As promised, back with the next chapter of Celestial Trial. I think this is also going to be the longest chapter of the story, enjoy!

. . .

Lucy glanced around at her surroundings as she stepped through the brush to fully arrive at Ptolemy Lake. The lake was calm and beautiful, and abundant with life. She noticed that the vegetation closest to the lake seemed more lavish than that of the vegetation in the rest of Alphard forest. Her attention was captured by two dragonflies which had flown past her ear, and watched as the pair danced across the water. She noticed the sounds of the lake; birds chirping happily to one another, and the sounds of rustling leaves as a light breeze blew them. Lucy smiled, feeling calmed by her surroundings. But no giant water snakes anywhere, she thought to herself. She took a step forward, prepared to look around for Hydra, and then suddenly veered her head to the right, where a loud crash had caught her attention.

Lucy was shocked to see a large snake come plowing through trees and bushes, heading straight for her. Move Lucy! She thought to herself, but found she was frozen in place. She watched in horror as the snake came right for her while she remained unable to move. The snake stopped before it could crash into her, and stood before her. "Hydra…" Lucy whispered to herself.

Hydra's scales were a deep purple in color, and looked as though they were made of some sort of beautiful stone. "Leave now" He hissed, and Lucy looked up to see two intimidating beady eyes boring into her. She opened her mouth to respond, but her breath was taken away with a small oof as Hydra whipped his tail right into her torso, sending Lucy flying backward until she hit a tree. She winced in pain as she pulled herself into an upright position, until she was sitting against the tree, trying to catch her breath. No, she thought. Those scales definitely aren't made of stone, but they sure are strong! Finally, she made herself stand up, and tried approaching the snake a second time.

"Hydra!" She began. "I've come because I need-" She was cut off as once again, she was sent flying backwards by Hydra's tail. "Ouch…" She muttered to herself, clutching her abdomen as she stood up once again.

"I have no interest in hearing what you've come for, human." He spat. "Just leave!"

He isn't going to listen to me… Lucy thought. How am I going to do this!

She breathed in and out, wincing in pain as she did this, to calm herself. "Since you won't listen to me, I'll just have to take what I've come for by force!" Lucy yelled, while grabbing her Fleuve d'Etoiles. Quickly, she used it to wrap around Hydra's mouth, and swung herself on top of him. Hydra's eyes widened in surprise and he shook his head back and forth in a vain attempt to get the whip off of his mouth. Lucy stood slightly unsteady on Hydra's head as he did this, but did not fall off, and glanced down at Hydra's scales. They're all so perfect and smooth, how am I going to get one off of him? She thought to herself. Hydra growled in irritation, and violently swung his head downwards, and then up, successfully sending Lucy flying upward off of him.

"Ahh!" Lucy yelled as she felt herself being jerked off of Hydra's head and up towards the sky. Quickly, the sky was replaced by blue as she flipped in air to face downwards. She watched in terror as the lake came closer and closer until she crashed into it. Both her mouth and nose were filled with water as she plunged downward, and she struggled to breathe. After a few moments she resurfaced, gasping for air and coughing up water. She used her Fleuve d'Etoiles to grapple onto a branch of a nearby tree, and sat on it, trying to rid her lungs of water and fill them with air.

Once Lucy had caught her breath, she stood up on her branch and looked down at Hydra, her eyes narrowing. Hydra looked smugly back at the girl, eyes filled with amusement. "Are you ready to leave now?" He asked.

"No! I came here because I had something I needed to accomplish both for myself and for my friends, and I won't leave until I have one of your scales!" She yelled back.

Hydra's eyes widened in realization of the girl's reason for trespassing in his territory, and then narrowed in anger. Quickly, he rammed into the tree Lucy stood in, causing the girl to fall out.

"Ouch…" Lucy said to herself as she checked the damage sustained. Her legs and arms were now cut up and bleeding, but she hadn't broken anything. She stood up, wincing as she felt a pain in her chest. Her stomach would definitely be bruised badly, and she was praying that all the damage she had taken hadn't broken a rib, but that was something she would have to worry about another time.

"Let's try this again…" Lucy said to herself. Using Fleuve d'Etoiles she once again wrapped the snake's mouth shut, and swung up to his head. Once atop his head, she released his mouth and wrapped the whip around the snake's tail. She urged it to come forward, and jumped off the snake's head while still pulling his tail forward.

If I can tie his body in a knot, he won't be able to move! Lucy thought to herself as she landed safely on the ground. The snake collapsed onto its side, being unbalanced from having his tail in such an unnatural position.

"It's working!" Lucy said triumphantly. Hydra began writhing and wriggling on the ground, desperate to get out of the position. Suddenly Lucy was thrown off her feet by the force of the writhing snake, for her own strength was not enough to hold the snake down. Fleuve d'Etoiles released the snake's tail as Lucy was thrown forward.

Lucy quickly turned the force throwing her forward into a roll, and pulled out of it quickly to stand and turn to face Hydra. Her teeth clenched as a realization hit her.

I can't beat him like this! There's no time to plan a line of attack with him whipping me around like this! I have to get away and regroup for now! As Lucy thought this, she quickly looked around for an area where she could escape. She saw a clearing through a pair of trees and ran toward it.

As Hydra stood up, grateful to escape that awful position, he saw the blonde girl running away. Hydra's eyes narrowed as he saw this. He was seriously pissed now. There was no way he was going to let the girl escape! He quickly slithered after the girl.

Crap! He's following me! Lucy thought. She urged her tired and bloody legs to run faster. Just through those trees! She thought. As the trees came into view Lucy dived into the clearing, praying the snake would give up upon seeing that she had left his territory.

Hydra growled as he followed the girl who had dived through a pair of trees. "You won't escape that easily!" He hissed. Lucy turned around to see Hydra following her, but both looked at each other in surprise as they realized Hydra wasn't getting any closer to Lucy.

"He's… Stuck between the trees!" Lucy exclaimed in shock. Hydra looked at the girl with just as much surprise on his face. He urged his body forward, yet it wouldn't move. The trees of Alphard Forest were thick and strong, and Hydra found himself unable to budge. He was truly stuck between the trees!

"Well… This wasn't the plan, but it'll do." Lucy said. She moved around the pair of trees to examine the body of the snake. Behind, she found his body was still lashing around, desperate to move forward, but it wasn't nearly the nuisance that it had been during their earlier fight. Using a branch, she grappled her way on top of the snake, and examined his scales. Moving around on him was uneasy due to his moving body, but Lucy managed.

"Ah! That's perfect!" She exclaimed as she found a scale she could take. This scale was near the trees where Hydra had lodged himself, and it stuck out a bit. It wasn't as perfectly smooth as the rest of the snake's scales. She took out her whip and spoke to Hydra.

"Finally, what I've come for! Once I have this, I can return home! Despite how difficult you've made this for me, thank you Hydra, you're making it possible for me to return home. I truly apologize if this hurts at all." As Lucy said this, the writhing of Hydra's body increased; the girl planned on pulling out one of his scales!

Lucy used her whip to grab the scale, and pulled. She was met by a surprising amount of resistance, and pulled harder. Finally, the scale relented, and Lucy fell backward. Hydra yowled in pain as he felt his scale get yanked out. His writhing began to subside. What was the use? The girl had gotten what she had come for, and would now leave his territory. Of course, he was still stuck between the trees…

Lucy picked up the scale and examined it. It was warm to the touch, and hard. She could truly appreciate its purple coloration as she held it in her hands. Something about it felt… alive; Lucy felt something mysterious radiating from it as she held it in her hands. At last, she slid off of Hydra, and walked around to face him.

"Thanks!" She said with a smile, before heading off to the brush to place the scale in her backpack and retrieve Plue.

Hydra sighed as the girl left. He resumed his writhing, determined to dislodge himself from between the trees. He was surprised when he saw the girl walk back to him, with an orange backpack and a Nicola by her side.

"Do you really think I would just leave you like that?" The girl asked with a smile. Hydra had no response, he just blinked in surprise.

"I'm going to try to help you get out, but these trees are pretty thick so it might take a while." Lucy said.

This is going to take a while, and I don't really have a lot of time to spare; I have to get home, but I can't just leave him like this! I was the one who got him stuck in the first place… Lucy thought. She sighed as she took out her Fleuve d'Etoiles, and used it to grab one of the trees.

"I'm going to pull on this tree, and hopefully it'll bend enough for you to escape." Lucy said to Hydra. She began to pull, and Hydra resumed his writhing, heartened by the girl's kind act. After a few minutes, Hydra felt himself begin to give way, and he finally slipped through the trees.

"It worked!" Lucy exclaimed happily. She turned to face Hydra, but was frozen in place upon looking at him.

Is he going to attack me again? Maybe I shouldn't have helped him after all… Lucy thought to herself. Hydra looked down at the girl, who now had a scared expression on her face, and felt amused. "Thank you." He spoke. Lucy looked at him again, feeling surprise, and then smiled. "You're welcome, but now I really do have to go!" She glanced at the sky; it now looked to be past noon, and frowned. How long will it take me to get back? She wondered.

"Where are you headed?" Hydra asked.

"I need to report back to the Celestial King's castle, to show the King the scale I've gotten, so I can return home." Lucy frowned; it was going to take a while to walk all the way through Alphard Forest again.

"To show my thanks for helping, I will take you to the edge of Alphard Forest. That will surely save you much-needed time, would it not?" Hydra said.

Lucy looked at Hydra and exclaimed "Yes! Thank you!"

. . .

"Thank you Hydra!" Lucy said to the snake as they arrived at the edge of Alphard Forest, where Hydra had promised to take her.

"Pupuuun!" Plue thanked the snake as well.

Lucy slid off of Hydra, feeling slightly wobbly on her feet after riding on the snake and looked at the sky again. Not too much time had passed, and Lucy figured she and Plue had plenty of time to walk back to the castle now. The snake nodded his head, and slithered back into the forest, heading back toward his lake.

"Well, come on Plue! We aren't done yet!" Lucy said as she began walking. Plue meandered after her.

This is it, Lucy thought with a smile. I've completed my trial! This is the home stretch, and then I can return home!

. . .

That's the end of this chapter! What did you think? It is my first time writing a battle scene, and I found it a little difficult since Lucy isn't that strong and she only had a whip, not to mention the fact she was facing a giant snake. Anyway, let me know how you think I did! As always, feedback is always much appreciated!