A/N: Hello my fellow demigods!

I had a bit of trouble writing up the beginning of this chapter, but I managed. I'm still nervous too see how y'all take it... because I'm not going to lie, it gets pretty descriptive here.

I'm also kind of scared you guys will kill me at the end of this chapter. This is pretty much the climax of the story... well, partly.

So my birthday's in three days! I'll be getting my learner's permit soon, too! YAY! And I'm turning one of my closets into a reading nook. I'm really excited.

Disclaimer: Do you think I'd be on FF if I owned PJO?


The night was absolute chaos.

Almost as soon as Annabeth had gone inside to warn her parents, the castle was swamped by battle.

Even after spending all that time in the prison cell, as soon as the palace is attacked I immediately find myself counterattacking as though the instinct never left me, which, I suppose, it never had. I was just glad I was able to properly defend myself.

Luckily, in the short amount of time it took for the castle grounds to be overrun with invaders, General Ares had successfully awoken the army thanks to the signal that Annabeth had left.

Unfortunately, the invaders still had the element of surprise on their side, and the Atheniénne army was still slow and heavy from sleep.

The only sounds that could be heard throughout the night was the clanging of metal swords and occasionally silver arrows being shot from the castle walls, aimed at the enemy.

My mind was on automatic: slash and roll, duck, stab, spin, slash. I could see Nico doing the same out of the corner of my eye.

The Stoll brothers, while not very skilled in the art of swordfighting, were indeed positioned atop one of the guard towers, throwing down thin sacks of the heated oil from the basin on the roof at invaders. The thin sacks made it so that they exploded on impact, drenching everyone in a ten-foot radius in hot oil. Fortunately, the only soldiers getting hit with those sacks were mostly Luke's army. I managed to avoid them.

Thalia shot gleaming silver arrows with deadly accuracy, taking down any enemies who dared come closer to her. Leo had drawn his huge hammer from his toolbelt he always wore, and was smacking invaders upside the head. Ouch.

One of the Stoll's hot oil sacks exploded on Thalia's attackers, hitting Thalia in the upper arm. "STOLLS!" She screeched, clutching her arm.

Travis winced from the guard tower. "Oops... SORRY THALS!"

"Damn Stoll brothers," Thalia cursed, and promptly ignored what had to be at least a first degree burn, notching her next arrow and sending it flying into the neck of another invader with surprising accuracy.

Nico and I both swung our swords and circled around, squinting in the faint moonlight to see any oncoming weapons. Nico's Stygian iron sword almost gave off a black, cold chill that seemed to affect anyone who came close.

It was hard to see in the faint moonlight, even with the fires on the guard towers giving off an orange glow. Unfortunately for me, that same orange glow illuminated the blood already spilt across the cobblestone of the palace courtyard. I resisted the urge to throw up whatever "lunch" I had had earlier.

I shouted out as one of the slashing swords met my side, leaving a red, stinging mark. Blood had started to seep out, soaking my cotton shirt in red.

My vision went a little blurry, but I dragged myself up and stabbed at my attacker, successfully nailing him in the gut. Rolling under him before he could collapse, I slashed at one of his friends who had come behind him, probably to avenge his death or something.

I continually glanced between the castle and the battle, Annabeth and her parents the only thing on my mind, until Thalia managed to pull me out of my reverie.

"PERCY!" Thalia yelled over the chaos, "Go to Annabeth! We've got it covered here!"

I nodded once, then glanced around the castle grounds one more time. Ares's soldiers seemed to realize Thalia, Nico and the others were on their side, and were fighting alongside them. I took a deep breath and sprinted inside the castle, hacking away at any invaders who blocked my path.

I ran down the decorated halls, trying in vain to remember the way to the throne room in this maze of a castle. I figured Annabeth would take her parents to the most well protected room in the castle: the throne room, would probably be the exact room targeted by Like, knowing him.

Breathing heavily, I wiped the perspiration from my forehead and dashed inside the throne room, where Annabeth was fighting off three invaders with her dagger and her father was desperately swinging at Luke with an old, rusty sword. The pregnant queen was backed up into one of the thrones behind her husband.

The queen was pale and panting, probably as a result of her growing pregnancy, and Luke was gaining on the both of them, fast.

Before I could even react, one of Luke's soldiers swung at King Frederick, slashing deep into his stomach with a wound that I instinctively knew would not heal.

"NO!" Annabeth turned and lunged at her father, leaving her guard down. Another of Luke's invaders slashed at her leg, and I threw myself forward, knocking him out with the hilt of my sword. I quickly dispatched the last of Luke's men (at least in this room), before rushing to Annabeth's side. What I saw there made my heart crawl into my throat.

The bottom part of her dress was ripped savagely, now covered in red, sticky blood. The leg wound wasn't too deep, but it was bleeding rather quickly.

"No no no," I breathed, ripping off part of my overshirt and bandaging her leg with it. My throat closed up and tears threatened to spill over my eyes, but I did not cry. I was not going to lose the love of my life because of that traitor Luke Castellan.

"Percy," Annabeth breathed weakly, pointing to something over my shoulder.

I turned and saw King Frederick's breathing getting progressively slower. His face was a sickly pale color, the blood drained and being coughed up profusely.

Luke had stepped over his body, and was slowly advancing on Queen Athena. Luke had his sword raised, while the queen was weaponless.

No matter what the queen had done to me in the past (like locking me up in the dungeon and planning to execute me), she was still Annabeth's mother and the queen of Atheniénne. Annabeth would be heartbroken if both her parents died in one night.

"No," I gasped. Kissing Annabeth's forehead, I pushed myself off the floor. I tried to ignore the stabbing pain at my side and the pool of blood that was growing around the king, and I launched myself at Luke.

*dodges flying ice shards and other sharp stuff* DON'T MURDER ME PLEASE FOR THIS CLIFFHANGER!

More bad news: After I finish this story, I'll be going on HAITUS from FF for a while before starting Miles Away. I'll be writing a band fanfic for Wattpad with the assistance of my best friend Sarah.

I love you all! Don't forget that!

~Briana Valdez