They hadn’t even left the village before they grew out of breath. Exelda braced herself for a moment, and when she caught a glimpse of the enormous figure moving about the ocean, she knew she had to act quickly. She scanned over the other heroes and noticed that while Narcius acted tired, his respiration hadn’t actually slowed down. She breathily commanded him, “Narcius… use… your… powers… to… get… down… there…quick!”
“All by myself?” Narcius fretted.
“Kefalia… can… you… fly?” Exelda asked.
Kefalia answered, “Need… air!”
Exelda told Narcius, “Carry… Stocastin… with you!”
“Ugh, fine!” Narcius draped Stocastin over his shoulder and used his super speed to race to the shore.
A few seconds went by when Narcius returned to them. “What are you doing?” Exelda questioned him.
Narcius reported, “I can’t see a thing down there except for a pair of giant fangs! We don’t know what to do!”
“Well, you and Stocastin can…” She paused before she made an observance. “Wait, you just left him there?”
“He’s got his invisibility, he’s fine!” Narcius reasoned.
Exelda ordered him, “Get back over there! We’ll come help shortly.” Narcius reluctantly sped away, and as Exelda watched him go back to the seaside, she realized just how far they had to go. “We need a faster way to get there.” She saw that Akintos was slumped over an empty cart, and when she stood up, she could see that the pathway out of town was a long slant downhill. “I’ve got an idea!”
As Exelda used her super strength to free the cart from its restraints, Kefalia shrieked, “You’re stealing?”
“We’re commandeering this vehicle for the sake of our duties to the kingdom,” Exelda clarified for her as she dragged it to the top of the hill.
“It’s stealing but legal,” Akintos surmised to Kefalia. “Hmm… I wonder what else we can legally-.”
Exelda cut him off, “Don’t even think about it! Get in!” Akintos willingly hopped onto the cart while Kefalia hesitated. “If you can’t fly, you need to get in here now!” Kefalia made a feeble attempt to fly, and when she couldn’t do it, she forced herself to get on the cart.
Exelda gave the cart a swift push before she hopped on. The further downhill they went, the more speed they gained. When they got to the flatter land, the cart continued the same momentum. They were all worried about crashing into the ocean and screamed. Narcius used his powers to intercept the cart, but he wasn’t strong enough to stop it. He veered it rightwards, which changed their trajectory towards a small tree. They all screamed again as they braced for impact. The cart barreled into the tree, and Exelda as well as Akintos flew head first into the sand! They spit sand out of their mouths as Kefalia exclaimed, “Oh, I can fly now!”
“Oh, sure, rub it in!” Akintos grumbled.
Suddenly, they saw the shadow of something massive heading in their direction, so Akintos and Exelda rolled out of the way. Exelda drew out her sword but couldn’t see where the creature went. She tried to find it with just the moonlight, but all she saw was darkness until a set of fangs raced towards her! She successfully dodged it, but she didn’t see where it went. “I need light! I need light! I need light!” she repeated frantically as she ran from the fangs.
“Here!” Akintos grabbed a piece of wood from the now broken cart and pointed his palm at it. After it was lit, he tossed it to Exelda, who managed to catch it mid-run.
Exelda used her torch to search for the monster and in a flash, she spotted a serpent with fish-like scales and fins! It lunged towards her, but Kefalia flew by its head to intervene. It tried to chomp her, but she darted around too rapidly for its bite. Exelda managed to run to the beast without it noticing her, and she used her sword to cut it in half! It howled in pain and flopped to the ground.
Kefalia inquired, “It’s dead already?”
Narcius commented, “It is? Wow, that was easy!”
“Too easy!” Stocastin said dismally. “No way would our adversary choose a creature that bore so little of a challenge!”
Exelda peered into the water where the back end of the monster laid and watched as the topmost part had bubbles frothing near it. They began to form faster and faster, so Exelda yelled out, “Guys, we’re not done yet!”
They watched with horror as the severed back half formed a new head! Both halves sprang back to life and dove after the heroes! Exelda fended off one of them with her sword while Kefalia flew by its head and distracted it by taking swipes at it with her weapon. Stocastin turned invisible while Narcius used his super speed to dart around randomly because Exelda had the only source of light and was now nowhere near them. Akintos made another one for them and ran over to deliver it. He saw the creature suddenly lunge towards him, so he pointed a palm at it and sent a fireball flying into its face. The monster seemed annoyed by it but didn’t seem hurt. When Kefalia flew near the other creature’s head, its antennae tickled her. Akintos shouted, “Kefalia, get away from there!” When she didn’t, he sent a fireball her way, which hurt her but snapped her into place just in time. The beast that Akintos had been fighting used this opportunity to go after him, so Narcius used his super speed to hurl himself into it. It moved the monster’s body out of the way, and before it could get back up again, Stocastin cut it in half!
“Why did you do that?” Exelda hollered as she continued to fight the other creature. “It’s just going to regenerate!”
“Yes, but it buys us some time,” Stocastin pointed out.
Exelda recognized the legitimacy of his reasoning and halved hers as well. They all quickly convened together, and Exelda probed, “How do we kill it?”
Stocastin replied, “How do you kill anything in general? Obviously we can’t cut it up or burn it.”
Exelda put in, “Probably can’t poison it.”
“Strangle it?” Narcius suggested.
“Where’s Polyphema when you need her?” Akintos joked.
Kefalia brought up, ‘What about drowning?”
Stocastin dismissed that notion, “You can’t drown it! They’re sea creatures!”
“How do you know that?” Kefalia challenged as the four creatures were starting to form.
“Look at them! They have scales, fins, and gills!” Stocastin turned invisible again as the four creatures were now fully formed.
Stocastin, Kefalia, Exelda, and Narcius each took a monster to fight, but with only two torches available, Kefalia and Stocastin had a hard time seeing theirs, so Akintos dashed back to the broken cart to make more. While Exelda fought hers, she cried out, “Wait, they have gills? That means that they need water to breathe!”
Stocastin, who briefly turned visible to receive his torch, agreed, “Affirmative!”
The creature almost got Stocastin and Akintos, so they rolled out of the way. Stocastin’s clothes caught on fire, so he ran into the water to extinguish it. Akintos aimed some fireballs to keep it from attacking Stocastin. Exelda beheaded hers and instructed the others, “Do it one more time!” Kefalia and Narcius managed to cut theirs down, and Narcius zipped over to Stocatin and Akintos so they could use his light. Stocastin couldn’t find his sword in the water, so Akintos drew his sword and killed the last monster. Exelda directed everyone, “Get the bodies out of the ocean before they morph back to life!” Exelda used her super strength to throw her two halves out, Kefalia flew hers to shore one at a time, Narcius used his super speed to drag his out, and Akintos and Stocastin helped each other haul a piece out. One of their pieces started to form in the water, so Akintos used his fireballs to make the water boil. While the other seven pieces on the shore writhed and gasped for air, the one in the ocean looked bothered but not dying. Kefalia helped Exelda glide through the water, and when Exelda reached the last monster, she threw it onto the beach. They watched as its respiration slowed down more and more, and when it finally stopped breathing, everyone breathed a sigh of relief!
Once again, the five heroes were out of breath, and they braced themselves in the water while they waited for air to flow normally again. After a minute or so, Akintos noted, “Our cart is broken, so that means we’ll have to walk all the way back.”
All five of them groaned, and Exelda relented to Akintos, “Okay, we’ll sleep in tomorrow and go to the palace in the afternoon!” The other four all sighed gratefully to hear that.