I'm sorry it's been a bit. Don't worry, I'm intent on seeing this story through. Crazy to think that we're nearing the end. Thank you guys for the patience and the reviews! Enjoy the chapter.
Dodging a strike that would have taken his head clean off, Percy took a breath. He was sparring with Aether himself, who barely flagged as he took strike after strike at Percy. Aether was a worthy challenge for the God of swordplay. However, Percy had little chance as he was not equipped with a sword. This particular exercise enabled Percy to work on his mobility, but gods was it terrifying. He knew that his primordial assailant was capable of stopping his sword on a dime, as he had before just millimeters from his neck, but that didn't make the sword bearing down on him any less terrifying.
He managed to twist and turn around the blade for another five minutes or so before Aether ceased his swinging. Percy took a moment to catch his breath. He'd been training for nearly the past week and a half, meaning the battle against the giants would occur in mere days on Earth. Percy had been pushed to his limits, and that's saying quite a lot. Whether the training had been learning to harness the power of his new sword, dubbed Arrepsía, or sharpening his power over time, or pushing his physical limits as they just were, it had been truly difficult.
"Good, Percy." Aether said. He flashed to the center of the gargantuan arena they'd been training in and held out his hand. "Now," he instructed, as humanoid constructs made of light energy shot from his hand, "defeat these constructs using only your power over time."
Percy's brow furrowed. He'd fought these things before, when trying to get Arrepsía under control. The sword's name comes from the ancient greek word for equilibrium, and Percy quickly found that it required him to prove himself far more than just pulling the blade from the sheath. He needed to show at least some amount of competence in terms of harnessing light and dark energy. In order to even put a dent in that, Percy had sat in meditation, clutching the sword in the room it had been sheathed, for 48 hours. Yes, he'd peeked a couple times, and yes he fell asleep once, but it had been enough to earn the respect of the sword and an increased understanding of the light and dark energy that flowed through the world around him. He was far from a master, but he was beginning to understand just how powerful his new gifts could be.
Snapped back to the present by the metallic roar of a dozen constructs roaring towards him, he froze them all in time to give himself a bit more time to consider a solution. His power had strengthened so much that he didn't even feel the exertion. These beings were nothing compared to the sea of power he possessed.
He kept them there for a moment or two before his mouth twitched into a grin. Concentrating, he turned back time around each of the constructs and watched as they flew back into Aether's hand, disappearing. The primordial smiled, flashing back down beside Percy.
"Good. Very good. You have progressed quite far in such a short time."
Percy snorted. "Short time? It might have only been a week and a half—
"—but it's not like there are nights to sleep here. I've gotten like 3 hours total," Percy finished, rolling his eyes at Aether's interruption.
Aether rolled his eyes right back. "Stop whining, you're practically a Primordial. If you needed sleep that bad you wouldn't be as competent as you are."
"It helps," Percy grumbled to himself with a small smile.
Aether just laughed. "You can get some sleep after you train with Nyx today. Consider it a reward for your training. You leave tomorrow morning after all, and you have a difficult path forward."
Percy's smile vanished. He looked over to Aether, whose smile faltered as he clapped a hand on his shoulder. "You'll be alright."
Unsure, Percy simply nodded.
"Go," said Aether. "Train with my stupid mother. Flash back here whenever you're done, you'll find a bed. Set your internal alarm to 6 AM. I know it's always brighter than Athena here but your clock still works."
Percy checked it. 7 PM. He'd purposely been ignoring it, trying to avoid the exhaustion that sat on the horizon. He'd rest soon. Right now, he needed all the preparation he could get.
Monster after monster flew at Percy in Nyx's realm. He'd finally been able to train there beginning yesterday, as until then Aether and Hemera had deemed it too dangerous considering the fact that if Tartarus found out Percy was within his grasp Percy would be faced with an essentially unwinnable battle. However, Percy and Nyx managed to persuade them once Percy had gotten Equilibrium under control and Nyx showed that she could cloak his power signature. Percy was glad to give his eyes a rest from the constant light, and glad to fight against real monsters instead of the constructs created by Aether and Hemera.
Nyx's style of training was entirely different when compared to Aether and Hemera's. She simply conjured up wave after wave of monsters trapped in her realm, only for the ones he cut down to instantly reform. She even brought some of her children in to fight against him, Akhlys had been a real fucking nightmare. Her training was no holds barred, anything goes chaos.
Percy didn't hide his grin as he plunged Equilibrium into the gut of an Empousai, and watched as it exploded as its body failed to contain the sword's immense energy. Ripping the blade from its flesh sheath, Percy willed a ring of light to burst around him, incinerating the monsters in the vicinity. In the past three hours, he hadn't been touched. He wasn't about to let an unguarded back change that. Throwing his sword into the horde of monsters, he concentrated on the swirling dark and dancing light energy of the blade. With a yell from Percy, there was an explosion of rich gold and deep purple that destroyed all the monsters in a 20 foot radius. Running the flow of time backwards through the sword, he watched as it sucked the energy back in and returned safely to his hand just in time for him to decapitate a cyclops.
Smiling, Nyx waved her hands and the monsters all stopped, shuffling back into the darkness of her realm. She leapt off the dais from which she observed, and drew her own sword of Stygian Iron. Not missing a beat, Percy bared his teeth and rushed towards the primordial. The unspoken agreement between them was no powers, just sword on sword. Nyx would destroy Percy if she used her power. Not only were they fighting on her turf, but she had been honing her craft for millennia. Percy may be powerful, but Nyx was a whole different beast.
They moved at the speed of light, swords moving and parrying each other. Both beings were exceedingly strong and skillful, neither could gain the upper hand. Finally, Percy decided to resort to something a bit more unorthodox. Ducking a blow from Nyx, he aimed a sweeping kick at her legs. Not missing a beat, Nyx jumped and nicked Percy on the shoulder with her sword. Snarling, Percy bore down on the primordial with increasing ferocious blows, Arrepsía humming with power. Locking blades with the goddess, Percy looked down to see her legs splayed wide, an attempt to keep a strong base against the inexplicably strong being pushing on her sword.
Grinning, Percy released the pressure on his blade while contorting his body, sliding it between Nyx's legs. Stunned by the sudden lack of pressure, Nyx stumbled forward. A well placed kick by Percy caused the stumble to turn into a tumble. Before she could rise to her feet, she found a sword held to her throat by a grinning upstart god. (A/N I'm just gonna call him a god even if he's something more, it's easier for everyone that way)
His smile almost enough to light up Nyx's dreary realm, Percy looked down at the primordial, who just huffed, melting into the shadow beneath his blade and appearing a few feet away from him.
"How did you get so damn tricky?"
Percy's smile faltered as he remembered the months he spent honing his fighting skill with Artemis. "Quite a bit of practice."
Nyx just grinned. "Aw, gonna cry?"
"No, I'm not," Percy's smile returned to his face, but not his eyes. "I'm gonna go get her soon."
Nyx clapped him on the back. "Damn right you will. Don't forget to come visit every once in a while."
Percy just laughed. "You kidding? You're gonna have to visit me, I am not going anywhere near the pit."
"Whatever Jackson, we'll see if you live through this whole thing, then I might consider it," Nyx laughed.
"I'll see you tomorrow morning."
Nyx simply waved as Percy flashed away.
Percy stumbled to the bed, finally alone, finally done with his extensive training for the time being. Despite himself, he didn't feel much solace in it. The worst was yet to come. That didn't stop him from passing out the moment he hit the bed.
"WHERE ARE THEY?"
Another bruise was made present on the body of the chained goddess by Zeus's fist.
Artemis had been enduring punishment at the hand of her father for the days after the meeting, locked in the dark recesses of his palace. She cursed herself again and again for not thinking quickly enough when Zeus had tied the golden rope around her in the council room.
She was ripped from her thoughts by the electricity that arced through her body.
"Your hunters, Artemis. Where have they been hidden?"
The tears flowed. Artemis would not break. She had lost far too much already.
Percy looked at the three primordial deities before him. Nyx and Aether looked at him with a mix of pride and determination, whereas Hemera looked at him with pride and a hint of worry. The latter stepped forward and gave Percy a kiss on the brow.
"You have proven yourself to be a worthy hero," Hemera said with a smile. "And we would love for you to stay, but we know this is not your place."
Aether smiled. "You have good work to do back home. You know where you have to go?"
"Good," Nyx said. "And do a bit more thinking about that prophecy, will you? I can't believe you honestly think that twerp Eros could stand up to the Olympian Council without the help of my sister."
Confused, Percy opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it. He simply nodded at the powerful trio before him, and glanced toward the miniature hourglass that hung at his belt. The sword that started all of this. "I won't let you guys down."
Aether smiled. "We know."
Suddenly, the world tilted under Percy's feet, and everything vanished. He focused hard on where he wanted to go and was soon rewarded with two gigantic bronze doors. Tears sprung to Percy's eyes as he smelled the air, felt the wind, saw the way the sun hit the mountains. It was his first time on Earth's surface in nearly a year. Allowing himself to savor the feeling for just a moment, he turned back towards the doors, raised and released the bronze knocker, and felt a tremor shake the mountain.
Moments later, a disheveled looking Hephaestus answered the door. When he saw Percy, the smithing god's jaw dropped and his eyes widened to the size of golf balls.
"Hey Heph. We got some work to do."
"Send a message to Poseidon, Hermes, Apollo, and Hades. Get to my palace at Mount Saint Helens ASAP. This is extremely important. Come quickly. End transmission. Send."
Turning from his computer back to Percy, he was met with a face wreathed in worry. Hephaestus could not get over the boy's eyes. They had lost their youthful spark, as well as their sea green color. He now had eyes that shone gold, with minuscule blackish flecks floating around lazily through his irises. Perhaps more striking than the color change was the wisdom and power those eyes now veiled.
"Is that really everyone? What about Artemis?"
Hephaestus grimaced. "Percy, you were gone for over 8 months and haven't answered a single question of mine."
Percy grit his teeth. "I told you, I'll tell you everything when everyone else is here. Stop dodging the question, where is Artemis?"
Hephaestus took a half step back as he beheld the fire in Percy's eyes. "She's in Zeus's captivity. I'm sorry Percy."
The fire left Percy's eyes as he slumped, suddenly looking a thousand years older. Hephaestus apprehensively put his hand on the younger god's shoulder. Maybe the time in the pit had broken him after all. "Percy, are you okay? What happened to your eyes?"
Hephaestus summoned a mirror from somewhere in his palace and gave it to the boy. Percy reacted with only mild surprise. "Well what do you know?"
Before Hephaestus could express his incredulity in words, the mountain resounded with another tremor as his knocker fell once more. The mortals are gonna have a field day with this. He rushed to the door, opening it. He was met with the grim faces of Poseidon, Hades, Apollo, and Hermes. Gods, they were lucky Hades was on their side.
Poseidon spoke. "This had better be go—" He stopped suddenly, eyes wide in shock, focused on a point behind Hephaestus. Hephaestus didn't need to turn around to know what he was so shocked about. The sea god pushed by him and grabbed his sun in a fierce hug. Percy hugged him back tight. "Hi, dad."
Hephaestus looked over at the other three gods, even Hades looked shocked the young god had survived. Pulling away from the hug, Poseidon looked at his boy, smiling. "It is good to see you, son." His look turned to one of confusion. "What happened to your eyes?"
Percy's gaze shifted to the other four gods standing at the door. "You guys should probably grab a seat," he stated simply. "This is gonna take a while to explain."
Percy told the five gods before him everything. He described his work as the vigilante to those less in the know, expressing his pride and regret for what he'd done. Hades had actually clapped the boy on the shoulder when he got to that part, and Poseidon had admonished him despite maintaining a sparkle in his eye.
He told them about the time he had spent alone, and the time he'd spent with Artemis, albeit in sparse detail.
Poseidon had smiled. "A maiden goddess, huh Percy? Congrats buddy."
Percy had given him a nervous smile, flitting his eyes to Apollo, who simply turned his palms upward. "My little sister can fend for herself, Percy. It's not my job to approve or disapprove, unless she decides to date Gigantes filth again. However," he said with a smile and a cheesy wink, "for what it's worth, I approve."
Percy had been relieved at that.
He recounted the eight long months he'd spent honing his power over time in Tartarus, sharpening it daily as if it were a prized blade. The eight months of interrogations, baths in the Phlegethon, broken-glass air. When he got to the part where Annabeth fell into the pit, the gods were on the edge of their seats.
"I wanted to kill her. At first I didn't do it because I needed her, but I began to admire her courage, her backbone as time went on. What happened wasn't entirely her fault, and while I may never forgive her, by the end of the journey she had regained my respect."
He gave a loose account of his walk through Nyx's realm, and his encounter with Kronos. He didn't want to dwell on the horrors for too long. While Apollo looked a bit green by the time this portion of the story was finished, Hades was roaring with laughter. He was less than amused when Percy told him of Nyx's blessing, probably just annoyed that somebody other than his own kids had power over the shadows. Percy had to hide a snicker. Just you wait.
You could hear a pin drop as Percy described the taking of the Doors, his sacrifice for Annabeth's safe passage including precious information. When he mentioned the appearance of Tartarus, Poseidon choked on his own spit.
"You fought Tartarus?" At least that's what Percy thought he said through the coughs.
"Trust me, I'm not looking for a rematch," Percy said with a smile. He told them how he'd 'defeated' him, much to their shock, and how Nyx had whisked him away just before the Rivers of the Underworld came crashing down on him.
Percy described Aether's realm, and how he'd met Aether, Hemera, and Nyx (once more) there. He told them about how he wasn't truly made a god by the fates, and not truly a primordial either. He told them that he was something new. He reassured his father that he was still his son, still his blood. Then, he informed them of the true interpretation of the old prophecy, and described how he'd ripped the sword of untold legend from its sheath, giving him power over both light and dark.
Hephaestus looked intrigued. "This sword, made exclusively using energy? How is such a thing possible?"
Percy laughed. "I'm not so sure. Ask the two all-powerful primordials who made it."
Hermes was also intrigued. "What's it like?"
Percy took the hourglass from his belt and flipped it in the air, displacing the grains of sand. When he caught it, it had transformed into Equilibrium. The gods looked in awe at the lively golds and foreboding purples of the blade. "Nobody can use this bad boy but me," Percy said. "And it gave me quite the fight as well, until I had truly proven myself worthy." Percy was surprised the days worth of burns on his hands had healed already.
Finally, he gave the gods a brief rundown of his training and new powers, as well as Nyx's final warning to reconsider the foes within the prophecy. Percy could already see the gears turning in Apollo's mind.
"And now I'm here," he said. "The fight is in three days, and I'm ready to fight alongside you, unlike the coward who calls himself king." His eyes flashed dangerously.
The gods before him nodded with determination.
Poseidon clapped him on the shoulder. "Why come back so early, Percy? I figured with a flair for the dramatic like yours you'd make your entrance on the battlefield."
Percy laughed. "I was considering it." He turned to Hephaestus. "But I figured that three days was more than enough time for the God of the Forge to help me make some new armor."
Hephaestus grinned. "This time, it won't be a rush job."
Percy turned to Hades and Apollo. "Come to think of it, I could probably use your help with the armor. I'll be sure to compensate you somehow."
Apollo simply waved his hand dismissively. "No need. You use that armor to get Artemis back, and that's good enough for me."
Percy turned to Hades, who shrugged. "You have my respect," he said simply. "And I'd love to help you show my stupid little brother who's boss. It's a nice bonus. What would you have us do?"
Percy looked at the three gods with a grim smile. "Help me craft a true symbol of power."
Three Days Later
The six gods sat silently around a table at dawn. This is it, today's the day. Poseidon's trident rested next to him. Hephaestus had donned his armor, currently taking the form of a simple glove. Hermes wore a traditional set of incredibly lightweight celestial bronze armor. Apollo's shining gold armor contrasted deeply with Hades, who sat to his right, helm in hand. Percy sat between Poseidon and Hades, hourglass at his hip and a golden gauntlet on his hand, complete with small purple gems. Hephaestus allowed himself a grim smile at that. Just like old times.
"It really is just us, huh," Hermes said slowly, as if the reality of the situation was finally setting in.
"Hopefully Artemis is in fighting condition, if we free her we are one more."
The gods nodded grimly. A dark mood settled upon the table. "Anyone get sleep last night?"
"Not a wink."
Percy smiled, though it didn't reach his eyes. "Well, did you think about anything useful, or just fantasize about being back home with your lady friends?"
Poseidon grunted. "Lady friends."
Hades and Hermes nodded in agreement. Apollo, however, looked thoughtful. That was new.
"What is it, Apollo?" Hephaestus's curiosity got the best of him.
"I did some thinking about the Prophecy last night, about what Nyx said. I think I might have found the answer we're looking for."
The day had come. She had been led in golden chains to the giant's camp in Greece by Zeus at dawn. The chains were simply an alternate form of the rope, her father had likely just changed their form for theatrics. He had forced her to her knees when they faced the grotesque giant king. She had kept her eyes up, defiant when Zeus had explained that he would watch from afar, if the Giants upheld their end of the agreement she'd be theirs. She could not suppress her snarl as she beheld the giant Otis's hungry expression, earning her a harsh slap from her father. The giants let loose booming laughter at that, and she shook with rage. They accepted the clueless king's terms, and so Zeus and Artemis flashed to a nearby hilltop to wait for the demigods to arrive.
"The giants will not win," she growled, making her Anger exceedingly clear. "Not all the gods are such cowards, they will not abandon their children."
"Mind your mouth, daughter. I don't think your giant husband will appreciate such backtalk."
She didn't say anything to that. She was too busy paling at the thought of an eternity with one of those grotesque, disgusting creatures.
Her imagination was interrupted by the sight of the Argo II on the horizon and a booming laugh from Porphyrion. She watched as the Giant King summoned a lightning bolt in his hand and hurled it at the Argo II. To her shock, a similar bolt sailed directly over her head. She turned to her father who stared at the ship with a grim expression as his bolt hit its mark along with that of the Giant. The Argo II began to fall.
Percy watched as the Argo II was struck with two powerful bolts and began to fall. Traitorous scum. He cursed under his breath. "Heph, go sneak up on Artemis and Zeus and deactivate those chains. I'll go to rescue the demigods off the ship. Apollo—"
Before Percy could continue, he heard a deafening cracking sound coming from the falling warship. The six gods watched in awe as a giant celestial bronze dragon emerged from the wreckage with a roar and made a beeline towards the Giant camp.
"You know what? I think they've got it covered," Percy said with a smile. "Heph, go save Artemis. The rest of you, prepare to flash into that camp."
Hephaestus grunted. "What are you gonna do?"
Percy's smile morphed into a grin. "Make an entrance, of course."
Artemis spat curse after curse in her father's face. She shouldn't have been surprised, and yet, she was. Zeus had slapped her once already during her tirade, and delivered another when she called him a traitorous, filthy coward. Artemis and Zeus were so razor focused on their verbal fight, neither noticed Hephaestus flashing in near them. It wasn't until she felt her chains slacken that Artemis turned around to behold the smithing god, and Zeus's eyes widened in shock. Just as Zeus raised his master bolt, Hephaestus grabbed Artemis's arm and flashed away.
They appeared on the battlefield right as the giant bronze dragon she'd seen emerge from the flaming wreckage of the Argo II landed.
"Come on, everyone off, let's kick some giant tail!" It was the one who seemed to be piloting the dragon who spoke, a scrawny hispanic kid.
"That's my boy! Give 'em hell up there!" Must be a son of Hephaestus. She watched as six demigods dismounted, armored and ready for war. The dragon lifted off once more. One by one, she watched as gods flashed in next to her. Poseidon gave her a smile, whereas Hades said nothing. Apollo rushed to her and gave her a hug as Hermes drew his staff of twin snakes.
"Get off me," she mumbled. "We can do this after we win."
Apollo beamed at her before forming ranks with the other gods.
"So," Porphyrion sneered. "A few puny gods decide to fight back. You will join the titans in Tartarus."
"Been there, done that!" A voice called from above. Artemis's knees weakened in shock. It couldn't be.
Percy flashed 50 feet above the scene and froze himself there. The things I'll do for dramatics. Seeing his opportunity, he gave a shout, deployed his armor, and dropped down.
The armor was beautiful. He had taken a page out of Nyx and Aether's book and used magic energy in its crafting. While he had control over light and dark, he still used Hades and Apollo to help him make the armor with their respective energies. It was forged with Celestial Bronze, not completely out of energy like Arrepsía. That ritual was far too ancient and required far too much power for even the three gods to be able to do it.
Hephaestus had cast and forged a relatively standard set of celestial bronze armor before the three gods began to channel their energies into the armor. Interestingly enough, Apollo and Hades' dark and light energy moved away from each other, leading to one side being mostly dark and the other being mostly light. Percy's light energy mingled with the dark and vice versa, however, meaning that each side had either gold or dark accents similar to those of his sword.
Hephaestus ran with this change like a champ, modifying each side of the armor accordingly. I'll run through the dark side first. The gauntlet, while protective, was pure black and resembled a skeletal hand. Each of the fingers were equipped with Stygian Iron blades that jutted from between the second and third knuckles, and the thumb was equipped with one as well, between the knuckle and fingertip. These clawlike, retractable blades enabled Percy to cut and slash with his hand. The gauntlet also had a larger, razor sharp Stygian Iron blade that emerged backwards from and covered his forearm, enabling even a forearm strike with the armor to be deadly. As the armor continued up and around his shoulder, it had greaves like that of a traditional knight from the middle ages, the black, swirling, energy-imbued metal interrupted only by the stark contrast of rich, gold, crack-like accents. These gold accents were Percy's energies, and they depicted scenes of the horrors of Tartarus and Nyx's realm on the dark side of the chestplate. Small images of Kronos in chains, Nyx's palace, and a drowning Tartarus were among others, adoring the chestpiece like ancient greek pottery. The armor continued down to through his waist and legs, light as a feather despite looking heavy as the sky. While the leg was not adorned with scenes like the chestplate, it still held the same swirling gold accents. The accents ended with a deep black plated boot that may have been light on Percy's foot, but the weight of it could send Gods and Giants alike tumbling. The entire dark side of the armor was adorned with golden gems, a touch that Hades himself had recommended.
The light side of the armor held many parallels to the darker side I just described. The gauntlet was much fuller looking than its counterpart, and was a radiant gold. While it lacked the blades the other one had, large black gems could be found on each of the fingers of the gauntlet, resembling brass knuckles. One close-fisted punch from that gauntlet would cause skin to tear and inchor to flow. The gauntlet joined up with the rest of the light armor at his forearm. As opposed to the harsh plating and medieval styling of the Darker portion of his armor, it held more of a similarity to his older armor, with elegant more cybernetic-looking plating. It held deep, purple accents similar in color to those on Arrepsía and similar in shape to the gold crack-like ones on the armor's other side. This side also had small, pottery-like scenes depicted through that deep purple energy. These scenes were far less bleak, showing the ceremony in which he'd been granted godhood, an hourglass laid on its side, a sword raised in victory, and a certain god and goddess asleep in a beautiful forest, among others. The sleek, cybernetic look continued down through the leg, as did the accents, and finally ended at a gold-colored boot.
In the center of the chestplate where the light side met the dark, forming a crisp line, lay a depiction of a completely balanced scale, perfectly centered so that the line split it in two. On the darker side, the balance was outlined in gold, on the light side it was depicted in black. The greek letter psi, written in black, and the greek letter delta, written in gold, were pictured on their respective sides being weighed against each other. For the numbskulls that don't know what I'm talking about, just google 'balance scale.'
Percy had made sure that the helm wasn't as polarizing as the rest of the armor by pouring only his energy into it. What resulted was a beautiful helm of swirling purple and gold, constantly shifting ever so slightly. The hole which he could see through was Spartan-esque, though a black visor could come down to cover his face should he please. The gap in the helmet was embossed in gold, and a diamond-shaped gem that swirled with purple and gold pulsed in the forehead area. The helmet had a solitary crest in the center. The designs constantly shifted due to the swirling energy, but sights and shapes such as the faces of monsters he'd slain, the places he'd been, pretty much anything he thought of could be depicted on the helm due to his connection with it. Despite the new look, Hephaestus had built all the capabilities of Percy's old armor into the new set. Percy had made it his symbol of power on the spot. (A/N if you wanna see my inspo for the helmet, google "Pinterest 3d fantasy helmet model | Fantasy armor, Helmet concept," should be the first few results. Look for the one with the diamond-shaped gem.)
"Been there, done that," he cried, falling from the sky and sticking the superhero landing in front of the gods, goddess, and demigods. He straightened and looked up at the king of the giants with a determined smile. "Seriously ugly, find something else to threaten me with. I've been through the ringer"
The giant actually stepped back, sneering. "You're that Jackson whelp, aren't you. We were told you wouldn't be a problem." The giant looked him up and down. "Guess we were told right."
Percy simply bared his teeth and drew Arrepsía, stepping back to form ranks with the other gods. "Hello, sweetheart," he quipped at Artemis, who was on his left.
Artemis simply gave him a shove, then pulled him in. "I hope we get out of this so I can kill you myself."
Percy just shot her a smile as the giants charged towards their line of defense.
They were many — but not at full strength. Enceladus had managed to survive Jason's initial attack it seemed. The only Giant that managed to make it back through the doors of death was Alcyoneus, who could be a problem. Percy did not have time to size up the giants before they were upon their line of defense. Percy and Artemis fought back to back against Ephialtes and Otis, who seemed to be hopelessly outmatched. Artemis's time in captivity had not dulled her fighting skills, and she attacked Otis like a demon. Percy meanwhile had no problem with Ephialtes. He was more worried about the spilled blood of two demigods, male and female. That's all it would take for Gaea and Eros to rise. Percy looked around. "Nico!"
His friend had just finished dispatching a lesser giant with his father. He whipped his head over towards Percy. "Get over here!"
In an instant, Nico appeared next to Percy. He had shadow traveled straight out of the dark mist that seemed to emanate from the Time god as he fought. "What do you want?"
"Help us finish these losers!"
Nico nodded. Percy sent a concentrated blast of light at Ephialtes, knocking him down, then froze him in time. Two sword strikes later, the giant was gone. Artemis followed Percy's lead and forced Otis to his knees before Nico helped her deal the finishing blow. As Nico rejoined his father, who was now fighting against Enceladus, Artemis spat where the giant's body had fallen. Percy raised an eyebrow. "Was that your betrothed?"
"I don't wanna talk about it."
Percy surveyed the battlefield. Hephaestus was fighting with Piper McLean against Periboia. His father was fighting alongside Jason Grace against the Giant King. Hermes was fighting against Hippolytus with Reyna. Leo was taking potshots at Alcyoneus with Festus, though they did nothing but annoy him, keep him busy.
Artemis took off beside him, and he saw that it was to join Apollo in fighting against a giant armed with a bow. Percy sneered. Orion. Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque were fighting Thoon alone. Percy ran over, watching as Thoon's meat cleaver nicked Hazel, drawing blood. Just as the giant was about to bring the cleaver down on Frank, Percy caught the blow with the blade on his forearm. Pushing the giant back, he delivered a punch with his golden gauntlet, the gems seeming to dent Thoon's face, before slashing across it with his other hand. The giant roared as Percy kicked him in the chest and he fell backwards. He quickly turned to Hazel, who was bleeding. Before her blood could spill onto the ground, he reversed the flow of time around the wound until the blood coalesced over the cut.
"Zhang, give me some cloth."
Frank ripped a bit of his shirt off, and Percy took it, using it to bandage the wound.
"I can't heal it completely," Percy told Hazel, "but I can make sure it doesn't wake our least favorite primordials. See Apollo when this is all over."
He turned back to Thoon. Maybe as a demigod this whelp would have given him some trouble, but not anymore. He was about to motion to Hazel to make the killing blow when the Fates appeared before them.
"No, Perseus. It has been millenia since we got to kick this dumbass to the curb. We'll call you when we're ready."
Knowing not to question the Fates, Percy left them to their devices as they each whipped out a Bronze cudgel.
Percy looked around to see all the giants still occupied.
"Leo!" Hazel shouted.
A small head peeked out from atop the dragon's back.
"Get him out of Greece!"
Percy turned to see Alcyoneus swatting at the dragon, annoyed. Percy took a running leap at the giant and buried Arrepsía in his chest. He hung off the hilt and began to slide down the giant's body, creating a giant gash. As Percy dropped to the ground, the giant looked down in surprise as the wound didn't immediately heal before he fell backwards. Percy looked at his blade as the giant's body thudded to the ground in admiration. Storied blade indeed.
The god watched as the dragon swept down and picked up the giant, bronze limbs creaking under the giant's weight. Percy watched the giant fly away with a grin. His grin quickly vanished when the dragon exploded.
She hated this stupid bastard. The oldest of her hunters remember that Orion had tried to rape her millenia ago before Apollo had caught him in the act. She'd gotten much to close with him, and Apollo had warned her. That led to several millennia of insufferable "I told you so"s. It's safe to say she had a special kind of hatred for the giant that stood before her, taking potshots at her and her brother. He was good, she gave him that. But her and Apollo were better. They'd had the chance to get a killing blow off several times, but he was slippery and they didn't have a demigod to help them end the giant before them.
The attention of her as well as most of the rest of the battlefield turned as a thud shook the ground beneath their feet. Artemis watched as the dragon struggled to lift Alcyoneus's hulking figure off the ground before the world fell out from under her. Orion had used the opportunity to nock an explosive arrow and knock the siblings off their feet. Artemis could only watch helplessly as Porphyrion knocked Poseidon and Jason Grace backwards and threw a lightning bolt at the dragon just as Orion fired a supremely powerful explosive arrow. Each met their mark simultaneously, atomizing the dragon and its writer. Nothing remained.
With a growl she launched herself at Orion, even as she saw Hephaestus bellow in anguish before he thrust his blade through the giant princess's face just as Piper McLean finished the job. She engaged Orion with furious blows of her hunting knife. Pushing him back, she saw Hazel Levesque running towards them and doubled her ferocity. She managed to plunge her hunting knife into Orion's chest right as Hazel plunged her blade into the giant's unguarded back. She smirked as he crumbled to dust and gave Hazel a nod.
She looked around the battlefield to see most of the gods and demigods finishing their battles. Enceladus had fallen to Hades, who was now standing over Alcyoneus's unconscious body. Turning, she saw Hermes and Reyna standing over a pile of golden dust. Only the Giant King remained.
Percy looked around to see that the gods and demigods were finishing up with their battles. He began to run over to his father and Jason, but slowed to a walk when his dad swept the would-be king off his feet and held his trident over the giant's throat. Before he could deliver the killing blow, however, Zeus appeared in front of him and finished the giant off with the help of his son.
Percy picked up the pace again, snarling. He glanced over his shoulder to see Hades, Nico, and an unconscious Alcyoneus melt into shadow. Good, he said. That's the last of them.
He strode over to Zeus, who wore a smile, holding his uncomfortable looking son's arm up. "What do you think you're doing, Zeus," Percy growled.
Fear and rage briefly flashed in Zeus's eyes. "Celebrating our victory, of course."
"Our victory?" Percy was incredulous. "We all saw who fired on the Argo II."
Zeus ground his teeth. "Listen, I did what I had to do. But the prophecy is fulfilled, it's over. Olympus can return to its former glory."
Percy laughed, a low and dangerous sound as his cadre of gods and a goddess, minus one Hades, looked on. "The prophecy isn't fulfilled yet, Zeus. A second foe is for the gods. How much fighting did you lot do against Eros? You really think he's the second foe?"
Zeus's eyes flashed dangerously. "Would the all-knowing Perseus Jackson be so kind to inform me who this second foe is, then?" His voice dripped with sarcasm.
"Sure thing." Percy didn't miss a beat as he drew Equilibrium and held it to Zeus's throat, eyes ablaze. "It's me."
Holy shit lmao, 7000+ word chapter. Hopefully that'll help you forgive me for leaving you with that plot twist/cliffhanger hybrid. I'm sorry this took so long to get out, I hope the battle didn't feel too anticlimactic, and I'm sorry I spent almost a thousand words describing Percy's armor. I really hope you enjoyed this chapter. I already have a plan for the next one, so hopefully it won't take too long to get it to you. As always, thank you for your reviews, I read each and every one and they are all appreciated. See you guys soon!