Seulgi didn’t know how she kept ending up in these kinds of situations. Sure, she knew the second she left Camp Half-Blood with Seungwan things were going to take a turn for the weird, but she wasn’t expecting this.
“Seulgi, what color leash should we get? Procyon looks like the type of dog who would appreciate blue…”
She honestly thought she would prefer fighting the Keres again to standing awkwardly in the middle of a bougie pet shop, the tinny sound of Lady Gaga being piped through the loudspeaker system, while Sooyoung took her time looking over the multitude of different collars and leashes, trying to pick out the perfect one for their new hound companion.
Procyon was their only lead to find Persephone and now that he had her scent the hound kept trying to wander off in order to track the scent of his prey. Which Seulgi couldn’t fault him for. He was a working dog after all, but after their motley crew nearly lost him when he bounded out of the park after their fight it was decided that they needed some way to keep him on leash.
“I’m sure he’d look great in blue,” Seulgi assured the daughter of Ares. Sooyoung seemed to have become very attached to their canine companion and the feeling appeared to be mutual. Procyon stuck to Sooyoung’s side like glue, refusing to take commands from anyone else.
Which Joohyun seemed to appreciate. It was odd, Seulgi could have sworn the daughter of Hades was a dog person, seeing as she had two gigantic hellhounds at her beck and call. But Joohyun seemed to be terrified of Procyon and adamantly refused to have anything to do with him. It was a paradox for sure but she decided to take that bit of knowledge, and like the rest of the things she’d learned over the last week, simply accept it and move on.
“You’re right, it really brings out the color of his fur,” Sooyoung agreed, picking out a matching sky-blue harness and leash and marching up to the cashier to pay for it. Her English was almost as good as Seungwan’s and Seulgi watched as she confidently dealt with the young man at the front. Before she knew it, Seulgi was being dragged out of the pet store by her arm and taken back outside.
Seulgi and Seungwan walked around the corner and spotted the rest of their gang seated around a table in front of a small café. Joohyun’s hellhounds were sprawled behind them, red eyes carefully watching each and every mortal that passed by. Seulgi still didn’t know how people seemed to be so blissfully unaware of them and she vowed to ask Joohyun about it the first chance she got.
“How’s your leg doing Yeri?” She asked, grabbing a chair from another table and joining them. Sooyoung meanwhile easily grabbed a hold of Procyon and managed to fasten his new harness around his chest before he could wriggle out of her grip.
Yeri smiled, “I’m feeling a lot better, Seulgi unnie. Seungwan unnie gave me some ambrosia and fixed most of it right up.” She hiked up her pant leg to show Seulgi. All that remained of her encounter with the Keres was a small bruise that looked like it was quickly fading away. “I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day just in case.”
It was moments like this that made Seulgi glad she brought Seungwan along. Even though Apollo children were handy with healing, Seulgi knew that Seungwan blew her out of the water when it came to healing prowess.
“It’s a good thing we’re not too far away from our next destination,” Joohyun added, sipping absentmindedly on her tea, eyes focused on the map of the city she held in her other hand. “With luck we shouldn’t run into any other roadblocks.”
“Where are we going anyway?” Seulgi asked, trying in vain to read the map upside down.
Joohyun pointed at a small island in the middle of a body of water called the Upper Bay. “There.”
Seulgi gently pried the map from Joohyun’s fingers and turned it around so she could see where the older girl had pointed.
“We’re going to the Statue of Liberty?”
The ferry to Liberty Island cost them a good chunk of their remaining mortal currency but at least the ticket-seller didn’t charge them extra for the two giant hellhounds.
“Joohyun? How come nobody seems to be able to see Tofu and Kimchi?” Seulgi asked as the five of them boarded the tourist ferry. The boarding ramp shuddered under the weight of Joohyun’s hellhounds but nobody seemed to notice.
“It’s because of the Mist.” Joohyun must have thought that was a satisfactory answer but upon looking at the confused expression on Seulgi’s face she sighed audibly and elaborated. “The Mist is basically a supernatural smokescreen conjured by Hecate, the goddess of magic. It twists a mortal’s sight to conceal things like gods, monsters and other strange things from view.”
“So people just don’t see the hellhounds?”
Joohyun looked over her shoulder to see Tofu and Kimchi lounging on the deck, tongues lolling out casually. Dozens of other tourists had boarded the ferry as well and all of them kept well away from the giant dogs.
“It’s more like they notice something’s there,” she pointed out to Seulgi. “But the Mist distorts what they’re seeing and replaces it with something mundane.”
Seulgi squinted and for a brief second she saw Tofu and Kimchi disappear, to be replaced with two large storage containers. “Whoa.”
“Crazy, huh?” Joohyun smiled at her and Seulgi felt her heart start to hammer in her chest again. Honestly she thought she preferred Joohyun being cold and distant, it made their relationship a lot easier to navigate. Because if she started feeling things when the older girl did something as simple as smile in her direction?
“Y-Yeah,” Seulgi hoped Joohyun didn’t hear the slight stutter in her words. Deciding it would be best for both of them if the conversation ended she inched away from Joohyun and went to join Yeri and Seungwan by the railing.
The two other girls were chatting animatedly with each other about who would win in a fight: a hundred goose-sized centaurs or one centaur-sized goose.
“No way would the goose win, sure he’s huge but centaurs are ridiculously rowdy,” Seungwan said confidently.
“You’ve met a centaur?” Yeri’s eyes were as wide as dinner plates as she looked up at Seugwan with awe.
Seulgi chuckled inwardly at the relationship both girls were cultivating with each other. Yeri was still young and impressionable and she seemed to look up to all of them. It was cute; Seulgi didn’t have any younger siblings to dote on back home and Yeri had quickly stolen her way into the missing part of Seulgi’s heart. Must be that Hermes blood, Seulgi thought.
“Hey, Seulgi!” Seungwan chirped, scooting over so Seulgi could stand in between her and Yeri. “How is our dear leader doing?”
Seulgi hoped her cheeks didn’t betray her feelings, “She’s fine. I still don’t know what her plan is outside of getting to Liberty Island though.”
Seungwan hummed thoughtfully. “Don’t worry about it, that’s typical Bae behavior. She’s always been pretty tight-lipped about things.”
“You and her seem to not hate each other so much anymore though,” Yeri added. An evil-looking grin started spreading across her face. “So when’s the wedding?”
“YERI!” Seulgi hissed, whirling around to make sure Joohyun hadn’t heard the comment. Thankfully the older girl had moved to stand by her hellhounds, and was petting Tofu—or was that Kimchi? Seulgi still didn’t know which one was which.
“Ooh, I struck a nerve,” the blonde girl said. “I know you’re starting to like her, anyone with two eyes and twenty brain cells can see the way you look at her.”
Damn Hermes children. How were they so perceptive? “I don’t like her,” Seulgi insisted, but she left off the “yet” that almost came out of .
Seungwan seemed to get the meaning though. “Joohyun certainly has a way of making you question everything.”
“Apparently that also includes your uality,” Yeri scoffed playfully, earning herself a half-hearted smack upside the head from Seulgi. “See? I’m right.”
“She hasn’t said anything mean to me in six hours,” Seulgi said. “I don’t think our relationship is getting anywhere past ‘cordial’ at this point.”
“Whatever you say, unnie,” Yeri didn’t sound at all convinced but dropped the conversation since Seulgi looked a bit uncomfortable, choosing instead to change the subject entirely. “Hey, has either Joohyun or Sooyoung told you two about the prophecy? I figured since you guys are here to stay you should be allowed to know what we’re going to be up against.”
Seulgi shook her head. Both the daughter of Ares and the daughter of Hades were suspiciousl