The first thing I did after Annabeth left was go to my cabin to retrieve my short-sword. If I wanted to make friends and fit in, I had to embellish upon my sword fighting skills. Everyone except me seemed to be really great fighters, and I wanted to change that. As soon as I entered my cabin, I immediately grabbed my short-sword's sheath, which Annabeth gave me when we started practice, and attached it to the belt on my shorts. I slid my short-sword into the sheath and left the cabin.
When I arrived at the training area, there were a lot of other demigods already there. I observed them for a while, and I was left in awe at their skill and determination. They all handled their weapons expertly and with more skill than I could ever hope to gain. A bit of my courage deflated as I started training, but I was determined to be independent and make friends for once.
I slashed at the dummy and dodged and parried nonexistent attacks until sweat was pouring down my face and back. That didn't stop me though; I practiced and practiced for hours. Finally, when my arms felt like lead, I decided to take a break and rest. I went to the dining pavilion to grab some food for lunch before settling down at the lake.
The cool breeze blew softly on my face and through my hair, and I had never felt better. I basked in the heavenly coolness that the wind brought and finished up my food. I got up and brushed the dirt off me before diving into the lake. My body immediately relaxed, as if a huge weight was taken from my shoulders. I sighed in pleasure as I twirled around in the water, feeling weightless and free. The fish in the lake swirled around me and through my crimson hair that floated around my head and face in soft waves.
The effects of my training were washed away along with my thoughts. I played around with my water powers and swam for a while in pure bliss before coaxing myself out of the lake. I couldn't forget to do my chores. When I arrive at the stables, a beautiful girl is already there, stroking the snout of one of the Pegasi. The girl, obviously a daughter of Aphrodite, turns to look at me before striding past me and leaving.
I shrug my shoulders and get to work. I greet all the pegasi I remember, and I give a wave to all the ones I don't. Most of them are cocky and stubborn, except for a few like Cloudsky. Cloudsky was the Pegasus that brought me to Camp Half-Blood, and I have learned that he is a very skittish and affectionate Pegasus. The first day I started working at the stables, I seemed to immediately bond with him. He reminded me a lot of my golden retriever, Sadie, which made me even more attached to him.
It was almost time for dinner, and I still hadn't made any friends. Being forced to sit alone at a table was going to be extremely unhelpful, too. I sighed, defeated, and made my way towards the dining pavilion. I got my seafood as normal and offered a small portion of it to Poseidon before sitting down. I stared down at my plate to avoid making any awkward eye contact with people. As I shoveled food into my mouth mechanically, I felt the table shake a bit. I lifted my head to see a girl my age sitting across from me.
This girl had long and dark, almost black hair with blond tips that flowed down to the middle of her chest. Her eyes were so bright blue that they could also be gray, and they stared intently at me as we observed each other. She wore all black, including black leather gloves that only covered the palms of her hands. A sleek, black bow was slung over her shoulder along with a quiver full of deadly, sharp, black arrows.
The girl squinted at me for a couple of seconds before sticking out her hand.
"Hey, what's up? My name's Jaclyn, daughter of Apollo." she said with her hand outstretched. I hurriedly grabbed her hand a shook it. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a friend.
"Hi! I'm Bethany, daughter of Poseidon, it's nice to meet you!" I grinned at her. Jaclyn smiled at me.
"You seem pretty cool. I saw you at the lake, and it was pretty amazing to watch what you could do with the water. You've got talent my friend." she said admiringly. I blushed, but before I could respond, a guy with short blond hair joined us.
"Jaclyn! You know it's against the rules to sit at another table," he scolded before looking at me and winking, "even if there's a smokin' hot chick sitting at it."
I looked at him for a moment before busting out laughing. I couldn't help myself, it was just too funny. Jaclyn didn't seem to think so though, because she just rolled her eyes at him and punched him in the stomach.
"Of course I know it's against the rules, idiot!" she snapped before turning back to me. "Oh don't mind Alex, he's just a moron from my cabin."
"Shut up, I'm your best friend and you know it," Alex, who had doubled over from the hit, hissed. Jaclyn glared at him and he took a step away from her.
I look at Jaclyn worriedly, "But he's right, won't you get in trouble for sitting here?"
Jaclyn shrugs, "Maybe. I don't care. It's just dinner, it's stupid that we have assigned seats. I want a change for once." She scowls at Alex. "I have to sit next to that every day."
Alex, who has finally sat down, gives her a dirty look and rubs his stomach. "You're lucky I didn't puke all over you when you punched me!"
Jaclyn snorted, "Oh you poor baby. You can heal yourself anyways, so quit whining."
Alex muttered a "that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt" but dropped the subject. Jaclyn conjured food in front of her and starting talking.
"I hope we're on the same team for capture the flag. We'd annihilate them!" she says enthusiastically to me.
I looked at her, confused. "What's capture the flag?" Jaclyn set down her fork and looked at me with a wild look in her eyes.
"It's only the greatest, coolest game in the entire world!" she declared.
Alex rolled his eyes. "We are separated into two teams and each team has to try to capture the other team's flag while preventing the other team from getting their flag." he said. I had to process it for a moment to understand.
"Okay, that sounds pretty easy." I said.
Alex stared at me as if I had gone insane. "Oh, did I not mention that everyone has weapons that they can use against each other?" he stated.
My jaw practically dropped to the floor. "You can kill each other?" I screeched.
"Oh don't worry," Jaclyn reassured me, "no one has died in capture the flag for years." I couldn't believe it. This sounded like a terrible idea. How was I supposed to go up against a bunch of people skilled with weapons when I was only just learning? Everyone started getting up out of their seats to get ready and Jaclyn and Alex stood up. Jaclyn walked around the table and motioned me with her hand. "C'mon, it'll be fine."
I was going to die.