Mitsuko smiled softly now having the answer she wanted and nodded. "Yes, yes I do well like you as more then just a friend Gary. I have for a year now. You've always have been there for me and that's enough for me to think of you as more then a friend." Mitsuko said cuddling into his chest. "You're good looking to me as well but mostly you've treated me as a person and not a demigod." she said smiling softly.
Gary put his arms around Mitsuko and held her to him, not bothering to say that he treated everyone as more than just a demigod. The campers might be special, but they were just like ordinary people apart from their unique talents. As the embrace continued, he noted that she had an interesting scent about her. He recognised it as her usual cherry-blossom perfume, one to which he had recently taken a liking. Gary figured it complimented her attractive Japanese looks.
"So, um... I'm not really sure what the next step is from here," he eventually said with a chuckle, looking down at Mitsuko as he spoke. "I mean, there's only so many places you can go for a first date around camp..."
"Well anything thing dark and peaceful works for me. You could even say we could have a first date here. It's quiet and somewhat dark, besides if anything comes up to us we can protect our selves well enough." Mitsuko said a soft smile tracing her lips.
She rested her hands softly on Gary's chest still looking up at him her head cocked to the side some then she nuzzled her nose softly to his cheek leaving a soft kiss where her nose once was.
With the minor but pleasant interruption of Dathne over with, Ea decided to press on with the tour.
"This is our infirmary." she proclaimed upon arrival at the small but sturdy building.
"Now obviously, in a perfect world, you'd never have to go in here. But you will. Don't delude yourself into thinking you won't. Be it because of monster attacks, arena fights or just plain bad luck, you will end up here at least once, and I want you to understand that when you do, you'll be in the hands of pros. These people have been known to heal life-threatening wounds in seconds, reverse injuries that would otherwise leave a man crippled, and lift curses that no hospital ever could.
In a nutshell, they know what they're doing. So don't hesitate to go in here if you have a problem."
This was probably the most serious speech she'd have to give on the tour, but it was an important one. Sometimes noobies at the camp didn't trust the supernatural healing, and tried to stitch themselves up. And their sewing skills weren't exactly on the level of Buffalo Bill.
Anny got Ea's point, but again, she'd stay as far from this place as she could. She might never have been seriously injured, but she'd endured more cuts and bruises than most people had at her age. She preferred to just let them heal on their own.
Anyway, Ea was eager to get away from what was unanimously considered the most depressing place on the tour, and thus they set off for the fan-favorite, the amphitheatre.
"I suppose... though we could probably add something to make it seem more like a date. I think there's a six-pack of Coke under my bunk..." Gary trailed off, feeling Mitsuko kiss his cheek for the second time that day. It felt different from the playful peck she had given him after the surprise hug; he noted the strangeness of that thought, but paid little heed to it, distracted by the moment.
Gary returned the kiss, placing one on Mitsuko's cheek. As he pulled back, however, his eyes met hers and he stopped, holding the gaze. Her eyes were beautiful; dark green irises that reminded him of the times he had walked through the woods at night. A crazy idea flashed through his mind as he looked at her, one that seemed unusual, but also oddly right.
Acting on the thought, Gary gathered his courage, leaned in even closer to Mitsuko and gently pressed his lips to hers.
Mitsuko blinked and smiled softly in the kiss. She kissed him back with some force but not enough to take things further then where it was now. the fact was she was in heaven, the warmth of his lips on hers and the softness of his touch was enough to take her there.
she softly placed a hand on his cheek and the other around his back. The feeling of euphoria steeped over her like a wave crashing on the rocks of the shore. She pulled her self closer to Gary sighing content as she deepened the kiss.
Jacob looked around and found a cabin with smokestacks and clockwork cogs seemingly built into the wall. The cogs seemed to serve no other purpose than to keep the rest of the cogs spinning. The symbol above the door was that of a smithing hammer. This must be my father's cabin. This must be my...home...now. Without saying a word, he walked in and unpacked his things into a drawer by an empty bed. He stood from his new...bed...and looked around the room. The interior was completely different from the outside. The room had a futuristic look; chrome and brushed steel and little gadgets lined the walls and hung from the roof. I'll have time to look later. I need to go back to the white man, he thought, and returned to the Cowboy as quickly as he could.
When his plate was filled with waffles, fruit, butter, and almost enough syrup to flow over the sides Javier waved his fork at Mat and left the buffet line. He found the table for his cabin and set his plate down at an empty spot. His silverware was dropped into a pile beside the plate. 'Milk or juice?' Javier debated. He turned to locate his next destination. Carefully walking around other camp members he made his way to the drink selections. Once there he picked up a random pitcher. 'Milk it is.' Javier observed. He poured the selected liquid into a good-sized plastic cup. After grabbing a few extra napkins Javier walked back to his place at the table and began to eat. The food was hot and the drink was cold. Javier's plate quickly emptied.
As the two boys dashed off to stash their things in their cabin, Brandon looked down on his phone. Another text had come in, this one from a woman he had a one-night fling with in New Orleans. Wanted to know when he was coming back. Of course. Brandon dashed a quick text back.
Dunno when ill b back. ill text when i am.
He hated the clingy types. The foreign kid returned before the mime did, but he was along shortly after. "All right, ya'll have any preference for what you wanna see next? I can take ya to the other buildins or I can take ya out to the the woods n' the lake. Sup to you."
As Javier walked away with his breakfast, Mat got the impression that he wanted to eat alone.
Hm, I'll do the same I guess...Gimme time to think on some things.
Plating up a very large portion of bacon and eggs, Mat gathered his cutlery and shuffled past the remaining people in the queue, heading towards the table of Aeolus. As he took a seat, Mat sighed forlornly.As usual, he would be dining alone.
No one's ever around anymore... There were few children of Aeolus and most were constantly running errands outside of the camp, or studying privately. That, combined with Mat's strict training regime meant that he rarely saw his siblings except just before bed. He'd occasionally train with them, and attempt to teach them what he knew about wind manipulation, but his personal training often got in the way.
Taking a brief pause in his contemplation, Mat looked down at his breakfast to find that the plate was almost empty. ...Man so deep in thought there that I barely tasted it...
Mat jumped up and strided towards the drinks and just grabbed a glass of water. As he turned, his eyes met Javier's and he jovially raised his glass up in acknowledgement before returning to his seat.
Leaning back in his chair, Mat surveyed the room. So many young, smiling faces that held so much potential. As he idly twiddled a piece of bacon on the end of his fork, Mat grimaced at a sudden macabre thought.
How many of these kids gonna be dead in a few years...?
It was something that Mat would often surprise himself by thinking, but it would regularly pop into his head when observing the other Demigods. Quests were - on average - very dangerous and the camp had lost some pretty strong Demigods over the years. Sometimes accidents happened...
Mat was glad that he'd never had to go on a quest before, despite his age. The amount of training he did was to ensure that he was totally ready for his first quest.
Pushing the depressing thoughts of death away from him, Mat finished his breakfast quickly and gulped down the last of the water.
After dropping his dirty plate off, Mat left the Mess Hall and decided to take a slow walk around the camp.
Maybe I'll see some of the newbies up close. That'd be cool...
Or killed. Hunter thought as Ea finished her warning about the archery range and they headed for the arena.
Hunter wasn't exactly liking this place to begin with. But the arrival at the arena made him hate it. The damaged walls and blood in the sand wouldn't have bothered him but expect the place was built so the fights would appear to be spectacles. The idea of people watching and enjoying others fighting sickened Hunter. This place was starting to scare him.
Why would someone build a place like this? Who would allow something like this to continue? Why would people participate in this? Hunter wasn't going to trust anyone here. They sickened him so much that he wasn't even going to touch any of them. I'll die before my pain gets turned into enjoyment for other people.
Out of nowhere a woman showed up abrasively grabbed Hunter's hand from his side and shook it. Before Hunter could pull his hand back in protest she had let go and run off saying something about the archery range. The only thing Hunter managed to catch was her name, Dathne. What the fuck is wrong with people here? Hunter felt violated.
Hunter left the arena following Ea after that interruption. The next stop Hunter didn't mind in the slightest. Unlike most people Hunter liked doctors considering they were often the ones that contacted the police and had him removed from those wretched places that he lived. Despite that unless it was something serious Hunter didn't plan on coming here ofter. He hated to show people his scars even if they were doctors. Hunter noticed Ea wasn't especially fond of this place and started to move on.
A thought moved into Hunter's mind as they continued on with the tour but he was nervous about asking a question about it encase it brought back counter questions but he knew he'd regret it if he didn't ask. Hunter's mouth grew dry. "Can any of those healers remove past scars?" Hunter asked in a barely audible tone.
"Who knows? Maybe one day I'll find someone willing to take me up on my advances, until then I'll keep trying".
Kat rolled her eyes. She always found men who were habitual flirts to be extremely irritating, but then again, she found a lot of things to be extremely irritating. Somehow, his statement didn't make her any less annoyed. She relaxed slightly when Jessica mentioned a trip to the armory to pick out their own blades. The idea of practicing her technique with fellow Demigods was very appealing; sparring was her favorite way to keep her anger in check. Kat waved to the naiad when Jessica did, not sure who or what she was, but not wanting to look dumb by not waving.
She took a moment to look around at the lake and the woods. Kat had never been a "nature person", so to speak, but the scenery was quite...relaxing. She made a mental note to perhaps take a walk around this area once in a while. "It's nice out here," she commented. "Aside from the woods that's full of things that can kill you, of course".
Jessica laughed a little at Katarina's remark, missing the eye-roll. "Oh, you won't need to worry about what's lurking in the woods until you've gotten at least a few hours of training under your belt. And even then you won't be going alone; no-one goes looking for a fight on their own. Plus the monsters have learned not to venture into the edges of the forest or out into the open. They tend to get killed off if they try it."
Jess figured that she was going to befriend Katarina pretty quickly; the newcomer appeared to have a sense of humour. As she led Kat and Alexandros away from the lake, heading for the directors' offices, she opted to try and make a bit of conversation. "So, um... do either of you have any questions about what we've seen so far? Or anything else you can think of, I don't mind."
Gary breathed a mental sigh of relief as the kiss continued. Mitsuko hadn't stopped him. Judging by her reaction, maybe it was the right move. Although... she seemed to be throwing herself into it a little, as shown by her getting a little closer to him. Actually, it was more like a lot closer. He was enjoying the moment nonetheless, a feeling of warmth spreading through his chest as he held Mitsuko. He hadn't felt like that since... well, ever. It was different from his relationship with Karen: almost as if what he had experienced back then was now magnified tenfold in just one kiss.
Although he didn't want to do it - the taste of her lips was bordering on divine - Gary eventually pulled his head back, breaking the kiss, and looked down at Mitsuko. "I hate to be a bit of a buzzkill, but let's not go too far, eh?" he said quietly, taking in the closeness of her body against his. "I'm sure you don't want to overdo it on Day One... would you be interested in me quickly grabbing a drink or two for us?"
Mitsuko nodded some. "Yea sorry about that. I got a bit into the moment really but a drink does sound nice." she said smiling softly resting her head on his shoulder. She wrapped both arms around Gary's back then looked up at him. She hadn't been this happy in ages, if really ever. She wanted to be with just Gary at that moment and was happy to be with him.
"I'm more then happy I can here to Camp Half-Blood." she said looking deep in his eyes and kissed his cheek softly. "So what did you have in mind after we get our drinks?" she asked stepping back from him.
Alexandros couldn't help but notice the eye roll Kat made and laughed.
"What? All men flirt, but most of them won't flirt even if they want to. My father is the god of having a lack of inhibitions, only makes sense that I would catch some...alright all of that. You'd be surprised how fun and enjoyable life is when you stop worrying so much and just let the day take you. Carpe Diem, seize the day, live a little." He said with a laugh, he knew some people didn't like his extremely casual and free spirited nature, but it worked for him and he wished people were a bit more free to express themselves at times. He knew he got it from his father mostly, but growing up around people who expressed themselves for a living meant you were bound to pick it up yourself.
He had tuned out Jessica in his thoughts before she asked her question, and immediately snapped out of his daze.
"Not really, it all seems straight forward so far." Was the response she received.
"That's a different way of looking at things, I guess," Kat replied. She somewhat agreed with Alexandros's outlook on life, but she definitely didn't share his "free spirit" mentality. In fact, she really didn't have a "philosophy" to live life by. She really only had one rule to give herself: Make your best effort not to kill everyone who pisses you off. She already had one instance where she nearly killed someone in rage; she didn't need another.
"Questions? Uh...not right now," she said in response to Jessica's inquiry.
"I don't know, really. I kinda imagined just sitting and talking with you somewhere," Gary answered, smiling. "Whether it's here, by the lake or down at the beach, I don't mind. Just as long as we're together." He paused there, blushing a little at the cheesiness of that last statement. He hadn't meant to sound that... well, lame, but it couldn't be helped.
"Um... did you want to come with me to pick up the drinks? It's just a simple teleport to my cabin as soon as we get out of the forest, nothing major," he said, remembering the limits of his teleportation. Like Nightcrawler from X-Men, Gary had to see his intended destination in order to actually use the spell. Plus anyone going with him had to hold on and stay pretty close to him; Gary smiled inwardly at that; it wouldn't be a problem for Mitsuko.
"All right then. You'll probably have questions later," Jessica said, paying attention to the conversation that Alexandros and Katarina were holding. It seemed the son of Dionysus had a bit in common with some of her own, more carefree siblings. An idea came to light in her head as they got closer to the camp's northernmost building... but she mentally laughed it off. Alexandros was new; she would give him time to settle in before doing something like that.
"This here is the Hall of Heroes; it's kinda like a museum to commemorate demigods like us, who have performed actions above and beyond what was expected of them. People who give their lives to save others, who managed to kill a powerful monster single-handed, things like that. If you want we can take a look around inside."
"It works for me, and it leaves me with a lot less stress than most. My way may not work for everyone, but it works for me. I won't be apologizing for it anytime soon. As for the Hall of Heros, I'd like to know who among us are those to emulate." Alexandros replied.
Ea only just barely managed to make out Hunters question, right as they arrived at the amphitheatre.
The question was intriguing, but not nearly as much as why he'd asked it.
"Uhm..." she hesitantly began, "It depends on what caused the scars, and how severe they are, I guess, but most of the time they can fix things like that up quite nicely. It might take a while though."
This question had been asked before, but only two or three times in the time Ea had been at the camp.
While one of those instances had been about a genital scar following a rather painful (but hilarious) accident, the others had been about serious magical injuries, brought on by monsters or other Demigods. If Ea had to guess (and in this case, she really didn't need to) Hunters case was more the latter than the former.
"I can't say for sure, but if you go there later and show'em what's up, there's a fair chance they can help you, or at least let you know their thoughts. At the very least, they can give advice on how to obscure them, even if they can't heal them."
Anny had regarded this little exchange with no small amount of interest. She herself didn't have any scars (granted, her lip was constantly messed up, but that was just due to her habit of picking and fiddling with it rather than actual scarring) but she could imagine that with healing as advanced as this, options might be available here that weren't so elsewhere. This had to attract at least some people, she reasoned.
With Hunters question answered, Ea led the two into the amphitheater, where some children of Dionysus were arguing over a play ,or rather, the decision of which play to choose. By the looks of things, one side wanted to do Aristophanes' The Birds, whereas the other side wanted to do Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
But leaving aside the bickering group, none of whom really paid much attention to the newcomers (what with being so caught up in the debate and all) Ea showed the theater itself. And - it - was - awesome.
There was something...powerful about this place. Oh sure, there were other impressive places in the camp: the imposing Director's Offices, the majesty of the lake, the impressive steampunk machina of the Hephaestus cabin. But this was just stone. Several benches, reaching many yards from one side to the other, going up multiple elevations in the back, all made out big-ass, heavy-duty stone. Granted, there were pillows on the stone for more comfortable seating, and some of the stones had barely legible scribbles carved into them by campers long since forgotten, but it was still impressive as all hell.
At least, to Anny.
Ea attended the theater whenever there were notable events, or performances of special significance, but otherwise didn't especially care for them. Anny, on the other hand, was nothing short of blown away by the place.
Of all the different locations in the camp, this was probably the most authentic, and as such, the one to spark her love of history the most.
In spite of the warm June weather, small goosebumps popped up on her arms and shoulders.
"I'd love to go with you Gary. As for what to do something along the line of sitting on the beach." Mitsuko said smiling softly walking back to the edge of the forest. Mitsuko covered her eyes from the bright light. "Owww." she said her eyes hurting some.
It was always more difficult for her to shift from darker places to well light sunny areas, she always knew it was part of being a child of Nyx.
"Aww, poor you," Gary said with a chuckle, having followed Mitsuko to the forest edge. From here he could see the cabins easily, allowing for a nice quick teleport. "Alright, here we go," he added as he put his arms around her once more, making sure to look in the right direction. He quickly placed a light kiss on her cheek, snapped his fingers and the two of them vanished as he had done earlier in the day.
They reappeared near the Hecate cabin, a simple stone construction with green torches burning brightly on either side of the yew-wood door. Gary was the first to move, letting go of Mitsuko with one hand and opening the door with a gesture. The two of them quickly entered to find the room deserted. As was the case with most of the cabins to allow their residents to live comfortably, the room was dimensionally transcendental; bigger on the inside. Bunks lined the walls, each personalised with their occupant's decorations. Gary crossed over to his own bunk; his custom-made staff lay on it.
Gary took the staff, figuring it would help with the teleporting and suchlike, and reached under his bunk, searching around for a few seconds before he found the cool touch of metal. He pulled out the six-pack of Coke and held it up, asking Mitsuko, "So, to the beach then? Or back to the woods, I don't mind."
Jacob stared evenly at the massive cowboy. Something about him set him on edge. "You go. I shall follow your choice." He followed behind him, always keeping his distance. His eyes didn't stop moving. He trusted nothing in his surroundings. Everything could be a trap. People told him he was safe now, He didn't believe any of them.
Brandon was starting to get a little ticked off. He knew he was probably saddled with these two for a reason but there was no fight in them. No desire to be leaders. The foreign kid still kept following him, and the other kid still hadn't said a damn word. It was annoying, he expected these kids to be a bit proactive.
"Fine, you know what? We'll go up to the docks there, I'll show you the beach. It's pretty good at calming me down." I'm gonna need it soon here. God damn kids. Not able to do anything for their own. Someone's got to teach 'em. I ain't doing it.
After a bit, Brandon got his tour group to the northwest corner of the camp, where the docks were. The Long Island Sound spray was coming up a little bit. "All right, see this here's the docks. We got boats and stuff you can take out into the Sound, and we can swim in here. Just gotta watch out for the occasional shark up here."
Jacob was getting annoyed with the cowboy. This was the longest conversation he had in years, and he missed his solitude. And now he was facing a piece of the mighty ocean, and he was lying to him! Making up fake creatures to try to scare him, as though he was a child. "What are you talking about?" he said, with his accent heavy on each word. "What is this Shark you talk of?" he asked, his voice incredulous at the thought of being lied to.
"What the-?" Brandon was confused for a second until he remembered who he was talking too. "Right. Desert. OK. Well you see there kid, you know them tigers and such right? Hunting animals, lots of teeth? Well a shark is like a tiger, only it lives in the ocean, and can swim really fast, and if one gets ya, your pretty much dead. So, be careful out here. Cause I ain't savin' ya if a shark's got ya. Your daddy can fish you out there...whoever he is."
Hunter wasn't sure what to do. He'd gotten an anwser but it held no guarantees. A personal conflict was going on through his mind. On one hand they may be able to remove some of the scars. On the other hand if they can't all of them will bring u unwanted questions with no benefit to himself. This silenced Hunter as they arrived at the amphitheater.
The magic of the place was lost on Hunter. Partially because of his current state of thought. Partially because he never cared for live theater or large stone structures. Hunter sat on one of the pillows in order to get off his feet. No clear decision was in his head and he noticed Anny was intrigued by this place. Hunter was willing to wait for her to get her fill, plus sitting and thinking was a lot better than walking and thinking. The argument between the groups on stage was getting a little louder and Hunter started to envy the pettiness of their problems.
After finishing his second plate of waffles Javier dumped the scraps in the trash and put his dirty dishes in the appropriate bin. At the north exit he paused to glance around the Mess Hall. Mat seemed to have left already. And...there didn't seem to be anyone else around that Javier felt like socializing with. With a casual shrug he put his shoulder against the door to push it open. Once outside he paused again. Strenuous activity was not wise after eating so he couldn't begin his staff practice just yet. 'But I can still check on the the current students. See how things are going.' Javier lightly spun on his heel and began walking toward the Armory and Shooting Range.
"hmmmm the woods would be nice now that I think of it and I've always loved the look of the Hecate cabin. Very homie, makes me wish I was a child of Hecate." Mishuko laughed some looking at Gary. She was happy to be a child of Nyx but a joke never hurt anyone.
She smirked some. "I still find it funny how you don't bring your staff with you all the time when I always have my daggers." she laughed softly.
"Anny?" Ea asked, trying to get through to the mesmerized girl.
"Aaaaaanny?" she repeated, now snapping her fingers in front of Anny's face as well.
This finally got through to her, as whatever spell had briefly seized hold of her faded away.
"Uhm, sorry about that." she awkwardly mumbled. "Guess I kinda got carried away for a second there. You were saying?"
A small smile creeped onto Ea's face. She knew Anny wasn't distracted because Ea's talk was boring, she understood that it was because Anny just had that sort of mind: the kind that likes to wander, but doesn't particularly watch where it's going. It brought back fond memories.
"There's no real set schedule, but we try to put on a new play every 2 months or so. Also, some of the musicians jam and play here every once in a while. It's mostly the kids of Apollo and Dionysus, but everybody's welcome."
Aaaand, with that, Anny was uncomfortably reminded of the fact that her harpsichord was still at home.
The disappointment must have shown on her face, because Ea quickly called Hunter and her, and guided them to their next destination. Fortunately, this happened to be the fabled Arts And Crafts Hall.
Unlike the amphitheater, which was predominantly used by children of Dionysus and Apollo, the Arts And Crafts Hall was pretty evenly divided among the different cabins. Oh sure, there were a couple of metal-sculptures from the Hephaestus kids, and some impressive examples of gemcutting from the folks of Hades, but for the most part, every cabin had pretty much evenly divided space in the Hall.
Inside, there were about half a dozen campers in various states of disshevelledness, working on marble statues, clay sculptures, woven tapestries and ceremonial jewelry, as behind them many completed specimens of all of these were either hanging on the wall or otherwise proudly displayed. A smell hung in the air from the campers their work; not a foul one, no sir, but certainly a bizarre one. Kind of like that of a medieval city market, except without the smell of whores and fish mixed in.
"This place is open 24/7," Ea explained, "Though you have to close the doors and windows if you're gonna work at night, and just as a pre-emptive warning: if you mess with other peoples work, they are justified in kicking your ass. But apart from that, feel free to use this place any time you want."
While Anny was intrigued by the place, she'd never been one for the visual arts. Music was her thing, and every once in a while, writing. Somehow the hall filled with hot metal, sharp chisels and pointy needles didn't appeal to her very much.
Ea could sympathise.
"You always forget that I can use my magic without the staff," Gary explained. "It's essentially an amplifier for my abilities, so I can cast faster and hit harder with spells. Plus I can always give a target a bit of a chill," he added with a grin, tracing a small ice-blue line in the air with a finger. The line quickly faded into thin air, as it was more for show than anything else.
"Anyways, shall we?" he asked rhetorically, leading Mitsuko out of the cabin and closing the door behind him. Careful to keep a hold on his acquisitions - the box of Cokes under one arm and his staff in the other hand - he said, "Um... you're gonna have to hug me this time, instead of the other way around."
"Alright, let's take a look. We'll make it quick, though, there's a fair bit still to come," Jessica said brightly, opening one of the double doors to the Hall of Heroes and walking inside. She held the door open for the other two until they passed by her.
The Hall was always a kind of... sanctified, peaceful place, at least to Jessica. It was completely silent inside, save for the three sets of footsteps on the floor. She said quietly, "Feel free to take a look at whatever you feel like," and made her way over to a small statue she always visited.
A marble statue of a young boy around sixteen years of age stood out from some of the others nearby; he wore Greek battle armour over a T-shirt and jeans, and wielded a matched pair of gauntlets over his hands. The boy's hands were balled into fists, a set of claws protruding from each gauntlet, and he was posed in a stance that suggested he was ready for combat.
A small sign was attached to the bottom of the statue, which read:
Cameron K. Del Piero, Son of Athena
Sacrificed his life to save his friends, a true hero until the end.
Cameron passed away in the Underworld, facing a skeletal legion, to allow
the rest of his allies to escape with Hades's hostage, the god Apollo.
May his selfless life and noble death inspire us all to greater heights.
Jessica took a moment to recall the story Chiron had told a couple of times. When the centaur learned that Hades, God of the Dead, had imprisoned Apollo, a group of demigods had undertaken the quest to rescue the wrongfully captured Sun-god. They had travelled across the USA, taking a flight from Miami to Los Angeles and confronting Hades in his domain, the Underworld. Apollo had been rescued and returned to Olympus, but at the cost of Del Piero's life.
Strangely enough, Ea had been found on that quest and brought back to Camp Half-Blood. Jess still wondered about her sometimes, and what it was that made her so special.
Hunter was infinitely more interested in the arts and crafts building than the other buildings so far. The metal sculptures proved of more interest than the marble and clay statues, mainly because metal work was something well beyond Hunter. Picking up a sketchbook from an empty table and checking it for other drawings as per Ea's warning. Finding none Hunter took the pad of paper and a hb pencil and started sketching.
Hunter himself was a pretty good artist but was far from amazing. He could draw certain things amazingly and other things he flat out screwed up drawing after a few lines. Hunter started sketching a wolf; one of the things he was better at drawing and looked up at Ea and Anny. Both of them seemed to enjoy this place much less than himself. Hunter walked back to them. "I can sketch while we continue the tour." Hunter said in quiet timid voice.
Dathne finally made her way to the archery range.
"Hey Rami! Sorry I'm late, I got caught up with the newly arrived recruits...."
She was quite out of breath, for she had ran the rest of the way from the arena to the range.
Rami was a fellow child of Apollo, a middle aged man who's bow skills were extraordinary. Dathne had been training with him since she arrived at camp and together they had grown a sort of bond. Nothing romantic, but a bond of shared goals.
"That's alright. I took the liberty of lining up the targets while I was waiting"
Rami added a playful smile as he looked down the range. And then further.
Dathne looked at the range. It was empty. Save for three wooden target dummies that were position four times further than the normal target dummy round-up.
It wasn't even inside the archery range. But, Rami had put up some signs telling people to stay away from the area from noon to midday.
Taking up her bow from the table, she equipped her quiver and lined up a shot.
"Okay Dath. Now, I want you to hit the target with two arrows. Once you've done that, we can move onto hitting the next one with two arrows, while setting them aflame. Okay?"
A sigh escaped her lips as she swallowed a cry. This was the exam she had been training for, wasn't it?
She decided not to ask the question, not wanting to give Rami any ideas in case this wasn't it.
Closing her eyes, she drew her arrows and placed them on the bow. Pulled, then released.
A few tries later and she finally managed to hit the target with both arrows, instead of just the one.
"Very good. Now, conjure fire onto the arrows and hit the target in the middle"
Rami's hands were clasped together and a grin was on his face. He was enjoying this.
Dathne breathed heavily to slow her heart and clear her head. Then she got ready to draw the arrows.
Mitsuko giggled some and hugged Gary tightly. "Just like this?" she asked resting her head on his chest cuddling to him. She blinked then looked at Gary. "Wait if you don't mind I'll just grab one of your blankets. It might get cold and this blanket will be big enough for the both of us." Mitsuko said flirting picking up a big blanket cuddling to Gary again.
"Alright, that's fine by me," Gary answered when Mitsuko returned with a blanket. As she hung on to him, he couldn't help but feel a little bit more attracted to her... But that could wait for another time. Careful to avoid hitting Mitsuko with his staff, he twirled it once in his hand and they teleported together for the second time, returning to the edge of the forest.
Gary led Mitsuko into the woods, quickly finding the small clearing they had visited earlier. As she laid out the blanket at the base of a tree and sat down with her back to it, Gary leaned his staff up against the same tree, took a couple of cans from their box and opened them both. He sat down next to Mitsuko and passed one of the cans to her, stealing a quick kiss from her cheek as he did so.
"So, um... I'm not really sure what to talk about," he began. "You mentioned you had feelings for me for about a year?" Unsure of any other conversation topics, he figured that this would be a good place to start.