"So what now?" I asked Chiron "We just let Ben sail away? He's going to raise Kronos. He's already healed part of him or so he says."
Chiron knelt, carefully folding his front legs underneath him. It's then Giselle chose the time to come over.
"Chiron do you have your medical pouch?" She asked
"I have your backpack." Ceci said handing it to her
"Thanks, for rescuing me and bringing my backpack." She told all of us before going back to Luke and the party pony
I saw Harry watching them with a hurt expression on his face as she walk away back to Luke. We all watched as Giselle opened her backpack taking out medical things and began to treat Luke's wounds.
"I'm afraid, children, that today has been something of a draw. We didn't have the strength of numbers to take the Chimera. Ben was not organized enough to pursue us. Nobody won."
"But we got the Book of Hecate!" Ceci said. "The Wanted members are on their way back to camp with it right now."
Chiron nodded, though he still looked uneasily at Luke and Giselle before looking back at us. "You are all true heroes. And as soon as we get Luke fixed up, you must return to Half-Blood Hill. The centaurs shall carry you."
"Luke's coming, too?" Harry asked.
"Oh yes, Harry. He'll be relieved to get home. As for me my brethren here simply do not appreciate Dean Martin's music. Besides, I must have some words with the senior campers, cabin counselors. There's the rest of the winter to plan. So much training to do. And I want to see ... I'm curious about how Luke came back to life."
"I think we all are." Harry grumbled under his breath glaring at Luke
I didn't know exactly what he meant, but the look on Harry's face was clear. He didn't want Luke back at camp.
I'd learned with Kronos there was usually a plan within a plan. The titan lord wasn't called the Crooked One for nothing. He had ways of getting people to do what he wanted without them ever realizing his true intentions.
Over by the campfire, Louis let loose with his paintball gun. A blue projectile splattered against one of the centaurs, hurling him backward into the lake. The centaur came up grinning, covered in swamp muck and blue paint, and gave Louis two thumbs up.
"Ceci," Chiron said, "perhaps you should go supervise Louis and my cousins before they, ah, teach each other too many bad habits?"
Ceci met his eyes. Some kind of understanding passed between them.
"Sure, Chiron," Ceci said. "So I really like paintball so Giselle is coming me with me."
I watched as Ceci went over to Giselle saying something before Giselle motioned to the party pony. The pony said something.
"Yes, you do." Ceci said hoisting the pony to his hooves and led him off toward the campfire leaving Giselle and Luke alone.
I watched as Giselle finished bandaging Luke's leg with jealousy. "Children, I had a talk with Niall and Ceci on the way here. A talk
about history repeating again."
"Uh-oh," I thought.
"It was Ben's fault," I said. "Ben said something to Giselle about Luke on our quest for the Lightning Bolt."
His eyes flickered with irritation. I was sure he was going to chew us out, but then his look turned to weariness. "I suppose we could not expect to keep it secret forever."
"So what was Ben talking about?" Zayn asked
I saw Giselle put her medical things back into her backpack.
"Luke was Kronos previous vessel during the second Titan War. In the end Luke took control of his body and sacrificed himself to stop Kronos and save Olympus."
"That's what Kelly meant when we first asked her about who Luke was." Liam said
But as soon as Liam said that something clicked in Chiron's mind as well as Zayn's.
Chiron's tail whisked nervously in the grass. "My boy, what did Kelly tell you exactly. Because very few know about Luke and Giselle's relationship along with many campers the ones who fought in the War don't speak about it."
"But that's what Kelly meant when Luke did something, and that they were a couple, and best friends. She also said that he died in war." Niall exclaimed
"He might still be on Kronos's side for all we know of." I said looking at Luke
"We don't know that for sure." Chiron said
"You're right we don't, but Kronos is rising again and he wants to destroy Mount Olympus for good this time!" Zayn said
"He will try," Chiron agreed. "And Western Civilization along with it, if we don't stop him. And with our forces divided he might able to succeed this time around. But we will stop him before he gets too far. You will not be alone in that fight."
I knew he was trying to make us feel better, but I pictured Kelly in my mind and trusted her more at the moment. Kelly was a child of Athena after all.
"Chiron what good is us being lousy heroes against Kronos again. I mean how do we fight him and his army?"I said miserably.
"I don't know how many heroes have told me they were lousy heroes. And each one became a great hero with many stories that are known through our world."Chiron said managing a smile.
He pulled an arrow from his quiver and turned the razor-sharp tip so it glinted in the firelight.
"Celestial bronze, boys. An immortal weapon. What would happen if you shot this at a human?"
"Nothing," Liam said. "It would pass right through."
"That's right," he said. "Humans don't exist on the same level as the immortals. They can't even be hurt by our weapons. But you, boys—you are part god, part human. You live in both worlds. You can be harmed by both, and you can affect both. That's what makes heroes so special. You carry the hopes of humanity into the realm of the eternal. Monsters never die. They are reborn from the chaos and barbarism that is always bubbling underneath civilization, the very stuff that makes Kronos stronger. They must be defeated again and again, kept at bay. Heroes embody that struggle. You fight the battles humanity must win, every generation, in order to stay human. Do you understand?"
"I guess." We all mumbled
"You must try, boys. Because Kronos thinks you might be able to stop him once and for all. And after today, he will finally despair of turning you to his side. That is the only reason he hasn't killed you yet, you know. As soon as he's sure he can't use you, he will destroy you."
"You talk like you know him." Niall said
Chiron pursed his lips. "I do know him."
We stared at him. We sometimes forgot just how old Chiron was.
"How do you know him?" Zayn asked
Chiron's eyes were deep brown, full of thousands of years of sadness. "Boys, remember your training. Remember your study of mythology. What is my connection to the titan lord?"
I tried to think, but I'd always gotten my mythology mixed up. Even now, when it was so real, so important to my own life, I had trouble keeping all the names and facts straight. I shook my head. "You, uh, owe Kronos a favor or something? He spared your life?"
"No." Liam said looking at Chiron in horror
"Boys," Chiron said, his voice impossibly soft. "The titan Kronos is my father."