Chapter 26: Reunited, But At What Cost?

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There will be six at the beginning and at the end.

One will be enemy and one will be friend.

A choice be made; heart or mind.

The lover's ears be deaf and eyes be blind.

Misleading will he try to thee.

For much is the Pit God's unease.

For an ancient god will pave.

A looming final path: destroy or save.


But before The Ghost King could give any more orders, he heard a familiar voice cry out, "Nico!"

He whipped around to see the other five demigods, Katie rushing forward to hug him. She wrapped her arms tightly around his body, not caring that he wasn't responsive. "Oh my gods Nico, I'm so glad to see you!" She cried. Then she looked around with confusion on her face. "Where's Percy?"

For the first time, the ghost king showed emotion. A flash of pain flickered through with black, souless eyes as he gestered to the skeleton gently carrying Percy in its arms. He didn't speak.

"...No..."Annabeth gasped. Her stormy grey eyes showed more emotion than Nico had seen on this quest, brimming with unshed tears. She bounded forward, looking as desperate as Nico had once felt. Now he felt nothing but emptiness.

"Oh gods..." Rachel put a hand over her mouth, trying not to cry. Octavain suddenly grabbed her hand, making the oracle look at him with suprise on her face.

Looking slightly embarrassed, Octavian started to draw back his hand. "Sorry." He mummered.

But before he could completly retreat, Rachel pulls it back. "Its fine." She replied, smiling slightly to let him know she's ok with it. Grinning slightly at this, Octavain held her hand. He tried to look solem but failed miserably.

Annabeth suddenly retreated, her eyes back to that stormy, calculated look that Nico used to dispise so much. She stood back, tears gone from her eyes. It looked like the daughter of Athena didn't even cry. But the Ghost King didn't seem to care. He didn't care at all about anything anymore.

Suddenly, Clarisse bounded forward. She thought she had seen something, something a dead person shouldn't do...

Taking off her leather gloves, Clarisse put two index fingers by Percy's neck. Smirking, she got up and said, "It looks like the punk isn't so dead after all."

The Ghost King then had a second emotion go through him: hope. It, like the other, flickered briefly through his eyes. But it was only a spark, nothing more and nothing less.

Until that spark caught on fire, of course.

Katie ran to Percy's side, pointing the tip of her staff at Percy's chest. The ghost king watched as if watching a boring television channel, not caring. She turned to the five. "I need someone to give me their energy." She stated urgently. "I don't have enough energy to do this."

But before anyone else could volunteer, Octavian spoke up. "I'll do it."

Everyone turned to him with shock. "Why?" Clarisse asked with disbelied in her voice.

"Becuase I have to." Octavain spat, annoyed with her. "Don't you see that this is the only way for me to redeem myself?"

"This won't get you back in Camp Jupiter." Annabeth pointed out, voice oddly normal.

"It won't." Octavain agreed. "But it will get me officially into this quest."

 Before anyone else could argue, Katie cut in. "Stop you're yipping and someone help me with this!"

Shooting everyone a glare, Octavain stepped forward and knelled next to Katie beside Percy. She was removing the bandages from the wound, needing it to be free of the filthy rags. When she was done, she said to Octavain, "Give me your hand."

Looking slightly confused, he did what he was asked to do. Placing it on her staff, Katie started to mummer some greek words that mainly talked about energy, more energy, and even more energy. He felt his eyes threatening to close as more and more of his strength was sucked into the staff.

It started to move into Percy. The sickly colored skin started to turn a healthy pink, making Percy glow with perfection. The hole on Percy's side grew itself flesh, closing the wound and leaving no trace of it. When the staff finished closing the wound, Katie and Octavain both collapsed and fell asleep right away. To Rachel's amusement, Octavain started to snore very, very loudly, making a vacum cleaner sound like dust falling on the ground compared to him. She guffawed it the sight, feeling very strange from all of the emtions going through her.

Then Percy's eyes opened.

Shining sea-green orbs searched the room until they landed on The Ghost King, meeting the beautiful black as midnight eyes with his. He smiled weakly, cute dimples showing that Nico had adored since the day he met him.

And that's when the Ghost King broke.

Tears leaking out of his eyes, Nico di Angelo rushed forward and hugged the son of Poseidon fiercly. He savored the warmth radiating from Percy's body, telling him that he was alive and whole. Percy didn't hesitate to hug him back, wanting to comfort Nico. And not to mention he is a Cuddle di Angelo addict.

"Dont you ever scare me like that again, understand!" Nico growled, trying not to sob. He's done enough of that lately.

"I won't." Percy lied. He knew that things would only get worse as they get older. Being a demigod involves close-to-dying moments on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, Rachel and Octavain watched them embrace from a distance. His face was twisted in slight distaste, but didn't comment. Instead, the blonde turned to the redhead and spoke. "Thanks."

Rachel turned to him with an eyebrow raised. "For what?"

"For letting me on this quest." Octavain answered truthfully.

Rachel laughed. "You realize that you were already on the quest, right?"

Octavain hid his suprise and smirked. "What if I already knew that?" He lied.

Rachel snorted. "Sure, and I'm Zues."

Octavain's gaze suddenly became deadly. He closed the distance between them and whispered in her ear, "What if I did that for you?"

Rachel didn't hesitate. Her hand connected with his jaw, sending him sprawling. "If I could choose, you wouldn't be on his quest."

The blonde smirked. "Oh? And why is that?"

"Because now there's seven of us." Rachel said grimly. "And there can only be six."

Octavain dropped his cocky attitude."Wait, what do you mean there can only be six?"

Rachel glared at him."Do I have to spell it out to you?!" Rachel suddenly screamed, getting very angry with fustration. She didn't want this to be true, but it was. "One of us has to die!"

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, so you all are wondering why I dedicated this chapter to @katiecat_SAR right? Well the reason why is becuase he/she is the ONLY person who figured this out. The rest of you wonderful readers were freaking out about the lover's ears be deaf and eyes be blind part. So good job Katie!

QUESTION: Who do you think's gonna die?

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