Festus spread his wings and landed with a stumble. Apparently one of his legs was broken. The dragon pitched sideways and catapulted Leo face-first into the sand.
So much for a heroic entrance.
Leo spat a piece of seaweed out of his mouth. Festus dragged himself down the beach, made clacking noises that meant Ow, ow, ow.
Leo looked up. Calypso stood over him, her arms crossed, her eyebrows arched.
‘You’re late,’ she announced. Her eyes gleamed.
‘Sorry, Sunshine,’ Leo said. ‘Traffic was murder.’
‘You are covered with soot,’ she noted. ‘And you managed to ruin the clothes I made for you, which were impossible to ruin.’
‘Well, you know.’ Leo shrugged. Somebody had released a hundred pachinko balls in his chest. ‘I’m all about doing the impossible.’
She offered her hand and helped him up. They stood nose to nose as she studied his condition. She smelled like cinnamon. Had she always had that tiny freckle next to her left eye? Leo really wanted to touch it.
She wrinkled her nose. ‘You smell –’
‘I know. Like I’ve been dead. Probably because I have been. Oath to keep with a final breath and all, but I’m better now –’
She stopped him with a kiss.
The pachinko balls slammed around inside him. He felt so happy he had to make a conscious effort not to burst into flames.
When she finally let him go, her face was covered in soot smudges. She didn’t seem to care. She traced her thumb across his cheekbone.
‘Leo Valdez,’ she said.
Nothing else – just his name, as if it were something magical.
‘That’s me,’ he said, his voice ragged. ‘So, um … you want to get off this island?’
Calypso stepped back. She raised one hand and the winds swirled. Her invisible servants brought two suitcases and set them at her feet. ‘What gave you that idea?’
Leo grinned. ‘Packed for a long trip, huh?’
‘I don’t plan on coming back.’ Calypso glanced over her shoulder, at the path that led to her garden and her cavern home. ‘Where will you take me, Leo?’
‘Somewhere to fix my dragon, first,’ he decided. ‘And then … wherever you want. How long was I gone, seriously?’
‘Time is difficult on Ogygia,’ Calypso said. ‘It felt like forever.’
Leo had a stab of doubt. He hoped his friends were okay. He hoped a hundred years hadn’t passed while he was flying around dead and Festus searched for Ogygia.
He would have to find out. He needed to let Jason and Piper and the others know he was okay. But right now … priorities. Calypso was a priority.
‘So once you leave Ogygia,’ he said, ‘do you stay immortal or what?’
‘I have no idea.’
‘And you’re okay with that?’
‘More than okay.’
‘Well, then!’ He turned towards his dragon. ‘Buddy, you up for another flight to nowhere in particular?’
Festus blew fire and limped around.
‘So we take off with no plan,’ Calypso said. ‘No idea where we’ll go or what problems await beyond this island. Many questions and no tidy answers?’
Leo turned up his palms. ‘That’s how I fly, Sunshine. Can I get your bags?’
Five minutes later, with Calypso’s arms around his waist, Leo spurred Festus into flight. The bronze dragon spread his wings, and they soared into the unknown.
Acropolis the ancient citadel of Athens, Greece, containing the oldest temples to the gods
Actaeon a hunter who spied Artemis while she was bathing. She was so angered by the idea of a mortal seeing her naked that she turned him into a stag.
Ad aciem Latin for Assume battle stance
Aeolus lord of all winds
Alcyoneus the eldest of the giants born to Gaia, destined to fight Pluto
amphora a tall ceramic wine jar
Antinous the leader of the suitors for Odysseusâ€™s wife, Queen Penelope. Odysseus killed him by shooting him through the neck with an arrow.
Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was married to Hephaestus, but she loved Ares, the god of war. Roman form: Venus
Aphros the music and poetry teacher at an underwater camp for mer-heroes. He is one of the half brothers of Chiron.
Apollo the Greek god of the sun, prophecy, music and healing; the son of Zeus, and the twin of Artemis. Roman form: Apollo
Aquilo Roman god of the north wind. Greek form: Boreas
ara (arai, pl.) female spirits of curses; wrinkled hags with bat-like wings, brass talons and glowing red eyes; daughters of Nyx (night)
Ares the Greek god of war; the son of Zeus and Hera, and half brother to Athena. Roman form: Mars
Artemis the Greek goddess of nature and hunting; the daughter of Zeus and Hera, and twin to Apollo. Roman form: Diana
Asclepeion a hospital and medical school in Ancient Greece
Asclepius the healing god; son of Apollo; his temple was the healing centre of Ancient Greece
Athena the Greek goddess of wisdom. Roman form: Minerva
Augustus the founder of the Roman Empire and its first emperor, ruling from 27 B.C.E. until his death in 14 C.E.
auxilia Latin for helps; the standing non-citizen corps of the Imperial Roman army
Ave Romae Latin for Hail, Romans
Bacchus the Roman god of wine and revelry. Greek form: Dionysus
Banastre Tarleton a British commander in the American Revolution who gained infamy for his part in the slaughter of surrendering Continental Army troops during the Battle of Waxhaws
Barrachina a restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico; birthplace of the piÃ±a colada
Bellona a Roman goddess of war
bifurcum Latin for private parts
Boreas god of the north wind. Roman form: Aquilo
Briares older brother of the Titans and Cyclopes; son of Gaia and Ouranos. The last of the Hundred-Handed Ones still alive.
Bythos combat trainer at an underwater camp for mer-heroes; half brother of Chiron
Calypso the goddess nymph of the mythical island of Ogygia; a daughter of the Titan Atlas. She detained the hero Odysseus for many years.
Ceres the Roman goddess of agriculture. Greek form: Demeter
chlamys a Greek garment; a white wool cloak loosely wrapped and pinned at the shoulder
Circe a Greek sorceress who once turned Odysseusâ€™s men into pigs
Clytius a giant created by Gaia to absorb and defeat all of Hecateâ€™s magic
coquÃ the common name for several species of small frogs indigenous to Puerto Rico
cuneum formate a Roman military manoeuvre in which infantry formed a wedge to charge and break enemy lines
Cupid Roman god of love. Greek form: Eros
Cyclops (Cyclopes, pl.) a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of his or her forehead
cynocephali (cynocephalus, sing.) dog-headed monsters
Damasen giant son of Tartarus and Gaia; created to oppose Ares; condemed to Tartarus for slaying a drakon that was ravaging the land
Deimos fear, the twin of Phobos (panic), son of Ares and Aphrodite
Delos the island birthplace of Apollo and Artemis in Greece
Demeter the Greek goddess of agriculture, a daughter of the Titans Rhea and Kronos. Roman form: Ceres
Diana the Roman goddess of nature and hunting. Greek form: Artemis
Dies Roman goddess of the day. Greek form: Hemera
Diocletian the last great pagan emperor, and the first to retire peacefully; a demigod (son of Jupiter). According to legend, his sceptre could raise a ghost army.
Dionysus the Greek god of wine and revelry, a son of Zeus. Roman form: Bacchus
dracaena (dracanae, pl.) female reptilian humanoids with snake trunks instead of legs
drakon gigantic yellow and green serpent-like monster, with f
rills around its neck, reptilian eyes and huge talons; it spits poison
Earthborn Gegenees in Greek; monsters with six arms that wear only a loincloth
Eiaculare flammas Latin for Launch flaming arrows