Chapter 20

Fits of rage. Never had I shadow traveled so fast. Never have my feet carried me so fast. I was on the front lines in minutes. Though I was to late, the monster army was already in retreat. The Titans truly seemed to have a never ending number of monsters, first they come out of the Labyrinth in huge numbers, and now the size of this army looks just as big. I darted through the crowd of demigods, still in my nice clothes. Reyna was behind me trying to keep up, but the power of Hermes flowed through me. I was at Nico's side within seconds, he was holding a sobbing Hazel. Jason was screaming orders to follow the army and paid little to no attention to me, as he launched the war crazed Romans into the heart of the battle.

I collapsed next to my brother and sister. I asked quietly, "What happened?"

Piper came up behind me putting a light hand on my shoulder. A girl was standing next to her, I knew it was a daughter of Hecate from the first cohort, she was one of the best element fighters in the legion. Piper said sadly, "Kelly is going to project the images in your mind. Your family is in no state to talk."

I gave a solemn nod of despair as Kelly put her hand to my forehead. A short pain shot through my head as I saw the monster army blitz from the shadows. They seemingly came from nowhere, they were lead by a woman, a Titan, Phoebe. She was clearly looking for someone as she ducked, dodged and weaved through the lines of Romans. None were killed in her path, most weren't even touched. Most tried to avoid her, accept my sister. Nico was no where in site that I could see. Phoebe stopped and stared at my little sister, and I hear a chilling voice, "She will have to do."

Suddenly a blur of images shot through of her taking Bianca. Within seconds the vision was over, the target was clear, my family. I gasped for breath as the visions halted. Nico sobbed, "They were here for me Percy. I think they know that you are going to bathe in the river Styx, but that you needed my help. They knew Percy. They knew you couldn't do it without me, but they couldn't find me since I was with Annabeth when they first came in. They took what they could get...And...And...They took her..."

Hazel hushed her brother into silence as tears slipped through his eyes. It broke my heart to see my two siblings this way. I growled, "Where is Jason?"

Jason as if on command showed up, "Percy, the Titan army disappeared. We had them on the run and picked off many, but the Titan took them into the night, it was so fast, I couldn't catch up to her. I am sorry."

I shook my head, "That doesn't matter anymore. Raise a new praetor, Nico and I are going to the River Styx, tonight. We have to get my sister back, at all cost."

Jason seemed baffled by my suggestions, "Percy, I can't just replace you. Nor can you risk the lives of every demigod to save one. The Romans are utilitarian Percy you know that. I can't let you just leave."

The ground shook, the skies darkened, the shadows thickened, my eyes flashed three different colors as I stared at Jason with defiance, "Your going to stop me?"

Suddenly the shadows thickened more, and a tall familiar man stepped out of them. My father, Pluto, the God of the dead stood before all of us. He said, "No I am."

Many dropped to one knee, but I drew my sword in a flash, "You have nerve father! You dare show up here after you just let your daughter get kidnapped by a Titan? Which even with the ancient laws you could have prevented?"

Pluto seemed taken aback by my sudden hostility. He said shortly, "You cannot leave this camp to go and save your sister. She has her destiny, and you have yours."

I begun to attack my father, but his symbol of power was already in hand, "Now calm yourself son, every fight before this one would've been nearly significant. I order you to lay your weapon down. Let us talk about this."

I looked at Nico and nodded at me. I shot back at my father, "There is nothing you can do to stop us from saving her. We are going to the Styx, I am going to bathe, and tomorrow I will lead the legion in an assault on the black fortress."

Pluto shook his head, "You don't know what you are doing Perseus?"

My eyes flashed dangerously, "You don't think so? You don't think I know about the banishment of the Titan's burden?"

My father's eyes widened in surprise. I spat, "That's right. If the gods hadn't been keeping secrets, then we may not be here today. If you had come to our defense as you should've then we wouldn't be here. Yet here we are, and you have failed me and my sister!"

Pluto barked, "But she isn't even your sister!"

Pain shot through my heart. I blinked several times. My eyes began to water. My father's features immediately softened. No one made a move. I then reached for my necklace and ripped off the sword pendant and threw it at his feet, "Then that no longer makes me your son."

My father prepared to move but lightning flashed across the sky and struck him square in the chest. I then pulled water from the lake and boiled it within seconds, my father was on his feet, and I hurled the water at him. Unfortunately for me, the water was deflected and absorbed into water vapor. I looked around for the only culprit who could've saved my father from such an attack. There he was, my true father, "Neptune, don't ruin the good terms we are just now starting to get on. This is grudge match, that you have no right to interfere in."

Neptune gave me a sad look, "Stop Perseus, both of you are hurting. You are fighting yourselves when you should be fighting the enemy."

I growled, "I see only one enemy on this field, and it is the man who won't let me save my sister. He may no longer be my father, but that doesn't make them any less my family."

Pluto looked her by my words, "I didn't mean that Perseus. I-I-..." Pluto seemed to be having a hard time forming his words, before he choked out, "I'm sorry."

I glared at my father, "Sorry doesn't bring her back. Now if anyone cares to stop me, you can meet my blade, I am going to the Styx."

Suddenly the women herself showed up, the lady Styx came walking out of the water of the lake. She walked over to me, and all I could do was stare. I have never seen her outside of the underworld, except one time on Olympus. She walked over to me and placed a hand on my cheek, "Relax child. The reason they don't want you in my domain at the moment, is because it is being guarded by very powerful beings."

I looked at my father for confirmation of this and he nodded his head. I ran my hand through my hair stress seeping through my body, "Then why not just go and clear the place out. My sister is not going to wait forever and I will stop at nothing to get her back."

"We all want nothing more to go in and save the young daughter of Pluto, Perseus, but we must be cautious. We cannot lose our most powerful demigod to save just one. We must plan, strategize. If you know of our plans, then you know everything is very delicate at the moment."

I took a deep breath trying to count to ten, just as Achilles had once taught me. I exhaled heavily in great stress. I asked calmly, "How long until we can assault the Styx and launch our attack on the black fortress?"

The gods exchanged looks before coming to a general consensus, "Three days. After you bathe in my river Perseus, if you survive, you will be a power surge, that will be the day we assault the black fortress and remove the Titan's burden."

I sighed deeper. I shouted, "They have taken one of our own. The Titans have made a direct act of war on this camp."

I walked over to my pendant that I had thrown at my fathers feet minutes ago. I held it in my hand softly, then I made a tight fist with it still in my palm, "It has been many years since Rome has been at war. Yet we are unconquerable."

I drew riptide out of my pocket eying it with a fire in my gut and my eyes. I then threw it into the ground causing it to impale and stick straight up, I roared, "Camp Jupiter is at WAR!"

Jason took out his sword and followed suit throwing it into the ground. The legion rang back their approvals. I gave my father a wary look, "I am sorry to father. It seems we both have things to atone for. If we are to see Bianca returned home safely."

Pluto nodded, "Of course son. We will be in touch. I must prepare my army."

Neptune shook his head, "I must inform Olympus of what has happened."

With that Pluto and Neptune both disappeared. Styx however remained at my side, and Jason dismissed the legion to bed. Styx said sharply, "Children of the three, we must all talk. Out of town demigods it would also help if you joined this conversation. Daughter of Bellona you should be present during this to keep Perseus in check."

We all nodded and Jason kissed Piper goodnight. The rest of us made our way to Jason's praetor house and prepared for a meeting that none of us were looking forward to.

It only took us a few minutes of silent walking to reach our destination. We all gathered around a small table that Lady Styx sat at the head of. She sighed, "I am dismissed from certain ancient laws, being the goddess of mortality. I have many warnings for you, all of you."

She eyed Thalia and Hazel to indicate that she meant both Greek and Roman blood was going to be involved in this. We all slowly nodded our heads in understanding, but secretly bracing ourselves for the impact of what might be said.

Styx sighed, "You have all been toying with the ancient laws. You brings Greeks into the Roman camp and you coincide peacefully. The very thought years ago would have been preposterous, yet here all of you are seemingly at peace. The Romans have accepted these new demigods as fellow members of their brethren. This is a good first step, but now is not the time for this to be happening. Fate has been altered, the Greeks were not supposed to know about the Romans and vice versa until after the Titan war, now you are both not only aware of each other, but happy with each other. This could play to the Olympian advantage or it could destroy us all. Now the gods have instructed me to tell you all their plans. Do you understand the role I must play?"

I nodded and my friends followed suit. Styx sighed, "Okay this what is going to happen. Perseus, I can't control who my river accepts and denies. Yet you have had my blessing to enter the river since you were a small boy, if you enter the river, your chances of leaving are very good. Invincibility will be the reward for your pain, I warn you though the pain is unimaginable, and it very well might wipe you out of existence. But lets say you make it out, for the sake of Olympus. You fight the Titans at Ortyhs, but that is only the beginning. For the Romans, at that point the war will be just beginning."

Jason interrupted, "I don't understand. Percy told me the Greeks were going to defend Olympus, but how are we going to unite all of a sudden on the battlefield and just come together to save Olympus. There will be distrusts amongst both sides. I have yet to meet a Greek I don't like,but it will only take one to sway the opinion of our people."

Thalia chimed in, "The Ares cabin isn't exactly the most accepting people. I think they would just as soon run through a few more demigods then accept allies from a foreign nature. The idea could result in a mass blood shed of demigods. Then the enemy just waltzes right into Olympus while we are pick each other off the concrete."

I calmly added, "Besides, no thanks my lady, the Romans are going to take a heavy hit in numbers I imagine after the war, they will be in no shape to defend Olympus. Not without the risk of the entire Roman population being wiped off the map."

Styx grinned, "Your right. The Roman camp will not be in shape to defend Olympus, but how about its leadership?"

Jason argued, "You can't take Percy and I both out of here, then there is no standing praetor. Plus Nico, Reyna, Piper, and Bianca are the leadership, the camp would collapse without us. Romans are meant to be lead by the strong and powerful voice. We aren't Greek."

Styx said casually, "What if they are lead by a God? Or even a Goddess?"

Dead silence. Reyna asked, "Has that ever happened before?"

Styx nodded, "Once, Mars and Nike lead the camp for a short while. That is why Mars received the name Ultor, he defends and the camp and is the patron of Rome. Nike is also a patron of Rome being a single pantheon Goddess. She pledges her life to the victory of Rome. They will serve the legion while you are all absent."

Silence went amongst all of us. Clearly the gods and Styx herself had thought this plan out very well. I sighed, "All in favor?"

At first no one raised their hands. Then Jason and I locked eyes and nodded at each other, we both slowly raised our hands. At the site of our hands the rest of our family followed suit. Styx smiled at us, "This is a good thing young demigods. Have faith, I believe this will ultimately save lives and much heartache. Along with pain. I warn you Perseus, the Styx is a Greek curse though, it is the only reason I did not have you dip as a child. You are Roman and sometimes the Greeks and Romans don't mix. Recently you have proved other wise though. I believe the river will accept you, but you must be careful. Good luck children."

With that the Lady Styx, the goddess of mortality disappeared in a trail of water vapor. The rest of us sat around the table not able to form words. We all knew what had to happen next, we just hoped we were all ready for the consequences of our actions.

(A/N) Another chapter down! Sorry its taking so long, but I am very busy with school and most of my weekends. I just want everyone to know I am doing what I can and hopefully I can get more out to you in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!