I may have broken the record for longest breathe held under water, but surprisingly not for fastest swimmer. I was still in a daze and my arms became sore the closer I got to the surface. Finally with one final push I broke through to the surface and gasped for air. I swam to the edge of the lake and tried to pull myself out, but my arms felt the burn.
"Penelope!" a voice calls.
I turn to see Konnor running towards me. In an instant he is kneeling by the side of the lake and he extends his arm to me. I take it and he pulls me up to shore. I look around and see it is barely sunrise everyone is either in tents or laying on the ground. Whether they've passed on or are only sleeping I don't know. Konnor hugs me tightly and is surprised to see me completely dry. He shakes his head and then gets to his feet. I struggle to get my land legs, so he just carries me. He walks over to the area he's been sitting at, tending to a small fire. He sets me down and tells me all that I missed.
"We won." he tells me, "your plan worked. They Unknowns are completely gone, we've burned every chunk of rock we could find and had a huge fire. I kept looking for you. You gave us one heck of a good scare, everyone thinks your dead. Boy is Adam going to be in for a shock. I'm so happy you're okay, and Troy will be elated. Brynna will finally stop freaking out because she believed its your fault your dead, and now you're not so this is great!"
I smile because I know Konnor isn't great with words he's just spitting out the first thing that comes to mind, and what he can remember, and to be honest it makes me happy. The giant statue in New Rome calls out eight o'clock and Konnor asks if I'm ready to greet the public. I nod but when I try to stand up my legs have fallen asleep. Konnor catches me and ends up carrying me to New Rome's entrance.
"Don't you get tired of carrying me around?" I tease him.
"Nah, besides you're so clumsy it's better I carry you than have you destroy the whole city."
"Point taken." I agree.
We arrive at the entrance and Konnor sets me down so we can drop our weapons off on a silver plate that a little boy with freckles and bright red hair is holding.
"Thanks Tommy." Konnor says as he wraps an arm around me and I lean on him so that I can have some movement in my legs. We don't even go ten feet before a soldier spots us and wakes the whole city up.
"EVERYONE ITS PENELOPE JACKSON!"
Swarms of people ran towards us in a matter of minutes, Brynna is first. She throws her arms around me and starts to sob hysterically.
"Don't you ever risk your life for me! You scared me so bad."
"What are friends for?" I tease to let her know its okay. The Grace's Zhang's and Reyna shove their way through the crowd and are relieved to see I'm alive. Mrs. O'Leary bounds through the entrance all the way from the arena and starts to lick me with her massive tongue. I don't really care, I'm happy the one thing my dad left with me is still safe. Troy comes up to see me and hugs me despite being covered in hell hound drool. Adam stands back a ways, but I can see a small smile creep on his face.
"You're a hero Penelope!" Brynna shouts in my ear over all the other campers and citizens cheers.
I only smile at her, we all were heroes, because we all fought. Maybe now that we were working together, Greek and Roman, the gods would see we've changed and maybe they'd come help us.