NICO IV

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"Stop!" Nico cried from where he was chained a foot away. The moment Will had started screaming, both cold dread and hot fury had washed over the son of Hades at once. "Let him go! It was me who told him to break your stupid necklace; he was just doing what I told him to do."

The titan whirled on him, slapping him across his face so hard that he had to blink away stars.

"Liar! He did it on his own free will."

"I see how Hazel defeated you," Nico pressed on. Desperate times call for desperate measures, he thought. "You're too foolish to see the truth, aren't you? No wonder you slept with a bull."

She let out a noise of frustration, but the chains around Will turned back to normal as she did so. Nico released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "I was cursed," Pasiphaë spat as the chains around Nico tightened. "I thought you of all demigods would understand. After all you were cursed to lose your sister on that quest years ago, remember? Her death was prophesized, just like it was for you to be trapped by the giants and almost die in a jar!"

Nico suddenly found himself flung across the room. His battle reflexes kicked in as he landed, standing only to hit his head against the lid of a jar. He beat against the glass, his eyes full of terror, while the titan on the other side let out a joyous laugh.

"What's wrong, child? Are you running out of air already?"

That stopped Nico's actions cold. The son of Hades looked like a trapped animal, fear written all over his face as he tried not to breathe too much but pushed against the jar's lid urgently. Pasiphaë seemed to notice, a wicked grin growing on her face as she tapped her fingers against the side of the jar.

"How does it feel to know you're going to die of something you fear most: suffocation? Your sister will be so upset to learn of your death. Better yet, I'll ship you straight to that Roman camp so she can see you with her own eyes. Oh the pain she'll feel!" A laugh escaped her then while Nico simply scowled at the titan. Oxygen in the small jar was already becoming scarce.

Will watched as Nico suddenly began coughing, his hand reaching for his throat as he fell to the ground. Cecil cursed from where he was chained next to Lou Ellen, who had somehow managed to form a ball of mist in her hand and was staring at the chains in concentration.

"Hold on," she whispered to her friends while the titan continued to poke fun at Nico's situation. "Hazel gave me some advice before she left on how to make my illusions become reality like Pasiphaë is doing, and if you can delay her from killing Nico I think I can get us out of these chains."

The two boys nodded. Suddenly, the trickster of the two let out a laugh. It caught Pasiphaë's attention well though, causing her to regard him curiously.

"Are you laughing as your friend dies?" She questioned.

Cecil shook his head, this laughing finally died down. "I was just thinking how terrible of a villain you are, killing him so quickly. Real enemies psychologically torture their victims. You're just letting him die like that," he said in a disinterested and rather disappointed voice.

"Wait!" The titan snapped her fingers and suddenly the lid of the jar had holes in it. A few seconds later Nico stopped choking, slumping against the side of the jar in relief as oxygen flowed back into his lungs. "Tell me more. Are you sure villains are supposed to psychologically torture their victims? It seems like a waste of time to me."

"Haven't you read the book 'Torture Tactics for Dummies'? It says in the introductory chapter that to really get your revenge you have to do things like..." he struggled to think of something that wouldn't hurt Nico and not seem too fake. "Lock him in an enclosed space with something he's terrified of. Bunnies will work."

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