Poseidon paled at the courier's news. He held his head in his hands.
He had just fought one war; why did another have to come so quickly?
He reflected on his sons and how he had raised them. The gap behind him and Triton was deepening; mainly because he was so fond of Percy. He loved Percy so much because he was the sweetest of his sons. He had not had a son so faithful since the days of Sam, back in World War I. Percy wasn't the brightest, but he had such a kind heart. He wouldn't live long enough to have his innocence entirely broken as a god would, and hopefully he would stay sweet. Poseidon knew it was all thanks to Sally. He sighed at the thought of his poor parenting; Triton was bitter and now his other son was waging war on him. Family wasn't very key to gods. He wished he could have done better. In truth, his lack of understanding of Percy's sorrow was also due to his poor parenting skills; Poseidon had no clue that Percy was miserable and heartbroken. He seemed to be getting along just fine with that Joliene. He smirked at this; it was pretty obvious whom he was going to marry in the spring.
What had ever happened to that "Anniebell," girl he liked so much? Ah, young love, so fickle. They had probably gotten into an argument.
Poseidon didn't notice at all that Percy was acting mopey. He just wasn't the type to notice these things. If only he were more acute, lives and feelings could have been saved.
"Call for Triton And Percy. Also, send a message to Unda, and ask him to come sometime this week," he finally said to the courier.
He left with bow.
Poseidon shook his head. This was bad. Really bad. He barely had any troops left over from Kronos' attack. It took years to get new men, not months. Oceanis hadn't assisted in the war at all; he had plenty of fresh troops.
Triton and Percy came a minute later; Percy bowed ceremonially in respect to his brother and father. Triton just rolled his eyes and crossed his arms at Percy's attempt. Poseidon however was glad Percy was learning their culture.
"What is the matter, father? Why did you summon us?" asked Triton.
"I'm afraid the box has been broken, my sons." He closed his eyes in pain as Triton gasped in horror.
"What? Who is responsible!" he demanded.
Percy raised an eyebrow, confuzzled.
"Wait, what box?"
Triton groaned in frustration. This boy really didn't belong here.
"Don't you know anything, idiot? How do you expect to be a man?" he hissed.
Poseidon growled in protective annoyance.
"Triton, watch your mouth."
Triton hated this. He hated it all. His father used to consult him on everything, and now he was bringing this nikta foreigner who wasn't even part of the royal family into this.
"Percy, it's sort of like the Camp Half Blood borders," explained Poseidon.
"It is a protective shield that keeps all enemies out, and it's fueled by the tooth of the sea hydra...but I recieved news today..." he trailed.
"What is it father?" Triton pushed.
Poseidon bit his lip.
"I'm afraid Oceanis has destroyed the base with the tooth. He has thousands of troops waiting down there, and he's going to rush them in when the borders finally disentigrate. We don't have more than a month before the backup generator fails."
Triton shook his head in amazement.
"I always knew he was a traitor," he said.
Poseidon nodded meekly.
"What was I to do?" he muttered. "There were only eight of you. Speaking of which, Unda is coming."
Triton opened his mouth in utter shock.
His father was more of a Nikta than Percy!
First he brought his moron of a halfbreed into this and then he invited HIM over.
"Father! Why on earth...How dare you...Unda? No! Never! Agh!"
Percy shook his head. He was so confused!
"Wait, hold up. Who is Oceanis? And Unda?" he asked.
Triton threw up his hands in appeal at his stupidity, but Poseidon explained patiently.
"My sons. I had eight. Triton is my heir, and there is one ruler for each of the seven seas. Unda rules the North Atlantic, and Oceanis ruled the Antartic seas."
Triton was just starting to bother Percy. Why did he have to be so rude all the time? Percy was working so hard to earn his approval.
"I guess Triton is like the Vice President," he muttered with disrespect.
"What do you mean?" his dad asked.
"He's heir to the king, but he never does anything and has no power, since you're immortal."
Triton howled in rage at Percy and was about to head for his neck when the door burst open.
"Hello, beautiful people! I believe you called! Haha!" shouted a smiling king with a lopsided crown.
Poseidon rolled his eyes.
"Hello, Unda. I wasn't expecting you for a few days."
Unda laughed despite the serious situation. He always was laughing.
"How could I keep my glorious father and brothers waiting? Oh hello, Percy! I've heard so much about you! Triton's beautiful daughters tell me you're quite the charmer! Haha!"
Percy waved hello as he took Unda in. He was pale skinned, unlike Triton, and had long, white hair. His robe was long and his tails swished in excitement. Triton rolled his eyes at Unda.
"You probably didn't have anything else to do. You're always late."
Unda mocked hurt and put a hand to his heart.
"Oh, my brother, how can you say such a thing? I love you all so dearly..."
Poseidon and Triton groaned. Here he went again. Unda rambled on.
"Hey! By the way, I need a new wife, brother..."
Poseidon cleared his throat; it was time to get to business. Unda became silent.
"Look, we need to talk battle strategy later. Together."
Triton snorted at the thought of trying to be serious around Unda. Why didn't they give him the artic or something? Why did they have to give the North Atlantic to Unda of all people? His father really was a moron. Maybe Oceanis had a point.
"Percy, I'm giving you thirty batallions of troops, Triton, the rest, Unda, we need to talk about a solution..."
Triton's mouth hung open.
Okay, Oceanis really had a point.
"Father...Are you serious? He gets thirty batallions?-!"
Poseidon grunted in frustration and finally said sternly,
"Triton, he's my son and your brother, deal with it already! Stop being a child!"
Triton just shook his head in agony, barely listening as Unda blabbered on.
"Brother, about my wife...She dissapeared! Left me alone in my agony!" he whined.
"Oh, I wonder why," muttered Triton.
"Well, I heard your daughters were in need of marriage..."
Triton and Unda swam, chatting, out of the room. Triton only followed to get away from his father. He loved Poseidon, but why was he such a dolt sometimes? Percy just shook his head.
Percy didn't like his battle armor.
People were happy that the great one of the prophecy was leading their troops, but he wasn't.
Everyone thought he was some great hero, except for Joliene, Amphitrite, and Triton. He really was no braver than anyone else. He didn't like that bold suit of armor.
He couldn't lead troops. He didn't lead. He didn't do strategy. That was Annabeth's job. Given a quest he could follow directions, but leading was not his avenue. He sighed in misery.
Joliene didn't show up for tutoring that day, and Percy had begun to get worried about her.
"Joliene? Joliene!" he called, looking everywhere for her. She wasn't in her room. The five princesses tried to keep him in their suite, but he left promptly, looking for thr sixth. Shelly shook her head sadly.
"It's over girls. It's over. He's Joliene's."
"Don't give up!" Kelly whined, but suddenly Joyce shushed them. She motioned towards the hall; there were voices coming from it.
The girls hid as they eavesdropped.
"-and so you see brother, I think that Joliene is rather darling! Haha! And I simply must have a wife or I will be oh so lonely during the campaign..."
Triton was silently cussing.
"Unda, I'm not sure if I approve of that. Joliene is my baby..."
"Actually, Unda, my other son has had an eye on her, and he has to marry soon. I think it would be best if Percy married her."
Suddenly Triton froze in his tracks.
His next statement made the girls silently cheer.
Joliene shut her eyes in the library as she heard Percy call her name.
Why did it bother her so much?
At first there had been nothing, but now...
Somehow the thought had been unbearable.
Percy had grown on her this past month, more than she had ever imagined. Suddenly the idea of leaving him seemed harder than it should have. Suddenly seeing him marry one of her sisters seemed wrong. She blushed in annoyance. She was Joliene, the composed one, why was she acting this way? It wasn't proper!
He just had an aura about him... She had always thought she would fall for a smart, powerful man, if she ever married at all. But Percy was so kind spirited...
She didn't love him. She didn't even like him. But the thought of leaving him just seemed...hard. What really seemed hard was having to marry Unda. Ugh.
Unda was stupid and he didn't have Percy's charm.
Well, Percy didn't have any charm at all...He was awkard and clutzy, but that's what made him seem charming to Joliene. She shook her head. That made no sense; maybe cute was a better word.
In truth, she really didn't like Percy. She had no feelings for him at all. But being with him, with a friend, enjoying palace life, listening to her annoying but lovable sisters, reading a book while munching a snack...everyday things she had always enjoyed would dissapear. That was what really bothered her.
Percy finally found her in the corner, crying. She had hoped he would pass on, but he found her sure enough.
"Hey, thought you might be here. You like the library. Hey...are you okay?" he asked, seeing her tear streaked face.
"I'm fine," she said sharply, frowning. Go away, she thought. I don't need you. Percy didn't think Joliene was fine. He wasn't that clueless.
"Is it the kingdom? I know...Don't worry, we'll think of a solution. We can beat Oceanis."
Joleine shook her head; he really was a stupid Nikta. That wasn't why she was upset at all.
Percy sat awkwardly in front of her as she moaned in agony. She couldn't hold back the tears in front of him. How embarassing. She sniffled, ashamed of herself. Now he had seen her in this weak state; how could she respect herself any longer?
But Percy remembered a night nearly a month ago, on his balcony, and smiled. He leaned forward, and licked the tear off of Joliene's face.
She smiled at his appropriate response.
"You have come far."
Percy smile came back, but it faded.
"Joliene, actually... I'm worried. Oceanis... I looked at his troops. We don't stand a chance...He got his other brothers to join him. And the borders are failing."
Joliene nodded solemnly. She could care less. Let her dang uncle take the whole world from her.
"Your brother said it runs on the power of the sea hydra's tooth?" Percy asked. Joliene nodded a yes.
"Can't we just get another one?" he asked.
She shook her head furiously.
"No, no... The lair of the sea hydra is far away, in the artic. It is a long and dangerous journey, and you must slay a hydra to gather its tooth."
Percy smiled in silent recognition.
"I've done it before. And we have to, it's easier than battling Oceanis. Besides...I can't lead an army. That's Triton's job."
Joliene considered this for a moment.
"I suppose you can try."
He was screwed, she thought.
"I want you to come with me," he said, getting excited at the new prospect of a quest. He was beginning to get restless sitting around the palace.
Joliene looked down sadly, shaking her head. A tear renewed itself.
"Why not?" he asked.
"I must prepare to be married."
Percy's heart stopped dead. He felt a line of red etch across his cheek.
He was honored, really, that Joliene had chose him.
He still winced at the thought of how she would live; in Annabeth's shadow. But he couldn't just reject her now. He would marry her, but first he had to tell her what she was in for.
He reached for her hand. He stuttered, trying to get the words out. Would she be offended? He started out just by saying,
She nodded somberly.
"I am betrothed, now. I will be marrying Lord Unda next month."
(Boom! Twist. Not really. Yeah whatevs. Anyway, read "The Fatal Flaw," one of my better fics for the story of World War I and II mentioned in this chapter. Please review people! I live for reviews.)