The world was gloomy and he sky was dark, no moon shining through the clouds. Rain poured down from the sky as if it was leaking from a thousand arrow wounds, and lightning flashed regularly, illuminating the scene below.

A dark forest of upright stones in even rows stood starkly out from the damp ground they were set in, sheltered from some of the storm by crooked trees that were placed almost randomly throughout the graveyard.

A flash of lightning briefly illuminated two figures. One of them was a huge, shadowy creature, it's outline vaguely draconic. The other was a dark boy, whose pale skin contrasted vastly with the shadows around him. In his hands was a sword. While the silver of its handle reflected through the darkness, the blade could only be made out because it seemed even darker than the night.

Nico was panting with exhaustion. He'd been fighting the monster for hours, and the thing just refused to die. Even worse, Nico had started out as the hunter and become the hunted. If he couldn't get to the mausoleum in time… he didn't want to think about it.

It was closer now. He could feel the monster approaching from behind, and his strength was on the verge of giving out. Suddenly, out of the darkness, the torches of the mausoleum appeared, and Nico tapped into his last reserves of strength and sprinted to the doorway.

Just beyond the torchlight, the monster skidded to a halt. Nico turned back, brushing water and his raven hair out of his eyes, and drew his sword. Even with his jet-black t-shirt, jeans, and aviator jacket sopping wet, the 15-year old looked intimidating, even imposing. His brown eyes locked on the monster.

Suddenly Nico thrust his sword into the ground, and the green light of the torches flared. The monster froze, caught in the magical torchlight, and its horrible form was revealed. It looked like a Chinese dragon that had been rotting for a century with giant blood red fangs.

Fissures began to branch out from the soul sucking black blade, opening wider as they went and stretching out to the dragon like open arms.

"Maurig, son of Tar the black dragon, I banish you back to Tartarus!" Nico exclaimed, as flaming skeletal hands reached up from the fissures and wrapped around the beast. The monster tried to roar, but it was cut off as it was yanked down under the surface.

Nico collapsed to the ground with the effort. The power of the mausoleum had bolstered his strength enough for that last banishing, but he was thoroughly used up, and after thanking the gods for letting him make it in time, he promptly collapsed.

When he awoke, he saw a troubling sight.

Three men were force-marching a man along the graveyard path. They were covered in black cloaks and had skull masks. 'Probably some cult.' Nico thought.

The other man was wearing some strange robes.

They stopped in front of an open grave. Nico crept closer, silent in the shadows, but he didn't need to. He could hear them talking from where he was, although it sounded a little like he was listening through a window.

One of the dark-clothed men, probably the leader, had been talking.

"…and don't bother yelling for help, Ellisen, we've put a silence charm over the area." The man leaned in towards the other man's face. "Now then, mudblood," The man said with a sneer in his voice, "Where are they?"

The man was quaking with fear. He responded, "I…I…" he swallowed, and his voice came out weakly, "I d-don't k-know anything." Which anyone could tell was a lie.

The other man sneered. "Gilroy, Rozlen, grab his arms."

The scared man tried to cower out of their grasp, but the two men were much stronger than him and held him fast. The leader of the group stood close to the unfortunate man, Ellisen, and pulled out a short stick, putting it to his throat. Ellison's eyes darted everywhere, his panic extremely evident.

"No… please…" The poor man croaked.

The leader of the group began to talk again, impatience showing through his calm demeanor.

"Where are they, Ellison? Where are the passcodes to the ministry that our master sent us to retrieve? Do you need more convincing? Crucio!" The man exclaimed the last part loudly, and Ellison shrieked in unearthly pain. Nico could see his aura visibly flicker. After a few seconds the man stopped and Ellisen slumped.

"Again?" One of the two men holding Ellison asked.

"No!" Ellisen sobbed. "No more, please, no more! The passcodes…" Ellison faltered for a moment, then let his head droop. "The passcodes are in t-the ministers house."

The leader leaned back. "Thank you. Now, here's your reward." The man pointed the stick at Ellisen's terrified face.

Nico had heard enough.

"Hey, skull face!" Nico yelled.

The four men looked at him.

They saw a scraggly, teenage mortal boy standing at the other end of the clearing.

Ellisen saw a ray of hope. "Help! Help me, Ple-" "Avada kedavra!" A green light shot from the leader's stick, which Nico supposed would be called a wand, seeing as this man was doing magic with it, and it hit Ellisen. Nico saw Thanatos suddenly appear behind the man and take his soul away, and the man fell dead.

This shocked and angered him quite a bit.

"You…" Nico was at a loss for words.

The man turned back to him and laughed. "Who're you, boy?"

Nico didn't respond.

"Then die." The man said, and pointed his wand at Nico.

Nico drew his sword, and the sunlight in the clearing seemed to dim. The wizards, for that was what Nico thought they'd be called, faltered. The other two drew their wands.

Nico flipped his sword upside-down and thrust it into the ground. Four fissures spread out from where it set into the ground, and skeletal hands reached up from the depths and hoisted themselves into the world, heeding the call of the son of Hades.

Nico looked up at the terrified wizards and spoke coldly.

"Today I send you to Tartarus."

After the screaming wizards had been dragged into the underworld, their spells proving useless against the dead, Nico gave a blessing to the poor coward who had been murdered and disappeared into the nearest shadow.