It was a dark night with almost no stars in the sky. On the horizon, a simple gray band made it clear that they were close to a big city, in the case, New York. Long Island was a place incredibly beautiful and nice and even away from the beach you could feel the faintest scent of sea air. Inside the closed tent of the war meeting, Reyna would like to be able to think better about what they are discussing, but they had walked in circles in various subjects and advanced uselessly to exhaustion until dawn. The scouts returning gradually, timid, disappointed by a raid without results on the location of Camp Half-Blood. At the camp formed tents of perfectly homogeneous red and gold tissue, where banners fluttered majestically with the sea wind, the spirit you saw in the Roman soldiers was not exactly imposing or brave. They were tired from the long trip. Mentally tired of the long absence of tangible results.
When the last member of the council of war left the tent, everything Reyna wanted was sleep. She was at the forefront of the group that would attack Camp Half-Blood, along with his best demigods. However, each negative result of the scouts on the exact location of the campsite made the Praetor ask herself if the lack of results was not a sign from the gods to desist from that raid driven by revenge. She was ready to sleep when she heard a familiar voice from outside the tent, Samantha, the last of the scouts to return that night.
– I’m back, Rey-rey! – The girl smiled, she always gave that kind of nicknames to people, and insisted on calling Reyna that way, even not being very appropriate
– Any news, Sam?
– Actually, yes. – The redhead scratched her neck, uncomfortable – can we talk somewhere else? Do not trust these solar boys.
The daughter of Bellona agreed, following Samantha through the soft and cold grass of the meadow to the edge of a river, where she sat down to drink water. The daughter of Trivia was slim and elegant, beautifully covered with freckles from head to toe and walked without producing any sound or trail, thanks to her the way of the troops was always secure, and often, more efficient. She was the perfect scout.
– I found the camp, but I believe it is a mistake to attack them without even warn them we’re coming.
– You found the camp?! How?
– I always find my way. – She smiled confidently, shrugging – and I have brothers there. The exiled sons of Hecate won a home there. I cannot just throw them into another battle, I do not have that right.
It was the first time Reyna saw Sam so serious, since she had come to New Rome. Normally she was lively and relaxed and loved teasing Terminus. Now she had a glum and even solemn look.
– So why you not lied about having found the camp?
– Rey-rey… you know it’s not my style. I agree that it really was an unexpected blow that attack we suffered from their ship, but I’m sure there must be a rational and concise reason about it. Our fight confuses the gods… they depend on us as much as we on them, and while there is conflict between the Romans and the Greeks, there will be discord between them. You probably will not suffer much because you are a daughter of Bellona, but I am a daughter of Trivia, and I can’t contact her since this started.
– You talk like that Greek daughter of Aphrodite…
– And I haven’t even met her. Must be because we’re both reasonable and know what we are talking about. – She sighed – seriously Rey-rey, I can’t keep this up. Children of Apollo will march against other children of Apollo and that seems okay to them. Our community is our family, but there are other ties as well. I do not know what Octaviam want, urging all this discord, but I would keep my eyes on it.
Reyna did not respond her friend. She also differed from Octavian most of the time. Sam stood up.
– I’m leaving Rey-rey… I can’t move forward with you guys.
– Y-you’ll desert, Samantha?
– I will. – The redhead smiled a little sadly, her hand on the SPQR mark on her left arm – but I’ll give you a map with the location of the camp. It’s up to you to decide what you will do from now on, or not do. I know exactly what I intend to do from here.
And with that, she hugged Reyna, handing her a parchment sealed with wax. Without ado, the daughter of Bellona watched the daughter of Trivia follow below a hill, until she disappeared behind it. “As if it were that simple, challenging Octavian and stoping this meaningless battle…” she sighed, walking back to her tent. She could wind down the start of the battle for some time, but did not know until when. Some demigods asked for Sam when she returned, and only Reyna said as that she had “left again“.
It’s not like it’s was a lie, anyway.
She returned to her tent in the camp and spent the rest of the night thinking about everything Sam had said. In fact, Reyna didn’t trust Octavian, nor agreed with his methods. The more she thought about the gods and the confusion among the Greeks and the Romans, the more she questioned what Octavian intended instigating and inciting further dispute with his vainglorious speeches. She was immensely happy for not having to endure the son of Apollo nearby, especially because, as Sam said, Octavian seemed obsessed with the dispute against the Greeks. She understood perfectly that he hadn’t liked Percy since the son of Poseidon set foot in the camp, as well as being firmly against the meeting of the Romans and the Greeks. She couldn’t help thinking that there was more behind it, but she still couldn’t tell what it was. Finally, Reyna decided to sleep.
And that Bellona helped her endure the arrival of Octaviam to the posting, with great patience, in the next day.