Author: Celedone PM
It all started with some few minor incidents... But when the things that should have been kept occult are brought to light and those whose paths should never cross meet there's only one question that really matters... and that is: Why?Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Nico A. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 11,720 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 08-21-12 - Published: 07-04-12 - id: 8286741
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He had decided one thousand times he wouldn't help her. And yet, for one thousand times his curiosity broke his will and he decided he would help, after all. He stayed in this impasse for three days, walking from one side of the room to the other, until the rotten carpet of the abandoned house got torn and he realized that thinking that much without doing anything wouldn't do him any good.
So he went to one of his favorite places to be in the world, a cemetery, and took his favorite food, Happy Meals, with him.
He hesitated for another moment as his skeletons worked on the pit he needed for invoking the ghosts. After all, how could he know she was not just using him for her own purposes, manipulating and lying for her own hands not to get dirty? She had already poisoned him one, making him sleep as she got away. There was absolutely no insurance she wouldn't do the same thing again, except this time in a deadly way…
Then he shook his head, knowing that these thoughts would lead him to nowhere. If a demigod could have two fatal flaws, Nico knew his second would definitely be his curiosity, his hunger for knowing the truth.
So he let the skeletons dig, and he poured food and drinks to the dead. And when they appeared shimmering in front of him, the dead eyes staring at nothing, he made his questions.
What he found out, after all, was interesting.
"Sabaktes", he tasted the name, just wondering. What would a pottery daemon get by destroying a fast food restaurant? Would he really be after the girl, Ana? "Sabaktes, the Destroyer", he repeated to himself as he looked absently at the dark pit where the ghosts had come from.
None of them knew anything about Ana, which was odd, since the ghosts are worse at gossiping about the living than high school girls. Yet, there was something else. Something that might be related to all the destruction that had happened.
He got up, thinking about how to find the daemon and how to make him talk. Nico knew it would be dangerous – the Destroyer seemed to enjoy the wonders of the new technology that allowed him to explode everything instead of just breaking and smashing. He sighed as he left the cemetery, wondering why things couldn't be simpler. He didn't want to be a hero, after all. He didn't want to be involved in all that mess. Of course that once he saw himself into it, there was nothing to do but to help. In fact, all he wanted was to live peacefully, freely, wandering from cemetery to cemetery, listening to the ghosts' stories and tales.
When he got to the abandoned house where he had stayed the last few days, it felt as if all the weight of the world had been placed over his shoulders. Yet, when he opened the door, soon enough all those thoughts vanished. There was a folded note laid next to the doorway, and it was addressed to him.
Nico felt his survival instincts awaken. He looked around carefully, trying to spot anything unusual. As nothing was found, and he just couldn't stand in the doorway forever, he quickly picked the note from the ground.
He closed the door and headed near an open window in the living room, using the clear night's light to read. He unfolded the note, only to find a handwritten question:
'Have you found out anything yet? – A.', it said. Nico folded it again, feeling sort of angry, and tossed it away in a rotten couch. He passed his hand through his messy hair, closing his eyes for a second.
That was when he heard the noise.
As quickly and as silently a human being can be, he drew his sword from the sheath of his belt. He stood still for a moment, feeling the darkness wrap him up, hiding him from any mortal eye – and from some immortal, too. And he listened… He listened to the deep silence, to the mute stillness that had taken over the entire house.
Creeeek – he heard it again, a sound of a rusty metal spring complaining about the weight over it.
Nico headed to the nearest bedroom, hoping his steps would be soft enough for the wooden floor not to creak. As he got to the door, he heard the sound again, this time louder. The sword kept ready in one hand, he quickly opened the door, ready to attack if he needed to. Yet what he found made his eyes flare with anger for a moment.
"Hi, Nico. So, what's your answer?"
He lowered his sword, without letting his guard down.
"Why did you leave a note if you were here to talk?" he said harshly. He definitely didn't like going through a tense moment for nothing.
"I thought you would like to have the upper hand on the situation, considering what happened last time we met." She shrugged, and then smiled. Nico observed her for a moment, wondering for the thousandth time whether he could trust her or not. As he didn't look inclined to answer Ana sighed and added. "Look, I'm sorry for that day. I really didn't see that coming. It's just that my brother thought that I might be in danger. And he is, as you must have noticed, a little… overprotective. Now, why don't you just sit down here to talk? Looking at you standing there is getting me nervous."
Nico hesitantly sat in a chair nearby, his sword laid on his lap and his hand over its hilt.
"I found out two things that might interest you." He said, observing her expression carefully. "One is who the monster that attacked the McDonald's is. It is a daemon and as most daemons it probably lives in the Underworld, though there's not much information about him. The other thing is a rumor that I heard. It's about a woman-" at this, her eyes glimmered slightly and her body tensed "-who seems to be trapped in the Underworld."
"So all the paths lead there." She muttered thoughtfully. Then she blinked, as if waking up, and shot him a suspicious glance. "And what made you think that this woman would have to do with me?"
This time he was the one who smiled, though his smile was dry and humorless.
"Why should I tell you? All you've done until now was to tell me what to do, to put me to sleep in the most unpleasant way and to show up demanding answers. Let's just say you're not my favorite person at this moment and I'm not really sure if I can really trust you, after all."
Ana bit her lower lip, her copper eyes darkening dangerously. She considered his words for some moments, trying to find the appropriate answer. When she spoke again, her voice was heavy of anger and despair.
"Ok, then. You have your reasons for not liking me, for not trusting me, and I understand. I told you before, I'm sorry for what happened. Still, there's nothing I can do to change what's already happened. But now, please, try placing yourself in my place. I am in a country that is not mine, I know no one here except my own brother and she is missing and I can't figure out how to get her back. And if that wasn't enough, the only person I knewthat might help me is now dead." She took a deep breath, her hands now closed in fists, her lips pressed tight.
Nico almost felt sorry for the girl – in fact, he would have definitely decided to help her right away if he knew he could trust her. But it wasn't the case, and all that could've been just acting. Great acting, but still – acting.
And yet, they were in an impasse – she wouldn't tell him anything if he didn't say what he knew about the woman; he wouldn't tell her about the woman as long as she kept him in the dark.
Nico sighed, suddenly remembering Hestia's words. They weren't meant for him, that time, but still served him well at that moment. He didn't remember her exact words, but he did remember that there was something to do with the power of yielding. Or anything like it.
"So, the woman." He spoke slowly, trying to find the best words, to measure the information he was about to give. Ana didn't move, but he still he could feel he'd caught her interest. "The first thing that got my attention was the woman's description. I'm not going to enter into details, but let's say that the way she was described she would look very much like you. Of course, it could have been a coincidence." Not that I actually believe in coincidences, he thought to himself. "So I asked my… informers… if they knew anything about the woman. And they said they didn't know much, except that once she was seen sending a message to a man. A business man, it appeared. And, in fact, it seemed that her methods involved some sort of obscure kind of magic." This time the girl raised her head, observing him carefully with those sharp copper eyes. "And there was a third thing", he continued, leading his left hand automatically to his jeans pocket, "the woman, as they told me, sometimes looked very upset about something. And when she did, she grabbed beads from her purse and made these." He glanced at her seed necklace, pointing at it with his head to emphasize the message. He could've added that none of those evidences were quite solid, that it wouldn't prove anything – but he decided to wait for her reaction instead.
Ana sighed, passing her hand by her hair. Nico couldn't decide whether she was satisfied by his answer or not. That was until she replied:
"Well, it seems we don't need our demon friend to help us anymore." Then she gazed at him, thoughtfully. "But I'm curious: where did you get all that information? How can you have so many informers in the place this woman is being kept captive?"
Then he shot her a reproachful look and she reconsidered her questions.
"Fine, answers first, right? How can I explain…" she muttered, taking a pause to think.
Before she could think of anything, though, a deep loud rumble came from the underground. Ana looked at Nico, her eyes asking for an explanation. The ground trembled violently, making them lose balance.
A crack tore the house apart, and the earth beneath it gained life. For the first time in his life, Nico was scared of going to his father's domains. But as the ground sucked him in and the darkness engulfed him, he realized he didn't really have much choice but to go.
Ok, so things are starting to happen. I hope it is not as confusing as I think it is… anyway, things should get cleared up soon enough (I don't know, this story kind of has a life on its own).
Again, I'm sorry for my bad English (and I'm glad that some people don't seem to find it so bad).
Please review :) (because then I'll update sooner!)