“Let me see if I have this right,” Sylvie said. She was sitting outside with Serena and Inés. Not far from them, Wilfred and Lilac were undergoing some training drills under Jenna’s watchful eye. “Your sister intends to go on some mad quest for conquest and she wants you to be her bride while she does it?”
“Pretty much,” Inés said. “I knew I’d find that down side to being too cute one day.”
“Inés,” Serena chided. “The important thing is that we need Sylvie’s help to stop her.” She turned to Sylvie. “You will help, won’t you?”
Sylvie ran her fingers through her hair and looked off in the distance. After a moment’s thought, she answered. “The three of us have already beaten one out of control half God. I don’t see a problem with stopping another, but are you sure you can do it?” She turned pointedly to Inés. “You won’t hesitate because she’s your sister?”
“I won’t,” Inés said, her answer immediate. She sighed. “You know, when this whole trip started I was an orphan with no family to speak of. Then I get told I’m the daughter of Poseidon himself. I’ve got an older sister who’s completely nuts and I’m related to all of these other half Gods. I’ve gone from having no family to having way too much family. I don’t really have any connection to her but I have plenty of reasons to want to stop her.”
“Fine,” Sylvie said. “Then when she comes after you, I’ll help you stand against her. And I’ll hold you to what you just said.”
“Hold the training!” Jenna ordered. She pointed to the sky. “We have incoming messengers.”
Inés, Sylvie and Serena looked over. A pair of pixies were rushing to their location.
They landed on the training dummy.
One had short pink hair and blue eyes. The other had long white hair and light green eyes.
“We bring dire tidings,” the first said.
“The Alpha group under the command of Lynde, daughter of Hades is under attack,” the second stated.
“By a whole army of Echidna’s children,” the first elaborated. “She requests that every other team send reinforcements.”
“Lynde’s team?” Jenna asked. She nodded. “We’ll send some people over soon. Just give us a moment to decide who.”
“Looks like it wasn’t us under attack first after all,” Lilac said.
“Strange, isn’t it?” Gail asked. “That one of the strongest groups should be attacked first, and one so far away from here?”
“You think it’s a feint,” Sylvie stated.
“Well, yes,” Gail confirmed. “I think they’ve sent a distraction team.”
“Maybe,” Jenna said. “But we can’t hold back based on that possibility. If we do, Lynde and her team might be killed. Me, Sylvie and Inés can go to back them up. Gail, you can stay here with the others.”
“Before you go off, I have a suggestion,” Gail said. “Let one of the priestesses here fly out a short way on her pegasus. Look for signs of Echidna’s children approaching here and then, if it’s clear, you can lead your little reinforcements to Lynde’s side.”
“That does seem a sensible precaution,” Wilfred said.
“Wouldn’t it be faster if Gail does her whole disappearance thing?” Inés asked.
“Possibly,” Gail said. “But if they are on their way I could end up in the crowd of them and be torn to shreds before I could return. One of you going by pegasus is safer.”
“Fine,” Jenna agreed. “Serena, go with Dusk. The three of us will prepare to render assistance.”
“Got it,” Serena said.
“Be careful,” Inés said.
Serena kissed her cheek. “Don’t worry, I’ll give it my best!” She took to the sky on Dusk.
“Aren’t you going to Lady Lynde?” one of the pixies asked.
“We’re just taking a quick precaution,” Jenna said. “Don’t worry.”
“Do you think these monsters are really smart enough to do something sneaky?” Lilac asked.
Jenna shrugged. “They were smart enough to test our strength before coming at us in force, but Gail might have misread them. They might be going after Lynde’s group because they’re strong. They might be trying to slaughter them as a blow to morale and to weaken our overall strength.” She turned to Sylvie and Inés. “In addition to the ladons,eagles and chimeras, we can expect Cerberi, Orthi, Hydras, Sphinxes, Nemean Lions, Crommyonian Sows, Gorgons, Great Dragons & even Scyllas. If there are Gorgons, do not look into their eyes.”
“She’s coming back!” Lilac called.
The three of them looked up. Serena was indeed returning. Dusk was in a full, rapid descent. The pegasus only slowed when she was very close to the ground and Serena scrambled off.
“They’re coming!” Serena shouted, her face pale. “Thousands of them. They’re coming right for us!”
“Damn,” Jenna muttered. She turned to the pixies. “Fly back to the other groups. Tell them that we’re also under attack and need assistance. Tell them we’ll hold out as long as we can.”
The pixies bowed and flew away.
“I don’t imagine we’ll get reinforcements quickly,” Gail said. “And it may very well cost some of us our lives.”
“Nevertheless, we have to hold the line,” Jenna said, giving her sword a practice swing. “We’ll show Echidna’s children that we aren’t to be trifled with.”