Bonnie swam away from the creature as fast as she could. She just had to lure it away from the tunnel, avoid it and double back. At least, that was the plan.
The creature didn’t follow her. Instead, it took up position at the tunnel and snapped at everything that swam near. Gulping them down more often than not.
Bonnie watched and waited, hoping that it would move away and growing more and more anxious. She didn’t have long until the spell wore off. She looked up, noting that there was a surface in this cavern. She could probably surface there and be safe but…
She glanced back towards the tunnel. If Lysara and the others came down here after her they would be easy prey for that thing. She might be safe, but she wouldn’t be able to warn or help them. She unstrapped her axe and swam towards it.
She slowed her movements when she got close, lightly swimming above it. If she could just come down after it quickly enough then she might be able to cut into it before it could react. She was just about to move when it acted.
She was barely able to sidestep its charge but didn’t escape unscathed. Its fin knocked her into the rock wall, knocking her axe from her hands.
It was going to come back, and soon. Was this the end for her? No! She was determined not to die, not after she’d found something truly worth living for. She swam away, this time the creature gave pursuit.
She needed a weapon, her fists weren’t going to mean anything against a beast like this. The statues of Poseidon!
She swam for them, carefully watching the creature that was far too close behind her. She just had to hope that the tridents were loose enough that she could get one.
She reached down and grabbed one, pulling. It didn’t budge. She swam downwards as fast as she could. The creature rammed the statue, very nearly tearing into her as it did. Debris from it fell onto her. She was bruised even worse, but the trident was free. She snatched it up.
She swam away from the creature. When it charged it was at its most dangerous, but it also wasn’t good at stopping itself, at least everything she’d seen from it had indicated that. Which gave her a chance.
She headed for the rock wall, trying to keep a good distance away from the tunnel. she stopped for a brief second before swimming down. The creature lunged, taking a chunk out of her left shoulder. She speared upwards, piercing its belly. She could feel its organs rupture.
The beast swam away, swerving as it went. She didn’t know or care if it could survive that. She hurried back up the tunnel, she was trailing blood behind her. Not good, it could easily attract other predators. The tunnel seemed longer than the first time she’d come through too. How long did she have left?
She went through the tunnel and was on her way back up when the spell wore off. She held her breath and swam up, her left arm felt like it was going to tear off. How far to the surface? She looked up and knew it was too far. She wanted to make it, see Lysara at least once more. She saw something above her, swimming towards her. Another predator?
The figure was humanoid, finned. Like she had been a moment before, but it was hard to see. She felt their lips against hers, pushing air into her lungs. She vaguely felt a pair of arms pulling her up as well.
She awoke on the surface, Lysara looking down at her and crying. She reached up to wipe Lysara’s tears.
“I’m okay,” she gasped. “Just need to rest.”
“Bon,” Lysara cried. “I thought… I thought you weren’t going to make it.”
“What happened down there?” Twila asked.
Bonnie explained everything she’d seen and her confrontation with the creature. Lysara sat at her side, gently holding her hand.
“There’s just one thing I don’t know,” Bonnie said. “Who came to get me?”
“I did,” Lysara said. “I was so scared that you were going to drown before I could bring you up.”
“We got you bandaged up but you’re pretty banged up,” Axra said. “Especially that shoulder.”
“We’ll leave you here to recuperate,” Twila said. “Lysara can keep watch over you.”
“No,” Bonnie said. “I’m well enough to keep going.” She shakily got to her feet. I’ll have to fight one-handed, but I’ve managed in worse shape.”
“Don’t be stubborn!” Axra declared. “You need time to recover.”
“Bon, please,” Lysara pleaded. “Let’s stay here, together.”
“We don’t know what kind of threats that temple contains,” Bonnie stated. “You’re going to need all the help you can get. Even if that help comes from someone who’s injured like Lilly or myself.”
Axra and Twila glanced at each other.
“I have to find a way to keep the spell lasting longer anyway,” Twila said. “At least if the temple is that massive. I suppose we can travel together to that landmass you saw and you can recover while I figure that out.”
“Thank you,” Bonnie said. “I won’t be a burden.”
“And I’ll be at your side,” Lysara said. “This time I’ll protect you!”