There is a change in the atmosphere.
It has been subtle and building since Gaea's fall but today, it is more prominent than ever. I can almost taste it and it makes me shudder. Somehow, the arrival of another son of Poseidon has strengthened the invisible power. It is as if a restraint has broken somewhere.
It makes me uneasy to think that only months after the second Giant War, something big is again going to happen. These demigods deserve the peace, but maybe, it is just not meant to be. Whatever this is, I pray to the gods of Olympus that whatever happens, it doesn't bring another fight, but I know instinctively, that this is wishful thinking. There just isn't a reprieve for the demigods.
As I was thinking about it, a knock came from outside the door of the big house. I went and opened it and nearly slammed it close again.
Standing there, on the deck, was Percy, whose clothes were drenched in sweat and blood. But my attention was on the lump of mass which was in his arms. The body was unrecognizable. An unexplainable anger towards the boy carrying the injured person almost consumed me for an instant. Again, the aura swept through the room and I saw a shadow of something pass over Percy's eyes. Before I could recognize it, it was gone, as Percy also focused on the child he was carrying.
Percy hurriedly explained to me how he had gone for an early morning walk and thought that a monster had come inside the camp borders. He told me how instead of the monsters, he had found Sandy who had almost bled to death by that time. He told me that after stopping the blood flow from the most grievous of the wounds, he had brought the child to the big house. That explained the blood on his clothes.
I took hold of the child and immediately set pace for the infirmary. I told Percy, "Luckily, there are two Apollo kids bunking in the infirmary right now. Something about how the girls had made their life difficult in past few weeks because of some overheard remark."
Percy sighed, a bit relieved and asked me, "I'm glad they're already here. I was going to rush over to the cabin afterwards and call them otherwise."
I didn't respond as we had reached the infirmary. As we entered, I went to a bed and laid down the injured kid on it. I promptly started chanting and healing Sandy. Percy went and woke Austin and Will. Both of them grumbled about being woken up at the ungodly hour, but as soon as they saw that there was an injured person in the infirmary, they both went into their healing personas and got to work.
Percy saw that the Apollo campers got a little confused when they saw the wounds on Sandy. Austin asked Chiron, "Did the boy get out of the camp?". I shook my head and muttered a terse negative.
"Chiron, have our defenses been breached? How did any monster get inside camp borders? What type of monster can do this?" asked Will, gesturing towards the still prone form of the Hermes camper. As I saw the wounds on the bloodied back of the small demigod, I remembered the last time I had seen wounds like this. The memories brought another shiver up my spine and I replied, "The last time I saw wounds like this, the children were not being healed, they were being buried." I ignored the gasps and continued, "These wounds are most probably inflicted by Lamia." On seeing their confused glance, I elaborated, "She was a Libyan queen, a daughter of Hecate who was cursed by Hera to eat her own and other's children." This was followed by horrified looks from the three conscious demigods.
Percy broke the silence and questioned, "But still she did not kill Sandy. I wonder why?" I was thinking about it when Percy muttered, "It's as if a statement is being made…" I didn't hear the rest and missed the look of horror that passed on Percy's face. After that, he was quiet as the three of us continued to fix the injuries of the patient.
Finally, after sometime and some grueling healing and chanting, Sandy's condition was stabilized. He would have some permanent scarring but most of the wounds would heal without scarring.
I looked outside the window, and saw that it was nearing breakfast. As if in response to my thoughts, the conch horn blew for breakfast.
I took another long look at the demigod lying on the bed and the one who brought him here. Something told me that today is going to be a long day.