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"As pleasant as a bask in the sun would be, it's a activity that might be a bit too risky for today. But I think I have a solution." Nemo added. He whispered a small incantation into his glove and then pressed his palm on top of Raiya's midsection. A warm sensation would soon start to spread throughout her body. Afterwards Nemo removed his hand and spoke. "This is a slightly modified version of a spell that I've used on my own body on missions. It's a technique to mask my body heat from sensors by increasing or decreasing it to match the surroundings. In your case, for the next five minutes it'll gradually heat you up. Since it works on your whole body, it'll probably get results even faster than a sunbath." Nemo explained. He then carefully scooped her up and started walking down the shoreline.

"I'm getting déjà vu Raiya." Nemo said, remembering carrying her back on the ship. "As your partner I just couldn't leave you there alone while you couldn't move, not with those two louts still unaccounted for." He admitted. "I fear the Arcanocracy isn't enthused for a friendly competition. Taking their abilities into account, Stockton and Galvadon aren't here just for the paragon, they're a hit-squad."

"But for you that might not be all bad news. Specializing in fire and light magic, and casting through a weapon to make my absorption mostly unusable, Galvadon was likely chosen specifically with my end in mind. By the end of this I might be out of your hair for good." Nemo finished.

A buzzing sound interrupted Nemo's thoughts. As he looked around he noticed a bright sight among the wreckage. Upon further inspection he found Travis cutting away at the metal wreckage. He walked over to him, seeing that he was trapped below the debris. "Need a hand?" Nemo asked, loud enough to hear over the sound of Travis' magic. Nemo let go of Raiya's legs and used his forearm to support them. He pointed his free hand towards the wreckage with his two forefingers extended. The then abruptly pointed them upwards, causing a distortion in the space between Nemo and Travis. Afterwards the torn hull magically shifted upwards, allowing Travis the ability to pull himself free.
Most of the nervousness Nemo felt began to fade away when he started to hear a faint heartbeat. Her body wasn't cold either, as he felt a slight warmth on his cheek as he listened for the pitter-patter of her heart. The sound of her voice afterwards caused him to let out a small sigh of relief. He picked his head up from her chest, now using his hand to shade his eyes from the sun. "Strange, that's what I thought too..." He replied, completely serious and squinting slightly from the brightness as he looked down to her face. One might wonder what Nemo's vacation plans looked like, Siberia maybe?

"Are you hurt?" He asked. "That wave hit us pretty hard, I'm really sorry Raiya. I didn't have anything of a high enough caliber to protect us all properly." Nemo added, sounding genuinely downcast over it. "In the past I've often only ended up improving my absorption related barriers. Generic physical ones were always an afterthought."

Nemo looked away from her, turning back to the shoreline and the debris. "If you aren't hurt, we should try to find the rest of our team post-haste. Otherwise I could always carry you some more?" He suggested, scratching his head to free particles of sand from his hair. "Time is of the essence here, if we survived that wreck, then the two Fathers probably fared even better than us. And I'd certainly want to get my hands on that paragon before them. If it's even here that is. " Nemo finished.

Nemo put his hands back in his pockets as he surveyed the scene. "I've hunted my fare share of beasts in my day, the only way someone could kill this thing is with extensive planning and very specific, and very large equipment. Something we don't have. Face it Raiya, we're out of our depth here." Nemo replied, seeming calm despite what he was saying. Even going as far to inject a pun.

Just as he was prepared to speak again, the entire ship began to rock from a great disturbance in the sea. He was barely able to stabilize himself and prevent himself from sliding. Multiple shipping crates came loose, some banging against the ship, some breaking, and some just going overboard. The creature was rising. Tentacles of the sea monster began to lift out from the water all around the ship off in the distance. They were everywhere. There wasn't a single direction to go that wouldn't run into it, it was simply too massive to ever escape.

The tentacle appendages didn't stay for long however, all sank back down out of sight. Leaving Nemo to wonder why they had disappeared. The sound of the creature breaching the surface of the water caused Nemo to turn around. He was surprised to see that it wasn't close and about to break the ship in half with it's arms, instead it was far off in the distance.

This was the first time he got to see the whole creature as a whole, it was truly gargantuan. Anyone observing from a far off distance would probably presume it was just an even larger cargo ship. But closer inspection would reveal the hideous, barbed, barnacle covered goliath sea squid it was. The entire thing wasn't just mossy-black, it had a crimson maroon stripe pattern upon it's back that traveled down some of it's appendages as well. Even from Nemo's distance he could make out one of it's most striking features. It's eyes. It had mostly black eyes, except for lazer red dots for pupils. Nemo knew it was staring directly at them, not the ship. Even in his situation, and the threat the monster posed to them, Nemo couldn't deny that he admired the creature. For him it truly was a breathtaking sight to behold.

Before he could take in the sight anymore, all of the beasts limbs suddenly began to rise out of the water... straight up. They towered above like a fleshy skyscraper. The tentacles even grew in width as they got closer to the creature's body, making the size of the ends that hit the ship before look minuscule. Even with it's giant length, Nemo knew it wasn't close enough to hit the ship. But Nemo figured already that it had no intentions of hitting the ship... directly.

Once the tentacles reached apex height, all sound besides the rain stopped. They held there for a while, putting an ominous feeling in the air, and then silently began to start falling back down all in the direction of the ship. Then they all crashed back onto the water to make a gargantuan splash. Moments later the sound traveled over from the incident, sounding like a supercharged thunder-strike nearly capable of deafening someone's ears. The point of the action made itself more than clear when a colossal wave began to form in the sea from the splash travelling towards the ship. By the point it had made it halfway to the ship it was about the same size as the creature that made the wave itself. The sound of the looming wave began to loom around the group as well, gradually growing louder in time.

Nemo let out a small chuckle, at a loss. "Just how much do you hate swimming, exactly?" He asked rhetorically before busting out into a cackling laughter. Apparently nothing could truly shake Nemo's personality from him.

The wave grew in size till the point it loomed over the ship, appearing to double it's height. The sound of the impending rush of water made it harder to hear anything but their oncoming fate. It was almost there by now, just about to crash into the side of the ship. Nemo took the opportunity to do all he could, create a barrier to try to block the water from totally crushing them. It extending into a wall in front of the group. Unfortunately since it was made out of energy and mostly transparent, it did nothing to block out the ghastly sight of the wave about to collide.

The last thing Nemo saw was the side of the ship totally obliterate from the impact, the water immediately going onto collide with his shield...

and then everything went dark.




Part Deux


Nemo felt feeling in his body slowly come back to him, terribly sore. He had a hard time opening his eyes, but once he eventually pried them open he saw something truly unexpected. Light, bright sunny light. It was such a one-eighty of the dark storm they were experiencing before. It didn't make sense, and he already hated it. Nemo despised the light, it irritated him. He always worked much better in the dark, with his eyes it was actually easier to see in that environment. Nemo wondered if he had died and this was his punishment, stuck in a sunny place for all eternity. A truly terrifying thought.

He let out a groan and started to get up, rolling onto his knees for a start. While he did so he got to feel the ground, it was sand. Nemo wiped his eyes and looked around. After taking a few seconds to fully adjust to the brightness he could see again. Nemo had no idea how much time had passed. He was on a sandy beach, on what seemed to be a small tropical island. He turned around to see the ocean, and bits and pieces of Seidon's ship that had washed up, totaling to what he guessed was nearly a fourth of the original vessel.

Maybe they had actually made it to the island? He pulled up his manadial, relieved to see it was still operational. Nemo made sure the device was as sturdy and reliable as possible. Unfortunately, while it was still powered, the map was completely distorted, making finding any of his teammates or knowing where they were impossible. He figured this could either be because the paragon was nearby, or he really was in purgatory. A light use of his manalysis shed some arguably positive light. A great source of mana and energy was located at the center of the island, possibly the artifact they went through all this for.

Nemo stumbled to his feet, looking for anything else of value in his peripherals among the wreckage. After dusting off as much sand as he could from his garments and hair he started off walking. Nemo wasn't really sure where he was going, but he needed to find the rest of his team. As he traveled he wondered how this could have happened. Nemo knew that there was way the squid beast had spared them, the only reason that he could come up with is that after the wave, they must have passed through the threshold into the paragon's anomaly zone, sealing them off from the sea where the monster dwelled. That or it was scared off by something even it couldn't understand, a testament to the paragon's power.

Before Nemo could think any further on the subject, he spotted something peculiar off on the beach. It didn't look to be a part of the wreckage. Nemo used his hand to try to shade his eyes from the sun to get a better look. As he got closer he was able to identify what he saw, it was Raiya, or at the moment, just her body. Nemo immediately picked up the pace to make it over to her. As soon as he reached where she was Nemo keeled down beside her and looked over her body. She was laying on her side, not moving.

"Raiya, are you alright?" Nemo asked, putting his hand on her shoulder and briefly shaking her. "Raiya?" When she didn't respond Nemo started to fear the worst. He turned her on her back and pressed the side of his head up against her chest to listen for a heartbeat.

The spear traveled deep into the sea, seconds later a faint muffled explosion could be heard underwater, followed by a even louder groan from below the sea. Nemo almost had to cover his ears as the ship vibrated from the noise. "I think you've only made it angrier." He commented. The noise was followed by a new one this time, a low lurching looming noise, following by the ship shifting in the sea. Nemo's stance immediately shifted. "Everyone get away from the edge." He announced abruptly before he started to jog back.

Soon another one of the tentacles erupted from the sea, this time much closer than the last. It was rapidly moving towards the edge of the ship they were just standing by with clear intent to ram it. Within seconds it collided with the hull and the railings, causing unseen by undoubtedly heavy damage to the cargo ship. The entire ship was knocked around from the impact, the shift was definitely capable of knocking someone off their feet if they weren't ready. The tentacle then folded over the side of the ship and slammed down onto the deck. Nemo had to use his warp to shift himself out of it's path just it time to avoid getting smushed into a fashionable pancake.

The encounter made it much easier to see a part of the creature up close. The entire tentacle seemed to be a dark mossy black, except for the suction cup covered pinkish underbelly. Nemo quickly charged up a spell and fired, hitting the appendage directly with a large explosive beam of energy.

The attack connected with no contest, however the effects were a bad sign. When the smoke cleared not all that much damage had been done to it. Besides the surface being scorched roughed up a bit, the tentacle was still mostly unscathed. Tentacle jerked it's suction cups free from the deck of the ship and then began to slide back into the water.

"It's likely that it's skin acts like a magic resistant armor, it probably has a soft spot somewhere. But with the type of damage it's doing it wouldn't even need to show it in order to destroy this ship." Nemo explained as he surveyed the crumpled section of the deck the tentacle smashed down on.

Nemo let out a slight "Oof" from Raiya's punch. He turned around, letting out a small chuckle in response to her words. He rested his hands in his pockets and slowly started to walk back. "Back when I was gathering info on this mission I posed as one of Seidon's friends over the phone with him. Seidon brought up feeding the church members on board to "Ole Bess" if they try to cross him. At the time I didn't think much of it. I figured he probably had some pet shark that followed his boat around. I see now that isn't the case." Just as Nemo finished his sentence the entire boat shifted from a great wave. Nemo had to place his hand on the wall to keep his balance. That upset was going to be the first of many, as the waves outside had suddenly gotten much worse.

Nemo continued walking, at this point they were about halfway back to the exit to the deck. "I should of thought of it before we embarked. Even when we were fighting Seidon I found his choice of spells strange. They weren't what I thought they were gonna be. He wasn't manifesting the attacks I thought he would. You see Seidon isn't just some simple ship captain mage smuggler. Paul Seidon is is a ship captain mage smuggler that also happens to be a long affiliate of the Cult of Enlightened." Nemo explained.

"None of his personal spells match something of a cult user, but he must have gained something from that involvement. So if he doesn't use cultish magic, in our case that probably means that Ole Bess is something much worse than a shark." Nemo stated as they reached the hatch once more. Nemo swung it open to let them see outside. The storm had picked up even more, the heavy downpour of rain made it harder to see and hear anything besides the thunder crashing down on the sea intermittently. Nemo stepped outside and looked towards the sea and waited in the rain. Soon enough the same sound that shook the ship before emitted again, causing the entire ship to vibrate. If anything now that they were outside it had only grown louder.

As Nemo stared off in the distance, he spotted what he had been waiting for. Far off away from the ship a colossal tentacle slowly lurched out from the water. Even at that distance it was humongous, with a width easily double than that of a school bus. It rose from the water, but eventually sunk back down. Even that action caused a heavy displacement in the water as a result.

Nemo walked over to the edge of the ship and looked down. A flash of lightning lit up the water, letting him see a bit better on what awaited below. The brief flash outlined a great tentacled sea monster. He estimated that it was probably even larger than cargo ship itself.

"One way or the other, this ship is going down. What do we do? Well, I suppose we can hope we don't die afterwards."

Nemo jogged across the hallway to see the body of the sailor and Raiya, cleaning her blade. "I suppose I've done worse." He commented, at a loss with any type of scolding. He then continued on, rushing down the hall. Off in the distance Nemo could feel Seidon's manawaves. He was stopped now, and they were getting closer and closer to him. Judging it with his manalysis he figured Seidon was in the room at the end of the hall.

The manawaves weren't the only thing that tipped Nemo off either, even from their distance he could hear Seidon chanting a spell. However he couldn't easily decipher the language he was using. Hearing a couple more parts of the chant told him that it wasn't any worldly tongue. Intent on stopping him, Nemo picked up his sprinting speed to reach the door. This one wasn't a spinning metal hatch like the others, it was a somewhat luxurious wooden door. As soon as he reached it Nemo used his boot to kick the door open.

The door broke rather easily, swinging open to reveal the captain's quarters, with Seidon standing in the middle of a large runic circle crudely drawn with chalk. He had retrieved his cane-sword, now with it's sheath back on. As soon as Nemo entered Seidon stopped chanting and slammed the bottom of the cane into the circle. It began to glow a faint purple in response.

Nemo drew his revolver and quickly fan-fired four rounds into Seidon's chest. The Captain didn't seem to even try to defend himself, he was shot four times in the chest. Seidon let out a guttural grunt before stumbling back and dropping his cane. He kept on his feet for as long as he could despite the wounds, but eventually tripped on a small table and fell over on his back with a loud thump.

The glowing of the drawn runic circle had stopped, making Nemo feel like they had made it in time. After all they hadn't been wiped out by some incredible explosion yet either. Nemo stepped over to Seidon's body, his revolver still at the ready to finish him off. The Captain let out a few gurgles to clear the blood from his throat after he stopped Nemo. "If it's any reconciliation, this wasn't personal. I've always found your services to be superb." Nemo spoke.

"O-oh don't worry lad, I've taken no offense." Seidon paused to cough once more. "But I'm going to h-have to apologize, on the contrary I'll... b-be personally bringing you all to hell with me." Seidon turned his blood stained mouth into a toothy grin before Nemo abruptly executed him with his fifth shot to the forehead.

Nemo holstered his revolver, not saying anything. His final words put a bit of doubt in his mind that they had made it in time. A doubt that would be soon confirmed.
HHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRR

A incredibly loud sound suddenly shook the entire ship. Items vibrated off shelves of Seidon's room and the entire ship let out a metallic whine in response from the sheer volume that was emitted by the strange noise. Even on the deck of the ship Travis and Zuri would be able to hear it clear as day. The sound didn't seem like it came from in the ship, it sounded like it came from below, deep below.

Nemo stood silent for a couple moments, something uncharacteristic for him. After a long drawn out pause he finally spoke. "I'm sorry Raiya, but I fear I've messed up by bringing you with me." Nemo didn't turn around to face her either, he still kept his gaze on Paul Seidon's body.
Nemo looked to Travis during his brief pause in front of the hatch. "It's hard to say for sure, but I can't imagine he's doing it for no reason. I fear now that he's wounded and his crew is dead, the good captain might have something a bit more drastic in mind. You can pursue him with us, or otherwise take a crack and disabling that last shield generator." Nemo commented before taking off down the corridor after Seidon with Raiya.

Nemo made sure to try to stay out of the trail of water as best he could. The last thing he wanted to do while chasing someone is slip and fall. He wondered where Seidon was going, as they passed the stairs down with no trail he knew that he must not be planning to travel to the bowels of the ship where Nemo and Raiya were before. Was he going to the Captain's quarters? The improved but dated decor of this level made it seem more "livable" than the underbelly was.

After rounding another corner the duo met some resistance. Two crew mates were defending the path. One at the end of the hall with a spell at the ready, and another peeking out from a doorway in the middle with a pistol and a dagger. The spell-caster struck first by letting loose a large blast of magic plasma down the hall, causing the other sailor to take cover behind the door frame to avoid getting hit.

Knowing that they didn't have time to waste avoiding the attack, Nemo pointed his gloved hand forward and let loose one of his own spells in the form of a large glowing white X. The spell collided with the plasma wall and exploded, absorbing most of it's magic energy and causing it to dissipate early.

Seidon saw his attack pass through Zoey, feeling a sense of accomplishment when he saw that she had been felled, like at least one member of his crew had been avenged. But that sense of righteousness was soon taken from him. Paul heard the sound Raiya's swing emitted, causing him to turn and look. The sight of the blade much larger than he was prepared for caused him to panic. He knew his water wouldn't stop it, so he did the only thing he could and tried to evade it by riding his water out of the way.

The Captain seemed to be nimble even in the air due to his water, but not nimble enough. By the time he finished his evade, to Seidon's dismay he found that his left arm he had been channeling his water beam with had been parted from his body just above the elbow. The Captain let out a heavy groan, fumbled his sword and gripped the already cauterized stump with his still-intact free hand. "I'll gut you for this you whore!" He yelled out. It's a shame the cut wasn't closer to his wrist, fashioning a hook onto that arm was going to be a lot harder now.

While Seidon was still reeling from the loss of his arm, he turned to see that Nemo had already capitalized on the opportunity the Captain gave when he lost his weapon. Nemo had used his warp to reach Seidon and already had a spell charged in his gloved hand. Before Seidon could move his water to swat Nemo back to the deck, he felt a heavy concussive spell connect with his body. One moment he was still riding his wave, the next he was sailing across the ship.

Seidon flew roughly twenty feet before he collided back to the floor. Pools of water tried to rush in to cushion his fall, but hearing the heavy metallic thud hinted that they were just barely too late. The pools that surrounded him obscured his body from the group, growing angrier and angrier, taller and taller, as if something big was coming. Maybe the Captain had finally decided he's had enough? It probably would of been a good idea to decide that before you lose half your arm.

However suddenly the entire storm of water stopped. All action growing inside it halted and let the pools drop back to the deck and disperse.




Nemo watched the spectacle expecting some sort of final stand, but instead once the water cleared he found something peculiar. Seidon had vanished. He thought that maybe the Captain had magically disappeared, but after looking around and spotting an open hatch door into the ship he realized what had happened. The Captain was just buying time to run into the ship, the water was just a large bluff-distraction to obscure his escape.

"He's making a run for it." Nemo called out before taking off towards the hatch on foot himself. He wondered what Seidon's end game was now. There obviously wasn't any real escape now that they were in the eye of the storm here. With that injured leg he probably wouldn't be able to outrun Nemo for very long either.

Once Nemo reached the door he noticed small trickles of blood, among a floor floor that was now freshly slicked with water. Nemo figured he had miscalculated by assuming that Seidon was on foot with that bad leg, he was still riding his water. But at least the Captain gave him a solid trail to follow.

Nemo used his warp spell to phase himself back and away from Seidon's swing.




Raiya's incantation brought most of his attention away from his fight with Nemo. He knew something was coming, but he just couldn't figure out from where yet. Turning around completely would leave him open for an attack from Nemo. Before he could think any further on the matter he heard the sound of Lori's weapon discharge.

Seidon spun around to see the beam coming towards him, he used the latent water on the ground-which due to the rain there was an abundance of-to slide just barely out of the way of the attack. The thought of an enemy using one of his now former crew-mate's weapons against him enraged him. It enraged him just long enough to forget about Raiya's spellcast. Blade suddenly began to shoot up towards him, something he missed until he received two significant cuts to his legs. Paul went to work quickly however, using the water he had called over to attack Nemo with to rapidly lift him off the ground and into the air instead before he could get ripped to pieces.

Seidon was now roughly twenty feet off the ground riding the wave in place. His wounds didn't seem to bother him all that much. He channeled some of the water he was using to ride into an attack and pointed his forefingers towards Travis. A extremely concentrated pressurized beam of water began to spring fourth with enough cutting power to etch through the metal of the ship. Flesh and bone wouldn't stand a chance.

From his vantage point up in the air Seidon started to drag the beam across the ship, attempting to pass it through Travis, Zoey even if she was hiding behind a container, and then finally Raiya and Nemo.

Nemo raised his dial up to reply to Travis. "Depends on how the rifle is set up, if she only uses as a amplifier for her own magic, it would be much harder for you to use without knowing the right spells. But if it has spells built into it's runes and only needs someone to activate it, it could help out quite a bit. Either way it's worth a shot" He replied.

Upon hearing that Raiya needed someone to distract Seidon, Nemo was more than happy to oblige her. He whispered a spell into his glove and peaked out from his cover and quickly fired it towards Seidon. He picked one of his fastest moving attacks to try to catch him off guard. A large white beam roughly half a foot whide bursted fourth with a high pitched bang. The travel speed of the attack was similar to a bullet.




With the fireworks banging off in the sky, Seidon had no choice but to look. He figured it would be a distraction, but what if that was the point? What it a powerful spell was about to rain down on him from above disguised as fireworks? The old man grunted angrily and looked up, and not a split second later did Nemo fire off his spell.

Seidon acted quickly, putting up a heavy shield of water to try to block the attack. But the plasma of Nemo's spell easily burned through the water and continued on to hit a wall of Seidon's ship.




Nemo put a hand over his head like a golfer and squinted to see the effects of his attack. After Seidon's water wall dropped it revealed that he had hit... sorta. The shoulder epaulet of his coat had been burnt clean off by Nemo's magic gun, but besides the uniform damage and a slight heat burn, it looked to have only made the captain even angrier. Nonetheless, the sight seemed to be satisfactory to Nemo. A toothy grin crossed his face, followed by a small chuckle.




Seidon had had enough with waiting. The pool of water around him concentrated around his feet and lifted him up off the ground. He then manipulated it so he could ride on it towards Nemo at a rapid speed. Just before reaching Nemo he jumped off it and swung at Nemo with his cane. Except for the handle, the stock of the tool liquefied away to reveal a razor sharp straight saber blade.

The wave Seidon was riding then diverted off towards Zoey and Travis's container. It picked up speed and mass as it rolled through other pools of water, increasing in size like a snowball rolling down a hill. Before long it was nearly as big as the late sniper tower. Within seconds it would crash into their container, intent on destroying it.




Nemo used his magic to slide himself back, just in time to get out of the way of Seidon's swing before he was cleaved in twain. He then reversed the spell to slide him back towards Seidon. Nemo spun around into a roundhouse kicked aimed at Seidon's face. Still in them middle of his swing, the Captain had no choice but to take one for the team right to his jaw.

Seidon took the hit without emitting anything more than a simple flinch in response. He spat out a small amount of blood from his mouth. "You albino punk." Grunted Seidon before he swung once more. Another pool of water quickly started to flow across the floor towards Seidon for him to likely use against Nemo once it arrived.

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