Might is Right
Those were the cries of four demigods as the Mist engulfed their vision.
"Relax," Selene's voice came from the fog. "There is nothing to fear. The Mist will separate your little team, four against my Spellcaster and four against my Warrior."
"Afraid to face us yourself?" Clarisse taunted.
"Hardly," Selene's voice responded. "However for today's events, you required a fighting chance."
The Mist receded and revealed five occupants.
Frank, Nico, Clarisse and Jason were on the Camper's team. Buster Blader was on the Hunter's team.
"Heh, so we got the sword guy," Jason remarked.
"Sword, magic, it doesn't matter," Clarisse said with a grin. "I'll take them all down."
"Why are my siblings so violent?" Frank whined.
"Why are you such a wimp?" Clarisse shot back.
"How about we fight each other after we beat the other guy?" Nico said. "Any one got a-"
He was interrupted by a strong push to the side. When he fell, he heard the sound of clashing metal.
"Impressive reaction,"Buster Blader told Clarisse as he tried to push his sword to cut her spear and armor.
The war child simply grinned as her guard stayed strong.
"Nice try," Clarisse said. "But this spear won't be breaking so easily. Not this time."
Buster Blader leaned back to avoid an arrow to the face, then jumped further to avoid the girl's spear stab. A skeletal hand broke through the ground where Buster Blader landed and took hold of his ankle.
"What's this?" The Warrior exclaimed.
Clarisse took advantage and jabbed with her spear, but Buster Blader managed to grab it just below the point and pulled her in for a head-butt.
"Aah," Clarisse said as she stumbled backwards. When she got her bearings again, Buster Blader was surrounded by five undead warriors.
Death Breath is good for something after all, Clarisse thought.
Inside the circle, Buster Blader studied his foes when he was suddenly stuck from behind.
"Uff," he grunted. The swordsman swiped his sword in an arc and cut two of the undead in half when they tried to stab him. He deflected a spear stab from another, only to receive another blow to his armored back. Furious, Buster Blader charged his sword and sent an energy crescent at the source of the annoyance.
The son of Mars let out a curse as he shifted into a hummingbird and zoomed around the field in a panic.
Buster Blader took quick stock of the situation and found the clearing short one son of Jupiter.
Better keep an eye out for the blond, he thought. Perhaps if I engaged him, I'll be able to discover why His Lordship dislikes him so much.
As he thought this, Nico's summons swarmed him. The Warrior swept his arm in an arc, pushing them back. One skeleton jumped ahead with an overhead strike that was blocked; the summon was then kicked towards his brethren. Buster Blader then moved from his position as he dodged Clarisse near precise attacks.
The two fighters clashed as they tried to beat the other.
"What is she doing?" Frank said to himself as he tried to take aim.
"She's fighting," Nico replied nonchalant as he stepped next to Frank.
To Frank's credit, Nico's sudden arrival didn't make him loose the arrow, though he would say he suffered a minor heart attack.
Nico, who was aware of the accidental freak out he just gave Frank but didn't show it, watched in amazement at Clarisse and Buster Blader's fight.
The daughter of Ares handled her spear with ease; though considering it was her third spear after having the first broken by Percy and shoving the second one into a drakon's eye socket, it was no surprise that she'd be skilled with it.
Her opponent, Buster Blader was no pushover either. He was keeping up with Clarisse while also dealing with Nico's skeleton warriors.
There were only a handful of people Nico could mentioned that could do either one, never mind both at once.
Times like these, Nico wished he could shadow travel, but even with his physical and mental recovery, it was still too risky to use off and on the battlefield.
As Nico tried to think on how to help, a stray leaf hit him in the face.
"What in the world?" Nico said as he removed it.
He noticed Frank lower his bow, and before he could ask why, he noticed that it was darker than it should be, and the wind was picking up speed.
"Nico, look," Frank said in a loud whisper as he pointed at the sky.
Flying above the field, sword held high, was Jason Grace.
Nico understood the situation instantly. He sent a mental command to his summons.
At the fight, four skeletons became the focus of Buster Blader's attention while another three dragged a swearing Clarisse from the danger zone.
It then rained lightning; bolt after bolt connected heaven and earth as the clearing was filled with light, heat and sound.
The assault ended and the demigods on the ground uncovered their eyes and ears. The target zone was burnt with lingering smoke.
The dark clouds lingered even as Jason landed and far in the distance the wind kept howling.
"Think you could show off some more?" Nico said.
Jason wasn't sure if it was a joke or not.
"Why'd you do that?" Clarisse yelled. She was looking forward to beating the tar out of the swordsman, and then the blond superman had to ruin it.
"So we could win?" Jason asked completely lost as to why she was fuming.
Before the argument could escalate, Jason was blasted away by a streak of light.
"What the?" Nico, Frank and Clarisse said in surprise and panic.
"It was a commendable effort," a voice said.
The campers turned from Jason's direction to the scorched area to see Buster Blader standing unharmed as his curved blade shot off sparks.
"However," Buster Blader said, "victory will require more than simple lightning."
"Death Breath," Clarisse said as she prepared to charge, "check on the gold idiot over there. Zhang, cover me, and you better not hit me."
Tactics laid out, the daughter of Ares rushed at the Warrior. Spear and sword met in a dance of skill. Blocks, parries, thrusts and counters were used as both fighters tried hard to get the upper hand.
A bit away from their fight, Frank waited for the right moment to shoot.
She's a bit rough around the edges, Frank thought as he called to mind his Greek sister's behavior. But she sure can kick podex.
Further away from the action, Nico was kneeling near Jason's body. The blond had scorched marks all over his clothes and he seemed to be missing his left shoe for some reason.
"Ugh," Jason groaned as he gained consciousness. It was moments like these that his resistance to lightning came in handy; for that was the only reason he could receive minimum damage and be conscious at that moment.
"Can you still fight?" Nico asked, managing to avoid asking the standard Are you okay? question that people tend to ask in these situations.
Nico was concerned for Jason, but even if the boy was hurt, that didn't mean he couldn't fight. Just because someone was down does not mean they were out.
Jason groaned as he shakily stood up with the help of Nico and a nearby tree.
"That..." Jason said as he leaned against the tree, "was not fun."
Nico pulled out a wrapped ambrosia from his pocket. "Here, take a bite."
Jason did and started feeling a bit better.
There was a red flash in the distance. Both of them turned to look at the source. The children of war had teamed up for close combat, spear and sword in hand; they both glowed with the red aura of their father's blessing. Their opponent was using his now electric blade to counter Maimer while using his armored gauntlet to deflect Frank's swings when manageable.
All three of them seemed to land small cuts at each other and the punches and kicks that landed appeared minimal at best.
"Time to join the party," Jason said as he moved forward.
"Fight a guy that can tank a shower of lightning and stalemate two blessed children of the war god... sure why not?" Nico sarcastically said.
He sighed. "I better get some peace and quiet after this," he said before following.
As a high level Warrior back in his homeland, and by the understanding Buster Blader had of this world, he felt a great deal of pride in the fact that he was surviving an assault from two children of war that had given their father's blessing. He also took pride in that the children themselves had lasted this long as well. The fury and savagery of war was an amazing sight.
"Your father would be proud of you," Buster Blader told them, deflecting a spear stab.
"Less talking, more fighting!" Clarisse shouted.
"What's the matter, can't multitask?"
Clarisse simply growled. She made a wild swing that Buster Blader intercepted, he then ducked Frank's swing and back handed the Roman. Clarisse kicked Buster Blader in the chest then tried stabbed him in the chest. Buster Blader managed to twist to side so that it grazed instead; he hissed as the electric current affected him.
Wanting to press the advantage, Clarisse tried to stab again, but Buster Blader dodged and punched Clarisse in the chest, knocking the wind out of her. He grabbed the girl by the arm and spun in a circle before letting go and sent her ten feet away where she landed in a hard roll.
Almost instantly, as if waiting, ivory spikes erupted from the ground under Buster Blader to impale him.
"Draining Shield," Buster Blader casted. A white sheen covered his armor just before impact. The spikes broke through the Warrior's armor, and then vanished like leaves in the wind. Buster Blader was no worse for wear, if anything, he looked good as new.
A gust of wind buffeted against Buster Blader as soon as the Spell ended, lifting him of his feet. He rolled on the ground a bit and was further dragged when a blast of lightning struck him. Fortunately his sword was still under his earlier Spell, Lightning Blade, so the majority of the electricity was absorbed by the sword while he simply suffered slight blunt force trauma from being dragged.
The Warrior finally corrected himself into a crouch, holding his sword in front of him. He saw Clarisse stalking to his left, Nico and Jason were in front of him at a slight distance and away from each other as to not fall to a single attack.
Frank, Buster Blader noted, was nowhere in sight. Focusing on the threats he could see, he laughed.
"I see now why His Lordship sent us here for this event," Buster Blader said. "He wanted us to see for ourselves that you were worthy of admission into the Empire."
"Anyone have any idea what he's talking about?" Nico asked.
"Nope," Clarisse said, "and I don't care. How about someone thinks of a plan to kick his ass?"
The answer came in the form of a buffalo ramming Buster Blader from his left side.
The three demigods blinked at what just happened.
The buffalo turned into a bull and charged as Buster Blader rolled on the ground. He managed to get into a crouch; his sword had been loosed from his grip by the surprise attack, so he held out both hands and grabbed the bull's horns then planted them into the ground. He then wrapped his arms around its neck. He was about to put pressure to choke the bull when it slowly grew bigger and gray. Something grabbed Buster Blader's ankle and he found himself in the air. He then found the ground. Hard.
Well, Buster Blader thought as his back flared with pain. At least I know where Frank is.
He got up to a knee only to dived to the side to escape Clarisse's stab. The spear was planted into the dirt. Buster Blader swiftly got off the ground and shoulder tackled Clarisse, disarming her.
Clarisse stumbled a bit but didn't lose her footing. She then attacked Buster Blader, in unarmed combat. Both fighters tried to hit each other on their vulnerable face, but each strike was deflected and attempts were made to break the limbs with each failure.
During one particular grab, Clarisse miscalculated and Buster Blader slammed his head against her own.
Clarisse stumbled back with a swear, her eyes closed in pain, she then dug her heel and lashed out blindly. She never saw the red flash that covered her as she struck true and sent Buster Blader ten feet away into the ground.
Gods of Egypt, Buster Blader exclaimed. What in the Shadow Realm was that?
Before he could think more, curved bones erupted from under him and pinned him in place. Buster Blader glared at his bindings before shifting in an attempt to break put when he heard the trumpet of an elephant.
His curiosity was further peak by the lack of heavy footfalls, but a red glow rapidly approaching from the air gave an answer as to where the creature was.
"This is not my night," Buster Blader complained. "Magic Cylinder."
The glowing elephant crashed like the hammer of a wrathful god.
"Frank," Jason shouted as he neared the crater. The son of Jupiter was concerned for his successor.
A loud grunt of effort sounded from within the crater, just before something heavy slammed him to the ground.
"Pluto, that's heavy!" Jason said. "What was- Frank? Frank!"
Jason quickly but gently removed the unconscious Frank from on top of him.
The blond needed to breathe after all.
Jason checked Frank's pulse and was relieved to find it steady. He then felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Nico.
"Hey, you okay?" Jason asked after his heart attack. Maybe he should put a bell on Nico after all. "You're looking like your old self," Jason said when he noticed Nico's state.
From the look he got in return, Nico didn't think he was funny.
"Go and help Clarisse," Nico said. "I'll deal with Frank."
"I didn't spend all that time in the infirmary with my hands in my pockets. I know what to do."
"Right," Jason said as he stood to move. He saw the fight in the distance and blinked.
A glowing Clarisse was fighting Buster Blader in hand to hand with the help of five ghouls.
"Are your zombies glowing?" Jason asked.
"Yeah," Nico said. "I think this batch is stronger than the other cause I almost fainted when I called them."
"Right, well, rest if you can while checking on Frank. We'll need you as soon as you can move," Jason said before taking to the air.
Clarisse La Rue sent fist after first at Buster Blader in an attempt to break his face in. She went furious when she saw Zhang's condition, one he shouldn't be in as their father's blessing should have lessened the impact.
She sent a right hook that was blocked by his left gauntlet. She grabbed it and moved it away then delivered two straights left punches to his face. Her third was grabbed by his right palm but she simply let go of his left arm and struck with her right, then kicked him in the chest.
Buster Blader stepped back then sent a kick of his own to her right leg, making her kneel. He tried to smash her face with his knee but she held it in place with both hands. Buster Blader was then tackled by one of the ghouls. He grabbed the lightweight and threw him away; another jumped on his back and wrapped his arms in order to choke him. A third swung his sword to gut Buster Blader but he stepped out of the way.
Buster Blader managed to get a good grip on his passenger and threw him into the two spear carriers that were flanking him.
Clarisse had recovered her spear and was stalking towards him. The two standing ghouls tried to box him in, their swords at the ready.
I have got to stop focusing my Spells into my blade, the Warrior complained.
He gathered energy into his fist and slammed the ground.
"Earthquake," he casted.
The tremors put all of Buster Blader's land based opponents on their knees.
"Ego Boost," Buster Blader said. His armor shined for a moment before the glow vanished. Using a Spell that didn't required his blade, the Warrior moved in a blur towards his weapon.
The moment he picked it up however, he was flung up in the air by a gust of wind. he flailed like a maniac as he tried to stabilize himself.
"Nice try with the earthquake," a voice said.
Considering the height, it could only be one person.
"But that doesn't work on me all that well," Jason told his upside down opponent.
He looked proud to have avoided Buster Blader's technique.
"Don't be so cocky, boy," Buster Blader said. "You have simply proven yourselves tenacious, not victorious."
A blue glow lined the curved blade as the Warrior righted himself and slashed the air. "Mystical Space Typhoon." Blue wind burst off from the blade, instantly cancelling Jason's own and launching him towards the ground.
Jason called on the winds to slow descent but they did not respond. Before he could think of a plan or curse his luck, he felt a strong blow to his stomach.
"Blah." Spit flew out as he gasped.
Despite the sucker punch, Jason still managed to block Buster Blader's follow up strike with his sword. Jason wasn't sure but he could've sworn Buster Blader smirked before his blade turned into a bluish white light and let loose an electric blast that sent him the remaining fifteen feet for a hard landing.
Buster Blader managed to roll off the impact of his landing with minimal strain.
He still wouldn't be repeating it any time soon though. At least he hoped.
Jason was on his hands and knees as Buster Blader reached him.
"What did you do to me?" Jason demanded. Even if Buster Blader could overpower his winds, he should have at least felt them respond to his will, and that electric attack hurt a lot worse than the first one he was hit with.
"The Spell I casted cancels out powers not natural to its target," Buster Blader said. "Because your winds are not your own, you've lost temporary control over them."
"And the lightning?" Jason asked as he managed to stand with a small slouch. Even though Buster Blader had landed less impacts on Jason than the others, the ones he did land he made count.
"Children of Zeus have some resistance to lightning regardless of elemental abilities, if any," Buster Blader said. "But as your affinity to lightning is lower than your sister's, my Spell lowered that resistance even more."
He then spun on his heel and stopped a slash from Clarisse. His heels dug into the ground as a result.
What's this? he thought. That was on par with her blessed state from earlier, yet she isn't glowing now.
White spikes erupted from under Buster Blader's feet, fortunately for him, his Ego Boost was still in effect and he dashed to safety; he was so fast it looked like he teleported.
"Back in action, are you?" Buster Blader mused. He was immediately tackled by something heavy. He rolled to one knee. When he looked up, he saw Frank looking at him with a determined stare.
"Interesting," Buster Blader said to himself.
Clarisse was grinning, as she had Frank's sword in her hand and Maimer on her back. Frank seemed to have recovered from his backfiring dive bomb. Jason was on his knees taking a bit more first aid as Nico stood nearby, ready for a fight.
Buster Blader took a readied stance; his sword gave off slight sparks of electricity.
"Round two then," he said. He slashed downwards and sent an electric crescent blast at them.
Jason moved in front of the attack and held out his sword like he was going to impale the attack. The others tensed and prepared to make their move. They would've called to Jason and warned him that he was being an idiot since the ambrosia hadn't healed him yet, but all of them had bared witness to idiots doing incredible feats.
The energy reached the outstretched blade and it discharged with blinding light.
Buster Blader, who was neither resistant nor immune to the light, had to raise his arm to shield himself. When the lights died down, he lowered his arm and immediately sidestepped a stab from Jason.
"Better luck ne-" Buster Blader's comment was cut short by a tiny projectile scratching his cheek. What was that? he thought. He saw Jason smirk before the boy took to the skies.
Buster Blader was then tackled from behind by Clarisse. he swiftly threw her off, but a wild swing struck him vertically by the shoulder blade. On a crouched position, Buster Blader moved his right arm a bit, testing the wound; it was shallow, and didn't impede his movements too much.
He made to go after Clarisse but he was then struck in the back by more tiny projectiles as if they were fired by a machine gun. Buster Blader staggered then turned to where Nico was, only to see the boy grinning.
Buster Blader was swept to the air by raging winds.
"You don't learn do you, boy?" Buster Blader shouted as he moved to counterattack.
"Actually," Jason said with a smirk. "I do."
He then called off the winds, and Buster Blader dropped like a stone, towards a spiked area, courtesy of Nico. Jason then sent a strong gale at the Warrior, making him crash even harder; the area exploded into dust and bone.
Before the dust cloud cleared, a blur shot out of it, heading towards Nico.
The son of Hades erupted bone spikes after bone spikes to impede Buster Blader's advance, but he kept dodging each obstacle.
This guy has the skill to match a blessed Clarisse, Nico thought. If he gets within sword range, he'll cut me to ribbons.
Buster Blader kept avoiding the spikes that erupted from the ground, along with the bone bullets that Nico thought would slow him down.
I don't care if he's injured or not, no need to fight if I can avoid it. Nico held his sword by the handle, and stab it into the ground.
The earth sunk as a wide pit opened up like the maw of a hungry beast about five feet in front of Nico. He then raised his left arm and his edge of the chasm was filled bone spikes of varying sizes.
Buster Blader dug his heels to brake, stopping a few feet from his side of the edge. He had intended to jump the twenty or more feet gap, but he had no defenses at the moment to protect him from the spikes.
The Warrior heard crunching grass. He turned with a slash and deflected Clarisse's spear. The girl followed her attack with a kick to his sternum. He slid backward to the edge.
Buster Blader's situation was not a good one. While both he and Clarisse were unable to fly, the girl had two demigods that could fly, and another that appeared capable of using bones for whatever he wanted.
Things have proven more difficult than anticipated, he admitted. He had been briefed a bit on the skills of the eight possible demigods he would test, but they had proven themselves better than first reported.
"Time to get back on top," Buster Blader said as he lifted his sword straight up. It glowed with white light. He then stabbed the blade into the ground. "Sogen," he casted.
A wave of light washed over the ruined clearing and turned it into a lush green field. The four campers looked around in amazement.
Buster Blader felt the effect of the Spell as a surge of strength flowed through him. His wounds did not heal, but neither would they bleed or hinder him for the moment.
Clarisse and Frank felt their fatigue start to disappear.
Buster Blader charged at Clarisse with an overhead strike. The girl blocked by holding her spear high in a sideways position. He followed by striking her in the chest with a strong left punch. The impact made her slid back a bit, but other than the slight dent in her armor, Clarisse was no worse for wear.
"Fighting Spirit," Buster Blader said. His armor flashed for a second and then he vanished.
Clarisse sneered as she scanned the area, then suddenly her senses flared and she ducked down just in time to avoid being decapitated. She glared at him over her shoulder and saw him smirk before he left in a burst of what she now realized was super speed.
Clarisse looked around. Whatever he did to the battlefield seems to have boosted his abilities; but she also felt empowered. She felt like she had received her father's blessing with twice the power.
In her observation, she noticed that Frank was also tracking the armored speedster whose only proof of existence was the occasional dust that kicked up. Neither Jason nor Nico were reacting like she or Frank were, so they may not be able to track Buster Blader like they could.
Clarisse watched as Frank put his arms up as a blur rushed past him; the boy was sent cartwheeling through the air into a hard landing.
Any other time and she would have laughed at the sight- and she probably would when she told it to others- but at the moment, all she felt was fury at having her teammate blindsided.
A rush of wind passed by Clarisse and the girl found herself eating dirt.
"Pfft." Clarisse spit out the grass that was in her mouth. Her chest hurt from the impact.
She looked around the field for Buster Blader; she saw Jason still airborne, Frank seemed to have shifted into something small- she caught a glimpse of the Warrior, heading towards-
"Death Breath, look out!" Clarisse shouted.
The warning was fruitless as Nico was struck by Buster Blader, and the boy rolled on the ground. Buster Blader stayed where he was, just a few feet from Nico.
Buter Blader walked towards Nico, then stopped when he briefly glowed, then it dispersed like sparkles.
"My Ego Boost has run out," Buster Blader mused as he lifted his left hand. He clenched it. "No matter. With Fighting Spirit in place, along with Lightning Blade-" his sword sparked momentarily. "Victory will be mine."
Sharp spikes came out of the ground and Blade did a forward flip to avoid them.
"That trick is getting old," Buster Blader told Nico.
Nico smirked from his crouched position; the tip of his blade was planted in the ground. "My tricks are limited right now," he said. "So with that in mind..." He thrust his left hand forward and a barrage of bones bullets launched forward from the ground in front of him.
Buster Blader moved to the side and then ran toward Nico. He was careful in his run; he had to dodge the projectiles and the spikes that the boy used. He also had to keep an eye out for the others. Clarisse was too far to assist, but Frank was somewhere out there, and Buster Blader could feel the wind picking up under Jason's command.
Buster Blader dodged a few more barrages and reached Nico. He swung his blade in a horizontal arc and was blocked by the flat side of Nico's sword.
The boy nearly buckled under the impact but managed to keep his ground. He glared at Buster Blader before smirking. Six ghoul arms broke out of the ground and attached themselves to the Warrior's legs.
"Going down," Nico said. The ground then collapsed into a pit like water down a drain.
The ghouls moved to better their grip on Buster Blader and hinder his movements. Nico was crouching on the tangled swordsman like a skateboard. He grinned at his captive.
"See ya," Nico said. He pushed his legs down and sent Buster Blader deeper into the hole at a faster rate than his own. The boy's descent was halted when bone spikes packed together came out of the sides to form a bridge.
Nico grunted at the sudden stop. "Not fun," he said with a groan.
A screech made Nico look up. A large hawk similar to Camp Jupiter's was lowering to his position. He held up his hands to grab Frank's talons.
When they cleared the pit, Nico noticed a large cloud hovering above the pit- a cloud that was not part of the sky or the storm.
"What the Hades?" Nico said.
When Nico and Frank distanced themselves from the edge, rain fell into the pit like a waterfall.
Nearby, Jason focused his remaining strength into filling the hole as much as he could, and to deliver the final blow.
"It's been interesting," Jason said, despite the impossibility of Buster Blader hearing. "But victory is ours." Using the last of his strength, Jason called down the strongest lightning bolt he could manage.
There was a bright flash and a deafening boom.
Nico and Frank watched as Jason fell to his knees.
Nico breathed in relief. "It's finally over."
As Nico had his eyes closed, he didn't see what happened next. Frank however, did.
The son of Mars watched as the air in front of Jason took on color and form. Frank made to shout, but it was too late; Buster Blader's curved blade struck Jason in a rising diagonal movement on his chest plate, and sent him sprawling on his back with a bleeding gash.
"No!" Frank roared, almost literally as he changed into a lion and went after Buster Blader.
Lion Frank tackled the Warrior and sank his teeth into the left armored arm, breaking the metal and Buster Blader's skin.
Buster Blader rolled the two of them on the ground as he tried to pry off the beast. On one roll, he managed to put Lion Frank back first on the ground, he swiftly raised his right fist and struck hard into the side of Frank's skull.
The lion went limp.
Victory was short lived as Buster Blader was immediately struck by a multitude of bone bullets going into his chest and out the back.
The pain Buster Blader felt was so great; he barely dodged the lance that shot out of the ground to impale him. Instead the point struck his left shoulder and made it half way before he was cleared.
The Warrior clutched his shoulder and checked the field. He was three feet away from the unconscious Frank, Jason was five feet away and Nico about ten feet away.
His Ego Boost and Fighting Spirit had run out, leaving him with only his Lightning Blade.
It won't be easy, Buster Blader thought. But there's still a chance for me to-
He gasped as a spear tip came out of his chest. He looked at it in surprise and pain. He fell to his knees then craned his head to see behind him. He saw a panting Clarisse holding the shaft of the spear.
"We win," Clarisse said, gasping.
Buster Blader could only manage the barest of nods to acknowledge it. "You won the battle," he said. "But can you win the war?"
He then vanished in a burst of colorful glass.
Clarisse fell to her knees. She chuckled for a bit, and then it turned into full blown laughter.
"Best! Fight! Ever!" She shouted. She then fell face first into the ground.
Nico, sole witness of the victory and only conscious demigod, let out a frustrated sigh as he limped towards his friends.
"Will is never going to let me live this down," Nico grumbled. "A son of Hades using medical knowledge to keep people out of his father's realm-gods, I hope Father doesn't hear about this."
He crouched over Jason, who was closest. Nico took out a small canteen of nectar and took a sip.
"Much better," he said.
He gave a long look at Jason's sorry state, and then did the same with the war siblings.
"I better get some peace and quiet after this," Nico said.
Steps echoed across a corridor of black stone accompanied by a slight rustle sound as something was dragged across the floor.
The corridor widened into a large throne room similar to Olympus, only darker and colder. There was a strange circular union of symbols in the center of the room, and they branched into six outer circles five feet from the main one.
One of the outer circles had helmet with ram horns, another had a small cauldron filled with two liquid metals, the other one had a huge chunk of an oak tree's trunk, while the last filled circle had a tall man sleeping in it.
"Alexandra," a voice called out from the shadows. "Welcome back." The shadows seem to take on solid form as a Hunter dressed in black stepped into the light.
"Hope he didn't give you much trouble," the Hunter said, looking at the burnt Heracles.
"Not at all, Angela," Alexandra said. "Where's Andromeda?"
"Still? And Sarah?"
Angela pointed to a hallway opposite of the main corridor. "With the castle's resident."
"In that case, I better finish my delivery," Alexandra said. She headed to the hallway, leaving Angela by herself.
Angela looked at the stars through the opening on the ceiling. The Huntress constellation seemed to shine brighter than the others.
"To use the capital and residence of Olympus' past enemies," Angela said, "to hide the site of where its greatest warrior will return from exile." She looked down at her locket which bared the symbol of her father, Hades, Lord of the Underworld. "You were right, Dad. Cadmus is an interesting guy."
The locket opened to show two pictures. The one the left was of her family before the hotel incident and the other was a group photo of when she joined the Hunt.
Another clasp was undone. The Hunter group photo flipped to the side. There was another set for photos, but only one slot had one.
The setting was a temple of sorts; Hades, Poseidon, Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Athena and Artemis stood side by side, facing the camera. Kneeling in front of them, also facing the camera, were the three disciples of Lord Cadmus: Sarah of Athens, Alexandra of Sparta, and Andromeda of Crete. In the same position were also Selene Cadmus, daughter of Artemis, the reborn form of Zoe Nightshade, and then herself, Angela Cadmus, reborn form of Bianca di Angelo, and still daughter of Hades.
The other slot would stay empty until she reunited with her brother. They could add their Roman sister as well into the picture.
There was a large surge of heat coming from the hallway she pointed out earlier- a hallway that led to one of most famous of mythical punishments- followed by a horrifying pained filled scream.
Angela looked at the picture of her family once more.
"Soon," she whispered. "Soon we'll see each other again."