A/N: I am so, so sorry, guys! I've been AWOL for the past four weeks because I first had two week-long school trips in a row, and then I had finals. Now, school's out for me, so I'll have tons of free time to devote to this. Without further adieu, Chapter V of Champion of Light and Dark!
After I light-traveled to my room, I took off my clothes and took a shower. Despite me disowning Poseidon as my father, I still held power over water, including being refreshed by it. For a while, I just stood in the shower, allowing the water to clear my mind, before I began to clean my body.
After the shower, I walked down the stairs of Dusklight Manor to the ground floor, before proceeding into the dining room. At the table, which was currently a small rectangular table, able to comfortably fit six people - two on each side, with one at each head of the table. Five people were already there - Mom and Dad sat next to each other on one side of the table, with Hem and Aether opposite them. At the head, there was my second-favourite brother, Moros, the primordial spirit of doom. The only empty seat was opposite him.
"And the honoured guest arrives!" Moros shouted as soon as he saw me.
Mom immediately got up and hugged me tightly. She was joined soon by Hem. I returned their affection, and after a while they returned to their seats of their own free will. Shortly after them, I sat down opposite my brother Doom, immediately digging into the food at the plate in front of me.
"So how'd the mission go?" inquired Aether.
I paused to swallow the salmon in my mouth, before answering. "It was a success, though there was a short encounter with Artemis."
Mom looked at me with concern. "What happened?"
"They arrived before I could kill the Manticore, but after I'd sent the di Angelos to Hades. There was a short confrontation - Artemis wanted my name, I refused to give it to her, she threatened to shoot me, I threatened to kill her Hunters. I checked the time after that, and saw it was close to dinnertime, and so I light-traveled to my room."
Mom raised an eyebrow. "You threatened to kill her Hunters?"
I shrugged. "I wouldn't have actually gone through with it. You know me too well to think I would."
Mom smiled at me. "Of course. Just making sure."
Most of the rest of the meal was in companionable silence, though there was some small-talk. Y'know, the usual - discussing the latest news and our opinions on it. Now, you may be wondering about the whole second-favourite-brother thing with Moros. Well, he's my second favourite brother because he's the only sibling apart from Aether and Hemera who really acknowledges that I'm their brother. The others either dislike me or act as if I don't exist. And, well, since Aether's my favourite - after all, he did give me his blessing and help raise me.
Two days later, Moros gave me a visit, in the form of a dream. Gods can do that. Anyway, I was surprised, given that it isn't every day Doom himself gives you a dream message, even if you are his brother. We were both in a featureless black room, which I could see perfectly in, given my adoptive parentage.
"What's up, Moros?" I asked cautiously, as I sat down across from him in the chair he had just conjured up for me, across his own.
"Does something have to be up for me to talk to my little bro?" he responded.
I rolled my eyes. "It does if you're talking to me in my dreams."
Moros grinned his carefree grin. "You got me there, lil bro."
"So, what's so important you need to send me a dream message?"
"Well," he elongated the word, "you know Artemis?"
"Of course I do."
"She may have been kidnapped by a Titan."
I stood up, shocked. "What‽"
"Yeah. The camp's sent out a quest to free her. Only, they aren't following the prophecy, and if you don't join them, they'll be doomed to failure."
I'd calmed down and sat back in my chair. Raising my eyebrow, I inquired, "What's the prophecy?"
Moros sat up straight and coughed to clear his throat, before taking a deep breath.
"Five shall go west to the goddess in chains,
One shall be lost in the land without rain,
The Bane of Olympus shows the trail,
Campers and Hunters combined prevail,
The Titan's Curse must one withstand,
And one shall perish by a parent's hand."
Interesting. "So, which part of the prophecy aren't they following?"
"The first line. One of the original quest members, a hunter, was pranked by two Hermes campers with a shirt coated in heavily diluted Centaur blood, and since it doesn't rain at Camp Half-Blood, they thought that she was the one lost in the land without rain, so only four left. Since only four are going west, they'll be doomed unless you go."
"When should I leave?"
"You should start getting ready when you wake up, and leave as soon as you're ready. Either shadow travel or light travel to Washington, D.C. - that's where they'll be. See ya, lil bro."
With that, I woke up. I threw off my sheets, showered, and packed my equipment into my enchanted backpack. Sleeping bag, check. Duct tape, check. Pillow, check. Food, check. Water bottles, check. Mortal money, check. Drachmas, check. Prism, check. Flashlight, check. Changes of clothes, check. Magical TARDIS tent, check. Shouldering my bag, I disappeared into the shadows, willing them to carry me to the District of Columbia.
A/N: The title of this chapter translates to Call to Adventure - a reference to the Hero's Journey, where the Call to Adventure is when the hero is summoned to go on his quest. Other names for it are the inciting incident - usually used for less fantastic stories than this.
A side note - I recently discovered the most badass Greek hero in the Trojan War, Diomedes. Okay, so he's a mortal, favored by Athena, who was one of the Epigoni who destroyed Thebes, and he becomes the king of Argos at fifteen. During the Trojan War, he literally has the longest Crowning Moment of Awesome in the entire Iliad. (In Greek epics, like the Iliad, characters had what was called the aristeia, which is by definition, their finest moment. The aristeia of Diomedes starts in Book V, and ends in Book VI, and involves a shield doubling as a flamethrower, Diomedes crushing Aeneas's hip, and wounding both Aphrodite and Ares in a single day, as well as fighting Apollo.
Excuse the rant. Just had to share this epicness. I recommend looking up his Badass of the Week page, because it does his badassitude much more justice than I could.
JarkosofTroy, signing off!