Hello guys! I'm back as promised with this chapter!

Note: Thanks to Derek Chase for correcting my grammar in the eleventh paragraph!


Hazel was powerless. A blanket of pain and misery swept over her, the Seven, and Nico. She wailed in agony, pain searing her skin. One by one, they all collapsed. Hazel screamed, but the pain had no mercy.

It choked her. It strangled her. It smothered her. She clenched her eyes shut, not wanting to see the others in the same pitiful situation she was in. But a force thrust them open again.

"Help! HELP!" Hazel screamed, panicked. "Nico! Someone! NICO! Someone please HELP!" Gut–wrenching sobs poured out of her throat in an irregular stream.

"No one can help you, Hazel Levesque, not even your brother, Nico."

Hazel shrieked in pain as a fresh wave of misery washed over her.

"In fact, I find it ironic that you'll be the one hurting him…" a silky smooth voice purred. "And don't forget—your turn is second!"

With a gasp, Hazel awoke, slumped, on a rough wooden floor. She kept her eyes closed, pondering the nightmare. What had that dream meant? She would hurt Nico? Never, thought Hazel. I would never hurt Nico! But Hazel found the last sentence the voice had said the most disturbing of all. Were people going to take turns hurting Nico, or something? Relax, you're reading too much into a silly dream, Hazel chided to herself. Of course, she was a demigod; she should've known better. Hazel still had a vaguely uneasy feeling, but she shook it off, rather unwisely…

The most important thing right now is… where am I? The last thing Hazel remembered was Piper explaining something… and a wind… the wind! It swept the Seven and Nico away from the safety of Camp Half-Blood and to, well, wherever this was. Hazel shakily stood up, opened her eyes, and saw that the others were stirring now. And there was a slight breeze— they were on some sort of deck! And Hazel caught a brief glimpse of foamy green sea— they were sailing, although the ship didn't seem to be moving.

"Argo…" someone muttered. Hazel glanced around and saw Leo sitting up blearily. "We're on the Argo II…" With a start, Hazel realized that Leo was right. But how could that be? The Argo II had been completely destroyed when the war with Gaea had ended! Or had it? Hazel had never heard the full details of exactly how Leo had transformed the giant warship into a reincarnation of Festus, back in his full glory... was it possible that the ship had survived? But the king of the gods himself had broken it... Suddenly, a voice spoke.

"Not quite… the physical Argo II may have been destroyed, but memories remain. I've reconstructed the ship from memory, you see. However, it is quite real, and stocked with everything you had on the original Argo II." Hazel shuddered violently, a chill sweeping over her skin. The voice was sudden, loud, chilling, and menacing—and seemed to echo around the room. Hazel couldn't tell whether it was a low woman's voice or a high man's voice. In fact, the voice was eerily similar to the voice in Hazel's dream.

"Why? What do you want with my friends and me?"asked Annabeth furiously, jumping up from the floor with a dagger in hand. The other demigods were tense as well: Leo shuffled his feet from side to side, Percy stood in a battle stance, Jason's face was a practiced blankness, and Piper touched her knife, belted at her waist. Frank moved closer to Hazel and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. She responded with a slight smile and a squeeze back before apprehensively scanning the room for threats.

The voice just laughed with no humor. "Ah. Annabeth Chase… what a great source of amusement you are to me… first those adventures with Luke, then Percy… then Tartarus! That was fun!" Annabeth's face turned red in rage, and she stepped forward towards where the voice seemed to be coming from. "But now… these pathetic demigods. But it is not your turn today, unfortunately."

"My friends are not pathetic! And my sufferings were not fun! What do you want with us?!"

"Fine then, if you insist. You want to know what I want? What I want… is entertainment." With a white flash of light, all eight demigods were transported to the Argo II's training room, leaving Hazel feeling nauseated, though she forced it down. Despite knowing that they were basically on a replica of the Argo II, Hazel couldn't help but gasp at the training room. Dummies lined the walls, and a weapons rack adorned one corner of the spacious space. Common household items were also in another corner, in case the demigods wanted to reenact a surprise assault, Hazel guessed. Her musings were interrupted by the voice. "You see, I know there are certain… tensions within this group of demigods. I waited until you were all together to take you here. I'm thinking of ten 'duels'—you'll find out what they are exactly later. A week onboard this ship, and tensions rising! Wonderful entertainment for me! First victim… hmm… ah! Leo!"

All of the demigods started talking at once.

"First victim?" Hazel really, really, didn't like the sound of that word.

"We're going to be here a WEEK with this lunatic god, goddess, or whoever?" Piper threw up her hands, exasperated.

"Who the Hades was that?" Nico cursed softly in Greek, his scowl returning.

"What 'duels'?" Annabeth's gray eyes narrowed dangerously.

"I'm not anyone's victim!" Leo snorted, literal smoke coming out of his ears.

"Dammit! I thought the war was over!" That was Frank, in an out-of-character outburst.

"What does the voice mean, we're entertainment?" Jason wondered with an edge to his tone.

"This sucks." Everyone but Jason turned to Percy, who'd said that last line. Hazel managed a smile, despite the tough situation they were in. Percy was very blunt. And honest.

"How are we going to get out of here?" asked Jason worriedly, ignoring Percy completely.

Leo cleared his throat and rolled his eyes. "Uh… we're on the Argo II, Superman. Y'know, a ship?" Hazel sighed in relief. Maybe they would get out of this mess after all. But of course, the voice had to interrupt. Again.

"Please, Mr. Valdez. You think I haven't thought of that? There's a force field around the ship. You can't see right now, but you're in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and you can't move the ship. There's no getting out of your duel! So, everyone, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Our main performer? The one, the only, Leo Valdez!" Suddenly, a strange change came over Leo. His normally cheerful demeanor became something else… anger.

Pure, undiluted, raging white-hot anger.

"What is wrong with you?!" he bellowed, glaring straight at Percy. Horrified, Hazel ran to Leo and tried to pull him away from Percy. She didn't know what had happened, but it wasn't anything good. But the fire-user simply shook her off, a stark-white, glowing aura encasing him. "YOU'LL PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO CALYPSO!" Percy stood in shocked silence. Then, he too became angry, and encased in the white glow. Hazel backed away.

"Says the useless seventh wheel who fired on New Rome!" Percy yelled and punched Leo in the stomach. Leo doubled over and gasped for breath, his hair sparking.

"And so begins Duel Number One: Leo Valdez versus Perseus Jackson!" the voice cackled. Hazel shook with anger at the mysterious enemy, but was pulled against the training room wall, preventing her from interfering in the "duel".

Jason and Piper ran to Percy and tried to prevent him from assaulting Leo, but were restrained against the wall as well. Hazel glanced around and noted that everyone was against the wall, besides Leo and Percy. Piper caught Hazel's eye. I'm going to try to charmspeak, Piper mouthed. Hazel nodded, though she knew Piper didn't like using her charmspeak on her friends; it was the only way. Piper opened her mouth, prepared to speak, but before she could—

"No, no, no! No interference! Wasn't me anchoring you to the wall subtle enough? No talking! That includes charmspeaking, Miss McLean!" the voice sounded vaguely like a disappointed schoolteacher, Hazel thought. She tried to speak, but sure enough, not a sound came out. The group was forced to watch from the sidelines as Leo withdrew a handful of 3-pound club hammers from his tool belt, set them on fire, and chucked them at Percy, who made the pipes inside the walls burst and flood the room up to ankle-height.

"YOU TOLD CALYPSO YOU WOULD END HER PUNISHMENT! YOU LIAR!" Hazel was terrified. As Leo's anger grew, his body became wreathed in flames, melting away the water Percy summoned. The training room wasn't that large: Hazel was afraid Leo and Percy's powers combined might just cause an explosion. And with the six people that actually had full control of their minds held back against the cold training room wall… well, Hazel had never been great at math, but even she knew those were not great odds. Then, a scream from Percy broke the room's temporary silence.

"Calypso nearly killed Annabeth!" Hazel didn't have any idea of what Percy was talking about (Annabeth's face turned pale), and neither did Leo, from the bewildered expression he wore. But he immediately shook it off, using his high body temperature to melt away the water surrounding him.

"You promised!"

"No one wants you around! No wonder you KILLED YOUR MOTHER!" Hazel froze (as if she could move, anyway). Besides her, she saw Jason mouth a curse at Percy. Everyone knew Percy had gone too far. Even Nico, who wasn't one of the Seven, had heard about Leo's crushing guilt—even though it wasn't his fault—when it came to Leo's mother.

Leo stopped shooting flames. His anger seemed to dissolve. However, Percy was oblivious and continued yelling hideous insults at Leo, before finally noticing that Leo wasn't yelling accusations back. "You scared?" taunted Percy. Leo didn't respond. He glared straight at the son of Poseidon, flames flickering through his hair. Hazel was a good distance away from him, and even she could feel the heat rising off of his skin in waves. Tendrils of fire were wreathed through his fingers, and he appeared to be standing on fire.

He looked at the other demigod with pure hatred, spun on his heel, and burned the doorknob off of the door to the room. Like a dream being blinked away at the dawn of a new day, the white glow that had enveloped Leo disappeared. Now Leo was back to normal… if normal was looking like he was about to simultaneously kill someone, kill himself, and… cry? Before Hazel could process this, Leo had pushed away the door, and left. He was so cheerful when he came to camp... and now...

Hazel could hear his heavy, pounding footsteps all the way to the engine room.

A silence fell, and everybody, even Annabeth, glared at Percy, who was shaking his head, confused. "I—what—did I do that?" he asked, bewildered.

"Yes, yes! You most certainly did. With some, ah, encouragement from me, of course. That was very entertaining. Let's see… who shall be the next victim? Hmm. Oh, I know! All of you, gather here tomorrow morning at ten. As for the rest of today, do whatever it is you puny demigods do—attempt to figure me out, blah blah blah. See you tomorrow!" The voice laughed evilly, and with a loud snap! The demigods were no longer restrained against the wall, and could talk.

Now, Hazel wasn't a violent person. But even she wanted to murder the voice slowly and painfully for what it'd done to all eight demigods, especially Leo and Percy. She couldn't even imagine what, say, Jason or Annabeth were thinking.

"I'm going to go find Leo." She said. Everyone glanced at her.

"Are you sure?" asked Frank with a slight undertone of jealousy, which Hazel ignored.

"I need to make sure… you know, that he's okay after that…"

Oh Leo...

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