Ondine in Trouble
“Aaaahhhh!” Ondine shouted as she destroyed the Dungeon Crawlers.
“Nicely done, Ondine!” Tetra said as she clapped her hands.
“Well, naturally,” Ondine said proudly.
“Yes,” Tetra said and she nodded her head. Then she smiled and said “But, it’s not as good as this!”
Once she finished speaking, she aimed her right hand at the oncoming Dungeon Crawlers and shouted “Stab Swords!”
A magic circle appeared at the end of her hand and swords began flying. They stabbed into the bodies of the black creatures. The black creatures stopped in their tracks and tried pulling the swords out of their bodies.
Then she and smiled and said “Explosion,” and she clicked her fingers.
The stabbed swords began to glow at the same time. The glowing light from the swords became intense when, suddenly an explosion erupted. Each sword exploded and destroyed all the black creatures. All that was left was the dust from the explosion and the wind created by its force.
“How’s that?” Tetra asked as she turned to face Ondine.
Ondine was staring at the spot where the creatures were destroyed in her mouth hanging slightly. Then, coming to herself, she closed her mouth and grimaced at Tetra.
“That’s… impressive,” she said crossly.
“Impressive? Well, compared to that, Ondine is quite slow so I guess that’s okay,” Tetra said cheerfully.
“What did you say?!”
“Don’t you agree, master?” Tetra said as she turned to ask Lakshman.
Lakshman, for his part, was unable to say anything. He was quite astonished by how powerful Tetra proved to be.
It has been several hours since they left after taking a break. They insisted that Lakshman take a break because he was fighting more than them.
So, he watched from behind as the two girls took out the monsters easily. However, it soon became a contest between them in defeating the dungeon crawlers. It eventually lasted over half-an-hour until now.
“Master, answer already!” Ondine said as she and Tetra stared at him.
“I, ah… um… I don’t know what to say…” he said weakly.
Tetra made a pouting face and said “Hmph! Master is not honest with himself!”
“Master, you need to stop daydreaming,” Ondine said with a disappointed look on her face.
With that said, they turned away and together said “Master, watch me closely!” Then they faced each other in surprise before making an “Hmph!” noise and turning away.
Watching them, Lakshman could only laugh in exasperation. Then he followed them forward as they continued destroying more black creatures.
Time passed and soon they have been through several areas so many times, they lost count. Lakshman began to wonder how many days it must have passed. He could only tell that time has passed since each time his stomach growled.
During one break time, he said “Maybe I should eat… I’m starving.”
“But, master… we don’t have food,” Ondine said and drank the last of the water from her container.
“I know, but… maybe I should eat those Dungeon Crawlers?”
“No!” Tetra suddenly said sharply and they turned to look at her. “Master, that’s one thing you should never do!”
“Why?” he asked curiously.
Looking serious, Tetra said “If someone eats the meat of the Dungeon Crawlers, they get instantly poisoned. That powerful poison starts destroying your body from the inside. When it’s all over, there won’t be anything left to identify you except for the bag of bones.”
Lakshman stared at her, frightened by her words. Then he asked “S-Seriously?”
She nodded and said “I have witnessed these happen, many, many times, over the years when my old master wielded me. It’s a horrible death, one with pain and suffering.”
“Ah…” he said just as his stomach growled. Looking disheartened, he looked down at his stomach and said “Guess we won’t be eating for a while…”
“Cheer up, master. When we’re out, I bet Lakshmi will make us a feast!” Ondine said brightly.
“Yeah… You’re right!” Lakshman said happily as he nodded at her. He suddenly jumped to his feet and shouted “Alright! Let’s get going already! My heart is racing and my stomach is burning and I am feeling excited!”
Ondine and Tetra blinked at him in surprise and asked “What did you just say, master?”
“I don’t know, but it just came to me and I just said it!” he said cheerfully and he gave them a thumps-up.
Ondine and Tetra stared at him and then at each other. They shrugged and said “I don’t know if we should feel reassured or not.”
Lakshman suddenly said “Ah,” and he pointed at them. When they pointed at themselves, he said “You two just agreed on something!”
They blinked at him and looked at him with a confused expression. As realisation dawned on them, they looked at each other in surprise and smiled.
“You know what…? That’s a first,” Tetra said in a surprised voice.
“Heh! At-least we agreed on something about master,” Ondine said with a sigh and Tetra shrugged her shoulders.
Lakshman laughed happily as excitement coursed through his mind and body. He quickly got the two girls to get moving. They were still surprised at each other agreeing on something. Tetra, then, changed into her sword form at his request and he wielded her once more.
He was so eager he actually was charging the black creatures without pause. At times, Ondine made it to him just as he finished defeating them. At other times, he would be at the end of the trap room by the time they catch up to him.
At one point, breathing heavily, Ondine said “Master… You need to calm down.”
“No! We’re almost there, I can almost smell it!” he said excitedly. Then he turned and pointed his finger at a wall and said “Still, how many times have we been to this same place?!”
“Huh?” Ondine said and she looked at what he was pointing at.
At the wall he pointed, she saw the mark of an ‘x’ etched on it. It was etched on the wall which was used to keep a tally of how many times they have been there. Lakshman walked over to the wall and, picking up the rock beneath it, drew a horizontal line through the centre.
Dropping the rock to the ground, he sighed and asked “Is there no end to this looping traps? It almost feels there is no exit!”
“You’re wrong, master. I can feel that we’re getting closer to the final room,” Tetra told him in his mind.
“Really? That’s great!” he said cheerfully.
“What is it, master?” Ondine asked with a confused look on her face.
He turned to her and said “Tetra just said that we’re closer to the final room! We’re going to finally escape from this looping headache!”
“That’s great,” Ondine said with a smile.
She opened her bag she was carrying over her shoulders and pulled out her water container. Then she made an expression of sadness when she saw the bottle was empty.
“Oh… it’s empty…” she muttered in disappointment.
At that moment, she suddenly sneezed three times and he asked “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine master,” she said and smiled at him.
Then she slung the bag over her shoulders. Then she grabbed his outstretched hand and he stepped into the light before they vanished in a glow of yellow light. She had no idea of the bad promotion from her sneeze.
It was several hours later that it happened. Several hours passed with them moving around and destroying the black creatures.
“Keep it up, Ondine!” Lakshman said during one time after a fierce battle.
“Y-Yes,” she said as she tried to breathe normally again.
Lakshman was checking around to see if there were any more of the black creatures. When he found none, he turned around and gave her a thumps-up. After winking at her, he turned around and began walking away.
Ondine wiped the sweat off her forehead and took a few steps when she suddenly dropped her swords. When she went to pick them up, she suddenly felt unsteady and she leaned against the wall for support.
“Ondine, what’s the matter?” Lakshman called.
He was always several meters away from her. She looked at him and suddenly found that she could not focus on him for some reason.
“I’m alright, master,” she replied confidently, but her voice shook a little.
Lakshman, however, suddenly realised something was wrong. Walking back to her, he asked “Are you okay? Why are you leaning on the wall like that?”
She did not reply. She was breathing a little quickly with her eyes closed. For a few seconds, she stood there in silence. Then she opened her eyes looked down at her swords. She took a deep breath before quickly bending down and picking up the swords before straightening up once more.
She sighed heavily and she sheathed her swords. Then she attempted to stand upright, but her legs began to tremble.
Only a few meters away, he asked “Ondine, what’s the matter?”
He could sense something was wrong. While he was walking over to her, he watched her strange movement as she got her swords and in trying to stand upright.
“I’m fine, master. See!” she said bravely and she pushed herself into standing without support.
For a moment, she remained standing with a smile on her face. Then her legs began to shake and she started to sway on the spot.
“Huh…?” she said weakly.
Then she took uncertain steps backwards. For a moment, she looked like she regained her balance. That was when her body fell forward and she collapsed on the ground. She lay there, still and silent, with her face pressed onto the ground.
“Ondine!” he shouted and he rushed towards her.
When he reached her, he sat down and shifted her body so she was facing upward. Then he laid her head on his lap and began to shake her desperately.
“Ondine! Ondine!” he shouted in desperation.
It was no good. Ondine did not respond or move to his shouts. She had her eyes closed and her mouth slightly open.