Alexander:

I slowly scrolled through the options that Uriel had listed for me to choose from. Honestly, though it was a bit disappointing.

In truth, there weren't many weapons that fit the category of being a lightning sword. Uriel had noted that and had also listed other weapons that while they weren't swords, did have their abilities connected to storms and lightning.

There were a couple of hammers and a bow that while did catch my eye, simply didn't fit my style. Plus the two main ones such as Thor's hammer Mjolnir and Indra's bow Vijaya were kinda off limits considering they were still in active use and possession of said gods.

I was somewhat confident I could pull a victory over a minor god or goddess at this point if I had the element of surprise, but the more powerful divine beings were way above my weight class. Especially two that were at the tops of their pantheons.

My mother barely had to use even a fraction of her power to smack me around and that was just her training me. I wouldn't stand a chance against warrior gods who knew I was out for their weapon.

It wasn't worth the trouble. Hell even if I did somehow defeat Thor I had no idea if I was even worthy to lift Mjolnir.

All that said, I was left with one feasible option. It was a sword connected to a storm god and one that hadn't been in their position for thousands of years.

Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi: Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven.

It had a bit of interesting history and had passed through multiple hands throughout its lifetime and was given multiple names as well.

Originally it was the personal sword of the Japanese storm god Susanoo. He had claimed it after slaying some evil dragon and finding it inside its corpse. After that, he seemed to have gifted it to his sister Amaterasu as a peace offering for pissing her off at some point.

After that, it was passed down to her mortal descendants and the Japanese Royal Family.

One thing I noted about it that I quite liked was that it wasn't part of the Katana family, as it was based on older Japanese sword designs. Meaning it wasn't curved at all.

I wasn't a fan of single-sided blades so this worked out perfectly. In fact from the pictures, Uriel had provided it kinda reminded me of the Fate version in terms of design. Though there seemed to be some sort of Kanji script running all over it instead.

A sword connected to a god of storms was a double-edged and a straight sword and had no gods currently claiming it.

It was perfect.

But that was for later, for now, I had to once again destroy the timeline the books had set up.

"You're sure you don't need our help? They've already been there for almost 70 years. They can wait for a week if you want to wait for Percy and me to get out there." Annabeth suggested from her end of the Iris call.

It had been about two months since our little tour of the country came to an end once summer ended. Percy had returned to his mother and had started the school year at a new school while Annabeth was at camp again.

Honesty I'm sure half the reason she was calling was that she was probably bored to death already.

I waved off her concern, "I've slipped out of their Hotel undetected before, there's no reason I can't do it again. Besides, there's nothing in their myths that suggest they have any other powers or abilities other than their mind magic. Something I'm immune to."

The Daughter of Athena shook her head at my bullshit powers, "Things can change after thousands of years, Alex."

"They could." I conceded, "But unless they have an army of monsters and some minor gods on the payroll, it's nothing I can't handle."

"They won't like you stealing their victims from them Alex."

A snort escaped my mouth, "It won't matter what they like. By the time morning rolls around they'll all be vaporized."

Annabeth arched an eyebrow, "So you were serious about destroying them?"

You're damn right I was. While they weren't the most malicious of Greek myths that preyed on humans, they were still responsible for trapping and brainwashing an untold amount of victims throughout history. I hadn't fought them last time as I was on a time limit and my entire mission depended on stealth.

Now I wasn't and I had only grown in power.

"I am. I can't just leave those people there." I answered.

"You know if you do that your infinite money Lotus Card will probably stop working right?" The blonde pointed out.

I shrugged, "No amount of money is worth leaving people to such a fate Annabeth. Some of these people have families who probably haven't seen them in decades. Leaving them in the Lotus just for money isn't something I'm willing to do. It's not the kind of man I am."

Maybe when I first got here I would have, but after all the time I've spent with my mother and my friends I just couldn't. The game was mysterious about whether this was reality or not. But my time Artemis, Percy, and Annabeth had done a pretty good job at convincing me that this was all real. As such I'd extend the courtesy to the Earth I was on.

Well at least to the mortals that inhabited it.

Plus I'd already withdrawn a metric fuckton of money and either invested it into stocks I'd know will explode in the next decade and gold.

An idiot I was not.

"I know." Annabeth flashed her pearly whites at me in a megawatt smile, "And that's why we're friends. Good luck and try not to get hit by any Kryptonite Superboy."

With a roll of my eyes, I dismissed the Iris call and turned towards the building behind me.

Now I had two options in front of me.

I could go in loud.

Or.

I could go in quietly.

As I walked into the lobby and shrugged off the mental attack that tried to seep into my mind, the same bellhop from a year and a half ago flashed me a smile, "Hello si-"

He didn't quite get the words out before a magnum round blew his head off.

The body hit the ground with a thud and everything seemed to quiet down for a second.

Then the screaming started.

The funny thing about whatever kind of magic the Lotus Eaters seemed to use to enchant their victim's minds, was that it seemed to act more as a suggestion than outright mind control. Like a drug, it dulled your senses and kept you relaxed and happy when you were in their hotel.

But certain stimuli seemed to "shock" people awake.

And I don't know about you, but a magnum blowing someone's brains out in an enclosed space seemed to be quite the stimuli.

Just to make sure to really get the civilians in here off their asses and running outside, I sent bolts of lightning towards anything flammable I could currently see. Like a match and gasoline, the things I hit went up in flames and started producing smoke en masse.

A heartbeat later the fire alarms went off.

Hmm, good to know a bunch of ancient monsters had their building up to modern safety codes.

I weaved my way between the crowds of brainwashed people as they screamed and stampeded towards the exits, my eyes blazing silver as I had my rip-off mage sight going full blast.

Not only to differentiate between civilians and monsters as I casually sent bolts of lightning and light spears at the Lotus staff and security guards, but also for my two objectives.

Danger sense pinged and lightning enhancement activated for a split second as a decent size bullet went through the space my head had occupied not a second earlier. Tracking its trajectory I blinked in confusion.

Was the guard holding a Garand?

Sending a particular strong lightning bolt at him, I strode over to the now smoking pile of gold dust and grabbed the relic rifle. I'd cross-reference the serial later, but this looked like a WW2 variant.

Without hesitation, I chucked it into my inventory. This was mine now.

I nodded to the ash pile, "Thanks for the gift bro."

Danger sense pinged me again and this time a light shield came up to cover my back. Which held fast against a variety of bullet calibers that tried to hit me. Turning around I saw over a dozen Lotus guards emptying their magazines into me.

My light shield didn't even gain a crack.

The wall of lead eventually petered out as they either ran out of ammo or saw it was not having any effect.

It was interesting. This was the first group of Greek monsters I'd ever seen use modern weapons. That might have worked against others who couldn't summon shields.

Turning off my shield I bent down and examined one of the lead slugs that hadn't fragmented into pieces, "Gentlemen, I'd recommend at least using Celestial Bronze instead of mortal metal."

I didn't even bother listening for a reply as I pointed two fingers forward, "Thunderbolt."

The force of guards and much of the surrounding area were vaporized as a large bolt of lightning struck them.

A full-body light shield sprung up around me to protect myself from the shockwave, shrapnel, and smoke. A gust of wind from a pull on my air manipulation cleared the area a moment later.

"Don't quite think insurance will cover this one." I chuckled as I took in the destruction.

The grand indoor casino and theme park was either on fire or in ruins thanks to the liberal amounts of lightning I had been throwing around. The water damage from all the fire sprinklers going off probably wasn't helping either.

"Look at what you've done to our home…" A voice whispered sullenly from behind me.

I turned to find a woman who was dressed in business casual, looking around at the destruction with a mix of grief and sadness, "This was our home… our paradise. We built it from the ground up after the mortals in the old world hunted us down and destroyed our old one. A safe haven for all my brothers and sisters."

Oh god, not one of these kinds of tragedies.

I rolled my eyes at the sob story, "Stop brainwashing people with what's basically a mental drug and maybe people will stop hunting you guys then. Also, how does this shit even work? I thought the myths said you had to eat the Lotus fruit to get drugged. You guys are doing it to people as they walk in the door."

The woman glared at me. Whether it was because of me calling her story lame, destroying her home, or both combined, she didn't seem happy with me.

Shocker.

"If you must know, we aerosolized extract from the Lotus fruit and simply blow it through the vents. To more easily share our gift."

"Oh neat," I said and flicked a finger.

The woman couldn't quite blink before a light arrow burned cleanly through her skull.

I looked on without empathy as her body collapsed into golden dust, "One day they'll get it through their skull that they might survive a bit longer if they stopped basically kidnapping and drugging people."

Once again looking at the destruction I scanned for any more threats.

I'd say this had been almost too easy, but nothing about the Lotus Eater lore said they had any special abilities other than being able to make the Lotus fruit.

Combined with the big power-up I'd gotten from dumping my stat points, this had hardly been a challenge.

Still didn't see Hades's kids and they hadn't been in the crowds that had rushed out of the hotel, but a possible explanation was that they were just in their hotel room somewhere.

"I told you I could hear the fire alarms going off! C'mon Nico, we need to get out of here!"

"But my cards are still back in our room!"

Looking behind me I saw two Italian kids running out of the elevator. The girl seemed to be about my age and was dragging the smaller kid by the scruff of his collar.

Well. Maybe the luck stat was worth something after all.

I threw up a light shield in front of them to stop them mid-sprint, which worked a little too well as the Hades siblings ran into and bounced off it rather harshly.

Walking up to the now downed siblings on the floor I decided to make my introduction.

"Nico and Biannca Di Angelo, this is kinda awkward, but we need to talk."

!

Crossroad Quest Completed!

I ignored the stupefied looks on the faces of the siblings as I looked at the quest rewards that popped up. I had completely forgotten about the two system features that had been promised.

Rewards:

New System Feature - Quick Select Unlocked: Instead of reaching into your inventory and having to wait for the interface to be brought up, you can now summon a limited number of weapons, items, and premade armor sets/outfits of your choosing instantly! You can set these in the new equip slots in your inventory.

- Weapon and Item slots limited to 5. Premade armor sets/outfits limited to 2.

New System Feature - Crafting Unlocked: Tired of manually having to crush and grind ingredients? Having to slave away while you mix and boil potions? Well no more! As long as you have the ingredients on hand and the recipe or know how to do so, simply use the new section in your menu to craft whenever and wherever you want!

- You may have up to a queue of 5 items crafting in your crafting menu at any given time.

10 Golden Drachmas

10,000 XP

Skill Book

Well. That was actually pretty damn cool.


It took me a week and a half to get them across the country. Which was saying something considering I had a lead foot on the gas pedal of my car the entire time. Ideally, I would have just booked a flight to get them to New York and have someone from Camp pick them up.

Unfortunately, the reality was that besides my terrible luck with airport terminals, there was no way in hell I was risking putting them onto a plane. I didn't know if Zeus would be able to tell if they were Hades kids or not, but I wasn't taking the chance.

Maybe he might have considered not striking down the plane if I was on it too. But my ass wasn't going to fuck around and find out while I was up at 42,000 feet above sea level.

So a drive across the country was the only option left.

Convincing said siblings was another matter entirely. Though honestly, it wasn't too bad. The fact I could summon elements and manipulate them right in front of them had Nico on board and jumping around excitedly almost immediately.

Bianca had been another matter, but I remedied that by taking them outside and showing her the new smartphones that had just made their appearance to the broader market and the date that was displayed by that. Hell, I think just looking at Las Vegas itself probably convinced her I was telling her the truth.

Shockingly, it was pretty apparent that in the 2000s Las Vegas was pretty different from 1940's Italy.

"So, your Artemis's son, but you don't use arrows? That's weird." Nico intoned while he happily munched on a kid's meal next to me, "Why would you choose guns over magic arrows?!"

I shrugged in reply as I bit into my double bacon quarter pounder, "Because my bullets are also magic and I can technically enchant my guns to be better as well."

"But they're magic arrows!"

I rolled my eyes, "Which fucking suck in comparison to magic bullets. Bullets are compact, easier to reload, and I could enchant or empower them to have any properties of "magic arrows'' if I really wanted to."

I'd already had this argument with my mother. Anything you could say an arrow could do I could do by simply modifying my ammo and gun, or hell I could just do it plain better as a magical technique.

Who needed to notch a light or lightning arrow when I could just shoot a lightning bolt or light spear at them instead?

Why need to worry about notching, aiming, and adjusting my strength for each shot when I could just pull a trigger and forget?

It's not like I'd ever been firing the arrows faster than I could shoot bullets. My strength going up overtime wasn't going to catch up to me using runes to modify my guns to accelerate the bullets faster, much less the experimental grain I had been packing them with to also achieve better velocity.

Especially when for some reason my light didn't quite work like normal light. Sure things like gravity and air resistance didn't really affect it, but it still wasn't anywhere near as fast as true light.

So in summary: Fuck bows and arrows.

"I wish I could summon magic arrows." Nico muttered before questioning me again, "Are you sure there's no way to find out who our dad is? Because maybe then I could figure out what powers me and Bianca have! Like maybe Zeus is our dad and we can shoot lightning bolts like you!"

I couldn't help but snort mentally at a child of Hades asking if Zeus was their dad. Sure it was my fault as I wasn't going to tell them who their father was, but it was amusing nonetheless.

Now you may ask, why haven't I told them yet? Besides the fact that they'd stay hidden from Zeus's wrath a little longer if their parentage wasn't revealed and they didn't start manifesting their powers, it would also let them make friends if nobody knew.

Nico hadn't been very welcomed at camp once everybody found out. As such, I was hoping they'd at least get a little happiness before it was revealed.

"I doubt it's Zeus, you guys don't seem to have any of his features or temperament. Besides not being his kid is one hell of a fucking bullet to dodge. All kinds of monsters would be after your asses if you were his kid."

"Language." Bianca chided.

"It's not the damn 1940's anymore Bianca. No nuns are going to smack us for our foul language." I reminded her.

"That's not an excuse to forget common decency."

I let out a sigh. The books had casually skipped over the fact that these were born and grew up in fascist Italy back in the 1930s and '40s. I had been worried the first time I took them into a modern restaurant a day or so into our trip and realized what time period they were from. The whole time I was praying to my mother and grandfather that I didn't have a pair of Italian Fascists on my hands.

Thankfully no slurs were said that day. Nico was still pretty much a child and hadn't absorbed any of that shit, and it seemed Bianca was only a prude by today's standards.

"You're a Greek Pagan, our standards for common decency are different. Keep that in mind for when you interact with the modern world as well." I said as I pulled onto the dirt road into camp and passed through the barrier.

The liquid-like shield that kept us all safe from the dangers of the outside barely rippled as my 67 went through it and the car barn where the Camp kept the few vehicles like the van Argus drove appeared before us.

It was set off away from the rest of the camp and you were only allowed over if you had a car. The last part was only made a rule only a year or two ago after apparently some Hermes's kids stole the van and went out for a joyride in New York.

You can guess which pair of brothers was leading that charge.

"So that's the shield you were talking about." The Daughter of Hades muttered to herself before turning back to me, "It really keeps monsters out?"

"Yep. It was a gift from the gods to keep us safe. The only way mortals or monsters can get in is if we give them permission or summon them. Otherwise, we're completely safe."

Picking a spot and shutting off the ignition I got out and motioned them to follow me, "The rest of the camp is just over the hill over there."

Silently they did as they followed me and after a minute of walking uphill, we crested the edge.

The gasps I heard from behind me made me chuckle. I had felt mostly the same when I first saw it as well.

It still looked like paradise on Earth with its beaches, fields of strawberries, and all the Greek architecture. The giant lava wall and forges kinda stood out from everything else but that was alright, it just made it even more unique in my opinion.

"You really were telling the truth." I heard the Italian girl mutter as she took it all in.

Nico on the other hand was like a child on a sugar rush.

"Woah, is that an obstacle course with a volcano!? And is that a dragon around the tree with the gold cloak thing hanging off of it!?" The boy rattled off as his eyes darted in every direction possible.

Looking over at Thalia's tree I hummed as I saw the orange dragon was indeed chilling around it, "Huh, so they really did set Peleus on guard duty around it. Wonder when they did that?"

"You make it sound like you haven't been here in a while," Bianca noted from beside me as her amazement leveled off.

I shrugged, "I haven't. Unlike most Demigods, I'm not a year rounder. I usually spend time out in the real-world training or taking monster-hunting contracts from an acquaintance."

Which was true. Other than the week I had spent here when I got back from my training trip with Artemis, I hadn't been to camp at all this year other than to drop Percy and Annabeth off a couple of months ago. And last year I'd only stayed for maybe a month before I went on the quest.

"Is that normal?" She asked.

"Not even remotely." I answered honestly, "Besides myself, there's only 1 other Demigod in this entire camp who's capable of safely surviving in the mortal world year-round without having to worry about monster attacks."

Bianca raised a dark eyebrow at me, "Really? What makes you and him so special?"

"Power." I said plainly, "Percy and I are the strongest Demigods here bar none. Most Demigods only have superhuman-like physical abilities, faster puberty, and maybe a special ability or two depending on their parentage or if said parent decides to bless them with more abilities. Percy and I have all of that along with full access to our parent's domains and elements. Or in my case my mother and my grandpa."

Bianca seemed to absorb what I said but frowned at one part, "Faster puberties?"

That's the part she got stuck on? I guess education from the early 20th century probably skipped most of that info.

"The process in which we go from children to adults. Most mortals start it at around 11 and the process can go all the way to around 16 to 17. Even then most males won't hit their prime muscle mass and full brain development till 25." I explained.

"Oh… and we go through it faster?" She blinked in slight confusion.

"You might have noticed you were always a bit taller and faster than other kids in your same age group. It's not a coincidence." I informed, "We're built and bred for battle as Demigods. We develop faster so we're battle-ready faster. It's why despite the fact I'm only 13, I'm around the height and muscle mass of a 15 or 16-year-old. Once you guys start training physically and getting the healthy food that's served here you'll both shoot up as well."

The summer had gone great for me in that regard. At the start, I had been about 5'4 when I got back from my training trip with Artemis. Now about 5 months later I was sitting at around a comfortable 5'7 and my annoyingly skinny frame was now finally putting on muscle mass.

I was comfortably ahead of most 13 years olds.

Catching a flash of blonde hair approaching my side I flashed a smirk, "If you have any other questions, please direct them to the pretty blonde who will now be your tour guide."

A pair of fingers jabbed into my side in retaliation, "This pretty blonde will gut you if you refer to her as a tour guide one more time."

I turned my head to find a mock glare coming from the young woman who was now standing next to me, "I see you didn't take offense to the pretty blonde part."

She also seemed to have remembered my message about meeting us here to help get these two settled in.

A smirk made its way to her face as she flipped her princess curled hair over her shoulder, "A lady always accepts a compliment, Alex."

"If only a lady was here to accept it."

I let out a snicker as I ducked a smack aimed for the back of my head.

"So the famous Alexander Arc finally shows his face." A voice called out from behind.

Really? I hadn't even been back for 5 minutes…

Rolling my eyes I turned to the newcomer with snark at the ready, "Listen, lady…"

I trailed off at the sight of the person. I hadn't expected it to be Thalia Grace herself, much less looking as pissed off as she was. According to my memories, I had yet to even meet her yet as I left immediately after dropping Percy and Annabeth off. What could I have possibly done to make her mad?

Electric blue eyes narrowed and a frown made itself known on her face, "Fight me."

"Huh?" Was my intelligent response.

"You, me, in the arena. Now." She demanded as she crossed her arms and continued to frown.

I looked at Annabeth for some clue as to what was going on and only got a sheepish grin in return. Apparently, she had expected this and decided to not warn me?

"Traitor." I mumbled before turning my attention back to the frowning Daughter of Zeus, "Do you normally challenge all the good-looking Demigods to duels as soon as they come to camp, or am I just special?"

I could practically feel Annabeth shaking her head next to me.

Thalia's eyes narrowed even further, "No, just the ones that are pricks."

Jesus. What the fuck did I do? I had been hoping upon meeting we could possibly be friends. After all Thalia from the books was pretty badass and had the potential to be a powerful ally as Zeus's kid.

And of course, it had nothing to do with the fact she was pretty much an older rebel/punk girl who seemed to be done with the accelerated Demigod growth I had mentioned early. It also had nothing to do with the curves she was sporting because of it.

Damn puberty.

"Fine. If you want to go around or two in the arena with me, then who am I to say no." I shrugged, "Hate to dump them on you Annabeth, but do you mind getting them settled while I kick your friend's ass."

"You're cocky, good. I'll have fun tearing you apart, kid." Thalia huffed as she turned around and made for the arena.

I may or may not have taken a glance at said curves as those hips swayed back and forth. Definitely did not. Anyone who told you otherwise would be a liar.

'I guess a life on the run and fighting monsters constantly does wonders...'

A finger flicked my head which brought my attention back to the blonde next to me who wore an amused expression.

"Careful there Superboy. I've seen her break bones for less, besides, don't you think she's a bit old for you?" Annabeth said with amusement.

I gave the most innocent smile I could, "I have no idea what you're talking about Blondie. But onto other topics, what's the odds of me beating her?"

A snort that practically dripped with sarcasm came from Annabeth, "If it was literally anybody but you and Percy, very low. Thalia's incredibly skilled, experienced, and powerful. Plus considering she's almost fully grown she has better reach, speed, and reflexes than most of the campers around our age."

I hummed at the answer, "I'm sensing a "but" here."

She nodded, "But like I said, that would be anybody apart from you and Percy. You two being the completely broken freaks of nature that you both are don't have much to fear from anything less than a minor god or elder monster."

I wiped a fake tear away from my eye, "Aww, thank you Annabeth, that's the nicest thing someone's ever said to me."

"Please just don't do anything more to piss her off." Annabeth sighed, "She's not mad at you directly, she's… just had to deal with a lot of things since waking up. Finding the world moved on without her, being told Luke became a traitor that tried to permanently kill her and destroy the camp, and that she's now possibly the top candidate for a certain prophecy... well it's been hard on her."

Hang on a minute. Did she just mention the prophecy? Annabeth knew about it this early on? Shit, I don't think I've told Percy about it yet either. I had to remember to do that.

"Doesn't explain why she singled me out."

Annabeth shook her head, "She's jealous of you Alex."

Huh, I wasn't expecting that.

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Think about it, Alex. You might not know it, but you're pretty famous around camp. You're the Demigod whose godly parent actively spends time with them. A godly parent that loves you so much they gave you all of their domains to access and even changed your hair and eye color to match them. You weren't sired just because a god was horny and then forgotten about."

Well, when you put it like that…

"You've practically spearheaded two quests that, had they happened in ancient times, would have had legends written about them. During the first of which Zeus himself claimed you as a grandson by giving you his power. I know it was a reward, but that's still incredibly significant for him to do."

Huh. I guess in the books Thalia did kinda have daddy/mommy issues and her fatal flaw was a lust for power. I guess I could see why she'd not be happy with my existence. Especially when unlike her, Zeus both acknowledged my existence and gave me a boon of power.

I raised my hands in surrender, "Fine. I won't push her buttons."

Annabeth gave me a half-hug, "Thank you. Now, Nico and Biannca right?"

I walked off as Annabeth began her introduction to our newest campers and made my way to the arena. If Grace just needed a fight to cool off then so be it. I'd end it fast and then be on my way.

Maybe I'd spend the night sleeping in a real bed inside my cabin instead of some hotel, but after that, I was gone. I'd promised Cadius that I'd give him Abyss Watcher by the Winter Solstice and now that I had my new weapon picked out, I was eager to go and get it before then.

I'd hopefully be on a flight by tomorrow morning if nothing came up.

I greeted some of the random campers I came across as the arena came into view and received a nod from Michael while he took his class to the archery range. Before long I made my way into the entranceway of the Greek stadium.

It was completely empty save for my opponent at the other end of it.

"Good to see you actually showed up twerp." Thalia jeered as she hefted her spear and shield combo, "Ready to get your ass kicked?"

I went over what I remembered of her from the books. Prideful, explosive temper, and she was used to being in charge. Those were the traits she shared with Zeus if I remembered right. Traits that I could use to easily piss her off with my smart-ass mouth, but I already promised Annabeth I wouldn't.

"Eh, honestly I'm just trying to go and get some sleep. I just drove all the way across the country to get two Demigods here as fast as possible. So if it's all the same to you I'm going to end this quickly."

Thalia got into a fighting stance, "That's a lot of talk. But can you back it up?"

With barely a thought I had lightning coursing through every part of my body and the world slowed down. I wanted to see if she could even react to me in this state like Percy could before I judged if she was even worth really breaking a sweat over.

I crossed the arena in a blink of an eye and aimed a right hook to her exposed cheek. It was both to my surprise and a bit of delight, that her startled eyes actually started tracking me and her shield actually began raising up enough to block me. If I pushed my speed faster I could have beaten it, but the fact she was now the second Demigod able to even remotely react to me impressed me enough to let it go.

My fist hit solid Celestial Bronze and while I let out a hiss at the sudden lance of pain going up my arm from the impact, my efforts were rewarded with Thalia skidding back a dozen or so feet.

So she could somewhat react to me, but she wasn't able to tank my strength fully. Though considering she wasn't thrown all the way back into the walls, she might have been able to before I dumped all my stats during the Werewolf fight.

Very impressive and it only confirmed the fact I had lost out with not being a child of one of the big three. They must've had some kind of inherent buffs to make them this strong naturally and with only a few years of training.

A growl signaled that she had recovered and with an impressive display of speed Thalia was back on me with her spear and shield combo.

I weaved through her strikes with my increased speed and perception as I observed her fighting style.

Annebeth had been right with most of her deductions. Including her reach. Those godly genetics that made her a natural warrior had her standing at probably around 6 feet, maybe taller. Her reach because of her taller height, was inches longer than mine.

Other than that she was a pretty damn good fighter. Years of being on the run while surviving constant monster attacks had honed her skills pretty damn well. I could see why she was immediately top dog again when she came back in the books.

But skill could only get you so far against an opponent who you couldn't hit or overpower.

Having seen enough I stopped holding my full speed back and slammed Thalia right in the stomach with a kick.

I dodged the bits of blood and bile that spewed at her mouth from the sheer force of the kick and watched as her body practically folded on itself as she collapsed. For a second I thought I might've straight-up knocked her out, but then with a shuddering breath, her huddled form proceeded to puke her guts out onto the ground.

Maybe I shouldn't have hit her that hard…

Taking out a baggy of Ambrosia from my inventory that I never used, I placed it right next to her fallen form and patted her on the back awkwardly, "Good fight."

I felt a little bad about leaving someone hurt and puking by themselves, but I was tired, and considering her attitude earlier I'm sure she wasn't going to be happy with me once she recovered.

For now, it was time to eat and go to bed.


"Are you sure there is no way I can convince you to not go to Alexander?" Chiron asked with a tired sigh, "Traveling outside the USA is already dangerous for Demigods as is, but the gods of the East have always been more… aggressive about foreigners coming to visit."

"It's nothing I can't handle." I waved off as I packed some more items away from the camp store, "I'm not even going to purposely go to look for any gods as it is, I'm simply looking for an artifact to help against Kronos."

Which was technically true.

The old centaur hummed, "I still do not approve, but it's not like I can stop you even if I wanted to. Be careful and good luck Alexander."

I watched the trainer of heroes gallop off towards the big house and I left the camp store to get my car. I'd woken up rather earlier to inform Chiron of my departure and that meant only a few other campers were milling about. It let me enjoy my slow walk through the camp in the cool Fall morning in relative peace.

I'd stayed an extra couple of days in camp since my first day back. It was far longer than I had originally planned, but some things here had conceived me to extend my stay past the single day I had planned beforehand.

Namely my nice bed in the Artemis Cabin, the great goddamn food they served here, and Annabeth wanting me to hang out for a bit. Of course, I also got sidetracked by Micheal dragging me down to the range to have some competitive shooting matches and some Ares kids challenging me to fight them multiple times a day.

All in all, it was a nice mini-break. Hell, I hadn't even seen Thalia since we had our match in the arena a couple days prior. To be fair, if some kid 2 years younger than me and not even a child of the big 3 just showed up and kicked my ass, I'd probably be sulking and have hurt pride as well.

On one hand, it worked out great since I didn't have to deal with her still being butt hurt about my existence. On the other hand, it kinda sucked since it meant I didn't get to see her at all.

She wasn't a blonde, but in her case, I think I could make an exception. Because goddamn if she wasn't the hottest mortal I'd met so far.

Half mortal? Demi Mortal? Eh, she still could die so mortal it was.

'A mortal with great curves…'

A snort escaped my lungs at that train of thought.

Damn super puberty.

Cresting the hill where the car barn was I found my baby where I had left her yesterday and began making sure she was all topped off on fluids for my drive to the airport.

Thankfully it seemed the Stoll's had stayed away from her.

"You're leaving already?"

I almost jumped out of my boots as I whipped around only to find Nico standing there in his bomber jacket and camp attire. Jesus, I didn't even hear or feel him approaching. Did Hades kids all have the power to sneak around like ghosts? Because if so, I was kind of jealous.

Scratch that I was jealous anyway. Umbrakinesis, control over death, control over ghosts and most spirits, Geokinesis, that hell fire stuff Bianca could do, and a whole bunch of other shit I'd read up on while looking at the Athena Cabin's library. They had a small section on known Hade's children.

Honestly, Hades' kids seemed somehow more stacked than both Zeus and Poseidon's kids. Maybe it had something to do with him being the older brother?

"Yep," I said as I popped open the trunk and hefted a bag of what may or may not have been filled with Greek fire. Which was basically magical napalm, "I have business in Asia I have to attend to. Hopefully, it won't take too long."

"And after that?" He inquired.

I shrugged, "I have a meeting with someone, then I'm going to be hunting down Kronos."

My power was finally what I considered satisfactory enough to begin hunting down the Titan Lord and his army in earnest. Once I had my new sword and hopefully tracked down the rest of The Colt and its bullets, it was game over for him and Luke.

If I ended them early, it would give me an extra year or two to get ready for the HOO events. I'd need the preparation and training as well because I barely remembered jack shit about it at this point.

I wasn't a big fan of the sequel series in the first place, so I mostly sped through the books and skipped entire POVs of certain characters. The nearly two years I'd spent in this world hadn't helped retain those memories either. The only thing I remembered for sure was that Gaea would rise, it usually took a God and Demigod combined to kill a giant but there were exceptions, and that Percy would get his memory wiped.

So I needed all the prep I could get.

"Oh…" Nico mumbled as he looked down at the ground disappointed.

"Something wrong kid?" I asked as I closed the trunk and leaned on my car.

"W-well I was just hoping you'd be around to train me." He said hesitantly, "That maybe you could help me figure out my powers."

Me?

I blinked in confusion. Had I made that much of an impression on him in the time we drove across the country? It was definitely possible. The only thing I remembered about his character was that he was a pretty excitable kid before Bianca ditched him and died, then he became a lot darker in personality.

Perhaps he just wanted an older brother figure in place of a sister who didn't care very much?

"Any particular reason why you'd want me specifically." I asked curiously.

He shyly wrung his hands together as he tried to not meet my eyes, "Because everyone says you're the strongest here. That no one else has mastered their powers as fast as you have."

Well, I suppose that did make sense. He was told that I'm the strongest and he wanted to be taught by me because of it. I could respect that kind of hunger. Why settle for average when you could have the best?

Though I'd definitely argue that Percy definitely had a better mastery of his elemental power than me, but I digress.

I walked over and patted his head, "I would if I could kid, but like I already told you I don't stick around camp much and I have business elsewhere. I can't really stay behind to train you."

I wanted to get to Japan as fast as I could. That lightning sword was calling my name desperately.

The authentic sushi and pretty Japanese women may have also been a factor, but that was for another time.

Nico's face shifted with determination that I didn't know he had, "Then let me go with you!"

I had to hold back another snort.

That was a terrible idea. Percy and I traveling together in the outside world was already incredibly dangerous as it was, but we made it work because we were fuck off powerful. But me traveling with a Son of Hades that didn't know how to use his powers and wasn't trained at all? That was just asking for him to get killed if I was distracted.

Also what was it with these two siblings and just running off on each other?

'But the risk could be worth the reward. He could be useful in the future.' A small voice whispered in the back of my mind.

Hmmm.

I think I did remember something about Nico being incredibly strong when he was older. Maybe something about someone mentioning he was the strongest Demigod they'd ever seen until they met Percy?

Which honestly was pretty high praise. Especially considering Nico left camp and figured out his powers on his own in cannon.

Hmm. A future team of Percy, a trained Nico, and I would be pretty badass.

"Ah fuck it. Sure, you can come with me kid."

Though I can't help but think that I was missing some important piece of information that I had forgotten from the sequel series.

Nico's eyes became impossibly wide, "Really?!"

"Yeah sure. Why the hell not." I shrugged as I herded him towards the car, "And speaking of Hell, I should probably let you know who your dad is if I'm going to train you."