023 Those Who Watch the Sky - 23


 23 – Children Wandering Under the Sky 7


Leaving the golden glow of the Dolmen behind Link and her mermaid double returned to the artificial tunnels that reminded her of electrical wiring. Confident as she was that her will would have led her to the Artificial Gate Generator of the dam eventually Link was more than glad to have her mermaid counterpart leading her on. Had she simply projected her will through the Nectar to turn it on in reverse and then trace it back to an entrance as she had planned the presence of the spirit would have been lost on her. She had never expected to actually force her way into Ambrosia and was still not sure how it happened. Regardless, she was enamored by the unusual world she found herself in even with all of the monsters. At least that was true until the narrow tunnels of manmade-like design suddenly opened up into a wild and expansive cavern full of jagged shifting walls and swirling textures and patterns. At that point her instincts told her to be very afraid and she took her bow of light firmly in hand.

“We are here… and the white one waits for us ~♪”

Following the gaze of the finger long mermaid to beyond a series of structures, which while serving as pillars in the cavern likely were representations of the water powered generators of the dam, Link’s gaze fell on a closed ring of script far more elaborate than that in the heart of the Dolmen. As before she could not read the script but it was unquestionably of a drastically different language than the circle of script within the Dolmen. Link did not dwell on those details for long though as her gaze fell off of the circle of script and onto the massive white form below it. The level of threat it posed to her was palpable yet Link could not stop herself from smiling awkwardly.

“It’s a cat…”

“Much desire as we have to laugh at the irony we must be ready for battle ~♪ The white one will rend our flesh in an instant if we are not prepared to face it ~♪”

“You don’t have to tell me…”

Notching an arrow of light to her Nectar formed bow Link swallowed loudly and took aim at the beast in the distance. Her intent to kill was not masked in the slightest and the creature stirred in response rising up and stretching with a mighty yawn. Turning its cat-like face onto Link the ram horned giant that easily stood near twenty meters at the shoulder where twisted branches grew out of its body unleashed an earth shaking roar. Accompanying the beasts roar a torrent of electricity tore through the massive columned chamber that served as its lair. Undaunted Link fired off her first arrow at the creature’s fierce blue eye.

“Crap!”

Link knew that she missed before her arrow ever reached the empty space that the beast known as the White One had occupied and willed her bow of light into a sword. Having almost all of no time to act Link tossed the sword to her right hand and twirled it into a reverse grip as she also twirled herself off her feet and into the air. Curling into a tight ball as she rotated Link met the massive swiping paw of the white one like a splinter as it appeared behind her in an explosion of crackling electricity. Just like a splinter all Link managed to do was stick to the pad of the beast’s paw but the force of the impact and follow through of the swipe nearly caused her to black out. Just holding onto consciousness Link barely noticed that the White One withdrew its paw sharply leaving her drifting in the air. Fighting with all of her will not to succumb to the pressure Link reformed her bow and as she took it in both hands she fired off another arrow at her foe watching helplessly at the bolt of lightning that stretched into the cavern heights above her.

Victory was not possible under the circumstances and Link knew that she should have been all but dead as soon as the White One descended. Yet she found herself smiling instead of giving into her fear. She was just a child yet here she was facing a foe that by all rights she was barely as a splinter to and it was everything she could have ever wanted. Her heart was on fire and as she faced gravity, the White One, and certain death she felt more alive than she ever had at any point in her life. But it was an incomplete feeling still and she knew exactly why.

“Sorry kitty, but this isn’t the end of my adventure!”

Twisting around by sheer force of will Link again transformed her bow into a sword, though she did not switch hands as she aimed her weapon at the cat that descended at her from above instead aiming the sword to meet it. With her other hand she reached out for the ring of glowing script above where the White One had been slumbering, feasting on monsters, fish, and the mermaids of Ambrosia indiscriminately.

“Little me, get that Dolmen on as soon as you can!”

Link did not get a chance to hear the answer of her counterpart as her world became light the instant the White One again became lightning. The transference of energy however was massive and beyond anything that she was prepared for and she was blasted from the edge of the water and well into the sky.

“LINK‼”

Elliot and Melody cried out in horrified surprise as Link emerged from the pyre of black fire pulling it with her as she gained altitude. Turning over in the air Link tried to direct her landing but it was impossible to do so cleanly and though she returned to the ground as quickly as she had left it her landing was horrible and she tumbled hundreds of feet uncontrollably across the sandy ground extinguishing the last traces of the black fires that had raged around her. Instantly Elliot and Melody were rushing to her side in response, though Melody’s ability to fly gave her the unmatched advantage in reaching where Link lay face down in the sand first.

“Link! Link!”

“Ugh…”

Groaning weakly Link pulled her bloody face from the sand and looked up in the direction of the dam. Seeing it through blurred vision she smiled with a grimace and forced herself to her knees.

“Link! Are you okay What happened

“Take to sky Melody and get ready for the fight of your life…”

“Huh–?‼”

Melody had just landed yet could barely react to Link’s order before a terrible roar shook the air and earth both causing the harpy to pale. Link’s action confused her though as the icaran girl simply smiled broadly and started running towards the dam.

“You better get moving Melody or you won’t live through the experience!”

“HUH??‼”

Watching Link running at full sprint towards where the roar came from Melody could only stare with confused terror. Elliot fared little better as he had turned from his running to look back at the dam and the terrible roar that had emerged from it. He was much quicker to recover however as Link suddenly bolted past him.

“Link

“Hurry it up Elliot! I’m going to need your help getting a Dolmen up and running!”

Desiring to know what it was that had Link acting the way she was Elliot needed no prompting from her to fall into stride beside her.

“A Dolmen What is going on Link What happened

“No time to explain! If we stay out here we’re done for!”

Accelerating her pace beyond her limits Link practically stopped breathing as she reached where she had been kneeling beside the water. Not breaking pace at all she scooped her sword up off of the ground and proceeded to sprint right across the surface of the raging fountain of a pool that served as the head of the three rivers. Realizing that Elliot was not following her she skidded to a stop and looked back at her bewildered friend.

“I told you Elliot, there’s no time to explain! Just follow my lead and don’t think about it!”

“But…”

Elliot’s gaze held nothing but confusion and disbelief as he looked out at Link. Over flowing with desperateness Link could feel the fury of the Foreigner who infected her body seeping into her emotions but as she told Elliot there was no time and she let it flow out of her as she yelled at her childhood friend.

“STOP GAWKING ELLIOT AND RUN‼”

Not wasting another moment Link turned and resumed her run across the water and rocky fountain that lead up to the dam. Elliot did not follow her however as he found himself locked in place from the shock of tone Link took with him. He had never seen her lash out like that before and could not process it at all. He probably would have stayed still for some time if not for Melody suddenly flying by and calling back to him.

“Elliot! I don’t know what’s going on but we can’t leave Link to face it alone! Whatever it was that roared has left the wind trembling and she’s running right towards it!”

“What

Shaken to his core by Melody’s words Elliot looked again in the direction of the dam as yet another roar erupted forth and shook the water from the earth. Staring ahead trembling in terror Elliot took a step back before realizing what he was doing and suddenly clapped his hands against the sides of his head.

“What are you doing Elliot Link is charging headlong towards whatever that is and you’re standing here in fear… …Get over yourself!”

Resting his left hand on the head of his scabbard Elliot drew his sword and donned a steely expression of determination as he looked out across the water. Taking a deep breath he sprinted forward and as Link said the water strangely supported his footsteps. He had already decided not to think about that however and it meant little to him as he sprinted ahead with his sword pointed behind him as he chased after Link and Melody. Chasing after Link and Melody also meant that he was charging the dam and was privy to quite the sight as yet another terrifying roar ripped through the air.

Forced out by an explosion of electricity from the wall of the dam, huge chunks of ancient concrete rained down upon the water. Emerging from the hole of its making in the dam the White One let out yet another roar full of rage and unleashed a lightning shower upon the water. The water was not so docile to just receive the assault against it and the ones who were led to save its Ambrosial counterpart from the White One and it churned into waves that formed protective tunnels around Link, Elliot and Melody. Undeterred by the water that stood in its way the White One leapt down from the hole it made and destructively made its way through the temple grounds of the temple of Ocia towards Link.

“Li-i-i-i-i-nk‼ What is that thing

“The monster my client asked me to slay!”

“Huh What client

“I’ll tell you after we’ve killed it!”

“And how are we going to do that

“Just follow me!”

Jumping off of the surface of the water Link tucked herself into a ball and fell into the churning rapids. Melody stared in horror but was afforded little opportunity to attempt to fish Link out as the water became even more violent as it attempted to interfere with the monster that had emerged from the dam.

Empowered by the electricity that crackled around the White One the raging tri-river head fought back against the great beast. It seemed a near futile effort however as against the twenty meter tall cat-like horror the water in the river pool could barely push the White One off balance before it arced out to a different location through the lightning that it commanded. Useless as the water was as a weapon against the cat however it did serve as an ample distraction as it swallowed up Link, Elliot and Melody.



Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwarter

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