The currents tossed the ship about as if it were but a toy, threatening to smash it against the jagged rocks that jutted up out of the sea. Waves crashed haphazardly against the hull, causing it to rock and back and forth sickeningly. Occasionally the ship would get caught in a violent whirlpool, and Piers would be forced to call upon his Psynergy to get them out safely. The four Adepts on board could do little but hang on for dear life as the turbulent sea buffeted them about.
"I think I've changed my mind!" Jenna shouted over the ocean's deafening roar. She was hanging on to the side of the cabin with her eyes closed, as if pretending she were somewhere else entirely. "I'll leave the sailing to you three from now on!"
None of them replied. Sheba looked more than a little green, Felix was clinging desperately to the base of the dragon figurehead and trying not to get tossed into the ocean, and Piers was engaged in a battle of the wills with the ship's wheel, which seemed dead set on causing their untimely deaths.
They had known that getting through the Straits of Time would not be easy, but none of them had predicted this.
The ship suddenly pitched forward, carried along at a quick clip by a strong undercurrent. They passed between two huge monoliths, just barely avoiding being ground to dust against the rough stone, and emerged… in peaceful waters. The ship settled itself into the suddenly calm ocean, moving along at a comfortable pace as if nothing had ever happened.
The group breathed a collective sigh of relief.
"That was quite a maelstrom!" Kraden exclaimed, emerging from the cabin with a bright (though slightly shaky) smile. "Quite a maelstrom indeed! Never in all my years have I experienced anything quite like that! In fact, I …"
The old scholar trailed off, sensing the mood. He took one look at the murder in Jenna and Sheba's eyes and quickly excused himself back into the cabin, muttering something about research he had to do.
"… Well," Piers said quietly, his voice trembling. "That was fun."
The only response was a forced, breathy laugh from Jenna, who was slumped on the deck and didn't look like she was about to rise any time soon. Sheba sat down next to her unceremoniously – her legs were shaking badly, but she no longer looked sick, which the Lemurian took to be a good sign.
And Felix… Felix was still clutching on to the dragon figurehead with all his strength, his knuckles white and his shoulders hunched. Piers felt a pang in his chest – he had forgotten, amidst all the chaos they had just gone through, that Felix was in fact afraid of water. If sailing through that had been tough for Piers, he hated to think of what Felix had been feeling…
The Mercury Adept approached him cautiously. "Felix?" he murmured. "We're in calmer waters now – there's no cause for alarm."
"Felix? Are you alright?" Piers walked up beside the Venus Adept and peered at him curiously. His golden eyes widened as he took in Felix's appearance. The brunet looked almost shell shocked – his jaw was clenched, he was breathing much too quickly, and his pupils were dilated as he stared ahead through unseeing eyes.
Piers reached over and put a hand on his friend's shoulder. Felix jumped at the touch, as if he had been awakened from a trance. His grip on the figurehead, as well as the tense set of his muscles, began to relax, and his brown eyes blinked in confusion.
"It's alright," the Lemurian said gently, smiling despite how worried he was. "The worst is over." His hand lingered on Felix's shoulder for just a few moments too long before he drew back.
The Venus Adept sank down and propped himself up against the side of the ship, then rested his head on his knees in an attempt to calm his frantically beating heart. "How embarrassing," he muttered, so quietly that Piers had to strain to hear him. "Getting all worked up over… over something like that. Sorry, Piers. I'm not much help, am I?"
The urge to put an arm around Felix's shoulders was stronger than it had ever been, and Piers had to shake his head to clear such thoughts from his mind. Instead, he sank down next to him and leaned against the side of the ship as well – it felt nice to have something sturdy against his back, after what they'd just been through.
"Don't say that," he murmured. "There's not much you could've done in this kind of situation. I wouldn't expect anyone to be able to face their fears so easily."
Felix raised his head, and Piers could see turmoil behind his lovely brown eyes. "But I… I just – "
"What're you two whispering about over there?" Jenna shouted. She seemed to have recovered from her trauma, and was thankfully (?) back to her usual self. "Being secretive, are we?"
Felix only sighed in response.
It was then that Piers noticed that Sheba was steering the ship in his absence. He paled considerably and went to relieve her of that duty, but not before shooting Felix one last meaningful glance…
When you were suddenly confronted with three alarmingly active volcanoes and a raging whirlpool that threatened to pull your ship into a watery abyss, you knew you were in trouble.
Piers knew that they were in trouble.
And when a massive being began to emerge from said whirlpool, he knew that things were about to go downhill from there.
Poseidon was, to say the least, an imposing sight. He towered above the ship, gazing down at the four Adepts through wise, ancient, and extremely infuriated eyes. His chest was as wide as the ship itself, his hands were the size of wooden barrels, and beneath his bushy white beard was a scowl so callous that Piers had to stop himself from turning the ship around and hightailing it out of there. In his fist was clenched a massive trident that looked well-suited for impaling unruly mortals.
"Well shit," someone said, and that about summed it up.
"You dare to trespass in my waters, humans?" Poseidon asked, his voice a deep bass rumble like distant thunder. "I shall give you but one chance to return from whence you came!"
"… Or else what?" Sheba asked. She alone looked unaffected by Poseidon's daunting appearance and open hostility.
"Or else I shall send you all to your watery graves!" the sea god roared. The ocean around them was growing more and more agitated by the second – Piers could feel the ship pitching from side to side ever so slightly.
He stepped forward and cleared his throat nervously. "Please, Lord," he said. "We mean no disrespect by traversing through your territory. We are but simple passersby, trying to reach Lemuria – "
"Lemuria?" Poseidon asked. His eyes narrowed. "What business have you in Lemuria? It is not a place for foolish outsiders to venture. I will not permit it!" He hefted his trident, as if preparing to attack. "Now, trespassers, you have forsaken your one chance of escape! Prepare yourselves… for death!"
"Bring it," Jenna snarled, stepping forward with menace in her movements. "I haven't had a good battle in quite a while…"
"If it's a fight you want," Sheba said, "We'll be more than happy to oblige." Her purple eyes flashed dangerously, and one could almost see the electricity crackling in the air around her.
"Ice Missile!" Poseidon roared, and the Adepts had to duck out of the way as immense spears of ice were hurled in their direction. Most of them shattered upon contact, but one lodged itself into the woodwork of the deck and stood there like a glittering monument.
"Piers!" Felix shouted from somewhere behind him. "The Trident!"
The Mercury Adept turned just in time to catch the weapon that Felix had tossed his way. Without a moment's hesitation, Piers took aim… And threw the Trident with all his might.
The explosion when the Trident made contact with Poseidon's protective shield was nearly blinding. There was nothing but the purple-white light of ancient magic slowly unraveling – coming apart at the seams – and Poseidon's enraged roar… And then the battle was on again. Poseidon looked exactly the same without his force field, and yet somehow more vulnerable. Less a god and more a monster.
The four Adepts couldn't help but grin as they threw themselves into the battle, summoning Djinn to their aid and dodging the Ice Missiles that rained down upon them.
They had all missed playing the hero.
The battle had been going well so far, which Felix found very odd indeed. Nothing ever ran smoothly, and so this obvious lack of injuries or poisonings or slip-ups was very disconcerting. But in the end, he supposed, he should've known better than to knock on wood.
Poseidon seemed on his last leg when he suddenly began preparing for one final assault. He raised his mighty trident high. It began glowing with a regal golden light, and the Adepts stopped their frenzied Psynergy attacks to stop and stare.
"Watery Grave!" the sea god declared, and his deep, rumbling voice held an ominous edge that Felix did not like the sound of.
Sure enough, the impressive sound of rushing water reached Felix's ears. He turned, afraid of what he might see, and was faced with what could only be described as his worst nightmare. It was a literal wall of water, taller than the ship by more feet than he cared to estimate, and it was headed straight for them.
"Sweet merciful Iris," someone whispered.
"… Get inside," Felix said. He turned to see the other three staring at him, uncomprehending, and his usually calm demeanor became panicked in an instant. "I said get inside! NOW!"
They all rushed to comply.
"I say, what in the world is going on?" Kraden asked as they burst inside and slammed the door behind them, eyes wide with fear. "It usually doesn't take you lot this long to finish off these types of creatures – "
Felix cut him off. "Kraden. I know this is going to sound a bit odd, but I need you to grab on to something sturdy and be prepared to hold your breath."
"Hmm? What do you – "
The tidal wave hit with enough force to send each and every one of them tumbling to the floor. Bookcases and cabinets were toppling over, spilling their contents on the floor, and all the other furnishings began sliding towards the opposite end of the cabin. The ship was tilting, and they all knew that it wouldn't last forever – if the wave lasted much longer, it would capsize. Through the porthole window, Felix could see nothing but swirling, angry grey water as the wave launched its attack against them. The window, though built of extraordinarily strong glass, was beginning to crack under the extreme pressure… Felix, though nearly paralyzed with fear, grabbed hold of a sturdy lamp hook on the wall and braced himself for the worst.
The glass broke, and it sounded like death. Water began pouring inside the cabin, slowly filling the room. The others were panicking, trying to find something stable to hold on to. As Piers scrambled to find a handhold, desperation tingeing his golden eyes, Felix grabbed a hold of him and held him tightly as the water closed in over their heads.
And then there was silence, but for the sound of water churning in his ears.
That had to be the worst part about drowning, he thought as he floated serenely in the water, an odd sense of peace settling around him. Not the frantic gasp for air, or the feeling of water filling your lungs, but the oppressive silence right before you drifted away into blackness… And it was this thought that made Felix realize that he really, really didn't want to die. Even more than that, he really, really didn't want to drown.
And so, despite the fact that he was running out of oxygen and that Piers was clinging to his midsection with a grip like a vice, Felix somehow managed to maneuver himself through the water… and open the door.
Luckily, the Watery Grave barrage was over, and the ship had once again righted itself. The water raced out of the cabin, pouring across the debris-littered deck like a second tidal wave, leaving behind four sodden Adepts and one spluttering old scholar to regain their breath and their sanity.
They spent a few moments just appreciating the lovely way in which air flowed in and out of their lungs. Kraden was leaning against one of the collapsed bookcases, coughing up what sounded like a lung and muttering curses in between coughs. Jenna was lying face down on the floor, wheezing pitifully, and she didn't look like she planned on getting up any time soon. Piers was still hugging Felix tightly, too tired to bother caring what it may or may not have looked like to the casual passerby, and Felix was too tired to wonder why he was enjoying it so much.
Sheba was the first to get back on her feet and return to the fray.
If looks could kill, Poseidon would have dropped dead in an instant.
The others heard the summoning rites being said. They heard Sheba calling the name of the thunder god Thor, and heard the deafening thunderclap that signified Thor's descent from the heavens. They heard the sound of lightning striking its intended target, and Poseidon's pained, angry bellow as he sank slowly into the depths once more.
And then Sheba appeared once more, leaning heavily on the doorframe with a wry smile gracing her lips.
"I think this went splendidly, don't you?" she asked, and then fell to the floor in a dead faint.
By the time they had traversed the maze-like cavern that served as Lemuria's harbor, Sheba had reawakened. She was quickly back to her usual self, taking pleasure in the fact that she had "saved all their sorry asses" and refusing to let it go until they all personally thanked her.
But these gripes were soon forgotten when they pulled into port and disembarked from the ship.
Something about the place looked… blunt, in a sense, as if every sharp corner had been worn away gradually by the sands of time. Ancient stone columns, many of them fallen and overgrown by moss and lichen, were placed along the winding stone pathways, giving the place an air of faded majesty.
It was beautiful, and this was only the beginning.
Piers turned to his companions with a strange smile on his face – sad, perhaps, and disbelieving, and a little overjoyed. He gestured towards it all hesitantly, as if he thought it might shimmer and vanish at any moment like a mirage.
"Welcome," he said, "to Lemuria."
A/N: *bangs head against wall repeatedly*
I'm so sorry. ;-; This fic just isn't really… happening for me right now. You know? My Golden Sun obsession waned a long while ago, and there are other fics I'd rather focus on, and… UGH. Don't get me wrong, I still love this fic to death. It shall go down in history as the First Story I Ever Stuck With For More Than 10,000 Words. (ha) But… Yeah. I don't know. I want to discontinue it, but at the same time I don't. If I update again, it probably won't be soon. I just wanted to finally write this chapter, since I've been meaning to for months now. Sorry again to anyone who is still reading this crappy story. D: