It's already in the afternoon, and I decided to carry Josh to his cabin. While I was walking from my cabin to his cabin, Jarren offered to take him to his cabin, and I agreed, handed my husband to Jarren, and Jarren ran with Josh to his cabin.
I went to the swordfighting arena, and found Stella practices her swordfighting skills with a dummy. She kicked the dummy and beheaded the dummy.
I clapped from behind her. "Well done, Stella!" I commended her. "It was brilliant!"
Stella looked at me and blushed. "Thanks, mom." She said.
I walked towards the swordfighting arena. There are a lot of dummies need replacing, so I called up Chiron from the big house, and then he brought back some of the straw dummies. They were still the same as last time, unimproved and old. But I'm sure that Chiron will send someone to make new ones.
But for now, Chiron and the Hephaestus cabin kept making new straw dummies right now. After new ones had arrived, I started practicing with them.
I sliced and hacked at the dummies, the same style that Josh does. It might be similar, but I didn't need all his so-cool moves because I'm not as small as him, and it's easier for me to kill off monsters. I dropped my sword and summoned my black shadow sword and practiced at the dummies. It didn't exactly char the dummies, but slowly, darkness began to spread throughout the dummy, and the darkness consumed the dummy whole, and when the darkness disappeared, the dummy is in ashes.
I gasped. This is new. I had never used this kind of power before. I was just doing what Josh is doing when practicing with the dummies, except my element is darkness and Josh's is light, and so we have different effects when killing monsters.
I made my shadow sword disappear, and grabbed my celestial bronze sword. Then, I began trying Josh's moves and stabbed the huge straw dummy right in front of me. It was weird, because when I try it on small dummies, the ones that Josh used to practice on, it didn't feel right, but when I try it on the larger ones, it feels just right.
I decided to finish practicing sword fighting and started to go to the magic practice arena, where it was surrounded with a plexiglass cylinder with branches covering the rooftop made of ceramic.
I looked inside the cylinder. Melody was meditating, and as soon as I touched the plexiglass cylinder, a surge of jolt rushed through me. I immediately recoiled and the room started churning black and gold. I was scared, and I summoned a cloud of shadow and blast it at the cylinder, but the cylinder just repelled my attack with relative ease.
This is dangerous, even for Melody. For years I have watched Melody do her magic inside this plexiglass cylinder, and never had I observed this multicolored black and gold blending one another.
After a few minutes, the light dispersed, and Melody looked slightly taller, and is radiating more magic from inside her.
Melody opened the glass door, and she saw me. "Hello, Mother."
I smiled at her. "Hello, Melody. I see that you have been practicing with your magic."
"That's right, Mom." Melody said. "It took me quite a while for me to found this spell. You want to know what it's called?"
"What?" I asked with excitement. I have been always keen to see my daughter's magic progress, and someday I will be hoping that Melody could teach me some of her magic.
"It's the barrier-fixing magic!" Melody said happily.
That gave me a sigh of relief. I know that Josh had fallen into a coma yesterday because his last barriers broke, and this new magic of Melody's might gave the answer that Josh needs to keep himself from being in a coma.
"But..." Melody added quickly. "It's still under construction. I can't test it because it's still unstable. It will take me at least 1 month to make it stable."
"Can't you just speed up the rate of making your newfound spells to stable?" I asked.
"I wish I could do that but no. Magic is a very delicate essence to mess with. Once you found the ingredients, it takes a lot of time to make it stable. Unless, of course, you're extremely lucky."
I thought about this. An unstable spell could be very easily go wrong, and I don't want things to go wrong when it comes to healing my little husband of his coma.
Anyways, Melody invited me inside the plexiglass cylinder, and Melody closed the door.
"I taught my father some basic magic here." Melody told me. "I got to admit he has some degree of magic."
"Oh..." I said, then for some reason, this plexiglass cylinder is making me nervous, and I decided to get out of this cylinder.
Melody walked out with me out of the cylinder and into Hyperion's cabin. I know that Josh would need Melody's help to eventually overcome his coma, and Melody might have just got the spell she needs, which she just needs to stabilize.
As far as I'm concerned, Melody had never specializes in magic that involves barriers. In fact, I never knew about the barriers itself until a few years ago.
Anyways, here's how the history of the barriers of Josh. A few generations before, Josh's descendant, Stuart McLean, is one of the villains in his generation (the American Revolution). Hypnos cursed his lineage with a strong urge to fall asleep when they reach a certain age. Now, the only reason his children didn't develop any comas is because Josh had this barriers that protect his lineage and himself from the comas. The barriers can only be fixed when he is in a coma, or when he is asleep.
Usually, that certain age of falling into a coma is when you're about 35-40. Josh's mom had already been hit with a coma and she died a few years ago from the evil coma that came to her. But for some unknown reason, Josh's coma came a lot faster than expected. That's when Hyperion realizes that he needed to make sure that Josh doesn't fell into a coma. To ensure that Josh did not have the same fate as his mother, Hyperion, Apollo and Artemis constructed a magical barrier that prevents Josh from falling into a coma. Unfortunately, the barriers break down overtime, and they did not have enough power (or the titans and the gods are just too lazy) to completely break Josh's coma curse, and that had set Josh's limits. Over the past 5-6 years, Josh hadn't done his self-induced coma, and that's what triggers this fateful event where Josh collapses in the middle of the battle.
I remembered talking to Jessica when on a quest to rescue Annabeth, and talked to her about my barriers. I'm still dreaming about it in my coma.
Back then, Jessica was very beautiful. We had been a couple since The Godslingers Next Generation formed. I recounted the happy memories when I was in The Godslingers. Playing Capture the Flag, playing pranks on other people, going on dangerous quests to save the world, and so much more.
But there's one thing that I couldn't get out of my mind. After the quest to rescue the original Godslingers, I was kidnapped and tortured for 3 months straight without mercy by the protogenoi goddess, Nadine. Since then, I had developed an intense fear of Nadine, and I am still frightened to face her on the battle until a few days ago.
My dream changed. This time, I saw my body in my cabin, lying motionless in my cabin.
Lullaby, Joshy... Gaea purred, her tone making me sleepy. How does it feel to be in your endless sleep?
I tried to shut out her words, but Gaea sees this attempt and smiled her cruel smile.
It's peaceful, isn't it? Soon, the earth will be mine, and you will sleep your endless sleep in my embrace.
I wanted to wake up, but at the moment, every muscle, bone, nerve, head, mind and brain of mine is telling me to drift in an endless sleep.
"What have you done??" I asked in alarm while in my sleep. Gaea smiled, and as always, she spoke and the sound is as if it's coming from another place, like a ventriloquist.
Ohh... nothing much. Just... silently killing off your barriers.
No! Gaea knows about my barriers! No wonder my last barrier is deteriorating much quicker than before! Usually when I drop barriers from 2/5 to 1/5, the time I usually spend in 1/5 barriers while using my powers is about 20 days. In this case it's only less than a day. Gaea had known about this and she had deliberately put me in a coma so that she can put me in her embrace!
Just relax, Joshy. Gaea purred. You're going to be no good to your friends anyway. Just swear your eternal loyalty to me, and surrender Camp Half-Blood to me.
"That is not going to happen." I said in my mind, talking to Gaea.
I feel really tired as soon as I said that. It's as if Gaea is sapping my power, even in sleep.
It was an exhaustive effort to find and develop the barrier-fixing magic. First of all, it's only one of its kind. Second, only Josh have it. And third, due to its rarity and its complexity of its magic, it's hard to stabilize the magic.
I also invent other magics. One of the most powerful magic that I had invented is energy producing magic. It's the magic that basically generates infinite amount of energy, but so far, the spell still hasn't stabilized yet. This spell is delicate, requiring you to have focus that is absolutely pure. Just a small distraction in its current state rip a hole straight to the space-time fabric and creates a massive black hole and, as opposed to the big bang, creates a black hole that is powerful enough to make the universe to collapse back to its original big bang.
Anyways, I kept looking at Josh in his bed. I wished I could use my barrier-fixing magic on him, but it's still unstable. I had worked on it to make it more stable inside the plexiglass cylinder.
I hugged Josh, and held him close to my chest. I kissed him on the cheek, and left his cabin.
I went to the magic practice arena, and started practicing with my magic. I kept revising the magic that I had invented, and some of them include energy producing magic. It's this reason that I am able to keep my magic powers from deteriorating. I kept using this magic on my free times so I would never run out of magic. It's the same reason why I am able to recover so fast from the Magical Convergent Cannon. The enemies must not know about this, or else they might start looking for me and capture me and use me as their weapon.
But no. Even the enemies have trouble fighting me. I raised my hands up and down, warming up my magic. My magic is done best when I warm up by doing yogas. It usually take me about 3-5 minutes of warming us before using my magic, which can sometimes prove very difficult when in the middle of a battle.
I closed my eyes and concentrated. From this plexiglass cylindrical wall, I can reach out thoughts to the outside world, and people can't trace it back here (except my parents and relatives). I cast my thoughts on Josh, the giants, Nadine, and even the earth itself. I could hear people's thoughts, even Josh's.
I could hear Josh's thoughts in his sleep. He is dreaming about his encounter with Gaea, and...
Oh no! This is a tragedy! Gaea had found out about Josh's barriers! No wonder he suddenly dropped in a coma in the middle of the battle. Usually when Josh's barriers dropped to 1/5, it took him at most 5 months to go into his coma state, assuming that Josh didn't use any of his powers. This time the 1/5 barrier only lasts for about less than a day. This has to be Gaea's doing.
But wait.... I can sense that Josh's barriers are reforming, but it will take him at least 6 months for him to get out of his coma.
Then I sensed something else. Apparently, he has emergency barriers that had accumulated ever since he was a little kid. There's lots of them, but the only problem is I can barely touch them. They're so delicate when handled on the outside that I have to proceed with extreme caution. Just one wrong step can send Josh into his neverending sleep, just what Gaea had said. But it's worth a try.
Josh hasn't realized that, and that's because it's in his subconscious mind.
Anyways, after I had a little sightseeing with my magic, I decided to go back to Hyperion's cabin, and that's when I was surprised.
Josh had apparently came back from his coma much sooner than expected. He started to move, squirming around and stretching his arms.
I walked in front of his sleepy face and said, "Wake up, Father."
Josh squinted his eyes, and his expression became confused for a second, and then he shot up out of the bed.
"Wha.... The giants!" Josh screamed as he get his sword from his sheath. I grabbed his wrist to calm him down.
"Father, calm down!" I told him. "We're in Camp Half-Blood now!"
Josh kept struggling for a while, but after about 5 seconds, he stopped struggling. His eyes focused and his expression relaxed.
"Camp?" Josh asked. "How long was I out?"
"About 7 hours." I replied.
It wasn't any intended coma. It wasn't even because my barriers are breaking down. Gaea had planted an imaginary barrier breaking down so that my body would follow that barrier instead.
This is just a trick, I thought. That's not even the right barrier.
Melody did an examination on my barrier, and she told me that it's more than a half.
"I knew it." I said to myself. "This is just a trick."
Or perhaps someone more powerful that Gaea did a search on my barriers. That could only mean one thing....
Nadine! Of course. She has been on Gaea's side! How could I have forgotten my worst nightmare! The one who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She wants to rule the world, and furthermore, she wants to torture me.
I still have the scars to prove it. Some of them are gone by now, but some stays in my body. Those flickering fire whips left burns in my chest, and sometimes, the barbed wire whips got lodged in my ribs and when she yanked them out, One of my ribs was torn.
It was an experience that I had never forgotten, being humiliated by the enemies, and I almost went insane. I remembered being whipped to death using metal rods that brought me to my enemies' knees.
I was in the castle of eternal night. I was chained and tape gagged by that Nadine girl. The party is in about 30 minutes.
Nadine looked down at me and smiled. "In 30 minutes, meet your worst enemies, and um.... enjoy."
"MMMMMMMMMMMMFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!" I muffled scream, writhing and struggling.
After 30 minutes have past, there's a lot of villains that came to feel my listless body. I screamed in pain and struggled against the metal bonds, but it's getting nowhere.
END OF FLASHBACK
Melody studied my face. "Joshy, what's wrong?"
Then I told her about my flashback about Nadine, how Nadine tortures me, and her threat when she didn't reign, she threatened me to be tortured for eternity. Just talking about her make me shiver.
Melody put her hands around my shoulder. "Don't worry about it, Father. We will take down Nadine together."
I looked at the clock near my cabin. I didn't even realize that this is dinner time, about 18:50. So, we went to the dining pavilion.
Once we got to the dining pavilion, Chiron immediately asked me why is it possible for me to repair my barriers so fast.
"It's actually a trick from Gaea." I told Chiron. "She also knew about the barriers, so while I was trapped on the earthen prison, Gaea told me that she is sapping my barriers. But all she is doing is replacing my barriers with the fake one. That's why I fell into a coma. That is, until I sensed Melody in my mind when she is talking about the emergency barriers. It's actually not an emergency barrier, rather than my own barriers."
Chiron nodded, and he allowed me to sit by Hyperion's table.
As soon as I got to Hyperion's table, I saw Melody, Stella and Jarren in Hyperion's table. Since they're my children, they're also allowed to sit at their grandparents table.
I sat with Melody and Stella.
"So, how was camp?" I asked.
Stella and Jarren looked at me in surprise, and then their expression returned to calm again and answered. "Camp was very nice. Things are looking very tense here." Stella replied. "Gaea could be attacking us at any..."
Just then, the earth trembled. I thought it's because of Mary, but Mary was sitting on Atlas' table. Even Mary panicked as the earth continued to tremble.
I quickly grabbed a burger and went outside while eating the burger. Apparently, Nadine's forces are back, and leading them is Nadine herself.
Then, Nadine stopped for a second and glanced at the campers. She caught sight of me.
This is not good. I thought. I have to get out of Nadine's sight. I don't want to be her torture toy anymore.
But I know that my fear wouldn't last long. Soon or later, I have to fight Nadine so I wouldn't be her torture toy anymore.
Apparently, Chiron noticed the enemy coming, and he alerted the campers to grab their weapons and defend the camp. For once, I was amazed at how they have created the stash of weapons. There's a modified bow and arrow that can shoot very far, and a shotgun that is modified to fire celestial bronze bullets. There's some modern weapons too such as the M-16, AK-47, and sniper rifles are also available. I watched as the campers took some of the weapons and go to the battlefield. I made a dash to my cabin and grabbed my sword, bows and arrows, and even the incendiary ones. I am determined to make this battle the last.
Piper grabbed her dagger, Katoptris. Percy and Annabeth went together as the swordfighting duo, and I bet they're going to be formidable.
I ran outside, and began to fire the first arrow. The first arrow isn't an incendiary arrow, and it lodged perfectly at a cyclops eye. The cyclops began to roar in pain and cause disturbance in the enemy team. Then, I fired another one, and this time it's blocked by the Minotaur.
Just then, I heard a whizzing sound of Mary's arrows, and when it hit the monsters, the monsters that got caught in the line of the arrow get disintegrated.
So far, this battle looks easy, as we kept firing arrows after arrows. Will Solace and Jake Mason manned the machine gun that shoots celestial bronze bullets at the monsters. The camp's defense is formidable. That is, until the Kraken came.
Then I saw the Kraken came into view. I saw its tentacles reaching as tall as the skyscrapers. Its tentacles when it hits the water, creates a mini tsunami that send a couple of the monsters on the shore to re-adjust themselves. Then, they marched forward.
Mary changed her arrows into an even heavier and bigger ones, which is about 25 centimeters in diameter and 10 feet long. This would make a huge chink in the Kraken's skin, enough to cause pain anyways.
I saw Mary aimed her bow at the Kraken, and then released it. The arrow still sailed as fast as the others, but as I watched, the arrow began to very slightly drop, and that's when it hit the Kraken's hand.
The Kraken yelled in pain as one of its tentacles smashed against the ground full of monsters, and Nadine was furious, and glared at me.
This time, I didn't even think. I quickly drew my bow and notched it at Nadine's forehead. Nadine had apparently expected that, and she dissolved into black mist. I immediately jumped and joined the fight, as Nadine warped to where I was before, and she is frustrated when she found me at the lower side of the hill, fighting the monsters.
I kept slashing and hacking at the monsters. They were disintegrating left and right, and I saw Mary nocked another arrow at the Kraken. The next arrow pierced the Kraken's right eye, and by now, Mary had got the full attention of the Kraken now.
I was too busy distracted by watching Mary for just a split second when Nadine appeared beside me. I yelped and stabbed Nadine in her chest. Nadine sidestepped and with a wave of her hands, she summoned chains that stopped my every move. Then, she tore my upper shirt open and squeezed both of my nipples very hard.
"OOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!" I yelled in pain. the others took no notice of me, and I writhed and squirmed and struggled against the lead chains. Oh no! Here we go again! Getting tortured by Nadine again!
Nadine teleported me to the podium near the Kraken, and she waved her hand and a bathtub appeared, filled with water.
Then, Nadine dunked me inside the bathtub. All I could do is writhe and struggle helplessly as Nadine kept dunking my head underwater.
This time, I didn't feel so comfortable underwater, especially when I am chained like an animal. I kept writhing and struggling against the chains as I held my breath.
After about 5 minutes, Nadine pulled me up and that left me gasping and coughing. My whole body drenched and shuddered. Nadine then snapped her fingers and chains began to crumble to dust, but before Nadine can snap her hands again, an arrow whizzed and hit Nadine square in the chest and it brought Nadine a few hundred meters away from me.
I looked at where the arrow came from, and I saw Mary with her bows and arrows. My eyes said a quick thank you to Mary.
Mary looked past me in alarm, and I figure that Mary was trying to warn me or something. I glanced back, and stared at the horror behind me.
The Kraken is just a few meters behind me, and it's bringing its large tentacles right on me. Mary quickly nocked an arrow at its neck, and the Kraken roared in pain, as I could see some blood are coming out of the neck. I could tell that Mary had hit the sweet spot of the Kraken. Her arrow that pierced the Kraken's neck had just touched the major artery in the Kraken's neck. I could shoot an arrow there, but my arrow isn't going to pierce the Kraken's thick skin/armor.
I've tried pressure wave and incendiary shots before, and none of that worked with the Kraken. Then I looked carefully at the arrow that is lodged into its neck.
Just a few more meters inside his neck, it would pierce his major artery, and that would turn the tide of the battle.
So, I grabbed an arrow, and channeled that arrow to explode in a pressure wave that explodes outwards. I fired the arrow, and it hit the Kraken, but it didn't hit Mary's arrow that had been lodged into the Kraken's neck. The Kraken looked more annoyed than in pain. I tried to fire another arrow, and in a flash of darkness, someone appeared behind me.
I quickly glanced back, and I was about to swing my bow at the figure when I realized that the figure is Melody, my daughter.
"Melody?" I asked.
"Father, you will need this." Melody grabbed my arrow and said something in Ancient Greek. Then, she allow me to fire the arrow.
I fired the arrow, and it travels right where Mary's lodged arrow is. The arrow exploded itself in a pressure wave just a few centimeters prior to hitting the arrow. Mary's celestial bronze arrow went deeper into the Kraken's jugular and I could see the Kraken is bleeding profusely. The Kraken bellowed in pain as it thrashes around with its tentacle. The monsters are running away from the Kraken, and Mary fired another large arrow and it hit another part of the Kraken's neck, and I followed it up with the arrow pressure wave I just did earlier.
Another huge volume of blood burst out of the Kraken's neck, giving the Kraken a very low chance of survival. The Kraken immediately retreated into the depths, but the Kraken managed to walk about 5 steps into the sea before succumbing to loss of blood, and then the Kraken's blood burst everywhere, spilling onto the rooftops of houses and complexes.
The Kraken looked sad, and threw up blood at the monsters before disintegrating to ashes.
Nadine and Gaea called in full retreat, seeing that their primary weapon had been destroyed, but Nadine didn't go without a fight. Nadine decided to take revenge into her own hands. She warped beside me, and thankfully I had anticipated the trick, so I stomped on Nadine's right leg and elbowed her jaw. Nadine grabbed my arm and is about to break it when Mary smacked her hand across Nadine, sending her flying for a good 4 feet. Melody then uses her magic to blast Nadine far away.