave destroying the gods to me. None can stand in my way while I have my true form back.”

Tartarus scoffed. “I gave you your chance with the giants.”

Kronos flashed the Primordial a glare. His voice was smooth though. “It was not my fault. The giants a fools. You have said so yourself! Let my brothers lead, and we will send the gods to you!”

“No! I have made up my mind. I am a Primordial! None of the Olympians can overcome me.” He flexed his hand. “I like this form. I shall destroy the abomination that the humans have made of Gaea and wake her again. We shall create a new era. One without gods and humans! I will leave a thread of connection to this physical Tartarus and go above surface. The Olympians and their children will be destroyed by my hand.” Tartarus busied himself getting used to his form.

And Titans too. Kronos thought. He gave an internal smirk. His plan was working. Tartarus knew nothing of Percy Jackson. Kronos knew though. Kronos knew that Jackson would destroy this creature, and possibly be destroyed along with him? Kronos smiled. He was practical. If he couldn’t have the pleasure of ripping Perseus apart, then he would give the pleasure to someone else. As long as Perseus was ripped apart, that’s all that mattered.

He had been given free roam of all of Tartarus. He gathered his brothers to the heart of Tartarus. He visited Nyx and other monsters. Night refused to work with him.

“Why?” He growled.

She laughed at him mockingly. “I am your aunt. Why would I serve my brother’s killer?”

Kronos cursed at her. “The Fates foretold his death. Ouranos deserved what he got.”

Night nodded. “Just as the Fates have foretold your death, twice now. Shall it be thrice before you are completely through? Kronos, leave this mad venture. None can destroy Jackson. He is more than meets the eyes.”

Kronos scoffed and sneered at her. “You are merely still licking your wounds from when they escaped through your mansion and lived! Even now! You retreated from an attack on Perseus Jackson!”

Night nodded. “None have ever lived from even a single foot on the stone! That is exactly my point! If Jackson is so powerful as to not only keep himself alive, but the girl that always goes with him, then what chance do you have against him?! What chance! The Olympian gods are backing him now! Jackson with all the Olympians, no Typhon for a distraction. No giants…only stupid monsters. All the demigods will follow Jackson even into Tartarus! You are foolish to continue this madness! As for my retreat from the tunnel, I have my own reasons that you do not need to know.”

Kronos glared at her. “It seems as if someone has forgotten their title and has taken on my brother’s title of forethought.”

Night sighed. “And where is Prometheus now? He is no longer chained to a rock. He is in hiding! He gave you council that you ignored. I give you council that you now ignore! Kronos, I wonder if you even want to win!”

Kronos scowled. “I will leave you now, Night. Have fun in Hell!” He stormed away. She pondered what he said.

“Kronos!”

He paused and turned.

She smiled at him. “I will join you.”

He smiled in return. “Will you tell me your reasons for not fighting Jackson earlier?”

“No.”

He scowled and left.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-four: My Fiancé

I sighed and looked at Annabeth. “There is something that Athena wanted to tell me, but the gods wouldn’t let her. Something serious. Dark.”

Annabeth frowned. “What do you think they would hide?”

I groaned. “Hell if I know!” I jumped up from the beach and started pacing. “Look, Tartarus is rising. The monsters are stirring. Kronos is planning a big overthrow, and yet…everything seems so…” I struggled to find the right word.

Annabeth cocked her head. “Calm?”

I nodded. “Yeah. That.”

She smiled. “Maybe-”

“It’s because the gods are trying to figure out how the hell you tricked the god of trickery.”

I cursed. Annabeth and I both turned to see a glowering Apollo and a pouting Hermes.

“Really Percy?” Hermes huffed. I sighed.

“I still have my mother’s blessing, unless it’s an expiring deal.”

Apollo shook his head. “Nope, nothing expires around here unless it’s Ares.”

I snickered. Hermes took my left arm, and Apollo took my right. “Let’s go, Jackson.”

I groaned. “Don’t I get to call my lawyer?”

Hermes snickered and shook his head. “Nope.” The two gods nodded to Annabeth and flashed out to the Underworld before she could stop them. They unceremoniously threw me into the Styx without even giving me time to prepare.

“WHAT THE HE-!!” I was cut off.

Once again my body was melting away. Once again, I felt my identity start to dissolve. I wanted to scream but when I opened my mouth only black water rushed in. I started to drown. I started to fall apart from the inside. My mind began to unravel. I felt like smiling. Maybe in death, I would fine the peace.

Death.

Thanatos.

Alaska.

Frank and Hazel.

My friends were counting on me.

Annabeth.

I fixed a spot on my body. The same one as Luke’s. The River spat me out. I collapsed on the ground, panting for breath.

Apollo looked me over and nodded. “It worked.”

I looked up to see a frowning Achilles. He sighed and nodded to me and vanished. I spat black water out of my mouth. Hermes frowned.

“Did you drink any?”

I shook my head. “Nasty.” My voice was raw. Apollo breathed a sigh of relief.

“Good. Drinking the Styx instantly kills you.”

I stared at them. “Maybe you’d want to have Achilles tell that to the next person who wants the Curse. It would be a good thing to know.”

Hermes chuckled. “Duly noted.”

I shook my head. It was amazing how oblivious the gods were sometimes.

They took me back to Camp Half Blood. I sighed. Annabeth was talking with Triton. He was sitting on one of the spare cots. I raised an eyebrow.

“Should I be getting jealous?”

Triton chuckled. “No. But a word to the wise, do be careful who you let Annabeth Chase become friends with. You would do well to keep her as yours.”

I nodded. “Duly noted.”

Annabeth rolled her eyes. I smiled and kissed her cheek. “Soo, any news from under da sea?”

Triton knew I was one second away from singing Sebastian’s song. I smirked when he spoke quickly.

“No. Hunt is struggling with his work, but Elise is flourishing.” Annabeth growled at the name. I winced.

“Yeah, let’s refrain from speaking about her around Annabeth.”

Triton smirked. “That would be a similar situation with Mother and Sally Jackson.”

I blinked. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I sighed and slumped onto my cot. “What’s brought you here?”

Triton pointed to me. I pointed to myself and cocked my head. Triton nodded. “Yes, you. Father wants to make sure that you return to the palace. He knows you well enough that you would try and finagle a way to stay here another night.” He waggled his eyebrows at me and Annabeth. Annabeth didn’t know whether to hit him or blush. I looked at the ceiling and snorted.

“We haven’t even gone that far. I only took off her blouse once, but she had a bikini under it.”

“Percy!”

“It was a string bikini.” I sighed dreamily.

“PERCY!” She looked outraged and embarrassed.

I shrugged. She whacked me on my head. I snickered. Triton smirked. “Father wants to make sure that you understand what being a Prince truly entails. He wants you to get to know the troops and how to lead a trained army. I second his idea.”

I groaned. “Sweet. More Princely training…” Annabeth smirked.

I glared at her, and then I grinned. I had been getting better at using my Trident to transform things. I smiled at her. She blinked and took in my smile. Suddenly, she was running to the door. I slammed it closed before she could get through. I smiled and pecked her on the lips.

“It will only hurt a tiny bit, dear.”

She glared at me. “So help me, if you turn me into a gold fish…!”

Triton started laughing. I smiled and kissed her again. I like her lips. They were my favorite part about her. That and her legs and what joined to her legs…and everything else that was above her legs…

I shook my head to get back on track. Dragging Annabeth to the beach, I aimed my Trident at her and transformed her into a Mermaid.

The only issue?

My own transformation caused my clothes to disappear. Hers did too.

I blinked and turned quickly. Triton turned a few seconds faster than me. I grabbed my shirt and pulled it off and handed it to her. She was blushing furiously.

Triton was blushing as well. I was just looking forward to the day when I could stare all day long at her…without any embarrassment. She was…well endowed. Ahem…

We swam together to the palace. I started showing her around. “That’s the armory where Tyson works. Those lights over there are the Academy. That over there is the museum, no Annabeth, we’re not going there tonight.” She pouted.

“This is my father’s throne room. These are my rooms. That’s the library. The awesome thing is that all the books are in Greek- bye Annabeth…” I watched her swim swiftly away.

Triton was laughing at me. I shook my head. “She won’t be resurfacing until dinner.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “Want to spar while she’s gone?”

I grinned. “Hell yes!”

Triton straightened up and mimicked his mother perfectly. “Language, young man!” I cracked up.

Dinner, Two Hours Later

Annabeth sat next to me while we ate. Amphitrite was smiling like she had won the lottery. She kept asking Annabeth questions about me and her and how soon we were planning on marrying. She even started talking about our wedding which we ‘would have at the palace of course!’. I had been sending Dad begging glances all evening.

Poseidon had been…not very helpful.

I speared my boiled sea cucumber. Yeah…palace food had taken a lot of getting used to. I had lost ten pounds.

Annabeth had long since past the blushing stage. Now she was at the I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-is-going-on-here-but-I’ll-pretend-I’m-in-complete-control-of-myself stage. I spied a smug Triton. He just shook his head at me and offered more dessert. I felt a strong desire to used the water to smack it across the room or into his face. I just shook my head no.

Suddenly, I grabbed more seaweed rolls and offered them to Mother. “Eat more Mother, I fear you haven’t had enough food tonight.”

She grinned suddenly and smiled. “You mean, you fear I have embarrassed you enough?”

I sighed. “That too.”

“Don’t sigh, Percy. Remember what we’ve said about sighing.”

I nodded. “Yes, Dad.”

Annabeth snickered. Amphitrite looked at her. “If you are to be Queen of the Eastern Seas, then you should not snicker like a common peasant. You must be refined.”

I blinked. My mouth twisted into one of the most mischievous and downright trouble-making smirks of all time. I made eye-contact with Triton. His lips were twisted into a perfect copy of my own smile.

“Mother….”

Amphitrite looked at me. “Yes, Percy?”

I smiled at her with all the innocence I could muster, which was surprisingly a lot. “Since Annabeth’s going to be my Queen someday, shouldn’t she start her training early too? After all, she is marrying into Royalty.”

Poseidon grinned widely and nodded. “Splendid idea! I second it!”

Triton smirked playfully at Annabeth. “I third it!”

Annabeth looked at all of us with growing horror. It was all I could do not to laugh until my lungs burst. Amphitrite grinned.

“What a wonderful idea! I can teach your future bride how to keep papers and host parties and know everything a Queen needs to know!” I smiled.

“Perfect. Maybe this could bring Annabeth and me even closer together, going through the same training. Besides, it could also teach her delicacy of mind and gentle kindness to other people, perhaps even compassion and empathy…”

Annabeth’s eyes widened as she realized that this was my form of revenge for her laughing at me while I was telling her the horror stories of my Court Training.

Amphitrite scooted her chair back. “We don’t have much time. You will have to return to your Camp by nightfall. Poseidon will change you back. Come! I shall teach you your first lesson in manners of a Queen! Whom to invite to parties and whom not to invite!” Amphitrite practically dragged Annabeth away. The doors slammed shut, and Triton and I gave over to riotous laughter. Poseidon shook his head.

“That was a dirty trick…” I nodded but didn’t stop laughing.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Five: Something’s Wrong

Poseidon pointed at map. “And what would you do with the enemy here ?”

I frowned. “It would be easy to bottle neck them in the gully. The only drawback is that the casualties might outweigh the victory.”

Triton nodded. “Unless of course you had the Cyclopes create Greek fire catapults.”

I stared at him. “That would help. Distance fighting…what would their weapons be? Any monsters immune to fire?”

Poseidon smiled. “Percy, you will do fine as a general.” I gave a humorless grin.

“Lots of practice.”

Triton’s smile wavered a little. I ignored it and turned to Dad. “Do you know how Annabeth’s doing?”

Right on cue, the doors opened. Annabeth fled into my arms. “Hide me!”

“Young lady, you do not enter a man’s den without knocking first!” Amphitrite swam in petulantly.

I looked at her. “You just did, Mother.”

She looked flustered. “The door was already open, and the meeting was already interrupted. Now, Miss Chase, please come with me. You must have a fitting!”

I raised an eyebrow. “A fitting?”

Amphitrite nodded. “Of course. Annabeth let drop the fact that she didn’t own many dresses. I am having the tailor come and make some tunics for her. It is the least I can do.”

I smiled and whispered into Annabeth’s ear. “Mother is only trying to help, Annabeth. She only wants my future bride and fiancé to be well-dressed and well taken care of.”

Annabeth sighed. “Everything’s a lot simpler above surface. How did you stand it?”

I chuckled. “Well, you are marrying into royalty.”

She sighed. “May Percy and I take a walk…er…swim through the palace gardens?”

Amphitrite looked put out but finally nodded. Annabeth pulled me away from everyone and out of the palace completely.

“Can we be overheard here?”

I shook my head. “Nope. Why? What’s wrong?”

She sighed. “Why does your dad suddenly want you to be his Prince of the Eastern Seas person? Why now? After all this time?”

I shrugged. “He told me that I was his favorite son. He’s got it in his head that I deserve a throne after everything I’ve done for the gods. He wanted me to be by his side for as long as possible.”

Annabeth shook her head. “Something’s not right. He’s up to something. Nothing diabolical but something that would definitely affect you.”

I frowned. “I’ll look into it. But for now, let’s just enjoy the fact that you’re with me.” I grinned at her and pulled her to me. “I love you, Wise Girl. You are comboro.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You’ve got to teach me this language.” I grinned.

“Comboro is beautiful.”

She blushed lightly. “What’s the word for handsome?”

I shook my head but answered anyway. “Dalian. To be used in context of complimenting something or someone.”

She nodded. “Telian dalian.” [You are handsome.]

I smirked. “Someone got their hands are an old language book in the library.”

She grinned and kissed me.

I smiled and took her hand. “Come on, let me show you the forges.” She flipped her dark grey fins and swam after me. I blinked as I thought of something.

“There is no way that you just figured out how to swim so well.”

She blushed. “Ahem…well, I might have started studying how dolphins swim when I found out that you had been turned into a fishboy.”

I snickered. She pushed me slightly with her shoulder. “Shut up…”

I smiled and then my smile widened. “Do you have to go back? Can’t you spend the night? I have a some rooms filled with air in my suite. You can stay there if you want. I can turn you back into a mermaid in the morning.”

She frowned. “Can I stay as a mermaid all through the night?”

I tilted my head to one side and thought about it. We could hear the pounding of the metal in the distance. “I suppose…we’ll need to ask Dad.”

Annabeth gave me a worried glance. “What did he do earlier that got you a free pass to camp?”

I sighed and told her what happened. She frowned darkly. “He is a god, Percy. He won’t think things through like a mortal would. His thought patterns are different. Be careful. He might do something else like this and simply not understand why you would object.” She bit her lip in worry.

I nodded. “Yeah, I know what you mean.” She slipped her arm around mine, and we entered the forges. The Cyclopes bowed to me. I nodded to them. Annabeth looked around in awe.

“This place is huge!” I smiled and signaled the foreman.

“Bring Tyson to me immediately.”

“Yes, my prince!” He called another Cyclops. Tyson lumbered over and shrank to hug me and Annabeth.

“Big Brother! Annabeth!”

I smiled and slapped him on the back. “How are you, big guy?”

He nodded. “Very well, but I’m concerned for you. You have bad men after you. Men that need to get hit by a big, big stick!”

Annabeth snickered. “I completely agree with you Tyson.”

He smiled. I led them out of the din and into a much quieter place. “Triton tells me that you don’t have to work in the forges since you are Father’s general. Why do you keep doing it?”

He shrugged. “I like working with metal and fire. In war, I fight with weapons. In peace, I make weapons and other things.”

I smiled at him. “I’ve missed you, Ty. I’m really sorry I haven’t visited you as often as I should.” I frowned and glanced at my drooping fins. Tyson smiled.

“It’s okay, Big Brother. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re seeing each other right now.” He turned to Annabeth. “How is Ella?”

Annabeth grinned. “Pining for you. She’s reciting sad, love poetry all the time.”

Tyson blushed and nodded. “I get to go to camp tomorrow. I will see her then.” Annabeth, Tyson, and I talked a little bit more until I was called back to the palace by a dolphin.

Annabeth was immediately whisked away by Amphitrite. I turned to my dad. “Yes?”

He gave me a worried smile. “Percy, how would you feel about…an…er…” He shook his head. “Never mind.”

He turned away and started to swim away. I sighed. “You should just tell me and let me decide for myself.”

Poseidon sighed again and nodded. He looked at me for a moment before blurting out what he had to say in one quick rush. “How would you feel about having a public coronation? Triton had one, and I don’t want anyone thinking I favor one son over the other.”

I frowned. “The deal was that I wouldn’t become Prince of the Eastern Seas until I was on my death bed.”

Poseidon waved his hand. “Yes, yes, yes! I’m talking about the crown that you are wearing on your head right now . Triton was given his crown before and then a ceremony with pomp was given afterwards. It’s a copy of what happened earlier, except with public viewing. I’m asking if you are okay with that.”

I stared at him. “Me? Okay with pomp and ceremony? Me?” I shook my head decisively. “No.” I didn’t want anyone knowing my titles.

Poseidon gave a sad sigh. I made the mistake of looking back. My father was slumping his shoulders and giving the most heart wrenching version of a dejected god of puppies.

I groaned. “Whyyy?!” I knew I was whining, and I didn’t give a damn.

He sighed. “It’s tradition.”

“It’s stupid!”

My father gave me a look that told me to behave. I sighed but nodded. “The public wishes to see my youngest prince crowned.”

I growled. “Only if Annabeth is crowned my fiancé.” I grinned. If I had to suffer then she would too.

Poseidon beamed at me. There was a glint in his eyes that made me concerned. It looked too clever, too satisfied, altogether too similar to a look Hades would give after he tricked you into selling your soul. “I’ll make the arrangements. We can even throw an engagement party for you two!” He swam away to get his wife.

I sighed and shook my head. “That will be three big events in a matter of four months. This is crazy…” I shook my head and swam to my room. Taking out a piece of paper, I tried to find a hint in Kronos’ plans.

Annabeth entered my room without knocking. Time at camp had conditioned her. “You, sir, are a traitor.”

I smirked. “Just because I want you by my side doesn’t mean that I’m a traitor.” She huffed and sat next to me.

She looked at herself and then at me. “Um, Percy, I didn’t have the guts to ask Amphitrite, but are Mers live young or eggs?”

I stopped writing my battle plans down and turned to stare at her. She blushed. I sighed and set my pen down. “Egg. If you’ve notice there are two scales on your trunk that move. There located where the back of your knees would be.” She slipped her fingers onto the scales and then gave a gasp at the sensation.

I smirked. “The hole that’s beneath the scales is very sensitive. Pretty much I move myself over that hole and inject my sperm into you. You only hold on to your now fertilized egg until you find a safe spot for it to nestle. You then eject your egg onto that surface and guard it until the child break through the egg membrane. It’s not a hard shell. It’s a flexible and highly durable cocoon. Once the child breaks through the membrane, you can treat the baby like any other human baby, breastfeeding and such. Mers give birth to only one child at a time, no such thing as twins.”

Annabeth blinked. “That was an incredibly clinical explanation.”

Chuckling, I sidled closer. “Do you want a demonstration?”

Annabeth skittered away from me a little. “No, I’m good. But, how does that bring pleasure to both parties? It’s suppose to also be a bit recreational too, right?”

I chuckled. “Giving forth to the next generation isn’t viewed as recreational under the surface. We have other things that have to do with pleasurable activities with out mates.” My voice dipped lower, and I kissed her. My fingers found a special little spot that I hadn’t told her about. Moving the scales up and away, I rubbed the soft flesh beneath it with my finger. It was at the back, just below where her bottom would have been. She arched into me with a gasp. Her pupils dilated; her breathing quickly turned ragged. I knew endorphins and waves of pleasurable feelings were coursing through her body.

“P-percy!” She gave a little moan. I could smell her scent in the water. It drove me insane…almost. I stopped myself from doing anything presumptuous, but just barely. Kissing her gently on her lips, I moved away from her. She whined slightly and tried to pull me back. I fought against the instinct to continue.

“This causes you to bring your eggs into the tube to be fertilized by me.” I spoke quietly, hoarsely. Annabeth struggled to bring herself back from the edge.

“That…was…amazing.” She looked at me in shock. I sighed.

“Your scent is still around me. I can barely think. Let’s swim in some fresher water.” She nodded, and we swam out of my room.

Our heads instantly cleared. I shook my head. “I had no idea it would be that potent. I’ve never done it before, just read about it. I’m sorry.”

Annabeth sighed and leaned against me. “It’s fine. I’m glad we found out so we won’t accidently discover it later when we can’t fight back.” I nodded.

We were sitting in the coral garden staring at the ground. Annabeth looked up to where the surface would be. “I miss the stars already. How in the world did Damasen and Bob survive that?” Her voice was quiet.

I shook my head. “I don’t know.” Even as I kissed her, I was still thinking about that glint in my father’s eyes. Something was wrong.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Six: Illusions of Peace

Triton was the one who came and got us. He reminded me that I still had school to go to. I pouted until I realized that Annabeth could come with me.

Triton sighed and smirked. “You’ll have to ask Father.” I nodded and swam eagerly to my dad’s den. Knocking politely for once, I waited until I was allowed entry.

“Who is it?”

“Percy.”

“Come in, son!” I opened the door and entered. Poseidon smiled at me. “What is it that you desire?”

I swallowed. “Father, I was wondering if Annabeth could stay the night in the form of a mermaid?”

He looked thoughtful for a second, and then he nodded. “She can.” He gave me a stern look. “She’ll be staying in a different room though.”

I sighed. “Of course.” He chuckled. “Um, Dad, could she also come to school with me?”

He looked thoughtful and then smiled. “Of course, son. Anything you want.” I grinned.

“Thanks!” I was about to swim away when he called out to me.

“Percy, at the ceremony, it is mandatory for you to say vows of loyalty to the Kingdom of Atlantis. I will go through those vows with you, but you must understand that when you make these vows, your loyalty to the Sea comes before Olympus.”

I swallowed. “Uh…would there ever be a time when those loyalties didn’t coincide?”

He smiled sadly. “There have been times in the past where I have sided differently that Zeus.”

I gasped slightly. “Troy.” He nodded. I blinked rapidly. “But… Annabeth …I…I couldn’t…” My dad placed his hands on my shoulders.

“Percy, I would never chose a side in a war, carelessly. I would always listen to your council too, before acting. You have no need to fear. You are my son. You are one of my heirs. You are a Prince. You are as precious to me as Triton is, as Amphitrite is. And, by extension, Annabeth Chase is precious to me too. Upon your marriage to Annabeth, I will grant her the blessing of shifter, so she can join you under the surface any time she chooses.”

I smiled. “I’ll make those vows, Dad. Don’t worry.” He smiled.

“I shan’t worry.” I noted the same glint. I left his den to tell Annabeth the news. My heart was heavy with conflicting emotions, and my mind was full of confusion. So, no change from how it is usually.

Hellish Interlude

Kronos smiled as he saw the armies gather. They would be breaking through the surface in a fortnight. His time was coming. His smile vanished as he felt Tartarus form beside him.

“I have told the monsters to target his friends, and his consort. That should prove enough of a distraction for him so I can bring him back to Tartarus.

Kronos sighed. “I tell you, it’s better to kill him while you can. Jackson has an inexplicable ability to survive.”

Tartarus smiled grimly. “Don’t I know it. However, to kill him when he is in despair, this is my dream. I will rip his heart out.”

Kronos smiled slightly. That sounded wonderful. He thought back on his plans, going through them carefully. Percy Jackson’s friends will have most definitely found a way to destroy the primordial by his side. However, there was no way that Percy would be able to kill both primordial and titan in the same day. Kronos would hang back and let the gods exhaust themselves.

The Titan of Time stared at the thousands of monsters. They would overrun New York. Even if, by some strange chance of fortune, Kronos were to lose yet again, he would still have his revenge. These monsters were given specific orders to kill as many mortals as they could before dying. They would slaughter hundreds in New York before demigods could stop them. He chuckled.

Tartarus was saving his strength. He would be making two entrances in New York. Kronos smiled. The primordial was a fool. He was so focused on his desire to kill Jackson and destroy the world that he didn’t even think about checking Kronos’ plans for betrayal.

A woman shrouded in darkness sidled up to Kronos. The titan turned away from her. She pouted playfully. “Stop being so childish, Kronos.”

Kronos growled. “You still refuse to tell me why?”

She smiled flirtatiously. “Yep.” He rolled his eyes, a habit he had adopted from Luke.

“Get out of my sight, Night.”

She hissed, catlike. “No one dismisses me, Kronos, son of Ouranos! I will fight by your side, but I will not fight for you. I kill and fight and destroy for the sake of darkness and my true nature, not for your deluded dream of thrones and ruling over Earth!”

Kronos slapped her. Her eyes widened. Tartarus stopped giving orders to his monster generals. Everyone nearby stared at the pair. Night looked murderous.

Her velvet voice hissed at the lord of Time. “Very well, I’ll tell you why I didn’t fight Jackson. He has been chosen. But there is one little issue. It wouldn’t work unless both of us blessed the boy. He would burn from the inside out. That’s the secret. The Two Original Beings must bless the boy.” She tossed her head scornfully.

“Because of your actions, I will bless him. I am giving him my blessing right now. The darkness will always be his ally! The stars will always guide him! You have miscalculated, Kronos. Because of you, I will solidify my loyalty to Percy Jackson .” With one last murderous look, she vanished.

Kronos had a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. He turned to Tartarus. The primordial sounded confused. “I do not know what she referred to, Titan.”

Kronos growled in frustration. He hated not knowing.

Atlantis

I sighed and finished my homework. I had some serious catching up to do. Annabeth had been helping me all evening. Finally, I was completely caught up from my three days of impromptu vacation.

I snickered and decided to go for a swim. I nodded to my guards. Annabeth was being given etiquette lessons, because she would be present for my coronation and the public would see her, and after the coronation, a party would be given for our engagement. I hadn’t proposed to Annabeth just yet, but everyone knew she was going to be my wife. I guess this was just as unavoidable as my fight with Kronos and Tartarus. I frowned. I wondered why none of the monsters were targeting my friends. Kronos had always done that before. Distract me by dividing my loyalties…

I shook my head and swam into the dark water. The darkness had never frightened me before I met Night. Ever since I met her, I always had to have a night light of some sort on in my room.

‘Not anymore, boy. Not anymore. Darkness is your friend.’

I blinked. I could see around me clearer, when before I couldn’t. I blinked again. That was…Night’s voice. I swallowed. Something told me that serious shit had just happened. I shook my head and broke surface, feeling the icy wind sting my skin. Annabeth said that she would meet me here. Here was three hundred yards off the beach of Camp Half Blood. I smiled as I felt a tug on my fins. Annabeth broke surface and kissed me.

“Come on. I’ll teach you to break the waves and kiss the stars.” She laughed.

We jumped and flipped and played in the water till a dolphin came to tell us that dinner was ready. I smiled, and we raced back to our chariots. Annabeth had been given one by Tyson. I had been given one by my father.

Hippocampi had a special ability to travel through the water and bend time. For example, I could go to the coasts of Ireland within three hours from the beach of camp.

Annabeth and I laughed as we entered the dining room. Amphitrite smiled at us, but Triton and Dad were tense. I frowned. “What’s wrong?”

Triton scoffed. “Wrong? Everything’s wrong! The monsters are ransacking villages and towns everywhere. They’re getting smarter, using gorilla warfare! Kronos must be coaching them! Our men are becoming spread thin!” And just like that, my small illusion of peace shattered. I was reminded yet again, that war was imminent.

Poseidon sighed. “I am torn, Percy. I cannot leave my people, but my son will be fighting for his life above the surface.”

I frowned. “Is there any way we could hunt down these monsters? They’re a small group, right Triton?”

He sighed and nodded. I frowned and then nodded. “A hundred of your best men. Triton and I will track them and kill them. They must be small but smart. Not your generic, stupid variety.” Annabeth nodded.

“You’re wrong about one thing though.” I glanced at her.

“No, Wise Girl. You’re not used to fighting in the water. I don’t want to worry about you.”

Annabeth rolled her eyes. “I’ve been practicing, Seaweed Brain.”

I sighed. Out of excuses. “Fine. Triton, Annabeth, and I will hunt these monsters down. Father, you should go and talk with the gods. They need to know what’s going on. Have someone consult the Oracle and Apollo. We need to know where Kronos and Tartarus will strike.” I motioned to Amphitrite. “It’s probably wise, if you double the standing armies. We are at war from now on. The civilians should be protected.”

Triton smiled. “Yep, you’ll be a very good king.”

I stared at him in confusion. “I’ll become a Prince, not a king.” I turned back to Annabeth and started talking to her about her abilities in the water. It would be much later that Annabeth would tell me that Poseidon had shot Triton a warning glance, and Triton had winced.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Monster Hunting

I looked at Annabeth and grinned. We were going on a quest under water. This was something I had always wanted to do since I was claimed. She grinned back.

Triton called attention to the troops. “This is my brother, Perseus. He is a Prince like myself. Obey him as you would me!” They bowed to me. I nodded to them.

Triton took a breath. “We’re going to scout around the area with the most gorilla activity.” He looked at me. “The Black Rim.”

Annabeth gave a small groan. I shook my head. “Terrific.” Triton grinned ruthlessly. The Black Rim was a trench, a very deep trench. Some even say that it’s a pathway to Tartarus. It was crawling with monsters that no one even knew the name of. Monsters that had been created before Gaea first came to existence…go figure. Monsters that Night and Ouranos had made. I smiled.

This was going to be fun.

Annabeth smiled grimly. We were demigods, not necessarily adrenaline junkies, but we were close. We were Greek adrenaline junkies.

We started moving. Our hippocampi bent time and travel and we arrived at The Black Rim Trench in only an hour. Annabeth and I spent that time regaling Triton with our experiences in the Sea of Monsters. He still couldn’t believe how stupid Annabeth had been, wanting to hear the sirens herself.

Annabeth huffed. “I was curious.”

Triton shook his head. “And you know the old saying?”

I raised an eyebrow. “What?”

Triton grinned. “Curiosity killed the demigod.”

Annabeth glared at him. “You made that up!” We both shushed her good-naturedly. She huffed again. I snickered. I was enjoying my quest with my brother and girlfriend.

“Sir, what are your orders?” Triton turned to face his Captain. He nodded to me. I sighed.

“What? Too lazy to take command?” He nodded and grinned.

“What’s the use of having a baby brother, if he doesn’t do my work for me?” He grinned cheerfully.

I glared at him. Turning to the Captain, I started issuing commands. “We don’t know what’s down there. No strays. No scouts. We stick together. Keep those sound waves close to you. Report anything that it picks up. Don’t be heroes. The Hero Syndrome gets more people killed than the actual battle.” I growled this. “I want both a front guard and rear guard. If you hear or see something, report, group, and defend. No offense. We don’t know what sleeping rays we want to let lie.”

They nodded. Annabeth quirked an eyebrow. Triton leaned over and explained. “‘Let sleeping rays lie’ was the equivalent of ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. Never anger a giant stingray.” She nodded, smiling.

“Our goal is to find the militant group of monsters that fit the villagers’ description and wipe them out. We already know who they’re working for.” The men nodded. I breathed deeply. “Let’s go.” Not hesitating, our group swam over the edge and went deeper into the dark.

Annabeth grabbed my hand. I smiled reassuringly at her. I wasn’t expecting the light to reach this far, but I could still see everything pretty clearly. It wasn’t infrared like I usually had. It was like seeing the world through grey scale.

Annabeth’s hand tightened around mine. I glanced at her. “What’s wrong?” My voice was a whisper. Sound carried pretty far in water.

“I can’t see a thing.”

Triton’s voice was near ours. “I too, can barely see. It’s all dim outlines.”

I blinked. “Seriously? I can see plenty.” I saw them both stare a little off from where my face actually was. Their expressions were of disbelief.

Annabeth sighed. “Okay, some sea power?”

Triton shook his head. “I would have it.”

I frowned. Night’s voice came back to me. Darkness would be my friend. I gave a gasp. “That’s impossible…” I was going to explain further, but there was a shout. Suddenly the water was lit up by white light. A huge eel, really huge, at least a hundred feet long and four feet wide, reared up in front of us. The men gave a shout.

‘My lord.’ I immediately realized that I could hear it.

“Freeze!” My command rang out. My men froze, but I could tell that a single move could shatter their obedience. “It’s friendly. I hear it’s voice in my head.”

Triton, who could now see because of the light that the eel monster emitted, stared at me. “Why then can I not hear it?”

I shrugged. “How should I know?” I knew, or at least, I had a suspicion. I turned back to the eel. ‘You have brothers here?’

‘Yes, my lord.’

‘Wake them and have them hunt for a group of monsters of Tartarus.’ I sent an image of the description of the monsters we were hunting. The eel gave a bob of it’s head and swam into the dark, taking the light with it. It was black with white light emitting from it. Creatures that Ouranos and Night had made.... I blinked at the change. I swallowed. Time to make things freaky.

“Hold still. Don’t move.” I told everyone, Triton and Annabeth included. Quietly, I picked up a rock and imagined it glowing white, like a star. At first nothing happened.

I heard chuckling.

‘You are very clever and very ambitious, young Prince. I shall grant your desire.’

The stone lit up. I smiled. “New powers. I’ll explain later. Right now, I’m enjoying this sweet gift.” Annabeth and Triton hesitantly nodded.

We saw many other creatures, big and small, slimy and crustacean, swim past us. They all had only one similarity. They were completely black, except for the white light that they emitted from a long, thin strip along their bodies.

I saw everything they saw. Finally, the eel and four of its brothers found the monsters.

Attack them and bring their leader to me.’

‘Yes, lord.’

I smiled. “Halt.” Everyone did as I said. I turned to Triton. “I told you those creatures were friendly. They’ve been scouting out for us. They’ve found the monsters. Eating them for us right now.” There were squeals and screams that came from the lower right of us. I smiled. My star, stone, thing brightened, allowing the light to illuminate the space around us.

The eel brought the lead monster to us and deposited him at our fins. Without a word, the eel then swam away. Triton started the interrogation. Annabeth suggested we continue the interrogation out of the trench. I completely agreed.

Now, completely in the open valley right in front of the trench, Triton continued his interrogation.

“How many others are down there?”

Silence. Triton struck it across the face with his dagger.

“Answer me.”

The monster glared at him and then let out a long, shrill scream. I swallowed.

I muttered to the others. “Isn’t this the time when bad guys start crawling out of the woodwork and surrounding the tiny band of good guys?”

Annabeth nodded. “Unfortunately.”

Triton summoned his Trident. I did the same. Annabeth drew her drakon dagger. Then came the echo. Another scream. Then another scream. And another. And yet another scream. I sighed.

“I’m afraid that my life is completely cliché.” Annabeth scoffed in agreement.

It started slowly. Actually, it started with a rather cute looking monster. Stubby seal feet, mer-tail, and a cute baby seal face, the body was a shark’s body. It swam up and sniffed at us, then it let out a small whine; it’s tail wagged. The next monsters weren’t as cute looking.

The trench suddenly looked as if it were moving. Every single square inch of the surface was covered with monster.

I heard Triton call the men to be ready, as if they weren’t already. I snorted. There weren’t millions, but there were hundreds. At least seven monsters to each of our men.

I sighed and pulled out Riptide. Now I had a staff and a sword. Annabeth nodded to me. She knew the drill. Hell, we had done it a few thousand times before.

Triton struck first. He shot the baby seal in the face. I winced. It looked too cute to kill.

All the other monsters seemed just as outraged. They attacked as one. I let out a laugh, it sounded rather manic even to my own ears. The curse of Achilles caused my body to hum. Annabeth and I fought back to back. Suddenly, Annabeth vanished. Triton let out a startled yell. I had no idea where she had hid her hat. Something in me didn’t want to know.

I shouted at him. “Focus! She’s alright.” Suddenly four monsters vaporized as if from out of the blue.

I grinned and sliced another monster in half. Triton and I did a perfect dance. Slicing, spinning, pushing the enemy onto each other’s swords. It was marvelous.

I created a hurricane under the water, twisting the dirt and sand up into the monsters’ eyes. They let our shouts and growls of frustration. I spun my trident and blasted twenty or so into krill.

Triton was also fighting. Annabeth had reappeared beside me and was protecting me, since she didn’t know where my spot was yet, but she was going to cover for me as much as possible. I did the same for her. The men were good fighters. My body guards were killers. Pure and simple. They were ruthless. It was almost hypnotic to watch them fight.

Annabeth let out a warning shout. An enormous, electric eel monster sent a pulse of electricity into our midst. I felt it enter from my Trident and course up through my arm. I let out a strangled scream of agony. Triton shouted my name. The water pulsed and throbbed in response to my pain. The trench exploded with the light monsters we had met before. They defended me, protected me, and by extension, my men and family.

I was on the ground. My whole body felt like it was on fire. I couldn’t see straight. Annabeth grabbed a sack of sea-version ambrosia and fed me it, right in the middle of battle. The light monsters had created a circle around the soldiers and us, snapping and eating any monster that came close enough.

I gulped down the food. My body had stopped tingling. Triton was also healing himself. Annabeth had eaten her own ambrosia first. I sighed and nodded.

“I’m fine.” My voice was hoarse. I heard a screech and turned to see my friend the eel writhing from a stab wound. I growled. Shooting up off the ground, I floated above the rest of the monsters. Raising my hands, I felt for the water inside them. I probed and twisted it. The monsters screamed. I smiled.

My hands clenched tightly into fists. I supposed I looked rather dark myself, floating above everyone, black scaled fins and wild black hair, my hands raised as if calling on some primitive god to strike the monsters down.

Annabeth screamed my name. Smart girl, she knew what I was about to do. I hadn’t done it since Tartarus. It was dark. It was twisted. It was exactly something Night would want me to do. I could almost hear her laughing in delight. In fact, I honestly think she was.

I mentally touched the water inside the monsters’ bodies. I grabbed hold of it. They screamed and screeched and growled, not completely understanding what was happening.

I pulled on the water. Tugging it towards me. It resisted my call. Frowning, I pulled harder, ripping it our of their bodies. Hundreds of dying wails echoed through the underwater valley as the water inside the bodies of the monsters was ripped from them. It happened in slow motion almost. They became thin. Then they became emaciated. Suddenly, they were nothing but husks, shriveled saggy skin or scales. However, they quickly turned to dust and dissolved into the water that was once in their bodies. The black and white glowing monsters returned to their trench, only after I was assured that the eel would survive.

I sighed and returned to the ground beside Annabeth and Triton. They were staring at me. All the soldiers were staring at me. My body guards were staring. I flushed.

“What?” My voice was laced with defensiveness. Annabeth shook her head and hugged me. Triton was shocked. I was already preparing myself to be ostracized by him again. He would give me the cold shoulder. Call me a freak.

Annabeth was shaking. She was probably experiencing flashbacks. “Please Percy, don’t ever-”

Triton’s face was split into a smile. “My baby brother’s a SORCERER! Wait until Father and Mother hear about this!” He started laughing. Annabeth and I stared at him. Suddenly, all the men bowed to me.

I blinked and looked around me. “What?” Annabeth stared at me in confusion.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Sorcery

We arrived back at the palace in record time. Triton had pushed us to go faster, because he couldn’t wait to tell Dad about my…sorcery? I shook my head. I wasn’t Harry Potter. What was going on?

The stable hands took care of our chariots. Triton practically pushed me into the Throne Room. Annabeth held my hand as we entered.

“Father! Mother! You’ll never guess what happened!”

Poseidon looked at us. “Well, it seems that you came back early. Mission success then?”

I nodded. “Triton’s a terrific fighter. You should have seen it! He-”

“Oh shut up, brother!”

Amphitrite stared at Triton. “Triton! Apologize!”

He looked pouty for a second. “I’m sorry, but what I have to say is extremely important. Percy just performed sorcery!”

Everyone stilled. I sighed. “Can someone please tell me what the hell this is all about?!”

Amphitrite, quick as a whip, smacked me on the back of my head. “No cussing. Sorcery is a rare form of sea magic.”

Annabeth cleared her throat nervously. “You mean like Circe?”

Amphitrite looked at her coldly. “Circe is not to be spoken of in the palace. Remember that.” Annabeth quickly nodded. Amphitrite continued speaking. “Many think sorcery is dark. However, the original form of it was…” She trailed off.

I supplied it. “Dark?”

She made a face. “I suppose it was always dark. Anyway, sorcery is just another form of magic. I don’t know where yours branch out to. Triton, what did he do?”

Triton eagerly explained what happened. Poseidon stared at me. “Have you ever done any of this before?”

I nodded. “In…in Tartarus. I did it to Akhlys. I caused her to cry more tears, choking her on the water in her body.” Annabeth shivered and held me closer to her. I sighed. “It’s not something that we like to remember.”

Poseidon nodded sadly. “Sorcery is a dark form of magic. However, it is only as dark as the user. Keep that in mind. As Amphitrite mentioned before, it is rarely used. I suppose you could be tutored by Hecate, if we can arrange it, of course…” He frowned in thought.

I shook my head. “No. I don’t want to expand my use in this. I don’t want to. It’s invasive. It’s wrong…it’s just like Katara in Avatar. I don’t want to learn blood bending.” Annabeth nodded in agreement. My immortal family was utterly confused at my reference, but Annabeth understood.

I was afraid of myself. I had been told by many that I was the most powerful demigod in the history of Greece, or of this generation. I didn’t want to be. I hated how much power I had. I am afraid of myself. I don’t want to loose control, like I did at Camp Jupiter. I have PTSD and too much power. Not a good mix.

Amphitrite decided to changed the subject to an even less pleasant topic. “Apollo and the Oracle have been consulted.” We swam to the dining room. It was dinner time. I shook my head. Just a few hours ago, we had been fighting for our lives, and I had gotten electrocuted. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.

Annabeth looked at Mother eagerly. “And?”

Amphitrite frowned. “It isn’t good.” We sat down. Dad was at the head, Amphitrite to his right. Triton was on his left. I was on Triton’s right. Annabeth was across from me.

Poseidon spoke. “Apollo is certain that they will attack soon. Within the month. Hades and Thanatos have both felt a build up of dark magic inside Tartarus. They have also noticed that there are less monsters coming through.”

Triton sucked in his breath. “They’re collecting their forces.”

Annabeth nodded grimly. “Waiting for the attack, so they can burst out in one great horde to overwhelm us.”

I glowered. “We need the gods. We need both camps to come to Olympus. Are the gods completely on our side?”

Poseidon nodded. “Athena has already spoken to Zeus about gathering our forces. All the nature spirits are being roused. Chiron is contacting his brethren.”

Annabeth and I grinned at each other. We loved the Party Ponies.

Poseidon smiled sadly. “I wonder if you will ever know what peace is like, Percy. It seems that war follows you constantly.”

I sighed. Amphitrite glared at me. I spoke before she could lecture me about sighing. “Sorry.” I swallowed slightly and started speaking. “When will the demigods be gathered?”

Amphitrite was the one who answered. “They’re being taken to Olympus right now. Both Apollo and Artemis will be on watch for any signs of monstrous activity. Hades and Thanatos are keeping an eye on the Underworld and the monsters there for any sign of abnormal behavior.”

Poseidon growled. “We don’t know when or where Kronos and Tartarus will strike. It is…frustrating.” I nodded. The servants took our empty plates away and brought dessert.

Triton huffed. “I have only one thing to say.” Everyone looked at him curiously. He stared at me. “You will learn sorcery, if it’s the last thing I do!”

I threw my hands up into the water in exasperation. “Bloody hell! Why?!” I dodged Amphitrite’s hand this time.

Triton huffed again. “You can’t let this talent go to waste!”

I growled. “Just watch me!”

A swordfish entered the room. ‘ My King, Lord Zeus is in the Throne Room demanding an audience.’ Poseidon frowned.

“It must be serious. He never comes into the water, if he can help it. Always sends someone instead.”

I nodded. “Lazy.”

Triton and Annabeth snickered. We all swam to the Throne Room. I grabbed my plate on the way out. Dessert was more important that Zeus. Annabeth gave me puppy eyes. I sighed and started feeding her. She smiled, and she chewed. Triton made gagging noises. I rolled my eyes.

“Shut it, brother dear. I know for a fact that you’ve frolicked between the sheets before.”

Triton flushed. Poseidon snickered. “I rather like how you put that Percy. ‘Frolicked between the sheets…’” He chuckled again.

“I’m glad to find that in such a dire hour, my brother is still finding a chance to laugh.” Zeus glared at us. “Well, what a nice little family! You even have your future daughter-in-law with you. Perhaps you want to hear what Athena has to say about that little union?” His eyes twinkled sadistically.

Poseidon shook his head. “What Athena has to say doesn’t interest me. What brought you to my palace, does interest me.” He raised an eyebrow and settled on his throne. Annabeth floated at my side as I sat on my own throne. The whole Royal Family sat down.

Zeus glared at me. “Must they be here while we speak? This is a discussion fit for only gods.”

Poseidon sighed. “Percy, you have school tomorrow. Go rest. Show Annabeth where she shall sleep.” He glanced at Triton. “You need to go too, son.”

Triton glowered. “I’m old enough!”

Amphitrite’s eyes widened. “Do as your father says, Triton!” He growled and shot out of the room. I sighed and followed. Annabeth pulled me behind a pillar. I gave her a sly smile.

“Naughty girl.” She shushed me good-naturedly. We listened.

“The Council has decided. If we need to change Jackson, we will.” Zeus spoke.

I heard my father sigh. “Percy doesn’t want this, wouldn’t want this. Besides, the risk is too great. He might not survive. None have before. I will not have my son killed!”

Amphitrite spoke up. “He would be willing to do anything necessary to destroy Kronos. Isn’t the Council willing to erase him completely?”

Zeus gave a frustrated sigh. “It’s still a hung vote. Hera and Demeter are opposing. They claim it’s too drastic. Hera doesn’t trust Jackson with the knowledge.”

“And you do?” My dad sounded disbelieving. “You hate my son, don’t bother denying it.”

Zeus groaned. “Well, I don’t have many options now, do I?! It’s either try to defeat Tartarus and Kronos without our children or try and defeat them with our children. You know, as well as I, that we need them. We’re powerful, but they have two things that we don’t have in an abundance of: imagination and resourcefulness.”

I heard Poseidon make a noise of agreement. “True. Leo Valdez is a perfect example of resourcefulness. As is Annabeth Chase.”

Amphitrite sighed. I gave an internal huff of annoyance. She tells me not to sigh, but she does it anyway! “It’s settled. No matter what those two say or claim, we don’t have a choice. If that is the only option, then we need to take it. You have to, in order for all of us to survive. Percy has to know our secret. We shall not allow our son to die needlessly.”

Zeus spoke. “Yes, but only if we have no other option open to us.” They all agreed. I pulled Annabeth away, and we fled to my rooms.

I stared at her. “Could they have been any more vague and confusing?!” Honestly, it was just like a mystery novel where the author drags out the secret until the very end.

Annabeth groaned. “So, the gods have a plan B. However, it’s drastic and dangerous. They don’t want any mortals or demigods, or even younger gods from knowing about it. Triton knows of this secret’s existence, but he doesn’t know the particulars. This is getting more and more mysterious.”

I sighed. “This is getting more and more stinky.”

She sighed. “At least the gods are our side now. And we have all the demigods working together.” I grinned.

“This will be the war of the century.” My blood thrilled at the thought. I was partly concerned. I was getting far too attached to action. However, the look in Annabeth’s eyes told me that she was feeling the same way. We thrived on action.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Dream Learning

I growled for perhaps the eighth time in the same class block. Yeah, that’s right. Class. I had to go to school instead of join Annabeth in the battle meetings at Camp.

All the demigods were traveling back to Long Island, summer had been over for a week now, and they were able to leave school. Me? Oh no! Amphitrite, the Queen of Party Poopers, insisted I go to school!

I glared at the unlucky Greek history professor. My gaze hadn’t wavered from him since the beginning of class. He was sweating bullets. I would have found it amusing, if I wasn’t in such a foul mood.

I had gone through three classes now. My lunch was the next block up. Once again, I sat alone. Elise wasn’t sitting with me, because it was unseemly.

I sighed and picked at my food, wondering what Ouranos told me what seemed ages ago, wondering at the mystery that surrounded me concerning the Fates. I wondered what the secret of the gods were. I wondered at when Kronos would strike. I worried that I wouldn’t survive this war. I worried that Annabeth would die. Grover. My other friends. Only fairy tales had happy endings. This was reality.

Someone, who I called a friend , would die. I shivered. It was a horrible thought.

“Well, well, well!” Speaking of ‘friends’…

I groaned. “Hunt, I know you hate me. I know you despise me. Don’t dig yourself into a deeper grave. Just content yourself with glaring holes into the back of my head.”

Hunt growled. “You made me the laughing stock of my friends. I have to work among the commoners and lower class !”

I stared at him. “If your friends scoff at the notion of work, then I don’t think they were very good friends to begin with. How’s Mako and Tolo? I haven’t seen them lately.”

Hunt sneered. “I wouldn’t know. They’re worms! Vlahas! I don’t spend time with them anymore.”

I looked at him and saw traces of Luke in his eyes. He was bitter, angry. I shivered again. I had just made my first mer enemy.

Hunt leaned closer to me and whispered into my ear. “Wava-us teliat rien, Percy!” [I wish you were dead, Percy.]

I went cold. I knew he meant every word. I stared at him. “You do, don’t you?” I laughed dryly. “Well, maybe you’ll get your wish?”

Nodding thoughtfully, I chuckled. “Maybe you’ll get your wish. There is war above surface. I’m fighting in that war. I will probably die. Don’t worry, Hunt. You’ll most likely get your wish.” I straightened up out of my seat and stared down at him. “Ava-us telia.” [I forgive you.] With that, I swam away. I wasn’t hungry anymore.

I sighed and relaxed outside. I found myself dozing slightly. Trusting my guards to protect me if needed, I fell asleep.

Once again, I was in a black marble pavilion. This time, however, only two people were there. Night and Ouranos.

“We blessed you. You will find that you can do many more things because of this blessing.” Night purred.

I turned to face her, but she melted into the dark and reappeared behind me. Ouranos rolled his eyes. “Let my sister have her theatrics. I am here to actually give serious council. Don’t tell Zeus or your father, until you are certain that they will receive you correctly. I do not know how Zeus views me. Therefore, it would be wise to keep our blessing you a secret. Keep everything about us, a secret, in fact.”

I nodded. “Does this sorcery business have anything to do with you?”

Night sighed. “Noo…but I wish it had. I do so love sorcery. It’s such a dark practice!” She dragged her finger down the nape of my neck. I suppressed a shiver.

I forced bravery and rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I expected that from you. By the way, why did you bless me? I was-”

“It doesn’t matter what you might have said or done in the past, boy!” Ouranos gave me a minute shake of his head. I suddenly realized that Night must either not recognize me as the tourist who escaped her, or, if she did, then bringing it up might not be for the best. Ouranos continued.

“We summoned you to teach you your new abilities. You’ve already discovered the ability to influence and speak to dark creatures. The ability to create a star was also an ability.”

His eyes twinkled like…well…stars. “Clever idea of yours by the way. Another ability is to create darkness. You can see through it, but no one else can. You will be able to emanate darkness. Also, Night’s children will have no power over you. You will be immune to them.”

I grinned. That was sweet.

Night smiled. “I’d imagine you’d like the creating darkness talent. After all, you used it so well against my own children back in Tartarus.” She slid her fingers through my black hair, tucking wayward strands behind my ear. I swallowed slightly and glanced uncertainly at Ouranos. He nodded slowly, signaling that it was alright.

Night smiled at me. “You faced me down. You and that girl were terrified and yet you faced me. I like that.” She smiled. “I know sorcery, boy. I’ve mastered it. I can show you if you like.”

I wanted to decline, but the look in her dark eyes told me that accepting her offer was the healthiest option.

“I am honored that you would be willing to take the time to teach me, Lady of Darkness.”

Night smiled at me, amazed. “It seems that this boy has a silver tongue! I like it!”

I forced a smile on my face. “It is my lady’s presence. All things velvet and smooth are brought forth from me.” I was gathering all the speech lessons that Triton had taught me to the front of my brain again.

Contrary to popular belief, I had listened to him and had taken his lessons to heart. Smooth talking could possibly get me out of a thousand and one different situations, so I had learned all I could. All I had to do was get practice.

Night laughed delightedly. “Listen to how sweetly compliments roll off his tongue, Ouranos! I am glad you chose this boy to bless. I am very glad at my decision to bless him.”

I bowed. “My lady, my lord, perhaps you will answer just one, small question?”

Ouranos looked at me curiously. “Ask away.”

I took a breath. “What is the secret of the gods that they keep so quiet? I have been led to believe that it could help win against Kronos and Tartarus.”

Night and Ouranos glanced at each other nervously. “If you need to know, then you will find out. We cannot be the ones to alter fate. Not even the Fates can alter the fabric of Time.”

Night laughed nervously. “I’ll begin the first lesson of sorcery right now! First off! You must understand how magic actually works. It is your will. Magic is a force that can be bent and twisted to your will. It is alive and yet not alive. Magic is alive like wind or water, and yet is not alive, because is has no mind of it’s own. It is wild, but can be harnessed.”

I stared at her, transfixed. “How?”

She smiled. “Through words, symbols, physical items, or sheer force of will. We shall begin with symbols.” She procured a piece of chalk and started drawing circles on the marble floor.

Ouranos shook his head and vanished. I listened and took in as much as I could. Night was having me draw perfect circles with symbols around the edges. I felt like Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Which brought me to asking a question. “Lady Night?”

She paused. “Yes?”

I gulped. “What about alchemy?”

Night sighed. “Alchemy is a scientific magic. You see, there are different branches of magic. Scientific, which is alchemy, Dark, which is sorcery or witchcraft, this can contain potions, symbols, and spells together. Dark Magic can be mixed with other branches of magic as well. Another is Ethereal, which is with only the mind guiding the magic. Symbolic is when you use the symbols I’m showing you now. Physical items, like wands, potions, and staffs help store and channel magic, but it is according to your will and can be utilized verbally.

“Which brings me to the last one. This is the most powerful, or can be the most powerful if you speak in the original language of the deities. The last form is Verbal Magic. The language you use when you speak spells is very important. If you use Ancient Greek to convey your desires, then the magic will be strong but not as strong as it could be.

“The language you are learning now, Sea Tongue, it is sometimes called, is extremely powerful when used for magic. I would advise you to learn Greek, but stick with Sea Tongue. However, if you learn the original language that my brother and I spoke before Greek was even thought of then it will be incredibly potent. There is only one language that is the strongest of all, though.”

I stared at her eagerly. “And?”

Night shook her head. “I cannot tell you. It is something you must find that on your own. Now, let’s get back to symbols.”

I sighed but listened to her lecture.

Night was just starting into how potions and symbols could be used together when I felt myself slipping out of my dream. I tried to fight it.

“Don’t fight it, boy. It won’t work. I’ll continue when you next fall asleep.”

I nodded and slipped from my dream.

Opening my eyes, I realized that Telheim was shaking me. “My Prince, forgive us, but you were not waking, we became worried.”

I nodded and yawned. “Thank you for waking me up. What time is it?”

“1:15, sir.”

I yelped and bolted up. “My class!” Grabbing my backpack, I swam as fast as I could to class. I slipped into the classroom just before the bell rang.

My teacher gave me a perturbed glance but left me alone. I grinned. Being a Prince was great when it meant that the teacher couldn’t pick on you.

I snickered and started taking notes only to realize that my new notebook was filled with the words that Night said to me. There was a little note attached to the book.

You’ll find a textbook, that I have made just for you, in your backpack. It has all your lessons. Fill out the homework each day, and I’ll answer your questions and give you the next lesson each night.  ~ Night

I smiled and started my magic homework. It was far more interesting that Calculus anyway.

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirty: The Eve of Battle

POV Change

Poseidon looked at his two sons. One was his heir and the other his favorite. He sighed and looked the map of New York. Amphitrite and Annabeth were looking at it with him. Percy and Triton doing a staring contest.

Annabeth glanced over and rolled her eyes before looking back at the map. “Don’t you think helping us prepare would be a better use of your time?”

Percy didn’t look away as he answered. “I am fighting with the demigods.” He spoke to Triton and ignored Annabeth’s comment.

Triton shook his head. “Your duty is with your people. You will help lead Father’s armies!”

Percy growled. “The demigods are my people! My place is with them!”

Poseidon straightened. “Enough!” Both his sons looked at him in surprise. “Triton, you will lead my armies. Percy you will lead the Greeks. Enough of this! Come to the map. Apollo has stated that Kronos and Tartarus will attack in the heart of New York. This will most likely be Central Park.”

Percy glanced at the map. “Father, have your men surround the park. Create an impenetrable wall. All the water spirits should be prepared for blood and monsters.” Amphitrite nodded.

Hermes flashed in and started choking a little, before he shifted appropriately for survival in the water. “I hate doing that. Anyway, all the demigods are on Olympus. Zeus wants your men on Olympus too.”

Poseidon nodded. “Percy, your in charge of the transports. Go.” Percy bowed and left. Annabeth raised an eyebrow. Her boyfriend was acting a lot more…high born. She wasn’t sure if she liked it.

Poseidon sighed and glanced at his wife. “You should stay here with a small standing army. Just in case more monsters decide to attack. I’m quite sure Percy killed them all, but just in case there’s more hiding in that Trench.”

Amphitrite nodded and left to get the civilians inside the walls. Poseidon had made a large castle of sorts after Oceanus’ first attack. It helped preserve all the Mers’ possessions and families.

Triton and Annabeth glanced out the window of Poseidon’s den. She took a breath. “I should go back now. I need to speak with my mother.” They looked over as Poseidon gave his army’s battle plans to Hermes to give to Zeus. “In order to survive this, all the gods need to work together. Forget about glory and who killed how many. We need to survive.”

Triton nodded. “Hades’ armies have also arrived. The mortals have been put to sleep. The Mist is at it’s thickest. Tomorrow, war will come.”

Shuddering slightly, Annabeth looked at him. Her grey eyes were tired. “How many more wars will Percy and I live through before we find peace? I’m too tired to fight again.”

Triton slipped an arm around her shoulders. “Querila taliali, Annabeth.” [Have courage, Annabeth.]

She smiled at him and nodded. “Eit telia, Triton.” [And you, Triton.] Taking a breath she spoke louder. “Telian dedo-pan ella de Sheea khl , Triton-na.” [You are my brother of the Sea, dearest Triton.] She smiled tentatively at him. Her smile got wider when he laughed in delight.

He opened his mouth, but she stopped him. “I really don’t know that much, so, please, don’t deluge me.”

He laughed. “Has Percy been teaching his future bride our language?”

Annabeth nodded. Poseidon smiled. “I cannot wait for a grandson. He will be birthed from your fins, I’m sure.” He smiled even more.

Annabeth had an internal, panic attack. That’s right! Now that I have two forms, Poseidon will want his eldest grandchild to be born of the seas first! Mother will probably want the eldest to be born from land! Percy!!!

She sent a hesitant smile at Poseidon, and that seemed to appease the older god. He happily went back to talking with his generals about formations and battle lines and how to fight on land. “We can’t forget the Cyclopes. They will be of enormous help. My youngest son will lead them. Summon Tyson to my den!” He shouted. A dolphin shot away.

Annabeth smiled slightly at Triton and went to find Percy. All the servants and soldiers she passed, bowed to her. Oh yes, Amphitrite had a circlet and two armbands made for her. With stones of the Royal Family, not as grand as Percy’s, but feminine and delicate.

Amphitrite had warned her that the stones harness the power of the Sea so she will feel a little funny after putting them on, since she is not of the Sea, but that feeling would go away. The Queen had been right. Annabeth smiled at another bunch of maids. The only bad thing was that everyone recognized her as the Prince of the Eastern Seas’ fiancé.

Annabeth received glares and smiled alike. With a huff, Annabeth searched through the whole palace. Finally, she saw him. Giving a shout, she raced towards him. “Percy, I have to ask you about something!”

He laughed and then he started to frown when he noticed her looking worried. “What’s up, Wise Girl? You and I will be fighting side by side, like we always do. Nothing’s going to happen to us in the battle.” He kissed her. She made a frustrated noise.

“I’m not worried about the battle. What comes, comes. I’m worried about what comes after the battle!”

Percy stared at her in confusion. “Peaceful times? My public coronation, and our engagement party before the fact. Why?”

Annabeth growled. “Wedding? Land or Sea? Baby Shower? Land or Sea? What form shall we be in when we conceive our baby? Mer or Human?!” She took a breath. “Your father wants all the above to be Sea!”

Percy shushed her and then nodded. “I get it. I understand now. Oh hell, this is going to be bad. Your mother will want…your father too…” He groaned and set his forehead on Annabeth’s shoulder. Annabeth sadly patted his back.

“I know. We’re doomed.”

Percy sighed. “And I had always wanted a nice peaceful death from old age, with all me intact. Your mother’s going to castrate me because I kidnapped her eldest and favorite daughter and stole her into the Sea.” He moaned.

Annabeth huffed a laugh and kissed him sweetly on his lips. “Whatever comes, at least we’ll be together.” He smiled and nodded.

“Come what may, I still have you.” He slipped his hands around her waist and kissed her. Her arms were around his neck. They hadn’t kissed like this for a long time. Annabeth’s tongue remembered the dance, so did Percy’s. It felt a little weird with the water and all, but it was still nice.

Giving a little moan, Annabeth tried to get even closer to him. Someone cleared their throat. Percy growled, but he broke the kiss anyway. Turning, he glared at General Vako. “Yesss?”

Vako gulped. “My Prince, all the transports are away. The troops are going to arrive at Central Park in three hours, mark. Your father wishes for you to be at the Palace. And, Lady Annabeth’s escort is ready to take her to Olympus.”

POV Change

I frowned at Annabeth. “You’re leaving?

She nodded. “I need to get up to speed on what’s happening. According to Mom, no battles will be taking place on Olympus, but I still want to be prepared. I have to meet with Hephaestus and talk to him about some of Daedalus’ other battle plans.”

I snapped my fingers. “Hey! You think we could use…”

Annabeth was already shaking her head. “Hephaestus hadn’t replaced them yet. They’re still either dumped by the mortals, or broken up in Olympus.” She looked thoughtful. “However, he has a thousand other plans, just as dangerous, but some are even more effective.” She worried her lip. “Possibly too dangerous though…”

I sighed. “Damn it.” I turned to Vako. “Very well, let’s go.” We swam down the street that was made of stones. Seaweed and coral lines the walks and streets. I smiled at it. Atlantis was a beautiful place.

As we turned the corner around a barracks building, I took in the palace, maybe for the last time. It looked like one of those huge Mediterranean villas, except sprawling. It had balconies and pillars and original Greek statues. No fountains, but there were Greek fire sculptures. Eternal Greek fire interlaced with never melting, blue ice. It was eerily beautiful. There were roofs on the main parts of buildings, but on the inside there were no floors or ceilings in the center. It was like the Roman houses with a garden in the center of the building. From the rock garden in the center of the palace you could see straight into the pitch blackness of water. It was a wonderful place to play hide and seek.

I sighed. If it were to be destroyed again, or if I were to die…Annabeth squeezed my hand. We weren’t going to think about what if’s…

My father turned and smiled tiredly at us. I waved to Tyson, who waved back. Triton looked tense. The reality of battle was seeping into everyone. I wondered why it wasn’t seeping into me…

‘Perhaps because the Fates told you that you couldn’t die?!’ Night’s voice playfully entered my head.

I smirked slightly. ‘ Yeah, maybe that’s it.’ She laughed darkly. All I had to do was not get paralyzed, but with the Curse of Achilles and the curse of the Fates, I was pretty much invulnerable. I hugged Annabeth. “See ya later, Wise Girl. Don’t kill any monsters before I get there.”

She smiled. “I’m going to break your record this time, Seaweed Brain.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Oh really? My latest record was around three hundred.” I smirked.

She frowned in thought and then shrugged. “I’ll do it.” Laughing, I kissed her again, and then she got on her chariot.

Poseidon nodded to her. “When you touch land, your legs will form. Goodbye, Annabeth.” She smiled and waved and rode away with her escort.

Sighing, I slumped into a chair. “Well. What’s new?” Amphitrite and Triton stared at me in shock.

Chapter Thirty-One: Another Lesson

Poseidon sighed. “Percy, I know you have absolutely no fear of battle, but could possibly be a little less careless about war?”

I frowned. “I have fear, Dad. I have fear, but what good will fear do for me? Will it help me win, or keep my friends safe? Fear is useless. Any emotion, except determination, is useless in battle. Any hesitation will get you killed.” I straightened out of the chair and swam over to my dad. My eyes, I knew, were hard. Days of stress and suppressed fear started bubbling up inside me.

“I have fought for my life since I was twelve . I have had to see my friends brutally killed. I saw a seven year old girl gored. I saw a twenty year old woman impaled with a spear .” I snorted with thinly disguised disdain. “Father, I don’t even balk at the sight of a corpse, and I’m only eighteen ! You want me to treat war with respect? Well, too late. You should have thought of that, before you sent me off to fight with a god of war a thousand times my age!”

I straightened and glared at the other generals. “I have seen hell .” I turned back to Poseidon. “So forgive me if the rage of war doesn’t frightened me all that much! Now, shall we get on with our planning?”

Amphitrite stared at me, her eyes flashing. “Do you know how often your father went without sleep when you were in danger? He starved himself while you were stuck in the labyrinth. When you were fighting Kronos, he could barely focus on his on troops. When you fell into Tartarus, he became focused enough to keep one avatar of himself, because of his grief. ” She moved close to me. “Do not think for one second that your father does not love you enough. No demigod will ever have a more loving father than you!”

I froze. Her words seeped into me. I stuttered. Bowing my head, I whispered, “I’m sorry. I…sorry, Dad.”

Poseidon smiled sadly. “I am sorry too, Percy, that you have to go through a hero’s life. I am sorry too. I wish you knew how much…” He pulled me into a side hug. Triton, knowing what was about to happen, tried to ease away from his father but too late.

Poseidon grabbed him with his other arm. He beamed at his generals. “I have three strong, brave sons. All a general in their own right. I am blessed by the Fates!”

I squirmed and stared jealously at Tyson, who was standing freely by the table. He grinned. Triton growled under his breath. Amphitrite shook her head. “Perhaps you should release our sons before you suffocate them?”

Poseidon sheepishly released us. I gasped. “I think you bent my armor.” Tyson snickered. Whatever happened to my sweet, innocent, little brother? Those older Cyclopes were corrupting him. I made a mental note to discuss that with Dad.

Poseidon nodded briskly. “Ahem…now, Zeus wants us to go to Olympus tomorrow. I suggest we all get a good night’s rest. We fight tomorrow.” The generals nodded.

I was too busy wondering what had come over me. It wasn’t like me to be so vindictive. What have come over me? Was Night’s influence altering me? Was all this princely crap changing me? I shuddered. I liked myself just the way I was before all this. I didn’t want to turn into a second Triton.

“You aren’t.”

I turned to see Triton following me. “I’m not what?”

“You aren’t turning into a high class brat. I’ve noticed that you’ve been stressed lately. You have to go to a new school. You have to face your old enemy again, and another even darker enemy. Tartarus will be weakened, but that doesn’t mean he will be easy to defeat. You have no idea how we will survive this. You’re eager but also scared. Father snapped at you, and you snapped back. Simple.” He made a face. “But leave it to Father to turn it into some type of family pride moment.”

I snickered weakly. I was under stress. I was blessed by Nigh and Ouranos. I was experiencing changes in my body. I was cursed by the Fates. I couldn’t die, but I could be damaged. I had the curse of Achilles, which was another whole can of worms. I was still slightly concerned over Nico’s relationship with Will. I still felt guilt over my black out at Camp Jupiter. And, above all…

I was scared.

I was scared of what I could do. I was just a kid with too much power.

Power of the Sea. Power of the Royal Family. Power of Night. Power of Ouranos. Power of Sorcery.

Night had said that I was extremely adept at magic. I sighed. I had too much power. All I wanted was to be normal.

“Night, Tri. I’ll see you in the morning.” He nodded. His eyes still held concern for me.

I entered my room and shucked my armor. Not even checking to see if I finished my homework, I fell asleep.

I glanced around. This wasn’t the same surroundings. Night swept in.

“I’ve changed up the classroom area. Look around boy. Watch and look.”

I turned in a full circle. It was black, but I could still see. The floor, the ceiling, the walls, everything was black. Like the darkest recesses of your mind. Everything was dark and velvety black.

She slid up next to me. “This is my palace that you and Chase had the audacity to escape through. Before now, looking upon it would have driven you mad. This blackness pulls out the most twisted darkness from inside of you. The realization that you were that dark would have driven you insane. However, now, the images mean nothing to you. It is merely obsidian walls with veins of red stone. Nothing scary, nothing insane.”

I clenched my hands. “Am I becoming like you?”

Night laughed. “Oh Darling, you already are! Your time in Tartarus brought out the darkness in you. My palace, which should have zapped you of your strength, instead gave you enough strength to span this river in a single jump. Tell me, Perseus Jackson, who are you really?” Her eyes glittered.

She walked around me to face me. “You have darkness inside you. Everyone does. Annabeth Chase has arrogance that she will always have a better answer. Nico di’Angelo has bitterness that he will always be the victim. Leo Valdez has anger and depression that he will always be alone. Jason Grace has fear that he will always be a leader in a box. Thalia Grace has the overconfidence that she will always be the best fighter and warrior.” Night turned around victoriously. “Shall I go on?”

I shook my head. “You never mentioned mine. You only said that I had darkness.”

Night chuckled. “Your darkness is your power. Your fear of corruption. You are afraid of yourself, of what you can do. Today’s lesson, face your fear.”

I didn’t even get a chance to object. I was pushed into a room that was coated with mirrors. Every which way I turned I saw myself, but a different version of myself. It wasn’t grotesque, only different.

From one mirror, I saw myself laughing. How I would be at a campfire or something. Another mirror showed my laughing too, except this was the manic laugh of an adrenaline junkie. Another image showed me at what I looked like manipulating Bob into killing his brother. Another mirror showed me choking Akhlys with her own poison.

I turned away, frantically searching for the campfire one, but it was gone. Replace with the feral images of me fighting, killing, stabbing, slicing. No matter where I turned I saw my darker self. The one who felt the thrill of battle and liked it. Every image was darker and more deeper than the first.

A pressure built inside my gut. I turned erratically, searching for something that I was willing to recognize as myself. I saw the painting Rachel made of me in battle. The one that made me look like a blood lusting monster. I opened my mouth to cry out ‘no’. No words came out.

The pressure inside built even more. It moved up to my chest, expanding it, threatening to explode, scattering my guts in a thousand directions.

I turned one last time and saw myself as the last man standing in a battlefield. I saw my friends and family, immortal and mortal, dead around me. Just corpses, scattered on the ground in twisted shapes. Sightless, hideous versions of men.

It looked like we had lost the battle against Tartarus and Kronos. I knew better though. I knew that we had won. I also knew that I had become the very thing I fought so hard against. I had become like Kronos. Killing for the sake of killing. Creating chaos just to laugh at the dancing mortals. Watching the world burn, just because I could.

Shaking my head, I stepped closer to the mirror. I opened my mouth and screamed my rage.

How dare Night do this to me?! I was already spread thin enough! How dare she! I decided the best way to rid myself of these images was to break the mirrors.

Summoning the magic, the thrum, I willed it to lash out and shatter every mirror. It did.

The room was empty, blessedly empty. I stood in the center, calm, and surrounded by shards of glass.

The door opened and Night surveyed the wreckage. “Interesting. You fought it. You didn’t face it, deny it, or accept it. You fought it.”

I spoke. My voice wasn’t hoarse at all. “What does it mean?”

She smiled. “That you will destroy yourself. Those images were you, Perseus. You cannot escape the darkness forever.”

I shook my head. “No, I can’t, but I can change.” She stared at me. “I can change, Night. I am human. I am still human. If I hold onto what makes me human, then I can change. I will always have darkness inside me, but I can change. And I will. It is never too late for anyone.”

Night stared at me. “You honestly believe that. Why?” Her voice was soft.

I smiled and walked out of the room with her. “I always believe in second chances. Where would I be if my friends didn’t believe in second chances? I’d be an outcast.”

Night took me to a meadow. I smiled as I looked up and saw the stars. “It makes all your problems seem so small.”

Night smiled. “Yes, my brother is vast.”

Grimly, I looked at her. “What else do you have for me?”

Night laughed. “You channeled magic through your will. No words, except a scream. We will proceed with words. You know the language of the sea. Use that and lift this rock.”

We worked together on my magic for the rest of the night. Until I found myself be shaken awake once again.

I opened my eyes and yawned. “Triton, what the hell?”

“You’re about to miss breakfast.”

That was all he had to say. I was out of bed, dressed, and down the hall in an instant. While I was eating though, I had a thought. ‘ It’s because of you, isn’t it, Ouranos?’

‘Be more specific child.’ There was amusement in his voice .

‘It’s because of this blessing you gave me that made my thread indestructible!’

‘You’re a very sharp young man. I’m impressed. Yes, I saw the potential you had and chose you as my heir. I made a mistake with Heracles. I was fooled by his physical strength and missed his lack of character. I was more careful with choosing you as my heir.’

I frowned slightly. ‘Heir?’

‘Perhaps I have said too much. Good luck in the battle, Perseus.’ He disconnected from me quickly.

I frowned as I thought more on what he said. How could I be his heir? What did that mean? Both Night and Ouranos blessed me. Why? What did they want from me?

I had a feeling that I wouldn’t like answer.