I recovered from the initial shock of the woman disappearing in front of me as my battle senses kicked in, a burning sensation settling in my chest. Mana coiled through my chest and back, tightening my posture.
Time slowed for a moment around me. The rivulets of flowing mana surged into my hand, snapping it up in front of my face. I grabbed the next arrow out of the air, fingers tingling, and snapped it in half like a pencil, tossing the two broken pieces onto the dirt path beside me.
Grumbling under my breath a little, I wiped some of the splinters off my hand and stared back into the darkness of the forest, the anger from before returning and sparking the air around me with fizzles of electricity.
The water was charged. I realized that without even meaning to, I was projecting my intent in all directions- I wanted to find whoever wanted to step up to me and neutralize them completely.
And the funny thing? I could feel the tide in front of me shifting weirdly, almost as if the ocean itself was listening to what I was thinking and was trying to tell me where the attacker was hiding. As if it wanted him gone just as much as I did.
Taking the hint, I squinted my eyes in the direction of the arrow, trying to identify its source. My telescopic vision plunged into the blackness of the night, eventually settling on a rapidly moving shape and another glint of silver.
I flicked my wrist. The ambient water in front of me reacted instantly- churning and frothing, bubbling into a wall of whitewater that exploded forward, blowing the arrow back and knocking the unidentifiable shape into a tree with a loud crack!
A few moments later, a low groan just barely tingled against my ears, confirming two things: there was someone or something out there, and it was light enough that be tossed around. I relaxed a little bit.
"Listen, man, I've had a rough night," I called out, raising my hands. I wasn't above fighting, but it had been a long night. I figured I'd at least try the diplomatic approach, and if worst came to worst, I'd fry the intruder like a filet-o-fish. Which, well, they technically could be, "I can tell you've had one too. If we could skip the whole, you know, fighting thing, that would be great. Let's talk it out."
The shadows shifted again, and a boy stepped into my vision, standing eerily close to where that woman had been standing. All I could really make out was his eyes- the rest of his body was wrapped in some weird black shroud that seemed to blend into the forest around him.
His experience, however, was easy to decipher, even if he was putting up an admirable front.
Analyzing people was a skill I'd been honing for a while now, and it came in handy in these kinds of situations- scenarios where I couldn't necessarily see too many other defining characteristics.
I put on my Sherlock Holmes goggles- figuratively, of course.
Well, actually, I do have a monocle sitting somewhere in my room from my fifth-grade rendition of The Hounds of Baskerville, but that's neither here nor there.
The kid was scared. There was a slight sheen of sweat visible on the exposed parts of his face. Though it could've been because of the chill of the night, or overall fatigue, I'd be willing to put some serious money on the possibility that he was scared out of his mind.
Also, despite most of his body being shrouded, I could still make out chubby little fingers around the base of his bow.
All in all, if I had to guess, with his current state of being and the only physical attributes I could see, he couldn't have been that much older than Malcolm. Normally that would win some goodwill with me, but I had to be careful out here.
Sure, in the camp, chances were that no child Malcolm's age would be able to hurt me in any sense of the word- it just wasn't possible.
Here, though? Even the most unassuming little kid could be a sneaky powerhouse, trained to manipulate people with their innocent look and slit their throats the second they get too comfortable.
Furthermore, the boy was also staring at me with the most anger I'd ever seen in a pair of eyes. Especially those of a little kid.
Though, to be honest, I decided not to pay that part of it too much mind. I figured he was probably just hallucinating as I had been earlier.
The ambient mana in the forest- what I'd initially chalked up to as being a simple byproduct of creating the environment- was more than likely some sort of shroud that was messing with our perception.
It had to be something like that. The further away I got from the encounter, the more sure I became that it had been all in my head this whole time.
Because, well, I haven't told anyone about my guilt, so it's next to impossible that even an engineered scheme could be that specific to me. The forest must've just picked up on the fact that I had some inner demons and taken advantage of it.
I looked back at the kid. His stats piled up next to him:
"It is impossible to win a contest with a helpless opponent since if you win you have won nothing."
[PRINCE OF VILLA EPECUEN]
[LVL]: 34 (XXXX/XXXX)
[MP]: XXXX/XXXX (ALTERED)
[FEALTY]: VILLA EPECUEN
[STR]: 8 (+10)
[CHA]: 11 (+5)
[…] Villa Epecuen makes some formidable warriors from time to time. They were the fourth most fortified city at the apex of the last war. Unluckily for them, this put them on Oceanus' hitlist, and he damn near wiped them all off the face of the Earth. […]
[…] The people of Villa Epecuen concurrently provide the most steady stream of able-bodied soldiers and scientists to the Proteus Foundation, a research facility Atlantis developed some time ago. To this day, their genetic makeup is being examined. […]
[…] I wonder what their royal family must look like if they sent such a little kid out to a tournament like this. Is it possible he isn't the crown prince, but just a runner-up they sent out to protect the first from any bad press or something? […]
There it was again- the Proteus Foundation.
According to the Game, those were the guys that Cheli after me- but now, according to the excerpt from my dad, I think, they were some kind of research facility.
Before I could continue pondering that particular mystery, Dorian nocked another arrow and raised his bow, the glint of the steel shining brightly in the pale moonlight of the forest, "S-submit to me."
"Me? Submit to you?" I tried my hardest not to laugh. Our levels were so far apart that he might as well have been threatening a wall. A fire-breathing, electricity-throwing wall. "I think I'll pass on that, kid. Now, why don't you put that bow down and we can talk about this like normal people?"
There was an undercurrent of danger in my tone, a slight lilt that the boy seemed to realize if the widening of his eyes was anything to go off. Keeping our level differential in mind, I tapped into my [Killing Intent] skill.
I didn't look or feel any different, but Dorian slowly began to change.
The shroud around him disappeared. His posture weakened, loosening from the shift stance he was in before to a weak, slumped-over version of it. Beads of sweat started rolling down from his forehead. The slight tremble from before turned into a full-on tremor, echoing through his body and rattling his bow.
"P-p-please don't hurt me," Dorian said a moment later, all but dropping his bow and getting on his knees. "I don't want to die!"
Huh. That was way more effective than I originally thought it would be.
"Hurt you?" I repeated, shrugging and walking closer to him. "Here's a better idea: let's have some hot chocolate."
Dorian, as I found, was an extremely untrusting individual- not that it was for lack of an attempt on my part. Sure, I had the underlying motive of trying to get some information out of him, but I found myself doubting that he'd be able to just read my intentions that easily.
Anyway, after I effectively made him pee his pants, I pulled up a log for him to sit on and spawned a cup of cocoa for him. A flare of green danced off my fingertips and turned the pile of dead sticks and leaves into a roaring fire, and I even made a dome of water around us, coating the inside in layers of [Serenity Inducement].
Even then, as he sipped his cup as if it had arsenic in it, his eyes kept flitting to me, as if he was afraid I'd go beserk at any given moment and snap his neck like a pair of used chopsticks.
"So, Dorian," I said, boosting the comfiness in our little dome even more. I gave him the same smile I gave the reporters back at Midtown after games- MJ called it my winning smile, "How's your night going?"
"It's continuing in an acceptable fashion."
"That's awesome," Dorian's eyes were already back on the floor. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes, "I've had a good night so far. Kind of weird they tossed us in this forest after making us fight in a tournament, right? I was hoping for more of a five-star hotel type of accommodation."
"We should be able to adapt," Dorian replied, clipping every word. He hugged his bow close to his chest, "A good prince is able to excel and lead in every situation."
I frowned slightly- this kid was being more tight-lipped than I expected, "Sure. Adaptability is a good trait to have. Do you think it's the most important?"
"The measure of intelligence is the ability to change," Dorian quoted, closing his eyes for a moment. "If you can't change, the world will change around you and you'll be left with nothing."
I threw my hands up in the air, chuckling, "You…are an interesting child."
Dorian stared back at me, "I'm twenty-seven."
"You-you're what now?" I yelled, spraying cocoa all over the ground. I wiped my mouth on my sleeve, "You don't look like you're capable of riding half the rides at Six Flags!"
His eyebrows scrunched together, "What's Six Flags?"
I placed the cup next to me, staring at Dorian with a newfound level of suspicion, "I- agh, never mind. Why do you look so young?"
"Genetics. My kind evolves incredibly slowly. It allows us to maintain our physical primes for a longer period of time, and be of more use," Dorian replied, staring into the fire. Shadows of the treetops danced on his face, "My home, in the Darkwood region of the Arabic sea, is known for its formidable physical presence. To survive, you must be strong."
"No kidding. Well, that's an interesting thing to learn," I said awkwardly, struggling to regain the tone of neutrality I had before. I decided to take the offensive a bit more and push for information, "So, is that why you hunted me down? To prove your physical dominance or something of that nature?"
"No. I hunted you down because I think you're a faker- I want to kill you."
The fire stilled- each lick of flame froze in mid-air as if the water around it was holding it in place. The dome around us rumbled and turned murky, with spikes of ice beginning to form into long stilettos around Dorian.
I dropped the friendly expression on my face for a moment, replacing it, instead, with a cold look.
"If every last prince in this forest came at me with the intent to kill right now, I would still make it back to Atlantis in time to catch the sunrise," I said seriously. "You, Dorian, are the absolute least of my concerns. After seeing the gap between us, do you still want to take a go at me?"
"No," Dorian said, clutching the log underneath him tightly. "But that doesn't mean I don't want to kill you!"
"What is it with you people down here?" I snapped, pinching the bridge of my nose. "Kalios, you, Epidaurus. Is every prince down here bloodthirsty or something, and why- why in my dad's name do you all have some personal vendetta against me?"
"Because you didn't work for this! Not like we did," Dorian said, his voice raising for the first time. He took on a shrill tone, "We were fine with Triton being crown prince- no, it wasn't ideal, but he deserved it! During the first war with Oceanus, he maintained all of the proper qualities of a prince. He was a great leader, a cunning warrior, and a moving speaker. And then you came along and took all of it! For what; dealing the killing blow?"
My anger was dashed for a moment. I shook my head, "What are you talking about?"
"We trained, Perseus. Even though we knew Triton would be crown prince, the rest of us were bred for this, molded for this since we could walk. Despite all of that, you waltzed it and took it from us!" Dorian pointed his finger at me. "All of our hard work- the years and thousands of hours of blood, sweat, tears. The sleepless nights, the weeks without real food- all that training just means nothing now, because of you."
"You're mad because I'm stronger than you," I said simply, sitting back down on the log. I laughed a moment later, shaking my head, "Mad that I was the one who got the glory, the love while you toiled away on some farm in the middle of nowhere, is that it?"
"No- no," Dorian snarled, his eyes narrowing. His lips were set in a thin line. "I'm mad because you didn't earn any of this. You had it handed to you because your father is the Lord of the Seas."
"What does that even mean? Yes, a lot of the latent abilities come from my father, but I didn't even know who he was for most of my life! Even after, do you think he was there, holding my sword? Do you think he was there, sharpening my spear or handing me a bottle of water?"
Dorian's expression remained unchanged, but his hands were flexing around his bow as if he was preparing for a fight. I scoffed- if I wanted him dead, he'd be dead before he could even blink.
"It means that your potential, however big or small, was boosted exponentially because of your lineage. As a part of my preparation for this tournament, I devoured every last morsel of information about you. The scouting reports, the movies, the plays- tell me, Perseus, do you truly think every warrior gets this strong this fast? Let me save you some time: they don't," Dorian heaved, "You got lucky, that's all. A mix of good genetics and all the time in the world to learn and grow. Think about it, Perseus, would you be this strong if you weren't the son of Poseidon? Or did you just win the cosmic lottery? No, I'm not mad that you're strong; I'm mad that you are inevitably going to become crown prince. But let me ask you a further question, Perseus: will you be the crown prince because you earned it, or will you be the crown prince because it's your birthright?"
"You think a movie, or-or a scouting report is going to tell you everything you need to know about me?" I said evenly, trying my utmost hardest to not let my anger get out. "That's a gross misjudgment, and at a very basic level, straight-up illogical. Who are you to tell me I didn't work hard for what I have, or that luck was all that had to do with it?"
"If I kill you right now, will that be Poseidon's doing?" The icicles grew larger, thicker to the point where Dorian was surrounded by fifteen-foot-long poles of ice, with tips as sharp as knives, "Let me save you some time: it won't be. It'll be all me. But sure, go ahead. Luck, no luck. Birthright, blah, blah. Whatever you think, or mistakenly think, that is, the danger you're in is very real now, isn't it?"
I paused for a moment and gave him the nastiest sneer I think I've given someone, "And, even worse: your best, your twenty-seven years of training nonstop is the equivalent of a year of on-and-off training for me. Blame my genetics if you want, but it's undeniable that you're a complete failure, isn't it? You don't even stack up against the other princes here, let alone me."
"I recognize that. At least they earned it," Dorian spat, trying to regain some of his composure. "If I could…if I had the power to…I would kill you where you stand right now!"
I leaned forward, placing my chin firmly on my hand. I fake-pondered for a moment before shrugging, "If that's the case, I should just kill you now, shouldn't I?"
Dorian's eyes widened. He slashed his bow into the dirt, kicking up a cloud of dirt. Two arrows were nocked on his bow instantly.
I flicked my wrist, and the dome shifted for a moment. The pressure of the water doubled, tripled- and Dorian fell to the ground, his bow clattering on the forest floor next to him.
He tried reaching for his weapon, but I was faster, even when I was taking my sweet old time. A burst of flame from my right hand exploded it in a display of green and red, showers of sparks flying in every direction.
"I could've kicked your ass as an eleven-year-old," I shook my head, crouching next to him. He stared up at me, his eyes flickering between fear and hatred, "You're not even worth tasting my sword. It would be a waste."
I reached out and grabbed his face, burning a [Death's Leap] mark into his cheek. Just because I wasn't going to kill him didn't mean I wanted to lose track of him.
The dome splashed down around us as I picked Dorian up with one hand. Summoning some water around me, I cocked my hand back and threw Dorian into the distance as hard as I could.
Cleaning my hands off on my pants, I shook my head. These princes were a piece of cake. Even with their little mind games and indignation, the truth of the matter was that I had much, much more power than them.
Hopefully, I'd be in and out of this stupid tournament by the end of the week. Then, MJ and I could sip some iced tea on one of Atlantis' neon beaches or something. For now, though, it was time to get some rest.
I climbed the nearest tree, positioning myself on one of the larger branches. Ice sprouted around my hands and feet, connecting in a swaddle-like structure that kept me comfortably in place on the tree.
"Sweet dreams, Atlantis."
Little did I know, I'd be having anything but sweet dreams.
My nightmare that night started as something I'd dreamed a million times before I got my powers: I was being forced to play the leading role in Annie, just like I had when I was in fourth grade.
Just like all those years ago, I was standing in the middle of a stage. There were paper cutouts of trees and buildings around me. The car, or at least the cardboard cut out of one, was colored blue and purple, and yellow- the set was made by my class.
Rows of people were seated in front of me, all kinds of people, from teachers to firefighters, and everyone in between.
I'm sure that doesn't seem that intimidating. Not by itself, anyway, but I'm talking Broadway-level.
Those rows of people stretched further and further back than I could discern, to the point where all I could see in front of and around me were people. Even the rows between sections were packed to the brim with people.
I saw demigods in the crowd, clad in armor with weapons in hand and blue-plumed helmets. Even a few odd monsters made their way into the crowd here and there.
Once the stage lights dimmed a bit, I could see some gods in the crowd: I think I saw Aphrodite, Athena- even Hera looked like she was in the front row, holding up a sign that said: Let's go, Percy!
And they were all watching me. Intently.
The stage crew flicked all of the stage lights on at once.
One of the lights above me, just one out of the two-dozen microwave-sized bulbs in the overhead rafters, was faulty. It kept flickering, switching randomly between casting light and shadows on me.
Of course, my light would be the only faulty one.
"Percy?" One of the people in the crowd said, though it was impossible to see through the glare of the stage lights. "What's your line, Percy?"
"I, um," My voice came out squeaky and nervous. I felt my perspective get lower and lower, almost as if I was shrinking into the ground, "My f-folks are never comin' for me–"
The voice spoke again, colder this time, "That was your last line."
Each second I spent thinking and not talking, a heavy chain exploded out of the stage and wrapped itself around me, digging into my skin and pulling me down even faster.
"I'm trying," I felt the sweat on my forehead drip down my face. My palms were clammy. "I just need a second."
All the other kids began filing off the stage, running toward their parents, who began stepping out of the crowd.
They picked their children up, twirling them around and holding them close as I struggled to remember my next line.
The voice kept going: "Come on, Percy. You're not stupid, are you? You can remember your line. It's just one sentence."
Then the dream strayed from the usual.
I looked over on the stage again and saw a girl sitting there, wearing a strait jacket. She was my age, with unruly blonde, punk-style hair, dark eyeliner around her brownish-green eyes, and freckles across her nose.
The voice from the stands got louder, "Your line, Percy. What's your line? Tell me!"
I didn't reply- I was too focused on the girl, who was giving me a look so intense I thought she'd burn a hole right through me.
Thalia, my conscious mind supplied. That had to be Thalia. I just couldn't, for the life of me, work out why she looked so different.
She struggled against the straitjacket, glared at me in frustration, and snapped, "Well, Seaweed Brain? One of us has to get out of here. Make the call."
I recoiled at her voice for a moment- she sounded like Piper.
She's right, my dream self thought. I need to get the fuck out of here. It's just a dream. A stupid, recurring dream from when I was a kid.
The chains melted off me. I fell through the stage floor. The teacher's voice changed until it was cold and evil, echoing as if it was reverberating from the depths of a great chasm. "YOUR LINE. REMEMBER YOUR LINE."
My eyes snapped open as a booming voice shook the very branch I was sleeping on, "– not a drill. Repeat: this is not a drill. All contestants, please return to the central location. I repeat: all contestants please return to the central location! Your rings will serve as compasses."
Forcing the grogginess out of my system, I jumped to my feet and perched on the branch, raising the ring in the air. It burned on my finger and tugged my hand northward.
Bark exploded from underneath my feet as a jet of water flared to life around me, sending my body shooting through the forest and toward wherever the ring was pointing.
The trees blurred by me until eventually, I reached a doorway, where Chet was standing, corralling princes through.
For the first time, I heard it: a loud, grinding noise somewhere off in the distance. It sounded like the very ground we were standing on was being sawed in half.
"Perseus!" Chet yelled at me, beckoning me forward. He looked relieved to see that I was alright, "Come! Quickly!"
"What's going on?" I yelled back, trying to project my voice over the din of the forest. "What's that noise?"
Chet shook his head, cupping his mouth, "No time! Get through and we can talk after!"
I shrugged and began stepping through the doorway when I heard a shrill scream echo through the forest.
My head snapped toward it. Even in the pale daylight, I could see the ping of [Death's Leap] shine brightly in the fauna.
Chet looked at me like I was crazy, "What are you waiting for, boy? Get through the damn portal!"
What was I waiting for? Even if Dorian was in actual danger and this wasn't some kind of test, what did I owe him?
I tried to be nice to him! To offer him comfort and support, and he took all of that and threw it back in my face just because he thought I wasn't worthy or something stupid like that.
Yet, I still hesitated. Another scream broke out in the forest, and I stepped down from the doorway this time.
I thought back to last night: the ghosts. The people I couldn't save. There had been so many of them that I could barely see past the group.
As much as I didn't want to go back and save him, I just knew that I couldn't let another person join that room of ghosts, even if it was an annoying weirdo that told me he'd kill me if he got the chance.
"Perseus–" Chet began, but I already made the mental exertion to activate the second tier of [Death's Leap].
The forest blurred around me again, and I ignored the sense of vertigo that permeated my body as the Game forcefully pulled me to Dorian's last known location.
My feet touched down on a dirt path a few moments later. The trees in this part of the forest were taller and thicker than the ones where I'd spent the night. There was this weird mist in the air, puffing and blowing in all directions.
The grinding noise from earlier was back. The closer I got to it, the sound sounded feral, animalistic. I shook my head- I could work on that part of it later. I needed to find the mark.
I stumbled upon Dorian a few moments later, the mark leading me to a bush. I parted the leaves, and true enough, there he was, whimpering and nursing what was left of his right arm.
"Dorian," I tried to look away from the gruesome sight. His stub was broken at an awkward angle, with bits and pieces of skin hanging off unevenly snapped bone. "What happened?"
"It…it attacked us as we tried to leave!" Dorian gritted his teeth, still holding his arm. Tears were rolling down his cheeks, "Damn it."
"What attacked you?" I demanded, grabbing his shoulders. He cried out in pain, biting his lip, "I know it hurts, Dorian, but you need to tell me what happened here so I can help you."
"It's a monster," I was about to reply with 'you think?', but almost as if on cue, the grinding noise stopped.
It was replaced, instead, by a loud, ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum, kind of like the noise you'd expect from a car on the freeway as it broke down.
"The other princes," I dropped my voice to a whisper, trying my best to wrap Dorian's wound in some gauze and bandages. "Where are they?"
"Dead," Dorian said, screwing his eyes shut. He whimpered in pain, "They tried to fight it, but it took them all out. Marios. Acestes. Calais."
"Damn," I swore, running a hand through my hair. "Are you sure they're all dead?"
"Well, one or two of the might be alive, but there's no way you'd be able to get to them," Dorian said, shifting his weight against a nearby tree. "It would stop you."
Riptide sprang out in my left hand. "I can handle myself. Chet's herding some of the princes back not too far from here. Do you think you can make a run for it?"
"If you can distract it long enough," Dorian winced as he stood to his feet shakily. He looked down at his arm as green blood started leaking through the first layer, staining the gauze. "Why did you help me? Why are you trying to help them? What if this is all part of the tournament?"
The grinding noise came back. Dorian's eyes began to widen. "I-it's coming!"
"Tournament or not, I'm not about to let a bunch of people die," I said, pointing Riptide in the direction I came from. "Now go- and don't turn back."
Dorian scrambled away, sprinting down the dirt path as I sprinted in the opposite direction, trying to sense any living princes.
Unlikely, I didn't get very far before I caught my first glimpse of what had attacked Dorian and the other group of princes:
From my angle, it looked like a two-hundred-foot-long cylinder of sheet metal, as thick as a school bus and as sturdy as a water tower. I felt a jolt of surprise as I heard it slink down the side of a tree, its yellow eyes like searchlights and its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth big enough to chew elephants.
I gripped Riptide tighter as it stopped, seemingly aware of my presence.
"Percy…Jackson…" It said a moment later, its voice withered and old, heaving and huffing as if just speaking that one sentence was pushing its vocal capabilities to the brink. "You've…come…to me."
AN: Just chugging along the story here. There's a decent bit of symbolism and foreshadowing packed into this one, so I'll let you guys work that out to varying degrees, as per usual. You, of course, don't need to read this with the same amount of fervor as an English teacher would have you read it, but looking between the lines a little bit might clue you in on what's really going on, and what's really going to happen.
Another note: I have started school again, so that, of course, means that my updates may not be as frequent. This leads me to my usual conundrum, but one I haven't asked you guys about in a while.
Do you prefer the super-long chapters, or would you prefer a more consistent, weekly upload schedule?
Most of my current chapters tend to be anywhere between 6,000-10,000 words, and I try to upload once or twice a month, or even more if I can.
So the question is this: would you want at least a guaranteed 2000-word chapter each week, or would you want the same process as now, where I try to get out longer chapters whenever I can?
I have zero preference, as it's the same amount of writing for me. I guess it just boils down to what you, as the reader, prefer. I won't be making an official poll for this, so please vote in the reviews if you so desire. Normally, I'd say my PMs are open, but truth be told, I've been getting some weird ones lately, so I'm going to have to limit this.
Thanks for understanding. I hope.
Anyway. Review time:
TheGhost225: Thanks for the kind words! I enjoy sneaking anime references into most of my works, but especially this one. Heavenly Trigger and Pyrokinetic are based on DBZ transformations. HT is supposed to be more like Potential Unleashed, whereas Pyrokinetic is supposed to be based on Kaioken.
Bankleo305: I understand why you don't want to continue reading! I try to deter people who want a canon-compliant story with an in-character Percy at the start, but I'm still sorry to see you go. Real quick, though, this version of Percy didn't make those same friends right away, and his quest was given to him by Poseidon, not Chiron. Rule or not, I don't think Chiron could really stand in the way of the will of an Olympian. Thanks for the catch though, I need to go back and tweak those.
Stanislaus: Thanks so much! I'm glad I could create a story that's that binge-able. Funnily enough, I went through a similar period of binging Gamer fics before I decided to make my own.
GodudamaMaker: Thanks! My decision to make Percy an unreliable narrator was the reason I made this story first-person. I think third-person stories, while very good, also give the reader a lot of exposition that the protagonist(s) doesn't have. In my experience, whether on purpose or not, this would usually make me feel kind of annoyed, cause then the hero wouldn't do something or he'd miss something- I'm rambling. Anyway. I think seeing the story from his perspective helps me empathize with him and grow more attached to him. Glad you're back from your hiatus, though!
Handwran: I mean, it might be doable for sure, but I'm just not a huge harem guy in general. I don't mind reading them, but I still feel like writing one would be weird for me. I'll revisit the discussion later, for sure, but once you see where this story goes, you might agree that a harem would be weird. I appreciate your input though!
The-AnonymousFF: I will consider this! After the next arc (the one after Atlantis, that is), I'll probably take a small break and take care of all those little things.
Meryfcuckery: Lmao, I appreciate the praise but again, we can talk about it later. I've toyed with the idea. I will say, it is a PJO girl. It's also a PJO girl that a lot of people like, though my take on her will definitely be different. Also, the link is in one of the previous chapters, but lmk if that doesn't work and I can PM you the link. It's kind of dead rn tbh, but once Prop makes his return it'll be popping.
pontus first god of the sea: Of course! I really don't think I would've ever gotten this far in the story if it wasn't for you and all of the early guys having my back. I appreciate the hell out of you guys! Now, if only I could see a review from Posaitain again, my life would be complete.
Thanks again for all of your constant support. I think we're kicking around the 14th most followed PJO fanfiction of all time, so I'd love to crack the top 10 in the future. See you!