(Published August 6th, 2017)

XXIII. Lou Ellen, it's Rude to Go Poking Around in Other People's Deaths

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๖ۣۜLou Ellen was sick and tired of running around on a wild goose chase.

On the way back to Proteus' spot, Alabaster updated Lou Ellen on everything that happened after she ran off. She was angry that Proteus had totally just swindled them out of a prophecy. If it had been her, first off, she would've roasted the Hades out of Proteus, and secondly, she wouldn't have let that crusty god get away with not giving them the prophecy that they deserved. She was also sick of looking at a bunch of trees.

Ugh.

Lou Ellen stepped over a branch that was lying on the ground. "So did Proteus even tell us where the Argo's ruins were?"

"No, he was too salty by his loss to tell us anything," Alabaster responded, staying in step with her. The two siblings walked along in silence for the rest of the time, too shaken by recent events to speak. Lou Ellen was completely stressed out because she had no idea how she was going to fix things with Cecil. Maybe he'll understand, a small, hopeful side of her said.

The realistic side of her shut down that comment-And maybe Chiron secretly watches Korean drama.

Lou Ellen sighed as they approached Proteus' spot. Cecil was having a very animated conversation with Will as Claymore and Nico stood aloof off to the side. Lou Ellen tried to make eye contact with Cecil, but he wouldn't even look in her direction. How did the heck Alabaster expect her to talk to Cecil when he didn't even acknowledge her existence?

She stayed by Alabaster's side, hoping to find a way to talk to Cecil. She carefully listened to their conversation, trying to find a way she could casually jump in, but Will had stopped Cecil mid-sentence.

"What's that over there?" Will pointed out to the river, his index finger aimed at a humanoid figure in the water. "Is that a naiad?"

The figure that Will was pointing at waved, her smile wide and inviting. Lou Ellen, along with everyone else, followed Will as he approached the creature with curiosity, wondering why this naiad had just shown up.

Nico glared at the naiad with suspicion. "Will, I don't know if- "

Will ignored Nico, squatting down in front of the naiad so that their eyes were level. She batted her eyes at him and gave him a flirtatious smile as she ran her fingers through her hair. "Excuse me," Will said, ignoring the naiad's behavior, "but do you know where the ruins of Jason's Argo are by any chance?"

The naiad stared at Will for a second before smiling and nodding her head quickly. She waved her hand back and forth, gesturing for them to come in the water. The silence of the nymph reminded Lou Ellen of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, except way more likely stab an unsuspecting mortal in the neck with a dinglehopper.

"We have to swim there?" Will asked the naiad as she nodded once again. "Well, there's got to be another way to get through the water..."

"Could you maybe push our canoes?" Alabaster held up three index cards with green crudely drawn outlines of canoes on them. The naiad tilted her head, studying the index cards. Then, without warning, she dove back into the river, disappearing into the waters. Will called out to her, but she didn't return.

"It's probably better this way," Nico finally said. "Naiads aren't the most trustworthy creatures."

Just as Lou Ellen was losing hope, six figures emerged from the water. Alabaster quickly pulled out his index cards again, muttering Latin under his breath. The drawings off of the cards disappeared as three canoes appeared in the river right in front of her eyes, masked in green light and runes. The light died off, but the runes remained engraved on the dark green canoes. Alabaster returned the empty index cards to his pocket. "Since there are only three canoes, I'll ride with Claymore, Cecil, you can ride with-"

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