“Okay,” Twila said. “I’ve cast a spell on this that should make it watertight, but I don’t know how long it’ll last or if it’ll fully protect your eyes while underwater. Do you still want to go through with this?”
“I do,” Lilly said. “I can’t sit on the sidelines while you and Axra are in danger.”
“Magic sure is handy,” Axra said. “Is there anything you can’t do with it?”
“Plenty,” Twila said. “For instance, it’s going to be really hard for us to see down there with only the gill spell.”
“I can lead the way,” Bonnie stated. “I remember where the entrance is.”
“It’ll have to do,” Axra muttered. “Let’s just hope we don’t encounter anything like the creature that took a chunk out of your arm.”
Velvet looked away while the five stripped down to their small clothes. They carefully strapped their weapons to themselves afterwards. Twila cast the spell and the five women dove into the waters, leaving Velvet on his own.
“Good luck team,” he muttered. He looked over at Fang. “I’m gonna take a nap, you watch the campsite.” The little dragon made a loud scoffing sound. “I’m gonna guess that’s a yes.”
Bonnie found herself squinting as she led the group. The murkiness wasn’t an issue, the darkvision spell saw to that. The water itself presented the problem.
Lysara swam by Bonnie’s injured side, prepared to aid the other woman in a moment’s notice. The swim itself was slow going without the aid of the full waterfolk enchantment.
As they passed the Poseidon statues, Bonnie felt the weight of the trident she’d taken and briefly wondered if she’d invoked the wrath of the God in doing so, but she couldn’t allow herself to worry overmuch. For the moment, the mission was more important.
The five swam into the temple. The entrance led into a twisting corridor. the group followed it. The first room they came across was a chambre with a hole at the top. Bonnie looked at the others and swam up, right out of the water.
The room they found themselves in was bare. Marble walls and double doors at the end with a large, golden plaque above it.
“How does an underwater temple manage to not be fully underwater?” Axra asked.
“It’s an enchantment,” Twila answered. “A very powerful one at that.”
“So you could have totally just used the waterfolk spell and we’d have been fine,” Lysara stated. “I bet you feel totally ridiculous right now.”
“It was the safest bet,” Bonnie said. “I blame myself for not scouting better.”
“You were injured, you couldn’t have,” Lysara argued. “Besides, you barely got back to us as it was.”
“Well, we can’t really blame anyone,” Twila stated. “Still, it’s odd.” She moved over to the plaque.
“Sh… should we go back for Velvet?” Lilly asked. “You know, now that we know how little time we’ll have to spend underwater.”
“Leave him be,” Bonnie said. “We’re already here, we may as well find what we came for.”
“Can you read it?” Axra asked.
“Part of it,” Twila answered. “I can’t read the beginning, it’s a congratulations of some kind, probably for making it in here.”
“So, what comes after that?” Bonnie asked.
“It says that we have to defeat the six elements to reach the… I can’t fully translate this part, something to do with greatness, prize.”
“Six elements?” Lysara asked. “I thought there were more than that?”
“There are,” Twila answered, “considerably more. It’s probably referring to the classic magic elements. Fire, Water, Earth, Air & Aether.”
“Oh, that makes sense,” Lysara stated.
“B… but…” Lilly began.
“The plaque says six, doesn’t it?” Bonnie interrupted. “What’s the sixth one?”
“Good question,” Twila muttered. “I don’t know. I’ve never heard of a sixth element before.”
“Well, whatever it is it doesn’t matter,” Axra stated. “We’ve just gotta go through here, right?”
“It’s going to be difficult without our armour,” Axra stated.
“Tell me about it,” Lysara said. “I feel naked in this.” She tugged at Bonnie’s arm. “Bon, do I look naked?”
“Not at all,” Bonnie said.
“In any case, we’re just going to have to make due,” Twila said. “I can cast some defensive spells. They won’t be as good as armour, but they may be able to deflect a glancing blow.”
“I am a little concerned about that,” Bonnie said. “Clearly, this place was designed so that only a mage could gain access to it. The creatures ahead may be specialised against magic.”
“Well, we’ll just have to risk it,” Axra stated. “We’ll get the defensive spells and move ahead. To whatever the first creature is.”