If you've read the whole story I'd love to hear your feedback as long as it is constructive. Please leave me a comment on this post or if you are on YourPants.org leave me a message there. Thanks for reading everyone.
EDIT: Right now I am contemplating doing another story. A sequel or even a prequel to the tale of Hunter. It might be a little while before anything is posted, but I might also be doing a separate collab at the same time. If anyone has any ideas or questions for me about the story please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I love getting feedback about my stories (as long as its constructive.)
EDIT: Hunter2 has begun! You can find it here.
Again, thanks for reading.
Hunter got out and walked to the rear of the green Chevy Impala. The trunk popped open and he grabbed the bags out and set them on the ground. The car powered down and the doors swung open. Marina, Kyle, and Marina’s mother all stepped out.
“Thanks for letting me stay with you this summer, Mrs. Goldman.” Hunter said, closing the trunk. She walked over and hugged him.
“Oh anytime, dear!” She squeezed him tightly. A similar hug had been given to him by Marina just last summer. He felt like his eyes were going to pop out of his head.
“Tha- Thanks, Mrs. G.” He hugged her back. He gave Marina a look of terror as his air supply stopped.
“Okay, Mom! Bye!” Marina said, trying to shoo her mother away. She broke off the hug and turned to look at her daughter. Hunter gasped as air started to return to his lungs.
“Oh, Marina! Stop being so sour. I haven’t even hugged your boyfriend goodbye, yet.” She walked over and hugged Kyle. He groaned a little as his air supply was cut off.
“Tha- Thanks, Mrs. G.” He managed. Marina’s mom let him go and stepped away.
“Alright. I’ll let you kids go. Marina. Iris message me later tonight. Have a good year, kids!” She waved goodbye and then got into her car and drove off. Hunter, Marina, and Kyle all picked up their bags and made off for the camp.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to go to my grandparents’ house. I’m allergic to cats and they have 6 of them.” Kyle said. He shuddered at the thought. Marina walked up beside him and grabbed his hand.
“I’m glad you didn’t go there too.” She leaned over and planted a kiss on his cheek. Hunter rolled his eyes. Kyle leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek. Soon enough they were flirting and giggling again. Hunter cleared his throat loudly.
“Half-Blood Hill is up here.” He said trying to get away from them. He ran up the hill and stared down at the camp, already bustling with activity. He walked down the hill and entered into the cabin area. He found the Artemis cabin and walked in. Hunter immediately dropped his stuff and plopped down onto his bed. He inhaled the smell of the cabin. ‘Fresh rain and cypress trees.’ He thought to himself. He got back up and walked out into the camp. He waved to people that he knew and caught up on how their summers were. He had just finished talking to a couple of satyrs when Will ran up to Hunter, excitedly.
“You have got to check this out. The Hephaestus kids helped me out with this.” He lifted up his shirt and revealed the belt buckle he had gotten from his father, Poseidon, last summer. He grabbed the golden horseshoe that was embedded into the brass of the buckle. He pulled the horseshoe out and it grew into a large trident. “Huh? Huh? And wait that’s not even the best part. I tried to control water, but no dice. I can talk to horses, but it took me a while to figure out my power. Let’s go to the arena and I’ll show you.” Hunter shrugged and followed Will to the arena. They stood at opposite sides of the arena. “Okay…GO!” He charged at Hunter who drew his knife and charged back. The two of them sparred for a while. Neither of them making any resounding victories over the other. Hunter had just won a match and had his knife to Will’s throat when Will gripped his trident and struck the ground with the end of it. The ground shook beneath Hunter’s feet. Nothing severe but enough for Hunter’s legs to wobble. The tremor stopped. Hunter’s eyes widened.
“What…was that?” He asked Will. Will had a big, dumb smile on his face.
“That, my friend, is proof that I am a son of Poseidon. I can cause small local earthquakes.” He said. He pretended to dust off his shoulders. Hunter punched him in the arm.
“Just be careful to not knock me on my butt the next time we’re fighting a monster.” The two of them laughed as they walked back to the Dining Pavilion. Everyone had just sat down for dinner when Chiron stood up front. He cleared his throat a couple of times.
“Before we get things started I have a few announcements to make.” Chiron slipped on his glasses and looked down at a piece of paper. “There are some new instructors this summer. First of all, Willi—“ Will glared at him. He made it clear it was ‘Will’ not ‘William.’ “Excuse me. Will Monterey will be teaching spear and sword fighting this summer.” The hall erupted in applause. Chiron motioned for them to quiet down. “Also Hunter will be teaching knife fighting and will lead small groups into the woods. FOR educational purposes.” The hall erupted in applause again. Hunter stood up and bowed. “Kyle Julius is the new Demeter cabin counselor. Finally, Marina will be in charge of the forges from now on.” Chiron motioned for the applause to begin. He let it run its course before finishing with, “Welcome to Camp Half-Blood! Let’s have a great summer!”
It wasn’t a long journey on the back of the Pegasus. They finally arrived in Olympus and Olympus and Athena led them to the throne room. Hunter saw Kyle standing near Demeter. Hunter and Will ran over and hugged him.
“Careful! Careful!” He said, with a smile on his face. “It was a pretty deep gash in my leg, but I’m tough.” Kyle was standing with the use of a cane. It looked like a branch yanked off of a tree and it had vines wrapped around it all the way up that seemed to be moving all the time. “So is…Is he..y’know?” Hunter nodded.
“Yeah. He’s dead.” He had just finished talking when Marina ran over and jumped onto Hunter almost knocking him over.
“I thought…I was worried that…Oh thank gods.” She tightened her grip around Hunter’s neck.
“Marina…I…I can’t breathe.” She broke off the hug and nodded to Hunter then turned to Will and did the same thing. Hunter laughed and turned to Kyle.
“So what’s up with you and uh…” Hunter gestured toward Marina. Kyle simply winked and then nodded his head. Hunter started laughing again. He looked over and saw Will still being strangled by Marina. He was giving Hunter a look that screamed, ‘HELP ME!’ Hunter nodded. “Marina, maybe you should show me around. I was trying to find Artemis.” Hunter lied he knew exactly where she was. Marina let go of Will and then sighed.
“Follow me.” She grabbed Kyle’s hand and then motioned for Hunter to follow her. Hunter looked over at Will who was staring at Poseidon.
“Hey, Will.” Will turned to look at Hunter. “Good luck.” He finally walked over and hugged Will.
“Thanks, man.” Will turned and walked over to his father. Hunter finally followed Marina over to Artemis. When Hunter got there his face sank. Marina saw Hunter’s expression.
“Hey Kyle, I want you to meet my dad!” Marina got Kyle’s hand in a vice grip and dragged him over to Hephaestus, Kyle trying to pry away the whole time. Hunter turned to Artemis.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you let me know that the only thing that I completely trusted was the spirit of Orion trapped in a wolf’s body?” Hunter asked. He was holding back tears.
“Hunter, I knew that the time would come where it would be revealed to you. The other gods weren’t particularly happy when I placed his spirit in that wolf. If I had told you - well you know how word gets around. He just would have been killed. I kept the secret from you for so long and every time I saw you playing with him or taking care of him it pained me. I wanted to tell you, so bad. I am truly sorry, Hunter.” Artemis hugged Hunter.
“If you don’t mind me asking…why me?” He asked the goddess.
“When my Hunter’s brought your mother into the camp, and I saw that she was pregnant, I was furious. I had been promised this girl to be a Hunter and she was taken from me. So I offered her the same decision I offered your grandmother. I would get the baby girl to raise into a Hunter. So when you ended up being a boy, I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what to do. But as you grew and started training, I saw something I hadn’t seen in a long time. There was a…glow about you. I knew that you had a good heart and an unrelenting spirit. So I promised you to be a Hunter and I left you in Orion’s care.” Artemis studied the floor. She looked ashamed by what she said. “I couldn’t take care of you with the other Hunters I had to send you to Camp Half-Blood. I knew you would be safe there.”
“To be honest, ma’am, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I don’t know what I would be without living this life.” He walked up to the goddess and hugged her. Even though she didn’t appear much older than he was, Hunter still felt like she was his mother.
“No more of this sadness, okay? The party is about to start.” The gods of Olympus were throwing a party in honor of the questers that returned safely. Hunter had been mingling among the guests and the hosts, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw Alex a little worse for wear.
“Hey, Hunter! Glad to see you safe!” She hugged him around the neck. “How was your quest?” Hunter laughed.
“Well, to sum up, I rode in a flying chariot, watched a smelly guy get electrocuted, killed the Manticore, rode a centaur, went to the Underworld, defeated a god, fought some giants, and then defeated another god. All before 10. How about you?” Alex’s eyes widened at the summary.
“I…wow! Well, we retrieved an instrument created by my mother. Oh and we fought a scorpion!” Alex turned when her name was called from somewhere. “That’s Phoebe. I’ll see you around!” She said.
“Sure thing! Oh and Alex. Thanks for the lesson. REALLY.” Alex smiled and then walked away. The party lasted for several hours, but after a few Hunter found Will, Kyle, and Marina slumped down against a wall, exhausted. “All partied out, guys?” The three of them nodded. Hunter sat down next to Marina. The four of them sat there watching a party held in their honor. “Let’s go back to Camp.” Hunter said, looking down the row. The three of them nodded again and then stood up. The four of them pushed their way through the crowd and found their way to the Pegasus stables. They all chose an animal and took off toward camp. In a few minutes, Hunter could see the lights from the cabins approaching in the distance. He sighed. “It’s so good to be home.”
5:30 struck as they reached the street. They needed to find a way to get to the Lincoln Memorial. Hunter saw a taxi drive by and realized that was their ride. He called for it, and in a few minutes the yellow car pulled up beside them. Will and Hunter got in. “The Lincoln Memorial, please.” Hunter said. The driver nodded and they were off. It was a twenty minute drive. Hunter took this time to think about the past day. It felt like so much longer, but it was only one day. Hunter looked down at himself. His body was covered in scratches from all the traveling he has done and all of the battles he had fought. His shirt was torn and his pants had another rip in it. He was tired. This had been the longest day of his entire life and sadly it wasn’t over yet. He looked over at Will who was in pretty much the same shape as Hunter. “Hey, Will. No matter how this ends, I wanted to thank you for coming along. You didn’t have to, but you did and you’ve had my back. So thanks.” Will looked back and listened to Hunter. When he was finished Will got a smile on his face. He looked over at Will and said, “No problem. We don’t have to hug now, do we?” They both laughed harder than they had in a long time. They were still laughing when they arrived in front of the monument.
“That’ll be twenty bucks.” The cab driver said, holding out his hand. Will handed him a twenty and then got out of the car. Hunter thanked the driver and followed him. They stood staring up at the memorial.
“You ready?” Will asked. Hunter nodded and the two of them ascended the long staircase and entered the memorial. The two campers entered the large building and looked for their enemy. They walked up to the gigantic statue of Lincoln and stared up at his face. From somewhere behind the two Hunter heard clapping. They turned around to see Dolos materialize in front of them.
“It’s about time you got here, boys.” He said, smiling. His body was no longer injured from the fight earlier. “It’s almost poetic, isn’t it? The biggest liar on Olympus killing two kids in a place dedicated to America’s biggest truth-teller. Old Honest Abe.” He disappeared and reappeared on top of the statue. He tapped Lincoln on the head. Hunter’s rage burned inside of him.
“Why!? Why did you call Kate?! She didn’t do anything to you!” Hunter wanted answers. He didn’t waste any time. Dolos stared at Hunter in disgust.
“Kate. That little whore deserved what she got. You made sure of that. She would have lied to you just like her mother did to me.” His expression darkened. Hunter’s fists clenched in fury. He imagined himself killing Dolos. “Aphrodite said she loved me. She promised me that we would be together I just had to do her a favor. Apparently, she was angry with some actress…Reese something. She told me that if I broke up this woman’s marriage that she would be with me. So I did it. In reality, all she wanted was to be with Reese’s husband. When I confronted her she ignored me. I was going to get back at her. I tricked you into killing that awful witch’s daughter.” Dolos chuckled. “And now, I’m gonna kill you.”
“Why keep it up, Dolos? What’s your game plan? Eris is dead.” Will said trying to avoid a fight. Hunter was too furious to speak. He wanted to kill Dolos for everything that he did. For Kate. For Kyle. He clenched his fists in rage.
“You think I need her?” Dolos laughed. “This was all my plan! I made her believe that she could take over after a little chaos. If it worked then I’m in charge. It doesn’t work, then I blame it on her and get off scot free. I can’t lose! You taking the orb from me was a…minor setback, but I’m still strong enough to hide myself from the gods and I have another trick up my sleeve.” Hunter watched as Dolos jumped down off of the statue and landed right in front of them. “When Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons, died, Athena hid his sword in the Acropolis. With the movement of Western Civilization, she has moved the sword. I know for a fact that it is here, in the Lincoln Memorial. The sword was crafted by Hephaestus himself. Anyone who wields the sword into combat is said to have guaranteed victory.” Dolos turned to the base of the statue and disappeared. Hunter summoned Kate and fired an arrow where Dolos was. It tinked off the marble of the statue. Hunter loaded another arrow as he looked around for his target. “I’m going to get the sword and then I’m going to kill you!” Dolos laughed and then appeared in front of Hunter, wielding a sword. Hunter fired an arrow at his target. Dolos disappeared before it hit. Hunter loaded another arrow. Dolos appeared again wielding a spear. Hunter fired and again Dolos disappeared before it hit.
“Come out, you coward!” Hunter shouted. “My quiver doesn’t run out of arrows! I’ve got all the time in the world!” Hunter shivered at the sound of Dolos’ laugh. He turned to Will. “Will, don’t believe anything you see in here.” Hunter whispered. Will nodded and started looking around again.
“Do you, now? How do you know this isn’t just a trick?” Dolos laughed again. Hunter looked at Will who was at the ready, sword drawn. Dolos appeared in front of Hunter. Hunter fired. Before Hunter could reload Dolos appeared again. And then again and again. In a matter of seconds, Hunter and Will were surrounded by copies of Dolos. All of the copies started to approach the two. Hunter fired an arrow into one of the copies and then dismissed Kate and summoned his knife. The arrow hit the copy of Dolos which burst into a small burst of light and then disappeared. Before it disappeared, another took its place. Will yelled and then chopped a clone in half. It shimmered and then disappeared, another taking its place. The copies were slowly moving in on Hunter and Will. Hunter stabbed one with his knife and then slashed another across the throat. They both disappeared, but again two more appeared in place. Hunter didn’t know what to do. He kept on fighting but there had to be something to this. He didn’t know if the clones could hurt him, but he wasn’t going to find out. Will swung his sword in an arc splitting 4 clones at once. They had killed dozens of the copies, but still they came. Hunter slashed through another copy and then something caught his eye. In front of the statue, was a small glint of light. He had seen a glint like this before. He saw it in the throne room of Hades’ Palace. He had also seen it in Camp Half-Blood. He remembered back to the discs Alex had shown him. They couldn’t be seen, except for a small glint of light. Hunter was staring at the light until he was interrupted by Will shouting to him.
“Hunter, c’mon! I can’t fight these alone!” Hunter shook his head and then entered back into reality. Hunter plunged his knife into the stomach of an oncoming copy and then kicked over another. He had just slashed through another, when he felt something burning his leg. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the dog tag that had been on Orion. The words of Orion entered his brain. ‘In the time of your greatest need this will transform into an arrow fashioned from the scorpion’s tail that killed me.’ Before Hunter’s eyes the small round tag transformed into an arrow. It was black and as the arrow head was a spike that seemed to have an aura of darkness around it. Hunter threw his knife into an oncoming copy and summoned Kate. He loaded the arrow into his bow and looked for the glint of light. It had moved to the left of the statue.
“Will! Cover me!” Hunter needed an angle. Will nodded and then slashed all around Hunter killing several of the copies. Hunter moved and got the angle. He took a deep breath and fired. The arrow seemed to cut through the air, making a screaming sound as it flew. It hit its target with a blood-curdling thud. At once, all of the copies froze and got pained looks on their faces. From a spot in the middle of their chest a darkness started to spread throughout their bodies. They turned completely dark like several shadows writhing in pain. They all burst and disappeared. Hunter looked and saw Dolos materialize with the arrow sticking out of his chest.
“I’m...a…god.” Dolos muttered under his breath. Ichor pouring out from the wound. It seemed corrupted though. The shining liquid wasn’t golden like it should be, it was a dark red. It poured from the wound in his chest as the venom from the arrow flowed into the body of the trickster god. “You can’t….I’m…going to….kill you!” Dolos stood up and drew a sword from inside his jacket. He knocked Will to the ground and raised the sword for an attack. Hunter loaded an arrow and fired. The arrow hit Dolos in the neck. He screamed in pain and slumped to the ground, dead. Hunter dismissed his bow and walked over to the lifeless body of Dolos. He kicked the body over and stared into the face that had haunted him for so long. He watched as the body dissolved into the pool of dark red ichor. Hunter said a silent prayer to Artemis and then closed his eyes and remembered back to Kate. A slight smile sneaked into Hunter’s face. Hunter had won.
“Hunter. Come look at this.” Hunter looked over at Will who was motioning for him. Hunter walked over to where Will was standing which was the same spot Dolos was standing when the arrow hit him. Will pointed to a spot on the back of the base of the statue. Hunter looked and saw a small divot with an olive wreath etched into it. “Hunter, one of Athena’s symbols is the olive tree. Dolos was right.” Hunter looked at the small divot. It was glowing slightly. Hunter realized that Dolos had found it. Dolos had found the hiding spot of the Sword of Peleus. If Hunter hadn’t fired that arrow, right then Dolos would have become unstoppable. Hunter looked up and thought, ‘Thanks, Orion. Even after your death you’re still saving my life.’
“Step away.” Hunter turned around and saw a beautiful woman wearing a white robe and was carrying a white headdress. “That sword is too much power for anyone to wield. You cannot tell anyone of its location.” She looked at Hunter intensely. He felt like her gray eyes were staring into his soul. “Do you swear to never divulge this information to anyone as long as you draw breath?” Hunter and Will nodded.
“I do.” Hunter and Will both said. As soon as they said it her gaze softened.
“You did it. You found the source of the curse and stopped it. On top of that, you killed two rogue gods and protected two powerful weapons. It’s possible that you saved all of Olympus. Under the curse, all of us on Mt. Olympus were about to reach a breaking point. Tempers had reached a peak and fighting had begun. If we had known that it was Dolos who had placed this curse upon us, we would have destroyed him. He had distracted us enough to create a smokescreen. It was crucial that the orb was delivered to Olympus. As soon as the orb changed hands the curse was broken, yet Dolos was still hidden from us. The orb is now safely hidden and secured in Olympus.” Athena spoke calmly and smoothly. Hunter finally remembered what else was important in Olympus.
“Kyle! How is he?” Hunter said.
“I shall take you to him. Follow me.” Athena looked at the statue of Lincoln and her face lowered. She then turned and walked out of the memorial and led the two demigods to three Pegasi. One was a sharp gray, which Athena mounted. Another was dark brown and the other was a bright silver which seemed to glow in the newly risen moonlight. Hunter knew that the silver one was his. He approached it and placed his hand on its snout. He petted it a couple of times and then jumped onto its back.
“I can hear it talking to me! This is great!” Will said as he mounted his Pegasus. Hunter had forgotten that Will had been claimed by Poseidon.
“These Pegasi will be yours and yours only to ride and care for. Treat them well. Now if there are no other delays, let’s go.” The two demigods followed Athena as they traveled to Olympus.
“Where could he have gone?” Hunter was heart-broken. The being that had caused him pain for so long was within his reach and he let him slip away.
“Think, Hunter. Did he say anything before he disappeared?” Marina asked him trying to figure this out. “Think hard. We don’t have all the time in the world.” Hunter tried to think if there was anything Dolos said that would tell Hunter where he was going. Hunter heard a soft moan coming from Kyle.
“Kyle! Are you okay?” Hunter said looking at Kyle trying to comprehend what mental state he was in. Hunter heard Kyle barely mutter something. “What is it, Kyle? What did you say?” No one said anything as Hunter listened for it again.
“The…prophecy. Follow.” Kyle said in a tired voice. Hunter had completely forgotten about the prophecy. He pulled out the piece of paper that Rachel Elizabeth Dare had written it down on. He unfolded it and started at the 7th line.
“‘The Daimon of deceit will be laying in wait.’ Well, that must be Dolos. He’s the god of trickery. ‘but the heroes of name will be far too late.’ We weren’t fast enough to stop Dolos completely. He got away. ‘his former father will show them the way to get back out into the light of day.’” Hunter turned to Hermes. “I lived in your cabin in Camp Half-Blood for a long time. I guess that makes you my former father.” Hermes smiled at him.
“I was glad to have you as my son. You and Will both. Now that you’re claimed, though I’m gonna have to find another kid to take pride in.” Hermes rolled his eyes and let out a heavy sigh.
“’The temple to the strategist’s greatest son is where the true enemy will be cast.’ That looks like where we need to be.” Hunter folded up the piece of paper and put it back in his pocket.
“Well the strategist it probably Athena, right? Goddess of wisdom?” Will said. “But which one of her son’s has a temple built for him?”
“I don’t know about temples, but I think I know which son it’s referring to. You know Abraham Lincoln? Well let’s say that Nancy Hanks was his stepmom. So maybe the memorial?” As soon as Hermes finished talking, Marina screamed.
“Kyle just passed out! I don’t think he’s breathing! We need to get him to a hospital.” Hermes walked over and put his finger on his neck.
“He’s still alive and I can do you one better than a hospital, but we need to leave NOW. How about Olympus?”
“Marina, go with Kyle. Go to Olympus with him. Will and I will go find Dolos.” Hunter said shifting Kyle’s weight onto her shoulder.
“But, Hunter, I-“ Hunter cut her off before she could finish.
“Go.” He turned to Hermes and pulled the orb out of his pocket. “You’re the messenger god so can you deliver something for me?” Hermes rolled his eyes and simply pointed to the label on his Uniform, which said ‘Hermes Overnight Express.’ Hunter rolled the orb around his hand in a few times before handing it to Hermes. “Deliver this to Zeus as soon as possible, okay?” He hugged Marina and Kyle goodbye and then watched as the three of them disappeared. He turned to Will. “Are you ready, Will?” Hunter put one hand on Will’s shoulder and then stared him in the eye. Will swallowed hard and then nodded. Will and Hunter left the area with the columns and started walking the path that would lead them back to the street. They could see the street in the distance and started running towards it.
“Hey, you! Kids!” Hunter turned around and saw five large biker-looking men walking toward them. They were dressed in leather jackets and had bandanas tied around their heads. “You seem to know your way around here. You mind giving us directions?” He stared at the very tattooed arms and bodies of the mountainous bikers. They were explaining how they needed to get to the Lamos hotel and needed directions.
“Sorry, gentleman. We’re only guests here. We don’t know our way around.” Will said. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we are kind of in a hurry.” He grabbed Hunter’s arm and led him away from the group of men.
“Yeah we know. And that’s why you’re going to join us for dinner.” The bikers smiled toothy grins revealing their sharp teeth. “Dolos sends his regards. He wants to know how Kate is.” Hunter’s mind burned with anger. He turned around and stared into the face of the front biker.
“Why would you work for that coward?” The biker held out his hand and in it was a pile of Drachmas. Hunter reached out and grabbed one. It was fake. He could tell that these giants were under Dolos’ spell. “So you were paid, big guy? It’s a good thing you were, because you’re not smart enough to do anything that doesn’t involves those oversized hams you call fists. It’s a shame you’re not smart enough to realize that the money you were given is FAKE!” The giants smiled their jagged grin again.
“He said you’d say something like that. He also said that you would be easy to kill if you were angry.” At that moment the lead giant swung his giant fist Hunter who barely dodged the assault by rolling out of the way. Will drew his sword and entered the fray immediately. Hunter drew his knife. He gripped it tight and leapt onto the torso of the head giant. He started cutting and slashing as fast as possible. “He wanted to know how Kate was doing. How is she, kid? Hmmm?” The giant chuckled as he grabbed Hunter and pulled him off of his chest. Hunter, in response, found a heart tattoo on the giant’s arm and drove his knife into it. ‘J.B. loves Babycakes’ is what the tattoo read. Hunter smiled as the beast dropped Hunter to the ground.
“How’s Babycakes, you waste of space? Is that your girl’s name?” The giant’s eyes grew big. “I promise you that when I’m finished with you, I’m gonna find her and I’m going to slit her throat.” Hunter was done playing games. He was going to find Dolos and kill him, no matter what he had to fight in the process. The giant roared in anger. And charged after Hunter with two more giants following him. Hunter threw his knife into the face of JB. It hit him in the forehead with a ‘thluck.’ The giant toppled over and disappeared into dust. Hunter dodged the fist of one giant and the foot of the other. It took a second, but his knife returned around his neck in pendant form. By the time it returned Hunter had already summoned Kate and was firing arrow after arrow into the chest of the giants. He ducked the swing of an arm and sidestepped a downward strike. He jumped on the arm of the giant and nimbly climbed up to its shoulders where it fired an arrow straight into the top of the head of the giant. He dismissed Kate and jumped off onto the back of the other giant. He grabbed his knife and slit the throat of the remaining giant. They vanished into dust. He turned to Will to watch him topple the final giant with a slash to the back of the knee and then another to behead the beast. Hunter walked over to Will and said, “Let’s get going. We’re running out of time.”
The battle against the two gods drew on for a long time. Marina was just dodging a swing of the spear when a cry of pain entered her ears. She looked over and saw Kyle drop his scythe and fall to the ground. Tears streaming down her face she screamed so loud it looked like it shocked Eris. She gripped her sword and charged at Eris. Hunter watched Marina enter into battle with Eris and renewed his strength against Dolos. Hunter dodged a jab from the spear and hit it away with his knife. He took a step and elbowed Dolos in the chin. Dolos took a step back and then advanced again with a swing aimed at Hunter’s head. Hunter ducked the swing and slashed Dolos’ thigh. Dolos shouted in pain. He growled at Hunter and then raised his spear for a downward strike. Hunter took a step backward and dodged the strike and then stepped on the end of the spear. In a split second, He grabbed the orb and yanked it off of Dolos’ neck then slashed him across the chest. Ichor poured from the open wound. Hunter, still standing on top of the spear, lost his balance when Dolos pulled it back. He fell to the ground and braced himself for an attack. Dolos put away his spear and stood back away from Hunter. “I’d love to stay, but I’ve got too much to live for.” He looked over at Eris. “Oh and dear? We’re through.” He turned back to Hunter and winked. “I’ll see you around, kid.” As soon as he finished speaking, he snapped his fingers and disappeared. Eris screamed in anger. Hunter looked over and saw Will and Marina attacking Eris, unrelentingly. She had small cuts all over her body, leaking ichor onto the ground.
“This fight is unnecessary! You can’t kill me! I’m a god! I cannot be killed with your mortal weapons!” She stood back and sheathed her sword. Marina put her sword away and then knelt down next to Kyle who was still on the ground, unconscious. Will and Hunter stood, staring at the goddess as she pointed her hands in their direction. Kyle screamed out in agony. Eris cackled. “Any injury caused with my blade can be worsened by my control. I hold your friend’s life in my hands!” Eris stared at Hunter, her eyes narrowed. “So what is your plan? How will you defeat a god?” She flexed her arms and another shriek of pain came from Kyle.
“Make her stop, Hunter! He can’t take much more.” Marina said, trying to comfort Kyle. Hunter looked back at Eris. She was staring at Hunter until something else caught her eye. Hunter followed her eyes to Will. He looked above Will’s head and saw a blue trident floating above his head.
“No…it can’t be. He was right.” Eris shrieked. She lowered her arms and backed up against a wall. Will looked up and saw the trident, floating above his head. He turned to Hunter looking for an explanation. Hunter didn’t have one. Suddenly, there was a bright light. Hunter couldn’t find its source. He looked at Will and then realized that the belt buckle he had been given was now floating in front of him. In another flash of light it transformed into a trident. Will grabbed the shining blue trident out of the air and held it in his hand. It looked natural in his hands. “No! Don’t!” Eris pleaded. Will gripped the trident then threw it. The trident impaled Eris through the neck pinning her to the wall. Ichor burst from her throat. Her mouth opened to scream, but no sound came out. Golden ichor poured from her face and pooled on the ground. The trident still holding her to the wall, she slowly went limp and then dissolved into the pool of golden ichor that amassed on the ground. Will went to grab the trident but it disappeared before he could grab it. The belt buckle returned to Will’s waist.
“What…was that?” Hunter asked, putting his hand on his shoulder. Will looked down and examined the belt buckle around his waist. He looked up and smiled at Hunter.
“I’m the son of Poseidon!” Will laughed. “I never would have guessed! He wasn’t even on my list!” Will gave a great big smile and started laughing again.
“I would hate to rain on your parade, Will, but Kyle is hurt. On top of that, we still don’t have a way out of here.” Marina said, still knelt down next to Kyle. She was crying, but had still managed to tie a bandage around the wound on Kyle’s leg. “I gave him some ambrosia, but it doesn’t seem like it helped. We need to get him out of here.” Hunter realized that they didn’t have a way out of the Underworld. Why hadn’t he thought about this? He knew that there wasn’t a way out of the Underworld. He stopped and said a silent prayer to Artemis.
“Wow. He looks rough.” Hunter whipped around and saw Hermes standing in his uniform looking at Kyle. “You should really get him out of here.”
“Hermes? How did you get here? Why aren’t you still under the curse?” As soon as Hunter said it, he remembered the orb. He reached into his pocket and tapped it, making sure it was safe.
“Kid, I’m the messenger god. I travel freely through here. I still have to deliver messages to Hades, you know? So you ready to get out of here? I’ll show you the way I use.” He said, eyebrows raised. Hunter was a little surprised. He looked at Kyle and nodded to Hermes.
“Yeah. Let’s get out of here.” Hunter said calmly. He grabbed his stuff and helped Kyle to his feet. Using Hunter and Will as crutches, Kyle was on his feet. Marina was carrying his stuff. Hermes led the way down a hallway that sprouted off from the throne room. It wasn’t a very long distance, but it felt like it, carrying Kyle the whole way. Hermes stopped in front of a wall. He took out his cellphone and then held it out towards the wall. In a second, it transformed into a caduceus. Hermes grabbed it and then tapped the wall three times with it. The wall cracked and then split apart revealing a doorway that led to a staircase. He hurried everyone through and then tapped the ground with his caduceus. The wall closed and then resealed.
“Alright, this exit leads into the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The columns that you’ll see were once part of the US Capitol Building. Russell Page was a son of Athena and arranged to have them placed here mainly to protect this entrance into the Underworld, but it also looks very nice.” Hermes said with a chuckle. They group finally got to the end of the staircase and was crouched under a door that was right above them. Hermes tapped the Caduceus again and the door pushed up and then split and created a door way. They walked out and walked across the pool of water they had emerged from. Luckily this section of the park was empty seeing as it was around 4:30 in the afternoon. Kyle was drifting in and out of consciousness. Hunter stood ready to go, but had no idea where Dolos went.
The four of them entered as quietly as possible. Walking lightly around the outside of the large room. They hid behind a column and examined the room. Hades was sitting at his throne, barking orders at the Furies. Beside him was not Persephone, but a woman Hunter didn’t recognize. Hades didn’t seem to notice, since he was paying her no mind. The four of them waited for the Furies to leave before moving a little bit closer for a better look. The four of them were staring at the woman posing as Hades’ queen. Marina let out a short gasp, and then retreated to her bag. A second later she pulled out a large book and started flipping through it. Hunter returned to looking at the woman when something caught his eye. A small blip of light to the left of the woman. Hunter was staring at where he had seen it when Marina tapped him on the shoulder. He looked back at her. She placed the book on the ground and pointed to a picture in it. It was a picture of the woman. She had black hair that ran to the middle of her back and greenish skin. She had thick, angled eyebrows and small, beady eyes the color of gold. He looked below the picture and read the caption. ‘Eris: goddess of discord, strife, and chaos.’
Hunter looked back at the thrones. “So that’s Eris.” Hunter said in a hushed tone. “We followed the prophecy to the tee. That must be who we’re looking for.” Hunter was trying to come up with a plan. He looked back at his group and it looked like they were doing the same thing. ‘You will find peace and an advantage if you follow what he shows.’ Those words kept ringing in his head. ‘Well, I guess I found peace, but what about the advantage?’ He thought to himself. After a couple more moments, Hunter turned to his group and said, “Follow my lead.” He dismissed Kate and his quiver and then took a few steps out from behind the column. ‘What am I doing?! I’m gonna get killed.’ He thought to himself as he approached the throne. The other three were still hidden behind the column. ‘Wow. Thanks a bunch, guys.’ Hades watched as he walked toward the throne and knelt down.
“Rise, Hunter of Artemis, and tell me what gives you the right to enter into my realm!” Hades’ eyes were glowing with anger.
“I’m here to inform you of a heinous betrayal, lord. That villain,” Hunter took a deep breath and pointed toward Eris who was snarling at him. “Is not your queen Persephone. That is the goddess Eris.” Hades looked at Hunter and then trained his gaze upon Eris. Eris turned to Hades and gave him a very pleasant smile.
“You insect! You intrude into the underworld. You kill one of my furies and then accuse my queen to be a traitor. Why should I not kill you, right now?!” Hades’ voice boomed into Hunter’s ears. From behind him, he heard footsteps. His three companions knelt down before Hades. “GRAAAH! You insult me further by bringing my nephew here?!” Hunter, Kyle, Marina, and Will looked at each other confused.
“None of us are the children of either Zeus nor Poseidon, lord.” Hunter said directing his eyes away from Hades.
“Don’t insult my intelligence. He’s standing right there.” Hades raised his arm and pointed to the right of Hunter. Hunter turned and saw Will standing there mouth open.
“I’m…I don’t have a parent, lord.” Will could barely form a sentence. “What I mean to say is, I haven’t been claimed. No god has announced their parenthood of me.” With every word Hades seemed to become angrier and angrier.
“Stop wasting my time, godlings!” Hades rose out of his throne and drew his sword. “You will not survive for your intrusion!” Marina, Kyle, and Will rose and started to back up quickly. Hunter stood his ground. He summoned his knife and prepared for an attack. Then he realized something.
“WAIT! Wait! This doesn’t make sense, Hades!” Hunter tried to explain, dismissing his knife. “That’s your queen. That’s Persephone?” Hades lowered his sword.
“Are you blind, child? She’s sitting right there.” He pointed toward Eris still smiling on the throne. Hunter spoke again.
“If that’s Persephone, then what is she doing here in the Underworld? It’s the summer.” Kyle came back and stood beside Hunter.
“My sister, Persephone, is with our mother during the summer. Demeter herself told me they had plans. Would she lie to her own son?” Hades stood there, thinking. He turned to Eris.
“What are you doing here, my queen?” Eris’ smile fell.
“Send him to Olympus.” She looked to her left. “Do it. Quickly!” Suddenly Hades stiffened up.
“I need to go to Olympus.” Hades said. He turned around to his throne grabbed his helmet and then vanished. Eris averted her gaze toward Hunter.
“You! You have no idea who you are messing with.” Suddenly beside her a person materialized. He was wearing a gray trench coat and had a very narrow face.
“Good to see you again, kid.” Hunter stared as Dolos stepped out from the darkness. “How’s life? What’s it been? 4? 5 years?” Hunter’s anger raged inside of him.
“NO! It…What do you want?” Hunter asked with one hand on his pendant. Dolos chuckled.
“Well, right now, you’re going to die.”
“Do you think that the gods won’t just kill you, right now?” Dolos laughed. His laugh made Hunter’s skin crawl.
“Gods? They’re a little busy right now being at each other’s throats.” Dolos took a bow. “That was my doing. Thank you.” Dolos smirked. Will stepped forward.
“There’s no way that you could do that. How do you keep a hold onto every single god all at once?” Will said. “You’re not strong enough.”
“On the contrary, I am. I wasn’t previously, but only recently, I stumbled upon this little doodad.” Dolos reached into his jacket and pulled out a small orb, attached to a string. “This is the remnants of Kronos’ scythe. When he was destroyed, the weapon was reduced to a pool of molten metal. I ran in and grabbed some.” He shook the orb a little the bright liquid metal sloshed back and forth inside. “This stuff improves my strength tenfold.” Eris cackled.
“With that, Dolos can make the gods even more paranoid of each other than usual. The chaos from the ensuing war,” she inhaled in delight, “is like sweet nectar. They would kill each other. And with those accursed Olympians out of the way, the two of us would take over. Me, a queen, and him,” She leaned over and kissed Dolos long and hard, making the four campers cringe, “My king. And that’s why we’re going to kill you. You can’t stop us.” Eris smiled maliciously at Hunter and the three other campers. She reached under her robe and pulled out a sword as dark as night and gnarled like a tree branch. Dolos chuckled and placed the orb around his neck. He reached into his coat and pulled out a pocket knife. He unfolded a blade and held it out toward Hunter. It transformed into a long spear. Dolos yelled and then charged at the campers. Hunter grabbed his pendant and transformed it into his knife. He raised it up blocking the oncoming attack. He pushed Dolos away and turned to his companions, who had already drawn their weapons and were charging into attack.
“We need to get that amulet. We can’t let them get away with it.” He said as he jabbed with his knife. Dolos parried his attack and with a swing knocked Hunter onto his back. Dolos stood over him and raised his spear for a killing blow. A large ball of fire collided into his chest knocking him back a few feet.
“Stay away from him!” Marina screamed, as she recharged her still smoking hand cannon. Hunter rolled backward onto his feet. He jabbed at Dolos who was still dazed from the fireball. Dolos sidestepped causing Hunter’s golden blade to cut the shoulder of the god, opening up a trickle of ichor. Hunter recovered quickly and blocked another swing of Dolos’ spear. Deadlocked with Dolos, Hunter looked over and saw Kyle and Will battling Eris. Marina, put away her cannon and drew a sword. She charged in at Dolos.
“Hunter?! Are you okay?!” Will was knelt down next to Hunter and was trying to wake him up. Hunter sat up and shook his head a few times in an attempt to clear it. He stood up slowly. He felt…lighter. Like a horrible weight had been lifted. Hunter thought about the dream he just had and smiled. “You’re smiling? He’s smiling. You’re asleep for thirty minutes. We assume you’ve gone into a coma and now you’re smiling.” Will sat back on the ground and sat there for a second, before laughing. He couldn’t help from laughing. Hunter started laughing too. He had never been so happy. The one dark spot in his mind was now gone.
“Alright let’s go. We’re running out of time.” Hunter was excited to keep going. He no longer had anything holding him back from fighting to the best of his ability. He grabbed the pendant and thought, ‘knife,’ just like Artemis had told him. In his mind Kate’s smiling face flashed in his mind. He opened his eyes and was holding the knife. He smiled and dropped it. In midair it disappeared and reappeared as the pendant around Hunter’s neck. “Let’s go, guys.” Hunter picked up his stuff and started jogging toward the gates of Hades’ Palace. He finally got there, and looked back to see the other three looking at him like he was insane. “I guess all I needed was a nap.” Hunter chuckled. He didn’t want to get into everything right now. It wasn’t the right time. Hunter was about to turn and enter the palace when from behind he heard a screeching voice.
“THERE! There they are! They’re at the gates! Get them!” Hunter turned and saw three furies flying toward him. They were horrible and ugly, and they were flying straight at Hunter. Hunter summoned Kate and took aim at the middle fury. The others prepared for a close range attack. He waited for the perfect moment, right before she would attack, and fired. The arrow hit the beast right between the eyes. It exploded into dust. “Alecto!” The other two cried as their companion disappeared. In a matter of seconds, Alecto was back and was ready to attack again. “This is our realm, mortal! We cannot be killed here!”
“Well, I tried.” Hunter dismissed his bow and quiver and picked up his stuff. “We need to go.” He said to the others. The four of them hurried into the palace and ran as fast as they could, taking turn after turn in the almost labyrinthine building. After the screeching died down, Hunter slowed down to a walk and then stopped completely. “We must have lost them.” He said as he slumped down against a wall, landing in a seated position. “Does anyone have any food? Not to be whiny or intrusive, but I’m dying here.”
“Yes, I do!” said Marina. She was still a little excited from the chase. She reached down into her pack and pulled out some ambrosia. She held it out to him.
“Uh…Marina. That’s ambrosia.” Hunter said staring at the substance. Marina looked at it and shrugged. “I don’t have godly parents, remember?” Marina’s eyes got big.
“Oh…yeah sorry. One second.” She put the ambrosia back and reached into her bag again. Kyle and Will took the same position as Hunter on the opposite wall. After a few minutes, Marina held out a granola bar to Hunter.
“How big is that bag?!” He said jokingly. He took the granola bar from her. “Thanks, Marina.” She smiled and nodded, still too excited to speak. Hunter devoured the granola bar like it was going to be his last meal. It’s very possible it was going to be. After he had finished eating, He stood up and stretched. Kyle, Will, and Marina were all sharing a couple of pieces of fruit that Kyle had saved from his Omni-tree. He waited for them to finish eating and then said, “Alright let’s go. Oh and guys? It’s been an honor fighting alongside you.” The four of them exchanged hugs and short words then made their way back to the main hall. They walked through and entered the throne room.
Hunter turned around looking for the source of Kate’s voice. He searched and searched but still he could hear it.
“Hunter! Hunter!” The voice was coming from everywhere around him. He crumpled to the ground with his hands on his head. “You killed me, Hunter! You killed me! You stabbed me to death! I trusted you and you killed me.”
“NO! NO!” Hunter screamed in agony. Will knelt down next to him and started trying to shake Hunter out of it. Hunter screamed out as the voice pierced his brain and flooded his mind. He could do nothing but hear the voice shouting curses at him. Hunter, mentally broken, passed out.
The angry words in Kate’s voice still ringing around his brain, Hunter was in darkness. He was standing in his dream and couldn’t see anything around him. Suddenly, Kate appeared in a beam of light in front of him. She was happy and smiling. She waved to Hunter who smiled back and started running towards her. She turned around and started running. Hunter remembered that this was something they did a lot those 5 years ago. She would tease him and he would run after her. She would always let him win. She was just within his grasp when the body that he carried back to the camp appeared in front of him. He jumped back in horror. He stared as the body stood up and turned to him. “YOU! You killed me! I trusted you to keep me safe! You stabbed me to death!” Hunter was too shocked to say anything. “You killed me! You murdered me! You’re a monster!” Hunter looked up and saw the living Kate, the one he wanted to remember, waving at him and motioning to him to chase her. Hunter was conflicted. He didn’t know what to do. Hunter stood there shocked. To his side he saw another Kate appear and start yelling at him. Suddenly, another appeared and started yelling. In a matter of seconds, Hunter was surrounded by the exact image that had tortured his soul for so many years. He looked up and saw the living Kate, basked in light, screaming to him. He could only barely make out what she was saying
“Come on, Hunter! I’ll save you!” She screamed. Hunter was still too scared to do anything. “Follow me! I know what to do!” Kate screamed again. This time Hunter pushed his way through his barrier and ran after Kate. Kate turned around and ran. Hunter pretty soon was running I stride with her far off in the distance he could see a little spot of light becoming closer and closer. The closer they got, however, the voices got worse. They became louder in Hunter’s ears. Hunter ran faster and faster, but the closer he got to the light the more awful the voices became. The voices became twisted, corrupted. It went from a little girl’s voice to more of a low growl. The voices roared into Hunter’s ears and Hunter ran faster and faster and with every step the worse it got. Kate and Hunter were only a few dozen yards from the light when he heard the voice change again. It wasn’t a monstrous growl and it wasn’t the voice of a little girl. It was more nasal yet smooth. It was a voice Hunter had heard before. Before Hunter could identify the voice, he hit the light.
It was silent. Hunter stood up and rubbed his eyes. He wasn’t in the Fields of Asphodel. He knew this place. He knew it well. He was back in the woods in Camp Half-Blood. He was looking around. From the 12 years he spent in these woods he knew them well. He knew exactly where he was. He was in the exact spot he killed Kate disguised as the Minotaur. Hunter was suddenly holding the knife he had hidden under his bed for so long. In a flash of light, the Minotaur appeared. Hunter was in the same situation he was in 5 years ago. Hunter felt the urge to go and attack the Minotaur, but he resisted it. He made the mistake once; he was not going to make it again. He stood there behind the Minotaur and sheathed his knife. Hunter stared at the Minotaur in a hope to find a way to see through the illusion. He watched as the Minotaur turned around and roared at Hunter. This didn’t happen before. Hunter stared as the Minotaur became more and more agitated. “What are you doing?!” Hunter turned around and saw Kate standing there.
“Wha…But you…” Hunter was too confused to make a complete sentence.
“Hunter! When you were 10, you cried when Jimmy Baker beat you in a sword fight. When you were nine, You shot an aspirin capsule out of the air with an arrow.” Kate took a deep breath and continued to speak quickly. “You’re very tidy for a guy. You speak 6 languages. You love the color blue and the smell of rain. Now would you stop staring at me and kill that!” She pointed at the Minotaur. Hunter stared as tons of personal information about him was spewed out. “How do you…Only Kate knows that. I’ve never told anyone that.” Hunter finally realized that he was talking to Kate. He turned to the Minotaur just in time to see him start to charge. Hunter waited and dove away at the last minute. Hunter unsheathed his knife and jumped onto the back of the Minotaur. He plunged his knife into the back of the beast. Again and again he stabbed his blade into the back of the Minotaur. He jumped off and the Minotaur fell to the ground. He jumped on it and slashed across its throat, killing the beast. The Minotaur let off one last growl and then turned to dust. Hunter turned to Kate who was standing there smiling. He walked up to her and hugged her.
“What are you doing here? I-“ Hunter choked up. “I held your lifeless body. I carried you back to Camp Half-Blood and brought you to the infirmary. You died. You died because you were the Minotaur and I…I killed you.” Kate looked up him and smiled.
“Hunter. You’ve blamed yourself for so long. And to be honest I’m a little insulted. You only remembered me for that one event. Every time you thought of me it was to remember me as the person that you killed. You never remembered all the good things that we did together.” Hunter knew she was right. He tried to look back on all of his memories with Kate. They hadn’t been accessed in a long time. Flashes of happiness that were associated with Kate came flooding back into the forefront of his mind.
“Kate….I’m so sorry. I was tricked. I should have known that you didn’t want to be remembered for that. You wouldn’t hold that against me.” Hunter felt tears stream down his cheeks. He walked over to Kate and hugged her again. “I never wanted to be like this. I’m so sorry.” Kate reached up and wiped the tears off his face.
“You have to go now. You’re friends are waiting for you. You’re almost there, Hunter. You cannot give up.” She put her hands on his shoulders and started shaking him. Hunter’s eyes shot open. He was back in the Fields of Asphodel.
He continued to look and saw a river filled with garbage. He looked back into the boat and saw that the well-dressed Charon had changed into a robed skeleton who was leading the boat down the dark, swirling River Styx. They had only been in the boat for a little while, when the shores of the underworld came into view. A few minutes later the barge landed into the sand of the underworld. The boat emptied. “I hope that old sparky isn’t hungry.” Charon gave an evil laugh as he rowed back to the lobby.
“Well, let’s get going.” Hunter said as he readjusted his bag onto his shoulder and started walking towards the entrance. Hunter looked up and saw above the gate. The words, ‘YOU ARE NOW ENTERING EREBUS.’ As they approached, the ever looming threat of the Cerberus became more evident. Hunter examined the beast from a distance. “It looks like we have to pass under the big three-headed dog to get through. Anyone have any ideas?” Will, Marina, and Kyle all stood there thinking. After a few minutes, Kyle looked at the group and then slowly raised his hand. Everyone looked at him in surprise.
“I have ideas sometimes.” Hunter, Will, and Marina looked at each other. ”So what if we were able to make it fall asleep? Would that work?”
“Well…yeah. But how do you plan to do that?” Hunter asked.
“Recently, I’ve been having some trouble sleeping so I’m taking this herb called Valerian to help me sleep. I have about a dozen sprigs and with my scythe I can alter any plant at any time. If I could ju-“ Marina put her hand over his mouth.
“Look, Kyle. Don’t talk. Just do. That thing is getting closer and we don’t care about the science.” Kyle nodded with Marina’s hand still firmly over his mouth. She removed as Kyle got to work. He knelt down and reached into his bag. After a few moments, he pulled out a bag of bright green herbs. He took his trowel out of his pocket and dug a small pit in the black sand. He leaned away from the bag and opened it. Suddenly, a foul smell emerged from the bag and penetrated Hunter’s nostrils.
“That…smells…AWFUL. Like…garbage and dirty gym socks.” Hunter said, plugging his nose.
“It smells worse than Nereus and that guy smelled like death itself.” Will said, covering his mouth and nose with his hands.
“Just give me a second, okay?” Kyle buried the bottom end of the Valerian in the dirt and then changed his trowel into the scythe. Kyle stood up and took a deep breath. He slammed the bottom of his weapon into the dirt. Green vines sprouted from the bottom and moved toward the half-buried Valerian. After a few minutes the amount of Valerian had tripled. Kyle unburied it and put in the bag. “So now all we have to do is make him eat it. I made it so that the chemical that induced sleep was more concentrated and ten times stronger.” Hunter patted him on the back.
“Good job, man. I won’t underestimate you again.” Will gave him a high five and Marina ran over and hugged him.
“You’re a genius.” She said as she threw her arms around his neck. Kyle gave Hunter an almost worried look. Kyle grabbed his stuff and the four campers walked off toward the Cerberus. They got in line behind a spirit of a man in a business suit. Bluetooth headset still in his ear. As they got to the Cerberus the giant beast leaned down and sniffed the four of us. The three headed dog started growling.
“Anytime now, Kyle!” Hunter said backing away from the Cerberus. Kyle grabbed the bag of valerian out of his bag and tossed it into the air in front of the Cerberus’ face. With lightning quick speed the middle dog head snapped and grabbed out of the air. After one chew it swallowed the bag down, then returned to growling at the four of them.
“Well that didn’t work.” Will said looking around for another idea. Just as Marina had taken out her make up bag the growling stopped. Hunter turned around to see the Cerberus lying on one side, cutely snoring. The four of them burst from and sprinted as fast as they could to the Fields of Asphodel. Their…disturbance didn’t go unnoticed by the guards who were now chasing them. They finally got to the field and ducked behind a tree. “I take it all back, Kyle. Your plan worked amazingly.” Will said as he patted Kyle on the back. Marina scooted over and put an arm around Kyle’s waist.
“That’s why I chose him.” Marina smiled and planted a kiss onto Kyle’s already bright-red cheek. The two of them stood there, staring at each other, in a completely separate world. Hunter and Will pantomimed various interesting ways of death behind the two lovebirds. Finally Hunter broke the silence.
“Ahem. Let’s rest here for a few and then we can make our journey to the palace.” Will nodded. Kyle and Marina must have heard Hunter because they sat down and started flirting and giggling with each other. Will rolled his eyes as he sat down with his back up against the tree. Hunter sat down next to him.
“So…are you doing okay?” Will asked Hunter obviously referring to Orion. Hunter was surprisingly okay. The initial shock might have been the peak of his feelings on the matter, but right now Hunter just didn’t want to talk about it.
“Can we maybe talk about this later? I promise I’ll tell you, but just not right now.” Will nodded and went back to being silent. Hunter felt awkward in the silence. “So what do you think is next?” Hunter asked Will.
“You’re the one with the prophecy. YOU tell ME..” Hunter went back through the prophecy out loud to Will. “Obviously, we have had no need to kill a go so that first line combination doesn’t really matter yet.”
“The first son of the stag. That’s me. And Camp Half-Blood’s best. That’s you. We get to to go home, but we need to go west. Which we did. Alright. Batting a thousand.”
“Find the eldest son of Pontus. That was Nereus, that smelly old fisherman, right?”
“Yeah and he told us to come here. Where we will find…’peace and an advantage.’ Also the…’Daimon of Deceit.’ Whoever that is.”
“Well, since we haven’t found any of those things, shall we move on?” Will said as he stood up and grabbed his back. Hunter nodded and did the same. He gave Kyle and swift kick to the ribs.
“Hey! We’re leaving. Come on, you two.” Kyle and Marina unlocked their eyes from each other and stood up. They picked up their stuff and followed Hunter and Will, their fingers intertwined. They were walking through the fields of Asphodel, hurriedly. Hunter looked at his watch it was about 1:30 in the afternoon. Hunter wasn’t sure how much time he had left. They walked through the fields around all of the spirits standing around. They were about halfway there compared to the location of Hades palace that they could see above the crowd.
“Hunter! Hunter!” Hunter heard a distant voice from far behind him. He froze in place.
“Hunter? C’mon. We need to keep moving.” Marina said looking back at Hunter.
“Hunter! Hunter!” Hunter knew that voice. That was the same voice that had been haunting his mind for all these years. That was Kate’s voice.