A/N Hi guys. For anyone still watching out for this, thank you for your support. The comments really encouraged me to quickly finish this. So thanks a lot guys. :) I know this chapter's a bit late (by a year), but happy reading! This has some reference to the House of Hades, just to warn you.

Chapter 9

Percy grunted as he pulled the cart full of rocks with all of his strength. This was absolutely CRAZY! Who in Hades puts rock mining in training? No one but his oh so sweet mother. NOT.

And there was that blunt spear of doom poking his ribs. He scowled. And this was only the fourth day!

"You do know that I can clearly hear your thoughts, Perseus?" And there was the calling by his full name.

"I'm amused at your thoughts right now, Perseus," she said, laughter in her voice. Then suddenly, it changed to a very scarier tone. "But you should continue your training now, hmm?" she practically threatened, all while twirling the spear.

"Yes, Lady Gaea," he toned. She had asked him (more like ordered him) to call her that during this physical training.

"Good," she said, leaning back on her makeshift throne, "Continue pulling until you reach there." She pointed to a spot that is still so far from where I currently am.

Hmph, easy for her to say. He grumbled mentally. She isn't the one who's been pulling rocks for hours.

"Perseus, have I ever told you I can clearly hear your thoughts?" she suddenly asked sweetly.

He scowled at her. "Why are you even looking in my head all the time? Lady, you have no sense of privacy."

She glared back at him. "I do it because your thoughts are so interesting to listen to, so if you want to stop, stop thinking such amusing thoughts." Then, she smirked. "Though I wouldn't want you to, because you are my main source of entertainment here."

He sighed tiredly. This is what I have to endure for the rest of my stay here. He mentally said to himself, miserable.

He was practically cursing her in his head, all while pulling the cart, before he was interrupted from his thoughts by Gaea speaking. "Like I've said, main source of entertainment."

Percy was really starting to feel cranky. He now had this sudden urge to throw a rock at her face. "Now now, no need to throw a tantrum."

He could see what she's doing. And it's definitely working. So he clamped down his emotions. He wouldn't give her the satisfaction that her plans in annoying him to no end was succeeding. He kept silent and just continued to pull the cart.

The earlier I get there, the earlier I can rest my aching arms. He thought. Talking and complaining hadn't done him any good at all.

He pulled harder, grunting as sweat poured down his forehead. After what seemed like 5 hours, he finished. Yes! If Percy still had some energy left in his body, he would have fist-pumped. But, his crying arms and legs can't do a single thing anymore.

He collapsed ungracefully onto the ground and closed his eyes. His mind felt delirious from his tiredness. Now, he could feel somebody looming over him. And then…

A bucket of ice cold water was dumped on him.

He yelped loudly, opening his eyes and shooting straight up, but he could feel the water restoring his energy back. He heard somebody chuckle beside him and glared blearily at the offending person.

He slowly stood up. "Can't you give this poor, poor guy a well-deserved rest? Because it would be much appreciated."

Gaea raised an eyebrow, unimpressed. "Alright," she consented.

Percy was taken aback. He didn't think she would agree, and that quickly. In fact, he was expecting her to flat-out refuse straight away.

"Unlike what you may think of me, I am not completely heartless," she said wryly.

He looked away. "Sorry," he murmured, a bit ashamed. Of course, she wasn't. Otherwise, she wouldn't have taken him in back then and gave him a second chance to be her ally. Or taken care of him when he was extremely exhausted from training.

Gaea patted him on the head. "Good boy," she mocked. He scowled at her. "I'm not a dog!"

She only smirked and held his shoulder. The next second, they were back to Gaea's 'lair,' as he liked to call it. Percy stumbled and his vision spun for a while from the dizziness he experienced from the sudden teleportation. He felt Gaea support him by holding his shoulders and keeping him still. He grabbed his head and slowly rubbed his forehead until it didn't feel like there was an earthquake. "Could've given me a warning first," he groaned.

What would happen if he died just because he was't prepared for the teleporting with its warping and light? Wait, light…

Percy tilted his head to Gaea curiously. "Why was there no light when we teleported?"

Gaea turned to him, looking amused. Why was she amused? "We've been doing that for months and you only noticed that now?"

He blushed darkly. "Th-that's b-because I never w-wondered about it!" He stuttered over his words embarrassingly.

She only walked to the direction of their rooms. He had no choice but to follow her. Then she talked. "The method of travelling for all immortals is the same, teleportation. However, for the titans and gods, theirs is a bit… flashy, while with primordials, there are no flashes or sounds or anything similar because we are physical manifestations of our domains. We are our domains. We can appear anywhere on earth, unlike titans and gods, who have a certain place where they lose all their power," she explained professionally.

Percy nodded absent-mindedly. He had zoned out after the first few sentences.

"Perseus!" Gaea snapped.

"Wha-" He was popped out of his floating bubble.

She sighed, but repeated what she said.

"Oh, so that's it." He hummed thoughtfully. "I never knew that."

She scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Obviously your little camp doesn't know much about us primordials since the gods never spent any time with us and my children never explained it to them, considering their history with each other. Or you just weren't paying attention, since your attention span is comparable to a 5-year-old."

"And how would you know? A child titan is different to a human child," he retorted.

"My dear Perseus, I am Mother Earth, of course I would know. I have seen children interact," she sighed disappointingly, as if he should have known about that. "Well, I must be off now. You can do whatever you want, but DON'T cause any trouble." Then she disappeared.

Only now, did Percy realise that he had passed his room door already. He backtracked a bit, and then Gaea's words flashed into his mind. He grinned mischievously, his mind excitingly whirling with things he could do here. Time to explore and have some fun.

Few hours later, Gaea was scolding him for not listening to her instructions.

~~~~~~~~ 0 ~~~~~~~~

Percy had to admit, this training, if you could even call it that, did him many wonders. He felt like he could lift a boulder with ease (he did try it once, he can lift a near-to-normal-size boulder but not a big one) and give the nymphs a run for their money in running. He also felt more agile now.

Gaea had asked. "Aren't you happy with the results of your training?"

"The result, yes. The pain and sufferings I had to go through to achieve that, no." Was his answer.

"Good." Sometimes, his mother was too sadistic for her own good.

Actually, she was, half of the time, sadistic to him. He wasn't sure if she was just joking or being playful when she says that or not. She always said those kinds of things with a straight face and not even a smother of emotion poking through.

And another thing is her changes in personality. One minute, she was being somewhat kind and motherly. The next, she was sadistic. She had always been like that, but now it was getting worse.

Honestly, she's just being bipolar now. At first, it wasn't that bad, but it looks like it's getting worse as the days pass by. Hope she doesn't turn into a complete witch because she was WAY friendlier back then, when we met in the forest and she gave me this offer, than now.

She looked at him coldly. "Alongside honing your water powers, you will also practice your earthly powers. Gain more mastery over them."

Now, Percy was excited. This was probably the part that he couldn't wait. He agreed to Gaea. Nothing can spoil my mood now.

She handed him a piece of paper. "Here is the list of tasks that you need to follow. If you feel that that you've already accomplished the first task well enough, proceed to the next one. I won't be with you today. I have… other things to do, like recruiting an army amongst other things." And there goes the happy mood. "Why?" he whined. Percy had gotten close to her these past few months. Whenever Percy was given some rest from his training, he usually prompted to go into the mortal world and spend some time with his mother. And she seemed happy to be with him, so what changed?

"I told you Perseus, I have other important things to do," she repeated. Perseus. There she goes again with using my full name, he thought, annoyed. "What's wrong? Did I do something? We already have a good relationship, but then suddenly you go all cold on me again, as if these past months never happened!" he yelled, exasperated.

"I don't know what you are talking about," she responded blankly, "I just have things to do today, don't worry. Goodbye now, I shall see you later after your practice." She turned and left before teleporting to who-knows-where.

He sighed, as he just followed Gaea's orders. He went to the training room, which he was just told a few days ago that it had some special properties, and looked at the list.

Lift the water from the bucket near the corner.

He looked around. Bucket? What bucket- Ohhhh…. Standing in the corner (well not really standing, but you get the point) was an ordinary-looking bucket. He went near it and inspected it. "It looks normal. Wonder why she asked me to lift the water?" he asked, mostly to himself. His voice rang and slightly echoed in the room. Creepy.

He stared at the bucket again. This should be easy. If all the other tasks on this list she gave are as easy as this, I'd be able to finish this in no time, he thought to himself, grinning at all the free time he could get.

"Alright, let's do this," he muttered as he willed the water to respond to his will and rise. To his surprise, it rose a few centimetres before plopping back down into the bucket.

He scrunched his eyebrows. "What?" Why didn't it work? He thought he still had his powers, even after Poseidon disowned him. Did he really lose them? His chest tightened at the thought. Even though he hated his father, he still liked his powers, especially the ability to heal in water.

He looked closer at the bucket. Only now did he notice, it seemed to glowing a slight green hue. It's enchanted. No wonder. He sighed in relief. So he didn't really lose his powers. Gaea was right.

He tried to make it go out of its bucket again, but to no avail. He tried again. Still didn't work. He slumped his shoulders. "Oh gods, this is gonna be a long, long day. Probably tiring too."

~~~~~~~~ 0 ~~~~~~~~

He felt like some machine that completely ran out of gas. He would be forced awake by something every time his eyes drooped, though there wasn't any physical pain. Thankfully, there was lunch time so he had some time to rest. And the list was not that long so he was able to finish it in a few hours, but the mental effort it took was exhausting. He had never felt this tired in… Camp Half-Blood.

He sat down against the wall and frowned. Why was he still thinking about the camp? They treated him like a piece of trash as if he didn't save the world, all because he left for a while on a quest that became useless in the end. He should hate them, and he does, but sometimes, he can't help but remember all the good times he had with them.

He shook his head. It's been months since he left. He should be having a steel resolve in fighting them. Gaea had trained him to this point, and here he was, repaying it with second guesses. Besides, he already faced this problem back when he first started. Why was it coming back?

Curse them, he chanted in his head, hoping it would get rid of his doubts.

"Don't worry, it will all come to place," someone spoke up behind him. Percy didn't react. He knew it was Gaea because who else would it be?

He turned around and smiled at her, hoping her latest PMS-ing was done for the day. He took out the paper she gave him this morning and waved it around in front of him. "I already finished it. See." He pointed his thumb behind him.

Her gaze shifted to where he was pointing at. "I see." Her eyes went back to him. "Good job, Percy." His eyes widened. "Your PMS-ing stage's over!" he blurted out. He covered his mouth. Oops, he let his thoughts slip.

Gaea scrunched her eyebrows. "PMS-ing stage? As far I remember, I don't even have menstruation, no immortal does." Percy felt his whole face go hot. I don't like where this is going, he thought. She turned to him. "What does the menstrual cycle have anything to do with me?"

He backed up a bit and waved his hands around. "Oh no no, it's nothing. You can just ignore what I said. It's nothing!" he squeaked. "It doesn't have anything to do with… that." He felt completely awkward. That is a topic that boys cannot trespass. EVER.

She sighed with frustration. "What is it? Tell me. I promise I won't get mad."

He shook his head frantically. "No no no," he stuttered, "I told you already, mother, it's nothing." He hastily changed the topic. "So! Can I ask what is going on with those things you had me do?" Gaea looked at him knowingly, as if she knew what he was doing. "I enchanted them beforehand. Those and the whole room. Packs quite the challenge, isn't it?" She smirked. "But I'm sure it wasn't much for you."

Percy nodded slowly, calming down from his previous hysteria. "It was a little hard, but they strangely became easier to manage."

She nodded. "That's because your ability to control liquids is being trained. Even if this is your element, you still haven't reached you full potential, but I know that you've briefly touched it already." She glanced at him with unreadable eyes. "Back in Tartarus, yes?'

He knew what she was talking about, but he didn't want to remember it. "I have to learn that?" She placed her hand on her shoulder and looked straight in his eyes. He couldn't break away. "Yes, Percy. You can't let your powers control you, nor should you fear it. It is a part of you, and the best thing to do is to train and have control of it so that you may not accidentally hurt someone with it. Ok?"

He nodded meekly. "Ok." She gave a small smile. "Don't worry. Soon, it will be a natural thing."

He nodded again. "Ok, thanks. For taking me in and doing this," he suddenly told her. She paused. "Don't mention it, Perseus. Now let's go back. You're done for the day." Ignoring her calling him by his full name, he followed her out of the training room.

UPDATE: Seriously guys, I think I had enough people telling me about the 3kg thing. But because of the constant reminding, I finally edited it. It was supposed to have a zero after thirty, but I don't know where it went.