L O R E N T I N E Q U E E N
Lorentine Queen | Nighttime
Dorothea Hohnstein@Jasbraq, Seung Eun-Ji, Manfred Hohenfelter@Force and Fury, and Carmillia Carbonneau@Animus
"I-I see them!"
The one calling out was one of Mortas' lackeys. He was at the front. As for how he recognized them, Carmillia had described her allies to the rioters as people who stuck out like sore thumbs.
At this point, Carmillia's group had circled most of the lower decks with a schluckodil in tow. The fatigue had been getting to them whereas the beast had been speeding up, no doubt due to the motivating effect of its rage.
"Don't stop! Keep running!"
Without halt, all of the rioters barreled past them. Their job was done, and they were to head back up to the upper deck, as Carmillia had instructed them earlier. She broke off from them and skidded to a stop.
Carmillia couldn't see Zarra around and there was an extra individual she didn't recognize. Regardless, Manfred and Eun-ji were here.
The enormous reptilian was upon them.
Manfred's eyes widened. "Eun-Ji, you're up!" he shouted.
Large? That creature is huge. For a very brief moment, Eun-Ji was in awe at the sight of the Schluckodil. Fortunately she quickly regather her thoughts and moved to perform her part of the plan. "Very well. I'm on it!" she said as she quickly gathered enough water from the somewhat flooded lower deck, formed her water clone, and added an image of herself on top of it using an Arcane illusion. For good measure she also pulled in some blood, readily available due to the chaos in and on the boat earlier, and mixed it with the water she used to create the clone.
Thus she sent the clone forward, rushing straight toward the gigantic crocodile.
And the creature, smelling blood and seeing the figure of a prey actually running toward it, instinctively react by opening its mouth wide to devour it.
"Manfred, do you trust me?... I have a plan..." Dory looked somewhat reluctant to say any more, feeling that no one would trust her judgement after what had happened before. "Because I want you to give me my pistol for just a second..." As she waited for a response a memory of her father appeared in her thoughts. 'Remember kiddo, these bastards may be tough, but their senses are very sensitive.'
Automatically, Manfred reached for his sidearm and held it out to her, only thinking better of the gesture when it was nearly in her hand. "As long as your plan works with ours." He lined up his shot, drew from all of the heat, motion, and chaos around him, and from the schluck itself and put all of that into the bullet that he fired.
Dorothea grabbed her sidearm and began reloading it, slowly walking towards Eun-Ji and in turn the Schluckodil. Fear began to set in the closer she came to the monster. "I would suggest closing your eyes." Taking a deep breath, closing the distance on the beast and firing at the beast's eyes. Putting all her focus in making her shot a blinding light. The smell of gunpowder going into the beast's nostrils.
At the same time, Seer also moved to add his own attack to the combined assault against the massive beast. Being a Powergazer, he knew what the best thing he could contribute would be. He removed his eye covering, and from his eyes was fired a mighty beam of intense heat that was one of the things those 'cursed' with the powergazer virus were known for.
The result of the attacks by the three mages was quite a sight to behold, especially considering they were quite the unlikely trio to be fighting against a Schluckodil together. The first attack to flew through the beast's open mouth was that of the bullet Manfred fired with everything that he got. Unlike its armored scales, the inside of the beast was made of soft flesh like any other animal. Manfred's bullet, accelerated through his Gift, gored said flesh deeply thus inflicting some serious damage to the reptile. Still, it was a huge creature. As expected, a single bullet would not bring it down so easily.
By instinct, the creature moved to clamp its mouth shut due to the pain and damage. If it wasn't for Dory targeting its sensitive sense of smell, the plan probably wouldn't have worked so smoothly. As it stood, the thick smell of gunpowder invading the beast's nostrils caused it to thrash around in both fury and panic. While this would have made aiming into its once more open mouth difficult with something like a gun, it was not the case for the heat beam fired by Seer. The Powergazer tried his best to make sure that the beam beng launched from his eyes seared the insides of the beast through the mouth. Only after he couldn't bear it anymore that Seer stopped his attack, putting his eyes covering back on.
The creature flailed around even more, wracked by pain from the internal damage that it had accrued from the mages' assault. And then, it suddenly fell to the ground, a deep rumbling sound coming from within its mouth along with smokes from its seared flesh.
By then, Eun-Ji's water clone had already expired. The real Eun-Ji watched warily, standing close with the others. "... Is it dead?" she asked out loud, more a wondering than an actual question. Yet suddenly the creature moved once more. It was clearly very badly wounded and yet, driven by either vengeance or fury, it briefly charged once more at the mages that had dared to maim it so seriously, jaws ready to take at least one of them to the death with itself. This does not last however, as it then fell again after that brief surge of strength. And just like that, the creature lapsed into the embrace of death...
Shaking off his disorientation, it became quickly clear to Zarra just how dangerous of a mess he had gotten himself into. Even there in the murky waters at night where he could not really see well, he inherently knew that time was running out. Either he do something to get himself out of the water or he will become yet another dinner menu for the giant crocodiles of Feska. And yet even when he knew this for sure, Zarra Travendour was in the end still Zarra Travendour. Instead of thinking up of a plan that will be the fastest and most effective to secure his own safety, he started thinking of how he can extricate himself from the situation in a fabulous way. After all, that will make it even more awesome for when I tell the tales of my survival against the terrible beasts!
Alas, that unsurprisingly became his downfall. The schluckodils after all will not wait as Zarra busied himself with thinking when he should be taking action. The attack came so fast that Zarra practically have no time at all to defend himself against it. The wind was knocked out of him as a long tail took swipe at him, tossing him around in the waters. Then, in no time at all, the next attack came. Zarra felt it immediately, the excruciating pain on his lower body as one of the crocodiles took a nipping bite at him. Yet due to the huge size of these creatures, even a nipping bite ended up being large enough that it got him in the left bottom all through to his prized male preserver of generations.
He was lucky that his survival instinct kicked in immediately. Before the bite can dig deeper and tear his lower body apart, he once more turned incorporeal, freeing himself from the creature's jaw. This was then coupled with sheer dumb luck as despite the random direction upon which he flew away in his panicked ethereal retreat, it was near the other students that he returned to corporeality...
Still, he remained severely wounded. The tail swipe definitely did a number of his ribs, not to mention of the bite wound and the loss of blood that came with it. Again, Zarra started to lose consciousness. One last thought floated into his mind as the darkness took him. Hey, at least I'm gonna have one heck of a wicked scar to show for it, right...?
The lyre had been ostensibly secured, and the riot had settled down. Additionally, the holes on the ship had been patched sufficiently now and the fires that broke out had also been taken under control and extinguished. After vanquishing the schluckodil that had sneaked onboard of the boat, the team managed to find the two remaining Arcanists that had managed to survive by running away and hiding before the croc could turn them into its food. With help from these two mages, the ship can finally move again to head to the shore. In the end, though the start of the mission and the first half of it had been quite of a mess indeed, the team managed to salvage the situation. Calling it a great success might be debatable, but they also definitely didn't fail. As for the Traveler Agents, they disappeared quickly after exchanging simple farewell with the biros. It was deemed best to let them go, as while they weren't comrades, things would have been much worse without their help.
Simply put, the night filled with chaos, tragedies and deaths was over for those onboard the Lorentine Queen. And the Lorentine Queen itself was spared from having this to be its last voyage after all...
With the exception of Leon who had left earlier by himself with the password that Manfred had given to him, the rest of the team were gathering inside a cabin room, allowing them to be undisturbed by unwanted attention. It had now been revealed that Hugo in reality had given Manfred and Eun-Ji two different 'magic words' for use to extract themselves away from the Lorentine Queen. One will bring them back to Hugo's Study, while one will apparently bring them to a certain refuge in the middle of a desert. Dory and Carmillia were then left with two choices: To go with Eun-Ji back to Hugo's Study or to go with Manfred to the desert. As for Zarra, Eun-Ji will definitely bring him back to Hugo's Study with her before he bleeds out and expires. And thus, the choices were there for each of the two young women to choose.
1) The Lorentine Queen arc is officially over! The only choice left to make is that of Dory's and Carmillia's: Whether they will follow Eun-Ji back to Hugo's Study or follow Manfred to the desert to help the other team there.