Chapter 18

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Percy POV:

Nyx? What was Nyx doing here? Then it struck me. She must have made up some story about the center of Tartarus just so that we would come here. Apollyon would then know exactly where we would be headed, making it easier for him to find and kill us.

Did she really betray us? She had seemed to sincere about helping us when we had talked to her, but now I guess she never really was. There was no way that we would ever get out of here alive now, but what did it matter. Nyx's betrayal would be the end of the universe as we know it and there wasn't anything we could do to stop it. I squeezed Artemis' hand to tell her that she had been a good partner in crime, hoping that she got the message. I felt her squeeze back.

"Nyx? What are you doing here?" I asked, although I already knew.

"Did you really think I would follow a feeble demigod such as yourself. I'm surprised you even believed what I said when you stumbled upon my palace. It was so easy to convince you that I was doing the right thing," She sneered. It hurt knowing that the only person I thought could have helped us, had betrayed us.

"How could you?! This is about the future of our universe and you don't even care!" Artemis screeched at her.

"I do not care because I will gain more power than ever before. Helping Apollyon gives me the opportunity to take what was rightfully mine," she said haughtily.

"This is unbelievable. I should have expected a primordial to succumb to power. We should not have trusted such a being," Artemis muttered to me, so that only I could hear. Event though she had betrayed us, it would not be wise to insult her openly. It would only cause anger on her part and death on ours.

"Well then, what do you want with us. There isn't much we can do against the 'most powerful being in the universe'. So not just kill us right now and get it over with," I shouted at Apollyon.

"You're going to die alright, but not by my hand. You'll die by your precious little brother's," He said, his lips contorted into a disturbing looking smile. Apollyon was enjoying playing with the people who had been so much of a problem for him.

"Nico, you will kill the boy, but leave the girl. Make sure that she watches him die, but don't let her interfere," He ordered.

Nico's now black eyes almost seemed to grow a little brighter with excitement. The body of Nico brought out it's sword from scabbard on it's back and started to slowly walk towards the us.

"Artemis, he told him not to harm you, so you just stand back. I'll handle this myself," I said, pushing her behind me protectively. The only thought on my mind was defending her. I didn't care if I had to die, but she would get out of here safely and inform the Olympian council.

"No way, I'm going to help you. If Apollyon has somebody taking control of his body, then the being must be very strong. You won't be able to beat him alone, trust me. Plus, he told Nico not to harm me, so I should be ok. You'll just be the distraction," She said.

"Wow, so I'm the noble sacrifice?"

"Yep."(not popping the p because that's annoying)

I'll be one good noble sacrifice then. The best they come.

As Nico approached, I could see the glee in his eyes at the prospect of killing us, and was reminded once again that this wasn't him. This put me at a major disadvantage though, because not only is this new person a lot more skilled, but I really don't want to hurt Nico in the process. If his body is destroyed or damaged, then Apollyon would just dispose of it and find a new puppet to put under his control.

I unsheathed Frostbite and gave a test swing to make sure that the balance was correct. I could always alter it with my powers over water. The blade gleaming and the tip ended in a point no thicker than the width of a sheet of paper.

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