Hey everyone! Here's the next chapter! Hope you enjoy!
Chapter 21: Akhlys
I woke up and found myself in this weird place. It was pitch black and the only sign of light was the light that shone around me.
"You have come at last," I heard a raspy voice as I looked around me. Nothing.
"You," I said, "I remember you from my dreams!"
She cackled as I whirled around, but I still couldn't find her.
"Indeed you are correct!" she answered, "Do you think you are worthy enough for my blessing?"
I wrinkled my nose in disgust.
"No," I replied, "I mean, what good is your blessing? What will I be able to do? Die of misery?"
She laughed again, "First of all, you will need my blessing to go on to the next being and my blessing will indeed help you! I am the personification of sadness, misery, and poision! For starters, you will have control over poison. With my blessing, you will be able to manipulate sadness and misery to make someone kill themselves. I will not bother explaining right now. First, you must pass my tests then when you are deemed worthy shall I explain."
She finally revealed herself and seeing her again made me almost want to regurgitate yesterday's dinner. That's how horrible she looked. She looks a victim of famine. She had sunken eyes and stringy gray hair that was matted to her hair. She has dust covering her, long nails dripping with blood, and bloody red clawed cheeks. I grimaced.
"Do you think I look disgusting?" she asked.
I nodded. "Who's your mother and father?"
I know, rude, but I wanted to know.
She laughed, "I am very old. Older then the Titans themselves! Older than Gaea! I am from the eternal night and Chaos!"
"Wait, Chaos? The creator of the universe Chaos?" I asked.
"Yes," she growled.
"Who's the eternal night?" I asked, "Where is he?"
She studied me, "Night! Night, not night. Night is the name of my mother, Nyx!"
I almost wanted to throw up.
"Chaos and Nyx are…..les-" I began, but she clawed at me, forcing me to jump back.
"You will treat them with respsect!" she foamed and frothed, "Lord or Lady Chaos and Lady Nyx! And Chaos has two forms. One a male and the other a female. He or she controls what form she wants to assume, but mostly, Chaos assumes his male form. It is a wonder why she exposed herself to you as a female."
I bit my tongue and nodded.
"Enough of me," Akhlys said, "Now it is time for your trials! Are you ready Jackson?"
I took out a Hellfire and nodded. She studied my sword.
"Hellfire," she growled, "You wield that blade?"
I nodded, "It's no different from Riptide though. Except, Kronos can talk to this."
She laughed, "You are Kronos' host?"
"Poor fool," she muttered as she cackled, "I can see it in your eyes, both literally and figuratively."
Thank the titans I listened to my english teacher.
"Back to the blade," Akhlys said, "This blade is the root of all evil! The seven deadly sins themselves were born from this blade. You have not realized the true potential of this blade. My blessing might help start this blade up. And being Kronos' host and having the scythe and being the son of Poseidon, you are really powerful."
My chest swelled up, before deflating. I will not get an ego.
"Don't get an ego Percy Jackson," she spat, "At this state, you are nothing compared to other horrors. The primordials can rip you apart with a flick of their finger. The Styx won't protect you from this and there are many more, ah, personifications, titans, giants, that can rip you apart. As you slowly receive blessings and understand the use and worth of Hellfire, then…."
I just stared at her trying to take all this in, although it was really hard.
"Enough chit chat Jackson, prove to me that you need my blessing, that you are worthy enough!" she told me as she approached me with claws.
I raised Hellfire and with a yell, I stabbed her right in the chest. All she did was grimace and take a step back.
"Normally, I wouldn't be injured by any weapon, but Hellfire is an exception," she growled, "Now it's my turn."
Instead of lunging at me with her claws, she moved her hands in a strange manner as poison slowly started flowing on the ground and to me. I underestimated the poison's speed as a drop splashed onto my knees. I growled as pain flared all over my body. Thanks so much Styx.
"Why don't you yield?" she asked.
Immediately, I saw Bianca on the floor, almost dead, but still alive.
"P-percy," she said weakly as I glared at Akhlys.
"What is this?!" I asked.
"I am the protogenos of misery and sadness!" she roared as the poison changed courses to Bianca.
She yelled as poison engulfed her body. She was steaming and I could see flesh melting.
"Stop it right now!" I said to Akhlys who just cackled.
"Yield. I will end your life and that is when this will stop," she said.
"This isn't real," I muttered to myself, "This is just me looking at misery, at sadness."
It felt so real though. After Bianca "wasted" away, I saw my mom lying on the floor.
"M-mom?" I asked as she looked at me.
"Percy," she said while sobbing, "I'm so sorry. If I had just raised you better, then you wouldn't be like this! I'm sorry!"
Akhlys strode over.
"There is a solution to that problem," she said as she handed my mom a knife. The tip was tainted green. Poison.
"No mom!" I said, "Don't kill yourself! There is still a future ahead of you. Please!"
"It's all my fault my little baby," she said looking at me sadly. With no difficulty, she shoved the sword through her neck.
Her eye grew wide as she started coughing out blood. She too started steaming as she writhed around in pain, unable to make any noise. I couldn't take it anymore. I broke down.
"You know where your Achilles spot is," Akhlys coughed, "Stab yourself with Hellfire. Feel the pain, feel the misery, but you will be finally free."
I looked at my mom in horror and that's when Akhlys struck. She raked me across the chest with her claws. I couldn't see any claw marks, but I felt the pain. It was horrible. I clutched my chest and hissed. She raked me across the face and I felt that too. I fell to the ground as my friends appeared around me. They were all half dead as they were crying blood and looked as bad as Akhlys.
They all clutched their throat and began calling my name, telling me to save them, but I couldn't do anything. I could only watch in horror and misery. I was weak, my friend were dying and I couldn't save them. I knew this was fake and I had to be strong, but I couldn't do anything. Something caught my eye. I looked to my right and next to Luke, I saw the 6 year old girl, the girl who called me master, the one who played with monsters. She was shown no mercy.
At this, I felt anger rise up in me. No one should be treated like that. She was only 6, she was still innocent, new to this life. I growled and got up. Although pain immediately engulfed me, I told it to fuck off and glared at Akhlys.
"You were just playing with me," I growled, "You wanted me to kill myself. I am worth more than that Akhlys and I want you to now it!"
I yelled in anger as the poison that was flowing on the ground levitated in the air, right on top of me. Akhlys had wide eyes as I flung it on her. I forced it up her nose and mouth. I wanted her to drown in her own poison. Tears and saliva trailed down her face. More water, great. She was drowning in her own water. She was in deep pain, but I loved it.
"Feel the pain Akhlys! Feel your own medicine!" I cackled like a maniac.
"S-stop!" she choked out with great difficulty.
I didn't stop. Her physical features grew worse and worse. I wanted to kill her. I wanted to injure her beyond repair. In a single yell, I peaked all my powers to the max. I got the results I wanted, but the injuries took their toll. I winced and dropped all control. Dead tired, I fell to my knees, breathing with great great difficulty.
Akhlys too was on the floor as she shakily got up.
"I am impressed," she finally said, "You are the only person who has survived. The others would kill themselves or I would kill them. Nice job. You are indeed worthy."
"You will finally give me the blessing?" I laughed weakly, still on the ground.
She strode over to me.
"Yes, I will," she replied, "Show me Hellfire."
I took out Hellfire as she touched it. The blade glowed a fiery green.
"I have enhanced your blade," she told me, "This blade, if it grazes someone, they will be faced with hallucinations. Hallucinations of their misery. Their world crumbling. Their friends and family dying mercilessly and it will drive them to the point of suicide. Be careful who you touch with this blade, although it won't work on higher beings. Demigods, mortals, anyone who aren't gods and above will be affected."
"Sweet," I muttered.
"I too will give you my blessing. Your control over poison will steadily develop as you….mature," she explained, "When your poison powers peak, you will be able to summon them out of nowhere. This poison will be like acid. It will slowly eat away their flesh. You will also be able to with some practice of course, form hallucinations like I did. It will show the others of their pain and misery although it will drain your energy completely. That is why I am saying to use your sword for now. You might also be wondering how you will train. That, I will guide you later. Make use of those powers for now. Your next mission will be to find Adephagia, the spirit of satiety and gluttony. Well, you won't have to find her, because she will find you like I did. Like me, she will test you."
"How can gluttony and satiety blessing help me?" I snorted as she looked at me.
"Do not underestimate her or her blessing," she told me, "That would be the greatest mistake. Wake up now Perseus, you must plan for your meeting with your friends at Camp."
With that, the whole world went up and down as I woke up.
I got up and realized the bed was covered with sweat. It's sweat, not piss in case you were wondering. I promise. I took out Hellfire and it still had the green aura around it.
"Thanks Akhlys," I whispered as I rose up and went downstairs for breakfast.
I saw Willow, Thalia, Bob, and Luke all seated, eating. They were talking and they seemed to be in a good mood. I ordered bacon, eggs over easy, and a glass of milk as I took a seat next to Luke.
"Morning," I greeted as they did the same.
"Sleep well Percy?" Luke asked.
"Meh," I replied, "Just enhanced my powers."
At that, Thalia and Willow snorted.
"How?" Bob asked.
"Well, I met with Akhlys in my dream and bested her trial," I said, "She enhanced hellfire and gave me some control over sadness and misery."
By this time, they were staring at me, so I sighed and explained to them everything that happened. They were dumbfounded and looked at me in pity and admiration.
"Wait, so if Hellfire grazes someone, they fall into misery so they commit suicide?" Willow asked amazed.
"And you get control of poison and with enough training, you can summon it out of nowhere?" Thalia asked.
I nodded at both of their questions. Luke studied me.
"You look very different. You have a depressing aura around you although it's hardly noticeable," Luke told me.
"Percy! I was wondering if you can try some of that power," Thalia told me, "Can you try saying stuff like 'I am sad' or 'I am depressed' to change the mood here?"
"I'll give it a shot," I answered.
"Or you could say 'I'm a loner who has no friends,'" Willow smirked as I gave her a small smile.
"Speak for yourself Willow," I replied, "Who is your friend besides Luke, Thalia, and Bob?"
"You," she told me as I stared at her, "What?"
Immediately, I felt bad for asking her that question.
"Let me try," I said again softly as I closed my eyes, "I am depressed. I am sad. I am filled with misery."
I opened my eyes as nothing happened.
"What are you doing over there Fuckson?" the guy's voice rang out, "Being a retard?"
Snickers rang out. I breathed in and out.
"You can shut up!" Willow fired at him as he didn't respond.
"Jeez," Thalia replied, "What's up with them? Their table has been more riled up than I had seen them. Did you do anything to them Percy?"
"Actually, I just greeted them and asked if they were ready for the battle when he started insulting me about my loyalty," I answered.
"I would've pounded his face in," Willow growled, "Why didn't you?"
"I don't want to lose control of myself," I admitted, "Even I don't know the extent of my powers."
Bob nodded, "It could be really dangerous. Anyways, the reason why it didn't work was because you only spoke them. You weren't actually sad. Try thinking of the sad stuff, about the you know what."
I nodded and thought of Bianca's betrayal and how our love never may start. I thought about my friends and mom as they were suffering. I had to bite back tears. I opened my eyes and saw that the mood was changed.
"Percy," Thalia whispered, "Your face. Gosh, I feel so sad. I feel like this world has no purpose."
The others sighed and nodded.
"Do you guys have a mirror?" I asked as Willow nodded.
She handed me the mirror. I raised my eyebrow, but didn't do anything.
When I looked in the mirror, I gasped. I looked very different. My pupils were half green and half gold. I looked like the kind of person who had lost everything. Who faced misery all day long, who had no family and friends to support them. I looked like someone close to breaking, close to leaving this world forever.
I immediately thought about happy thoughts. I thought about the friends I had and the happy memories and the mood instantly lifted up. The aura of depression was gone and my eyes reverted back to greenish gold.
"That was depressing," Bob said, "Wow."
"Let's just not waste time here," I said, "We need a battle plan. Let's go to the strategy room and discuss everything there."
They nodded as we went to the meeting room.
"Jackson," Kronos spoke in my mind.
"Yep?" I replied.
"Let me do the talking. May I assume control of your body for one second while I lay out the plan?" Kronos asked.
"What about me?" I asked.
"You will be frozen in your conscience. You will be able to hear, but not do anything," Kronos replied, "I gave you freedom. I will give it once again after I'm done talking."
"Uh Percy?" Bob asked, "What's wrong?"
"Oh nothing," I replied as I felt Kronos' spirit rising up.
I was numb all over as I lost control of my body.
"Excellent," I heard Kronos' voice, but this was only Kronos' voice. Mine wasn't in there.
"What have you done to Percy?!" Thalia asked.
"Relax, daughter of Zeus," Kronos replied, "I have temporarily taken over his body. And you would do best to watch that tone."
"Are you threatening me?" Thalia asked as I groaned inside.
"Thalia, please, stop," Luke whispered in her ears as she nodded stiffly.
"You will lead a majority of our forces down the labyrinth. They will be ready so we must not send all our forces down there. Start with the giants, then telekhines, then slowly add up," Kronos explained, "You guys must strike when they are in chaos. Although I can not guarantee that everyone will live, you must do it for my name. Leave no one alive."
Everyone was silent.
"Any questions?" Kronos asked.
"No master," Luke replied, "We understand your orders perfectly well."
I/Kronos nodded, "I will be watching everyone and you must not fail me. When Jackson regains his form, he will be out like a light. Just a warning."
I felt Kronos leave me and it felt very strange and I began shaking. I couldn't control the raw power as I was blasted back to consciousness. I blacked out.
Another dream. Seriously, I thought when I slept at night, dreams would come, but apparently not.
I was in a large room, similar to where I was tested by Akhlys. Oh great. I heard footsteps walking towards me and its thud shook the room.
"Greetings!" a voice rang out and I looked over to my right. My jaw dropped.
I was face to face by a huge, extremely huge woman.
"I am Adephagia!" she greeted, "The goddess and personification of gluttony and satiety!"
I laughed at her name. Adephagaia. Phagia. Phag. Fag.
"What are you laughing at young hero?" she asked as I closed my mouth and shook it, "Anyways, I will be seeing you after your battle at the pathetic camp, if you make it out alive. My test will only test your willpower and common sense. I will see you soon."
She faded away as I regained consciousness. I was in my bed with Thalia, Willow, Luke, and bob surrounding me.
"Glad your ok Kelp Head," Thalia replied dryly.
"Let's go Percy!" Luke told me, slapping my shoulders, "We have a major battle on the way! Meet you in front of the mark!"
They left the room as I sighed and raced to the labyrinth.
"Are you ready for this Percy?" Luke asked as I nodded reluctantly, "Here goes nothing."
The labyrinth opened up as we entered and it closed with a bang.