“Okay, we’ve got the message out for reinforcements,” Inés said. “So, how do we stop them from tunnelling right beneath us and going after the Gods directly?”
“Simple,” Gail said. “We blow the cloud open.”
“Can you do that and transition into helping the rest of us without it being a problem?” Sylvie asked.
“Of course I can!” Gail declared, the annoyance showing in her voice. “It’s not as difficult as holding a solid shield in place while someone fills it with water.”
“Maybe some of us should blast it open and you and Inés can repeat that little trick,” Matthew suggested.
Gail shook her head. “It’s too soon. I can’t maintain that kid of shield for that long two days in a row.”
“I don’t think I could pull off the tsunami spell either,” Inés admitted. “At least, not a sustained one like that.”
“Unfortunate,” Matthew said.
“But that’s the situation regardless,” Sylvie said. “Gail, wait until they’ve reached this point” she kicked the powdery surface. “And then split this thing open. The rest of us will be standing by to charge when they’re exposed and confused.”
“We should be able to put a dent in them before they can pull themselves together,” Matthew said. “I just hope Lady Lyn comes to our aid before things go south.”
“How are you this calm?” Lilac demanded. “These damn things killed Jenna and Wilfred. How can you talk so casually about fighting them again?”
“Stay calm, Lilac,” Sylvie spoke softly.”I know you’re scared. We all are. But we should get reinforcements quickly this time and it would be disastrous if they got past us. So, we have to fight and we have to hold them at bay.”
“That’s right,” Inés said. “We’re the only ones who can.”
“I’m about to blast these arseholes to the surface,” Gail said. “Better wrap up the motivational speeches.”
The five of them quickly took positions. Sylvie tried her best to reassure Lilac. Gail put her hand to the ground and the surface of the clouds split open, revealing Echidna’s children. Sylvie hurled a burst of lightning magic. Inés and Matthew followed up, leaping inside and taking the battle to them. Serena and Sylvie were next. Lilac reluctantly followed.
Matthew knelt, kicking a chimeras legs and quickly transitioning into thrusts of his daggers. He examined the thin looking cloud beneath them.
“You guys hold them off for a moment,” He said. “I have an idea.”
Without explanation he hurried to the surface and ran to Gail who was preparing spells to blast the beasts.
“This cloud, can you blast it out from under them?” Matthew asked.
“It’s not a bad idea,” Gail said. “But it won’t work. These things may float thanks to the Gods, but a divine cloud isn’t easy to just break. They can tunnel under the surface like its dirt and I can blast it open in the same way. but the bottom is a different matter. If there were three of me and we had a fortnight to direct our power on it, we might be able to put a large hole in it. But we don’t have that kind of time and I’m only one.”
“Damn,” Matthew muttered. “I thought that might work. Well, nothing for it but to get back in the fray.”
The two of them hurried into the cavern that Gail had opened up. Matthew dropped near Lilac and brought down a Nemean Lion that was creeping up behind her. Gail hurled spells, decimating their ranks.
As Sylvie had predicted, the reinforcements arrived quickly. Lynde and nine others, certainly from different groups.
The tide turned quickly against Echidna’s children as magic and divine weaponry were brought to bear against them. After a period of fierce fighting, they were dispatched.
“I can’t believe you saved my life again,” Serena said. “Thank you so much!”
“It’s not that big a deal,” Inés said. “You’re my lover and a comrade. It’s my duty and pleasure to protect you.” She winked.
“Remind you of old times, Lady Lyn?” Matthew asked.
“Not particularly,” Lynde answered.
“What do you think the odds are of them striking again?” Sylvie asked.
“It’s hard to say,” Lynde answered.
“No it isn’t,” Gail chimed in. “They’ve been beaten back twice and suffered extreme casualties. They’ll pull back and leave the Titans to their fates. All we have to do from here is sit back and wait for the battle to end.”
“That’ll be nice,” Lilac stated.
“Hmmm,” Inés murmured.
“What are you thinking?” Sylvie asked.
“I didn’t say anything,” Inés said.
“No, but I know you well enough to know when you’ve got a crazy idea in your head,” Sylvie said.
“Those are my favourite kinds,” Matthew laughed.
“Come on, out with it,” Sylvie said.
“Well, since you asked nicely,” Inés said. “I was just thinking. Echidna’s children were trying to get past us to interfere with the war of the Gods, right?”
“That’s right,” Lynde said. “And now they can’t.”
“No, they can’t,” Inés agreed.
“Oh no,” Gail muttered. “You can’t be serious right now.”
“What?” Lilac asked.
“That’s a terrible idea and you should definitely not do it,” Sylvie stated.
“What?” Lilac asked. “What’s she thinking?”
“Inés, are you really sure about this?” Serena asked.
“Seriously, what am I missing?” Lilac asked.
“Inés wants to go battle some Titans,” Matthew answered.
“Not Titans,” Inés corrected him. “But I think the lot of us could probably weaken a single Titan enough to help the Gods.”
“It could help turn the tide,” Lynde said. “And it would be a problem for us if the Titans were to win.”
“They certainly wouldn’t let us live,” Inés said.
“We’ll call the seven groups together,” Lynde stated. “Decide how to proceed.”
“How quickly is this going to happen?” Sylvie asked.
“Two days,” Lynde answered. “That’ll give us time to recover and it will give everyone time to think about the idea. Assuming the Gods don’t win before then.”