To Nuray’s disappointment, the broken bow of the ship didn’t have any more secret surprises. “Perhaps Mini is having better luck,” she muttered to herself. She felt her pack for the three canisters of spoils they discovered below deck. It was too bad that compass wasn’t with them.
Nuray swiveled her head to the water at the broken half of the ship. Mini, the gerbil, was under that dark surface exploring the captain quarters of the broken ship under the waves. Norman, the hedgehog, was holding the other end of Mini’s rope, ready to pull him up in case of danger. A compass that led to your heart’s desire was somewhere in this wreckage. Nuray and her friends needed it to locate an object that could save their home from fire demons, but they were running out of time. “I’ve got to keep looking.” Nuray ruffled her feathers and looked back around her half of the ship. The canisters had been in an invisible crate they happened upon. Maybe there was more?
Suddenly, the ship jerked and a mighty roar filled the air. Nuray shuffled her feet to keep her balance then whipped around. Horror filled her eyes as rising scales blocked the way out. A high pitched scream cut through the air like a rapier. No! Nuray’s heart pounded like a wild drum. Those scales. They belonged to the sea leviathan they escaped when first coming to this island. Now, it somehow found them in this cove?! Nuray feared for Mini. The gerbil had been under the water, but the high pitched scream told her he was now caught in the leviathan’s mouth.
Another blast. Through the cracks in the ship’s hull a burst of black and violet energy surged. Nuray recognized it as Norman’s retaliation spell. The sea monster must have attacked him. I have to help! Nuray spread her wings and flew out of the ship. The sea monster was towering over them in the water and Mini was holding onto its teeth for dear life. The monster’s tail was recoiling from Norman making Nuray suspect that Norman’s spell did some damage. This thing is too strong for us. Nuray flew to the deck of the broken ship. The best thing they could do was get Mini and get out of this cove. We can try to find that compass again when the monster leaves. Spreading her wings, Nuray fired her own spell at the leviathan. A hypnotic light appeared in front of the monster’s face and Nuray’s dismay greatened when the beast simply shook its head and disrupted her spell. It let out a mighty roar and tossed its head back. Mini was thrown into the air and his high-pitched scream cut off when the beast swallowed him whole.
“No!” Nuray screamed.
“That stupid mouse!” Norman spat curses on the shore of the cove. “He always has to make this harder!” Black magic crackled around Norman’s hand and when he raised it, a skeleton summoned from the sands beside him. With his other hand Norman fired a couple magic bolts at the leviathan. All hit.
We can still do this, Nuray spurred her courage seeing Norman still fighting. The old hedgehog had more gusto than she ever gave him credit for. Yet, when she faced back to the leviathan, she screamed when the monster’s tail came swinging down upon her. Nuray was smashed into the deck of the broken ship. Many of her feathers went flying and crushing pain coursed through her bones. She was tempted to stay down when the monster’s tail receded back into the waters. What could she do to fight this beast? Sure, she had her sword and a few spells, but she was more attuned to her instruments and music than the warriorhood of her family. I have to keep fighting for Mini. Nuray rose to an achy stand then lifted back into the air. One of her spells had to help stop this monster.
The leviathan suddenly lurched. A choking sound gagged from its throat. Panic split through Nuray once more as the sea monster opened its mouth in her direction. She was certain she would share Mini’s fate, but gurgling bile rose to the back of the leviathan’s throat and it threw up the contents of its stomach on to the deck of the tattered ship. Nuray managed to dodge most of the bile, but her quick eye spotted Mini in the midst of it. She snatched the gerbil by the hand with her talon. “You’re alive!”
“That’s what you get for eating me, you overgrown worm!” Mini naturally held onto Nuray, but he pointed at the leviathan with his sword. “Try it again! I dare you!”
Nuray found a moment of lighthearted relief at Mini’s antics. The gerbil must have stabbed the creature from the inside. That damage must be catastrophic! We might be able to beat this, Nuray thought with hope. She furrowed her brow with determination and looked straight back at the leviathan. Spreading her wings again, she created several shining orbs of magic and fired them at the sea monster. The leviathan dodged all of them.
With Norman and his skeleton still firing magic bolts from the shore, the leviathan turned its attention to them.
“Hey, Nuray, let me go!” Mini jostled from his dangling place. “Let me go. I need to get back into the fight!”
Nuray shook her head. They were still hovering over the broken ship. With all the damaged it sustained from the leviathan, she didn’t think it would hold Mini’s weight. “I’ll fly us down to Norman.”
“No, I got a crossbow. I can shoot the beast from the boat. Let me go!”
“Mini, it isn’t going to hold your weight!”
“It’ll be fine!”
Nuray rolled her eyes and reluctantly let go of the gerbil. In his descent, Mini swapped his sword for his crossbow. The little gerbil had always been so nimble and acrobatic, it impressed Nuray. He probably had every intent of landing in a cool pose and firing a bolt at the same time, but the deck of the ship shattered at his touch and Mini fell straight through. “Told you,” Nuray snorted. With Mini no longer dangling from her, Nuray had more freedom in her actions. My spells aren’t working. Nuray focused on the leviathan and drew her Wind blessed sword. So I’ll take the fight straight to the beast! None of her actions had helped her friends. She had to let them know they could rely on her. “For the honor of the Wind!” Nuray charged.
Metal rang through the cove. Nuray landed a direct hit on the bridge of the monster’s nose; yet, her sword could not penetrate the monster’s scales. Disbelief gasped through Nuray’s body. She couldn’t hurt this thing! But at least it won’t hurt my friends, Nuray steeled herself. She was right in the monster’s face. It had to attack her over her friends.
Nuray braced herself when the leviathan roared once again. It lunged and Nuray was smacked away by its scales as it continued going after Norman. A black and violet sphere appeared around the hedgehog. When the leviathan bit down on it, dark sparks erupted on impact and thundered around the cove like a bursting volcano. The sea monster’s roars split into ear-shattering shrieks. The scales on its face and the flesh of its eyes burned with black magic. Even the beast’s throat seared with the might of Norman’s power. The leviathan fell back into the water, the spray of its fall dowsed over Nuray’s feathers and burdened her flight. Moments later, the water stilled. The sea monster was dead.
“Haha!” Mini came bounding out of the broken ship just as Nuray landed heavily on the shore. “Well done, Norman! That was amazing! Look at us! Kracken slayers! I gotta get a tooth from that thing!”
Norman grunted and eased himself into the sand. To Nuray, he looked three times his old age. “Ye got the compass, aye?”
“I got this before the leviathan attack.” Mini pulled a box from his pouch. He must have found it in the underwater part of the ship. Mini opened the box, but Nuray didn’t bother to move closer to see its contains. The looks of their faces told her the compass was inside.
“Good…good…” Norman bobbed his head. With a lazy wave of his hand he dispelled his skeleton. “I…I need to…rest…”
“That was awesome!” Mini bounced over to the wake of the water. He stared at the body of the leviathan and threw his fists in the air. “We’re sea monster slayers! We gotta collect proof so people believe us. No one will mess with us then! We’ll be legends! Nuray! You gotta write a song about this!”
As much as she wanted to, Nuray couldn’t share Mini’s excitement. She was sure she could come up with a song bards far and wide could sing about this victory, but it would just be a song about Mini and Norman. What had she done? Her spells had failed. Her sword couldn’t penetrate the monster’s scales. Norman had his awesome magics and there was no telling how much Mini pierced its insides. What do I even contribute to this team? Nuray sat down in the sand and watched as Mini swam out toward the dead sea monster. When he got to the monster, he pulled out the banner with his sigil on it and stabbed it into the burnt parts of the creature’s face. It was thanks to Norman’s efforts that they made it to this island. Mini had uncovered the sinister plot in the magic academy three weeks ago and his skills as a sleuth got them all the information they needed. They were supposed to be working together to save their land from the fire demons, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized she hadn’t done much to help them progress. She was just a tagalong.
I have to prove myself. Nuray looked down at her sword. The revered god of the wind blessed this sword for her. She had to prove she was worthy enough for it. They had the compass now. They could locate the object to kill the leader of the fire demons. I’ll play a bigger part, Nuray promised herself. When it comes to face the fire demons, I won’t be useless.