“Where’s Sophia?” asked Grace, after her mediocre spill earlier “I’ll go get her.” said Thalia, turning swiftly on her heel and marching back up to the throne room. Aria, still a fair few feet away from Grace looked at me and mouthed the words “Go After Her You Idiot!” with her famous roll of the eyes.
I tried to protest that Thalia would want to fry me for sneaking up on her and Sophia, but Aria grabbed me by my ear and literally tossed me into the street. “Just go, and be quiet. Thalia’s always got a plan hidden within another, it’s about time you figure out what she’s up too.” Said Aria, in a hushed voice. “What? You don’t know?” Aria crossed her arms “I didn’t say that. But with Thalia, you learn not to ask and figure things out for yourself. I learned that the hard way. Now hurry. Thalia’s just entered the Throne Room again. Remember to stay hidden and only listen.” Aria vanished in a flash of silver.
I ran back up to the Throne Room and slipped inside. Skirting around the end and crouched quietly by Artemis’ Throne and watched the scene unfold in front of me. Thalia was standing in front of Sophia, who was still huddled up against the hearth, looking down on her with a mixture of pride and disgust.
“-Sophia, you can’t. It’s not your choice.” Thalia was saying, her hands on her hips. Sophia looked up; her eyes were red and puffy from crying. “How would you know?” she snapped “You may be the all powerful leader of the Elite 4 and immortal, but that doesn’t make you a diviner” Thalia sighed and knelt “I know because I’ve been in the same position before. Aria has always wanted to lead; she doesn’t take well to being bossed around. In fact I don’t think she’s ever listened to anyone in her life. Not even me. The same goes with Astrid.” A shiver went down my spine. Me? she means me?
“But Astrid’s not Aria. She’s screwing up everything. I’m supposed to lead!” cried Sophia. “No you’re not!” growled Thalia, causing thunder to rumble slightly in the distance. Sophia looked startled, as if Thalia’s anger surprised her. Thalia shook her head, getting her composer back. “You’ve got a bigger part to play Sophia. Yes Astrid may screw things up, but she screws them up in such a way that they end up helping more than you realize. There is more going on in the background than you may think, more forces at work. I sensed them as soon as I was freed from those dumb orbs and I feel it now, stronger than ever.” said Thalia, taking a deep breath.
“But what am I supposed to do!?!?” Sophia exclaimed sadly. Thalia grasped her hand “You know I can’t tell you Sophia. You have to figure it out by yourself.” “But I don’t even know where to start!” Thalia thought about this. “Talk to Nereus, the old man of the sea. He has the gift of knowledge and will help you find your way and if you’re lucky, he’ll give you the answer to defeating Shadoe and Kyos.” Sophia’s eyes brightened a little. “But where is he? How would we find him?” she asked.
Thalia smiled mischievously “Oh, he’s not that hard to find. Just follow the smell. Your friend Flare will be able to help. Being related to Phoebe and Poseidon after all.”