Click here to Download The Tower of Nero PDF Book by Rick Riordan having PDF Size 5 MB and No of Pages 297.
I decided to stroll down the aisle as if I were simply on my way to the restroom. If the amphisbaena attacked, I would scream. Hopefully Meg would put down her magazine long enough to come rescue me. At least I would have forced the inevitable confrontation. If the snake didn’t make a move, well, perhaps he really was harmless.
The Tower of Nero PDF Book by Rick Riordan
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|No of Pages||297|
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Then I would go to the restroom, because I actually needed to. I stumbled on my tingly legs, which didn’t help my “look casual” approach. I considered whistling a carefree tune, then remembered the whole quiet-car thing. Four rows from the monster. My heart hammered. Those eyes were definitely glowing, definitely fixed on me.
The monster sat unnaturally motionless, even for a reptile. Two rows away. My trembling jaw and sweaty face made it hard to appear nonchalant. The amphisbaena’s suit looked expensive and well tailored. Probably, being a giant snake, he couldn’t wear clothes right off the rack.
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His glistening brown-and-yellow diamond-pattern skin did not seem like the sort of thing one might wear to look more attractive on a dating app, unless one dated boa constrictors. The Tower of Nero PDF Book Download When the amphisbaena made his move, I thought I was prepared. I was wrong. The creature lunged with incredible speed, lassoing my wrist with the loop of his false left arm.
I was too surprised even to yelp. If he’d meant to kill me, I would have died. Instead, he simply tightened his grip, stopping me in my tracks, clinging to me as if he were drowning. I was saved from an awkward conversation, and the amphisbaena was saved from his wife killing him, when two crossbow bolts flew across the coach and killed him instead, pinning the poor snake’s necks against the back wall.
I shrieked. Several nearby passengers shushed me. The amphisbaena disintegrated into yellow dust, leaving nothing behind but a well-tailored suit. I raised my hands slowly and turned as if pivoting on a land mine. I half expected another crossbow bolt to pierce my chest. There was no way I could dodge an attack from someone with such accuracy.
The best I could do was appear nonthreatening. I was good at that. At the opposite end of the coach stood two hulking figures. One was a Germanus, judging from his beard and scraggly beaded hair, his hide armor, and his Imperial gold greaves and breastplate. The Tower of Nero PDF Book Download I did not recognize him, but I’d met too many of his kind recently.
I had no doubt who he worked for. Nero’s people had found us. Meg was still seated, holding her magical twin golden sica blades, but the Germanus had the edge of his broadsword against her neck, encouraging her to stay put. I calculated my odds of charging down the aisle and tackling our enemies before they killed Meg and me. Zero.
My odds of cowering in fear behind a chair while Meg took care of both of them? Slightly better, but still not great. I made my way down the aisle, my knees wobbling. The mortal passengers frowned as I passed. As near as I could figure, they thought my shriek had been a disturbance unworthy of the quiet car, and the conductor was now calling me out.
The fact that the conductor wielded a crossbow and had just killed a two-headed serpentine commuter did not seem to register with them. I did not want to meet any more Gauls or Gunthers, but Meg followed Lu meekly through the Plexiglas double doors. The Tower of Nero PDF Book I went next, Gunther breathing down my neck behind me, probably contemplating how easy it would be to separate my head from my body.
A gangway connected our car to the next: a loud, lurching hallway with automatic double doors on either end, a closet-size restroom in one corner, and exterior doors to port and starboard. I considered throwing myself out one of these exits and hoping for the best, but I feared “the best” would mean dying on impact with the ground. It was pitch-black outside.
Judging from the rumble of the corrugated steel panels beneath my feet, I guessed the train was going well over a hundred miles an hour. Through the far set of Plexiglas doors, I spied the café car: a grim concession counter, a row of booths, and a half dozen large men milling around—more Germani. Nothing good was going to happen in there.
If Meg and I were going to make a break for it, this was our chance. I didn’t understand exactly what was happening, but it occurred to my stupid slow mortal brain that perhaps, just perhaps, Lu was trying to help us. The Tower of Nero PDF Book If I didn’t block the doors like she’d asked, we would be overrun by seven angry sticky-fingered barbarians. I slammed my foot against the base of the double doors.
There were no handles. I had to press my palms against the panels and push them together to keep them shut. Gunther tackled the doors at full speed, the impact nearly dislocating my jaw. The other Germani piled in behind him. My only advantages were the narrow space they were in, which made it difficult for them to combine their strength, and the Germani’s own lack of sense.
Instead of working together to pry the doors apart, they simply pushed and shoved against one another, using Gunther’s face as a battering ram. Behind me, Lu and Meg jabbed and slashed, their blades furiously clanging against one another. I bought myself a moment by pulling out an arrow and jabbing it through the gap between the doors. Gunther howled.
The pressure eased as the clump of Germani readjusted. I flipped around so my back was to the Plexiglas, one heel wedged against the base of the doors. I fumbled with my bow and managed to nock an arrow. The Tower of Nero PDF My new bow was a god-level weapon from the vaults of Camp Jupiter. My archery skills had improved dramatically over the last six months.
Still, this was a terrible idea. It was impossible to shoot properly with one’s back against a hard surface. I simply couldn’t draw the bowstring far enough. Nevertheless, I fired. The arrow disappeared into the gap in the floor, completely missing the coupling. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure how to broach that subject.
We were trekking through a maze of subway-maintenance tunnels with only Lu as our guide. She had a lot more weapons than I did. Also, Meg was my master. She’d told me we were going to follow Lu, so that’s what we did. We continued our march, Meg and Lu trudging side by side, me straggling behind. I’d like to tell you I was “guarding their six,” or performing some other important task, but I think Meg had just forgotten about me.
Overhead, steel-caged work lights cast prison-bar shadows across the brick walls. Mud and slime coated the floor, exuding a smell like the old casks of “wine” Dionysus insisted on keeping in his cellar, despite the fact that they had long ago turned to vinegar. At least Meg’s sneakers would no longer smell like horse poop.
They would now be coated with new and different toxic waste. The Gaul ascended first. Moments later, the three of us stood in a stormlashed alley between two apartment buildings. The Tower of Nero PDF Lightning forked overhead, lacing the dark clouds with gold. Rain needled my face and poked me in the eyes. Where had this tempest come from? Was it a welcome-home present from my father, or a warning?
Or maybe it was just a regular summer storm. Sadly, my time as Lester had taught me that not every meteorological event was about me. The baby was stunned for a millisecond. Then she laughed with such glee I worried she might choke on her own spit. I found myself staring in amazement at Paul and Estelle, who struck me as even greater miracles than Percy’s graduation.
Paul seemed like a caring husband, a loving father, a kind stepfather. In my own experience, such a creature was harder to find than an albino unicorn or three-winged griffin. As for baby Estelle, her good nature and sense of wonder rose to the level of superpowers. If this child grew up to be as perceptive and charismatic as she appeared to be now, she would rule the world. I decided not to tell Zeus about her.
He tilted his head, as if wondering what other kind of man anyone would possibly try to be. “Well, I’ll leave you to get cleaned up and dressed. We don’t want dinner to get burned, do we, Estelle?” The Tower of Nero PDF The baby went into a fit of giggles as her father scooped her up and carried her out of the room. I took my time in the shower.
I needed a good scrubbing, yes. But mostly I needed to stand with my forehead against the tiles, shaking and weeping until I felt like I could face other people again. What was it about kindness? In my time as Lester Papadopoulos, I had learned to stand up under horrendous verbal abuse and constant life threatening violence, but the smallest act of generosity could ninja-kick me right in the heart and break me into a blubbering mess of emotions.
Darn you, Paul and Sally, and your cute baby, too! How could I repay them for providing me this temporary refuge? I felt like I owed them the same thing I owed Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood, the Waystation and the Cistern, Piper and Frank and Hazel and Leo and, yes, especially Jason Grace. I owed them everything.