Aphrodite. Since I have gotten several messages regarding her birth, allow me to clarify and expand upon why I claimed her to be a sister to Artemis. While it is true that many myths claim she was born of the blood of Ouronus when he was castrated, that is not the only myth regarding her origin. Another lesser-known myth claims that she is a daughter of Zeus and Dione. Depending on which myth you are using for the story, you can her have her be a half-sister to Artemis or be of an older generation that Zeus.
When I write my stories, I don't always use the most commonly believed myths to do so. I do, however, do fact-checking to make sure I am not publishing blatant lies regarding Greek mythology. Hopefully the use of some lesser-known myths doesn't bother you.
Now, on with the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own PJO or the related works.
I woke up early. It was still dark out, but I had sensed something approaching my campsite. Ever since I had worked on my water sensing, I have been trying to use it in my sleep to catch any monsters that might try to sneak up on my. I had never had a chance to notice if it worked or not, but this time when I woke up, I knew why. I used my senses to look around and saw three humans making their way towards me. I sighed; the hunters were back planning to do something bad to me no doubt.
I quietly got out of my sleeping bag and tent, taking a seat directly in front of it. Once the hunters were close enough, I spoke. "Good morning ladies, is there something you need or is this just a social visit?"
I felt them stop moving, but none of them made to respond to my question. I sighed, "Well, if you have nothing to say, would you kindly let me get back to my sleep? I am rather tired and would like to rest."
Once again I got no response, but the hunters did retreat back towards their camp. I looked at the sky and noted that there were still several hours until sunrise. I wondered what the hunters had been planning to do, but since they weren't rather fond of me, I figured it was best if I didn't know. Hopefully my awareness of them sneaking up on me would prevent any future attempts at it.
I tried going back to sleep, but for better or worse I was awake now. Sighing, I got up and dressed. Since it was still incredibly early in the morning, I had no reason to stick around. I reached out with my senses and then went for a run. When I returned, I found that someone had gone through all of my stuff.
I sighed, nothing was taken, but it was rather annoying knowing that my personal belongings were not being treated the way they should be. I hadn't been too keen on the idea of joining the hunt and so far, the hunters were treating me exactly how I had expected them to. They didn't like me and were going out of their way to cause me problems.
After making sure all my stuff was in order, I picked up my bow and arrows and headed back outside. Pulling water out of the ground and air, I made an ice target several hundred meters away from me. For the next hour, I focused solely on archery to try and keep my mind off of my new problems.
From behind me, a voice spoke, "Well Perseus, you seem to be rather skilled at archery. I always heard that you were the worst shot in the world. Regardless, we can't have you using mortal weapons anymore, so after breakfast come and get one of our hunters bows."
I turned and bowed, "Good morning Lady Artemis, I didn't notice you approach. When it comes to archery, I did suck, but after spending enough time practicing, even I was able to improve. Also, I will make sure to grab a hunters bow. Thank you."
She gave me a small smile, "You didn't notice me approaching? From what my hunters said, you noticed them approaching you at 3:00 in the morning. How did you manage to not notice me?"
"Well, at this point in time, I was rather focused on archery and archery alone. I was trying to ignore everything else so I wasn't paying attention to my senses as much as I normally do. As thankful as I am for being given a new home, the hunters really don't like me and don't seem to appreciate personal boundaries."
For a second, Artemis appeared angry about what I said. She quickly recovered and spoke, "What do you mean they don't respect personal boundaries?"
"Well, after they so rudely woke me up this morning, I couldn't get back to sleep so I went for a little run. When I came back several hours later, I found that all of my stuff had been gone through. Since you and your hunters are the only ones around, I came to the conclusion that one or more of your hunters went through all of my stuff without my permission. I understand that they don't like me, but I will not tolerate this sort of behavior."
Artemis sighed, "They really don't know what to think of you. All the hunters know what you have done for the world and whether they show it or not, they do have some respect for you. At the same time, almost all of them have been wronged by boys in some way or another during their lives. I think that they want to like you, but they are scared that you will turn out to be no different from any other males they have come across. Right now, they are trying to find fault in you before they become attached in order to save them from potential betrayal."
"I understand that, and I don't want to cause any problems, but I do have boundaries that they shouldn't cross. I will try my hardest to not cause trouble, but if they push me, I won't just sit back and take it."
Artemis nodded her head, "I suppose that makes sense. I will have a talk with them about boundaries and personal space and all that. Hopefully there won't be any problems in the future."
I smiled at her, "Thanks. For everything. I know how much trouble you could get yourself in for taking me in and trying to provide me a home. It would have been easy to send me back to camp, regardless of he dangers. Also, I hope you didn't make an enemy of Athena because of me; she isn't really the kind of enemy you want to have."
"Athena is no longer your concern," she said. "I talked with her and explained to her what would happen if she hurt any of my hunters. Unlike you, I have no qualms about starting a war. Now, you should head on over to the main camp and get some breakfast. We are heading out in two hours."
I looked at her, "Where are we going?"
"Well, I am the goddess of the hunt. Now that the hunt for you has been completed, I have other targets to hunt. While I was on Olympus yesterday, I received reports of monster gatherings in the eastern Oregon deserts."
With that, she flashed away, probably to the main camp. I sighed and cleaned myself up before jogging over myself. When I arrived in the clearing where the hunters were eating, I took a look around. All of the hunters were there and as soon as they noticed me, they began glaring at me. After several seconds of that, they went back to their food.
I walked over to where the food was being served and found myself being glared at once again. The hunter who was serving glared at me for a little while before relenting and handing me a bowl of oatmeal. Not my favorite food, but I was not going to complain, not even I was that stupid.
I walked over to the edge of the clearing to eat. I sat on the ground and was just starting to eat when I noticed someone sit down next to me. I looked over and saw Thalia looking at me.
"Hey Percy. You're looking good this morning. Sleep well?" She asked me. I could see from her amusement that she knew I had been woken up early.
I glared at her, "No I didn't, and if your hunters don't learn to respect my boundaries, they will regret it."
Thalia was now glaring at me, "What is your problem Percy? You should consider yourself lucky you aren't dead yet. The hunters hate boys because in their experience boys have done terrible things. Until they get used to you, they are going to hate you."
"I'm sorry," I sighed, "it's just, if I was judged for being myself and not by the actions of others, my life would be great right now. I would be in a happy relationship and have a shot at a happily ever after. Instead, grudges were passed onto me and I wound up here. I'm sick of it and I don't want it to happen any more."
"Don't worry Percy, I will talk to the hunters and try to get them to ease up a little and get to know you. Until that happens though, you are going to be judged by the actions of others and there isn't anything that can be done about it. I will tell you, however, that the hunters will get over their dislike of you, unlike a certain goddess who never could. Just give it time."
I smiled, "Thanks Thalia. I will try my hardest not to cause any trouble, but if trouble finds me, I will not just ignore it."
"Sure you won't. Well, if you do end up fighting the other hunters, good luck. You would be outnumbered by a lot and no matter how much stronger you are now, you would probably lose. Although I am curious about your powers now. How did you know that there were three hunters approaching your tent this morning? That really freaked them out."
I grinned at her as I responded, "Well, I'm glad I freaked them out, hopefully it keeps them away from me in the future. As for how I did it, that is a secret I shall not divulge unless I can trust all of the hunters. Until that happens, I will keep my powers secret for my own safety. Now, you should probably get back to the hunters, they seem to be rather upset about their lieutenant spending so much time with me. As much as I like talking to you, if a power struggle breaks out because you hang out with me, I would feel pretty bad."
Thalia sighed, "None of them could beat me in a fight if a power struggle did break out, but you are right; I shouldn't spend too much time around you if I want to avoid conflict. Hopefully they warm up to you soon so this isn't a problem anymore." She then got up and walked over to the other hunters.
I finished my breakfast and went to drop off my bowl. When I was about to walk away, one of the hunters stopped me. "Where do you think you are going, boy?" she sneered. "You need to earn your place here, so you are on cleanup duty. Go wash all of the dishes and report back to me."
Great, I thought, I have no intention of doing that, but how do I say that without causing problems?
I looked at her. She looked to be about 13, although I had no clue how old she really was. She had shoulder length blonde hair with green eyes. The look in her eyes told me she was a leader and people listened to her orders. I sighed, "I would love to help out with dishes now, but I have already been given a task to complete following breakfast. Maybe I can clean up after lunch or dinner. For now though, can you point me towards the armory so I can get a bow?"
She glared at me before finally giving in and giving me directions to the armory tent. Before I walked away, I spoke up, "Thanks. Also, what's your name? I feel incredibly uncomfortable not knowing anyone here."
The green eyed girl looked at me for several seconds before answering, "I'm Lacey. Now, get out of my site before I change my mind about allowing you to skip dishwashing duty."
I smiled at her and walked off. When I arrived at the armory tent, there was no one there. I wasn't sure what exactly I was supposed to do, but I walked in and looked around. There were racks of quivers filled with silver arrows as well as tables of hunting knives and bows. There were different sizes of weapons for different sizes of people. The weapons were all beautiful to look at and appeared to be just as deadly.
Since I was supposed to get a bow, I walked over to the table covered in them. There were about 20 of them of different sizes. I had no clue what to do, so I just looked at them for a while. They were silver and sleek. They didn't appear to be as modern as the bow I had been using, but design made the bow seem much more dangerous than my mortal bow.
From behind me, I heard someone speak, "What are you doing here, boy?" I turned to look and saw a large burly girl standing at the entrance to the tent. She was obviously strong and had shoulder length dark brown hair. Her eyes were brown and dangerous.
I smiled at her, "Sorry, Lady Artemis told me to pick up a hunters bow after breakfast so I came here to get one. Can you help me here? I have no clue how to pick out a bow for myself."
"Fine, boy." She was glaring at me, but at the thought of picking out a weapon, she seemed to calm down a little. "My name is Megan and I am a daughter of Ares. I am in charge of the armory. Since you are older and taller than all of us, you will need a larger bow. Go to the far end of the table and find one that feels comfortable for you, that is all there is to it."
"Thanks," I said. I walked to the end of the table and selected the largest bow on it. I ran my hands over the wood and felt the grip. I drew it back to feel how it felt and noticed how nice this bow felt in my hands. I was surprised by it because I had grown to like my mortal bow so much, yet this one felt so much more natural to me. I turned to look at Megan and saw her watching me carefully. "How do you make these bows? Wood isn't naturally silver is it?"
She looked at me and actually smiled. "Curious about our methods? I suppose I can tell you. The cypress tree is sacred to Lady Artemis. She has a forest sanctuary in which silver cypress trees grow. The location is a secret, but the trees are imbued with magic and provide the wood for our bows. No other bows come close to the quality of our bows.
"The silver for our hunting knives is mined from a mountain within her sanctuary as well. It is a truly amazing place that I wish to someday visit, but Artemis only takes you to her sanctuary if you survive in the hunt for 1000 years."
I smiled at her, "Well, I'm sure you will get to visit it someday. Thanks for the information as well. Why don't you seem to hate me as much as the other hunters? I don't think any of them would have given me any information or helped me select a bow."
She seemed to consider this, "Well, I don't like you. You are a boy after all. I do however have some respect for you. You are clearly powerful and as a daughter of Ares, I respect strength. You haven't backed down from the hunters either. Thalia and Artemis both like you, so there is a chance that you might prove yourself to be decent. For now though, all of the hunters are watching you closely, waiting for you to slip up."
"You're a daughter of Ares? Shouldn't you hate me for beating your father?" I asked her.
She laughed, "No no, not at all. I will be the first to say that my father is a scumbag. I mean, he passed on his love of war and fighting and weapons to me, which is nice, but the rest of his traits are terrible. I'm glad someone had the nerve to put him in his place, even if it was another boy."
I smiled, "Well, I'm glad to be of service. Anyways, I like this bow, so do I just take it?"
"Yeah, if you want that bow then take it. I will make note of it and make sure we get another one of that size to replace it in the armory. Also, grab a quiver of arrows off the wall. As you may or may not know, the bow and quiver are enchanted to appear and disappear as you wish. The quiver holds thirty arrows. It is your responsibility to take care of the equipment. For every ten replacement arrows you need, you will be assigned extra chores around camp. Understand?"
"Yeah, I get it. Is there any equipment for sharpening arrows and taking care of the bow?"
"Yeah, we got equipment for that. As you learn your way around the camp you will find what you need. Now, do you want hunting knives as well, or are you going to stick with your sword for close combat?"
I reached into my pocket and grabbed a hold of Riptide. "I think I will just stick with my sword. It was my first weapon and is my favorite weapon, I don't have any need to switch to hunting knives."
Megan looked at me and nodded, "Okay, well then if that is all, get out of my armory. I have to make sure everything is in place and pack it up so we can head off on the hunt."
"Crap! I completely forgot we were leaving soon. Okay, thanks for everything Megan, I have to go pack up my stuff before we leave. Bye." With that, I hurried out of the armory tent and headed back to my campsite.
An hour later, I walked back to the hunter camp and found it had been completely packed up and the hunters were about ready to head out. I felt like a fool since I was using mostly mortal equipment and had to carry it with me while the hunt was using magic equipment that folded up into small little devices and could be carried around in their pockets.
I could tell that the hunters were all laughing at me, but I just ignored it. Artemis was at the front of the group and after several minutes led is out of the clearing and through the forest. The travelling was boring. I was at a point where I could travel over 100 miles a day. The hunt only made about 60 miles the first day before they stopped to set up camp again and rest for the night. Once again, I set my stuff up about a quarter mile away from the rest of the hunters. This time however, I set up a trap around my tent to keep the hunters away.
I dug out an underground trench around my tent with my waterpower's. It was about ten feet deep with two feet of water on the bottom. It was also three feet wide to prevent people from stepping over it. There was about three inches of dirt covering the trench being supported by a layer of ice I formed under it. It could support th dirt, but if anyone stepped on it, they would fall through into the water. If I was close by when someone fell in, I could freeze the water and trap them, if I was too far away for that, they would just suffer from embarrassment and try to get away before I found them.
After making sure my trap was good, I took off for a run through the forest to get a little more exercise before dinner. As I ran, I let my senses guide me while I relaxed. It was strange running through a different forest, but at the same time it was a nice change of pace. The layout was different, so I had to focus on my surroundings more. After a few hours, I made my way back to my campsite. When I got close, I felt out with my senses to see if anyone had been crazy enough to approach my campsite.
I sensed no one had fallen into my trap, but I could sense someone was approaching. I hurried back to my tent and waited for the person's arrival. I looked up and saw Thalia. "Hey Thalia, what are you doing here?" I shouted.
She looked up at me, "Well, it's almost dinner time. Since you volunteered to clean up after it this morning, you need to show up eventually."
I smiled at her, "Okay, I will be there in a few minutes. Now, you should stop walking towards me. I have some, ah, defenses set up around my tent to prevent people from getting close to my stuff again." I then walked over to her, making sure to temporarily reinforce the ground as I walked over it.
Thalia looked at me funny, "What did you do? I don't see any traps around here."
I smirked at the lieutenant of the hunters, "Well, if you want to test my traps, then go right ahead and walk to my tent. I dare you to."
"Hmm, maybe later. For now though, it's dinner time." She said. Thalia then turned around and walked back towards the hunter's camp.
I followed her, and as soon as I arrived at the dinner clearing, the hunters all turned to glare at me. I ignored them, got my dinner, and sat down away from everyone else.
As I was starting to eat my dinner, Artemis spoke up, "Well, it likes you all are warming up to Perseus here, you only glared at him for half a minute this time."
I groaned, now they were going to make sure to glare at me longer. I sighed and got back to my dinner. After I finished, I stuck around so I could do my cleaning duty. With my waterpower's, I was able to do the dishwashing with relative ease.
Once I finished, I decided to stick around for a little while. If the hunters were ever going to like me, it wouldn't be because I was never around, that would just make them treat me the way they currently do. After looking around for several minutes, I found everyone seated around a campfire, talking; laughing; and having a good time.
I smiled and looked for a place to sit, but before I could sit down, someone spoke up, "You are not welcome here, boy. Go back to your own camp." I looked towards the voice and saw that it was coming from Phoebe.
I was about to leave, but another voice spoke up, surprisingly, this time to defend me, "Phoebe, whether you like it or not, Perseus is a member of the hunt and is just as welcome here as everyone else." What really surprised me was that it was Artemis defending me.
I smiled at her and spoke, "Thank you Lady Artemis, but I can tell that I am in fact not welcome here, so I will be leaving. Maybe some day I will be welcomed, but that day is not today." With that, I turned around and walked away from their campfire and back to the solitude of my campsite.
And so it went. For the next week, we made our way towards Oregon and the monster army that was building there. During the trip, the hunters made it perfectly clear that I was not welcome. They gave up on trying to sneak up on my campsite after a few days and falling into my traps several times. I think the fact that they couldn't harass me as much as they wanted just made them hate me even more. Still, I wasn't about to just let the hunters torture me. Occasionally, I would hear Thalia or Artemis try to defend me, but not even they were having a lot of success getting the other hunters to accept me.
Eventually, we reached the Ochoco forest in eastern Oregon. It was midday and I stretched out my senses as far as I could. About 20 miles ahead, I could sense a large group of monsters. I joined back with the hunters who were a little ways behind me and told Artemis.
She looked at me, "You should really stick with the hunt more, they might like you better if you weren't always disappearing off into the forest and then randomly appearing again."
"Well, I would love to do that, but I am used to travelling over 100 miles a day, so this slower pace is too easy for me. Anyways, I came back to tell you that there is a large group of monsters about 15 miles ahead."
She immediately stopped and the hunters followed suit. Everyone was now staring at me, "How far ahead did run, Perseus?" Artemis asked me.
I smiled sheepishly, "I was only about a mile ahead of you guys. I used my senses and scouted ahead with them. About 15 miles up a large group of monsters is waiting. I counted 50 before turning around and warning you guys. There were more to count, I just figured you would want to know now, not later."
Artemis was giving me a funny look, "How do you do that? No one can sneak up on you because you can sense them coming, and now you are saying you can sense ahead of you for 15 miles. I thought you only had waterpower's, so how are you doing this?"
I sighed, "Well, I had wanted to keep my powers secret until I felt I could trust everyone, but I suppose since that won't happen, I might as well tell you. I can sense any source of water. I can sense the water in people, animals, gods, plants, the air, the ground, everywhere. By focusing on this, I can actually get an image of my surroundings and look ahead of me for about 20 miles if I try my hardest. I can sometimes do this subconsciously in my sleep as well."
Now they were all staring at me. As the seconds ticked by, I was getting even more uncomfortable. Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore, "Fine, I guess that was a surprising thing to learn. Anyways, as I said, there is a large group of monsters 15 miles ahead, what is the plan? Should go meet them today or wait until tomorrow? If we wait until tomorrow, would we be safe tonight since we are so close to them?"
My questions seemed to break the hunters out of their trance and Artemis responded. "If we stay put, the monsters won't sense us here. We can rest up tonight and then eliminate them tomorrow when we are rested and ready. Now, setup camp. Perseus, do not stray too far away, we don't want the monsters to find you and attack us because of it."
I bowed to Artemis, "Your will, Lady Artemis." I then walked a little ways off and set up my campsite.
As Artemis requested, I stayed close by the hunter camp the rest of the day. Every hour or so I would reach out with my senses again to make sure the enemy was still nearby and not approaching. I spent the rest of my time doing sword work. It had been a while since I had trained with Riptide and I didn't want to be out of practice the next day, so I spent several hours practicing on ice dummies I created.
Eventually, night came so I went to sleep. For the first time in a long time, I had a dream.
In my dream, I was in my tent. I got up and walked out of it to see a familiar face. Not a good familiar face though, a rather bad one. The face was covered in scratches and cuts and the man had dark glasses on. He had long black hair and he was wearing a tuxedo.
Prometheus smiled at me, "It's been a while Percy. I am sure you are glad to have won the last titan war, and with your victory I have come to respect you. Now, I wish to warn you about what you face."
I glared at him, "Leave me alone Prometheus, I don't want to hear your words as you try to manipulate me. I won't listen to you."
He gave me a warm smile, "Why Percy, I just wish to help you. The army of monsters you are going to fight tomorrow, they only want you. The army formed with the sole purpose of killing you. During the battle tomorrow, the hunters will be at risk against an enemy that seeks only you."
"Shut up! Leave my dream and let me sleep in peace."
"You should really stop interrupting me, I wasn't finished speaking yet. I only wish to help you. Anyways, you joined the hunters so that you would have a family again and the family wouldn't be in danger because of you. I just wanted to let you know that this army has only formed because of you, so you would be putting your new family at risk if you allowed the hunters to fight the monsters. Would you be able to live with yourself if any of the hunters died because of that?"
I knew he was trying to manipulate me, so I tried to convince myself he was lying, "Why would the army form only to fight me? What makes me different to them than any other half-blood out there? They are not only after me, you are just trying to manipulate me into fighting them alone so that I will loose."
"That's not it at all. I wish to propose another question to you. What makes the hunters any better than Athena? They are placing their prejudices and hatred of others onto you for no reason. Nothing you have done is getting them to change their opinions either. Is it worth it to risk your life for a group of people who hate you as much as Athena does, and for similar reasons as well? What have they ever done for you other than make it clear they want you to go away? Why risk your life for them?"
"I will risk my life for them because they deserve saving. I can tell they don't truly hate me. Also, Thalia is my friend and if she is fighting, I want to fight as well. Now I have a question for you. What are you doing? During the titan war, you said you would only join the side you thought would win. Which side are you on now? You know the monsters don't stand a chance against us, so who are you really working for this time?"
Prometheus grinned, "That, I cannot tell you. Unless you joined us that is. Swear on the Styx to join my side and I will tell you, otherwise, I have said all I will say."
I glared at him, "I would never join you. As much as I may dislike some of the gods, they are still better than the titans or whoever you are working for."
"You say that now, but you don't even know who is on my team. If you knew who they were and what they had planned, you would be more willing to join. Think about it, do you really want to fight for a bunch of gods who don't care for their own children? You have seen how the gods treat the demigods, why fight for them? The gods betrayed you after everything you did for them, is it really worth staying on their side? The hunters are no better than the gods, so why fight for them either? Even if you help them or save them, they will just continue to hate them. If you joined me, you would get respect and the other mortals would be treated well as well. Don't answer me now though, wait until after your battle tomorrow and then tell me who you really want to fight for."
With that, my dream faded into blackness and I slept soundly until the morning.
Well, I would like to update more often than I do, but I have other things to do. Writing FanFiction is a free time activity for me, so if I have other things to do during that free time, I won't be able to write as quickly. Normally, I have been pretty good about my updates and stuff, but lately, I have had a little less free time and a little more work to do, preventing me from writing as fast as I want to.
Also, some rather unfortunate things are taking place in my life right now and will continue to be taking place for the foreseeable future, it shouldn't take too much time away from my writing, but if it is going to become more of a problem, I will let you know.
In order to write FanFiction, you need to read books. Normally, reading books is an easily balanceable thing to do. Some books, however, require more intense reading and focus with fewer breaks and pauses. This means that I am planning on reading a book that will take more time and effort than normal meaning less time to write FanFiction.
Now, since I have thrown all of that out there, let me reiterate what I said when I first started writing this story, I will update at least one chapter a week as long as I am around to do so. If for some reason I won't be able to do so, I will let you know in advance. No matter how distracted I may get by other things, I owe it to you, my readers, to update consistently and I have no intentions of breaking my good history of updates.
So, do you guys have any idea who Prometheus is working for this time? It isn't Kronos or Gaia, but that is all I'm saying.
Now, if you have anything to say about the chapter, story, or me, leave me a review or PM me.
Thanks for reading and have a fun time doing fun things in fun places.