The Fight On The Beach
Skylar closed his eyes tight as the bubble carrying him and his companions slammed into the pointy ceiling of the Underworld, he was expecting that this would be his end. But nothing came, he was still rising. Opening his eyes, he saw the bubble penetrated the solid ocean floor, and continued soaring upward. Seconds later, the giant bubble emerged from the deep and burst. Sebastian pulled Caitlin onto his back as each of his hand grabbed hold onto Cisco and Skylar and swam back to the shore of Los Angeles, which was several hundred metres away. Normally it would be exhausting but Sebastian was the son of the sea, it gave him power and absorbed his tiredness. As they came closer to the beach, they noticed the city was glowing in the dark, not only from the lighting but also from fire. The black night sky was orange from the blazing flames dotting all over the city and her neighbourhoods. Plumes of smoke rose high into the sky and there were some damage of properties.
As they came ashore, they overheard people shouting in the darkness, about the earthquake that struck suddenly. A 5.0 Mw tremor rocked through the City of Angels but luckily no one was hurt or dead.
"Remember me never to piss you off." Cisco deadpanned as Sebastian dried their clothes by pulling the water out of the clothes. The said person looked at him in confusion.
"What? What does that have to do with me?"
"Dude, you're the son of Poseidon, who is, apart from the Lord of the seas, horses and storms, the God of earthquakes." The son of Hephaestus rolled his eyes. Sebastian blushed as he realized that he possibly triggered the earthquake when he yelled in the Underworld in his anger.
"Well, at least no one was hurt or killed. You guys all okay?" Caitlin combed her hair and checked on her companions.
"I think so." Skylar threw the backpack onto the sand, glaring at a point behind the other three's back. The rest of the group noticed the intense glare and turned to see the God who tricked them standing not far away from them, leaning onto his motorcycle with the same smirk they saw at the diner. Feeling his anger flared up, Sebastian stormed towards the war god with his companions closely behind him.
"How did it go, lads?" Ares clapped.
"You fucking bastard! You're the psycho who stole the helm and the lightning bolt!" Sebastian accused as he stopped right in front of the war god.
"I didn't steal the bolt, I just took it from the thief who gave me this ingenious idea." Ares held up his hands. "But the helm, yes. It's my doing, part of my game."
As if on cue, he took out a cap from his bike which immediately transformed into a black helmet, glittering in the darkness. It was the lost property of Hades: the Helm of Darkness.
"And what game did that stupid thief offer you?" Sebastian spat. "A full raging war among the Big Three? And the rest of the Olympus has to choose side? They're your family!"
"And that's the fun part, family dispute is my favourite. Best kind of war and the bloodiest." Ares licked his lips.
"You're a sick asshole." Sebastian gritted his teeth.
"I guess you're right on one thing, Sebastian." Caitlin piped in. "He really can only think of blood, blood, blood; war, war, war and fight, fight, fight."
"Watch your mouth, girl." Ares snarled as he stepped towards them. The group walked backward, towards the sea. "I have battled with your mother in the past. For the moment, she is neutral but you can be a very good reason for her to join the fight."
"Oh, you mean the Trojan War? The time when you were stupid enough to go against my mom and Lady Hera, only to get punched in the face and left the scene with your tail between your legs? I guess I give you too much credit on the ability to learn. My mother had fought against you and she won, and she will win again." Caitlin finished proudly, for her mother. They were now standing in the middle of a deserted beach, with the fire raging in the distant Los Angeles.
Ares snarled again but then his face turned blank, like there was someone whispering in his body. It only last for a second before the nasty smirk returned.
"I'll let that go for now, chick. But for you…" The war god turned to look at Sebastian with a penetrating stare. "I can't have you undo the plan and stopped my fun, so I will have to kill you."
"I'd like to see you try, asshole." Sebastian spitted on Ares's feet and the war god snarled. He snapped his fingers and a huge wild boar, the size of a van, exploded out of the sand. It bared its fangs and glared at the son of Poseidon. Caitlin was going to tell Sebastian to run when Skylar stopped her.
"Don't!" He whispered to his two companions. "This is what the prophecy has been mentioning. Success or fail lies on the shoulder of the unclaimed… We need to have faith in him."
Caitlin and Cisco could only hope to the Fates that Sebastian made it as the tension increased dramatically. Sebastian glared back at the beast bravely as he took out both Riptide and Turbulent.
"I'd suggest you surrender, mortal." Ares said smugly. "You're not at my level."
"In your pathetic dreams, perhaps? You nitwit." Sebastian snapped as the boar charged. Sebastian jumped out of its path. The beast turned its head towards him and charged again. This time, the demigod didn't have enough time to dodge so he slashed his swords, cutting off the boar's tusk. It roared and charged at him again, Sebastian jumped again, only to almost get slashed by a vulture, which the god of war had summoned when no one was paying attention. What a sly bitch.
Narrowly missing the bird of prey, Sebastian landed onto the solid ground again. He stepped his foot hard on the sand and the ground shook. His companions and the boar lost balance and fell. Using this as his opportunity, Sebastian threw Turbulent at the boar, hitting it right in the eye. The beast bellowed in pain and Caitlin screamed as she pointed at some point behind Sebastian. Dodging down and rolling sideward, Sebastian missed the sharp claws of the vulture as it shot through the sand. The bird of prey spiraled around him, its yellow eyes never leaving him. Sebastian knew he had no chance to fight it in the air so he utilized his power over the sea instead. He rose his right hand, and a hand entirely made of water surged up, and swallowed the bird of prey like a cocoon. The vulture struggled to get away from its watery coffin but failed miserably as Sebastian shoved his hand down hard and the water ball shot back into the sea.
"Bye bitch!" Sebastian shouted just as the bird screeched in terror as it was swallowed up by the sea. A wail roared behind him and Sebastian spun around. The boar had got back to its feet, Turbulent was still embedded in its right eye.
"How are you still alive?" Sebastian demanded as he sent out another seismic wave to distract the beast. He jumped forward when it tried to regain balance, landed on its neck and thrust Riptide deep into its skull. The monstrous boar bellowed for one more time before it crumbled into the sand and melted right away.
The sea breeze blew strongly, carrying moisture and droplets of seawater inland. They all gave power and strength to Sebastian as he straightened up and yelled at Ares.
"Come fight me." The son of Poseidon called out calmly but forcefully. "Or are you just going to prove to us that you're such a coward you need to hide behind some pets when you faced demigods like me?"
Ares was livid as his sunglasses melted from the intense heat of his eyes.
"I should turn you into-"
"A stray dog or stray cat." Sebastian cut him off in disdain. "Really, that's the best thing you can get from your tiny mind? Go back to kindergarten and take your education more seriously, you fool of a took."
"You filthy little shit, you are really asking to be smashed." Ares sneered.
"And you are asking to be kicked in your godly ass!" Sebastian snapped. "Here is the deal. Do whatever you want to me if I lose, but if I win, you need to leave me and my friends the fuck alone. And the helm as well as the bolt shall be returned to their owners."
"How would you like get smashed?!" The god of war snarled as he took out a baseball bat made entirely of hot bronze. Sebastian just raised his middle finger at the god as he retrieved his swords. Meanwhile, Caitlin, Cisco and Skylar noticed people were crowding on the end of the beach, pointing at them. Obviously, they recognized Sebastian as the fugitive on the news and called the police.
"Guys, we have spectators!" Caitlin shouted just as Ares snarled at the son of Poseidon.
"Have you thought of your farewell words to your pawns? I have unlimited strength and immortality, and fighting is my field."
"Have you thought of your excuses of helping the thief and orchestrating this madness when you met your daddy? You're really getting your ass whipped for that, sweetheart." Sebastian pulled up the smirk he always used to piss people off. As expected, the Greek God sneered and so began the fight.
Sebastian had got some experience in fighting after combating the harpy, the Minotaur, Medusa, the Chimera and Echidna, but fighting with a God was totally different. There were so many times Ares almost got his weapon, a giant two-handed sword made of reflective bronze and a ruby red as the blood pumping through a heart, on Sebastian but the demigod managed to either deflect it or jump out of the way. The spectating crowd grew in size as the Cops and reporters arrived. They always had the perfect timing, yeah, noticed the sarcasm in it.
Using a fraction of second in Sebastian's distraction, Ares managed to land his sword's hilt square on the demigod's chest. The force was so immense the bones cracked with a painful snap. If he was a mortal, he would have dropped dead but the force also knocked him into the churning waves of the sea. Immediately, the wounds and fractures healed.
"There, officer! See?!" Somebody yelled in the background.
"It's the kid on the news… this is bad…" Someone said in a gruff voice, maybe a cop or a random citizen.
"No shit, Sherlock!" Sebastian hissed as he steadied himself in the water, feeling it touching his skin, its power seeped into his flesh and blood and soul. It almost seemed that he could command the waves and the tide if he wanted to.
"They are armed!" Another cop shouted into his walkie-talkie. "We need backup!"
"Silly bitch, your guns won't stand a chance against a being like him!" Sebastian rolled his eyes as he found himself in a violent combat against Ares, the Greek God of war. More sirens wailed as the backup of the police arrived.
"Oh, this is going to be a pain in the ass." Sebastian hissed as he saw the people and reporters were filming the event. His temper was flaring and the sea got even rougher. Suddenly, an idea struck him. If everything went to the way he planned, he might end this chaos earlier, but first, he needed to get Ares distracted. He was going to call for his companions for help when he noticed they were struggling against the cops who tried to hold them down. More sirens could be heard as more police force arrived. Okay, so his companions were out of the equation. Fortunately, the cops were more than happy to do this job for him, even though it was unintentional.
"Drop the guns! Set them on the ground! Now!" A police voice boomed through a megaphone. Ares snarled and turned his fiery gaze towards the crowd. It was the distraction Sebastian needed! Instantly, he willed the sea to listen to him. The waves stopped crashing ashore and the sea breeze died down, but through his connection to the water, Sebastian could feel the energy piling up and a wall of water started to appear on the surface, but it was still well hidden in the dark.
"This is a private matter!" Ares boomed, his voice packed with power, menace, fury and was more god-like. "Outsiders shall not interfere! Be gone!"
He swiped his hand and a roll of fireballs erupted from the sand, close to the crowd and the cop cars. The police barely had time to dive for cover before the flame ignited the gasoline in the vehicles, causing a volley of explosions. The crowd screamed and scattered, the reporters retreated a bit but most of their cameras were destroyed. The war god roared in laughter as he enjoyed the view and the fear he sparked.
"Hey! Leave the people out of this!" Sebastian shouted, never losing his concentration over the control of the sea. He could feel the wall of water was more than 15 metres high now. Everything was ready, all he now needed was the right moment to unleash the fury of the sea. Sebastian leant himself onto his two swords, acting like he was exhausted. Grinning smugly and arrogantly, Ares slowly came forward, like a predator waiting for the final attack on its exhausted prey. The war god raised his sword and Sebastian let go of his control. Using the water as a springboard, he leapt right over Ares' head and landed safely on the beach. The stunned war god, on the other hand, was slammed by a 20 metres high wall of water. The force of the water immense enough to knock him off the ground and the surge of water then sent to right next to Sebastian's feet who stabbed Riptide onto Ares' shoulder, puncturing the sun-kissed yet scared skin.
The roar coming from the war god was like the detonation of nuclear bomb, a huge blast of wind, smelling gunpowder and flesh and blood exploded around him, violently pushing the sea around away for more than 200 metres. The remaining spectators, police and reporters were blown to the ground, the remaining recorders were completely destroyed. The golden blood of the gods, Ichor, spilled out the wound of Ares' shoulder. It soaked the god's garment and seeped into the wet sand as the sea rushed back, reclaiming its place. For a moment, no one could tell what the Greek God was thinking. His face was a storm of emotion: pain, shock, disbelief and hatred. He probably had never imagined that a mere demigod would manage to wound him physically and emotionally, on his pride.
He set his fiery eyes onto Sebastian who glared back at him fiercely. He started walking towards him, muttering curses in ancient Greek all the way when he suddenly stopped, like something prevented him from the taking one more step. With reluctance and hatred, Ares lowered his weapon, but his eyes, burning with hatred, never left him.
"You have made an enemy, demigod." He whispered, but everyone in the group could hear him. "You fate has been sealed. In time, you will feel my curse, Sebastian Smythe. Beware."
"Give me Hades' helm, and be gone." Sebastian replied harshly.
The war god threw the helm of darkness between them as his body started to glow. Sebastian raised his hands and a wall of water soared up between him and the War God, but for safety reason, Sebastian closed his eyes until the blinding light died down. Sebastian lowered the water shield. Ares was nowhere to be seen; His motorcycle was gone as well. All that remained was Hades' helm of darkness standing on the sand, the sky brightened as dawn arrived, and the sea became quiet again.
"It's over." Sebastian declared as he put his two swords back into his pocket. Caitlin, Cisco and Skylar let out of the breath they're holding and rushed towards him.
"You give us a huge scare, young man!" Caitlin hissed as she pulled him in a hug.
"How're you feeling now?" Cisco asked.
"Like I can fall asleep right now for years…" The son of Poseidon whispered as he tripped on his feet, only to get caught by Skylar. Normally, Sebastian would struggle to get out of the grip but he was too tired.
"What do we do now?" Cisco said as he picked up the helm of darkness, which morphed into a baseball cap.
"We should return the helm to Hades and the bolt back to the drama queen." Sebastian whispered. "We'll go to Hades first… I promised him."
The group groaned as a police officer came up behind them. He didn't draw his gun but his hand was resting on it.
"You four have some serious explaining to do. I will take you down town."
"Ugh, fine!" Sebastian snapped as he rubbed his face against Skylar's muscular chest. "Do it quickly, I wanna sleep."
They were placed in a grey room when they were sent to the station and were being questioned for what had happened for the past week. The group were amused how mortals wrap their minds around things so they could fit into their own reality and how easy the tide of their opinions could be changed. One moment earlier, they were being called a group of psycho, terrorists and monsters who exploded trains, buses and schools. One moment later, they were terrified innocent beings who were trying their best to get away from their kidnapper, the wanted criminal Wally Sparta, all the way from New York City to Los Angeles. But to cut it short, the group were let go. Walking down the street, they went into a deserted alley and teleported to the Underworld, using the pearls. And needless to say, Hades was pleased.
"Well, you did a good job." The God of the Underworld boomed as Sebastian handed him his helm, but the demigod had something else in mind.
"With all due respect, my lord. You once told me you will return my brother if I finish the quest for you. Now, where is he?" He looked around, searching the familiar shape of his brother.
Hades just chuckled in amusement.
"You sound exactly like what I have been told." Hades said and snapped his fingers. "You don't have much patience, like my brother."
The air around Hades started to shift and something began to materialize. A man began to take shape, he took in a huge gasp and opened his eyes, revealing those beautiful bluish-green orbs that Sebastian had missed terribly. Tears started to well up in Sebastian's eyes as the man croaked.
Sebastian could wait no longer, he leapt forward into his brother's arms and hugged him tight.
"Jules! Brother!" He sobbed as Julian hugged him back tightly. "I miss you so much! I'm so worry about you!"
"I know, Sebby. I know, I miss you too." Julian's voice cracked, tears were swimming in his eyes too. "I'm here, I'm fine."
The two reunited brothers touched each other's face and torso to make sure it was not only a cruel dream, their brother who they treasured most was real and was standing in front of them.
"As much as I hate to break this up, you still have another quest to finish." Hades' voice boomed, breaking the sweet family reunion.
"Oh right. Drama Queen's bolt." Sebastian sighed. "I'm not sure if we can meet the deadline, we have used up all the pearls."
"And it will take us days to go back to New York." Caitlin calculated.
"Ah, don't worry, demigods." Hades boomed again and his voice now sounded a bit… mischievous? "I think these may help."
A ghoul came forward and handed the group four tickets. Everyone in the group were shocked.
"You… you want us to fly?" Sebastian was so shocked he forgot the manners.
"Indeed." Hades boomed. "There is no way you can make it if you take a train. Plus, it's always fun to piss off that drama queen. And don't forget, he can't punish you because one: you retrieved the bolt, he now owed you a debt; and two: he DIDN'T have the bolt now."
Okay, that's a very tempting idea…
"Uhm… I have to ask someone first though." Sebastian turned to look at Skylar who merely shrugged.
"It seemed your concerned party has given his approval." Hades boomed with a smirk. "And it's gonna get a bit dizzy. After all, you need to get back as fast as possible, right? It would be ugly if you're late."
With another snap of finger, shadows suddenly welled up around the five people, swallowing them up in complete darkness, and their surprised yelps as the shadow ball teleported back to the mortal world, somewhere close to Los Angeles International Airport. Hades sighed and then looked up in alarm when he sensed another powerful being in the room.
"I'm impressed." A woman's voice rang. Her voice had this stern maternity power in it. "You rarely show mercy, let alone to a mortal."
"I'm just paying a debt I owe him and his brother." Hades replied, turning to face the woman who elegantly stepped out of the shadow. "And I'm pretty sure that none of them remembered what they have done."
"Then why don't you return him to the mortal world?" This beautiful woman had large eyes and long brown hair.
"You know soon after I heard someone stole my brother's thing, I noticed someone had stolen my helm as well."
"Yeah, I remembered that. We all went to Tartarus to check on the walls of the cells holding… father…" The woman said with a thin sense of disgust and fear. "It has been weakening for eons and we went back to discuss how to reinforce the walls. But when we came back, my husband found his bolt was stolen."
"And Zeus blamed it on Poseidon…" Hades rolled his eyes. "After thousands of years, he is still childish as a baby."
"Indeed." The woman, or Hera, shook her head. "But what does it have to do with this young man?"
"I healed his injuries to repay the debt of gratitude. They might have forgotten about it but I do remember how they stop a group of gangster bullied my son. The reason why I didn't send him directly back the mortal world, is to let Sebastian prove himself that he is the one in the prophecy. I have been suspecting that the moment I first saw him, the amount of power he radiated is much stronger than I have ever seen." Hades explained. "At first, I don't know why Poseidon didn't claim him. I mean, he knew that you and Hestia know he has another demigod child, he also knew that Persephone and I knew his new born child, even Amphitrite and Triton knew the presence of this demigod. But after finding out about my son, I know why. Zeus will smite him without second thought and I don't have a good reason to stop him. And now it's Sebastian's chance to prove himself."
"And by that time, Zeus won't have a reason to kill him because he actually owes Poseidon and his son for finding his bolt. Hmm… Poseidon is very smart, unlike how Athena always scolded him. And speaking of which, I'm very surprised that you two fell to the trick: Mortals managed to get two of the most powerful Gods drunk by spiking their drinks… Unbelievable…" Hera said in a somewhat amused tone while Hades groaned.
"Ugh! Don't remind me." The lord of the underworld grumbled.
"Yeah, you didn't tell anyone that you also have a son except Persephone, me and Hestia. Well, Demeter, Poseidon and Amphitrite too but they found out by accident." Hera laughed.
"I was really freaked out by Demeter's reaction. I think she's going to boil me alive with all her cereals before throwing me into Tartarus." Hades shuddered. "Let's talk about something else, you seem to be very fond of this mortal. May I ask why?"
"He is willing and has been sacrificing everything, including his life, to keep his brother safe and happy. They are the one who valued each other more than anything; they are the one who really know and willing to carry out the true meaning of family." Hera announced. "So after Poseidon claimed him his son when they were back at camp, I will also announce to everyone that I am going to be his patron. I will give him my blessing and he can stay in my cabin. If Poseidon doesn't mind, he can stay with his brother in his cabin too."
Hades raised his eyebrow in surprise.
"Wow, you really change…" He muttered.
"Everything is constantly changing." Hera replied. "And you also change too, don't you?"
The Queen of the Gods smirked before saying goodbye to her brother and flashed out of the room. Hades sighed before resuming his busy work as the Lord of Underworld.
It might be just his own imagination, or perhaps it was real, for Sebastian felt the clouds were rumbling, like there was an angry storm wanting to lash out but was stopped by something else. But to be fair, he didn't pay much attention to it, because he was too busy snuggling in his brother's arms that was giving the warmth and security he desperately needed and miserably missed. He and his companions, together with Julian, were now sitting in first class seats of a more promising flight company, and they weren't really enjoying the flight. It had nothing to do with the quality of service, but being kept in such a confined environment made the demigods restless, not to mention Zeus the drama queen would smite those who dared to enter his domain, well, except Skylar. Speaking of which, the son of Zeus occupied the window seat and was staring out at the clouds and the high blue sky with longing eyes, like he wanted to go out, to fly on his own. Could he really fly? Sebastian was not sure, maybe he would ask him later, when they touched down. Right now, he just gave another content sigh as he nuzzled his face against his brother's chest. Julian just chuckled and ruffled his baby brother's soft, brown hair. Caitlin and Cisco, on the other hand, were too busy drowning themselves with the hot chocolate provided by the friendly flight attendants. The rest of the 6-hour flight passed by peacefully. The demigods, except Skylar, let out a breath of relief when the plane finally touched down on LaGuardia Airport.
"Goodness gracious! I have never known that the feel of standing on solid ground can be this wonderful!" Cisco sighed as they ran out of the airport, missing the waiting reporters completely.
"Yeah, praise Gaea. My hands are getting numb." Caitlin muttered as she flexed her hands.
"Is it really that bad?" Sebastian raised his eyebrow. "I only felt nervous when the plane took off, but other than that, I was actually quite fine."
"Of course you felt that!" Caitlin snapped, but not really in anger. "You spent the entire time snuggling in your brother's wonderful arms!"
"Oh really? Then that's too bad, because Jules's embraces are inclusive to me only." Sebastian said proudly as he leant against Julian.
"Sebby, you're not a child anymore, be more mature." Julian sighed fondly.
"But Jules!" Sebastian whined and pouted when Julian gave him a serious look.
"Fine! But excuse me for missing my wonderful brother." He humphed as the group got into a taxi and zipped down the road, to Olympus, or the Empire State Building, in mortal terms.
Once inside the building, Caitlin went up to the doorman, with the rest of the group closely following behind.
"2917 floor, please?" Caitlin asked and the doorman looked up from the huge book he was reading.
"No such floor, kids."
"Oh, I know that floor exists, given the fact I have been there multiple times." Caitlin replied seriously. "And I do believe that Lord Zeus will let us go up without an appointment since we have what he lost."
Skylar came to the front and unzipped the backpack, the doorman looked inside and nodded.
"Okay." He calmly replied as he elegantly got up from his seat and handed Caitlin a key card he got from a drawer of his desk.
"You know the rules, make sure no one else is in the elevator, except your group members."
The group got into the elevator and once the doors were closed, Cisco took the key card from Caitlin and inserted it into a slot. A new button appeared on the panel, a bluish white disc with a 2917 embedded above it.
Cisco pressed the button and put the key card into his pocket. The elevator started moving upward with an orchestra playing in the air.
"Oh, 'Pines of Rome' from 'Fantasia 2000'." Sebastian mused.
"You've watched that movie?" Caitlin asked.
"Yeah, and 'Pines of Rome' and 'The Firebird Suite' are my favourite." The son of Poseidon replied.
"What about the others?" Cisco piped in.
"The others… are not that impressive. The 'Pomp & Circumstance', that is the Noah's Ark segment, is grand in scale but I just can't shrug off a feeling that it can be a bit boring. The same goes to 'Rhapsody in Blue'. The finale of 'Carnival of the Animals' is a bit silly, well, at least to me. 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is not as eye-catching as the old one. 'Symphony No. 5' is well… not as impressive as 'Toccata and Fugue in D Minor' in the first movie."
"So generally speaking, you like the old version of 'Fantasia' more." Skylar stated.
"Of course! That's a freaking classic!" Sebastian screeched with wide eyes. "It's the first Disney movie I watched and the very reason I fell in love with classical music and Disney itself!"
The elevator halted, telling the group that they had arrived. The doors slid open and Sebastian gasped at the sight.
Right in front of him, was a narrow walkway made of shining marble white as the clouds, in mid-air with the city of Manhattan down below. At the end of the walkway, was a stairway made of white marble decorated with gold and silver, extending up into the sky and disappeared into a cloud tower which was constantly changing shape from the wind.
"This is what Olympus looks like?" Sebastian whispered.
"Yes, but we're not yet there. We need to climb up those stairs. Hidden in the clouds, is really Olympus." Caitlin replied as the group started climbing the stairs. Once they passed through the cloud tower, Sebastian had the first glimpse of the home of the Gods. A mountain with snowy and glaciated summit. Palaces, mansions, shrines decorated the mountainside. The multi-storey architectures were all made of white-columned porticos, terraces plated with precious metals but mainly gold and silver, and inlaid by hundreds of bronze braziers. It was day time so no fire was in there, but Sebastian couldn't imagine how beautiful it would be at night, when all the braziers lit up, between the starry sky above and the flourishing city of Manhattan below, setting each other off nicely and perfectly.
From where they stood, Sebastian could see how complicated the road system was, there were parks and gardens made of different trees and flowers. Fountains, streams and rivers flowed across every point of the city. An open-air market was situated on the bank of a river, giving the place more colours, on the other side of the market, was a wide road which led straight towards the peak of the mountain, where the largest palace resided. It was an Ancient Greek city in its full glory, not the ruins Sebastian saw in the photos, videos and books, which only served for the people to cherish the memory of the long lost past. It was real, and was teeming with life, just like how Athens looked like thousands of years ago, except the people residing in it were using modern technology as well. A group of satyrs were crowding around a huge television with an 'H' embedded at the back, playing Super Mario 3D World; several nymphs were walking along the shopping avenue, taking pictures with their smartphones and the Nine Muses, who were hosting a concert at the back of the street were using a giant Hi-Fi system. But generally speaking, everyone here was very relaxed, they didn't rush and all those modern apparatus blended into this slow lifestyle splendidly, the perfect mixture of ancient and modern.
It seemed impossible, too real to be true, but every step Sebastian took, the slabs of marble; the trees; the flowers; the landscape; the clouds… everything was reminding him that he was not hallucinating. It was real, he was standing in Mount Olympus, the sacred place where the Greek Gods resided. The group were seemed to be in a celebrating mood as more ambrosia, nectar and lots of food from different places of the world were transported down the road.
"They're not worried about the war?" Sebastian asked.
"They did, but words of you success in retrieving Zeus's lightning bolt has arrived. You prevented another Trojan War from happening. This, of course, is worth celebrating." Julian explained.
"How'd you know that?" Sebastian asked his brother.
"The moment you defeated Ares, the nymphs and satyrs had been thrilled. The voices of their cheering was so loud that it could heard in the Underworld." The older Smythe smiled at his baby brother. "I'm so proud of you."
Sebastian wanted to cry into his brother's arms but this was not the best moment. Just wait until they got home, time was what they had.
The staircases leading to the highest palace was quite a walk and Sebastian couldn't shrug off the feeling that he was tainting this sacred place. Luckily, his companions and brother were by his side, reassuring him. When they reached the palace, Sebastian looked back and saw the rest of Olympus were down there, with Manhattan further down, and the only thing that was higher than him, besides the architecture and the mountain behind him, was the sun, hanging in the crystal blue sky. It was a breath-taking picture and Sebastian now knew the meaning of 'standing on top of the world'.
"Okay, let's get this quest done." Sebastian told his companions as they walked down the central courtyard decorated with enormous statues of the Greek Gods and beautifully cut plants with a fountain located in the centre, and into the throne room. What would happen now? Would the drama queen drop his accusation? What would happen when he finally met his father? The formidable, powerful god of the mighty oceans: Poseidon.