Chapter 34 - Hunter

A roar of cheers rolled over the crowd as they finished off the retreating enemy army. Hunter looked into the hard gaze of Artemis and he knew he was in trouble, but he couldn’t help, but smile. He was alive. He heard the sound of fast footsteps and then the collision of a body into his as arms wrapped around his neck and lips slammed into his. Hunter wrapped his arms around Philippa and kissed her back, leaning into her like he was worried that this coming back to life thing was temporary. That any moment now he was going to be yanked back into the waiting room where he would sit for thousands of years. At that moment, he didn’t care that Artemis was staring him down. He was just happy to be alive.
“I love you, Philippa.” Hunter said, cradling her face in his hand. She gasped and her eyes widened. Hunter froze for a second. He couldn’t say that. If he said that then he wasn’t a Hunter. He looked up at the crowd where the campers were parting. Through the crowd, several people walked toward him. They emanated power and immediately, Hunter recognized them as the gods. Aphrodite stood to the left of Ares who stood next to Zeus. When Hunter caught her eye she gave him a little wink and giggled a little. Hunter was a little taken aback. It seemed that all eyes were on him and he had no idea what to do. Hunter took a step forward, but was met with another set of arms and a warm body.
“Oh thank gods…” Marina muttered as she buried her face in his chest, hugging him in a bearhug. He looked over as Will and Kyle gathered around him and started patting him on the back. Soon more and more people step forward to celebrate and thank each other and mourn and express all the emotion that they wanted to but couldn’t because of the war and because of the presence of the gods among them. Hunter was finally smiling and finally he felt that he could relax.
“Quiet!” That ended quickly. The booming voice of the thunder god rang out through the city block and probably the city street where they had gathered. “Campers, gather the injured and return to camp. Take care of any monsters that may still be around. Chiron, make sure they go straight to camp.” Zeus said firmly. The campers froze for a second before scrambling to action. Hunter was lost as his friends were swept away and he looked for Philippa, but she didn’t hang around for whatever reason. Hunter found himself standing there looking right at the gods with Artemis and the hunters to his left.
“Hunters, assist the campers and meet at the cabin. I’ll be by shortly.” Artemis said and the hunter slowly dispersed, being sure to give Hunter a hateful look as they passed. Hunter was about to turn and leave, but Artemis spoke again. “Hunter…a word.” Hunter hung his head and turned to her.
“We wish to speak to you, as well, Hunter.” Zeus said, sounding slightly less perturbed than Artemis. Hunter looked up at Artemis and snapped her fingers. The scene changed and suddenly they stood in the throne room in Olympus. Hunter had only been there once. It had been a couple of years. “We have allowed you into Olympus once, Hunter. Feel grateful. You’re the only mortal to ever see this room.” Hunter scanned the room. Zeus sat semi-calmly in his seat while Poseidon at his right sat calmly, looking at Hunter plainly. Ares was shifting uncomfortably as was the majority of the gods. There was a tense feeling in the air as mental words were exchanged between the gods. Hunter’s eyes landed on Aphrodite who sat back, a smile on her face and a content look in her eye. She looked at Hunter and blew him a little kiss before turning to Zeus. Hunter finally let his eyes wander to Artemis who was leaned forward in her chair, eyes locked on Hunter like she was trying to make him burst into flames just by looking at him. Either that or she was trying to see through him to the wall on the other side. Hunter turned to Zeus who looked back at him. “Artemis, state your peace.”
“Hunter, how dare you! You disobeyed a DIRECT order! You were directly insubordinate! Hunter, I’m tempted to break your oath and turn you into an animal!” Artemis shouted, standing from her throne and staring angrily down at Hunter. “I’ll turn you into the wild animal you are and then I’ll hunt you like the beast you have become!”
“Nope.” Hunter looked up from his cowering and saw Artemis looking angrily at Aphrodite who was filing her nails calmly.
“What?” Artemis said, her voice raspy like she was trying not to burst out in rage. Aphrodite finished up her thumb and looked up at her.
“Hunter doesn’t belong to you anymore, babe.” Aphrodite said, clearing her throat. “You’ve got that whole…They’re immortal unless they make whoopee or die, right? Well, Hunter is still a virgin, unfortunately.” Aphrodite said, giving Hunter a wink. Hunter swallowed and looked at Artemis, hoping she wouldn’t turn him into an animal. “However, he did die. That means he didn’t break your contract, but it broke naturally. That means that—“
“I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS!” Artemis growled, her fists clenched and a vein in her neck seemingly ready to burst. She took deep breaths and glared at Hunter before letting out a low rumble and disappearing. Aphrodite turned to Hunter and smiled a little, giving him a look of quiet celebration. Hunter couldn’t help, but smile back and then turn to Zeus.
“Hunter, you have done great things for Olympus and for camp and for the gods.” Zeus said, scowling slightly like each word left a bad taste in his mouth. “The honor we are about to offer you is the highest that we can bestow. Hunter, we have watched you. You fought bravely and you fought for what was right, no matter what. You fought against chaos and deceit. Hunter, we are offering you a position among us in Olympus. You would live forever and be the god of peace, truth, and bravery.” Hunter felt like all the air vacated his lungs at once. He couldn’t think. The offer seemed to hang in front of his face, blurring his clarity. “Will you join us?” Hunter thought about everything that had happened in the past. The loneliness he felt at camp and how much he just wanted a place to belong. He thought about how much he wished that his parents would just tell him they still cared about him. He thought about how awful it felt to find out that his parents were dead and that he wasn’t even a demigod. He thought about how great it felt to join the hunters and how great it felt to finally feel at home. He thought about his first kiss with Philippa. He thought about Marina. He thought about Arabella and Kyle and Will and Penny and Dana and Jack and Clovis and Chiron and Mrs. O’Leary and the family that he never had, but found at camp. He thought about how much he didn’t want to give that away.
“I’m honored, sir, and there was a time that I wanted nothing more than to be a god, but I’m going to have to decline.” Hunter said, taking a deep breath. Zeus clenched his fists and seemed to grimace a little more angrily then before. “Thank you, sir.”
“Look, I’m getting sick and tired of you heroes turning down deification. We used to not make it a question, but some people got upset and now we ask you. First your kid and now this one.” Zeus said under his breath at Poseidon who shook himself and looked over.
“Oh, sorry. I was doing a Sudoku.” Poseidon said, clearing his throat. Zeus grumbled and turned to Hunter.
“We are going to owe you one. In the future, you can come to us and you can ask us for something. Assuming it’s not too terrible we will grant it. Now, get back to camp. Goodbye, Hunter.” Zeus snapped his fingers and the throne room was gone. Hunter opened his eyes and was looking down at Camp Half-Blood from Thalia’s Pine. Peleus snoozed soundly at the base of the tree and the camp was busy setting up makeshift cots for the injured and making arrangements for the deceased. Hunter seemed disoriented, but right at home at the same time. Camp was where he needed to be.
Hunter walked down the hill to the middle of camp and looked around. Dana was rushing from person to person, healing and treating what she could, her hair a wild mess. Rory sat next to Vera, holding her hand and looking down at her.
“I’m fine, Rory.” Vera said, starting to get up. Rory pushed her back down.
“Just relax. Take your time.” Hunter smiled at the two of them and saw her. She was sitting on the porch of Aphrodite Cabin, her brown hair a tangled mess. He smiled a little and started to walk toward her when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Hunter turned and found Chiron looking down at him.
“A word?” Chiron said, offering him a smile. Hunter glanced back at Philippa a moment and then nodded. Chiron led him toward the Big house and walked inside, sitting into his wheelchair. “Hunter, I believe we should talk about your time in Olympus.”
“Nothing happened. I’m not a hunter anymore. They offered me godhood. I declined. I was written an IOU.” Hunter took a deep breath and nodded. Chiron thought for a moment and was about to speak, but Hunter interrupted him. “Look, sir. With all due respect, I have had a really long day and there’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I can finally do it now and I’d really like to just do it. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” Chiron took a deep breath and then finally nodded.
            “We’ll speak tom—“ Chiron was interrupted by the door to the Big house slamming open. Rachel looked urgently around the room a moment before hunching over the table.

A misplaced half-blood of the golden age
Will go against the great enemy being freed from the cage.
Olympus' bane will rise or fall
Family or friends is the choice to save them all
Former foes will turn the tide
The great battle, an arrow will decide.

She spoke quickly and Hunter looked at her in shock. When she finally stood back up, she was breathing heavily and she looked exhausted. Hunter let his gaze move to Chiron who seemed calm, but he looked worried.
“Sir, what does—“
“Go.” Chiron said with a nod. “I’ll have a word with Miss Dare, but if I’m correct we have our next Great Prophecy.” Hunter nodded and reluctantly started toward the exit. He wasn’t sure he would be able to relax after that, but it didn’t take long for him to relax. He looked around and after a moment, he finally found her. Philippa was standing there gossiping with a few of her siblings. Hunter walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her middle. She almost jumped out of her skin.
“Oh! Hunter uh…” Philippa stammered. Hunter furrowed his brow and glanced at the group who looked at the two of them.
“You alright?” Hunter asked Philippa, turning her around.
“Hunter, what are you doing?” She said, stepping away from him. Hunter started shaking a little and he stepped forward.
“Philippa, what’s going on?” Hunter said quietly, taking her hand and pulling her toward him. “Is everything okay?”
“Everything is great, Hunter.” Philippa said, walking back to his group of sisters. “What do you want from me?”
“Well, I figured that since you’re my girlfriends that—“
“Oh, that’s rich.” One of Arabella’s sisters interjected. “Tell her, Philippa.”
“We’re uh…We’re…” Philippa looked at him with sad eyes before studying the ground. “We’re through, Hunter.” Hunter’s heart shattered. It felt like Philippa reached into his chest, ripped his heart out and stomped it to pieces. Hunter stumbled backward and caught himself on one of the cabins, his breathing heavy. His ears rushed with blood and he couldn’t hear anything except for the cackling laughter of Philippa’s sisters. Hunter looked up at Philippa who mouthed ‘I’m sorry,’ a tear coasting down her cheek. Hunter wasn’t sure why she was doing it, but he just…He couldn’t be around it anymore. Hunter took off toward the woods.
“Hunter, wait!” He heard Marina shout to him as he passed and Kyle tried to stop him, but Hunter didn’t stop until he was in the woods, quietly sobbing, letting himself go, and feeling more alone than ever.

Chapter 33 - Hunter

“You!” Hunter’s eyes shot open and everything was bright. He was in a familiar room and there was a kind of hopeless feeling inside of him. Like he would never be free again. Free to smile or laugh or show any emotion at all. Except despair. Despair was rampant. His eyes adjusted to the fluorescent light, squinting at first, but eventually correcting his focus. He saw a man in a nice suit, standing behind a podium and glaring at him. Hunter looked at him and let out a heavy sigh. The memories were sluggish coming back to him, but after a moment it all came back.
“Oh, crap. Charon, I really—“ Hunter started, but was interrupted by Charon putting his hand up and then gesturing for him to come to the podium.
“What are you doing here, kid? Planning on getting me yelled at again?” He asked, looking him up and down. Hunter stopped a moment and did the same, noticing that he didn’t seem all there. He could see his entire body, but it seemed restless. Like it was shifting and adjusting. “Wait a minute….Are you…Are you actually dead?!” Charon smiled devilishly and leaned forward on his podium. Hunter thought a moment and sighed. The last thing he could remember was fighting Prometheus. He had caught him in his chains. Maybe he was actually dead. The idea made Hunter feel awful. Like someone punched him in the stomach. More like kicked him in the stomach wearing a steel toed boot. He had started thinking that he might actually have a normal life. He might not be alone all his life. Now that was a guarantee. Hunter took a deep breath and then nodded softly.
“Yeah, Charon.” Hunter swallowed the lump that formed in his throat. “I’m dead.” Charon laughed a quiet cackle and drummed his hands on his podium.
“Well, take a seat, kiddo! I just decided it’s going to be a long want for you, Hunter. A very, very, VERY long wait. That’s for my promotion that I still haven’t gotten! Hades chewed on my ass for an hour and a half for letting you in again.” Charon laughed evilly and cleared his throat. “We’ll be right with you. Please take a seat.” Hunter looked up at Charon who smiled a pleased smile. Hunter felt empty. He turned around and walked over to an empty seat, gingerly sitting down. It felt like a long time that he just sat there, staring at the ground, not knowing of anything else to do. He shifted from having his elbows on his knees to having his leg up on the other. Or from burying his face in his hands to folding them behind his head. Hunter couldn’t describe the painful terrible wait that he was going through. Thousands and thousands of years with absolutely nothing to do and no escape.
“Hi, I’m looking for a Hunter.” Hunter looked up at his name and saw a beautiful woman at the podium talking to Charon. He looked up and almost jumped out of his skin.
“I’m sorry? What…What is it that you-What?” Charon stammered in confusion. The woman sighed and leaned on the podium, getting oddly close to him.
“Kerry, do you remember that pretty little thing that I sent you…Oh what was her name?” She said, fixing his tie. “Oh, Jessica. Jessica, she was beautiful. How is she?”
“She uh…Well, we’re having dinner at 9.” Charon said, clearing his throat. The woman smiled. She had her back to Hunter, but the look on Charon’s face showed that she was smiling.
“Well, how well do you want that dinner to go?” Hunter thought for a second. There was only one person that he knew that would or could do anything like that. Hunter stood up and walked to the podium.
“Aphrodite?” Hunter said, raising an eyebrow. The woman turned and a smile spread across her face.
“Hunter! Oh my goodness, it’s so good to see you!” Aphrodite said with a giggle as she wrapped her arms around him. Hunter tensed a little. He wasn’t sure why, but the sensation of a hug surprised him a little. “Alright. Charon, you’ve got yourself the perfect date tonight, as long as Ig et this strapping young soul in exchange. Hunter froze a minute.
“Wait. What’s going on?” Hunter said quietly.
“Oh, right. Sorry I’m late, dear, but ugh. Typhon was such a pain in my—“
“No, why are you doing this?” Hunter asked quietly. He wasn’t complaining, but it made him curious as to what was going on. It’s not every day a soul just gets brought back to life by the goddess of love. Aphrodite moved a little closer and smiled deviously.
“Well, I thought that maybe you and I…afterward…” Hunter shook his head. “Oh, well, fine. I didn’t have high hopes for that plan.  Hunter, I know the future and I know that you dying today is not in the history books. You’re going to be great. You’re going to be in a fantastic position where people love you and care for you, but you’re going to have to take care of them. It’s going to be hard, but Hunter…You’re good at difficult stuff.” She smiled and put a hand on his cheek. “I’d be lucky for a son like you.” She smiled and kissed Hunter on the forehead. “We’ll be seeing you, Kerry. Good luck tonight.” She winked at him and then took Hunter’s hand. “Alright. Try not to throw on the back into your body. It’s icky.” She said before blowing a kiss at Hunter.
Hunter’s eyes shot open and he gasped as air shot into his lungs. His vision was hazy, but it eventually focused on the grey eyes of Prometheus staring down at him. He was smiling and the chains were slack on Hunter’s chest.
“Here is your hero!” Prometheus bragged to the  crowd that had gathered. “Your Hunter! The one that saved your precious camp!” Hunter kept his eyes almost closed, but he could still see his knife in Prometheus’ stomach. Hunter took a deep breath. He would only have on shot at this. Hunter grabbed his pendant and summoned his knife before grabbing the knife in Prometheus’ stomach. With a twisting motion, he stabbed the knife in and carved up and down Prometheus’ stomach, leaving thick gashes in his armor. Prometheus gasped and stepped back, releasing Hunter who scrambled backward and prepared for another attack, but suddenly there were several arrows that sunk into his back and Hunter looked over to see the hunters walking up being led by Artemis herself. Prometheus cried out in agony as he sunk into the ground, disappearing completely. They had won. The war was over.

Chapter 32 - Hunter

Will looked Hunter up and down. He had red shoes with little wings on, a brown leather jacket that was stained and looked burnt in a section, and on his back was a harness with two giant golden wings. He rubbed his eyes. “I saw a pig fly today and that doesn’t really compare to this. I’ll do it the day that Hunter dresses like that again. That is what I will say from now on.”
“Shut up, Will.” Hunter said with a sigh. “I do kind of agree with him, though. I mean I’ve had some crazy ideas, but this is by far one of the craziest. Odds are Prometheus sees me, kills me and then takes over Olympus.”
“Oh, don’t get your panties in a bunch, Hunter.” Marina said as she adjusted the straps on the harness. “Prometheus had this bird torturing him for centuries. Do you think that he’s really going to do much thinking as to whether it’s real or not?”
“Still. This seems…suicidal.” Hunter looked over at Will with slight trepidation. He knew  that fighting Prometheus was going to be tough and he really didn’t want to do it,  but he didn’t really have much of a choice, did he? “Do I look really silly or just kind of silly?”
“Really silly.” Hunter looked over at Clovis who stood at his post, but looked back. “Oh, my bad. Just creating a field of sleep here.” He said with a yawn. Hunter sighed.
“It’s a good thing I’ll be hiding my appearance then.” He mumbled before Marina pat him on the back.
“Well, it’s good to go.” She said, looking him in the eye. “I want you to know, Hunter that however this goes and whatever happens, thank you.” She said it quietly and even though Clovis and Will were nearby, she said it so only Hunter could hear it. She smiled a watery little smile at him and then stepped forward, wrapping her arms around him. Hunter took a deep breath and hugged her back.
“It’ll be alright, Marina. I’ll be fine. Prometheus doesn’t stand a chance.” Hunter said with a smile, but inside he knew it was a lie. Prometheus was going to be tough to kill, even with fear on their side. Hunter pulled away and turned to Will. “Will, take care of yourself and Penny. She really likes you.” Hunter slipped the sunglasses on his face. Will smiled at him and nodded.
“Well, come back alright and you’ll be here to see me, take care of myself.” Will said with a laugh. “That sounded weird, didn’t it?” Hunter laughed and shook his head.
“Alright. I’m ready.”  Hunter walked to the back of the building and took a deep breath. With a silent prayer to anyone that was listening, he was about to run when he heard a voice.
“Hunter! Wait!” Hunter turned and saw Philippa hurrying toward him. She ran and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him tightly on the lips. “I don’t want you to do this.” She said quietly, tears falling from her eyes. Hunter took a deep breath and wiped them away with his thumb. He was hoping to avoid this because he knew it would make it even harder to go and fight. “Hunter, don’t. There has to be another way. I’ll fight him! I’ll fight him with you! We’ll all fight him. He won’t stand a chance.” Hunter shook his head.
“He knows what we’re going to do. He can see us doing it before we do it. If we all attack, he’ll run and then take us out one-by-one. I need to do this. I can’t see you get hurt.” Hunter said quietly. He looked into her eyes and sighed. He didn’t want to leave her, but he just wanted her to be happy. “I’ll be fine. I will.”
“No, Hunter! Stop!” Will pulled Philippa away and Hunter took a deep breath and imagined himself soaring through the sky with razor sharp talons like the eagle. He sprinted forward and looked down a moment seeing bird feet enormous and clawed. “Maia!” He shouted and a moment later he was floating in midair. He looked down and saw the shadow of the eagle, blocking out sun in a huge blot in the sky. He needed to find Prometheus. He looked at the bridge and saw the boulder was smashed to pieces. Prometheus was back in the fight. Hunter flew and scouted the field. He saw a group of campers pushing monsters into a huge pit and another using a flower shop to demolish a bunch of hellhounds. Mrs. O’Leary was pouncing on enemies left and right along with Peleus being ridden by Argus and Chiron nearby. Finally he saw him. Prometheus knocking Vera into a wall and then strangling Rory. He couldn’t let them get hurt. He zoomed forward and made sure to cast the shadow to make him scared, but he quickly landed in front of him.
“Don’t kill me! I have done nothing!” Prometheus pleaded, letting the chains go slack. Hunter glanced back at Rory and Vera a moment then motioned for them to run. Rory froze a moment before nodding and picking Vera up and taking off down the street toward the hotel where the Apollo cabin was healing people.
“Didn’t see that one coming, did you?” Hunter said to Prometheus as he shed the harness and drew his knives. Prometheus watched in terror and confusion as the bird spoke.
“What…Hunter?” Prometheus’ face turned from despair to confusion to anger, but he looked at Hunter and flinched slightly. Hunter transformed back to his normal self and then charged. “You still cannot beat me, Hunter!” Prometheus shouted as he blocked Hunter’s knives with the chains wrapped around his wrist. Prometheus swung and Hunter dodged the chains, rolling forward and changing back into the eagle which made Prometheus jump and put his hands up, letting Hunter slash at his leg. Prometheus shouted and grimaced as he started his attack again. The fight continued on and on. Hunter slashed at Prometheus and he dodged, swinging his chains and blocking any attack.
“This is way more even then you were hoping, huh?” Hunter said as he rolled around the chains and stabbed at Prometheus.
“I have still won, Hunter! I am going to kill you, Hunter. I might not win this war. I might be sent to punishment far worse than this, but trust me. I am going to kill you.” Hunter switched to the eagle again and Prometheus gasped and jumped back in surprise. Hunter slashed at him and Prometheus knocked one of his knives away and caught that arm in his chains. Prometheus swung and Hunter caught the chains on his knife before shrugging them off and stepping on them. He stepped quickly and advanced, but Prometheus lifted the chains, causing Hunter to lose his footing. The chains wrapped around Hunter’s shoulder and chest, wrapping tighter and tighter, pulling him closer.  “You’ve come this far. You thought you could kill me. Today, I take your life.” Hunter could feel the chains crushing him. Hunter bent his elbow and forced the knife into Prometheus’ stomach. The titan scowled as the knife stuck in, but he didn’t let go. The coat was stopping the chains from cutting into him, but it didn’t stop it from crushing his inside. He could feel bones crack and his insides start to compress as his spine started to twist. “Goodbye, Hunter.” Was the last thing he heard before the last shreds of life ebbed away from him, leaving his body motionless as his vision went black.

Chapter 31 - Will

“This is so awesome!” Will shouted as they whipped through the street on the back of the bronze bull, Marina steering it toward Manhattan. “We have got to get one of these!”
“We have one of these!” Marina shouted back with a giggle as she turned onto a bridge. Marina pressed a button on the neck console. A ball of fire shot forward and blasted a wall of monsters that had formed on the other side.
“Rephrase! I have got to get one of these!” Will corrected as the wind whipped through his hair. He looked down off the side and watched as they trampled into monsters, stamping them to dust.
“Where did you say they were?” Marina said, glancing back at Hunter. Hunter looked around and then pointed.
“There. It landed on that building. Where Clovis is standing.” Marina nodded and adjusted the direction when suddenly the bronze heated up under Will’s grip. Will turned and saw a form of pure lava climbing on top of the bull which groaned in pain as it melted under the heat.
“Bail, guys! Bail!” Will shouted as he threw his trident into the lava and slid off the side. He ran around to the other side and grabbed his trident which had shot out the other side. Marina and Hunter looked, but he waved them off. “Run! I got this! Run!” Hunter and Marina nodded before taking off down the street. Will faced his new enemy and kept light on his feet.
“A child of Poseidon. This will be fun killing you.” The lava gurgled out as it shot out a tendril of fiery hot magma. Will dodged, but it was close enough to singe off the hair on Will’s leg.
“I’d rather you didn’t kill me, though.” Will said as he back down the street. He knew he needed water and there wasn’t any close. He could tell. Will slammed on the ground and it cracked, a thin fissure shooting toward the lava, but the lava swung its arms, diverting the crack off to one side.
“Earthquakes are no chance against me.” The lava said with a laugh. It made the motion of jumping, but instead it split and formed again behind Will, making two lava monsters that Will had to deal with.
“This is not good.” Will muttered as he drew his sword. He wasn’t sure what good it would do, but it felt better to have it out. “Come on…Come on…” Will looked down and slammed his trident at his feet, creating a crack that shot all around him and then caved in the ground below him, dropping him into the sewers. “I’m really not going to like this.” Will said as he ran down one of the tunnels, stabbing the ceiling with his trident and caving it in as he ran past. Lava spilled in and sizzled as it turned the water into steam with such immense heat. Will pulled water toward it and then blocked it, so water built and built and built like a wave waiting to be released.
“Run, little demigod! Run!” The lava gurgle right before Will released the water which washed over the lava in a huge burst. Steam rose from all around and when the water was finally washed away, there laid a hunk of black rock, cooled from the water. Will ran and threw his trident with all his strength and it burst the lava like an explosion of debris that shot all around. Will hurried and used the debris to climb back out of the sewer where instead of another pile of lava, there was a huge black swirling cloud.
“Prometheus has given me no incentive to stay. You have beaten me this time, but I have a plan that will destroy you and everything you love. We will rise from the pit again and this time, you won’t be able to do anything to stop us!” The cloud fizzled with electricity and shot out a large wind that knocked Will back off his feet before shooting off down the street and over the water. Will groaned and stood up, brushing off his clothes.
“That was weird.” He said as he sheathed his sword again. “Alright. Where did they go?” Will sprinted down the street and drew his sword, slashing threw any monster he saw. He beheaded a hellhound and then rolled, stabbing into a harpy. A Laistrygonian swung at him, but he chopped off his hand then stabbed the ground, caving in a section of the ground into the sewer. He coursed the water up and washed several monsters away before pointing toward the pit. Campers pushed and attacked several monsters back into the pit and Will washed them away again. He nodded toward Penny who winked at him. Will hopped over the pit and wrapped his arms around Penny.
“I’m really glad you’re alive.” Will said before placing his lips on hers, dipping her slightly. He finally broke away, but held her close. “We’ve almost won. Stay safe.”
“You too, Will. Please.” She said quietly before placing her hands on his chest and kissing him lightly on the cheek. “Go. I know you need to.” Penny giggled a little and Will smiled at her before taking off down the alley. He climbed the fire escape and saw Marina and Hunter and a giant pair of wings.
“This was your plan?” 

Chapter 30 - Prometheus

“The eagle has been defeated, Prometheus.” Prometheus turned to his first lieutenant. “Hunter defeated him. Also, reports say that the monsters have retreated and Echidna has been defeated.” Prometheus clenched his fists in frustration. He gripped his dagger and threw it into the nearest giant, killing it.
“Perses, this cannot be!” Prometheus shouted, looking into the fiery eyes of his fellow titan. “I foresaw victory today. Echidna’s death is not a concern. She was of no import, but we are losing ground here. Come Perses.” Prometheus shook his hands and long chains spilled out around his arms, dragging on the ground.
“Hey, Jacob Marley!” Prometheus turned around and saw a slender woman dressed in a snakeskin dress. “I was sure to shake the kid up. I mentioned Dolos and all that nonsense. It is your fault that he isn’t dead yet.”
“Apate, you are really getting on my nerves and now is not the time.” Prometheus, ran a hand through his hair and looked at the goddess. “Our agreement still stands. But I expect you to make an effort. This benefits you, too.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll see what I can do. It’s been fun.” Apate winked and then snapped her fingers, vanishing into a cloud of spiders. Prometheus turned back to the bridge. He walked and reached the boulder that blocked their path. With a quick swing the chains shattered the rock to pieces, letting Prometheus to continue.
“These useless mortals, Perses. Years I’ve spent babying them and this is how they show it.” Prometheus caught one of the campers around the neck and with another swing broke his neck, dropping him in a heap.
“You monster!” Prometheus turned as several snakes appeared at his feet. He stepped on them and trampled them before looking at the source. A girl about 17 or 18 with bright red hair came running at him. She waved her hand and the rubble next to him flew up and hit him in the face. Prometheus gripped his chains and in a quick swipe he struck her in the side, knocking her into a building where she fell in a pile on the ground.
“VERA!!!” Prometheus dodged an arrow and another as he turned to see a tall boy about the same age with brown hair, firing arrow after arrow at him. Prometheus swung his chain and knocked his feet out from under him.
“You can’t kill me! I know what you will do before you do it!” Prometheus lashed the chains around the boy’s neck. “This will teach you to resist me.” Just as Prometheus was about to land the killing blow, a shadow passed over. A bird with huge wings. Prometheus looked up in terror to see the golden eagle that had so many times eaten his insides just so they could grow back again. Prometheus fell backward and scrambled away as the bird landed in front of him. “Don’t kill me! I have done nothing!”
“Didn’t see that one coming, did you?” 

Chapter 29 - Hunter

Hunter groaned as he pushed himself up off the ground and rolled over. He rubbed his back and looked up to see many broken branches and he assumed that’s where he came from. He picked himself up and leaned on a tree a little as he tried to adjust to his surroundings. “Wha…Ugh…” Hunter took a deep breath and cringed a little as he put weight on his legs again. “Never ride a pig again. I should write a freaking book.” Hunter drew his bow and nocked an arrow, running through the forest. He needed to get back to Will and Kyle and Marina or they could get hurt. Hunter ran and climbed a tree, trying to get a view of where they were. He finally heard the roar from the hydra and he leapt to another tree, making his way toward it.
Hunter finally entered onto the clearing, but kept his distance in the tree. The Echidna and the manticores and the chimera were closing in and so was the hydra who still seemed to be getting over the pain from the manticore spine. What was he going to do? He knew he wasn’t going to like this plan, but it was all he could think of. He nocked an arrow and aimed at the hydra, the poison emanating off the arrowhead. He took a deep breath and fired the arrow slicing off one of the heads. It roared and everyone turned toward Hunter.
“Hey, monsterface! Over here!” Hunter shouted, waving his arms. They hydra grew its heads back and then shot poison at him, but Hunter managed to leap into another tree. Hunter fired another arrow, slicing off another head. Hunter knew that he was just making things worse, but now he had the hydra  right where he wanted it. Hunter fired another arrow which sliced off another head and then climbed down before taking off into the woods. He went slow, but soon he could hear branches snapping and trees falling down which meant that the hydra was chasing him.
They hydra frighteningly close and Hunter saw venom spit landing all around him.Thankfully none of it on him. Hunter whipped around and fired another arrow into its head, but then tripped over something and toppled to the ground. He looked up as the hydra towered over him and he started to scramble backward, but his hand landed on something. It felt like a bunch of snakes or a head? He looked and saw a pile of snakes in a box and Hunter grabbed it and held it up, hoping he knew what it was that was in this box. The hydra had a mouthful of poison when it laid eyes on the medusa head. The sound was significant. The quiet cracking as it started slowly to turn to stone and a moment later a giant statue of the hydra stood in front of him. There was a sizzling and Hunter looked down to see the medusa head slowly dissolving with the hydra venom. Hunter gasped a little and dropped it, hoping none of the poison got on him. He watched as the head dissolved to dust and Hunter cursed under his breath.
“There goes our best weapon.” Hunter said with a sigh. Hunter brushed himself off and then started back toward the other group. He wasn’t sure how long he had been running, but it felt like a long time before he broke into the clearing again. Echidna immediately looked at him and cried out.
“YOU KILLED MY BABY! YOU ALL KILLED MY BABIES!” she shrieked before turning toward Will and attacking. Hunter was about to go help, but a familiar beast stepped in his way. The chimera, lion head snarling ran at him. It pounced and Hunter quickly slashed at it and dodged around before Marina appeared at his side.
“I’ll take the snake side. You can wrangle the lion’s fire.” Hunter said before rolling around the chimera and immediately dodging a snake strike from the chimera’s serpent tail. Hunter moved and Marina slashed, working like two cogs in a machine. Hunter glanced around and saw that Kyle had the manticore tails wrapped up like a bouquet of flowers so that they couldn’t move. Hunter turned back and saw Will holding his own against Echidna, but Hunter could tell he was getting a little tired. Echidna was strong and fast. Hunter faced the chimera again and when it lunged, he caught the tail with his knives and sliced it off, causing the chimera to roar our in pain. Marina took the opportunity to slam her sword into its head pinning it to the ground. She placed a hand on its nose and in a moment, it burst into flames, leaving a small pile of dust in its wake.
“Kyle!” Hunter turned and saw Will running at the somehow free manticores, Kyle lying motionless between them. Hunter looked over at Marina who looked broken. She wasn’t sure what to do. The manticores moved in quickly and grabbed them, holding them in place. Echidna cackled and approached them.
“You’ve tried so hard and now it’s all come crashing down. You’re the camp’s leaders. The 4 of you.” Echidna got in Hunter’s face and with a razor sharp claw flicked open Hunter’s jacket and clawed his chest, leaving a nice cut on his chest. “Especially you, mortal. Hunter. You grew up here. You’ve been here longer than anyone except Chiron and Dionysus.” Hunter’s eyes couldn’t help, but float over to the motionless body of Kyle laying on the ground. His heart clenched and his stomach dropped. Kyle was one of his best friends. He was brought back to the matter at hand by a loud roar that came from behind Echidna. Hunter looked up and saw Peleus burst in, Argus on his back. Argus leapt off the dragon’s back and with a large sword ran right at Echidna. Hunter was shocked to see it. Argus had always been so calm and now he was attacking the mother of all monsters singlehandedly…and was winning. Hunter noticed that Echidna seemed too frozen in fear to try and attack and all she could do was dodge around Argus’ strikes. Hunter looked over and Peleus jumped and swung his tail, knocking two manticores off into the woods. With a roar and a fireball, the manticores that were holding up Hunter burst into dust. Hunter landed on the ground and immediately ran forward to attack Echidna, but Argus stood there, sword in hand, looking down at the pile of dust that used to be Echidna.
“Oh my gods, Kyle!” Hunter turned around and saw Marina cradling Kyle. “Thank Olympus…”
“I’m fine, Marina. I’ve just got a headache.” Kyle said, rubbing his head.
“Hunter!” Hunter turned again and saw Chiron entering the clearing. “We’ve done it! The monsters are retreating!” Hunter smiled and breathed a sigh of relief, but he was quickly reminded of the problem in Manhattan.
“We need to get to Manhattan. When I left, things were going okay, but Prometheus and his army had pulled back a part of the soldiers.” Hunter said with a sigh. “I don’t know if we can beat him, Chiron. I’ve fought him twice now and he can see everything that I’m going to do. He’ll dodge everything that we can possibly throw at him.”
“Well, how was Echidna defeated?” Marina walked over and joined the group, Kyle leaning on her, her eyes red from tears. “Argus killed Echidna the first time. She was afraid and it threw her off. I have an idea that might throw Prometheus off his game. Kyle take off your shoes.”

Chapter 28 - Will

Will threw his trident into Agrius, exploding him into dust just as Will tapped his scythe into the ground, vines shooting up and wrapping around Oreius’ neck. They squeezed tighter and tighter and then picked him up. Oreius snarled and squirmed trying to break free, but the vines held him until he turned to dust. Will reached into his bag and grabbed the box with Medusa’s head in it. He pulled it out and opened it, but before he could use it Echidna knocked it out of his hand.
“You try to use that gorgon’s head against me?!” She hissed pushing Will backward. Kyle and Marina appeared on either side of him and helped him up. “I am older than medusa and her sisters. I am older than all of them! I am the mother of them all!”
“Why would you work with Prometheus?” Will said, drawing his sword. “Do you think that if he takes over monsters are going to be treated differently? The Titans are no better than the gods!”
“The titans haven’t been killing my babies since day one! During the Golden age the titans ruled in peace! It wasn’t until the gods took over that you demigods started killing my babies.” She hissed as she strafed the three of them. Will gripped his sword tightly, waiting for an attack. “You children don’t realize that it was the gods who started the fighting.”
“What are you talking about? Kronos swallowed his children. He ruled out of fear.” Marina said from Will’s left. Echidna laughed an evil cackle that sent shivers up Will’s spine.
“Kronos may have swallowed his children, but it was Rhea and that blasted Zeus that started the fighting. They’re probably the same people who told you that Kronos was an evil ruler.” Echidna hissed and let out a whistle. Will braced himself for something to happen, but nothing came. “Zeus is the one ruling in fear. Why is it that you’re fighting for them? Hmm? You’re afraid to disobey.” There was a roar and Peleus came bursting through the trees, the Golden Fleece, wrapped around the collar on his neck. A really big dog collar that looked it belonged on a really big dog. It made Will wonder for a moment what Peleus looked like to mortals. He was quickly shaken back to the now when Peleus landed in front of them and snarled.
“Peleus, attack her!” Kyle said, pointing at Echidna. Echidna just laughed and pet Peleus’ head.
“Calm, my child. Children, you haven’t realized that Peleus here is my child.” Echidna kissed Peleus lightly on the head then turned with a fangful grin on her face. “How will it feel to be killed by the own guardian of your precious camp? Attack.” Peleus lunged forward and snapped at the three of them. Will dodged around and hesitated swinging his sword. The dragon guarded the camp. Will didn’t want to kill it. It had been loyal to the camp except for its mother. There was a crack and rustle and Peleus roared. Will looked up and saw Argus smack Peleus in the head with a club. Peleus snarled at him and Argus looked sad. Argus raised Peleus and now it was about to attack him. Argus took off again and Peleus followed, lumbering off through the woods. Will turned to Echidna who seemed frozen in fear before taking off through the trees, surprisingly fast for her size. Will was about to chase after, but there was a loud squeal and he turned to see a giant…pig? It crashed through the trees and swept through a crowd of monsters, trampling them to dust.
“Hey, guys!” Will narrowed his eyes and saw a figure waving at them.
“Is that…Hunter?” Kyle said, looking up at the pig. Hunter drove the pig through another line of monsters, kicking up dust as it flew. “Ulysses has gotten fat.” Kyle said with an impressed little ‘huh.’ There was the sound of a tree toppling and a giant lizard with 5 head emerged, poison dripping from its mouths. Behind it came several hellhounds, barking and snarling at them.
“Look alive!” Will said as he charged with his sword. He slashed through a hellhound and then sliced through one of the hydra heads. He backed up and watched as the head grew back along with another head.
“Will, it’s a hydra! Stop it!” Marina said, dodging a hellhound and then stabbing through its back. Will cursed under his breath and sliced through a hellhound and then dodged around the hydra. The heads reared back in preparation to spit acid on them.
“Hey!” Will looked up and saw the pig kick one of the heads in the chin, Hunter shouting down at them. The hydra roared and turned to face the pig as it turned around. “Look out!” Hunter shouted, pointing behind them as the pig went for a kick, but was met with a torrent of poison. The pig squealed in agony and Hunter stood on the pig’s back quickly sheathing his knives. The pig glided until it smacked into a tree and exploded into dust, tossing Hunter who disappeared into the trees. Will turned around with just enough time to dodge a spike flying at him. It flew past his head and hit the hydra which roared in pain and reared up, swinging its heads and toppling a tree. Echidna emerged from the woods with 3 manticores and the chimera lurking menacingly behind them. Will turned around and saw the hydra still thrashing in agony then turned back to Echidna. They were caught between two dangerous enemies.
“Shall we flip a coin?” Will muttered as he drew his trident, choosing where to attack first.