“Who said I wanted danger?!” Exasperated, Ghent threw his hand into the air. “For the last time, it was a joke!”
Joke or not, Elayra wasn't satisfied with Ghent's excuse. The intensity in her stare was unnerving, terrifying even. He shrank a little as she stared him down, repeating the command along with a new name to go with it.
Humpty Dumpty? That was the last straw. Ghent bristled, a spark of anger igniting in his chest. He was tired of being insulted, and he was sick of being threatened. If Elayra wanted to fight, she’d get her fight.
“A-alright, fine!” Ghent tilted the staff at an angle, removing one of the sheaths with more force than necessary. “If you want to fight so bad, let’s go! I’m not afraid of…” The sentence went unfinished as Elayra spun around. He quickly unsheathed the second half of his weapon, fearing his prank was becoming their reality.
Following Elayra’s gaze, Ghent squinted in case he missed something. He didn’t see anything unordinary. He doubted she was pranking him in return, she was too riled up for that. So what was going on?
Before he got the chance to ask, the rocks ahead of them moved.
Ghent staggered back, his jaw falling open as the red-eyed monster sprung to life. From what he could tell, its body was made almost entirely out of rock. Ghent’s eyes flickered to Elayra’s sword. He doubted their blades would do much. They’d be lucky if their weapons made a scratch. His subconscious nagged at him, urging him to remember one of the few focus words he’d learned over the course of three days.
Any plan to attack was abandoned when Elayra gave a new order. Get in the water. That, he could do. Or so he thought. Assuming Elayra would follow, he turned on his heel, but the movement seemed to agitate their foe.
The roar threw Ghent's legs into a run. He made it about three feet, but then a second roar sounded nearby, this one coming from the East. Ghent whipped his head around to look, horrified to spot another monster similar to the first. The rocks were assembled in such a way that the creature had a mouth, and two long, vine-like tongues shot out with alarming speed.
Mid-step and ill-prepared, Ghent was unable to avoid the attack. A shout escaped him as vines connected with his neck and wrist, jerking him to a painful stop. He lost his grip as a result, his staff thudding against a sparse patch of grass.
Ghent made a desperate grab for his weapon, but his mobility was restricted due to the vines. Worse than that, his attacker was coming right at him. With the hand that wasn’t restrained, he pulled at the vine around his neck in an attempt to free himself.
Ghent couldn’t work fast enough. If he didn’t do something, he was going to get crushed.
Tuito. Out of nowhere, a focus word presented itself in his mind. Despite the chaos, Ghent remembered Elayra attempting to teach him the spell back on Earth. She used it herself later, creating a magic barrier to protect them against a barrage of broken glass. He didn’t know how much damage the shield was able to handle, but he didn't have the luxury of time. It was a split-second decision on his part, and he had to go for it.
Ghent unhooked his fingers from the vine around his neck, redirecting his attention into what he hoped to achieve. He barely had time to focus, but he made those seconds count.
“TUITO!” He outstretched his hand and turned his head, squeezing his eyes shut in case his focus word failed to prevent impact.