They were in a real pickle. They were slowly sinking down and unable to get to the surface with arrows raining down from above them and now they had the misfortune of attracting several large sea monsters.
Even if they could reach the surface they would be sitting ducks for the approaching ships that were slowing down and searching the water near the burning ship that was slowly sinking.
Every once in a while they would shoot arrows into the water at what they thought was suspicious movement.
Akira didn’t think and just used his skill [Sword Slash] sending the attack towards the gathering swarm of sea monsters.
The normal swift blue blade of light flew forward at a slower pace than normal as it cut through the water.
Most of the sea monsters were able to get out of the way of the dangerous attack, leaving only the weak and slow monsters to be sliced in half.
The blood and guts from the dead sea monsters started to color the surrounding area in a deep red attracting the stronger sea monsters who had an insatiable appetite and would even eat their mother if they died in front of them.
A few of the larger sea monsters almost the same size of Akira and Varbu decided that the small fry sea monsters were not to their taste and decided to continue swimming towards Akira and the others wanting to figure out what they tasted like.
Everyone had managed to stay close to each other in order to protect themselves after they noticed the oncoming sea monsters.
When the first sea creature a large [Pointy Swordfish lvl 32] reached them Akira placed his shield in front so that he did not get impaled by the large pointy spear of its upper bill.
Bang! Akira was knocked back into the three behind him. He was surprised at the force of the attack and his inability to stay put and hold his ground due to having no solid ground to fight on.
Luckily Varbu and the others were able to stop him from spinning out of control.
Both Akira and Varbu readied their weapons and launched attacks when the [Pointy Swordfish] charged forward again.
They were able to land solid hits but felt something was wrong since their normal attacks only wounded it slightly. After attacking it again Akira was able to figure out the problem.
It was that water that was causing their problems. It was slowing their attacks causing them to use the same amount of force they normally used to attack but only gave them a small fraction of the power they spent on the attack.
It was also worrisome that their attacks were slowed which allowed the sea monsters if they were fast enough to dodge the attacks.
Varbu was able to understand what was going on and after a quick look at each other, they understood what they had to do. They had to use their max strength on every attack to ensure that they were able to kill the sea monsters.
Maya tried to help out by shooting arrows at the [Pointy Swordfish] but it was no use. The arrows were even more useless underwater than Akira and Varbu’s attacks.
Both Maya with her short sword and Mileena with her daggers were forced to fight off the small fry while Varbu and Akira fought the larger Sea monsters.
After several minutes of not seeing the four bodies resurface the captain became agitated.
“You idiots you weren’t supposed to kill them! Now how can we get the bounty?” growled the angry naval officer.
‘You’re the one who told is to shoot at them,’ thought several of the unhappy archers.
Several arrows shot from above had attracted the attention of several large sea monsters as they were constantly getting hit with them and were getting angry.
So they decided to teach the large floating things above them not to interrupt them when they were trying to eat dinner.
Bam! A Large hole appeared as a [Pointy Swordfish] slammed into the bottom of the nearest ship.
Unfortunately for the swordfish it became stuck and was quickly killed by the horrified crew members of the now fast flooding ship.
Akira was able to see the other ships were having problems of their own as a large [Bone Octopus Lvl 36] wrapped its eight soft fleshy arms around the ship and pulled itself up onto the deck where its bone armored torso nulled the weak arrows that were shot at it.
Seeing all the fresh food walking around on top of the ship the [Bone Octopus] decided to forget about the other prey in the water and began picking and choosing which delicious piece of meat in front of it should be eaten first.
Another one of the ships had already been crushed in half by a second [Bone Octopus] and several of the weaker sea monsters rushed over to get a piece of flesh from the numerous dead and alive bodies spilling out of the broken ship that was now being pulled down by the [Bone Octopus] so it could reach its food more easily and eat in comfort.
Akira and the others were fighting furiously for several minutes and after killing the last sea monsters that had surrounded them, they began struggling to get away from the fight.
They were able to swim far enough that they were not in immediate danger but they were still sinking to the point that now it was hard to see the surface, their lungs were on fire and they were slowly losing what little strength they had due to the lack of oxygen.
Akira weakened from the fight and lack of oxygen reached out his hand trying to claw his way back to the surface but his mind was becoming dull.
Akira saw the others were having the same problem and began to slightly panic.
‘No! I can’t die like this!’ Thought Akira as his mind and vision slowly faded to black and his outstretched hand went limp as the last few air bubbles escaped his mouth.
Cold. I’m so cold. Why is it so cold, and wet? Am I dead? Though Akira as he slowly regained consciousness.
Opening his eyes he could hardly see anything above him it was dark except for a strong glowing light coming from behind him.
When he tried to turn his body around but found that he was unable to move since he was strapped down to a makeshift stretcher.
He turned his head as far as he could and saw a large gold glowing seahorse swiftly swimming pulling the stretcher that was attached to it.
On the back of the seahorse was an odd saddle with a half human half fish person sitting side saddle.
‘What the? What’s going on? Where is everyone?’
Akira looked around frantically and saw that Varbu and the others were in a similar state they all looked like they were sleeping bubbles escaping a small mask near their mouths.
As his mind began to clear he was able to understand a little of what he was seeing.
The reason he was cold and wet because they were still in the ocean and were traveling even deeper into the depths of the ocean where few land dwellers ever had a chance to enter alive. He was breathing underwater!
Akira was not sure if he should be happy that they were saved or if he should be worried that they had been captured and would be used for some horrifying ritual, become a slave, or worst of all become food for the captors.
Sensing movement behind him the fishman turned around and saw Akira’s eyes looking back at him.
“Ah, you’re awake? You land fold sure are lucky we were passing by while on our patrol,” said the fish man his voice was crystal clear as if it was coming from right next to him. The water did not muffle or distort it in any way.
“…” Akira just stared at the fishman not talking and just inspecting the odd looking person.
“You can talk you know. The mask allows you to breathe and talk while under the sea. It is one of the most special inventions we made for land folk guest. When I first found you I was worried that we didn’t have enough of them for everyone. But here we are and everyone has one,” said the chatterbox fishman that was chatting away as if this was an everyday thing.
“What…no who are you?” asked Akira regaining his voice. His was not as clear or loud as the fishman’s and was muffled slightly from both the mask and the water.
“What you have never heard of us?”
Akira shook his head he had never seen, heard, or read anything about people like the fishman in front of him.
“Geez, what crap do they teach you up there that you can’t even recognize who we are. I will tell you! We are the swiftest, smartest, and coolest rulers of the sea! We are Mermaids! More specifically I am an honorable mermaid warrior!”
“Oh Mermaids, I may have heard something about them long ago. But I thought you guys were just fishmen or something,” said Akira.
The mermaid in front of him let out a gasp of shocked disbelief at such rude taboo words coming out of Akira’s mouth. His face grew red with unhappiness at being mistaken for a fishman.
“Ha! Never would I have thought someone would have the balls to compare me to those degenerate Fishmen. They have more in common with the sea monsters than they have with us mermaids! I could easily list over a thousand things that are different between us which make us mermaids the best in the entire ocean!”
And so for the next few hours as they continued to travel deeper into the ocean Akira was forced to listen to all the reasons why mermaids were better than the uncivilized fishmen.
When the mermaid had finished talking the Akira could see the others waking up and looking around slightly panicking.
But the soon calmed down after hearing the explanation from the mermaid that was escorting them and seeing that Akira was relaxed. They were not in any immediate danger, for now, it was still unknown if the mermaids were friend or foe.
“Varbu can you hear me?” asked Akira.
Varbu who was a good distance away looked at Akira with a confused look on his face but could not properly understand what was said and shook his head.
It seemed that it was harder to talk to others underwater and have them clearly understand what was being said.
Akira gave up on trying and continued to look at the dark scenery around him.
If he wasn’t with everyone and was alone he would have been extremely creeped out about the things he saw.
As they passed deepwater rocky reefs the glow from the seahorses lighting up the surroundings showed numerous odd looking fish. Farther down he saw several large glowing sea worms shoot out of the reef and eat one of the passing fish.
Creepy to creepy.
“Where are we going?” asked Akira.
“To the capital! It is such a great place! I’m sure that you haven’t seen anything as great as the city of Nepttis or another large city Poidon. Just wait you’ll see,” said the mermaid.
Akira though it was rather lucky that they had no ran into any more dangerous sea monsters while they continued to travel deeper into the ocean.
As soon as they passed the large reef the area opened became wide open.
He could several sparkling gems stuck in the bottom of the reefs their glimmering light shining everywhere like stars at night.
Akira turned his head around to see off in the distance a bright glowing light.
“We’re almost to our destination!” said the mermaid.
The glowing light grew bigger and brighter as they continued to swim towards it.
It turned out to be the glowing walls of the capital Nepttis.
The large glowing sandstone walls of the city made it hard for anyone to sneak up on the guards that were patrolling the area. They were always on guard for any sea monster or any unexpected attack from another demon race.
The Mermaid warriors escorting them were able to quickly pass through the gates and brought the seahorses to the stables near the gates guardhouse.
Akira and the others were untied from the stretchers and helped to stand up.
A young female Mermaid excitedly swam up to them and began shy peeking at Akira and the others.
“Hey chatterbox who are all these land folk,” asked the young mermaid.
“Cora, I have a name you know, and they’re just some people that I thought your mother would like to see. Besides that, aren’t you supposed to be studying with your tutor?” asked Chatterbox.
“It’s too boring. I rather explore the city. Luckily I hit the jackpot look at the treasure you found. It has been so long since any land people entered the city! And look they both have a tail and ears like the cute cats that I saw in one of my books!” said Cora pointing at Mileena and Maya.
“It’s not polite to be gawking and pointing at them like that. Is your mother back from her trip yet?”
“She just got back so if you want to see her you better go before she decides to go to bed. Also, don’t tell her where I am if she asks,” said Cora.
“I’m not going to lie to the Queen. If she asks I’ll tell her,” said Chatterbox.
“Fine, I’ll make sure not to be where ever you tell her I am,” said Cora swimming off to go explore somewhere else after taking a few more looks at the land folk.
“Don’t mind the princesses she is still young and rebellious. Ah, youth it’s nice to be young and not have a care about anything,” said chatterbox with a distant look in his eyes as if he was remembering his past childhood.
“Well anyways we best get going to catch the queen before she goes to sleep or we will be waiting a long time,” said chatterbox.
“Why do we need to talk to the Queen?” asked Varbu.
“Don’t worry, all your questions will be answered later let’s go.”