Sorry for the late update. I decided to rewrite chapter one. Please let me know which is better and i will continue the story or join both chapters to an even better one and then continue the story.
We were tracking the manticore again after its recent escape from Tartarus. I knew that there was a war coming and sensed it form the forest atmosphere. All the mythical beasts were siding and being commanded because they are not naturally intelligent so were being ordered to attack in groups to improve their survival rates. The rest of the Olympians refuse to believe me and wish to wait it out despite the prophecy looming over our heads because of my youngest half-sister. She is due to turn sixteen on December twenty second so we do not have long until fate will rest on her shoulders.
We were currently camped just outside of Maine after hearing that the manticore is at Westover High School in Maine and that there is a search party of demigods gone to collect two unidentified demigods. A satyr had sent out the cry for help so had enlisted the help of my brother's son, Will Solace, a daughter of Athena, Annabeth Chase and Thalia Grace, the girl of the prophecy.
Most of my hunters were busy dismantling camp so that we could join the demigods and eliminate the manticore whilst my lieutenant, Zoe and I were sitting on the edge of a cliff under the sky. It was dusk so I would be at my most powerful shortly when we take on the manticore and his army. I have heard from the nature spirits in the woodland that he has a large army of dracenae and hellhounds. They would normally be easy hunting but with their new master they have become much more organised and are less easy to kill.
I glanced at Zoe to see her staring off the edge at the horizon. She muttered something I just caught "As night falls, all hope is lost or won".
"What ails you my huntress, what did you say?"
She startled obviously forgetting my presence. "On December the first of a significant year, hope is lost or won at night's hand. I spoke with Hestia and this is what she told me, she says that this year may be the one we were waiting for."
"Why would this year be significant? And do you mean Night, Nyx or Night, Perseus?" I muttered that last bit for I feared her response.
"The year of the prophecy has come and my brother will choose his side, if what Hestia says is true he will choose by nightfall tonight. You must be prepared for he can hold a grudge like Hades when he wishes and the worst are the ones against his character. Did I ever tell you his true domains?"
"I do not believe you did my huntress. I should need to know if I wish to survive our possible meeting."
"He will not kill you, it is against his nature and I believe he does still possess love for you. You will need to explain yourself soon or we may lose our only chance of survival. He can be forgiving." She began muttering again "You should be more worried about Theo for he took your separation far worse than anyone, even Percy or you. It has affected his very nature."
Guilt coursed through me at the thought of ruining his life and affecting his kind and compassionate nature. Zoe soon continued.
"Perseus is known as the God of Night, Close-Combat, Storms, Tsunamis, Loyalty, Heroes, The Arctic Sea and Constellations. I think that is why he took it so hard because he rules the constellations and has a constant reminder of what he believes to be your unfaithfulness. It pains him and he took five hundred years to laugh again so I will be surprised if he returns in your vicinity tonight after one thousand five hundred years."
I took an intake of breath. "Do Theo and Andi hate me?" I dreaded the answer but I needed to know how they were. Zoe had never spoken this openly before and had been denying me information for one and a half millennia. I had searched for them but I was limited to the land and the sky so they would always evade me. The goddess of the hunt on a search for one and a half millennia and I still can't find them.
I live in a lie; Zoe and Apollo refuse to forgive me but at least attempt to remain neutral. I know Apollo still sees Perseus, Andi and Theo because he often talks to Zoe when he visits the hunt and I catch what they say occasionally. It hurts that I no longer have anyone that truly has my back; everyone either has no idea of the events, attempts to remain neutral or full out hates me. The whole Olympian council is unaware apart from Apollo and Hestia who attempt neutrality or Poseidon and Aphrodite who hate me but act civil in meetings. The subjects of the seas despise me and I have begun to fear the seas or lakes, although they will not kill me they may attack me and I don't think anyone would rescue me. I have also developed a fear of the dark but try to remain brave in front of my hunters. Hades has made any access to my dead hunters harder and I believe he will side with Perseus when war comes regardless of those be will be opposing. My hunters and the other Olympian Gods are unaware I was ever in a relationship and believe me to be the virgin goddess and eternal man-hater. I am just a hypocrite that punishes unfaithful men and only accepts virgin girls, it is how I cope but it doesn't work.
Zoe hummed as if she was thinking how to phrase it and probably had been for a while if my internal musings took as long as I thought they did. This was not good, if she takes this long to say it and not offend me then it was obviously not an answer I was hoping for.
"Hate's a strong word Artemis." My heart sunk, she was trying to lessen the blow but it still hurt.
"Andi is a lot like Apollo, she is happy and cheerful on the exterior but no one truly understands how she is feeling apart from Theo, her opposite. Theo got his father's kindness and understanding but also your blunt and impulsive attitude. He is also the older twin so takes it upon himself to be the strong and brave one meaning he will not share emotions apart from the negative ones. He will not speak of you or even watch you like Andi does because he was hurt and does not wish to be again. He talks to few people but once he trusts you he is very much his father's son, undying loyalty, kindness and compassion with a drive to help others where possible."
"So Andi could be depressed but we will not know and Theo will not even speak of me. For a goddess of young children I have done an awful job with my own."
"Yes you did but you cannot think like that, you need to move on and attempt to build bridges with them instead of regretting the past. You may have a chance this very evening but you will need to try hard to break the cold exterior they have, that you can only blame yourself for. Although they try not to they are both much like you and you will be able to connect. Crack one and the other follows and soon so will my brother. Apollo will also assist when necessary and is going to join us after the battle with the manticore. We should prepare for we have a fight ahead."
"When did you get so wise my huntress, you are a great advisor and friend. I thank you Zoe for your loyalty and companionship."
"I am still in your service Milady despite my ties to the other sides of this war so will always advise you when I can."
We both gazed at the horizon again before rising and starting our trek to Westover Hall. I felt butterflies in my stomach at the thought of possibly seeing Perseus, Theo and Andi.
We were on the outskirts of the clearing that the manticore and his army were situated in. I was crouched next to Zoe and we were watching the confrontation between my nephew and the manticore. He was attempting to rescue the unknown demigods but he seemed to have lost my niece and half-sister because it was just him, the demigods and the manticore.
The demigods appeared to be siblings or possibly twins. It was a young boy and girl that appeared to be around fourteen. They both had oily black hair and onyx black eyes with pale skin complexions resembling a child of Hades which could only be bad news for Olympus and especially me if I fail to save them all. Hades already despises me and I do not need him to have more reason to want to kill me.
The other demigods soon came to the rescue alongside the satyr and they all appeared to gasp at the sight of the army alongside the manticore. He had over one hundred hellhounds and at least one hundred dracenae with their bows drawn at the ready and the hellhounds were ready to attack.
I fired at the manticore making my presence known to him.
I heard Zoe next to me "Permission to kill, my lady"
Before I could even respond the manticore had interrupted "This is not fair! Direct interference! It is against the ancient laws."
Did he really think I would believe that. "Not so. The hunting of all wild beasts is within my sphere. And you, foul creature, are a wild beast."
As I was about to allow Zoe to finish off the pitiful monster that was the manticore, but the daughter of Athena charged and leapt on top of the beast. I must say she has courage but was obviously not using her brain that she was gifted with. She would make a fine hunter.
I turned to Zoe and said "permission granted." knowing she would find a clear shot.
My nephew attempted to stop me but I did not have time to listen as I started firing at the other monsters in the clearing.
The wind changed and a shadow descended atop the cliff edge. All the monsters including the manticore froze as well as the demigods and my hunters. My breath caught in my throat in anticipation for who it could be.
The hellhounds stooped over into a bow and a boy and a girl appeared from the shadows. The boy waved his hands and the hellhounds rose. "Today was not the day for you to disobey our orders, you had better hope he is understanding enough and because of you he may just change his plans."
The hellhounds all cowered under his gaze and leapt into shadows and vanished leaving one young pup to run towards the teens. I now got a good look at the boy and girl and I felt tears well up in my eyes. The boy had raven black hair and bright sea green eyes that puzzled me, he had tan skin and a muscular yet athletic build. His hair was unruly and ebony black swept out his eyes but long enough to reach his cheekbones if unkempt. He wore all black clothing with no armour built for speed and grace. He had an ebony black bow over his shoulder and a matching quiver. His arrows were also black as well as the throwing knives strapped across his shoulders and waist band. I looked closely and also spotted a sword on his hip that had a black hilt and appeared to be stygian iron. At first glance his weapons would suggest a son of Hades while his eyes and skin tone suggested a son of Poseidon but I knew his true parentage but his eyes and quiver of arrows filled me with remorse.
The girl stooped low to pick up the young hellhound pup and held it close whispering in its ear. She had paler skin than the boy and had sea green eyes as well that had a softer gleam to them while she looked caring and full of mirth he appeared much more serious and more stern. She also had ebony black hair which also made me feel like curling up and crying for my actions. I remembered her once with beautiful auburn hair much like my own. She still had the mirth in her eyes but Zoe's words rung in my head and I feared that it was all an act and my daughter in fact hated me as much as her brother if not more. She still looked much like me with her athletic and graceful build of a hunter but she had developed much more muscle than she had last I saw of her, no doubt training hard and she also had a sword on her hip. Her attire and weapons were much like her brother yet she had silver fletching on her arrows and silver blades for throwing knives as well as silver engravings on her bow and quiver, of hellhounds, tridents and the sun and moon. This made me feel elated that my daughter still had links to me and eased my worries of her hating me a bit.
The hellhound pup leapt out of her arms and barked once before darting through the trees at the edge of the clearing. The girl laughed before drawing her bow along with her brother. I wondered how they had control of the hellhounds and wondered how much they really have changed in both power and character since they left.
They both aimed at the remainder of the manticore's army and began to fire. The whole clearing appeared to unfreeze but I was stuck shocked that I had finally seen my children after so long and they had not even looked at me. The manticore shouted out "You are meant to be neutral in this war, you promised us an army and that you and your father would not interfere." he spat the word father as though it left a bad taste on his tongue.
"Wow, Kronos does really hate you to send you on a suicide mission like this, and to top it off we are now allowed to attack in response because you managed to break most of the agreement in a few moves or were you not informed of our conditions." responded the girl with a cheeky grin. She then proceeded to freeze time over the army for a few minutes.
"Oldest grandson of Kronos is our father and they get on quite well when they are not attempting to kill each other or blackmailing one with the other's mother. Of course that changed everything but before that war Kronos did bless my father and in turn my brother and I with limited powers over the weak-minded creatures such as dracenae. So you could have no army in a moment so I suggest you stop with the whole arrogance act. Now what was I explaining?" Here she conjured up a lazyboy recliner and sat down. My hunters and I were all dumb founded and stood still until Zoe spoke up.
"Andromeda, your father will not want to see this on a battlefield, proper battle etiquette and stop with the sarcasm young lady."
The boy then elbowed her in the ribs.
"Excuse me Aunty Zoe, I did forget my manners how rude of me." She then conjured up a seat for the demigods who were quite taken back by this exempt Thalia and the Hades twins making me wonder if they had met before. She then produced a chair for Zoe and the manticore, separately of course and finally one for her brother. "Lighten up bro, this is one of our easiest battles and a family reunion in one, we may as well try to enjoy it."
"I am leaving while you explain Andi, I will not waste my time here in front of some of this lot, no offence Thals, Nico, Bianca and Aunty Zoe but I will not sit like this in this company." He then vanished in a streak of white off the cliff.
"Always making flashy exits, he got that from Grandpa but hey I'm not complaining at least he is lightening up a bit. Idiot went and challenged Uncle Trite to a diving competition, we've been cliff diving worldwide all season and then now we get roped straight back into work. To those who don't know me I am Zoe Andromeda, lieutenant goddess of my father, Lord Perseus, God of Night, Close-Combat, Storms, Tsunamis, Loyalty, Heroes, The Arctic Sea and Constellations. Oh and I almost forgot Lord of the Hellhounds. Best fun is definitely with those little pups or the heroes of course." here she winked at the demigods.
"So manticore, now you wrapped your brain about who I am I will explain the treaty and then we can kick some monster arse, before you got to attack me remember your battle honour, this is a parley so no violence. Now, the agreement we made with Lord Kronos, we will remain neutral in the war and will not attack his forces unless it majorly damages our domains so he cannot destroy all heroes as well as offering him a percentage of our hellhound forces if they wish to fight and in return he cannot harm certain people on the God's side of the war. Such as Poseidon and his kingdom, so the seas are off limits although Oceanus can try but then he gets my father against him as well as our forces. No harm can also come to…" She got a list out of thin air at this point. "Zoe Nightshade, Calypso, the Hesperides, Amphitrite, Delphin, Triton or the subjects of the sea, Thalia Grace as per Theo's request, Bianca Di'Angelo, Nico Di'Angelo…"
"As per your request Andromeda." piped in Zoe. Andromeda blushed.
"Yes well… erm … the huntresses still alive from before my leave, Apollo, Leto, Hestia, Hades and his kingdom, Persephone and their subjects. That is everyone so congratulations manticore, in one battle you have endangered most of our side so I suggest you get ready to run because I am looking forward to kicking your arse." The chairs vanished and she began to fire at the monsters that had unfrozen followed by Zoe and Bianca. Nico and Thalia began to attack the monsters with their weapons while we all stood frozen shocked at the events of the last few moments and her amazing ability to go from happy and cheerful to battle hardened. "Most monsters down wins, go" and they all became specks of light in the midst of showers of golden dust. Andromeda and Zoe shone silver but much brighter than just from my blessing so I figured her brother had blessed her. Thalia shone a bright yellow and the Hades children were blurs of black. I smiled at their speed and was amazed at the skill they held. The children had obviously been trained before and I wondered if Perseus, Andromeda and Theseus had something to do with it. That would explain why they were here now as well, to protect them and ensure Thalia and her friends succeed.
The monsters were soon decimated and the five figures all stopped in front of the cliff edge again. "Sorry dad calls and I need to deal with the manticore before I am truly in trouble for interfering. We will work out who won later today."
A ruckus broke out and all I heard was snippets of "I won" "No, I did." "Are we adding on from last time?" from various people while Andromeda approached the manticore.
"I am not allowed to kill you for father says that it is not your time though I am allowed to leave you with a reminder of our visit. And we all know that I always listen to orders especially from my father."
"Andromeda, for once please listen to him and get on with it. You were due to bring our guests to Ogygia quite some time ago." announced a voice from the shadows. Outstepped Nyx and she appeared to be looking directly at Andromeda with a smirk present.
"Sorry Grandma, was I keeping you up, how rude of me."
Nyx fixed Andromeda with a steely glare before turning to the other four figures. "A pleasure, Miss Grace but your patron and boyfriend will be waiting. Nico, Bianca your patron and father are waiting on Ogygia to plan our entrance and organise our wayward forces, if we are to go to war we should at least look the part."
Thalia glared at Nyx and I feared she would be vaporised. "He is not my boyfriend."
This caused the rest of them to break down in laughter. Nyx also turned and looked directly at me for the first time. "I can sense your thoughts Olympian, I do not decimate demigods for I am not as arrogant as you Olympians nor would I wish to face the wrath of my son and his children."
"Got that right Grandma, Thals here is staying alive for as long as possible. Eternity eventually if you get what I mean."
Thalia blushed while Nyx chuckled. "Like Nicholas then?"
At this both Andromeda and the Hades boy scowled before Thalia and the Hades children vanished in shadows.
I wondered if all of them could shadow travel and I had a good idea of who their patron was, I was pleased for them for they were probably his first champions for he had none when we were still together.
"Your father will call a meeting on Olympus soon moon goddess and I may just join you if I can spare some time to tell you of the true threat but we will see." She waved her hand and a blade appeared from the shadows before cutting off the manticore's tail.
"That is for attacking Zoe, she is a princess in our realm and you will do well to remember that."
"No fair, I wanted to be the one to do that" she whined like a child.
"Leave now so we do not get in trouble with the fates, or get Kronos becoming trigger happy for our interference, we need the upper hand or I may just have to tell your father about that trip to Montauk."
"Nothing happened, we are just friends."
"Friends but your father is not meant to know."
"He will get the wrong idea. Urgh I am leaving." she vanished in a streak of silver up to the sky.
"Now manticore, I am allowed to kill you but I didn't want Andi to know that so enjoy Tartarus." She said far to cheerfully for the place he was sent to but then again she is meant to be one of the more laidback Primordials.
He vanished and she turned back to us. "Zoe, your brother is in need of your consolidation, large forces and noise are not his forte."
Zoe also vanished in shadows and Nyx smiled. "See you in the council meeting moon goddess and I suggest you get a tight defence for your camp, the night brings many beasts."
She too vanished into the shadows.
"Hunters set up camp, I will be on Olympus. Welcome the demigods although there are fewer than expected and Phoebe, you are the leader while I am away."
I turned and looked to the moon dreading the meeting for all will be revealed and I will be hated by more Olympians than ever before. Even my father will be disappointed in me and that would be very difficult to live with. More so than my brother's.
Please review and tell me your preference. I might have this one but make Artemis have lost her memories instead but with Theo and Andi in the story and then have Percy's entrance on Olympus