Thalia filled us in on a ‘make it up as you go along’ plan which basically went out the window when we reached the peak. The palace was not pretty, but it got a “10” on the spooky factor. It looked like an evil knight’s castle, with towers, a big set of double black wooden doors, and slit stain glass windows of people dying in rivers of lava and other nasty things I care not to explain because someone would have a real bad epiphany – I’m mean like, vomit bad not just nausea – anyway, everything from the floor up was either made of black marble, obsidian or silver. Black clouds swirled above, sort of like a flat, miniature hurricane.
From behind the bushes at the top of the path, I could only see 2 huge, giants – Cyclopes with demented faces and single bloodshot eyes in the centre of the banged up foreheads. They were wearing something that could have been the remains of black Greek Armour but it was too shredded to make out properly under the cover of night. They both were holding flickering touch of green flames. Greek Fire. But it didn’t give off enough light to completely make out the Cyclopes from where we are hiding.
“Aria, do a quick perimeter search” whispered Thalia so quietly I would’ve missed it if it weren’t for my enhanced hearing. One perk from been a descendant of Aria. There was a quick rustle of leaves as Aria vanished from Phoebe’s side and reappeared next to me and Thalia.
“We got maybe 15 - 20 Laistrygonian Giants at the back, with campfires of Greek Fire all along the space at the back to the ridge" said Aria "Laistry- what?" I asked "Cannibal giants" said Thalia absently "Ah, Kids on the left who are either clear-sighted or have some sort of divine blood in them, maybe descendants, can’t be sure. And I’m guessing friends of Shadoe on the right,." Aria stopped then looked at Thalia with a sheepish grin "and I do mean the ones from the Underworld, not the monkeys from Pennsylvania.” Thalia chuckled quietly when Aria mentioned ‘Monkeys’ “Gods, that was fun.” She said, Aria smiled and continued “And we got gryphon’s up above, but the cloud cover’s might be our advantage if we can get to the roof without been spotted, since there’s an open hatch up there that drops directly down into a corridor.” said Aria.
I looked up at the sky, searching for the black, sleek bodies, sharp claws and beaks of the gryphons, but saw nothing but thunder and swirling clouds. “How can you tell there are gryphons up there?” I demanded quietly. Aria glared at me with a look that said “Just Be Quiet Before You Embarrass Yourself Even More, You Idiot.” Luckily, Phoebe saved me “Aria can see better than any living mortal, even better than some minor gods and other immortals like us.” She said without looking over.
I sighed an shook my head. You could never understand how Aria could see, think or do unless you’ve walked 10 miles in her shoes, which is not the easiest thing to do because you got to catch her first.
Thalia and Melody were staying quiet. They were both looking at the main door where the Cyclopes were, with that sort of gleam in their eyes that told you, you were not going to like this one bit.
Slowly, Melody lifted her hand, just above the bushes. She held out her index finger and made small circles in the air with her wrist. Slowly, from behind the Cyclopes, small, barely recognizable green vines seeped up from the ground, growing and growing in width and height as they got higher. Soon they were above the Cyclopes by at least a metre and were bigger in width than on of the columns back at school. I was surprised the Cyclopes didn’t even notice, but then again, they’re not the brightest monsters you can get. Melody’s stop spinning and made a dropping motion with her hand. WACK! The vines must have been as heavy as they looked because the Cyclopes both fell forward; completely unconscious when he vines hit them on the head. Flare and Grace stifled laughs and I couldn’t help by smile at the somewhat funny scene.
Now the vines turned into a plant that could pass for the the ladder that would propbably get you killed if you slipped, because the thing grew a little thinner but not much, latched onto the roof somehow and grew huge spikes and branches out it’s sides to act like the rungs of a ladder.
“Up we go” said Melody before darting out and getting to the very mean looking plant just before Aria, Thalia and Phoebe. I looked at the others “Why does that remind me of Jack and the Beanstalk?” asked Grace “Because it looks like a scarier more dangerous version of the beanstalk.” Said Sophia, rolling her eyes in mild annoyance. I raised an eyebrow
“Kinda depressing isn’t it?”