Sylvie and Wilfred were afforded very little time to grieve or even react. There were more of Echidna’s children. Many, many more.
“Not good,” Inés said. “Lilac, Serena. I want you two to fall back to Gail. I’ll go get Wilfred and Sylvie.”
“Then what?” Serena asked. “We can’t keep going much longer without reinforcements.”
“I know,” Inés stated. “Don’t worry. I have an idea.”
She whistled. Blitz rushed to her side. She mounted the pegasus and took to the air.
“Careful, Girl,” she whispered. Blitz snorted in response.
They flew towards Sylvie and Wilfred quickly. Inés watched as a great dragon’s claws came down at them. Sylvie managed to roll away from the strike. Wilfred was sliced open, the claws very nearly tearing him in half.
Inés knew that Sylvie wouldn’t be able to pull herself up in time. She took Blitz into a dive and scooped her up.
“Hey there, need a rescue?”
“I was doing fine,” Sylvie muttered. “Wilfred?”
“Dead,” Inés answered. “He didn’t dodge in time.”
“I see,” Sylvie said.
“Listen,” Inés said. “I’m going to have Blitz take you to Gail. Tell her to drop the barrier once Lilac and Serena reach her. After that, I need her to recreate it around me and all of these monsters. This time, solid all around.”
“That’s insane!” Sylvie declared. “They’ll tear you apart.”
“Trust me on this,” Inés said. “You’ll see what I’m up to.”
“And how long do you think she can maintain a solid barrier all around the lot of you?” Sylvie asked.
Inés shrugged. “As long as it’s a good five to ten minutes, this will work.”
“This is going to be crazy and reckless, isn’t it?” Sylvie asked.
“Yep,” Inés answered.
“Is there any other choice?” Sylvie asked.
“Not unless we get reinforcements in the next few minutes,” Inés said.
“All right, I’ll tell her,” Sylvie said. “Don’t you dare die.”
Inés concentrated. The only way her plan would work was if she could evade their attacks, or at least take minimal damage, while keeping most of her focus on the spell.
It wasn’t a hard spell, normally. But the scale… That was the problem. She’d never tried it on this scale. She was betting her life that being the daughter of Poseidon would mean that she was strong enough to pull it off. She was also betting on Gail having enough power to keep the barrier up. Not that there was much choice. Echidna’s children were too many and they were too few. At worst, she could buy the others a little time to rest. The barrier went up around them.
“What’s she planning?” Serena wondered.
“No idea,” Sylvie said.
“She’s really good at running away,” Lilac said. “How long you reckon she can dodge like that?”
“I’d say she’s close to her limit,” Sylvie said. “Whatever she’s going to do, it’s gonna have to be soon.”
“Quiet!” Gail snapped. “I need to concentrate.”
The three of them went silent. Sylvie observed. Inés was casting some kind of spell. Did Inés know any attack spells that would be strong enough to really help, she wondered?
That’s when it took effect.
Water spewed up from the clouds. Pouring, rushing, crashing, filling the barrier with tsunami force waves.
“She’s hitting ’em with waves?” Lilac asked, keeping her voice low so as not to disturb Gail.
“Well, they look like really strong waves,” Serena said, her voice uncertain.
“No, the waves aren’t the attack,” Sylvie said, coming to a realisation. “Look! The barrier is keeping all that water trapped inside. Inés is trying to drown them all!”
“Will that work?” Serena asked.
“Not on the scyllas,”Sylvie answered. “But nothing else will survive. If she can keep them trapped long enough. It’ll weaken them even if Gail can’t keep the barrier up that long.” She put one hand on Lilac’s shoulder and another on Serena’s. “Come on. Let’s get close enough to help as soon as the barrier drops.”
Inés evaded some tendrils coming from the various scylla. They weren’t the threat, though. The barrier was full of struggling, flailing, rapidly drowning obstacles to come between her and their attacks. The threat was the other struggling, flailing beasts. They were being tossed all around and it would just take one slow reaction on her part to get a dragon slammed against her or a gorgon looking directly in her eyes.
In spite of the obstacles and the turbulent waters, Inés was confident. She just had to use her natural speed and agility to her advantage. She kept swimming, even as more and more of the creatures around her stopped struggling and the scylla became more capable of tracking her.
Finally, the barrier fell and the waters poured everywhere. Inés relaxed her guard for just a moment and found herself grabbed by the tendrils of a scylla.