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Chapter 9 (Praise)

by Ahmad

Author's Note: Sorry for missing yet another day.

It all begins at the campfire, when everyone was at his own subject, totally not caring for the new kid, who is spending his time at the Hermes Cabin and frequents the Zeus Cabin. Well, except for Thrall.

To be honest, Thrall was one of the very first friends Praise made in Camp Half Blood, besides Immortal, son of Iris, who spends his time at the stables, Built and Shed, the twin satyrs, and Serf, son of Dionysus, who is only less useless than he seems. But having a friend like Serf who rarely speaks, has its own advantages. Unlike Built and Shred who spread any fact they learn, Serf was the only one Praise trusted enough to tell him about her.

She was a drop dead gorgeous girl, with mesmirizing brown hair, one happy go lucky personality that steals away your spirit, and some unexplainable charm that just snatches Praise out of his world. And Praise knows how it feels to be disconnected from the world, from years of meditation.

Although he doesn't exactly know her name, he's found her enough around to memorize her behavioural pattern. For three days, she is his only subject of attention. He never dares ask about her to anyone, but has managed to collect enough information: She's six days older than him, a Gemini, born on 6th of June, and has seen her go to the Aphrodite Cabin, and by so, Praise is able to collect all her behaviour reactions, and comparing them to the behavioural pattern of an average Gemini. He successfully manages to complete a map of her behavioural reaction from these two leads.

He adds an additional behavioural branch relating to Interests on the map, and begins detailing possible reactions. But what exactly shatters him is her dualism. Dualism is the unexpected reaction in certain situations. She would tend to surprise him with reactions, which makes him expand the map further, and make a spiderweb-like map across a huge paper. 

That is indeed frustrating, but Praise continues on. He's not gonna let a human personality puzzle him. He's spent years studying human personalities. He's not giving up.

But then the behaviour map bursts ablaze. He rapidly tries to turn off the fire, but the fire blazes purple, eating through the map. He looks up and spots a few Ares campers laughing. They did it.

He walks calmly to them. "Excuse me, but I think you accidentally burned my map."

"Guess what?" one of them, with blond hair and a musclar build chuckles. "It ain't accidental, wise boy."

Praise frowns. "Bullies," he calmly walks off.

He sits back on his log. He has learnt from years and years of meditation to be peaceful among the humans. He spots that the blond boy glares angrily at him. He violently walks up to him, and his gang of Ares campers follow him.

"I was talking to you," the blond boy roars.

"And I heard you," Praise nods, calmly.

The blond boy growls, and punches Praise into the stomach. Praise falls back off the log and lands painfully back first. He keeps his wince and moan of pain disclosed to himself.

"I'm Deed Wilson, and I won't be defeated by you!" he violently punches at Praise's stomach, who flinches briefly.

Where is everybody?! Praise questions, holding his arms to protect himself. Won't anyone come over and help a bullied?!

Deed strikes again with his fists, and it seems everybody is just watching them. Praise futilely blocks an attack, and catches Deed's arm miraclously. Deed glares at him, then swiftly shoves Praise off using his arm. Deed and his campers march up to him and surround Praise from all directions. A lightning bolt strikes behind them, and they turn, spotting Thrall.

"And what do you think you're doing?" Thrall growls at them, charging his fist with electricity. 

The Ares campers freeze in their spots, then simply growl. Deed suddenly smiles and walks up.

"Oh! Look who just came." he chuckles. "Praise's loyal bodyguard."

Praise looks in shock, as Thrall glares angrily at Deed. "Why you little-!" he growls at Deed.

Praise suddenly feels a surge of wamth traveling from his forehead to his body. Welcoming warmth. Praise looks towards the Ares Campers, who seem... surprised. They look in total shock, almost gasping.

"Uh, Deed..." one of them begins.

"What?!" Deed swiftly turns to him.

"Look." the camper points towards Praise.

Deed gasps, and Thrall grins. Praise quickly checks himself for any flaws or whatsoever.

"A dark fiery helm." Thrall smiles up to Praise.

Praise looks up above his head to see the dark fiery helm symbol gleaming above him.

Thrall walks up and stands in front of Praise. "Camp Halfblood! I want you all to meet my cousin of both sides! Praise Cliff! Son of Hades!"

Dad. You were there for me. Praise smiles.

The Ares campers growl, while the others balatantly gasp. Deed glares angrily, his eyes hungry for revenge.

"I suppose this gurantees that I'm not the only one backing up Praise. If you mess with him again, Hades might curse you all with horrible afterlifes. And..." Thrall calmly walks forward. "On the mortal side, there's me. Mess with Praise, and I will strike you with lightning."

Thrall begins to walks off, grinning. Some Athena campers nod approvingly at him. Including that girl with Perseus, Annabeth.

Praise continues smiling, but then quickly the smile fades as he sees an angry Deed walking up to him. He raises his fist, and swings it at Praise.



Praise closes his eyes, holding his arms up, waiting for the hit... and it never comes. Instead, a violent noise is heard, and Praise opens his eyes. Deed screams in massive pain, grabbing at his face, clearly in pain. His clothes are scarred and burned, as if... as if...

Thrall has struck him down with lightning.

Praise looks up and sees Thrall sighing. "I warned you."

Thrall walks off, as a sudden silence creeps across the campers. They all slowly walk off, leaving Deed on his knees. He didn't deserve it. He might have been a bully, but he doesn't deserve lightning.  Why did Thrall do that?

Praise slowly makes his way to Deed. He kneels down to look at his face. Deed removes his hands for moments, revealing a terrible scar all over his face, stretching from his left eyebrow, which has somehow faded, across his nose, over his lips, which have solidified to a stone-like texture.

Deed growls, and turns to where Thrall leaves. "THRALL LADIKOS!" he shouts.

Thrall perks up in the distance. Deed completes, standing up, "BY THE POWER OF ARES, GOD OF WAR, I CURSE YOU TO DIE BY YOUR OWN LIGHTNING, AND CRUMBLE TO ASHES..."

Thrall's eyes widen in horror. Then he shakes his angry had and disappears.

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