Percy slowly pulled the mashua into Circe's resort's dock, but there was a strange force pulling it back out again. He furrowed his brow in confusion. "It's not my father controlling the boat...I could be able to sense it. But it's not Circe au some other sinister force."
"Maybe it's another god trying to help us," I suggested.
"That usually doesn't happen," alisema Annabeth. "Only when they want something do they ever intervene- which they're not supposed to do anyway."
Percy agreed. "Apollo helped us on a quest about his sister Artemis, Hermes helped us on a quest where we would face his son, Luke. The gods can be a bit...manipulative."
Thunder boomed, and Percy shielded his head with his arms. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" He straightened up and said, "There's a port a few miles down. Let's just dock there."
We did, and it was simple. Nothing blocked our way. But when we got off and started to walk along the beach, pwani to the isle, a jogger started to follow us, texting on a cell phone as he walked. "I think we're being stalked," I whispered. Percy turned around and broke into a big smile. "Hermes?"
"Hold on, kid. Lemme finish this text. 'No...Hades...don't...kill...the...messenger'," he said, kusoma aloud as he typed. Then he flipped his phone shut and gave Percy a nod. "Hello, heroes. No, I'm not here to give wewe a message."
"Then why are wewe here?" asked Will.
"To give wewe these." Hermes tossed a thick bottle into Will's hands. He looked confused. "'Apollo Brand Vitamins'?"
"Yup. Magic-proof yourself. kumeza a couple before wewe go in with Circe and she can't curse you."
"But she can still stab us," counters Will.
"Well, yes," Hermes admits, "but it's better than nothing."
"This is excellent!" says Annabeth. She turns to Percy. "Now wewe won't get turned into a guinea pig again."
Hermes raise his eyebrows. "Again?"
"Don't remind me," says Percy, rubbing the back of his neck. "Let's just take a couple vitamins and go."
We kumeza some cherry-flavored hellhound vitamins and head out. None of the spa guests notice us at all, and we slip through the expansive rooms with ease. After a few moments, the rooms empty and turn from spas to zaidi labratory-type spaces. But instead of microscopes and goggles, they contain spellbooks and wands. Once we pass that area, we go down a flight of stairs, which leads into torture chambers.
We walk through a few, glancing side to side for Rose as we go. But nothing happens.
"What do wewe think we should do?" Will questions.
"I don't kn-wait, listen!" Annabeth replies. We immediately stop talking, and hear a faint clicking of running steps growing increasingly louder. We bata behind a coffin stood on its end, but I see that the figure running towards us in panic is Rose. "Help! Help me!"
I step out from behind the coffin, and gesture for the others to follow. "Rose?"
She grabs my wrist. "Come on, we have to hurry! She'll be on us any minute!" Rose runs past, yanking me along. "I know a way out!"
Then we're running down a seemingly endless corridor, turning here and there, until I have no way to know which way is which. Rose bursts into a room, and we follow, collapsing against the far wall. Metal, coming from out of nowhere, clamps around my wrists, and when I try to run back to Rose near the door, I feel chain viungo holding me to the wall. "Rose?"
She grins snarkily. Her mlozi eyes glint with pleasure. With a flip of her dark hair, she becomes a beautiful brunette lady with eyes that seem to glow. She throws back her head and cackles. "Did wewe really think wewe could get away from Circe so easily?"
She claps her hands and sparks fly out from the places her skin touched, but nothing happens to us. She curses, and says to herself, "If wewe want anything done right, wewe have to do it yourself." Circe unstraps a kisu from her shin and walks among the line, inspecting us as if she was choosing the prettiest block of wood to carve. She finally selects Percy for torture, for which I breath a small sigh of relief. Percy is invincible, Circe's kisu can't hurt him.
She tries to stab Percy through the brain, but her dagger glances off. "Swum in the Styx, I see."
He doesn't answer.
"Well, then, we'll just have to find the one spot wewe can be killed."
My blood runs cold. Will pales, and Annabeth shouts a "NO!" that's so sad and desperate it makes me want to cry.
But Circe runs the bottom of the handle all across Percy's head, neck, arms, back...
He flinches, and Annabeth struggles zaidi against her chains.
Circe grins, and runs the side of the kisu down his back. His shati rips, but his back isn't damaged. Near the center of his back, and groan unwillingly escapes from his mouth.
"No!" Annabeth cries, but it's no use. Circe teasingly goes over Percy's weak spot with the tip of her knife, and then pulls it back and stabs Percy with all her strength. And then the room is filled with light, not quite blinding but bright enough to have to look away, and there's screams, Percy's and Annabeth's and they're so full of pain, and when the light fades Circe is standing a foot off the ground in Hermes' grip, passing out on the floor as his caduecus goes through her heart. She drops the the floor unconscious and our chains melt. We rush over to a blood-covered Percy, who is in immense pain and can't hide it. But he manages to reach out and touch Annabeth's face. She grips his hand hard, and her tears run down his arm, clearing paths through his blood."Don't leave me, Percy. Don't die, please don't die."
"Annabeth..." he mumbles. His reply is so weak I touch my own throat, not knowing a voice could be that hoarse.
She cries some more. "What?"
His eyes close, and his mouth forms the barely audible words: "I upendo you."
Annabeths gasps for air, and Percy's hand starts to slip. "No...no...."
His hand hits the ground.
And Percy Jackson is dead.