He didn't know how Luna could skip quietly through dense jungle, but if anyone could do it, Luna could. Watching her excitement was contagious, and he found himself eager to discover these mysterious...creatures.
Uphill they climbed, the slope was not steep but very rocky. Sometimes they had to jump from rock to rock instead of trying to go around them. Dean was breathing hard, but he had been through worse. The fog clung along the ridge, the group struggling to keep a steady pace. Once the rocks came loose underneath the feet of Professor Shimura, but he managed to jump to the next rock with startling agility. Noticing the disbelieving stares of the English youths, he explained with a laugh: "I used to go on hikes in the mountains when I was a boy. Rock apes, oni, tengu; they all live up in the mountains, and the best way to get there is by walking. A good professor gets out sometimes"
"Maybe Professor Snape should have spent more time outside, he wouldn't he joined the Death Eaters" Luna wondered. Dean tried to imagine Snape's reaction to such a suggestion, and couldn't help but attempt to cheer him up was inevitably met with a glare and a sarcastic remark. Sure, he was part of the order, but Dean couldn't help but be relieved when the old bastard bought it.
When they finally reached the top, they had already walked through the cloud cover and could see for miles. They were on a ridge, part of a volcanic crater looking down into a wide valley. It was still dark, but Dean could make out huge dark shapes. Probably just mountains. He hoped they were, anyway.
"Monster Valley, we call it. This is where they sleep. We must be quick and quiet." Shimura whispered as they crept down the hill towards the shapes below. A tremendous noise suddenly broke the silence halfway down. Dean saw one of the huge shapes, the one closest to them, move. An animal! An animal the size of Westminster, by the looks of it.
The shape stirred and moved upright. A sharp squawking cry echoed through the forest. Dean finally was able to make out the shape. He had seen that shape before, in books he had read as a child. Usually it was accompanied by a label of "Pterodactyl" and bordered by cliffs and a sea.
"That's a dinosaur" he whispered to no one in particular, "a giant dinosaur..."
"Dean, pterosaurs are not dinosaurs" Luna corrected him quietly.
"Forgot about that" he whispered back, but was silenced by another squawk as the giant creature in front of them stretched its wings and yawned. The deep breaths of the beast sounded like a giant engine turning on and off. Dean cautiously raised his wand to get a better look.
Scales. Leathery wings. Spines on the head and armored chest. Two great horns projected from the back of the lorry-sized head. Red eyelids blinked slowly over its great black eyes. The great wings folded up, causing a strong wind to follow from the edges and flatten the nearby trees. It stretched its neck and sat down again with a shrug of its shoulders. The wings covered it like a vampire's shroud at daybreak.
"We call him Rodan", Shimura said simply as they watched the giant creature leaned back, apparently falling asleep. Rolf let out a squeak of excitement.
"That one's my favorite" Mifune said, her eyes fixed on the sleeping hulk.
"Rodan? Do all of them have names?" Luna asked.
"Yes. They are almost all distinct, except for the Kamacuras" Mifune explained
"They're giant preying mantis. Very aggressive. Easily killed by the other kaiju, but they're the only ones that can reproduce" Takarada added, "It's only by the other animals keep them in check"
"What do they eat?" Luna continued.
"That's the most amazing part" Shimura exclaimed, "They don't need food at all. They generate their own power with their own magic"
"Oh, like Heliopaths" Luna nodded, understanding
"Beg your pardon?" Shimura wasn't as lucky.
"Never mind" Dean shook his head.
Before an awkward moment could develop, a bright flash of light in the distance drew their attention. In the distance, Dean could make out a large object, with light hitting it in bursts and flashes. Luna's omnioculars were out before the last burst faded.
"What can you see?" Mifune asked, "Mine I left at the base"
"I see a man on a broom. He's firing spells. Looks like conjunctivitis, stupefy, and some ones I can't recognize. Looks like Chinese spells. They don't seem to be doing anything to it. I hope he can draw it away from here", she explained
"Hirata!" Takarada gasped, "What is that chasing him?"
"Oh, you mean the giant spider?"
"The what?" Dean had heard of Aragog and his spawn. Hell, he had even fought off their horrible charge during the battle of Hogwarts. If it wasn't for Ron and Lee's fire barrier they would have devoured the army. He just didn't think they came that big.
"The giant spider that just turned around the hill. Looks like the man is trying to lure him into the ocean"
"Let's see if we can head them off" Shimura turned to run
Dean was surprised he could barely keep up with the old man.
"Why can't we just apparate there?" he puffed as he began to sprint himself
"The magical field that the monsters create interacts with the one holding them here. There's too much static to move ourselves magically" He explained.
"Sir, should I summon Kouma?" Takarada managed to draw alongside.
"If that's another monster-" Dean glared.
"Yes, Tomo, it's the time." Shimura gasped.
"Koumasa!" the student called out.
Nothing happened, but they ran on regardless along the ride, trying to overtake the gigantic legs of the spider. As the ridges of high land converged, they could make out the huge shape of the arachnid, its yellow stripes on its hairy armor, its giant purple cluster of compound eyes staring at nothing and everything at once.
They barely stopped themselves in time. Shimura's quick reflexes managed to halt his momentum before he could fall off the sudden cliff. There was no where to go now; it was too steep to descend, and even conjuring ropes wouldn't get over the sharp rocks projecting out of the cliff.
Oddly enough, Shimura just stood there, looking at his watch.
"Professor, shouldn't we do something? Do we double back?" Rolf asked.
"We'd never get down the ridge on foot" Mifune argued.
"Is it coming?" Takarada peered into the jungle.
"Of course it is. Listen" Shimura finally spoke
As on cue, there was a crash of foliage as a wooden fishing boat smashed through the barrier of trees and landed behind them.
"Meet Kouma" Takarada grinned as he jumped on board, "He's our main mode of transportation. I wanted brooms, but the professor has a fear of heights"
They quickly piled on board, the professor taking the wheel. He gave the main sail a tug and they were off, swooping down from the cliff. Luna and the students raised their wands, but the professor stilled them.
"Wait, we must communicate with who ever it is" he explained, then made a gesture across his throat. He called out into the distance in Japanese, and the distant broom-rider replied in turn. Apparently, the student had heard and the ship dove towards the spider.
"We can attack", Takarada explained to the English youths, then turned to cast a curse at the monster. It spattered ineffectually against the impenetrable hide, but the spider changed its position. Volley after volley of spells hit the armored legs, the giant segmented eyes, and the hair on its hide as the ship swooped over head, diving at the spider then quickly turning towards the ocean.
The spider swiveled to look at the second attacker, only to be struck by a spell from the broom-rider. The wizards made pass after pass, the giant monster confused and irritated as it stumbled towards the ocean.
"Can we drown it?" Dean asked after they made another pass.
"No, I think he might have something else in mind" a sly smile crossed Takarada's face, "There are other things in the sea far more dangerous"
"He wouldn't…." for once, Shimura was taken aback. A shadow of terror passed his face before he turned into his placid self.
Before Rolf could turn and ask the professor what was wrong, he felt a wave of something warm and sticky wash over him. He moved to brush it off, but it held onto his robes, and soon he felt his arms immobilized by the substance. Spider silk!
"The rudder's been hit!" Mifune called out, her arms pinned to the boat by the strands. The giant beast shot spay after spray out of its abdomen, some of it missing the boat easily, some hitting it dead on.
Takarada barked a command in Japanese to the boat, and soon they were spiraling out of the path of the spider. Everything and everyone in the boat was covered with the silk. The ship barely was able to land awkwardly into the trees, the strands hanging on to the branches and suspending the ship above the ground.
"Solvere" Luna was first to act, casting at the silk. It shivered and came apart, but was not fully destroyed. Rolf and Dean joined in, and soon the entire group was hard at work trying to remove the webbing.
"What about Hirata, sir?" Takarada asked the professor
"He'll have to handle things by himself. He's hard to hit, so he can hold off Kumonga while we get back in the air"
The group worked quickly, clearing the webbing off of every surface they could reach. There was a tense moment when the strands supporting them in the trees were cut, but the magical ship held its position.
"I hope we're not too late" Mifune muttered as they took off, clearing the trees and gaining altitude quickly.
As the bay became visible again, they noticed that the giant spider was wading further into the water. Takarada raised his wand to attack, but Shimura held his arm.
"Look at the water" Mifune pointed at the sea. Luna followed her gaze to the rolling waves offshore. There was a disturbance on the surface, foam and waterspouts spurting out of one particular spot offshore. The figure on the broom peeled off, zipping into the distance. Kumonga itself seemed to notice, dropping into a fighting crouch and taking a few steps backward. It was like if all motion stilled.
Then a huge grey figure emerged from the water. A huge toothy reptilian head broke the surface, dark eyes taking in the scene, steaming nostrils sneezing out saltwater in evaporated jets. Its muscular torso followed, long arms tipped with clawed fingers held up in a fighting position. Behind the vast grey torso, a line of light grey spiked fins trailed down its back. It let out a distinctive cry-first a sharp scream that turned into a deep roar.
"Godzilla" Dean spluttered out.