The Horizon

Go On A Quest

"Okay… Relax, Sebastian. You can do this. He's not gonna eat you." Sebastian muttered as he looked at his mobile phone, that he placed on his night-stand. For the past two weeks, he had been very busy in adapting the camp and it proved to be very tiring. While the camp had its leisure and relaxing side, it could also turn as demanding and serious as military training. The first week was exhausting and he spent most of his free time sleeping. Therefore, his planned call to Hunter had been postponed to today.

Taking a deep breath, he dialed the number with shaky hands and sweating forehead.

"Hello?"

Oh Gods, please save him!

"Hello? Who is this?"

"Hun… Hunter?" Sebastian stuttered. The phone went silence for a few seconds.

"Sebastian?"

"Uhm… Yeah, it's me."

"So… You finally decided to call me…"

"Uhm…"

"How long have been to that camp?" Hunter's normally calm voice sounded more forced, as if he was restraining himself from shouting.

"Two… two weeks…"

"Two weeks… two weeks… TWO WEEKS!" Hunter was really shouting now. Sebastian winced and pulled the phone away from his ears.

"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WORRY PRINCIPAL CARMICHAEL, LIZA AND I HAVE BEEN?! SUE INFORMED US THAT SHE AND HER SISTERS HAD BROUGHT YOU TO NEW YORK SAFELY BUT THEN NO ONE GAVE US A RING! WE TRIED YOUR PHONE, NO ONE ANSWERD; WE TRIED COOPER'S PHONE, NO ONE ANSWERED! FINALLY, WE CALLED THE CAMP, AND GUESS WHAT WE HEARD? YOU ARE IN A FREAKING COMA! YOUR BROTHER IS INJURED BY A MONSTER! A MINOTAUR FOR FUCK'S SAKE! DO YOU KNOW HOW WORRIED WE ARE? LIZA CRIED! PRINCIPAL CARMICHAEL AND I COULD HARDLY SLEEP!"

"Hunt! I'm fine! I'm calling you now! I'm so exhausted for the first week and I was sleeping when I was not occupied with training!" Sebastian cut his best friend off, knowing that he would go on forever if he didn't stop him. Hunter grumbled but stopped his rant.

"Just wait until I tell Liza and Carmichael you called." Hunter muttered. "And how is your brother doing?"

"He… He disappeared…" Sebastian whispered.

"I beg your pardon?"

"After he got stabbed by the Minotaur, a golden light engulfed him and he disappeared." Sebastian explained. "I don't know where he is."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"But at least I'm safe… he wants me to be safe." Sebastian whispered.

"Hunter? Who is it?" A new voice rang on the other end and Sebastian paled.

"Oh, just from the one who finally remembered to call us: Sebastian Smythe." He swore that he could see the smirk on Hunter's face.

"WHAT? GIVE ME THE PHONE! NOW!"

"Well, I'm leaving you on the speaker then."

Cue the screams and shouts from the worried sick Liza and Carmichael.

Cue the apologies from Sebastian.

"So you have been doing fine in the camp?" Carmichael asked after a long session of talk.

"Yeah, a bit tiring, but I'm getting better. I made a few friends too."

"Good. You really need more friends other than Hunter, no offense. You need to know that you are not that alone as you think." Liza said kindly. She and Carmichael knew that due to his experience in the past, all those bullying and betrayals, the young man never believed in friendship. Besides Carmichael, Liza, Hunter and his brother, no one would want to befriend him and those who claimed to be his friends always wanted something from him. The principal and the secretary had tried their best to change Sebastian's belief but it was easier said than done, and all the rivalries between him and the NDs and the rest of the Warblers were offering no help either.

"Maybe… But sometimes I'm not that sure… and I had a weird dream last night."

"What is it?" Hunter asked and Sebastian remembered the vivid dream he had last night.


FLASHBACK

It was dark, not the fuzzy darkness when you turned the lights off at night, but a complete darkness like you had descended to the bottom of the Pacific where no sunlight could pass through. Sebastian had no idea where he was or how long he had been wandering in this place. He only had one thing in mind: Get out of this place! He ran around, but this dark plane seemed to be stretched to the end of time. No matter where he went, he would always come back to the starting point.

After an unknown amount of time, Sebastian finally saw a light, however, he was not sure if it meant a friendly note. This light was red, like the eyes of Satan's worst monsters. Suppressing a shiver running down his spine, he quietly walked towards the light source which turned out to come out from a room lit by multiple floating candles, all were burning this terrifying red light. The door was wide opened so Sebastian did what a person normally did: he peeked…

In the middle of the room lay a person sleeping on a bed, the ink-black sheet was covered up to his waist. Another man was standing next to the bed, looking at the sleeping form. And the one who was sleeping was…

Sebastian gasped.

It was his brother Julian, peacefully sleeping on the bed, his injured arm and chest were bandaged carefully. Sebastian wanted to run to his brother side but found himself froze. The man turned around and looked at him.

"I have healed your brother's wounds. His fate now lies on you. Whether he stayed in the underworld or return to the mortal world with you solely depends on your actions. Retrieve what are stolen and your brother shall return to you. If not, he will stay here forever. I am watching you, nephew." The man said in a haunting tone.

"Prove yourself to me and the Gods that you are the one, Sebastian Smythe."

With a gasp, Sebastian woke.

END OF FLASHBACK


Hunter, Carmichael and Liza said nothing after Sebastian told them about his dream.

"I'm not sure what it actually means, or if the God in the dream is really Lord Hades. And I'm not sure if you should believe that dream." Carmichael said.

"But… but if that's true, then it means my brother is still alive, right? Right?" Sebastian asked in a hopeful voice.

"You really need to consult Chiron about this, Sebastian. We are, after all, just mortals. We don't really know how the Greek world functions." Liza sighed.

"I see…" Sebastian looked lost.

"Well, we have some works to finish. Liza and I will leave you guys some time alone." Carmichael said.

"So, how are the New Directions and the Warblers doing?" Sebastian asked as he sat down on his bed. "I bet they are very happy that I'm gone, right?"

"Not exactly." Hunter answered. "A few days after you left, Kurt and Blaine got into a huge fight. It turns out that Blaine had been seeing someone else for several weeks. You know that Kurt and his goons, that Rachel, Santana, etc. etc. have been searching houses in New York, you know, places that they stay when they left for New York after this semester. As a result, according to the Blaine stans of the glee club, Kurt neglects their precious Blaine. Therefore, he went on Facebook, saw someone match his taste, and they hooked up, multiple times, may I add."

"Blaine cheats? I'm shocked." Sebastian said sarcastically. "I have known from the beginning that Klaine is bounded to fail, I just don't know that it will end this soon. And everyone blamed that on me, I believe."

"Kurt blames you, obviously. He accused you corrupting 'his' Blaine into a cheater."

"Hah, corrupted." Sebastian snorted. "He sounds exactly like the blasted Andersons, blaming my brother for corrupting their 'precious', 'normal' Cooper. What about the others?"

"The New Directions were a bit torn after hearing the words of their fight. A few blamed you but many of them blamed Kurt instead. They accused him of neglecting Blaine. According to them, Blaine needs Kurt and he is not there for him and thus his cheating act should be forgiven."

"Bullshit!"

"My word and my thought exactly. I know that Blaine is an attention seeking whore but I don't even know when he manages to get the majority of NDs and the Warblers to back him up. Some of them even went as far as harassing that Eli guy online, even sending death threats to him."

"And they said they aren't bullies like that Dave Karofsky… Yet they are cyberbullying a guy online, even going as far as threatening to kill him. They are really the walking definition of hypocrites."

"And guess what they brought up to defend Blaine's cheating? The Chandler fiasco, they said Kurt has been cheating with Chandler so he has no right to accuse Blaine's act."

"Pah, as if Blaine hasn't replied my 'family-friendly' text with something far worse, even I got uncomfortable by his words. It's like xTube, RedTube and Playboy combined, not to mention he started texting me with flirtatious works way before Kurt even knew Chandler and with no sense of discomfort, no mention of his boyfriend during that whole time. I sent him the text, and he replied with something a hundred-fold flirtier."

"Eww, dude, TMI, TMI, I have no desire to know what B-leech's perverted mind has in store."

"Can we stop talking about that B-leech Anderson?"

"That would be very difficult, since he has pretty much become the centre of the New Directions. Everything is about him, the world revolved around him. He got 90% of the solos, got a main cast in their school play, had a say in virtually everything in both the New Directions and the Warblers, Zeus almighty, even that Berry girl didn't have such kind of privilege. And she was the founding member of the club, remember. Unlike someone who just wandered himself in and immediately got everything he wanted by just opening his mouth and stretching out his hand."

"Oh man, RIP, New Directions. I just hope that they didn't drag the Warblers to the coffin with them. What about Regionals? It's just several days away now, how have the two choir groups preparing?"

"I'm not sure about the NDs and I honestly don't care, the Warblers, on the other hand, are doing Whistles and-"

"Hunter, who are you talking to?" A new voice rang in the phone.

"Who can that be? It must the culprit of Klaine's breakup, Sebastian Smythe. Hunter only befriends assholes."

Sebastian growled, no one treated his friends and family bad.

"Tell the slut that if he is happy now, Kurt and Blaine have just broken up. You have the chance to bang him."

A few snickers rang in the background and Sebastian's hands were trembling with rage.

"I have no desire to touch that piece of shit. Speaking of which, why don't y'all take an advantage to this situation? After all, you guys are more than happy to kiss Blaine's ass and licked the ground he walked. Now shoo." Sebastian snapped into the phone, making sure everyone in the background could hear it clearly.

"They're gonna be pissed." Hunter's voice was amused as they heard some scowls in the background.

"Let them come, like hell will I fear them." Sebastian was cut off when someone knocked on his door.

"Sebastian? Are you in there?" Leonard asked outside the door.

"Yeah, just a moment!" Sebastian replied and returned to the phone. "Well, I need to go. Call you later then and let's hope I can meet you after Regionals."

"We'll see if that can be arranged." Hunter said. "Have you got claimed yet? Like a God's symbol appeared around you?"

"I don't remember anything like that happened."

"Wow, the Gods are smart. Claiming a demigod would be a bad idea for now."

"Why? What happened?"

"Sebastian!" Leonard called again.

"Just a minute! What happened? What's wrong with the Gods?"

"I'm not very sure and I can't say too much or I'll be leaking the mysteries of heaven but the Gods seemed to have a very fierce argument recently, for what, I don't know. But still, I'm eager to see the faces of the demigods in New Directions and the Warblers when they know your heritage. It would be priceless."

"Whatever, but I really need to go now. Talk later, okay? Bye!" Sebastian ended the call and ran to the door. Leonard was standing by the door, looking rather impatiently.

"You finally opened the door. Chiron wants to see you."


As the two walked their way to the Big House, Sebastian had noticed something strange: the weather. The sun was nowhere to be seen, even it was about noon. Thick layers of clouds were rolling and churning in the heaven, flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder could be heard in a distant. Several minutes later, a downpour started and people shouted in surprise as they ran for cover. It rarely rained at the camp, unless it was during special training sessions. Leonard took out an umbrella that Sebastian suspected was stolen from somewhere else.

"Why on earth does Chiron wants to see me?" Sebastian asked.

"I'm not sure, but I have overheard some rumours that someone had managed to sneak into Olympus two weeks ago and stolen Zeus's lightning bolt."

"The what?!"

"The lightning bolt, like the one that you saw in Fantasia, only packed with lethal power than can make mortal's atomic bombs look like a soap bubble busting."

"And it was stolen…"

"Yes."

"Zeus's gonna flip his shit, but what does that have to do with me?"

"Initially, we just want to see Skylar going on a quest. Quest offering is very rare and a size big like this is rarest of the rare and completing it will bring countless honour. And since Skylar is the one in the prophecy, he will obviously take the lead so the rest of the camp wanted to be his companion so they could share the honour and get closer to the son of Zeus. He is, after all, very good looking and charming and can be nice after he considers you as a friend."

"It sounds like you have a crush on him."

"And it sounds like you're jealous of me knowing these facts." Leonard said and Sebastian felt himself blushed. Smirking, the son of Hermes continued. "If you really think of him that way, good luck, because even though he swings both way, it is extremely difficult to get into his heart."

Sebastian looked away, trying to press down his blush and the tingling sense in his stomach.

"And before anyone of us go on a quest, we need to consult the Oracle of Delphi. Skylar did that but one line was particularly confusing. It said 'Success or fail lies on the shoulder of the unclaimed.' You know how many of us are unclaimed in the camp. This line led to much excitement to them because you know, it's an honour. We were discussing about this unclaimed demigod when dad suddenly showed up, he told me to bring you to the Big House too but refused to say why and who give that order before he flashed away."

"Oh great, just great…" Sebastian grumbled.


A group of people have already been crowding around the house, eagerly waiting Skylar to pick them as his companions. Leonard knocked on the door and Chiron opened it.

"Ah, you're here. Come in." The centaur said and Sebastian turned to look at Leonard.

"What about him?"

"I can't go in. It's not my quest and no Gods have requested my presence." Leonard explained. "I'll just wait outside."

Frowning, Sebastian got into the room and saw Skylar was there sitting by the table. Dionysus, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen.

"Where's Mr. D?" Sebastian asked.

"He's off to Olympus. Hermes told him that there was an emergency meeting." Chiron explained. "Now, take a sit please."

Sebastian sat down next to Skylar who was still not looking at him.

"Sebastian, I think Leonard has already told you why you're here, right?"

Sebastian nodded.

"As you know that Skylar is going on a quest soon, but Hermes has specifically mentioned that you must be a part of the quest too."

"Oh how wonderful. So that 'unclaimed demigod' is me, right?

"Now, do you accept the quest?"

"The quest… Does it have something to do with Zeus's bolt?" Sebastian asked and Chiron sighed deeply.

"I'm afraid so. Lord Zeus and Lord Poseidon have been fighting for a month. You must have noticed that how abnormal frequent the natural disasters are recently, like cyclones striking places that seldom experienced one like the South Atlantic; huge hurricanes spreading thousands of miles across struck in late autumn; typhoons with ferocity much greater than the world had ever seen; droughts, floods and diseases lingering among different corners of the world."

"I remembered that. The news said that these phenomena are related to global warming."

"Indeed. They were all because of global warming and all kinds of pollutions." Chiron explained. "The pollutants and greenhouse gases from the mortal world are also contaminating the air that the Gods breathe and slowly heating up their environment. Just like a person tends to get grumpy in a hot and highly polluted area, the Gods, especially the two that get the direct hit, Zeus and Poseidon, get angry more frequently. Slowly, the foul mood also affects other Gods and when that happened, disasters like droughts, floods, famines and epidemics occurred."

"But this fight is different, right? Because I'm sure that this storm is definitely not a product created by a grumpy sky god." Sebastian pointed at the raging storm outside.

"That's the most disturbing part. Last month, the angry situation got worse and words of Zeus and Poseidon were fighting began to spread like a wild fire. In the beginning, I sincerely hoped to the Fates that it was just a rumour and Zeus was nagging Poseidon with some typical nonsense like who is Lady Rhea's favourite child when, well, everyone knows that Rhea loves all her children equally, or which domain is more beautiful and dynamic. But alas, Zeus is actually accusing Poseidon of stealing his thunderbolt which had gone missing last month. In most of the cases, Poseidon will just ignore his brother but being wronged with this accusation really offended the sea god and the problem is the sea god is too proud to convince Zeus otherwise."

"Can Gods really steal each other's things?"

"They are forbidden to do so, but the demigods can. And somehow, Zeus believed that the newest camper would be the thief who works for his brother."

Sebastian felt his mouth dropped.

"Zeus is accusing me of stealing his bolt?" Sebastian pointed a finger at himself. "And he is assuming that I am working for the sea god? Is he out of his mind? I don't even know that Greek myths are real just two weeks ago. For Gods' sake, I don't even know where the modern Olympus is!"

"Actually you have been there, or at least you're roaming beneath it." Chiron said. "Remember you have told us that you went to the Empire State Building for sight-seeing with your brother a few years ago? That's where the Olympus is. Of course you don't know it is there at that time or how to get there but Zeus apparently neglected all these things."

"So just because I have been to the view point of Empire State Building and Zeus believed that I have been to Olympus?"

"That would be the case, and Zeus believed that Poseidon had bribed you into helping him so he could usurp his throne, that's what he concluded."

"Is Zeus really that dumb?" Sebastian asked, ignoring the thunders cracking outside. "Is his mind entirely made of clouds instead of common senses? Because his reasons are completely stupid. I mean seriously, a kindergarten student can make up better reasons than him. Besides, isn't that Zeus's own responsibility to look after his own belongings? And now, he lost that stupid bolt and started blaming someone next to him and pointing an accusing finger at some random guy? How mature is he?"

"Dad's not gonna like his bolt being called stupid." Skylar deadpanned just as a violent thunder boomed outside the window, filling the air with the smell of ozone.

"What a drama queen…" Sebastian grumbled.

"So do you agree going on this quest?"

"Ugh, whatever… As long as I can prove my innocence and shut Zeus the drama queen up…" Sebastian grumbled.

"Good, since it is Zeus's business, we think it is right for us to send Skylar on this quest. Before we tell you the prophecy, Sebastian, swear on River Styx that you won't tell the others, excluding your quest companions about it. Leaking a mystery of heaven is a very terrible act and the result will be very terrible too."

"Okay, I swear."

"Swear it on River Styx, like how I taught you."

"In the name of River Styx, I swear that I won't tell anyone outside this room, excluding my quest companions about the prophecy."

Thunder rumbled, activating the oath.

"Good, so the prophecy, the exact words, are:

You shall go west and retrieved what were stolen.

The god who turned shall fight with you on the doorstep of underworld.

Success or fail lies on the shoulder of the unclaimed.

The traitor shall reveal in the celebration.

And now, I believe you will need to get yourself ready." Chiron said in a more cheerful tone.

Suddenly, a hissing sound rang from the stairs and the three occupants spun around. Right on the stairs leading to the attic, stood a woman, a corpse of a woman to be exact, her eyes was milky white and the normal light of life was absent. The strangest thing of all was a thick layer of green mist surrounding her.

"Oh Styx, this is getting ugly…" Chiron whispered in an extremely nervous tone.

The corpse kept walking until she was standing in front of them her eyes looking right at Sebastian. Gulping in nervousness and slight fear, he looked at Skylar and Chiron for help. Suddenly, a dense green smoke spewed out from her mouth as she said in a hissing voice.

"I am the spirit of Delphi; the speaker of prophecies of Phoebus Apollo, slayer of the mighty Phtyon. Come forward, seeker. Ask…"

Saying nothing, the son of the sky god stood up and walked to the stairs that led to the attic, with Sebastian hurried after him. A dozens flights of stairs after, they faced a trapdoor. Skylar turned to look at the younger demigod.

"Okay, now what?" Sebastian asked, not knowing what to do.

"That's obvious. She's looking right at you, just ask." Chiron whispered.

Gathering his courage, Sebastian approached the Oracle. However, he really had no idea of what he had to ask, or maybe he had too many questions that he couldn't pick on. Sighing, he voiced out what had just crossed his mind.

"O Oracle, what will be my path in future."

He was really expecting that the Oracle would reply him, therefore he was really shocked when he saw the green fog surrounding the Oracle thickened and gradually shaped into five people: Principal Carmichael, Liza King, Hunter, Cooper and finally… Julian.

Carmichael came forward and spoke in a voice he used to comfort him whenever Sebastian was feeling down.

Cold mask shall be casted away.

Liza approached and gently touched his face.

Warmth shall again run through the dry courses.

Hunter patted on his shoulder like he always did.

True power shall be shown.

Cooper and Julian walked towards him together.

For a phoenix cannot hide his real colours.

And what kindness done in the past shall be repaid.

The five people lost their shapes as the green smoke flowed back into the Oracle. Wobbling, she was going to collapse but Chiron was faster. Calling Skylar to help him put her back to her place in the attic, Chiron also ordered Sebastian to get himself prepared and picked a companion for the quest.

The reaction of the campers learnt that Sebastian was going on a quest with Skylar was different. Those who knew Sebastian like his friends were happy for him. Emily, Cooper, Teddy and William, on the other hand, were a worried for him. It's not that Sebastian's a bad fighter. In contrast, Sebastian just proved himself to the camp that he was one of the best fighters when it came to swords, whether it was a single sword or a twin swords, he was as good as or even better than some of the greatest heroes in history like Hercules, Perseus, Theseus and Achilles. Therefore, it was not his skills that worried them, but the lack of experience in real-life fighting for Sebastian. Sure, the harpy and the Minotaur were real challenges but compared to hellhounds and pit scorpions, these two monsters were just on novices' level.

The others campers looked envious about Sebastian and of course, Sloane was absolutely jealous and kept on bad-mouthing Sebastian. But a punch from the girls was enough to shut her up. Now, she was glaring at the end of the group with two black eyes.

"So choose, Skylar Thawne, son of Zeus. Who will be your companion on this quest?" Chiron asked.

"I choose Cisco Valdes, son of Hephaestus." Skylar said solemnly. Excited whispers rang within Cabin nine as a young person with shoulder-length straight black hair and a pair of black eyes stood up.

"And what about you? Sebastian Smythe, son of the unclaimed, who will you choose?"

"I… I will choose…" Sebastian stuttered as he tried to find someone he could trust. His eyes roamed around friends and finally managed to make a decision. "I will choose Caitlin… Caitlin Frost."

Immediately, the said demigod got to her feet. She and her friends were giving Sebastian an encouraging smile.

"Okay. So Cisco Valdes, son of Hephaestus, and Caitlin Frost, daughter of Athena, are you willing to accompany these two demigods on their quest and help with all you can?"

"Yes Chiron." Caitlin informed confidently.

"It will be an honour." Cisco grinned as lightning flashed again, together with violent thunder cracking.

"Excellent." Chiron nodded. "We can take you at most to the bus terminal in Manhattan. After that, you are on your own. May the Gods bless you and may the Fates treats you with kindness."

Skylar, Cisco and Caitlin bowed. Sebastian quickly followed.

"No time to waste. You should all get packing now. You have at most 1 hour." Chiron informed.

Packing was not a difficult task for Sebastian, considered how "many" things he had brought to the camp. Leonard had helped him packed things like toiletries, clothes and some ambrosia and nectar just in case. Leonard himself also offered some cash, both US dollars and golden Greek coins called Drachmas with the head of the Olympians, mostly Zeus, printed on it. He claimed the money was lent by the camp store but Sebastian had a feeling that Leonard just swiped them directly from the cashiers without asking. He was, after all, a son of Hermes, the God of thieves. Like father, like son.

As he was waiting Skylar, Cisco and Caitlin to show up, Chiron appeared next to him.

"I almost forgot this. You're gonna need this." The centaur said as he handed the demigod a correction tape which turned into a sword when being clicked. The sword itself was similar to the one that Sebastian had brought to the camp. They had the same shape, same length and same weight, with different carvings.

"You know the basics and the protocol: Never attack a mortal with weapons like these. And you should beware that demigods like you are twice as vulnerable because both mortal and monsters could hurt you."

Sebastian nodded.

"And a reminder, the correction tape will always reappear in your pocket. I think the same goes to your own sword too." Chiron said, rubbing his chin.

Sebastian decided to give it a try and dropped his own pen into the river and tossed the correction tape as far as he could. Seconds later, he checked his pocket and found the two stationery were there.

"That will be really helpful." Sebastian said as his other companions showed up.

"Argus will be waiting at the bottom of the hill and he would drive you to the bus terminal. And heroes, just relax. Yes, you are doing your best to prevent the biggest war in recent history but being nervous will do you no good. Relax and keep a clear head."

The four demigods nodded and bowed. When they got to the bottom of the hill where Argus was waiting them by a car, Sebastian looked back and saw Chiron standing by the door, giving them the blessings that they needed. Getting in the car, Argus drove the four demigods back to New York City. The mission was on, and what the Fates had planned for them, was as mysterious as always. But one thing is sure: it would be far from a smooth and easy course.

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