Xero

Chaper 5 (Thalia)

THALIA

When I returned to my cabin, I decided to go with something more summer formal. I put on a red dress, a pair of black biker gloves and boots. Getting dressed was the easy part, but brushing my hair was the hard part. Julissa always had it so easy. I mean, aside from being a daughter of Aphrodite, she just knew how to do hair. I, on the other hand, could care less about my appearance, even if it was for the new kid. . .

Finally finishing my rats nest of hair, I decided to head for the big house. When I arrived, everyone was ready. The ping pong table was crowded with more than eight-teen people around the table. Some had to sit a bit behind others. Luckily, Xero sat where he could be seen, which was a plus- in a way.

Chiron strutted in. He had acted as Mr. Dynimo, as Max had informed me, at the school that Xero used to attend so there was a twinge of shock in his eyes when he saw him.

“Morning everyone.” Chiron kindly announced gazing towards Xero. “I hope everyone had a good night’s sleep. First order of business is to honor and welcome our newest addition, Xero, the son of Hades. He is to be treated as a hero, even as a child of Hades.”

“The second order of business?” Max questioned.

“It appears that Icaris, the storm giant, is here in the United States. We have also received word that Persephone has vanished since last night.”

“So it’s happened?” Xero wondered. I gazed at him, unaware of what he was talking about. He took a few minutes staring at Tony playing with a ping pong ball. When his attention returned, he raised his head glancing back at the crowd of councillors hoping for an elaboration.

“What do you mean it happened?” I asked.

“I had a dream of Icarus and his men. He said that he wanted to find me, and for some reason used the idea of capturing Persephone, if that’s something he also said that Alyus and Otyus will challenge Max and You.”

“This means, he’s drawing you three out.” Chrion strolled around trying to figure out a way to interpret the message. “It’s never happened before, but this is good. At least we know what’s happening. Alright, Xero you need to head for the Oracle’s lair. Thalia will you take him?”

“Of course,” I replied.

“Looks like this summer isn’t going to be peaceful after all.” Max mumbled. “After all the plans I made, now I gotta put them on hold. Just great.”

“Look on the bright side.” Xero commented. “At least we get to travel distant lands.”

“For a child of Hades, you seem nicer. Or maybe it’s just the idea of being a demigod?” He laughed.

“It’s great to see you two having a budding bromance, but i think we should get the details first before we decide on going!” I responded.

“Thalia’s right.” Chiron added. “Demeter was in Virginia when they last lost contact. But it could be that Icaris captured her while she was asleep. If anything, finding Clorissa would help.”

“Who’s Clorissa?” Xero asked.

“She’s a priestess, one that was blessed with the power of forethought by Prometheus. She was a demigod during the era of Percy Jackson, she was one of the youngest demigods, daughter of Demeter.She was rarely mentioned by the others.” I explained.

“Ok?” He replied even more confused.

Chiron sighed. “Find her and she will help you. She’s a bit older now, and her days of being a priestess are over now, she’s more of a traveling explorer.”

“Understood.” I smiled. With that the meeting was adjourned.After the council, I decided to take in some battle and endurance training before we left. The good thing about me was that I was skilled in multi combat and I could fight, run and still do almost any kind of flip in a dress.

Arriving at the battle cycle gear, I smiled. Julissa was there. She rarely decided to train, but when she did, she was obviously worried. Julissa sported the fabled female warrior getup: a rose pink, long sleeve shirt,battle armor, shin guards, elbow pads and a red bandana. Julissa was always interestingly beautiful, she could make any outfit work for her, which was kinda annoying.

Readying myself, I stretched my arms, before the whistle blew. Glancing at her, I smiled as I held a state of sheer force and pride. At the whistle, I sprinted up the gears, tossing and turning as levers released traps and gears of which I would step on.

The course was timed, and this helped me keep up with strategy and battle. I mean, without time everything would fall apart.

Seconds breezed as I slipped and fell, Glancing up, I saw Julissa was at the top. Rushing for her foot, I smiled. Tugging her down, she flipped and landed on a rope ladder behind me.

“Cheater!” She cried.

Glancing back, I looked at her confused. “Cheater? There are no rules here. Julissa this is a test of endurance and strategy.” Turning my attention towards the top, I climbed.

Levers unleashed upon me, at one point I almost fell, but luckily, I had the upper body strength of a gymnast. Crawling my way up a confined space, I smiled as I rose at the top of the obstacle, victorious.

With the bell, I gazed at the clock to see I had completed it in 14 minutes 13 seconds and 12 milliseconds. Dropping down from the top, I smiled and shook hands with Julissa.

“I see you never change.” She murmured.

“Sorry, but I’ve been competitive ever since I was little, haven’t changed yet, so why start now?” I replied. Laughing she turned. “Maybe because I’m a daughter of Aphrodite. I could fix that hair of yours, if you asked nicely.”

“I don’t mind the rats nest. It’s whatever.” I smiled.

“So, what’s up with that quest, do you really think you’ll find Icarus, I mean, he’s far too ancient to locate just by chance.” Julissa wondered.

“No, but Clorissa could help, if she is still alive, she would help with something like this. Besides, we need to find Persephone before Demeter grows sad, we don’t want an early winter now do we?”

“Heavens no!” Julissa replied. “I like autumn, it’s the second most beautiful season, well behind spring of course. But the thing that sucks is that Max is going on this quest.”

I nodded. I didn’t know how it felt to be in a relationship, but I knew disappointment all too well. It was the one thing all demigods endured, whether it be through parents, love or both. It all ended the same, feeling unwanted and unloved.

“What were you two planning anyway?” I asked trying to get over the disappointments of being a demigod. Julissa saw right through that, but she didn’t mind telling me. We’ve been friends closer since Max started dating her last month.

“He wanted to take me out of camp, go to a movie, plan out a surprise, whatever that was, and we were supposed to start it all with a late night dip in the beach tonight.”

I smiled. Max was never one for romance, but all that stuff sounded amazing. Just the start seemed interesting. Most couples at camp would just hang out with each other all day long, but Max was way more creative. Julissa was beyond lucky he was too, because if not he would just be a boyfriend of the present and not the future.

“Looks like he takes charge in relationships too.” I laughed.

“He better!” She laughed.

After a while, Julissa left for her cabin, for cabin inspection. Most demigods were neat, heck even the Hermes cabin was buckling up, cleaning every three to four days. Don’t get me wrong, you’d still see dirty laundry on the floor and their beds look a mess, but at least they didn’t have food all over the place anymore.

But the Aphrodite cabin was by far the cleanest of the entire camp. It served the right, that cabin was mostly girls, with the exception of Trey and Linsey, who were both boys. It wasn’t that bad though because the boys happened to be germaphobic, anything that looked dirty they complained on and on about it.

When I finally reached my cabin, Dexter was on my laptop. He was very calm about it, as if it were his, but I didn’t care. He was the closest sibling of mine, so he got privileges like that.

Dexter was this tall muscular kid, he had harsh grey eyes, even harsher than my own, and dirty blonde hair that would frizz up in the humidity. He was only a couple inches taller than me, but he did at times tease me about being short. It was a sibling thing, he was also about three months younger than me.

“We fixed the cabin, but we didn’t think it was ok to move your stuff, so I left it there.” He said.

“Thanks, it’s ok.” I replied, wadding up the old battle scrolls and placing the books of strategies up in my bookshelf. After about five minutes, I finished and sat down on my bed. Across the room, Dexter held the computer.

“When you’re done, I’m going to need that.” I said.

“So, is the new kid going on the quest?” He said, still keeping his eyes on the computer.

“Yea, he is.” I smiled. I didn’t say anything, but the moment I smiled, Dexter laughed. Almost like he had known about my crush.

“I see.” He hummed. “He’s a child of Hades right? That’s rare, now we got two. Zeus and Hades. I doubt we’ll get a Poseidon kid anytime soon. Poseidon is rare, he only has children when he has something to lose rather than to gain. That’s the sea god to you.”

“Dexter, you have something you have to work on.” I replied. “Wisdom doesn’t judge.”

Smirking he laughed. “Like mother didn’t judge that one kid? Peter Johnson?” He teased.

“Percy Jackson,” I corrected.

“Ok, anyways, who cares about that kid, he’s long gone, but he does look a lot like Xero, the face, but that’s all. Maybe the eyes, light green right?”

“Yes.” I sighed, getting out of bed. “You know what, When you’re done with the laptop, just shut it down. I’m gonna go and train a bit more, probably clear my head.”

With that, I walked out a bit annoyed at the things Dexter had said.

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