Wow. We've really reached it, haven't we? The final chapter of my first fanfic (Well, first one I started, third one that I finished). I have a lot to say, but we can save that for after the chapter. Enjoy!

Note: I do NOT own PJO or HOO. Otherwise, I wouldn't be uploading this here.


The wind rustled against the lush, grassy plain, a sweet scent wafting through the air. The city of New Olympus arose in the background, a conspicuous landmark in the ethereally beautiful field, but the gathered crowd didn't pay attention to the scenery. All eyes were hyper-focused onto the massive pyre that had been set up in honour of the countless heroes that had passed in the war against Tartarus.

Shrouds were spread evenly throughout the structure, each one bearing the designs of the fallen demigods' parentage. Another corner had a more densely clustered set of shrouds, far smaller in size and simply bearing the image of a snarling hellhound. While there had been a push to give the monsters who had died for Olympus equal representation, it was overwhelmed by the argument that since there was no body, they didn't need to take up so much space. It rankled Percy's sense of justice, but at least his subjects had some representation.

The assembled crowd was just as diverse, with both Greeks and Romans of all ages mingling together, irrespective of their parentage. They stood side by side, a clear show of their camaraderie. Minor gods were scattered throughout as well, some of them integrating with the crowd far better than others.

To their flanks, Percy's monster forces were assembled as well, standing just as firm as their demigod counterparts. It had been one area where Percy had refused to give in. His troops had bled just as much for Olympus; they deserved to attend the ceremony honouring those among their ranks who had sacrificed themselves so that the others could live without fear.

The assembled crowd stood in silence, awaiting the last rite of passage for their fallen comrades. Most heads were bowed in a sign of respect, with more than a few eyes already wet. Their hearts were heavy with a sense of loss, knowing that the people they had been with for so long were now nothing more than memories.

The air itself seemed to be gloomier, weighing down on them constantly. Despite the brilliant light radiating from the noonday sun, the surroundings seemed to have adopted a grey tinge, and for some reason looked dimmer than they should have been. The demigods didn't know whether it was due to their own sorrow or if the gods themselves had any influence.

The crowd was silenced as Zeus himself stepped up to the platform before the massive funeral pyre, complete in his battle armour worthy for an Olympian. The King of the Gods looked unusually sombre as he stood before them, his electric blue eyes less vibrant than they normally were.

It had come as a surprise to most demigods that the gods had deigned to attend the ceremony, but Percy had made it abundantly clear that there was no chance he would have missed it, nor would he have allowed any other god to miss it either.

"Olympians, heroes, monsters!" Zeus boomed, his voice easily carrying across the plain. "We are gathered here today in order to commemorate the passing of countless valiant individuals; heroes of all ages who had given up their lives so that we may keep ours. They died in the service of Olympus, and are the only reason the city still stands today. Honour them, honour their memories, since it is the only way we can even begin to repay them for what they've done for us."

The King of the Gods looked like he was about to continue, before he suddenly stopped. He breathed deeply, before turning to his side.

"While I may want to continue speaking, I know that I'm not as aware of your lives as another. He would be a more appropriate choice to continue this ceremony. Perseus, please step forward."

The King of the Gods stepped down from the platform, allowing the God of Heroes to step forth. Even as he did so, the more eagle-eyed demigods could discern the barely concealed irritation on Zeus' features. They could tell that the sky god wasn't pleased at having to step aside for another individual, especially one he had very recently attempted to banish because he appeared to be a threat to his rule.

Percy, however, didn't even glance back at Zeus, focused as he was on the crowd before him. His eyes trailed over the sea of faces, quickly locking onto the few he recognised. He could see the faces of his former friends standing out in stark contrast against the rest of the crowd, pulling his eyes towards them however unwillingly. He could also see the multitude of demigods who had known him throughout their lives as Monaxiá, and only recently had become aware of his true identity.

Truthfully, despite all the conversations he'd had with both his fellow gods and said former friends, he still felt uncomfortable whenever he had to be in their vicinity. He knew that it would take a long time for him to get over it, but at the moment, he focused his being on one goal: ignoring the constant feeling of unease and instead focusing on doing right by those who had died in the conflict.

Those on the receiving end of his gaze, however, felt even more uneasy. They had spent over a century believing in his guilt, only to have their perception turned completely upside down in less than fifteen minutes. They could still feel the shame gnawing away at their insides constantly, never letting up in its intensity.

Added to that was the fact that Percy looked so different from when they'd all been demigods. The physical changes were obvious, what with the added increase in height, the denser musculature, the slight beard and the change in his eye colour, but what truly unsettled them were the more subtle changes. His eyes, which were always so bright and full of joy and laughter, were now far more subdued, showing the weight and struggle of the years he'd seen and experiences he'd been through.

Furthermore, the air around him wasn't as easy going as they once remembered. While a few of them had noticed how it was similar to what it used to be while he was around Apollo, Hermes, Hephaestus and his parents, when he was around them he emanated an aura that made them extremely wary. He was powerful enough to easily destroy them if they set him off, and they didn't know how far he had to be pushed before he blew. The Demon King may have only appeared after an incredible amount of emotional trauma, but for him to get angry in his normal state, that was something they weren't aware of anymore.

A small part of Percy registered their conflicting feelings, but he brushed it aside, just like he had his own discomfort. He couldn't afford for such emotions to mar the ceremony, not when he needed to be in control.

"Heroes," he said, his eyes roving across the assembled crowd, "I will not speak for too long, instead I will merely give you something from my side in order to help you come to peace with what has passed. You know that these valiant ones have lost their lives, but never let it come to the forefront of your mind. Instead, remember the memories you have of them that you possess, be it sweet or bitter. Remember what they meant to you, and what you meant to them. Most of all, remember what they stood for. Never think that their deaths were in vain, for that would be the greatest disservice you could do them. Remember them forever, so that their legacy lives on in the future generations of demigods to come."

He breathed deeply, before somehow managing to plough forward. "Before I set the pyre ablaze, let us have a minute of silence in memory of these demigods and monsters. Our companions and comrades. Our friends."

The valley remained motionless for a long minute, not even a hint of wind present. There was no shuffling of feet, no uncomfortable adjustments. The audience knew that any disturbance would ruin the moment, and all of them were loath to do so. They wanted to give their fallen the greatest memorial they could, and none of them were going to be the one to jeopardise it.

Percy finally strode forward, standing at the front of the pyre. He looked down, a film of tears coating his eyes. He tried his hardest to hold them back, but a single solitary tear still made its way down his cheek as he gazed upon the shroud at the forefront of the pyre.

The hot pink almost hurt his eyes, but he focused on what was located at the centre. A small insignia rested, identical to the one present on the shoulder of his armour. It had been a point he had adamantly refused to budge on. He didn't give a damn about tradition, Tanya felt more like a daughter he may have had than any possible descendant of Aphrodite. It didn't matter if they had no blood between them, he still claimed her as one of his own. The small addition was all he could wrangle out of Zeus, especially after the King of the Gods' recently ignited paranoia regarding his stability, but he decided that it was better than nothing.

He laid his hand against the soft fabric, his throat suddenly choking up. Her body isn't even there, he thought, becoming even more emotional. He could barely get words by, each syllable taking a monumental effort.

"I-I hope you find peace, Tanya. Forgive me for... for not saving you when you needed me most."

He shut his eyes briefly, once again remembering the terrible moment when he had snuffed out Tanya's soul like it was a mere inconvenience. How he didn't even seem fazed by the atrocity he'd just committed. All Percy could hope for was that Chaos would give her peace. He still beat himself up over not requesting the creator to grant a favour, but his more rational side told him that he would have taken a massive risk. There was no guarantee Chaos would agree, nor that the primordial would even entertain the request. After all, as his mom said, Chaos was so ancient that he could never comprehend the being's thoughts.

He sighed softly, his heart still not allowing him to fully pass by that image. He took a fortifying breath, before finally allowing his hand to burst into flames.

The shroud was instantly alight, the flames slowly spreading towards the other shrouds as well. He watched unblinking as the entire structure was slowly set ablaze, but his unwavering focus remained on the shrivelling and burning shroud before him. Goodbye, Tanya.

For a moment, an image flashed in his mind. He saw an open meadow in full blossom, a number of individuals all around the grassy plain. The figures were blurry, but he could tell that they were at peace. Many of them were laughing, though at what he couldn't tell. However, a few faces did stand out to him.

His breath caught in his chest as he recognised them. Damasen, Bob, Dakota... and Tanya. All those he had failed to save from the Essence of the Styx.

He felt like reaching out towards them, but just as suddenly as the vision overtook him, it flashed away, leaving him once more before a blazing inferno that slowly consumed the innumerable shrouds of the fallen.

Percy didn't know, nor would he ever be certain, whether what he saw was something that actually occurred or if it were simply a figment of his imagination. However, he would over time prefer to choose the former, since it was the only choice that would allow him to finally move on.

The assembled crowd didn't make the slightest of sounds as the flames rose higher, finally reaching their peak and bathing all of them in their fiery orange light. All of them bowed their heads in a sign of respect, acknowledging the loss of so many fine individuals, all of whom deserved to have lived long, fruitful lives.

The flames rose higher into the sky, obscuring the shrouds as they slowly burnt away. The crackling tongues of fire were the only sound present in the entire field, all those assembled never saying anything in a final sign of respect for those departed.


He stood in front of the burnt ground, his eyes never leaving the scorched earth. The others had left some time previously, but he simply couldn't manage to work up the willpower to do so. He needed to stay behind for longer than the rest, he just had to.

"Percy, are you alright?"

He started, his green and red eyes turning backwards to see Artemis slowly approaching him. He tried to silently signal that he was fine, but his body language, despite his best efforts, screamed exactly how uncomfortable he was.

The moon goddess finally reached his side, her eyes also staring at the blackened soil. "I'm serious, Percy. You can talk to me if you need to."

He sighed, knowing that she was right. Acting like everything was fine would definitely not help him in the long run. A tired sigh escaped his lips. Even though he realised that fact, he knew that he couldn't directly confront it.

"Have you ever been to such a massive funeral before, Artemis?" The question seemed innocuous at first glance, by Artemis could easily decipher the suppressed emotions behind those words. While Percy was usually an unreadable mask when he wanted to be, she could tell that his current state wouldn't allow him such a luxury.

"Not really," she replied. "The largest one I attended personally was after the second Giant War. Orion... he caused the deaths of nearly twenty hunters before we managed to take him down."

He tensed at the mention of his disgrace of a half-brother, but managed to let it slide. It didn't matter now, considering the bastard was probably still trapped in the pit.

His eyes flickered towards a particular spot. Surprisingly, it wasn't the exact spot where Tanya's shroud had been located. Rather, it was the location of a son of a relatively minor god.

Artemis also follows his gaze, frowning slightly in confusion. "Who was cremated there, Percy? Was it anyone of significance?"

A shadow passed across Percy's face, so quick that even Artemis was unsure whether it was simply a trick of the light or not. His voice, however, was definitely far more dangerous than what it had been previously.

"He was a son of Nemesis, you know? Even though he knew she had switched sides, he stayed loyal to our cause, fully aware that he would be opposing his mother. That's the second person who died because of her mistakes. With Ethan, I may have been able to see where her logic came from, even if I'm still appalled by it to this day, but this... no, it was so needless."

Artemis shifted, her eyes also hardening slightly. "That reminds me, we never saw either her, Eris or Khione in the final battle. They're probably still out there somewhere, aren't they? How do you think we should deal with them when they finally emerge?"

Percy simply shook his head, a dark chuckle escaping his lips. "No, no they aren't, Artemis."

Seeing the confusion marring her features, he expanded. "There's a reason we didn't see them in the final battle. How do you think he was able to open up the fissure leading from his domain to the upper world? He didn't do it directly, no matter what he said.

"No, he had kept those three in his domain to use as a conduit. Since he wasn't directly influencing it, he couldn't be held accountable. I only knew they were there due to my heightened senses while in that form, but they were so weak once I attained it that the creature simply dismissed them as not being worth its time. I'm pretty sure after the second time he opened the fissure, they either faded due to the power overflow, or were forced to reform for another century or two. I would personally prefer the former for those three, but if they do return... let's just say it wouldn't be pretty."

The silence between them stretched out after his final statement, the tension slowly building in the air. However, both of them could tell that it was nowhere close to what had existed between the two of them barely two months ago.

Artemis finally cut through the stifling air. "Percy, it's time to leave. Apollo's getting worried, not to mention your parents."

He sighed softly, but there was a definite hint of fondness hidden behind the gesture. "I know. It's just...I need some closure, you know? This phase of my life, with me hiding from everyone in my past, has been going on for so long. It's almost surreal to realise that the pretence is finally at an end. During the war, I was mostly running off emotions, but now that I can actually sit down and think, it's really set into me for the first time."

Artemis nodded, understanding where he was coming from. "I... well, I can't necessarily relate, but I can empathise with you, Percy. It must be hard."

He tilted his head in acquiescence, but didn't elect to speak.

Artemis, however, had one final question. "So, where does that leave us?"

Both his brows rose in surprise. He hadn't expected her to broach the topic before him. Times really have changed, haven't they? He paused for a moment, before answering.

"I already told you, didn't I? We're friends, definitely. If you're referring to this," he amended, gesturing to the silver ring in his finger, "We can leave that for later. Much later. There's no need to worry about it in the near future. We don't have any life-threatening wars on hand, do we?"

"For now," Artemis said, a small glimmer in her eyes.

He simply shrugged, his eyes looking into space, something he'd done slightly more often ever since he had recovered from the Essence of Styx. "For some reason, I doubt we'll have another one for a very long time."

His eyes refocused on her, a small hint of light entering them. "For now, I'll try to answer your question better. First, let us try to get to know each other a bit better. Then, we'll see how it goes. What do you say, at our own pace?"

He extended his hand, a slightly hesitant smile on his face. His mind, however, was exceedingly calm. He knew that, whatever may be the outcome of this act, he would be at peace. He had laid his demons to rest, both literal and figurative.

Artemis smiled back, her hand extending to meet his own. "Of course, Percy. Of course."

Despite his previous acceptance, he still felt a wave of relief wash over him once he heard that comment.

The silver wedding band on his finger gleamed softly in the sunlight, but for once, he didn't feel its weight. After all that had happened, he had finally managed to move on from the painful memories associated with it.

Their hands met in a firm yet friendly shake, both of them sensing an inordinate amount of relief from the gesture. They stayed in the same position before parting, small yet genuine smiles mirrored on both their faces.

Artemis flashed away, leaving him alone in the plain once more. He drew a deep breath, allowing his mind to drift for a moment. He knew the funeral would weigh on his mind once he allowed it to truly register, but at the moment, he felt himself to be oddly calm about it. It was almost as if his psyche had chosen to bypass the multiple stages of grief and move straight on to acceptance, at least temporarily.

He had gone through so much, suffered so many misfortunes, that having what looked to a smooth future was almost surreal. He didn't know what to make of it, if he were honest with himself.

No need to overthink it, just live it. It's been far too long, whispered a small recess of his mind, one that wasn't anywhere close to the dormant Demon King. Even though he could feel it, Percy felt confident that it would never rear its malicious head again, not if he had anything to say about it.

He silently vanished from the spot, reappearing on a deserted street once more. He stood for a moment, breathing softly. His eyes flitted across the buildings, noting that he was quite close to his own palace. If he were to bet, he would say that the others were waiting inside.

He slowly made his way towards the building, his mind wandering about. He knew he still had a lot to work through; two months, no matter how impactful, simply weren't enough to alleviate a century of strife. But he was getting there, bit by bit.

Tranquility. It was a word he had heard a few times in his long life, but never would he have previously applied it to himself. He had never fathomed that there would be a point when, although it still wasn't truly suited to his current life, it was present on the horizon. That too, not a hazy figment of his longings, but a tangible goal, one he could attain in time.

The road he was walking down, desolate as it was, seemed to almost provide the perfect analogy to his life, he thought wryly. Once, it had been a symbol of his desolation, the heavy silence weighing him down almost ass much as the weight of the sky had in his youth. Now though, the silence wasn't a source of pain, but of peace. The air around him was filled with a sense of contentment, knowing that those he cared for were with him, no matter where he was.

My road to tranquility. Apollo would love that title, he thought, a small grin passing across his face. The thought moved back into the recesses of his mind, but didn't truly fade, as he slowly opened the front door of his palace.

He glanced about the entrance hall, noting that there seemed to be some slight scuffling coming from the living room. He made his way towards it, not concerned at all. He knew who were there, and he had nothing to worry about.

He reached the threshold, looking into the scene before him. The furniture within, mostly composed of comfortable armchairs and a couple couches, was rearranged in a haphazard fashion, with the six people he cared about strewn about the room.

Hermes and Apollo were engaged in their own banter, Hephaestus looking partway between exasperated and amused. Hestia was shaking her head fondly at the sight, while Poseidon was merely chuckling at his nephews' antics.

Artemis, on the other hand, was looking at her brother with an expression that was a mixture of amusement and remembrance. Percy could tell that she was recalling how he behaved before they left Delos, where he could be fun-loving but also serious when the situation demanded.

Almost as if sensing his gaze, Artemis turned her head, her silver eyes meeting his own green and red orbs. She smiled lightly, able to detect the peace and happiness that had made itself present in Percy's gaze.

"Hey Percy, so you finally arrived," she said, her light-hearted tone taking out any bite the words may have possessed. The others turned to look at him as well, their faces also slighting with traces of joy.

"Yes, I am," he replied in the same tone. His heart soared as he slipped into one of the empty seats, allowing the conversation to wash over him.

He gazed about the room once more. He knew the road had been nothing but difficult, but he wouldn't trade where it had led for anything. The ones who surrounded him knew who he truly was, and that was what mattered. Because to him, his home wasn't some building that had been built for him, rather, it was the company of those he held dear. And he had found his home, one that filled him with peace and joy. One he wouldn't leave as long as he lived. He was certain that here, more than an anywhere else, would be where he would reach the end of his road to tranquility.

-- FIN --

My God, it's over. After all this time, I finally finished this fic, yet I still have a little bit to say.

First of all, THANK YOU for all the support you've shown me over the course of this story. I mean, over a thousand favourites and follows, and almost nine hundred reviews? Holy shit. I checked the stats, and among the PJO fics published in the last year, (non crossover) this story is the third-most favourited, second most followed and most reviewed one! So once again, a massive thank you to everyone for the support shown.

Secondly, I want to give a shout out to etkowatches and TheMeister7 for betaing this story, especially in the later chapters. Most of the chappies from 30-45 were whipped up in 2 days, and the remaining few in a single day, so I'm sure there were bound to be quite a few errors, and their help at least made sure that I minimised it.

Now, something everyone's been asking for a long time. YES, THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL. I don't know if it will simply be a one or two shot (though long) or a multi chapter series, or if it will be a continuous tale or simply important moments strung together. But there will be one. However, it will not be coming anytime soon. My senior year has begun, and it's already getting ridiculously intense, so I have to focus on that. I want to do the sequel justice, so I will only begin it once my senior year is over, or in other words around April of next year (I know, yikes).

But worry not! I will still be writing now and then. I will probably release a few one shots – maybe PJO, maybe other fandoms – during this period, so I won't be completely inactive. What can I say, I love writing!

All updates regarding the sequel and expected release dates of my new fics will be shared on my discord, so join it if you don't want to miss out! Link is in my profile (shameless plug, I know).

Aaaaand... that's it! Wow, it feels strange that something I've done consistently for nearly a year is about to come to an end. But I guess that's life, isn't it? Change is always happening, and this is no different. [Well, of you wanna experience the wait once more, the fic's being posted on AO3 as well, under the name 'The_Prophesied'. Okay, shutting up now.]

So, for the last time in this fic, I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and more importantly, the story. Review and let me know how it was, and all that jazz. I'll see you all next time. Peace!