After evacuating everyone and suiting everyone up for battle I found Brynna and Konnor and told them about my meeting with Reyna. The six pieces of the scroll were dispersed to Greece, Rome and other parts of the world. Because this scroll showed the vulnerability the gods once had, it was our only chance to get them to help us. If we made it through the battle we had to travel to the ancient lands to retrieve the scrolls. Brynna and Konnor agreed to go with me on my journey, I was grateful for having them as my friends.
A rather non-Roman tradition was having a giant feast before battle, though tension was thick between the Romans and Greeks, the party managed to somewhat break the ice. Everyone was asked to dress in proper dinner wear. I had no clue what that meant until Brynna pulled out a dress for me to wear.
"Oh no! I'm not wearing that thing." I said running from her.
"C'mon Penelope. It's not a big deal."
"Never!" I said running down the battlefield with a crazy girl holding a dress, running after me.
In the end she convinced all of Venus and Aphrodite's children to capture me and hold me against my will. Brynna made me wear a lilac dress and the skirt puffed out when I spun around. Needless to say I was not happy. At least I got to wear my sneakers instead of those death traps she calls stilettos. It was time for dinner and Brynna, Marci and I were joined by Konnor, Jack and Molli. Konnor did his best not to laugh when he saw me, but it "accidentally" slipped, when I at sat down, ungracefully, and my skirt puffed all around me.
The mess hall of the Roman camp was too small to fit all of us, so a tent large enough to hold my Uncle Tyson in, was set up and decorated simply but beautifully for dinner. We sat in a corner of the dinning room and watched as everyone filled the room. Though there was no seating arrangements but it was clear when everyone sat down, Romans on one side, Greeks on the other. Reyna, the other Praetor Frank Zhang,Chiron, Rachel, Brynna's parents and the other adult authorities watched as everyone ate in silence, a small group of ghost musicians were playing classical music in the opposite corner from us.
"This is so lame." Konnor whispered."How are we supposed to trust them when they won't even have dinner with us?"
"You can't blame them. There was always tension, even if a little subsides there will always be tension." Brynna mumbled back.
It made me sad to think that just twenty years ago Romans and Greeks were once at a peace and then they went back to their old ways. Neither side was guilty, but neither side was innocent either. I guess old ways could never be broken. I finished my dinner and was considering going to my camp tent when the classical music stopped and a better beat was being played. Something more alive, pun definitely intended. I looked up to see some kids from Camp Jupiter, and Camp Half-Blood bring out their own instruments and play. I looked over to the Romans across from us as some began to dance in their chairs. No one dared to ask another to dance, and all too soon, the campers playing slowly began to stop. Maybe Brynna was right tension would always be there.
"C'mon Brynna," Konnor said suddenly,"let's show these guys how its done."
Brynna grinned and took Konnor's hand as he led her from the table to the middle of the dinning room. A wave of gasps were released both sides saw one of their own with the "enemy". The band realizing someone was appreciating their talent kicked it up a notch and played a bit louder. Soon more people wandered on to the dance floor, but no one mingled. It was going to take a miracle to get these two sides on their feet.
"Excuse me Miss Jackson," a voice whispered in my ear.
I turned to see Troy standing there in normal clothes looking at the floor.
"I was wondering if it would be alright to ask you for this dance?" he asked shyly.
"Are you allowed to?" I asked nervously, not wanting him to get into trouble.
"It's alright, I'm off duty." he winked at me.
I heard Marci stifle a giggle and I turned to give her a look.
Turning to Troy I smiled and said yes. He took my hand a I flattened out my skirt. This really got everyone's attention. The music haltered for a minute then picked up again, and Troy spun me around and was smiling the whole time which made me smile. I caught Reyna frowning, but then again her face always looks like that. I looked to Troy who was busy counting his steps and looking at me at the same time. It was cute, and for awhile it seemed like everything was okay in the world. After the song I was surprised Adam cut in.
"Troy, your mother wishes to see you." Adam said sharply," Don't worry I'll keep your partner entertained."
Troy gave him a dark look and went to see what his mother wanted.
Adam took my hand and led me in a dance.
"You know you can't defeat the Unknowns." he said casually.
"Why not? We are trained and equipped for battle."
"No, I know we Romans can, but don't you see? You can't win, a child does not belong in battle. Not to mention a Greek child."
"Brynna and I are the same age." I reminded him. "And Greeks are excellent fighters I'll have you know.
"Yes, but Brynna has years of experience where as you have had only three weeks."
"My apologizes." he sneered.
"Your wrong, I can fight and I will win. The Unknowns are just like us, I think we can handle it."
"You don't know what you're getting into."
"I have Brynna, and if your so worried, why don't you help us instead of crushing our spirits? Brynna is willing."
"You don't understand. Brynna is more like our mother, a Greek. Penelope I don't wish to hurt your feelings, but Brynna and I are half Greek half Roman. Unlike our friends we can see the issue at hand but they can't."
"Really?" I said a bit surprised. "And what is the issue at hand that I am conveniently unaware of?"
"Look at you, you don't understand the danger your putting us all in. Greeks and Romans are a threat to each other, this all for not. When well you get it through your own head? A child no matter who your parent is, a child doesn't belong here." Adam continued, sounding harsh.
"When you realize people can change. It's not about where you come from, its about who you choose to be." I said just as the music stopped.
"Suit yourself. It was a pleasure to have met you."
Ouch that stung, luckily Troy came back right at that moment, and his ears were red.
"My mother did not call for me Adam." he said icily.
"Oh? Pity, my mistake." Adam said sarcastically.
Troy took my hand to lead me away and I ignored Adam's sneer. How could a rude and arrogant person be related to Brynna?
Towards the end of the night a few campers had mingled and it was great. That is until the unexpected guests made their appearance. And I thought we had the element of surprise.