Part Sixteen:

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Part 16:

"Hey Zoe!" Alex shouted towards the girl on the grey pegasus. "How much longer?"

"Be patient!" Zoe shouted back, strands of her black hair that had come loose from her ponytail flying like streamers in the wind.

"Yeah, but we've been flying for three hours straight!" Alex cried, slumping against her brown pegasus.

"Alex is right." Sammy shouted, his voice being washed away by the wind the moment it reached the other's ears. "We need to land. I don't care if we'll have to ditch the pegasus, we can continue on foot."

"Fine. We'll land the next time we spot a clearing." Zoe decided, but even then she knew that they wouldn't reach land for a long time.

They were still flying over sea, and after a few minutes, Zoe began to feel uneasy. There had been no attacks, which she had been expecting to happen the most. Five powerful demigods and no monsters? Something was definitely fishy. And her question was answered five minutes later.

The group were flying over the sea in silence when there was a massive screech and a flock of black birds appeared. They weren't normal birds, though. Their beaks were razor sharp and as they swarmed the demigods, Zoe began to feel like something was going to go wrong. She twisted her owl charm on her bracelet. Her sword appeared and she swung it the nearest bird, but it dodged. She swung it again and again but never hit anything.
The others were pulling out their weapons. Charlie wasted half a dozen arrows trying to hit one of them, so he ended up drawing his dagger to swat them away.

Alex had somehow managed to get her pegasus to dodge the birds in the strangest way possible. The pegasus did loop-the-loops, zig-zags, and even dived towards the water and pulled up at the last second. But the birds wouldn't go away.

Then something clicked in Zoe's head. "Jump!" She yelled. "Take your backpack and jump into the water!"

"Are you crazy?" Michael screamed, jumping out of the way as a bird dived at his face.

"Just trust me!" Alex, Sammy, Charlie and Michael nodded in understanding.

"On three! One, two, three!" All five of them jumped off the pegasus.

Zoe concentrated, and as they hit the water, it erupted and swallowed them whole. She created a bubble to surround them and Michael sighed in relief.

"Stymphalian birds." Sammy explained. "Heracles fought them."

"What are we going to do?" Alex questioned. "Our pegasus have probably scattered and the birds are still up there."

"I think I can hold the bubble for a while." Zoe said. "I'm going to push it towards land."

But even she was thinking, this was not a good way to start a quest.

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