That summer, Chiron arranged for a big group of us to make our way to Camp Jupiter. He warned them that we were coming and they made a lot of rules that we had to agree to, but they let us come. None of us were very excited, and a lot of us were terrified. Rightfully so.
The Romans made us stay in tents in the Field of Mars that we had to tear down every morning and set up again every night. Percy and I shared a tent, and at night I snuggled close to him, trying not to shake or cry or give away how scared I was.
We had to train with the Romans, which was very intense and confusing. They had strange swords and fought differently than us. In all of the training exercises, it seemed as if they were just trying to wound us.
Finally, Chiron confronted their praetors, who got very defensive and tried to kick us out. We left for a few nights, camping outside of their borders. We had to have night watch rotations to fend off all the monsters, and after just 6 days, all of our tents except two were piles of ashes or so broken that they were unusable. We were out of food, and we had lost one son of Aphrodite, Florian Weathers, in a fight.
Chiron, in an uncharacteristic fit of rage, led a charge back to Camp Jupiter, where we fought them. No one was killed, but the injuries sustained were not good.
After a lot of blood had been spilled, the praetors rode out to meet Chiron under a white flag, and they let us stay within their borders again. We had a funeral for Florian, and things were okay for a couple days. It didn’t take long for the tensions to build up again, and after watching a particularly bad fight at the end of June, I found Nico in his tent and cried on his shoulder. I had no idea how to keep peace between the two camps. First of all, I was shy and I had barely talked to anyone. When I got involved in a fight, the Romans just laughed.
Nico listened to me and held me until I stopped crying, then kissed me on the cheek for the first time ever. We talked, and he told me, “You should be like you around me. Then they’ll love you like I do.”
In the coming week, I branched out. Since I was little, everyone tended to go soft when Nico and I were around. Slowly, I made friends with Romans. I made them care about me, and in turn, they started to care about the people I cared about: my half-blood family.
It all happened quite fast. Before I knew it, people who had been fighting each other to an inch from death started talking. Some of them even became friends and hold their friendships to this day.
On July 22nd, 2002, a peace treaty was signed between our two camps. It was a big weight off everyone’s shoulders, and I was so relieved that I kissed Nico on the cheek, despite being scared of the feelings I was developing for him.