Inés was put into a group with Lynde, Matthew & Gail. The four of them moved into position.
“We move in third,” Lynde said. “Gail, provide us covering magic. The rest of us will move in to distract him from Famina’s team. We go in, take some hits and get out. Understood?”
“You’ve got it, Lady Lyn,” Matthew said.
“I understood the plan,” Inés stated. “You don’t need to repeat it.”
“Just making absolutely sure we’re on the same page,” Lynde said.
“In that case I should make one thing clear,” Gail said. “I’m not risking my life any more than I have to. If one of you gets cornered by him, I’m not running in to rescue you.”
“I understand,” Lynde said. “I don’t intend to die, either.”
Dusk and Demure flew up high, allowing their riders to survey the battle.
“Looks like there really aren’t many monsters left,” Serena said. “Thank the Gods. So, what’s our plan?”
“We strike as a team,” Sylvie answered. “We pick a target. Swoop down and hurriedly get back up in the air. There don’t seem to be any flying enemies left, so we should be pretty safe. We should also cause enough confusion to give the others some nice openings.”
“Got it,” Serena said.
“First up is the nemean lion right there. Let’s move!” Sylvie ordered.
Camila and William’s team struck first. Crius hadn’t noticed them approaching and was taken momentarily off guard. By the time he’d moved to deal with them, they were already moving away. Famina’s group came next, striking from the side.
Crius tossed a spell at them as they retreated, killing two of the group just before Gail’s magic hit him from behind.
He turned. “Ants,” Inés heard him mutter. She, Matthew and Lynde struck him. Even hitting him with all her power, even with a staff made by Hephaestus, the titan didn’t flinch from the hit. But he did notice. The group moved into a retreat.
A massive fire spell moved towards Lynde, Matthew and Inés. Inés ducked and slid, using a water spell to push herself forward. Lynde scooped Matthew up and used her speed spell to try and get away but the spell was approaching them.
“You’re too slow with my weight,” Matthew said. “Get out of here!” He squirmed out of Lynde’s grip and took the brunt of the fire spell.
“Damn,” Lynde muttered.
“At least he didn’t get both of you,” Gail said. “That’s something.”
“He was my friend,” Lynde said. “Show some respect!”
“I am,” Gail stated. “After all, the reason you got away is because of him. If he had tried to save himself, you both would have died.”
“This is bad,” Inés said. “If he keeps getting off a shot before turning to the group attacking him, then it’s going to be difficult to keep alive. We need to start keeping our distance.”
“You’re right,” Lynde admitted. “Gail, contact the other groups. Tell them to start hitting him with magic. It’ll give us a better chance at dodging.”
“Frankly, I think we should retreat now,” Gail said. “But no one listens to me, so I’ll just follow your lead like a good team player.” She gestured and a shimmering globe appeared in front of her, allowing her to convey Lynde’s instructions to the other groups.
The distraction continued. One group would strike with their spells, scramble to evade Crius’ retaliatory strike and the next group would attack. Not everyone managed to evade.
Secretly, Inés was hoping that Camila would be among those who fell. After what she’d heard about her sister, and seen of her during their talk, she was convinced that Camila was going to be a problem. Assuming they both survived.
Unfortunately for Inés, Camila persevered. She always managed to stay one step ahead of Crius’ attacks. Even as every other member of her group fell and she ran to join a different one.
Lynde and Inés shared a look. Their numbers were dwindling. If one of the Gods didn’t arrive soon they’d be forced to flee, or die.
we may be stuck now,” Gail said, reading their look. “If we try to retreat at this point, he’ll just blast us all from behind. I don’t know if I could even pull off a teleportation spell. Not unless he lets me.”
“Tell the others to retreat,” Lynde said. “I’ll distract him for as long as I can.”
“No!” Inés exclaimed. “It was my idea. I’ll distract him. you should use your speed magic to try and help the others run.”
She didn’t leave any room for argument. She ran out of cover and charged towards Crius, wondering how long she’d last. She noticed someone running alongside her. Lynde? She couldn’t turn to look. The titan turned towards them. His eyes grew wide in shock. Her companion sprinted ahead. That was when Inés noticed who it was. She stopped in her tracks.
Crius sent a burst of magic but it was easily deflected by the aegis. Before the titan could summon anything more potent, Athena’s blade ran him through.
She turned towards the half bloods.
“All of you, go back,” she said. “Now!”