Despite the casual way I'd walked up to him and cracked a joke, I was feeling more than a little anxious at the prospect of meeting my long-lost dad...who happened to be one of the most powerful beings in existence.

A part of me wished he could've been some boring old dad- an accountant, maybe. With a boring name, too, like Bartholomew. Yeah, it would have been way easier accepting Bartholomew the accountant as my father.

Poseidon, the god of the seas? That one was going to take a bit longer.

I sat next to him for a few minutes as he hummed a jaunty tune, randomly reeling in the line, just to toss it out again.

Unlike, you know, normal people, when he flicked the fishing rod, the hook went soaring into the sky, dropping into a spot in the water at least seventy yards away.

Honestly, at full strength, the man could probably lob that hook all the way into the damn Atlantic.

"Damn fish never bite on this dock," Poseidon broke the silence, sighing as he put away his rod. He turned to face me, his mouth set in a small smile. "Granted, I could always make them, but that would defeat the whole purpose of trying in the first place, would it not?"

"I...yeah, I think I get what you're going for," Full disclosure, I don't really get it, but eh. The man's taking the time out of his day to talk to me, the least I can do is talk back. Plus, maybe it's just one of those symbolic immortal being jokes that I'm a few centuries too old to fully understand.

I felt a tingle in my body as he regarded me. It wasn't anything like the pleasant tingle I'd gotten from the Flirt perk activating.

It wasn't warm and comforting in the slightest- if anything, it was burning hot.

My body felt like I was under one of those red-light lamps they used to have at Yancy to keep the food in the cafeteria from going cold. The power rolling off of him was nothing short of mind-blowing.

I felt like he could reduce me to a grease spot on this dock with nothing more than his pinky and an afterthought.

Skill Learned!

Skill Leveled up!

Skill Leveled up!

Skill Leveled up!

Skill Leveled up!

Mana Detection, LV-5 (50%)

Mana is a substance that flows through and is produced by ?. In lower concentrations, its density makes the substance act like a gas, but in higher concentrations, it behaves like a liquid.

LV 1- You can faintly detect mana in the air and can guess how much mana someone is using with varying degrees of accuracy.

LV 5- You can begin to sense mana in nature and can accurately guess how much mana someone is using.

I mentally willed the notification away for now.

My dad was…well, he was interesting. I expected him to have some sort of ancient tunic on and a shield and whatnot, but he didn't look like that at all. He looked kind of…casual.

If I was being honest, he reminded me of a beachcomber from Key West.

He wore leather sandals, khaki Bermuda shorts, and a Tommy Bahama shirt with coconuts and parrots all over it. His skin was deeply tanned, his hands scarred like an old-time fisherman's. His hair was black, like mine. His face had that same brooding look that had always gotten me branded a rebel. But his eyes, sea-green like mine, were surrounded by sun-crinkles that told me he smiled a lot, too.

"You're starting to make my body burn up," I said lamely, my eyes flitting to the glistening water in front of me.

With my new Mana Detection skill, even as he was outside of my line of sight, he was lighting up my vision like a lighthouse. Rays of golden light were flying off of him, twirling and blasting into the sky, like the world's biggest nightlight.

The light dimmed.

"Perseus," Poseidon said, a weird emotion coloring his tone. "You have the ability to detect mana?"

"Yeah, I think so," I replied, looking at his face. His voice stirred my oldest memories: that warm glow I remembered as a baby, the sensation of this god's hand on my forehead. It was a weird feeling for sure, but it also made me feel content in some way.

Almost like things had come full circle, or something.

"It's been a while since a demigod was born with that skill," He leaned back on the dock a bit, resting on his elbows as he briefly looked toward the setting sun on the horizon. "It'll aid you well on your path."

"Thanks," You know, despite the positive nature of what he'd just said, I still wasn't too sure what I saw on his face. There was no clear sign of love or approval. Nothing to encourage me. It was like looking at the ocean: some days, you could tell what mood it was in. Most days, though, it was unreadable, mysterious.

It was a weird feeling. For the longest time, I'd had so much I'd wanted to tell him, so much I'd wanted to ask him. Why did he never visit? Why did he let my mother stay with Gabe? A dark look flashed across my face- if I ever saw that sack of shit again...

"Your mother is a queen among women," Poseidon said wistfully. The expression on my face must've been too telling. "I had not met such a mortal woman in a thousand years. To see her wed a man like your stepfather was, well, jarring to say the least."

"Was," Despite my Gamer's Mind, I felt my eyes sting a bit. I stored the fact that Poseidon knew who Gabe was away for later- this man really must have been dropping in on us from time to time, "She was a queen among women. Not anymore. She's dead."

Poseidon looked back at me, and for a moment, I saw the briefest glimpse of a fraction of the true might of my father. His jovial eyes were ablaze with a sea green flame.

The air on the dock got heavy and charged with ozone. It felt like the air in my lungs was being forcefully squeezed out. The water in front of us had started to churn and crash, boiling as if the world's biggest bunsen burner had been turned on underneath it.

The message was clear: this tropical shirt-wearing fisherman was the smallest part of his essence that he'd squeezed out to speak with me, and it would be in my best interest to not push him over the edge.

I saw glimpses of horrible, choppy seas. Tsunamis ravaging unsuspecting ships. A monstrous Kraken exploding out of the water. The entire Earth itself being swallowed up in a monstrous wave the size of a mountain- I knew that if he wanted to, that if he was just pushed enough, the world would never, ever recover from his anger.

A few moments later, he scratched the back of his neck awkwardly, like he'd just remembered he was in front of his twelve-year-old son. The fire died down.

"Dead," He repeated angrily as if the words were unfamiliar in his mouth. "No. She is not dead. She is in the Underworld."

"Huh?" I looked up at him, searching his face for lies. "I-in the Underworld, but not dead?"

"No. Not dead. Your uncle and I are having our worst quarrel in centuries. We are fighting over something valuable of his that was stolen. To be precise: a lightning bolt- one that he thinks I've had a hand in stealing," Poseidon informed me, scoffing as if the idea of him being involved in the theft of anything was preposterous. "As if. To make matters worse, he thinks that you're the thief that stole it, under my instruction."

My mouth fell open. "B-but I've never even been to Olympus!"

Poseidon nodded at me. "I know. He's…paranoid, to say the least. While Zeus and I do not have the best of relationships, my relationship with your other uncle, Hades, is a great deal more amicable. He came to me with a proposition, informing me that he had a quest for you. A quest that could benefit everyone involved."

"A…quest?" I repeated. "How would a quest benefit all of us?"

"Your uncle's symbol of power was stolen as well, and we're of the mindset that the one who stole is either the same as, or working in tandem with the lightning thief. Hades seeks to lure out the true thief," Poseidon said. His eyes got a little angry again. "He believes that the thief, or thieves, are working alongside a god. That's why, for your mother's safety, he's holding her in the Underworld until the matter is sorted."

[STORY] Quest Alert!

All's Well That Ends…

Your mother is alive! Help your uncle find the true thief and bring him or her to justice!

Rewards:

+1000 REP with Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus!

+100,000 EXP!

?

?

?

?

Failure:

Death!

[YES/NO]

"Safety?" I said, anger building in my veins. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I suddenly felt itchy everywhere. I gritted my teeth, "The Fury told me she thought I had something! The Minotaur almost killed me, for safety?"

The bouy closest to us groaned in the water, its orange tip bending downwards like an invisible giant was making origami out of it. A game notification popped up, reminding me to accept or decline the quest, but I quickly dismissed it. I didn't have time for that right now.

"Precisely," Poseidon snarled. He paused slightly, taking a moment to close his eyes. They opened again, much calmer. "While I do not agree with his methods and I argued with him quite a bit, he was adamant that this was the only way to fool everyone. I hate to say it, but his...method...has definitely kept her out of harm's way. For the time being, anyway."

"So, she's not dead?" I whispered, afraid that Poseidon would somehow say she was.

"No."

Relief flooded into my body. You know that ice-cold fear you feel coating your gut when you look in your pockets for keys and they aren't there? Or that feeling when the teacher comes around to collect homework and you left yours at home? Imagine that feeling but amplified by a million.

"After she told me she was pregnant, I offered to stop the tide for her," Poseidon whispered to me in a moment of reflection. I could've sworn I saw him age a few years in front of my own eyes. For a brief, fleeting moment, I weighed the cons of being immortal against the pros.

Never dying, never fading. Just… existing, like I was, for all eternity to live with my mistakes.

It didn't sound so fun anymore.

Poseidon sighed, "I wanted to build you and her a palace at the bottom of the sea. I could've solved all of her problems with a wave of my hand, given her the life she'd always wanted."

My heart started beating a little faster- I'd grown up thinking that my father didn't care about either of us, that he'd left us out to dry. "She isn't the type to take that sort of deal."

"I know. She claimed that she wanted to raise you, well, in a normal way."

A few more moments passed.

Poseidon sat up a little bit straighter. We'd been talking for close to an hour, now, and the sun had almost completely set. "My time here comes to an end, Perseus. I have to return to Atlantis. Take a week or two to train, and then ask Chiron for a quest. If my assumptions are correct, he will come to you."

"Alright, well, uh, it was good seeing you," I said awkwardly, sort of glad he didn't try to hug me or something like that. He would've probably seemed like a human dad, making some lame excuse for not being around. Despite what I said earlier about human dads being easier to accept, it would've been a major letdown if my long-lost dad was actually some lame accountant or something.

I knew he still wasn't sure what to think of me. I could live with that. After all, I wasn't sure about him yet, either.

"If you need anything, step in the water, or send me an IM," He said, dropping a small brown bag in my lap. It clunked against my jeans as if there were little coins inside. Poseidon looked back at me. There was a different light in his eyes, a fiery kind of pride. "You will do well, Perseus. Whatever else you do, know that you are mine. You are a true son of the Sea God."

And with that, the air seemed to fold and bend around him. He became a hologram, then a wind, and then he was gone, leaving only the smell of a pleasant see breeze lingering behind.

I looked at the spot he'd been standing in for a few moments before I let the notifications pop back up.

Skill Learned!

Mana Manipulation, LV-2 (50%)

Mana is a substance that flows through and is produced by ?. In lower concentrations, its density makes the substance act like a gas, but in higher concentrations, it behaves like a liquid.

LV 1- You can manipulate mana to some extent. The ferocity of your attacks multiplies exponentially with your emotions.

Hm. Not bad.

I picked up the bag- it was deceptively heavy. I peered inside and saw a small pile of golden coins. Jeez, dad. There were like fifty of them here!

[DRACHMA]

The monetary value used in Ancient Greece. [DRACHMA] can be used for a variety of purchases, but they are most frequently used for Iris Messaging.

This was supposed to be like a video game, right?

"Inventory."

The air in front of me bent, and a gigantic hole opened up. I tossed the bag in there, and at the top right of my vision, it said:

[DRACHMA] (53) ADDED TO INVENTORY!

I sat on the dock for a few more minutes. The sun, in its last moments before setting, bathed the whole valley in red light- the water looked like it was on fire. I sighed to myself.

My mother was alive- and I was going to do whatever it took to get her back home.

"Oh good, you're ready," Annabeth found me on the dock a few moments later, grinning at me as if she was expecting me to be asleep. She looked a bit confused on why I was at the Poseidon cabin but thankfully didn't say anything. If anything, I even saw a little bit of satisfaction in her eyes, as if she'd solved a mystery that had been bugging her for a while. "Let's go grab some dinner."


The next morning, I woke up pretty early. Last night, Annabeth took me to dinner, but beyond that I was alone.

I was right last night!

She'd pulled me aside after dinner, quietly and not-so-subtly asking me if I had any idea who my godly parent could be.

I'll be honest, I've known Annabeth for maybe a day at this point- I can tell she's a lot of things. Smart, strong, loyal, to say the least. I know she's going to be a good friend to me in the future- but I'll be damned if she isn't the least sneaky person I've met in my entire life.

She was my first friend here, though. Plus, Annabeth might not be too sneaky, but I had faith she won't go around telling people, anyway. I told her the truth.

It was a good thing I did, too. She told me that I was the only son of Poseidon that the camp had seen basically ever. The camp itself, according to her, was a pretty recent thing, too. It hadn't existed before the civil war. Based on how often the gods had been around, that seemed like not much time at all. After that, we sat by the campfire, and it was lights out.

No one noticed that I went straight to the Poseidon cabin instead of the Hermes one, where I'm told all of the unclaimed kids go, and even if they did, I wouldn't have really cared. After walking into the Poseidon one, there was no way you'd catch me anywhere else.

I groggily rubbed my eyes as a new notification popped up.

[SIDE] Quest Alert!

The Civil War!

Camp Half-Blood's past is steeped in mystery and uncertainty. Find out the true reason Camp Half-Blood was created!

Rewards:

?

?

?

?

[YES/NO]

I mean…I guess…

I clicked yes on the quest and accepted the one from last night, too.

I swung my feet over the side of the bed, grabbing Riptide off of my nightstand. I was going to meet Annabeth for breakfast, and after that, she was going to take me to the arena. I'd told her last night that I wanted to get training as soon as I could, and she told me that she was something of a training freak herself.

Specifically speaking, I wanted to get started on mastering Moon's Dance as soon as possible. If I knew anything about video games with RPG-like elements, it was that grinding these newfound skills out would be my best course of action.

A couple of minutes later, I was sitting next to Annabeth at the breakfast table. Technically speaking, I wasn't supposed to be doing this, but she permitted me and I was my very own cabin leader, so it wasn't like anyone could really say much.

"Maybe I'll introduce you to Luke," She told me in between bites. "He's probably the best swordsman in the camp."

"Whatever works," I replied, sipping my orange juice. It was blue, of course, but still tasted fine. You know, I may be in a world where the Greek myths actually happened and all of that, but the coolest and most unbelievable thing to me so far has to be the fact that my drinks can be whatever color I want them to be.

Back to the training, though- at this point, I didn't care. All I wanted to do was get my mom back. I'd even learn swordsmanship from Smelly Gabe if it meant that.

Oh! Another thing- last night, after my heart to heart with my dad, I got a new title.

Son of Poseidon- I think. It's something like that. I pulled up my status screen.

PERSEUS JACKSON

[SON OF POSEIDON]

Level- 10 (500/3000)

HP- 3500/3500

SP- 6500/6500

MP- 2000/2000

Allegiance- N/A

STR- 11 (+5)

VIT- 12

DEX- 17 (+5)

INT- 15

CHA- 10 (+5)

WIS- 13

LUC- 7

Points- 0

Money- $46

Son of the legendary God of the Seas and Sally Jackson, Percy is the current child of prophecy. Despite his murky past, Percy is ready to take on his future with determination.

REP at Half-Blood Hill: N/A

*THE TILE [SON OF POSEIDON] PERMANENTLY GRANTS +1000 MP AND BOOSTS THE REGENERATION OF MP

Ah, there it was. I'd have to blind to miss that sort of a boost. I wasn't sure what I could use mana for, but I still knew 1000 of anything was a pretty big deal- it doubled the original amount of mana I had before.

Another neat thing I'd noticed was the direct impact my stats had on my physical attributes. My VIT, for example, went up by three, and to mirror that, my HP and SP had gone up by 1500- that's 500 for each point I put into my VIT!

"Alright," Annabeth said as our plates were instantly whisked away, courtesy of some of the wind spirits that worked for the camp. "Let's get going, Seaweed Brain."

The arena wasn't too far away. Like the rest of the camp, it looked like it had been carved straight out of Ancient Greece. Giant marble walls rose to the top, where there was a curved glass dome. At the entrance of the arena, there was a small inscription etched into the pillar.

"Είθε οι εχθροί σας να πέσουν μπροστά σας," I read aloud to Annabeth. "May your enemies fall before you?"

"A tribute to Ares," Annabeth explained. She raised her eyebrows at my ability to decipher the Greek.

My Ancient Greek was already up to the max, somehow. It must've been from all that observing I did yesterday, but the game hadn't told me anything. Maybe I'd had it all along?

"The God of War. It's believed that praying to Ares before a fight grants you victory."

"I bet that gives the Ares kids a big head when it comes to this stuff, huh?"

A smile danced on Annabeth's lips. "You'd be right about that. C'mon."

The inside was sort of like what I'd expected. There were rows of seats in an oval-like shape around the center of the arena, where there were currently some straw dummies dressed in Greek armor. Some crates were pushed off to the side, with a tarp over them.

"Well, this is it," she said, waving her arms around.

"I'm impressed," I admitted uncapping Riptide. The bronze blade sprang to life in my hand. I curled my fingers around the worn leather grip. "This is going to be a ton of fun."

"Want to spar?" Annabeth asked curiously, unsheathing her dagger. "I'm itching to see what you're made out of."

[STORY] Quest Alert!

First Day!

You've been challenged to a spar by Annabeth! Show her your victory over the Minotaur wasn't a fluke!

Rewards:

+10 REP with Annabeth!

+500 EXP!

Failure:

+20 EXP!

-10 REP with Annabeth!

[YES/NO]

Easy. I clicked yes.

"Let's see what I'm made of, then," I agreed, winking at her as the both of us walked over to the arena.

In my heart of hearts, I knew it was a little unfair, given the fact that she'd been training longer than me and was double my level, but hey! My life's a videogame. I figured that made it a little more even.

I looked in the mirror last night before bed and I could already see hints of muscle starting to form as a result of my DEX and STR attributes. If it kept going like this, I'd be one of the strongest demigods at camp in no time.

We took our places, across from each other.

"Ready, set, go!" Annabeth said, rushing at me with her dagger held reversed.

My body moved on its own.

Clang!

Our blades met in a shower of sparks. She pushed her dagger down on Riptide, but it didn't even budge.

"Not bad, Seaweed Brain," Annabeth complimented, backing up while twirling her dagger. She ducked low and slashed towards my midsection.

"Shouldn't I be wearing armor or something?" I realized as I gracefully twirled- yes, my body twirled- away from the slash.

"Eh, I'm sure that nothing that some water and ambrosia won't fix will happen."

I sidestepped her next lunge. My hand extended forward with frightening speed, and I grazed her cheek.

I marveled at the feeling that was coursing through my body right now. I'm pretty sure I knew my body pretty well, but this game was changing it so much.

I felt my muscles coiling and uncoiling like razor whips in my arm. My legs tensed on their own as Annabeth launched a whirlwind of jabs at me. There was no doubt about it to me; with my point system, I crammed years of training into just a few moments.

In a few levels, I'd be a force to be reckoned with.

A few more minutes passed. Annabeth was throwing feints left and right, trying to catch me off guard, but it wasn't working. I felt so in control of my motor skills- every time she started to press forward, I could gracefully evade.

"You're doing well," Annabeth complimented, a slight sheen of sweat glistening on her forehead. I could see her heaving with each breath. "Really well. I think you could even give Luke a run for his money."

"I aim to please," I replied again, holding Riptide in a straight line. And what happened next? Well…I don't know how to describe it.

Annabeth and I both charged at each other at the same time.

As she started bringing her dagger up, I pivoted to my other foot. A burst of strength surged through it, and I went spinning in the air like one of those helicopter leaves that fall off of trees.

Mid-spin, I grabbed Annabeth's arm.

As I came down, I brought my leg back and rammed the back of her knee. She crumpled into a heap on the floor, and, heart hammering, I held Riptide to her chest.

[STORY] Quest Complete!

First Day!

You've been challenged to a spar by Annabeth! Show her your victory over the Minotaur wasn't a fluke!

Rewards:

+10 REP with Annabeth!

+500 EXP!

Our faces were pretty close to each other. I saw her cheeks flush more, but I wasn't sure if it was because of me or because of the fight. I knew she'd taken it a bit easy on me, and that one of the only reasons I'd won had been the fact that she underestimated me, but winning something always feels good.

"That," She said breathily. "T-that was…"

"Amazing." There was clapping at the entrance of the arena. We both turned our heads to see an older camper walk in.

The guy was about nineteen, and he looked pretty cool. He was tall and muscular, with short-cropped sandy hair and a friendly smile. He wore an orange tank top, cutoffs, sandals, and a leather necklace with five different-colored clay beads. The only thing unsettling about his appearance was a thick white scar that ran from just beneath his right eye to his jaw, like an old knife slash.

I activated Observe.

Luke Castellan [HERALD OF THE GOLDEN AGE]

Level- 68

HP- 38,000/38,000

SP- 50,000/50,000

MP- 10,000/10,000

Allegiance- Kronos

STR- 58 (+10)

VIT- 45

DEX- 77 (+20)

INT- 53 (+15)

CHA- 60

WIS- 45

LUC- N/A

Holy shit. Holy fucking shit. His stats were the highest I'd seen at camp! This guy was easily over quadruple my level, and his stats were insanely boosted. This dude could pulverize me in less than a minute! And what a badass title, too!

The breakdown of his physical attributes kind of helped my theory that different demigods evolved in different ways, though. It only makes sense.

Obviously, someone like him, a child of Hermes, is going to have more DEX and stamina, than say, a child of Athena or Demeter. That was why all of Annabeth's stats were more skewed towards her INT and WIS.

I ignored the +1 to my INT as I pondered the little tidbit about Kronos, though. It wasn't like I could act on it at the moment, unfortunately. He had the whole camp behind him, and I was just some new kid. Not to mention, he'd gut me like a fish if I tried anything.

I filed the information away for later.

"There aren't many people in the camp who can give Annie a run for her money like that," Luke said appraisingly. His stare was intense. I felt like I was a weapon being examined closely. "To have reflexes and intuition like that without any proper training is nothing short of a miracle. You're a true prodigy."

"Thanks, man," I replied with a grin. I offered Annabeth my hand. She took it, and I pulled her up. We walked over to Luke together.

"Luke Castellan," He said, offering me his hand. "Son of Hermes."

I shook it, "Percy Jackson."

"Tell you what, Percy," Luke said, scuffing his sandal against the ground the get some dirt out. "You train with me like that every morning and I'll make you a master in no time. What do you say?"

[STORY] Quest Alert!

The Way of The Sword!

Luke is the premier swordsman at camp. Become his apprentice and train hard for your quest!

Rewards:

+10 REP with Luke!

+5000 EXP!

+15 DEX!

+1 PP!

Failure:

Death!

[YES/NO]

Welp. That didn't leave me with too many options. I clicked yes.

"I'm down," I replied to him. "I want all the training I can get."

"Good," Luke complimented, ruffling Annabeth's hair. "Now then, lunch?"

Lunch it is.


The rest of the day went by in a blur, and before I knew it, I was back at my cabin for bed.

Well, not actually in my cabin, and I wasn't getting ready for bed, per se.

It was past curfew, though, so shh! If any of you tell Chiron, I'm coming for you. Yeah, no, I'm not kidding. That man gives out punishments like it's nothing, and if I have to clean the stables because one of you squealed, I'm going to lose my shit.

Anyway, where was I? Right.

I was sitting outside, on the dock that I'd had my conversation with Poseidon on. The moon hung high over the Long Island water, and I could hear the sounds of all of the wildlife through the stillness of the night.

I was sitting with crossed my legs in a lotus position, eyes closed. I was taking deep breaths, trying to slow my breathing and calm myself down. I wanted to see if I could naturally feel the mana of living things around me without relying on my powers, like some sort of crutch.

Plus, it helped that if there was anything I knew I wanted to improve, it was my Mana Detection.

Based on what I could tell, all living things had different amounts. You know, like animals and humans, even monsters. I was hoping improving the skill would let me detect monsters in my quest and get the drop on them. Sort of a what's up, bitch sneak-attack type of thing.

Okay. Focus.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. In. Out. In. Out.

This wasn't working. Sitting still didn't come easily to me at all, which was probably my dad's fault. I doubt the sea likes to be restrained at all.

After a few minutes, I got bored of waiting around and decided to fast-track the whole process.

"Mana Detection, activate," I mumbled under my breath, and the world suddenly lost all color. It became gray, except for slivers of white that floated through the air.

I stood up a bit and looked around. I took a glance towards the stables and saw the pegasi outlined in a whitish color that was more like off-white rather than the bright white humans had.

Some of the harpies flying across camp were a greenish color. I could make out the blue-ish forms of those girls I'd seen in the water earlier today- the ones Annabeth had told me about. Naiads, I think?

A moment passed, and I had to abruptly shut off the skill. My vision had lit up with a pillar of golden energy- the only other person I'd seen with that kind of energy was my father. That meant that there was a god nearby.

There was a searing pain in my left eye- whatever this source of mana was, it was coming from the middle of the courtyard.

I walked over quietly, ignoring the cries of the harpies that patrolled camp at night to make sure campers weren't out past curfew. Yeah, no, if one of those little feathered freaks found me, this mystery deity would be the least of my worries.

In the center of the field was a huge stone-lined firepit. Even though it was a fairly warm night, the hearth smoldered. A girl about nine years old was tending the flames, poking the coals with a stick.

Hestia [GODDESS OF THE HEARTH]

LV-?

HP-?

MP-?

?

Hestia? I'll admit, in my limited knowledge of the Greek world so far, I'm not too familiar with her. Even when Chiron came to teach me at Yancy, he'd never really mentioned her at all. All that I really know about her is that she used to be an Olympian, but gave up her seat for Dionysus, I think? Beats me.

[SIDE] Quest Alert!

We Are The Champions!

You've just noticed Hestia sitting in the middle of camp all alone. Talk to her!

Rewards:

+1000 REP with Hestia!

+2000 EXP!

+5 SP!

+1 PP!

?

Failure:

Death!

[YES/NO]

I thought about clicking no and turning around, but she looked up at me and smiled warmly, almost like she knew I'd been there the whole time. "Perseus Jackson."

The quest accepted itself. Fuck.

I bowed slightly, unsure of how to act in her presence. "My lady."

"Come," She gestured to the spot next to her. "Sit."

I felt nervous, but at this stage in my life, if any Olympian told me to do anything, you'd best believe I'd do it. I wasn't too on edge with Mr. D, mainly cause Chiron was there, and I was semi-comfortable with Poseidon, you know, cause he's my dad.

Hestia, though? I have no idea what she'd consider offensive and how she'd handle it, and I wasn't too keen on being vaporized on the spot.

I sat down next to her, trying to keep a respectful distance.

I watched her tend to the hearth for a few moments. She poked the coals back towards the flames. As I took a glance into the hearth, I saw visions.

My mother and I, chasing after seagulls at Montauk. My fifth birthday with a blue cake. One of the nights I'd spent, crying into her arms the whole night because some kids at school had made fun of me for not having a dad- wow. That one was from years ago.

I saw her again. Currently, this time, resting in a bed somewhere in the Underworld. She moved a bit in her sleep, mumbling something that I couldn't quite make out.

A smile worked its way on my face. At least she was safe.

"You don't need to be so on edge around me, Perseus. It's been a great many years since anyone at this camp has noticed me," Hestia told me, prying my eyes away from the fire. "Most just walk by, too busy in their own lives to sit and talk. Some do notice but don't care enough. You, Perseus, sought me out. I feel no inclination to harm you, in any way, shape, or form. I must admit though, I'm curious. Why is it that you came over here?"

"I could feel your godly power from my cabin," I answered truthfully, watching the dying embers float into the night sky. The summer breeze blew pleasantly, and the embers crashed into each other softly, like fireflies. "I was curious."

"Hm," Hestia hummed lightly. "So, is it power that you seek?"

"Well, no. I don't think so," I said, leaning back with my hands on the grass, subconsciously noticing the fact that I was mirroring my dad's action from earlier. I knew it had to do with Hestia's powers, but I felt so incredibly comfortable. It felt like someone had sunken me into a nice warm bath, and given me a steaming mug of hot cocoa, to top it all off. I wanted to tell her everything on my mind. "I really just want my mom back."

Hestia nodded, smiling at me again. I couldn't help but smile at her appraising look. "I know what has happened. My little brothers can be…challenging to work with at times."

That's right! Hestia was the firstborn of Kronos. That made her my aunt. I smiled at her honest admission. "That's true. I guess it doesn't matter, though. I'd work with whoever I had to if it meant that I could have my mom back."

I could tell that made her really happy. The hearth glowed a little brighter. "Really? What if I told you I could get your mother back right now? Would you like that?"

What? "Yes. Of course. I'd do anything for that."

"Even now?" She questioned, gesturing around us. "Perseus, your father and I speak often. He'd made attempts over the years to convince your mother to change her mind. Do you still feel the same, knowing she hid all of this from you? Knowing that she declined your father's offer to raise you in Atlantis?"

"I...well," Hestia stumped me for a moment. I'd been so caught up in the quest and the overwhelming amount of stuff to learn about this new world, I'd almost forgotten about everything else. The answer was still clear to me, though. "Yes. While I...I don't know if I agree with declining my father was the best move, knowing what I know now about my childhood, I still can't deny the fact that my mother gave up everything for me to have a chance at a happy, normal life. I'd give up everything for her to be able to do the things she never got the chance to do while she was protecting me."

"And your father?" Hestia continued, resting her head on her knees as she rocked back and forth, humming. "Do you not resent him for leaving you and your mother alone?"

"I do. For the longest time, I hated him with almost everything I had," I said, some of my past feelings of hatred and sadness bubbling back up. "I still don't understand leaving your wife and son alone. Knowing he tried makes it feel a little better, but the wound is still there, you know?"

Hestia nodded, smiling at me, "And?"

"Well, I guess I never considered his own responsibilities. Being the lord over every body of water in the world, being an Olympian...I don't know, I guess it never dawned on me that he had so much on his plate. Even then, I still remember him visiting me as a child. I don't, well, I guess I don't resent him as much anymore."

"The life of a demigod is hard," Hestia said to me, softly. "Especially one born to an elder god. You truly don't resent him for your birth?"

"My birth?" I repeated. "Oh. Well, you sit here often, you said. Do demigods generally have the viewpoint that they should have never been born?"

Hestia shrugged, a tear of fire rolling down her cheek. "Some. Some demigods resent their parents for their existence. They claim they never asked the be brought into this world, just to be ignored and left out to dry. More than you would assume, actually."

"Well, I guess they have a point," I conceded. "I never asked to be brought into this world, either. Especially if my fate is to live a tough life. Still, though, if I hadn't been born to my father and my mother, I would've never gotten to experience the life I have. All those times with my mom, all those memories we made together. None of that would have happened. I guess it's hardly fair for me to say that, knowing that other demigods have it worse, but personally, I'd do it all over again without changing a thing."

[SIDE] Quest Complete!

We Are The Champions!

You've just noticed Hestia sitting in the middle of camp all alone. Talk to her!

Rewards:

+1000 REP with Hestia!

+2000 EXP!

+5 SP!

+ 1 PP!

+Title: [Hestia's Favored]!

Hestia's smile brightened. Before I could even ask, she leaned forward and hugged me.

My eyes widened. It didn't even feel like a hug- it felt like pure warmth cocooning around me. I was safe. I was comfortable. I was warm. The hug stirred feelings in me that I hadn't felt since I was a kid.

Complete safety and security. I wasn't worried about anything- I felt untouchable, happy. Content. Before I even knew it, tears were rolling down my face. How long had it been since I'd been held like this?

Hestia pulled away. She smiled at me again, wiping away my tears. "Perseus Jackson, it warms my heart to feel the bond you and your mother share. I know that you'll save her."

Hestia's appearance changed. She still wore a brown dress, but now she seemed much older. Her hair was tucked into a linen shawl, and she grew taller and more mature-looking.

She closed her eyes.

A few moments later, my body lit up in a pale red light. That warmth that I had felt when Hestia held me was back, swirling, and roaring inside of me.

Skill Learned!

Pyrokinesis, LV-1 (0%)

As the champion of the Goddess of the Hearth, you have divine authority and absolute control over fire. Your fire will glow more richly red than a normal fire.

-500 MP per use!

Skill Learned!

Food Generation, LV-1 (0%)

As the champion of Hestia, you can generate or conjure delicious food, manifesting them anywhere you desire.

-500 MP per use!

Skill Learned!

Serenity Inducement, LV-1 (0%)

You can induce potent feelings of tranquility in others, enabling you to keep everyone who surrounds you at total ease!

-100 MP per every second of use!

My jaw dropped at all of the skills. Maybe, just maybe, getting my mom back and finding this thief wouldn't be so bad after all.


Chapter 2, done!

Let me know what you guys thought!

Also, I'm going to narrow down some of the pairings, since you guys gave me so many good ones!

Percy/Hera

Percy/Piper

Percy/Artemis

Percy/Silena

Percy/Aphrodite

I'm not the biggest percabeth guy, just cause, well, it's the most dominant pairing in the whole fandom.

That's all.

-Maroon


EDIT 4/15/21: Changes to the visuals of the Game, a major overhaul of the levels and stats, realistic level gap added for Luke and Percy, setting and minor dialogue change for Poseidon and Percy, slight plot changes to Percy and Annabeth's friendship, major changes to Hestia's test.