So yeah, I have decided to bring this story back to FF. I will upload the rest of the chapters when I have the time to do it. And yes, that also includes the sequel. Just be glad that there are some people on FF that are very insistent...
It was a dreadfully boring day. A day filled with nothing but waiting. And if there was one thing that young Perseus 'Percy' Jackson was bad at, it was waiting. He couldn't stay still for long. He blamed his ADHD for that, but deep down he knew that it was also connected to the man who had raised him for the last five years. Growing up under the tutelage of a god who always seemed upbeat wasn't much help either. Said god was also the reason why Percy was currently sitting on a tree, somewhere in the middle of Yellowstone.
He yawned in boredom, one leg hanging limply down from the branch he was sitting on, keeping his hand busy with the straps of his leather armor. It was far too hot to wear something like it, but he knew that it was a necessity. His patron did not want him to get hurt unnecessarily. And it was a gift of his patron, so he wouldn't dare to offend the god who had helped him so much in the past years. Even if it meant to wear this uncomfortable piece of armor, with its almost offending, bright golden ornaments, depicting the prowess of said god in the field of archery.
"Just why did you have to send me here today..." Percy mumbled, his annoyance finally getting the upper hand. He glared up at the sun, knowing full well that his patron was smirking down at him.
"Well this at least beats the Museum visit with Mr Brunner." He shuddered at the thought. Not that he disliked Mr Brunner, quite the opposite in fact, he was his favorite teacher. But Percy had dreaded to go on this field trip with his classmates. He actually jumped at the chance to get away. Now he wasn't so sure what would have been more boring. Being inside a Museum, listening to endless explanations of myths, which he already knew to be true, or sitting in the middle of nowhere, waiting for something, anything to happen.
He looked around once more, listening to the sounds around him. He had been taught to use his surroundings, to use even the slightest whisper in the wind to find possible enemies. His patron, Apollo, wanted him to be a hunter of considerable skill. He remembered Apollos word well, 'Percy, my young friend, once I am done with you, you will even outmatch my little Sis' Girl Scouts.'
Percy snorted when he remembered the cocky grin Apollo had on his face that day. He was absolutely sure that he would succeed. Percy was not so sure about that. To this day he had several run ins with Artemis and her Hunters, and suffice to say, he always had to make a run for it, else he would have ended up as a pincushion. Percy was sure that Apollo had planned those fateful meetings every single time. It just couldn't be coincidence.
His attention snapped towards the nearby bushes. He couldn't help himself but smirk, when he saw two Hellhounds coming closer, both sniffing around.
'Finally' Percy thought, a wicked grin spreading on his lips. He knew that those Hellhounds would smell him soon, if they hadn't already caught on to him. So he picked up his bow, which he had hung on a higher branch next to him and notched an arrow.
Only a year ago he would have declared anyone, who said that he would use a bow, ready for a lunatic asylum, but after he got Apollo's full blessing and very long and intensive training, he got better. He still preferred close combat though, just because it came more natural to him.
Before he could release his arrow, someone else attacked the two monsters. Several arrows hit the first Hellhound, killing it on the spot. Percy groaned when he saw three girls enter the scene, all dressed in similar hunting outfits, their bows ready, trained at the remaining monster.
"Great, Hunters." He glared at the sun. Apollo was laughing his ass off, no doubt. Watch Percy getting hunted through a forest by Artemis and her man hating club of maidens. Maybe he should have decided to go to the Museum, at least no one would try to neuter him there.
The three Hunters made quick work of the remaining Hellhound, but still looked around wearily. He had come to the same conclusion as they had. Two wild Hellhounds never walk around without their pack nearby.
A loud howl announced the arrival of the other monsters. Ten more Hellhounds and by their looks they were pissed because of their friends demise. Percy debated with himself, whether to help the three girls or not. They were in considerable danger at the moment. Ah scratch that. Even the Hunters had a problem when they were outnumbered like this. But showing himself would inevitably cause another tortu... ah questioning session with Lady Artemis.
He elected to wait, to see whether they would need his help or not. So far they had done pretty well. Two more monsters had turned into dust and none of the girls had sustained any injuries. But that was about to change very soon.
The beasts had reached them and now the Hunters got forced into close combat. And even though Lady Artemis would most likely strike him down for saying it so bluntly, but those three Hunters are worse than camp trained demigods in close combat. Even Apollo would agree.
By now there were only five monsters left, but one of the Hunters was bleeding profusely from a wound on her arm, her sisters were faring not much better. All of them were hurt.
"Time to end this." Percy mumbled, as he took aim. He had already picked his first victim. One of the Hunters had stumbled and a Hellhound was about to pounce on her. He let go of the arrow and watched as it flew, hitting its intended mark, the neck of the attacking monster. It dispersed before it could do any damage, much to the obvious relieve of the girl who was about to get killed.
He shot two more arrows, wounding other Hellhounds, distracting them from their original targets. The distraction was long enough for the Hunters to kill them. Percy felt drained after his fourth shot. Archery wasn't natural to him, it was a gift that consumed too much strength, at least from a twelve year old boy with abysmal natural skill in archery. He had to rely on the powers Apollo had given him and that consumed far too much energy for Percy's liking,
The three Hunters looked around, trying to find out who had aided them. They must have believed that their sisters and their Lady had come, but they did not find what they were searching for. Not until they spotted the boy on the branch.
"Now things get awkward." Percy said, though he was sure the girls could not hear him. They looked at him oddly... with appreciation? 'Must be new to the Hunt, else they wouldn't look at me like this' Percy thought in wonderment. The other Hunters hated it when he interfered, even when he saved their lives. Too much pride and too much hatred for men.
Some very awkward moments passed. The girls staring at him as if he was some rare mythical being, and him staring back at them, still disbelieving that there were Hunters that would not try to attack him on sight.
The moment ended when a loud roar shattered the silence. Once more Percy groaned and looked towards the sun. "The Minotaur, really?" He asked his patron, though he knew he wouldn't get an answer any time soon.
So far he had crossed paths with the beast three times. Every time he had avoided fighting it. It just wasn't worth the hassle. Most demigods would kill to be in his place, to get the chance to fight a foe like the Minotaur. But Percy was not just any demigod. As Apollo's champion he had already killed quite a lot of monsters under his patron's guidance. He just did not care for the fame of killing such beasts.
Suddenly the earth shook slightly, as the large beast appeared on the scene. He heard some fearful shrieks from the three Hunters. All of them were wounded, no condition to fight an enemy of this strength. Of course the beast saw their weakness and started running towards them, ready to finish them off.
Percy notched another arrow, aiming for the Minotaurs head. He knew he had only the strength for one more shot left. Any more shots would drain his strength too much and he was sure that arrows would not be the way to kill an enemy like this. But he needed a way to get his attention.
The arrow flew and hit the Minotaur in its neck. To the large monster it was nothing more than an annoyance, but it stopped the attack on the hunters.
"Hey, Ugly." Percy yelled, as he jumped down from his branch, his bow now on his back. "Nice briefs." He chuckled as the Minotaur turned towards him, rage visible in its beady eyes. With another loud roar it charged at Percy. "Now that was the easy part..." Percy mumbled, as he got ready for the attack and took out his sword.
He shifted his weight from one leg to the other and back, as he watched the approaching Minotaur. He had only one chance to do this right. The beast would be a pain in the ass if he had to fight it in a real fight.
"Wait..." Percy mumbled. The Minotaur had nearly reached him. "Wait..." He could almost smell its stench now, as he shifted his weight to the left. "Now..." He jumped to the left, only seconds before the Minotaur would have run him over. Instead the beast collided with the tree, one of its horns stuck in the tree.
Percy jumped up from the ground. Wasting no time he jumped onto the Minotaur's back, using his own arrow to steady himself, before he rammed his sword into the monster's neck. The Minotaur roared in pain, before it became limp and turned into dust.
Percy fell to the ground with a loud thud, as he couldn't get off the beast's back before it disappeared. "Ow... man this sucks..." He yelped, as he rubbed his aching behind. "There goes another one for Apollo's list. I hope he at least rewards me for this one..." He said, before he turned around to look at the Hunters.
The three girls were still there, watching him wide eyed. All three were still bleeding, their wounds obviously worse than he had at first anticipated. Percy looked around, hoping to see the other Hunters and Lady Artemis somewhere. "Hoping to see the Hunters... must have hit my head..." Percy said with a snort. But there was no one else around, not yet at least.
He carefully approached the three girls, watching them for any sign of hostility. But they showed none. He knew it wasn't wise to loiter around Artemis' hunters as a male, but he couldn't just leave them, when he could still help. There were some things Apollo had taught him that would be helpful now.
"Don't worry, I'm not here to do any harm. I can help you, at least a bit." He said cautiously, as he got closer to the girls. One of the girls got closer, looking conflicted.
"Please, help Ariadne. We can't stop the bleeding. Please help if you can."
He merely nodded, before he stopped next to the girl on the ground, the one who had nearly ended up as a Hellhound chewtoy, had it not been for his first arrow. He crouched down next to Ariadne, said girl looking weakly at him, her face pale. The other two girls watched him cautiously, one of them even with obvious distaste. But she said nothing, caring more about her sister's well fare, than about her dislike for men.
"This will probably sting a bit. I'm not as good as Apollo and his children, but I can stop the bleeding." He waved with his hand, gathering water from a nearby puddle, collecting it in a small orb of pure and clean water. He moved his hand above the gaping wound on the girl's arm, causing the water to cover the wound. Channeling his own healing factor, combined with the very basic healing techniques he could do through Apollo's blessing, he cleaned the wound and closed it. The other girls looked relieved, when they saw the wound disappear.
"This is all I can do. You will have to wait for the rest of your Hunting party to..." Suddenly an arrow flew by, missing his head by mere inches. "Guess they are already here." He said, as he increased the distance to the girls. It didn't take long, before more arrows came his way, all of them purposely missing him, at least barely. Moments later he came face to face with a girl he knew all to well.
"Oh, hey Zoe. Fancy meeting you here." Percy said with a nervous chuckle. The girl's black eyes were narrowed in anger. He had learned the hard way that an angry Zoe mostly ended with a hurting Percy.
"Jackson." She stated coldly. "I told thee to stay away from my sisters. Thou will have to learn the hard way, again." She raised her bow at him, ignoring his obvious gesture of surrender. Percy knew that he was too tired from the fight before. Too tired to fight... too tired to run from angry Hunters."
"Apollo, now would be a great time for you to show up..." Percy mumbled silently, hoping that Zoe had not heard him.
"Zoe, stand down." The girl did not hesitate to follow the order. Both she and Percy recognized the voice without seeing the person who spoke. Now Percy knew that he was seriously screwed.
Next to Zoe appeared a girl, that looked no older than twelve or thirteen, with long auburn colored hair in a ponytail and shimmering silvery eyes. Said eyes were narrowed in anger, as she stared at Percy.
"Lady Artemis..." Percy said respectful as possible, his head bowed. He really did not want to anger her any further.
"Perseus Jackson, I warned you to stay away from my Hunters. Yet you disobey me and show yourself before me again."
"I had no intention to interfere with your hunters, I'm here..."
"Silence." She snapped at him. "Whatever your reasons were, you interfered with the trials of my youngest Hunters. They were here to prove themselves and you undermined that purpose."
"With all due respect, would you have preferred for me to stay out of it and watch your youngest die in a fight against an enemy that was far too strong for them?" Percy replied in his defense.
Artemis looked at him coldly, before she turned around and walked over to the three girls he had saved. The moment the goddess was gone, Percy was once more alone with an angry Zoe and an arrow pointed at his face. He took another step back, but he knew he wouldn't escape. Zoe just looked at him with a glare that dared him to try and run so she could shoot him.
Some tense moments later Artemis returned, a displeased frown on her face. "It seems that you spoke the truth and only acted when they needed your help." Percy seemed to calm a bit when he heard that, his hope rising that he might get out of this without loosing either his life or important parts of the male anatomy. "But you dared to touch one of my maidens. That is an unforgivable act and must be punished." He paled when he heard the punishment part.
"But I only did it so I could..." He couldn't finish defending himself, as a blinding flash appeared before him, interrupting all conversations around them.
"Apollo!" Artemis growled.
"Hey little sis. Hey girls." Apollo himself had finally taken pity on his champion and appeared to help him. Percy didn't know whether he should hug him for coming to safe him or kick him for getting him into this situation in the first place. The latter action would most likely gain him at least some sympathy with the Hunters. All of them glared at the god, as he started to flirt with them only moments after he had arrived.
"What are you doing here, Apollo?"
"What? Can't a man visit his little sister once in a while?"
"I am the older twin, Apollo. Stop calling me little sister." Artemis retorted icily.
"Ah, that is something that I cannot do." Then he turned around and saw Percy, who was still holding his hands up in surrender. "Oh, hey Percy, fancy meeting you here. Everything alright? You look a bit worried."
"Hey, Apollo." Percy greeted his patron halfheartedly. "As you can see I'm in a... difficult situation right now..."
"Aw, sis, what has my champion done to deserve this?"
"Your 'champion'" she spat the word as if it was something nasty, "has interfered with my Hunters trial and touched one of my maidens."
"Touched?" Apollo looked back at Percy with a wicked grin. "Finally following my teachings, it was about time." He said with a chuckle, as he high fived with one of the hands Percy was still holding up to avoid getting shot by Zoe.
"Apollo, you are not helping..." Percy said worriedly. He could see the anger on Artemis face increasing with every single word her brother spoke.
"Ah, yes." Apollo then turned back to Artemis. "Sorry, little sis, but I can't let you kill Percy yet. I still need my champion. I want to make him just as awesome as I am." He said with a grin. Before Artemis could find a proper reply, Apollo had already placed a hand on Percy's shoulder. "Until next time, sis, ladies." He grinned cocky at Artemis and her Hunters, before he and Percy disappeared in a flash.
Artemis was fuming, though her anger was no longer directed at Percy, but at her brother instead. Maybe she should bring this to her fathers attention during the next meeting. Zeus would be the only one to stop Apollo from bothering her and her Hunters.
Percy meanwhile found himself on the passenger seat of a Maserati. Apollo sat in the driver's seat, laughing uproariously. "Percy, my young friend, this was a truly awesome day. You should have seen Artemis face, she didn't know whether she should thank you or strangle you, it was hilarious."
"Your sister is crazy, man. The last time I was in such a situation she tried to neuter me with blunt tipped arrows." This only caused Apollo to laugh even more.
"Ah, don't worry. She does like you, else she would have already turned you into a jackalope. You are saving her Hunters' lives every single time you run across them."
"That was all your doing." Percy accused with a childish pout. "You knew they would be there. That's why you left me in the middle of nowhere."
"Maybe..." Apollo said with a grin. "But don't worry. Relax and enjoy the music. I'll bring you back to your school once I've completed my duty for the day." Percy did not bother to reply, instead he leaned back in the seat and did as he was told. He was in the sun chariot at the moment, so that meant that it would take a few hours before Apollo would let him go. The best he could do now was wait and relax, even though he would have to listen to Apollo's favorite music all day.