Chapter 26~Battle at a Day Spa
As we ran toward the front lobby of the spa, we tried our best to fill El in on everything that had happened, including why El had been aged down by about ten years. While she did feel stronger, it was a complete shock to her when she saw her own reflection in the water.
“And that about sums everything up,” I said as we ran down a hallway.
“Plus, we are about to face a small fleet of ships, each with an unknown number of pirates on it, including Blackbeard,” Joe added, not wanting to miss any details.
“But why did you have to poke around in my mind? I mean Sayuri managed to come out of it just fine,” she asked, but I didn’t have a good answer.
“Well, you are a much stronger demigod, no offense to Sayuri,” I commented. “You just needed a little extra push to break free of whatever he did to you. Blackbeard must have used a lot of power to try and control you, so breaking you free was harder.”
“Makes sense I guess, but what did he do to me?” El asked as we heard fighting down the hallway.
“No idea,” I responded honestly.
“We’ll worry about it later. Right now we have a battle to get to,” Joe said as he rushed forward. As soon as we got to the lobby, I saw one of the strangest things I think I’d ever seen.
In the lobby, there was an army of girls in dresses casting spells at an army of pirates who were being turned into animals. I saw a bunch of small mice running around with sticks in their hands hitting the toes of some of the girls, distracting them from their castings. Meanwhile, the pirates were fighting back with their own abilities, sword fighting and various demigod related abilities. Blackbeard had a small army at his disposal, with wave after wave entering into the lobby.
“Time to get in there,” El said and we rushed into the battle. Joe and I just looked at each other for a second and charged in as well. With the combined forces of Camp Half-Blood and a bunch of magic wielding spa workers, we seemed to be able to push them back; right up until Blackbeard entered the room.
“Form your ranks ye retched swine!” he called and his presence seemed to give the rest of the pirates a second wind. It was like him simply being there helped fuel the fires of war burning in his men.
My own anger seemed to swell up as a man in a business suit walked in. He seemed really out of place in this whole thing, especially with those strange glasses he always had on.
“This is a mess, isn’t it?” the Collector said as he looked around the room. “Are you in need of any assistance?”
“You just stay back!” Blackbeard yelled at the Collector. “I only allowed you on this island because you have something I want.”
“Likewise, I did come here hoping for a trade after all,” the Collector said. Before the conversation could go any farther, Blackbeard took out his sword and charged into battle. He was like a whirlwind as he smashed through the lines previously held off by Circe’s handmaidens. His own men began to push forward as well and even with Circe’s magic, they were being pushed back.
“We need to get in there!” El said, resulting in her and Joe jumping ahead. They fought next to each other and managed to push back a large number of the pirates, but more kept flooding into the doors and Blackbeard wasn’t exactly slowing down. I watched as he knocked over another wave of fighters and I watched him deflect a stream of magic with his sword, which I didn’t even know was possible.
“Here goes nothing,” I said as I charged in as well. Instantly however, things went wrong. While the first few lines of pirates were being pushed back, they started getting smarter. Three guys came in with what looked like cannons. The yelled at the others to duck and when they did, the cannons fired nets which entangled a few handmaidens. More rounds were fired and before long, everyone was either in a net or on their knees with a sword to their back, including Joe, El, Angel, and I.
“You caused me a lot of trouble,” Blackbeard said as he walked up and down the lines. “I’m just trying to build one of the greatest…no, the greatest naval fleet in the history of piracy and you pull this? Unforgivable.”
He stopped right in front of Circe as he said that last word. She just looked at him defiantly and that seemed to anger him. He raised his sword and was about to bring it down, but was interrupted.
“Excuse me, while this is all well and good, there is a small matter of business to attend to,” Collector said as he walked around.
“What is it with you?!” Blackbeard yelled, but reached into his coat and pulled out a sphere. He gripped it in his hand and I saw red energy filter into it. All around me I heard a scream as the water all around the cave seemed to ripple as if the ground was shaking. “This for my sword. Seems far enough. With my original sword back in my possession, I won’t need this thing anyway.”
“Yes, it was quite a pain tracking this down. I must have had to trade half my sword collection in order to acquire this piece. It has seen better days I must say,” the Collector said as he pulled out a long cylinder container that he had strapped to his back and opened it. He gripped the handle and pulled out a sword. It wasn’t really what I expected however. The handle looked like it was rusted over and the blade was chipped in several places. I was expected something else from the way Blackbeard talked about it.
“I don’t care about that, all I care about is my sword,” Blackbeard said as he took the sword from the Collector’s hand.
“And my payment?” the Collector asked, motioning to the blue sphere that Blackbeard held in his hand.
“Oh this…I think I’ll keep it,” Blackbeard said and placed it back in his pocket.
“I see, then it seems we are at an impasse. In that case,” the Collector said as he pressed a button on his wrist and I heard an audible click, like that of a microphone. “Palinurus, please fire on Edward Teach.”
I shadow appeared overhead and I saw a boat appear over the large glass ceiling of the main lobby. A cannon appeared from the bottom of the ship and shot a stream of pure fire. It made me cringe as I knew the pain the Fire Elemental must have been in. The fire broke through the glass and Blackbeard was engulfed in a spiraling tower of fire.
“Ok, that should be enough. We don’t want to damage the sphere after all,” he said into his transmitter and the fire stopped. I expected there to be nothing left but a pile of ash, but Blackbeard was still standing completely unharmed and a large smile on his face. The only thing that seemed to actually hit him was the ends of his beard, which looked like small candle flames.
“Now do you see why I wanted my sword? It was a gift from my father Ares; he told me that as long as I held this sword, I would be invincible!” Blackbeard cried as he raised the sword into the air and it seemed to reshape itself, resembling a newly forged sword. “However, you have annoyed me greatly, and for that, you must be punished.”
“Switch to ice!” the Collector called, a bit shaky and scared. Another cannon fired, this time with a stream of ice. It hit Blackbeard and he became a block of ice. “There, you may be invincible, but that doesn’t help if you can’t move.”
As the Collector taunted Blackbeard through the ice, I noticed a blue glow coming from his jacket pocket. The Collector didn’t seem to notice that the ice was cracking before the entire thing burst open.
“Ice is made of water you idiot,” Blackbeard mocked, but obviously angry. Thankfully his attention was focused else ware, because I had spent the last few minutes cutting the ropes tied around my hands using my pocket knife, really my sword. The pirates standing all around us seemed more focused on their captain then the prisoners. When I heard the rope snap and fall off my wrists, I very slowly inched myself back until I was behind my guard.
“Hey buddy,” I said in a whisper. He turned around and I punched him hard in the face before grabbing him before he fell. No one else seemed to notice and I went over to Angel, El, and Joe.
“Good move,” Joe commented and I cut him out of his ropes, before doing the same to my friends. Meanwhile, the Collector was busy trying to get away from Blackbeard, who by now was toying with him, swinging his sword wildly and cutting through potted plants and the front desk.
“Palinurus, fire something!” he ordered as he ducked behind some lobby furniture. I looked up and something resembling a rod appeared and fired a blast of lightning. “I got this,” Joe commented and got to his feet. He pulled out a spear and the lightning responded to it, avoiding Blackbeard and being pulled to Joe. It struck the tip of his spear and traveled down into his arm. Before long, the bolt of lightning stopped and Joe was smoking.
“You ok?” I asked him. He turned to me to me I saw electricity spark in his eyes.
“Oh ya, I’m real good,” he said and he raised his spear into the air. Storm clouds began to form over the Collector’s ship.
“We’re getting in on that!” El said as she raised her own spear. Angel lifted her trident into the air and the storm seemed to intensify. This seemed to get Blackbeard’s attention as he ignored the Collector and turned to us.
“Time to bring this outside!” Joe called and all three pointed their weapons toward him. A spiral of wind, water, and lightning spiraled down and collided with Blackbeard before he could block it. Blackbeard, along with several pirates in the room were pulled out with the wind.
“Come on guys, lets finish this,” El said and we charged ahead. Circe was about to follow us out, but I turned to her.
“Wait, your handmaidens need you more than we do. Help them escape and maybe clear out the last of the pirates,” I told her, looking around and seeing a few pirates getting up. “And try not to turn them into animals if you can help it.”
I went to follow my friends outside, but I saw the Collector getting to his feet. For an older guy, I was surprised he had managed to avoid Blackbeard as long as he did. In his younger days, I’m sure he must have been pretty fit.
“You, I want to have a talk with you when this is all over,” I told him before leaving out the main entrance.