After managing to evade the empousai in the Lotus, Angelique and the gang got a little… sidetracked. They started in the pool, then moved to the arcade, then the amusement park, then the… well, everywhere, actually. It felt like only hours had passed with all the stuff they did. At one point, they had split up after doing so much together. Then Angelique heard Nico shouting at the top of his lungs for the trio.
At first, she thought, how did they get all the way here from Iowa? Then, she realized that it must have meant something went horribly wrong. She called for Lillyan and Camlo.
"Cam! Lilly!" Angelique shouted, hoping she'd find them.
She looked at the amusement park first. Lillyan had said that she wanted to ride that roller coaster that's name just happened to escape her mind that very moment. She couldn't find her, so she left to search somewhere else until she bumped into Nico, Will, and Alex (who looked very tired and had bags under her eyes).
"Angelique, there you are!" Nico exclaimed. "Where are the others? We need to get you out now!"
"Why? It's only been, like, three hours; we still have a week left," Angelique said a little confused.
"Oh yeah?" Will said in a serious tone.
"Try two to three days," Nico said.
"What?" Angelique shrieked. "How is that possible?"
"I didn't think of it at the time, but I should have warned you about the Lotus Hotel and Casino," Nico said quickly. "This place slows down time so much that an hour can feel like days; trust me, I know."
"We don't have much time, where are Cam and Lil?" Alex asked out of breath.
"Are you okay?" Angelique asked, concerned.
"We'll talk about it later!" Nico interjected as he dragged Angelique to go find the rest of the trio.
They checked the pool– no one they knew were there. They checked the arcade, but it was a long shot in finding Camlo and Lillyan in the huge game section. There were so many people gathered at the arcade that it was extremely hard to maneuver in. They called their names, but there was no answer from either of them.
"We gotta hurry– Oh, shit," Nico said as he turned around.
"They caught up," Will continued.
"Who did?" Angelique asked as she turned around to see a hoard of empousai pushing their way through the crowd of people. "That is a lot more than we saw when we went in here," She said, astonished.
"Gods, sometimes I hate being a kid of one of the big three..!" Nico muttered as he grabbed Alex's wrist, Will grabbing Angelique's.
They pushed through the crowd of people, trying their best to find Camlo and Lillyan. Then they spotted them, playing two separate games at each end of a line of arcade games.
"Camlo! Lillyan!" Nico called out.
They turned their heads to see Angelique and the others, Camlo smiling and waving, and Lillyan staring in horror.
Lillyan kicked her heels and hovered over the crowd. She grabbed Camlo by his shirt collar and brought him over to Angelique and the others.
"I think I remember why it was a bad idea to go to Vegas," Lillyan said.
"You think?" Nico said sarcastically.
"And now we have empousai on our tails," Will said.
"They followed us in?" Camlo asked, freaked out.
"More like followed me and Alex in," Nico admitted. "Because, you know– kids of Hades, one of the 'eldest gods'?" Nico saw the confusion on Camlo's face. He gave him an annoyed expression. "We're monster magnets, numbnuts."
"Oh," Camlo said.
"You're an idiot, Cam," Lillyan said.
"Can we just get out of here?" Alex muttered, every once and a while glancing over her shoulder.
"Alex is right," Nico said. "We gotta go."
They pushed through people, not really caring what they thought of them. It didn't matter because they'd never see them again. They ran for the exit.
It took a while, but when they arrived they were stopped by attendants who smiled at them and asked them to say. Despite anyone's rejection and Nico's yelling, they still insisted that they stayed. Angelique thought that Nico would explode.
"Look! We really need to go!" Nico said, trying to be calm. "Let us through!"
"I assure you," one of them said. "Just try our new game, it'll be fun!"
"We really need to get going," Will muttered under his breath, a little peeved. "Still don't understand why you didn't make a plan first..." He whispered to Nico.
"When have my plans ever worked, Will?" Nico muttered.
"It would have been nice if you at least knew how to get past them!" Will whisper-yelled.
"I got this," Camlo said, cracking his knuckles.
Angelique looked at Camlo confused. What was he…?
Camlo stepped forward with a smile and a wave.
"Hi! I'm Cam and these are my friends," He began. "We'd like to leave, now."
The attendants didn't move for a while, looking dumber than ever. Eventually they apologized and moved to the side and let them pass, their faces riddles with a blank stare. They walked out the doors and started to head out of Vegas.
"What did you do?" Angelique whispered to Camlo as they walked, dumbfounded.
"I used my charmspeak," He explained. "Pretty neat, huh?"
"Good thinking, Cam," Nico said, giving Camlo a friendly punch in the shoulder.
"Gotta say," Will said. "I will never be as thankful to a charmspeaker than right then," He looked at Nico who had a smirk on his face. "No, don't–!"
"If Will will, will Will will again? And if Will will-!"
Will groaned. "I have never been so embarrassed about my own name!" Will exclaimed with annoyance.
"Try Loiza," Camlo competed.
"But that's not your name," Will questioned.
"It's his middle name," Lillyan said, trying to hold back a laugh. "So manly."
"It is too!" Camlo paused. "In Romani culture…"
"Wait, Romani as in, like, Gypsy?" Angelique asked.
"I prefer Romani, but yeah," Camlo said.
"Where are we going?" Lillyan asked Nico who was leading everyone.
"I want to go back to the Las Vegas Bay–!"
"No, you are not looking for that B-29 again!" Will scolded.
"I just wanna touch it!" Nico said. "Calm down, babe."
Angelique looked at the lit up signs around Las Vegas. She spotted one with the date on it: July 4th.
"It's Independence Day," Angelique said.
"What?" Lillyan asked confused.
"It's the Fourth of July," Angelique said, turning her head towards Lillyan. "We have three days– Well, two, it's, like eleven o'clock at night."
"Then we need to contact the Muses," Lillyan said, looking around at the others.
"Good idea," Camlo said as they reached the Las Vegas Bay.
Nico instantly dove into the dark waters of the bay.
"Nico Di Angelo, you get out of there this instant!" Will shouted. "We don't have time for this!"
Nico pushed his head above the water. "It'll take, like, five minutes! You guys call the Muses, I'll just look for the B-29, sound good?"
"Nico–!" Will began, but couldn't finish because Nico had dove back down. Will sighed in annoyance.
"Annabeth said that we need to sing a hymn for them," Lillyan said. "But it kinda just occurred to me that we…" She paused. "...Don't know… any hymns to the muses…"
"Well, that's a problem," Camlo stated.
"Hang on," Will said, taking off his backpack and digging through his things. "I think I might have a book of hymns here…"
There must have been a lot of crap in Angelique's half-brother's backpack, because it took about seven minutes for him to find the hymn book that he said he had. He started flipping through it to find the hymn. In a few seconds, Will stopped in the middle of the book.
"Found it!" Will exclaimed. He put his finger on a song title, Mesomedes' Hymn to the Muse, and showed it to them. Well, that was so easy, Angelique could have pressed the Staples Easy button.
"Do we sing it? Do we play it? Both?" Camlo asked.
"Both to be safe," Will said. "I'll play the panflute, you sing, Angelique," Will held out his hand for the panflute.
"What– Sing? Me?" Angelique squeaked.
"You're a daughter of Apollo," Will stated. "You can sing, I've heard you do it on the beach."
"Don't worry, I caught it once, that's it," Will said. "You're not much of the stage type, are you?" Angelique shook her head.
"Not unless it's my bass clarinet," Angelique explained.
"I see," Will said. "You're singing anyway."
"Hey, if you know how to play the panflute, by all means," Will said.
Angelique tossed him the panflute.
"Whenever you're ready, sis," Will said, getting his fingers situated on the instrument.
Angelique took a deep breath.
"Oh, Muse, thou dear one, Sing to me,
Commence and order my song.
Cool breezes blowing from thy groves,
Inspire my breast and rouse my heart.
Calliopeia Thou wise
principal of the Muses delightful,
Thou too, wise mystery guide,
Leto's child, Thou Delian Paean,
Be propitious and stand by me."
"That was beautiful," Camlo said, awestruck.
Angelique blushed. "Thanks, Cam."
A streak of light came from the sky between the dark clouds of the night. Who appeared before them were nine Muses, all in different kinds of Greek dresses (which Angelique didn't know the names of). Each held an item of their respected art.
"Of course it was beautiful," the Muse wearing a Laurel Wreath said.
"She's a daughter of our leader, Apollo," the Muse holding a scroll said.
"Everyone knows that they're natural musicians and singers!" the Muse with a Lyre in her hand said.
"Love what you did with your shirt by the way, darling," the Muse with a crown of ivy said.