If I'm being honest, it's been so long since I was fully fully fully immersed in this story that I find myself forgetting some chapters and plot points that I haven't revisited in so long. That might sound bad, but there's nothing I can do about it lol. Maybe I should just read the entire story over.

Like, for instance, I completely forgot that I had some of the Hunt die. I don't know why but I completely forgot that it even happened and realized it when I was writing the beginning of this chapter. Maybe that's bad, maybe it means it wasn't important enough to the plot, but hey, what are you gonna do about it?

Glad I was able to write this and get it out quicker than the last update (although, still not on my best schedule), cheers.

Also, not sure if this will speed up or slow down my updates now, but I'm in college! I don't know if I should tell you exactly where I'm going, but I will tell you that I'm on the west coast.

I'm studying Computer Science, although during the summer I realized I'm not sure if that's the career path I want to go down. I'm considering switching to Architecture or some form of Psychology or even something else, because I'm just not positive CS is the right job for me. For those of you with experience in feeling uncertain, some advice or feedback would be nice.

You know what, fuck it, I don't give a shit, I'm attending the University of Oregon. Do with that information what you will, hope you enjoy the chapter and have a nice day.

P.S. I never dreamed in a million years I would attend a university of this magnitude, and I don't want to be cheesy or anything, but every single one of you can do things you would never think of. Don't be afraid to stretch yourself out and try. Have a good day, have a good future, have a good read.

Chapter 33: It Was a Tad Frustrating

"Do you think this is the same person as the one who talked to Hades, or perhaps another?" Artemis pondered. "There very well could be a circle of people leading the charge, or perhaps there after all is only a single being."

Percy shrugged, "I think it's one person. I know we don't have an identity, much less a gender, but I think we're talking about one person." Artemis raised an eyebrow. She leaned further against the porch's fence in front of them, her eyes trained on the lake's slow waves.

"Then we're talking about one very powerful person. To be able to have viable opportunities to sway both Hades and Aphrodite to their side incites both intelligence and experience. And they were able to puppeteer Ares, which we already know Kronos was able to do." Percy nodded in agreement. His fingers danced along the wooden beam he leaned against, his eyes gazing across the sand towards the Hunt's camp. It was about an hour past breakfast, so the Hunt was in full swing with training.

It seemed that lately, all the Hunt did was train. Perhaps it was Artemis preparing for the worst, ensuring that all of the Hunt was as ready as they could be in case they were attacked again. It was actually pretty saddening to watch. He knew that all the girls appeared young, and that many of them were actually older than him, but it still reminded him of the wars and quests and battles he had experienced and witnessed. Children, toddlers, adolescents; nobody should experience what demigods had to go through.

"Do you think it's one person?" Percy asked. He certainly did.

"I do." Artemis agreed. "But this god, titan, giant, whoever they are, they are not young. We're dealing with a patient and old deity that has waited their turn and is finally fed up."

"I just don't get it." Percy said. He shook his head softly. "Why now? If they're old, there were years and years of opportunity up until the rising of Kronos. What's changed since then to force their hand so quickly after the wars?"

"Something drastic." Artemis shrugged. "You're right that something's changed recently to create this whole conflict. I doubt someone so patient with so much accrued information and power would rush this process if it wasn't out of necessity." Percy nodded, his fingers still tapping along the railing absentmindedly.

"Do you have any hunch about who it could be now?" He asked. Artemis cocked her head in thought.

"We already knew this being is powerful, but now we also know they're quite old as well. Probably older than I am." Artemis said. "I don't think it could be a minor god at this point. Perhaps a titan in the shadows, but a god is most likely. There's a good chance they're even on the council."

"That's still a lot of suspects." Percy said. "And that's not even considering there are almost definitely more gods - major or minor - under their sway."

"And that's the problem." Artemis sighed. "There's too many possible enemies. Even those we think we can rule out have the chance of being part of this revolt, this uprising."

Percy shivered. His mind went in two directions, to the reminder that he still hadn't told Artemis about Apollo and the possibility of some of the gods closest to him betraying the council. Poseidon himself could be getting blackmailed into doing something he doesn't want to but simply can't get out of.

He truly hated this. He was never the brains, never one to brainstorm or think ahead. He was the impulsive one, the guy who acted off his emotions and his guts. Annabeth was the one who thought ahead. The one who planned for the worst and accounted for almost every possibility.

His brain hurt from just the few minutes of stressful thinking. He needed a break.

"Wanna spar?" Percy asked, the words leaving his mouth before he knew what he was saying. Artemis tore her gaze from the lake in surprise, gauging his genuineness. Percy didn't falter even through his own surprise.

"Sure." Artemis responded after a moment. She grinned, a slight grin that most would probably miss. Percy noticed it however, trained to look for the slightest indication of emotion out of Artemis because she rarely gave anything away. "Do you want a handicap?"

"A handicap?" Percy repeated. He chuckled. "Do you plan on fighting at lightspeed? Are you gonna show your true form once you realize I have the upper hand?"

Artemis shrugged, her head turning and her gaze shifting back to the lake. Her smile didn't waver, however. "Nothing of the sort. Even with the shaken rust, I doubt you'll be able to keep up with me."

"Excuse me?" Percy scoffed playfully. "For the record, I recently turned Ares - the god of war - into a pile of dust. I think I can hold my own with you."

"Luck. Ares was unprepared and unwilling to even think that you were anywhere close to his level. His underestimation was what killed him, not your prowess of a fighter." Artemis said, almost as if she was bored.

"You're not going to give me any credit?" Percy asked after a pause. Again, Artemis shrugged. Maybe others would be offended by how ignored they would seem to be in the conversation, but Percy was just more invigorated.

"So, no handicap?" Artemis asked. "You could choose what weapon I wield if you want. Or maybe choose a limb I can't use?"

Percy blinked. He felt like he should feel offended, and yet he wasn't. He wasn't confident that he was going to win, but he was confident that he was going to hold his own. Maybe it was faux self-efficacy, but if he got his ass beat, that would just motivate him to get even better as a fighter.

"No godly powers, but that's it." Percy said. He held out his hand, which Artemis gladly shook after a moment of staring at it. Artemis had a dangerous gleam in her eye as her lip curled in a larger smile. He smirked.

He was so going to get his ass kicked.

"First to get knocked off their feet?" Percy offered. Artemis nodded, her hands now hovering over her twin daggers sheathed at her belt. He looked to the side, and saw a considerable amount of Hunters watching eagerly. Probably all smug with the knowledge of their mistress about to beat some guy's ass.

It was a comforting thought, knowing there weren't any expectations for him to win. He would be a winner just being able to last for 30 seconds.

"You're so screwed, Perce." Thalia smirked. Sadly, Percy had to say that it had been awhile since he'd seen Thalia so excited for something. She was practically bouncing on her toes.

"I'll be fine." Percy said. He was basically trying to convince himself he wouldn't make an utter fool out of himself. He looked to Piper for any sort of confirmation. She shrugged and grinned sheepishly.

"Sorry." Piper said, shaking her head. Percy sighed.

"Calypso?" She smiled nervously.

"Just don't die out there." She gave him a thumbs up. Percy scoffed and nodded, turning his attention back to his opponent.

"Perfect." Percy said. "Just perfect."

"You ready? We don't have all day." Artemis smirked, her hands almost twitching to get into action. Percy sighed. Was there any chance he could back out now?

"Alright, alright." Percy flicked his pen out from his pocket, the writing utensil instantly elongating into his trusty xiphos Riptide. "Let's get this over with."

Artemis smiled. Her hands, as quick as lightning, unsheathed both daggers. She charged.

Percy knew he was outmatched. There was no denying it. Artemis was quicker than him, stronger than him despite her deceiving leaner appearance, just overall a better fighter than him. He was fighting an uphill battle, and yet somehow wasn't falling all the way to the bottom.

Perhaps Artemis was going easy on him, he highly doubted she was using her full strength. But still, it didn't feel like she wasn't trying.

The whole of the fight had Percy on the defensive besides intermittent moments when he would stab at her just to take a chance. Despite Percy having the length advantage with his longer sword versus her smaller knives, he found himself blocking and dodging as opposed to slashing and slicing. The sand below kicked up every time he shifted, and Artemis' quick feet didn't help to avoid creating a dustpile.

At one point he became pretty sure that Artemis was trying to kick sand into his face on purpose. That was just plain rude. Every time Percy would stumble back or cover his eyes, the Hunters would jeer in approval like they were an audience at a sports game. Not fun.

And, to top the whole spar off, Artemis had the audacity to jab at him with comments and insults every now and then. To say the least, it was a little distracting. He was supposed to be the talkative one during fights.

"Hold your guard up!"

"Have a sturdier base!"

"Are you even trying?"

"Come on, you can do better than that."

Honestly, Percy had flashbacks of sword training with Luke and sparring with Annabeth. But even the comments from them weren't as belittling as Artemis'. She somehow made it so she wasn't actually helping him, and that he would just get more and more frustrated with himself. Sometimes, instead of slicing open his thigh when she had the chance, she would just slap him with the flat part of her blade. She was taunting him, and it was just a tad frustrating.

After a while, his technique got sloppy, both from fatigue and his frustration at both Artemis slapping him with intermittent comments and the fact that he couldn't do much more than nick the inside of her forearm.

And so it didn't come as a surprise when he wound up on his back, his chest heaving up and down as the adrenaline from the fight and more extensively his aggression wound down. Normally, he would be a little upset at being beat in a spar. But at the moment, he wasn't. Maybe a little embarrassed, because of how easily he had been taken to the floor. And the fact that all of the Hunt were laughing their asses off at him didn't help.

But, he wasn't that upset. This was a goddess that he was sparring, and one of the better fighting goddesses at that. Sure, he had gotten absolutely demolished. Sure, he would probably have to inhale an amount of ambrosia and nectar dangerously close to the point where he would spontaneously combust. But… it didn't feel like he had fought terribly. He wasn't frustrated with himself, even though he was during the actual fight.

After other spars and fights, if he had lost or gotten injured, he would identify what he did wrong, what he could've done better, even if he was being too hard on himself.

Yet at the moment, he was satisfied with his performance. It sounds weird, but he genuinely felt like he couldn't have done anything better or different. Artemis was going to win either way, and that was the bottom line. The best thing he could do now was train more for the next fight.

"You did well." Artemis smiled, her hand outstretched. Percy's breathing was better, but he was still huffing a little. He took her hand and pulled himself up. "Most mortals don't last nearly that long."

Percy barked out a laugh, "How many mortals have you actually sparred with? And how many of them were Hunters?" Artemis just stared at him and shrugged, her smile still apparent.

"More than you would think." Artemis said. Beckoning for him to follow her. "Really, you didn't do that bad."

"You were going easy on me." Percy raised an eyebrow.

"I go easy on everyone." Artemis asserted. Percy really hated how stone-faced she was when she wanted to be. He could never get a good read on if she was lying or not sometimes. "You did well, which I expected."

"That was terrible!" Thalia came up and slapped him roughly on the shoulder, extracting a grunt of surprise and pain from Percy, who still felt sore all over. He really needed some ambrosia or nectar. .

Speak of the devil, and he shall appear. Well, Calypso was as far from the devil as one could get, but she had a baggie of ambrosia in her hand so Percy thought the phrase to be appropriate.

"Thank the gods." Percy gasped out, reaching out for the bag and thanking Calypso as he began to swallow some. Thalia was cackling next to him, her arm slung around his shoulder as she openly mocked him, but it didn't ruin the taste of hot, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that he savored from the ambrosia. Honestly, if you weren't liable to burst into flames from eating too much, he would have godly food every meal. Seriously, it's not like nectar had nutritional deficiencies.

"Dude, you got your ass kicked." Thalia said, slapping him once more on his shoulder, causing him to choke on his ambrosia mid-chew.

"Thanks." Percy said once he had recovered. "I didn't realize that."

"You might've hit your head and gotten memory damage during the fight, you never know." Thalia said, shrugging. "Just wanted to make sure."

"I thought it wasn't bad." Calypso said. Percy looked toward her and sent her a smile, although a hesitant one. Artemis still wiped the floor with him, and that wouldn't change no matter how you looked at it. "I mean, I would've been more alarmed if you had made the fight close, to be honest. You did pretty well considering my expectations." Percy pursed his lips and nodded hesitantly.

"Thanks… I think." He glanced toward Artemis, who was smiling and conversing animatedly with Piper. They were probably talking about how much she destroyed Percy. He sighed.

He was probably going to be mocked for at least the rest of the week, wasn't he? Every time he leaves his cabin he'll probably be hollered at by one of the huntresses about how their patroness had basically sent him straight to the afterlife.

Percy groaned, and rubbed his eyes with the hopes of possibly clawing them out. Calypso patted him on the back, thankfully much gentler than Thalia's slaps.

"Hey, you'll be fine." Calypso assured. "I got something for you in your cabin, so just clean up and I'll show you."

"You got me something?" Percy asked, confused. "Is it my birthday already?"

"I don't think so." Calypso answered, guiding him in the direction of his cabin. "Just clean up and I'll show you once you aren't covered in blood and sand."

"Yes, mom." Percy rolled his eyes. He looked once more over toward Artemis and waved at her. "Good spar, Artemis. I'll make sure to get past the five-minute mark next time." Her lips twitched, and she jutted her chin out in a nod.

"I'll hold you to that."

Percy didn't know what he was looking at.

Well, he did. He just hadn't thought it was possible.

"You're a witch." Percy said. "A sorceress."

"Anything else?" Calypso raised an eyebrow, unimpressed. One of the corners of her mouth was upturned in a smile.

Percy shook his head, his eyes still refusing to blink. "I don't think so."

"Good." Calypso nodded. "Then you can stop staring, and start indulging."

"I don't know if I want to." Percy reluctantly slumps down into the chair next to him. Calypso leans against the kitchen counter that's only a few feet to his right. She seems smug. Percy's not sure if he likes it or not.

"You can take a picture if you want, but I'm not letting you just leave it to rot." Calypso sighed. Percy scrunched his eyebrows.

"I don't have a phone." Percy hesitantly reached out, and before he could change his mind, swiped his finger along the side of the cake and licked the blue frosting clean off his finger. Percy can say indefinitely that it's better than a regular cake. He practically moans in ecstasy.

"Hey!" Calypso grabbed his wrist and pulled his hand back. Percy didn't resist, but every part of him wanted to eat the whole thing and gain 10 pounds in a matter of five minutes. "Don't eat dessert before dinner."

"But it's so good." Percy basically whined. Calypso rolled her eyes and just slapped the back of his forearm. "Seriously, how did you do it so? And so quickly, too?"

"I told you, it's just blue food coloring," Calypso said, blowing a few strands of brown hair to the side of her face. Percy doesn't believe her. He'd tried probably a dozen times, and the results had always resembled a blue pile of goop at the end of it.

He slouches in his chair, resigned to the fact that he basically has a feast of blue food in front of him and he has no idea how to replicate it. He might have to keep Calypso around solely for the purpose of having blue cookies every week.

"Go on, I made it to be eaten." Calypso said. Percy frowned, but reluctantly scooped blue pasta onto his plate. He didn't remember ever having blue spaghetti as a kid, but there a food being blue couldn't possibly make it worse.

"Well, are you gonna eat too?" Percy asked. Calypso smiled and nodded.

"Of course. Help yourself first, though," she sat down in the seat across from him and began to wait patiently. Percy shrugged and began to happily spoon different foods onto the rest of his plate, covering the entire dish with the color blue.

Calypso soon followed him, filling her plate with various blue foods albeit a little more gently than Percy. She had simply put nectar in their glasses, and Percy suspected it had something to do with his wounds from the earlier spar.

They ate in relative silence, with Calypso asking for updates on the recent events here and there but respecting the fact that Percy was in a severe amount of joy in his blue, blue world.

It was honestly great. Practically perfect. The only thing that was missing was the loving gaze of his mother, but that was kinda hard to replicate, so he gave Calypso a 10/10.

Percy initially thought the food would be nothing like he wanted, no offense to the skills of Calypso, but he was pleasantly surprised by the fact that he couldn't've been more wrong. Although not all the foods were blue when he had them when he was an adolescent, he couldn't argue that more blue food was worse than less. It felt like home, like the shitty apartment his mother and he had shared with the sewer-smelling hippopotamus named Gabe.

He wouldn't've been surprised if a poker table appeared and Gabe's gambling-addicted friends showed up out of nowhere. He means, Calypso's literally a sorceress, an illusion or a mirage wouldn't be out of the question.

"So…" Calypso said as Percy finished his slice of cake that he had cut. Calypso had really outdone herself, he was pretty sure he could live off this exact meal for the rest of his life. "I have another thing."

"You have another thing?" Percy asked, his eyebrows raised in surprise. "Better than blue food?"

"Maybe." Calypso shrugged. She took another forkful of cake and raised her eyebrows for a second.

"What is it?" Percy asked. He righted his posture. "Do you know who the leader of the revolution is?"

Calypso swallowed and scoffed, "No, Hades no. Artemis said we can go to a restaurant and San Francisco tomorrow night."

"Huh?" Percy didn't understand.

"Well, not just us. The whole Hunt's going to a restaurant in the city. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but the hope is that with the combined intimidation of the Hunt no monsters will interfere." Calypso said, waving around in gestures with her fork. Percy frowned.

"When did Artemis agree?" Percy asked. Didn't sound like Artemis, in full honesty. She wasn't the type to allow for a designated time for fun, and she definitely wasn't the type to put her Hunt in unrequired danger.

"After your spar." Calypso said. "Pretty sure she only agreed because she was in such a good mood, but she still agreed."

"Really?" Percy asked. Calypso nodded, and smiled at Percy's reaction. "That's great! Where are we going!"

"Haven't decided yet. If it comes down to it, we'll be able to decide when we get there." Calypso said. Percy smiled. He could hug Calypso and swing her around in circles, he was so happy. It had been so long since he had gone into the real world with his own free will and actually done things a normal person would do. He had stayed at Purgatory and it's boundaries for as much as he could for fear of attracting monsters to his location and thus injuring him and perhaps others around him.

Perhaps he could've done something when he realized monsters were beginning to come to Purgatory anyways, but it hadn't come to mind due to the overshadowing threats.

That threat was still existent, but he could allow himself to enjoy the moment and not worry too much for just a few hours.

Percy smiled and looked down to the table, his cheeks burning from how much he was smiling as he stuffed his face full of the rest of his cake.

Thanks for reading. Feedback's appreciated, and if you have the time maybe check out my story "passion". I have more stuff similar to it on the way, more details in the author's notes of that story.

It's come to my attention that I don't really know the demographic of this story. The tone and style of writing that I apply seems to change, and I don't know if I'm writing for "kids" at some points or older people (teenagers, young adults) at others. The majority of you are probably slightly older because of this story's content, so tell me if my writing's a little too directed toward younger people, because sometimes it feels that way.