WILL V

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After the run in with the lizard monster during the first stop of the tour, the four demigods avoided leaving until the next day, when the Island of Rhodes was scheduled to be visited. It looked like any other tourist attraction. There were lots of buildings and shops, but also a lot of historical sites and scenery. For the three hours they had they needed to find Helios, ask him where Apollo was, and somehow get the sun chariot (convertible) from Helios while not being blasted to smithereens by the titan.

"This way," Nico said as soon as he stepped onto land. He began walking to the east towards a trail that led into the hilly, forested countryside. They had heard from the announcer of the tour that the Island of Rhodes was the biggest island in Greece. They had also heard that the temple of Helios was close by.

"How do you know where it is?" Lou Ellen asked as she walked behind him.

He shrugged. "I can feel ancient power radiating from that direction."

"Oh." She wasn't very impressed.

Will was silent as the four walked, thoughts clouding his mind as they grew closer and closer to where Helios waited. How were they going to convince him to allow them to take the sun chariot? The answer was they probably weren't going to. Hermes had said Cecil's skills would be needed... That meant they'd have to steal it. If that was the only real option perhaps Lou Ellen could make it appear as if the chariot is there while they took the real one? It was a pretty solid plan, so Will shared it with his friends just before they came upon the temple.

It was big, Will had to give Helios that. However, that was really the only good thing he could say about it. The temple was old and crumbling as if it had been abandoned, and there was not person in sight. He almost felt bad for the forgotten deity. Almost.

"Ah, a child of Apollo." A deep voice suddenly spoke from somewhere nearby. The demigods searched for the speaker, but could see nobody.

Will stepped forward, bowing in the direction of the temple. "It is a pleasure to be in the titan of the sun's presence. My friends and I come here today simply to ask a few questions. If you could answer them we'll be on our way."

"I see," Helios said as he suddenly appeared a few yards in front of them. He wore robes the color of blood and sunrise, a crown of flames on his head somehow not combusting his golden blond hair. The titan did not look a day over thirty, but that didn't surprise them since a deity could basically appear how they wished.

"Helios," Will stated as Cecil began to sneak off. The titan didn't appear to notice since there was a thick fog of mist surrounding the teenager. Most likely Lou Ellen was making it appear if Cecil were still standing next to them.

"I will not lie and say it is a pleasure to meet you," Helios began. He created a ball of fire with his hand and began twirling it in the air like a basketball. "I have heard from reliable sources that you are on a quest to free Apollo. However, despite wanting to blast you to smithereens, I will let you go free. Killing you four would bring the wrath of Hades on me for sure," he glowered at Nico. "That and I'm certain you cannot defeat Python. Instead, I will make you a deal..."

Will realized he was talking to him. "Will Solace is my name," he said before nodding. "What is the deal?"

Helios lips curled. "I am the guardian of oaths, as I'm sure you've heard. Though I will not tell you what your end of the bargain is I do promise to first answer three of your questions truthfully. That is all I am going to say. Do you accept these conditions or not, young Will?"

Nico and Lou Ellen glanced at him worriedly. Making deals with deities usually ended badly; however, it seemed as if Will was going to take that chance.

"Okay, I accept."

"Wonderful!" The titan crowed. "Now, what are your three questions?"

Will spoke confidently, refusing to be intimidated by Helios like the titan wished him to be. "First, where is my dad?"

Helios rolled his eyes as if it were an easy question. "On Mount Parnassus in the Valley of Phocis is where your father lies trapped by Python."

"Okay, and where is that in terms of geography?"

"You mean its geographical location? On the coastline of Greece is where you will find him. Many people think the ancient caverns of Delphi are on an island, but that is not the truth. Your father is less than an hour's travel away. Mount Parnassus is in plain sight once you reach the mainland."

Will tried to play down his excitement at this news before asking the last and most dreaded question. "Can we borrow the sun chariot so we can get there?"

The titan laughed outright, making the demigods before him frown. They had known he was going to deny them but he didn't need to be a big jerk about it. "I would not let anyone take what I've trying to get ahold of for centuries! You are thoughtless to even use that as one of your questions."

"It was worth a try..." He muttered.

"Anyway, child, it is time for your end of the bargain." The fireball the titan had been fiddling with began to glow bright yellow with energy. He hurled it at Will before either Nico or Lou Ellen could act, hitting him square in the face. Will screamed as he fell to the ground, his hands scrabbling at his face as he expected to feel pain, but there was none. The only thing that had changed was how his vision had shut off like a light, and his sky blue eyes paled into an icicle blue.

What's happening? Will panicked. Oh Gods I can't see! How are we supposed to fight Python and save Apollo if I'm even more useless than before? I know we needed that information, but this... What are we going to do?

Nico growled as he turned to face Helios. "You blinded him?" Beware the Oath's blinding curse.

Helios cackled, a smirk enveloping his face as he turned to walk into his temple. "Sometimes the price to pay for knowledge is great, son of Hades. Now get off of my island before I decide to incinerate your poor friend. I think I deserve a nap after a deal well made." With that the titan vanished from sight. He was lucky because if he had been there one more second Nico had been prepared to attack the monster.

"Guys?" Will called out unseeingly as he held his arms out. "You guys are still here, right?"

Lou Ellen was crying as she placed her hand in one of his and pulled him up. "Yeah," she sniffled. Why did such a nice guy deserve such a horrible punishment? "Nico and I are here. Cecil should be by the boat. Let's go."

It was at this point Nico didn't care what either Lou Ellen or Cecil would say. He placed a pale hand in Will's (the one Lou Ellen wasn't holding) and held it tight. Will turned his direction, his now cloudy eyes staring a few inches too far to the right. Still, the delighted smile on his face almost caused Nico to choke. He would make Helios pay.

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