Penelope Jackson: Daughter of the Sea- The Amulet of the Moon

In this second Penelope Jackson story, Penelope and her friends must travel to Athens to complete the prophecy that will unite the Gods with their Demi-god children. But a vengeful goddess threatens to destroy Penelope, her family and friends, as they travel. And during a separation Penelope picks up a strange stone that later reveals its true nature as the group of Demi-gods stumble upon a secret civilization.

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9. Dinner with the family

 

I seriously am frightened about how many times I've been unconscious on this adventure. Okay, back to the water. So I woke up in a really comfy bed, it was like a cloud, I double checked to make sure I was still underwater and that I still had my moon stone. When I got home I had to remind myself to have Claudia or Alec make a proper chain for my new precious gift. I sat up in the bed and rubbed my eyes but my body was so tense that it hurt. I looked down to see my stomach was covered in kelp as were my arms and hands.

"It's so the burns can heal." a voice explained.

I looked up to see a merman with a bright green tail, sitting in a chair by the door.

"Forgive me, I don't mean to startle you." he said. 

"You didn't but thanks, where am I? Where's Araluen?" I asked remembering my friend, "Is she alright?"

"Your free spirited friend is fine, she is waiting in the sitting room for you."

"Oh excellent." I said trying to get out of the bed.

"Please be careful!" the merman warned, "I don't want the kelp to unwrap itself."

I looked down and nodded.

"What's your name?" I asked looking back up at him.

"I am Wiley, the prince of the South Sea." said the merman.

"I'm Penelope." managing to get out of bed.

"It's a pleasure." Wiley said.

Wiley helped me maintain a standing position then led me to the sitting room where Araluen was. When we entered another merman was there he had a bright blue tail. When he saw us enter he immediately left and Araluen looked incredibly flustered.

"Everything alright?" Wiley asked. "Was that Nen?"

Araluen nodded then turned to me, "Are you alright? How are your burns?"

"They feel fine thanks to Wiley." I said gesturing to my new medic.

"Oh Penelope thank goodness, don't ever risk your life for me again." Araluen said sternly.

Boy did that sound familiar.

Suddenly the doors opened and in came a man with with a small trident, smaller than Poseidon and a woman decorated with pearls and shells. The man had a green tail while the woman had...legs. Wait what? She wore a long purple colored dress and stood by the mans side.

"Penelope this is my father Triton, and my mother Alinari." Wiley said, "Father this is Penelope...oh I am afraid I didn't catch your last name."

"Jackson, Penelope Jackson." I said.

At this Triton swam over to me, immediately I remembered a genealogy lesson as camp when he said,

"So my father was once again unfaithful?" he said snootily.

"Last time I checked Percy Jackson only had three children."

Triton wiped the smug look on his face.

"Percy Jackson is all grown now? And he married a mer-person?" he questioned.

"Triton look." Alinari said suddenly.

Triton looked to where his wife pointed and then I saw that he was looking at my moonstone.

"He married human, and you now poses the moon stone. How?" Triton said curiously. I couldn't be sure if he was upset or not.

"The water gave it to her your majesty." Araluen said swimming forward.

"Oh Araluen once again your presence enters our home." Alinari said stiffly, "How dare you cause treason to the South sea!"

"I didn't Penelope found the stone, at the sacred site I did not give it to her. I know the laws I am not stupid." Araluen protested.

"How did the child find the site?" Triton questioned.

"I fell into the lake at camp and hit my head, I woke up on a sea weed bed and then Araluen rescued me." I said.

Araluen eyed me widely but this seem to convince Wiley.

"Well now that that's settled," he said, "I find myself rather famished, Penelope are you hungry?"

"Wait a moment." Triton said, "why are you here?"

"I fell into the lake-" I began again.

"No no, why are you in the palace?"

"She was hurt by a guard, I brought her in to heal her." Wiley explained. "I've sent Moss to the dungeons. He's a foul guard."

"Moss is our best man what foul play do you mean?" Triton asked.

"He attached an eel to his spear and intended to use it on innocent merfolk." Wiley said.

Triton and Alinari shared a look, then Triton sighed, "I apologize Penelope, I can assure you that Moss will be handled effectively. Come niece, we have much to discuss, but first dinner is in order."

Triton offered his arm to his wife and I looked to Araluen, "Will you come with me?" I asked her.

"Of course, Penelope." she said and swam to follow Triton and Alinari.

Wiley offered me his arm, "Shall we cousin?" he said smirking, and I gently took it careful not to rip my kelp bandages; then we went to follow my uncle.

Dinner was a show, literally. I always thought the palace of Triton would be this huge spectacle with ridiculously long table with two chairs at each end, little fish servers and such, but Alinari informed me this was simply the summer home. They all lived in the gold palace that is my grandfathers home, but since all the gods were up on Mt. Olympus Triton saw it best to move him family to the summer palace. "Temporarily" Alinari said stiffly. So we sat at the smaller but still impressive dining table. There were marble chairs and bones made into cutlery and corral center pieces. I sat in between Araluen and Wiley.  Across from us there were four empty chairs. I whispered to Araluen as the weird squishy ordure came out with the dolphin servants....okay I was close on the fish servants. 

"I thought you said Triton only had daughters?" I whispered.

"He also has sons, with an obvious different mother." a male voice said. 

Nen the grumpy merman appeared, he sat in the chair directly across from Araluen and waited for the dolphin servants to bring him a plate.

"I didn't mean any disrespect," I said quickly.

Wiley patted my hand, "Don't mind my brother here, he's just an old fusspot."

"For the last time Wiley, I only just turned one thousand." Nen said stiffly.

"While I am still in my early nine hundreds, sorry big brother you're ancient." Wiley chuckled.

The corral glass in Nen's hand shattered."

"Oh honestly Nen," his mother reprimanded, "Do control your anger, you know Wiley is just teasing."

Nen muttered under his breathe and Araluen began coughing.

"Are you alright?" Wiley asked summoning a servant for more...water? Nothing here makes sense.

"Do share with the table." Alinari said to her eldest son.

"I said Wiley should stop being such a flounder, and stop hiding under mummy's b-"

"Nen enough, I think you should take dinner to your room." Triton said not looking at his son.

Nen left in a huff and slammed the huge door behind him.

"Well my appetite has disappeared." Alinari said. 

"As has mine," Triton said throwing his napkin down. "Come dearest I suggest we retire to our room. I apologize Penelope please help yourself, we shall discuss your intentions tomorrow. Wiley will show you and your friend to your rooms." 

Triton took his wife's hand then left the dining room. I suddenly wasn't really hungry and asked Wiley where my room was I just wanted to lay down. I let him and Araluen finish dinner before he led us back to the room I had been in previously. Sometime in the night I heard voices outside my room, Araluen's door adjoin her room to mine was dark. My curiosity got he better of me and I swam outside to investigate.

The voices got louder and I peeked down the hall to see Araluen standing outside her door talking to Nen. Keeping to the wall I tried to hear what they were saying.

"You know my parents would never accept this, us." Nen said.

"That's why I've stayed among my people, you don't think I've heard about your engagement." Araluen spat.

"Tallulah means nothing to me." Nen insisted.

"Tallulah? I was talking about Shasa, the blonde blow fish of a merwoman."

"Stop that." Nen whispered, "Ara I-"

"Don't call me that. Only friends call me that." Araluen hissed.

"What am I then?"

"A massive swordfish in my side."

Araluen turned to her room but Nen caught her arm.

"You know how I feel about you." Nen said.

"I thought I did." Araluen sighed," Now I know, your precious crown is more important than me."

"If I don't become the next king Wiley will then he wins." Nen hissed throwing up his arms, "I thought you understood."

"Not everything is a competition!" Araluen said raising her voice. "The crown is not a game and neither is my heart. You you shellfish!"

"Keep your voice down." Nen said.

I couldn't keep quiet any longer and I stepped out of the shadows.

"Is everything okay?" I said looking to Araluen and ignoring Nen.

Araluen shook off Nen's hand and faced me.

"Yes Penelope, I'm sorry to wake you. Go back to bed Nen was simply...mistaken and was heading back to his room." she said.

She closed her door on Nen who then turned to face me. I avoided his gaze and looked back to my room when he said.

"I'm not a bad guy."

I turned to face him, "I never said you were, but Araluen is my friend."

"You've known her a day, I've known her since we were guppies."

"And yet I took an eel to the chest for her," I said gesturing to my bandages, "While you sit here and watch her people suffer."

Nen came closer, "All merfolk are the same, some are just born into different classes. What would you know, you're a human at heart."

"I'm a child of Poseidon too, and human or not I know the difference between right and wrong. So no Nen you aren't a bad guy, just very mistaken."

I turned away and swam to my room, locking it behind me.

When I crawled back into bed that night I tried to fall asleep, that was short lived when I heard the adjacent door open and Araluen called out in a whisper," Penelope are you awake?"

"I have been." I respond.

Araluen closes the door and then swam to the bed sitting down, I sat up and looked at Araluen, "So you and Nen?"

"It was, at one time him and me," she sighed.

"What happened?"

"Wiley is always making jokes and Nen has a short temper. He thinks everything with Wiley has to be a competition.  His mother adores Wiley and would do anything to she him king. She made the decision to make the law the the next prince to take the throne must marry of royal blood, no commoners." she huffed.

I immediately understood Araluen's situation with Nen, "So he's chosen the throne over you."

Araluen nodded a single tear rolled down her face before joining the rest of the water around us.

"And Triton did nothing?" I asked her.

"He probably doesn't know nor would he care. The queen makes all the decisions." she spat.

I felt terrible, my heart broke for Araluen not only were her people fighting the Royals for land, the merman she loved was not willing to fight for her.

"Araluen, why did you  take me from the dock?" I asked her.

Araluen frowned then sighed, "In truth Penelope I-"

There was a commotion outside and Araluen swam quickly to her room, "Don't let anyone in." she whispered then locked her door.

The noise died down and Araluen didn't come back. I nestled into my bed and tried to catch some sleep. I had my work cut out for me, on top of that, my friends and family were probably worried about me and then there was Jillian to worry about. Araluen was heart broken, Nen was caught between a rock and a hard place, and there was about to be a civil war. I tried my best to sleep some more, but no such luck.

 

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