353 12 24

"When are you going to do it?"

Grian set the quartz that he had been working with in a shulker box and peered down from where he was perched. "Hm?"

Xisuma crossed his arms impatiently. "When are you going to bring Scar and Cleo back?"

Grian jumped down from Dwayne the Megabase Rock Thing. His elytra expanded, turning his fall into a glide as he landed flawlessly next to Xisuma. "Soon," he said. "I just need a little more time-"

"You've been saying that for the past six months, Grian."

Grian frowned.

Six months? It had been six months already?

"I need to figure out a way to get into the Underworld," Grian said. "I feel like I've considered everything."

"Well, if you actually let someone help, you might be there already," Pearl said, landing.

Grian yelped. "PEARL!"

Pearl giggled.

What little of Xisuma's face that Grian could see was quartz white. "Don't do that!"

Pearl stuck her tongue out at him and turned back to Grian. "I need warped wood for my mushrooms. Seeing as...this," she gestured to Grian's build, "I thought you might like to come."

Xisuma, looking slightly frustrated, lost interest and flew away.

Grian took off as well, but he only rocketed to his chest monster. He searched barrels and chests for warped wood, warped stems, warped wart blocks. He went back to Pearl. "I have a stack left."

Pearl snorted. "When was the last time you went to the Nether?"

Grian had to think on that. He had mostly bought his materials from Keralis' wood shop.

"Season eight," he answered finally. Probably before he had even gone to Camp Half-Blood, the first time. It had been over a year.

Pearl burst out laughing.

Something popped into his head: his experience with the Underworld with Percy, Annabeth, Gem, and Ren. He and the other Hermits had seen the Nether there... almost as Minecraft and Earth had layered on top of each other.

What if it worked the other way around as well?

"Hold on a second," Grian said. He went back to the chest monster and started rummaging.

Pearl sighed. "This would be so much easier if you were organized."

"Pearl, this isn't the time to advertise your cleaning lady service!" Grian found what he was looking for. He pulled the red letter jacket over his sweater and felt the healing power tingle through him. "I'm ready."

"Isn't that the thing you were gonna use to bring Scar and Cleo back?" Pearl asked.

Grian nodded excitedly. "It's hard to explain. But I think I know a way."

Pearl nodded, maybe a little uncertainly. But she went through Mumbo's portal anyway. Grian followed.

His theory had proven correct: before him lay a basalt delta of the Minecraft Nether, with the beginnings of a makeshift Nether hub being built. But he also saw, almost subconsciously, a gloomy cavern where ghosts wandered the endless Fields of Asphodel. Mist - probably the magical kind - wove through both worlds, influencing his perception of reality, tricking his eyes.

Pearl looked at him. "Are you okay? You look dizzy."

Grian smiled. "It worked," he said. "It actually worked."

Pearl surveyed the landscape.

She turned back to Grian, looking desperate. "Do you... do you see it?"

"The Underworld? Of course I do!" Grian was too excited to remember that Pearl was a mortal.

"I'm not crazy!" Pearl cried. Her laugh was relieved.

Grian finally connected the dots. "Wait. You can see it? You can see through the Mist?"

"Is that what it's called?" Pearl asked dreamily.

Grian nodded and concentrated on the Underworld side, hoping it would work. The Nether started to fade. Pearl yelped and grabbed at him.

"You were disappearing into the fog," she said. "Mist. Whatever."

I just got a great idea involving Heroes of Olympus (if I do it) from that sentence

Grian pulled away. "That was the intention... I'll be back soon. Grab me a few stacks of warped wood, will ya?"


The Greek Underworld started to become more real again.

"BUT ITS SUCH A PAIN IN THE BUTT TO GET!" Pearl yelled, and then disappeared.

It was still there. Grian knew that. He still felt it, but he couldn't see it. It was hard to explain.

He seemed to be past Cerberus already. That was good. He had enough problems without an oversized dog trying to use him as a chew toy.

Such problems including finding Scar and Cleo, because believe it or not, it would only work if they were actually touching the Fleece.

Grian was keenly aware that the power of the Fleece could attract things - monsters. Gods. Luke. And of course, if his dream from several months ago wasn't just a dream... Watchers.

Grian shuddered. Why they hadn't come for him yet, he didn't know. But he hoped it stayed that way.

Spirits tugged at him, hoping, begging. Although it pained him, Grian tried to stay away from them. He was here for Scar and Cleo. Anyone else, and it might get noticed by Hades, and that would not be good.

Speaking of Hades, his Furies kept circling overhead. Grian remembered that he was supposed to be dead and tried to look the part. Maybe they'd think he was a ghost if he made enough chattering noises.

He scanned the eerie faces that turned toward him. They started to blend together, and it was hard to focus on them. They were blurred. Almost faceless. It would be impossible to find them in this, unless they found him first.

He sat under a poplar tree and waited.

Then he realized that Scar could be anywhere, and he might not wander this close to the entrance.

Grian sighed and got up. Waiting wasn't going to do him any good.

He thought about the Nether, then realized that in the Nether he was midair above a lava lake. He quickly concentrated on the Underworld again.

What if he didn't find Scar?

What if Scar wasn't here anymore? What if Hades had sent him to Punishment for some reason?

What if the Furies spotted him? Then he'd definitely see Scar again. They'd both be dead and the Golden Fleece would be in Hades' hands.

The worst thought was the Watchers, though. They had destroyed everything he loved last time, they probably wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

There were so many ways this could go wrong.

And Grian was panicking about all of them.

Camp Hermit-Blood: The Titan's CurseWhere stories live. Discover now