Chapter 10: Fencing Ideas

Annabeth's POV

"Now we have time to talk, do we not?"

I was practically vibrating in my seat, the rain still falling, having now seen not one, not two, but three things that no child of Athena had ever seen, or written, or read about.

The first, is the summoning of great weapons, used by heroes of the past, to fight against a monster.

While a child of Hephaestus could, theoretically, forge something with a quickness and goodness that would make anyone not a smithing spirit, or them envious, they still were something incredible.

But to make them appear in thin air? Never heard something similar.

Then there was the magic, using Runes and symbols I had seldom heard about by the Greeks, and that I had only seen by my aunt's house, on some old stones.

They kind of looked the same, but if they were, then that meant even more things to learn, and to be remembered about!

The last one was how a boy could become so good to fight Medusa, and survive, without any training that I knew of.

There wasn't any Haven, at least lived in Haven, close to where the boy and Jackson lived, so his training being so good without having another demigod instructions, while also using magic never seen before?

There was a strange sound of a missed explosion, and of metal against metal, and the boy, with but a mutter of "Trace on", touched the car and the annoying sound stopped, while I felt a strange pull sensation towards the front of the car, despite the momentum not really making sense to work like that in this instance.

Yes, there was also repairing things on the move.

If I could find more information, and a way to make it stick, Luke would be truly happy, along with the campers and Chiron and Mom.


Now, if only the boy answered her just questions!

He, after the quite honestly, and unjustly, fearsome look by the police, surpassed by the use of magic I had never heard about, didn't speak for at least 10 minutes, simply seated as forward, and without a seatbelt, as possible, sometimes sounding the horn at the most egregious situations, while keeping our progress on the I-80 steady.

"You did promise to talk about what you did, and I don't think you want me to wake up Jackson." The threat was cast, ready and brutal, while the snore from beside me, for but a moment, stilled slightly, like she herself wanted to help me from the realm of Morpheus.

There was an audible inhale, and an equally explosive sigh, from the boy, while we moved to the rightmost lane, and slowed down quite a lot.

The cars sped on our left, while the tires' sound became far quieter, and then the boy asked, his tone quite unjustly annoyed while tapping on the wheel loudly and rhythmically:

"What do you want to ask?"

There was a moment of elation in my heart, then I opened my mouth and I let all my unanswered questions out, to find an answer to be given in that moment:

"How did you learn? How did you come to find those weapons? How did you find those runes? How do they work? Does this mean that there are other gods as Chiron says? Can we le-"

The boy raised his right hand, his eyes scrunching up for a second, his mouth morphing into a grimace before he asked, placing his hand in his temple:

"One question at a time, please. The ones I was able to parse were already big enough to just answer one at a time, without a deluge of words drowning everything."

I felt a spark of outrage, alongside my teeth grinding and my hands clenching hard on the map, but then, after just a few seconds, I started with my first question, trying to keep my tone level to not wake up the scary, scary Jackson beside me:

"What are the symbols you engraved on the windows?"

They looked like those symbols in her aunt's house, but she was a "Norse" enthusiast, and she was quite sure that other gods outside of the Greek Pantheon didn't exist.

"They are Norse Runes, empowered by the Magic of the Allfather, the old one eye, Chief of the Aesir."

Well, shit.

"Wait, you mean that there are other gods?! Chiron had alluded to such a thing, but I couldn't, didn't know about it! How many are there? Are they strong? What's their history, when-"

Another inhale from the boy, and I shut up fast.

He tapped his fingers for a few seconds on the wheel, something quite amusing done by a boy my own age while driving, only punctuated by snores, the tire sound, and the rain falling on the windows.

Then, after a few moments of recollection by the boy, and of slight embarrassment on my part, he restarted:

"Runes have been around for a long time, but I don't know where the Allfather, or even the other Norse, are. If they still do exist. What's important though is that they exist, and can be taught and learned."

He made a quick motion to my, or rather, Jackson's direction, and added, his tone annoyed but a small smile on his face:

"The brat did learn some of them, after all."

There was silence after that, the sound of the wipers adding to it, while I was furiously searching for a notepad and a pen in my bag, the map now forgotten.

After having found them, and after having taken them out, I started writing down all. Then, after the silence dragged on, I asked, trying to find the source of the boy's knowledge:

"So how did you learn them? If you don't know if the Norse gods are alive, or here, how did you learn them?"

After all, better to have the original source to learn so I could bring it back to Luke and Mom.

He remained silent for a moment, humming all the while, the rain not letting up while he did so.

Then, with a straight face, and a straighter voice, the boy said:

"I saw them once and, thanks to my own inherited abilities, I was able to understand them."

I almost broke the pen I was using at that answer, while I tried to keep my own smile to not make the one who had a lot of knowledge unwilling to give me that knowledge.

So, with a level tone, I tried to dig deeper, bit by bit, so that more could be used:

"But then how did you understand what they meant at all? It's not like they were Greek phrases, that you could translate on the fly, but these are Norse Runes, no? So how did you learn?"

The boy hummed at that question, like he was an old teacher instead of a boy younger than me, then, with a calm tone, he answered, the tapping coming back:

"My…sperm donor...would be most likely to blame for this…blessing. But I think it was something that's more similar to the Runes that was then heightened by his blood, unlocked by his fields of divinity. A learnt ability, rather than a blessing."

I let the boy gather his words while tapping my own foot on the…whatever kind of material was in front of the seat, then his voice came again, only far less sure of itself:

"I was able, for a long time, to see…the history of what I looked at, at times almost unconsciously. This has led me to be more…prepared, let's say."

This. Was. Incredible!

A whole new blessing, at least a kind of blessing that the gods never gave to their children, something that I have never heard Hephaestus giving!

If well cultivated, this boy could become a goldmine in knowledge, even of things the gods themselves forgot!

And if it could be taught, and if demigods could learn it, then not only she would be remembered, alongside him, but there wouldn't be as many fires.

"So that's how you got your training! Can you teach it!? It could save many of our cousins, fellow demigods!"

The boy looked straight to the road, the rain not letting up for a moment, then he declared, after what seemed like minutes, while shaking his head for a moment:

"It's not possible, and I did try. The sleeping brat, I knew her for years, and she wasn't able to learn it.

Maybe my…siblings…could do it, but that's if they are able to tap into their own power first."

This time my pen did break, but I was able to control myself just enough to not make the ink go over my notepad, and maybe not be heard.

But what was heard was my own answer to that, exploding, and angry, and sure that he was hiding his own abilities for some unknown, and useless, reason:

"So you are going to not give me any way to fight? Or are you just going to hold back, again, so that we die in this quest, or the other demigods die in theirs?!"

There was just a loud exhale, and a louder silence, as an answer to my own accusation, and the sound of the wheel being almost choked, and the boy's eyes became like slits.

Jackson made an annoyed sound in her sleep, then went back to it with nary a movement, making us stop.

And I didn't speak anymore, nor look at him, my annoyance only furthered when they sky got finally completely dark, and the boy had given his own need to sleep, and we made the stop, under the rain, to a stop station, something named "LUKOIL", having arrived somewhere one hundred miles from Chicago.

No hostel, we were still too close to get in, and I didn't trust the boy, nor did he himself, to get into a motel with magic and illusions.

Jackson was still sleeping, thankfully her wounds having completely healed a long while ago, and she had been given her own blanket, summoned the same way the blades were, something that I didn't ask how he did, and that I knew wouldn't get an answer for.

We ate our food in equal silence, not letting a word out, and as silently we got to our sleeping arrangements, the boy taking the first shift in sleeping.

And so, with a strangely comfortable seating, I closed my eyes, using a blanket given by Luke during our run to the camp as a cover, and hugging the shoe's box she still had to give to Jackson, while the rain fell and fell.

Medusa's POV

The sound of the waves hitting the shore made me flinch.

I was cold.

I was hungry.

The hissing of the snakes that took the place of my hair didn't let me sleep.

Then, two sets of steps came forward, and she felt a pair of warm hands on her head, patting her like she was a child again.

"Hello, Medusales, shouldn't you be up yet? You aren't a baby anymore, ya knoooow?"

She was brought in front of the heart, and given food, and water, and honey tarts.

Along with that hugs, some teasing, and above all love.

"Oooiii. I know that you have always been a sleepy head, Medusales, but this is really very much above the usual shtick!"

Then that hunger, which was usually satiated, became more and more present, and the food it could be quelled by became less and less.

Until that, I knew that only her big sisters could quell it completely.

"Little sister, wake littler sister up."

Older older sister Stheno would try to keep her in their temple, only for Medusa to retreat deeper into the caves.

"We were alive for thousands of years, and are twins, Stheno!"

Younger older sister Euryale, instead, continued to find her in any cave she was in, and to drag her to the temple. But I had gotten too strong, and so I was able to remain there, not wanting to devour them.

"And still I was born first. Now, finger!"

They both came, the last time she was able to see them without that feeling of-

Slimy and wet inside my ear!

I jerked awake, and shrieked, and held my fingers against my ear, the hair getting in front of my eyes and my legs curling in front of me.

I immediately turned towards whoever had decided it was a good idea to put their finger inside-

And there were my sisters, smiling widely, in their more human forms, their snake-like eyes illuminating the dark room in their silver gazes.

I strangely didn't feel that gnawing maw that was my hunger, only the usual straining of my eyes.

Then big sister Euryale spoke up: "Look at you! Maybe the Bitch has finally come down from her own throne and let the curse go for a bit?"

The curse!

I flung myself off the bed to put as much distance as possible from them, but, maybe due to the suddenness of the movement, my legs found themselves tangled in the green blankets I was put in, and wasn't that a surprise, and I painfully collided face first on the floor.

I clutched my nose with my human hands, while my hair fell in front of my eyes and made me annoyed even more at…

Hair, normal hands?!

"Well, Medusales, what happened that made your shop go into the news? You know how concerned I was?" Big Sister Stheno exclaimed, and continued, pointing her thumb at herself and looking up, while moving to help me up: "Euryale may have not been concerned, but this big sister was!"

"Come on Medusales;" Big sister Euryale had moved beside Big sister Stheno, and was now on my left side: "You are a big, clever girl. You know that I am the better sister. Tell me how you got into the news, so I can lord it over her. She was already the one who got to woo the guard down there to let us come here."

I was too dazed when they touched me, the only feeling I could have was disorientation and happiness at seeing them.

And not hunger.

I could feel warmth pooling in my eyes, and my vision blurring, and at the same time, I scooped them up and took up the smaller frames of my big sisters.

"Hey! Put us down you big cow!"

"Yeah! We aren't children! We are older than you!"

I didn't, and just started laughing merrily, making them twirl around and even jumping on my human feet, on which now I could feel the floor.




"Sorry big sisters!"

Truly shameful!

I put them down, and, for a moment, they continued to move unsteadily on their feet.

Then, as fast as a snake attacking, their hands transformed into bronze claws and each big sister took one of my cheeks, and made me bow down while smiling angrily, their eyes closed:

"So, Medusales, because you are happy to be able to see us you think that you can lack respect, uh?"

Big sister Stheno hissed.

"Because you are a bit taller, and stronger, and heavier than us you can throw your weight around, uh?"

Littler big sister Euryale sibilated.

And both started to pull my cheeks, until I really was feeling pain, and my eyes did become misty again.

Then just as fast they let go, a small "pop" when my cheeks went back into their position, and big sister Stheno took her seat on the green-covered bed.

"Now, Medusales, could you please tell us how you got in a meat-mortal hospital? Is it connected to the Bitch's curse receding, alongside having a new pair of glasses that can help you not always trying to turn people to garden's decorations?"


"Yeah, Medusales, when did you get a child of Hecate as an admirer? Or maybe directly a little godling? I dunno how they are made, and dear dad's lesson on magic are kind of gotten away, but they seem really for you." Big sister Euryale was waving a pair of glasses and passed them to me.


"Wait what?" I exclaimed, then took the glasses and put them on.

The straining of my eyes felt…at bay. Like I had put some ice cubes on them.

"Uh. You look passable with them, Medusales. But, again, who could have given them to you?"

I was too engrossed by the lack of annoying pains and hisses and sounds.

Then a thought came to me, something as improbable as an apology from a god:

"A demigod could actually be the one. He defeated me, then stabbed me with a strange knife. Maybe he was the one who did that?"

My big sisters stared at me, and then Stheno turned towards Euryale and exclaimed: "See what you did? Now she thinks really a demigod would care about us! You are corrupting her again!"

Euryale looked away, slightly ashamed, then put her open fist on her palm and gave us an idea, smiling widely:

"We know that the little Tyrant toy was stolen, right? We also know that they were going west. And we have something that he made, so we can track him by scent!"

Then she got up, and pumped her fist down, a fire lit under her:

"We aren't gods, we do have a semblance of gratitude, after all! He will need our help if the gods find out about Medusales! And if he is that good, then he will help us protect her as well!"

"Big sister, are you sure about-"

"See, older little sister! You understand completely! Now Medusales, let's go on a road trip! We had always wanted to do one of those, and I am sure we can woe someone for their car for a kiss to the cheek!"

My big sisters started to drag me away, while I could feel a headache starting to grow a bit, alongside my smile at having my hands grasped by my sisters and running with them again.

The wind around my…

"Wait, wait! I have a gown, I need clothes!" I cried out, heat starting to come to my cheeks, only to be answered by laughter as we continued to run.


This was fast, and it is more of an interlude in between arcs.

I think I did a…good enough job.

Not perfect, but good enough.

Thanks again to Lord Revan; ColcytusRising, Krzysztof Wierczyński (who has upped his donation), Delirios de un sonador, Hexamon, Emiya Archer, 3loc, Calvert K Hose

P a treon . com (slash) Manram

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These are the links to financially donate, (unfortunately you will have to write them due to how FFnet doesn't like those words written) and if you thanks to everyone who reads, who favourites and follows, and who writes their reviews.

Have a good week.

I will do next Sword of the imperium, remember.