The city of little Geneva was a most beautiful place. It wasn't the intricate marvel that was Prime or the eldritch masterpiece of the wizard city of Starr.
Even with the great tragedy of the earth, he could see that the hope within the human heart remained strong here. Children who had seen their planet destroyed, played within the streets and brought a beautiful living sound to the city, adults whose lives had been overturned were still active and lively and the docks that he was headed for gave the city it's distinct sound and smell.
The docks of this little town weren't the greatest in the realm, but he could see ships both great and small in large numbers. Not far from the docks were small barbecue stands that sold roasted fish, boiled crabs and fried octopuses that was fresh off the fishing vessels who had just returned from sea.
Mulengu and Thor had made sure to stuff their mouths with each passing delicacy that they found from the large amount of vendors near the dock. At first Chris had been of the similar mind with Ursa to reprimand them for their gluttony, but after passing a stand selling a sea food exclusive blend of chimera surprise, he gave into his own temptation and bought the mixed chunky liquid that he gladly downed while Ursa made gagging sounds of disgust.
They finally reached the dock to meet their transport. It was a small sea vessel built for speed and not combat, standing upon it's helm was a middle aged human male with tanned skin and sandy brown hair, besides him was an elf who was old in age with scarlet red hair and a flowing beard with many grey patches.
The both of them were of strong stature, especially the old elf who toward over his human companion in height and muscle mass, even if he was the older of the two.
The ship in question now that he had a better look at it was created completely from a slick metal that was painted red with the sigil of a red sea serpent coiled around a sinking ship.
" This ship is too expensive to be owned by some well to do mariner " while a vast majority of the humans living within little Geneva weren't poor, they weren't exactly rich enough to afford and maintain such a vessel.
"Shouldn't we be using a military vessel for this?" Ursa asked him as she too studied the ship that loomed over them.
"We should, but according to Sycamores report, someone with big pull wanted this. And judging by that crest upon the ship i have a good idea who" Chris answered her with his eyes fixated upon the serpent painted upon it.
Since the most ancient days of Avalon during the first great age, sigils and banners served a great importance. They were symbols of the thousands of noble houses, clans, orders and kingdoms who populated the great continent back then.
Though many of those banners and their owners were now but legends, some remained though diminished in power. He looked at the serpent that he recognized as the symbol of house Seaake, a ancient house of great repute in olden days when they had been powerful vassals to the kingdom of Irwul, that had controlled large amounts of what was now the Iron province.
Though after the battle at the blackened waters and the subsequent dark century, house Seaake like many other houses had fallen from grace and power, becoming but a shadow of what they once were.
"Welcome knights of the Iron Fortress!" The elf shouted in enthusiastic excitement as he leaped off the upper deck and to the docks.
Chris was a bit taken aback by how pleased the elf was. In fact the elf was so happy that it didn't go unnoticed to everyone at the dock from the captains of the largest merchant vessel transporting special spices from the Ammos province to those simply catching fish to sell to the local businesses.
The elf didn't wait for Chris to greet him in the official Avalonian military greeting, but rather he grabbed Chris's hand and furiously shook it with a wide grin from ear to ear.
"Greetings, greetings my Prince. I apologize for not having welcomed you with the respect duly owed to a knight of your repute. Please allow to introduce myself " the elf's meaty hand finally let his go from the vice like grip before the elf bowed " I am, Valtor Seaake, the first mayor of little Geneva ".
Chris now knew where that pull briefly mentioned in Sycamores report came from. While many houses had lost a lot of their power, they tried to remain powerful by getting into important government positions.
" and i am here as an important political chess piece" Chris had danced to this very familiar tune many times before and he knew that as much as they sought to use him, he too could use the old houses, he knew how to play along.
"Like wise mayor Seaake. Though i prefer to be called Aeris Ddraig, i am a knight under your command sir" he said copying the same friendly smile be saw his parents use when dealing politicians.
The face felt wrong upon his face, almost crooked. It was like his smile was too tight and he thought that he looked like an infant about to cry.
"Wonderful, You young men and women are the exemplary of Iron Fortress, I am sure that Sycamore and Astrapios are pleased" the flattery in his voice was rich and warm, but Chris was not easily flattered.
"Your praises are well regarded great mayor" he said with a smile to the Mayor.
"John, get down here and meet our guests!" The Mayor bellowed in his great voice.
His companion took his time descending from the boat, and while he too looked happy to meet them, he wasn't as wildly pleased as the Mayor.
"John Anderson, sheriff of this entire city" the human man now identified as John said as he shook Chris's hand.
"It's a pleasure to meet the head of the little Geneva police force" he wondered what kind of political move was being played.
"The pleasure is all mine, please come aboard" he invited them into the vessel that was just as grand from within as from outside.
"Excuse me sir, in the report i was informed that you had a encounter with the great Naga. I would like to hear the encounter from you" he asked the sheriff who seemed to grimace.
"Of course Aeris Ddraig. First let us take off for the sea. You can join me at the wheel" the sheriff offered and he saw no reason to refuse the invitation.
The ship left the dock and moved deeper into the blue expanse that was the Kraken's ocean, named so after the earliest mariners this side of Avalon were met with fearsome presence of the lords of the deep.
But those weren't the creatures they were hunting and within Chris was glad, for no single knight lesser than an Imparetor, Paladin or Arumu could face the lords of the deep. The creature that they sought was a great Naga, a serpent of the deep waters.
He walked over to the edge of the ship in order to take a good look at the waters beneath him and at the creatures within them.
He could the burning orange scales of a school of fire fish deep within the waters. These were the only visible denizens of the realm of the deep waters and while disappointed that he couldn't see more, he was still mesmerized by the fire fish.
"Quite a sight ain't it" the sheriff said at the wheel and upon that both he and Chris could agree " I usually take a ride down these waters to see what other crazy Avalonian creature is in the water. It's the best thing for relaxing a guy".
"Trust me, i was born upon this continent and it still leaves me breathless" the fresh smell of the sea water was a spine tingling sensation for Chris.
"So, you wanted to ask about this... Great Naga?" The sheriff asked, struggling a bit to remember the creatures name and Chris couldn't fault him.
The sheriff had been taken from his world and brought to this one that was strange and alien to him. There were too many new beasts of the air, land, seas and underbellies for him to know.
"Yes sir, anything will be useful" truthfully out of the creatures of the sea, Nagas either small, great or greater weren't a field he was knowledgeable in. He could have asked Ursa but she was below deck with the others.
"Well, where to start... A week ago we received reports from vessels that had arrived attacked by something. We decided to send out a scouting party about fifty miles into the water. We found nothing but bits and pieces from the attacked ships for about four hours before it attacked " the sheriff took a moment to calm and collect his breath, the man certainly hadn't fully recovered from the attack " It came out of nowhere. One second the water was calm and then the next it was as if we were at the heart of the tsunami. It was big, like a train when it emerged right next to my boat. There was thrashing, screaming and i almost lost one of my detectives to that thing... ".
He remembered this from the report, though the detectives state of being after the attack was not mentioned, so he had to ask.
" You mean detective Dane, how is she if i could be allowed to ask. The report didn't really go into any further details about what happened to her?".
"She's fine... but, the bastard took her leg" the Sheriff tightened his hand into fist and Chris brushed aside any political reasons for him to be here, it was personal and he could see that.
"Then we will just have to take it's head in recompense" he wanted to lighten the mood and it worked as the sheriff smiled.
And just then the ship shook, as if it had been struck by the very Naga that they had spoken about. Chris leaped to the edge of the ship with Lucius-aurora in hand ready to engage the aquatic fiend. But he found nothing, not even the waters were disturbed to indicate that something was right below them.
"Is that it?" the Sheriff asked him as he pulled a revolver from a shelf in the helm.
"No, there is nothing out here" Chris replied still looking in case he missed something.
"It's her..." The Sheriff said the word her in the type of tone one would adopt when mentioning a mild annoyance.
" The Mayors daughter, she's a wizard and this usually happens" the Sheriff said as he relaxed from how tense and stiff he had been when he thought them under attack.
"I will go down to see what happened" Chris told him as he returned his blade to his scabbard and he descended back into the lower levels of the ship.
The moment he reached the inner corridor, he wanted to retreat back to the top as a horrible smell reeked through it. Like a mixture of rotten eggs and teargas, the smell assaulted his senses furiously, leaving him coughing from the noxious fumes as his eyes filled up with water.
He could hear the sounds of people speaking down the corridor and so he stumbled down towards the voices, half blind from the gas rolling across his eyes.
"I am so sorry, i am so sorry" a foreign female voice said over and over apologetically. He turned a corner to a room that could be best be described as a laboratory and he found his other teammates with the mayor and another young fae female with the fiery ember eyes that elves had instead of the golden catlike eyes of the Fae.
The Fae raised her hand and out came a burst of strong air that pushed the noxious fumes out of the ship and Chris winced as he thought about the unfortunate surprise that the Sheriff would receive up above.
"Forgive me father, i think i added too much sweet bug to the potion" the clear hybrid said apologetically as she picked up a tube filled with a disgusting gunky pink froth that made his stomach churn from disgust.
"It's okay dear" the mayor said his head out of the window and taking in deep long breaths of sweet, fresh ocean oxygen.
"Look on the bright side... At least it makes a great stink bomb that we can use against the Naga" Mulengu said through his gasping.
"What happened here?" Chris asked them, deciding to make his presence known and the wizard seemed to shriek away at his presence.
"Your majesty, i... i..." She couldn't finish what she wanted to say as her face became a deeper shade of blue from embarrassment.
"Forgive her your grace, she was simply showing us a new potion that she hoped would knock the Naga unconscious and allow for an easier capture" the mayor said, jumping to his daughters defence.
"Its okay" Chris coughed a bit as he spoke in order to clear his throat, he could still taste the foul smell in his mouth and throat "My name is Christian Ddraig by the way. Aeris second class, it's a pleasure to meet you".
" Brigid Seaake, I am a wizard of the three star's. It is a pleasure to meet you " she might not have been stuttering as she spoke, but she shook like a reed in a storm as they shook hands.
" A wizard of three stars, truly it is a honour to meet a learned mystic of your level " he said impressed.
"Thank you, your grace" she blushed even bluer as she spoke.
One would think that in Avalon, a realm where the most common man, woman or child could use elemental magic, a wizard would be a simple common thing, but magic was something not easily mastered, not even a knight could use their magic to the potent and marvelous way that a wizard could.
"Miss Seaake" Ursa said gaining her attention and Chris could never mistake the glint of hunger in his friends eyes " Is there anyway that i could get close enough to mastering my magic on the degree similar to a wizard? ".
The daughter of house Seaake remained silent and still as if she was thinking about the mater very deeply " I am not sure lady...".
"Ursa, Ursa Falcon. But you can just call me Ursa" Ursa said as Brigid had either forgotten her name or hadn't yet received it.
"... Well i don't think that you can while being a knight. To grow in the mystic arts, you have to spend year's of study in order to build your foundation and then you have to start building up your foundation into something of your own. Magic is like a muscle with a specific workout regiment that you have to build up" she finished and Ursa's face was downcast.
"But i think i have something that can help you" Brigid moved to a giant bag and she opened it before pulling out a small purple and gold book that she handed to Ursa who was too stunned to accept it in her hands.
"Is this, a Grimoire?" Ursa's asked as confused as the others who could sense the potent magical codes written into the very fabric of the book " I can't take this, its important to you as a wizard!".
"Yes, my Grimoire from when i was a one star wizard. I made the mistake of forging a small Grimoire. It ran out halfway through my first year of training, so i had to create a reasonable replacement. I transfered these basic spells and potions into my new one so please. you can take this, i don't need it anymore " Brigid's voice and smile was so genuinely warm that Chris wished to urge Ursa to except the book, but this was a matter between Ursa and Brigid Seaake, he had no place here.
"Are you sure?" Ursa asked nervously as she excepted the book in her hands.
"Of course, you might be a knight, but you have the inquisitive nature of a wizard within. I see it inside you and while you won't a wizard of the star, i see nothing wrong with passing my knowledge to another, that is the heart of wizardry".
" this is amazing " Ursa said, wide eyed as she opened the book. She both read it's visible content's and sensed the magical code, engraving it into her very essence.
After Ursa received her very own Grimoire, she had retreated to a cabin in the ship to study the book and Chris returned to the upper deck with the others except for Brigid who remained underneath to carry out her wizardry arts.
"Its so hot!" Mulengu groaned as he took off his breastplate and exposed his shirt that was half wet from a build up of sweat caused by the merciless rays of the sun that beat down upon them without mercy.
Chris wanted to joined him and Thor in taking off their breastplate's. He felt as if he was cooking within his armour and he was sure that everything with in his armour was coated in sweat. The long blue hair caused by his crown were also sweat and stuck to his face further irritating him.
The Sheriff as well was feeling the heat as he had a fan right next to him and he was still sweating buckets like the rest of them.
The only ones untouched by the heat were the mayor and Pyrrha who only had a bit of sweat and weren't panting like dogs. The nature of elves was that they were more likely to have fire as their elemental affinity, only the greatest heat could leave them in a similar state to everyone else upon the deck.
"Why are you so damn hot!" Mulengu yelled as he weakly shook his fist at the blinding sun.
"You know that you can go below deck" he said to Mulengu, his voice a bit strained at how sweaty and uncomfortable he felt within his armour.
He wanted to take his armour and crown off but he needed to be vigilante. The Sheriff had told him that they were near the location of the most attacks by the Great Naga and if it attacked, he would need to be ready.
"Because Ursa will know and she will send me out here again. My head is boiling and the last thing i need is her chewing my ear off" Mulengu answered with a pained groan.
"It's not that hot" Pyrrha whispered and Chris could almost imagine Morigan saying it, but Pyrrha was not her mother, for one Morigan would just say her mind rather than whisper and Chris would never casually talk back to his teacher.
"Says you, someone with an affinity to fire magic" he sarcastically scoffed at her.
"I mean no offense Pyrrha, but Christian is right. I am sure that one could fry an egg from this heat" Thor added.
"Whatever you say" she answered as she returned to viewing the sea and Chris felt irritation swell up within him like a volcano.
He wanted to say something but then the entire boat jerked to the side rather suddenly and everyone upon the deck tumbled around a bit before regaining their footing.
"Please tell me that's your daughter again?" Mulengu asked the mayor who had lost the jovial look upon his face for a serious one.
"No it isn't" Thor answered for the mayor before he pointed to the waters that were swirling " Our Naga has found us".
Around them the waters swirled occasionally showing them the tail of the Naga that was circling submerging above the waters.
"It hasn't attacked yet, maybe its not the..." Pyrrha was cut off when the ship jerked more violently this time as the Naga seemed to have hit the boat again.
"That's the one alright" the sheriff said as he glared at it with all the hate in the world as he pointed at a section of the tail with a short jagged scar upon it " I know where i shot it".
It appears that the Great Naga heard him because it erupted from the waters. They all took a step back from the edge of the deck as it's long slithering body extended until it toward over the ship, casting a great black shadow upon all.
The Great Naga was a deep green human serpent chimera. From the waist down it was a serpent with glistening emerald scales. It's human half was coloured green with ashen grey hair and reptilian eyes.
It was donned in a breastplate that was covered in golden scales and metallic seashells to create a work of art. In it's right hands was a long spear and in it's left hands was a shield made from a surface of barnacles.
Of all the creatures in Avalon, the Nagas were the most mysterious. No one knew from where they came as all scans of the sea never found a settlement, even the elusive lords of the deep where found, the Nagas only appeared to attack and vanish.
This raised the theory that the Nagas came from another plane and their attacks were raids. This theory explained their intelligence that matched elf, man or fay. The only reason that the Naga remained mysterious was that they were usually killed in battle or committed suicide in order to avoid capture.
The Great Naga looked down upon them and it cursed them in it's tongue that was a mixture of words he couldn't understand and serpentine hissing.
"Friend, i know that you are intelligent. So let me say this once..." As Chris spoke, he never saw the tail flying towards him and he found himself launched off the boat and into the water.
The water swallowed him whole and deep. Chris could see nothing but the murky blue waters and the tail of the Naga in the waters with some kind of glowing blue orb directly beneath it.
" What is that? " he thought as he looked at it, feeling ripples of water from it that he could feel vibrating through his whole body.
It didn't matter now, he borrowed deep into himself and he could feel his bones getting cold as ice began to materialize behind him before it pushed him out of the water until he was standing upon his personal island of ice.
From here he could see that the Great Naga had wrapped it's mighty frame around the ship and it was battling his friends. He couldn't wait any longer and he launched himself forward upon the waters but he didn't sink into the waters, rather every step he took upon the waters created a layer of ice for him to walk upon.
He reached the ship and he leaped upon the deck in time to see Pyrrha knock the spear of the Great Naga aside as Thor got in close to slam Mjølnir into its face.
The Naga's upper body slumped back into the water from the force of the blow Thor had delivered to it's face.
"Chris, are you okay?" Mulengu asked him.
"I am fine, just extremely wet, that's all" he answered and halted as he realized what he had said and his cheeks burned from the amused looks the others sent his way.
"It would appear that this Naga was not as great as it's name suggests" Thor said in a loud voice beaming with pride.
Chris would have told him not to jinx it, but he couldn't as a storm began to form. Dark clouds began to gather from as far as they could see, great winds began to beat against the ship and the sea was in turmoil as if steered by some sea god from the deep.
"Thor, please tell me this is you" Mulengu stated as it began to furiously rain and soon the deck was filled with enough water that their ankles were submerged.
"No, this isn't my power, its he's" Thor answered as he pointed at the waters from which the Great Naga erupted with a great sprout of water that rolled upon the deck, blinding all of them from the water colliding with their eyes.
Chris stumbled back rubbing his eyes of the water and still blurry he could see the Naga with it's spear racing towards him and he stretched his left hand out, stopping it's spear with his gauntlet though the blow still bruised him from within.
Thor roared as burst's of lightning came from his fist and flew to the Naga but it raised it's shield and whatever enchantments were placed upon it repelled the bolts back into him and knocked him down.
Pyrrha and Mulengu attacked as one but with a roar from the great Naga, fists of water emerged from the raging sea and dragged them from the ship and into the unwelcoming waters.
Chris leaped for them and his ice spread across the watery fists, freezing them with his teammate unfortunately within them.
"Come on" Mulengu complained to him.
"I don't see why you are complaining, now you can cool off that heat" he said with a grin before turning the Naga that was getting closer to the sheriff who kept firing upon it but the creature was fast enough to slap his bullets aside with contemptuous ease.
Before it could reach the sheriff, Chris collided into the Naga from the side shoulder first. He knocked the air out of it and they both rolled to the ground, he got up first and he raised Lucius-aurora within the air and brought it down with all of his strength.
The Great Naga raised it's shield and Lucius-aurora collided with it. The collision produced a burst of golden light energy that shook Chris to his core and burnt the shield away to ash. Chris's sword caught the Naga in the shoulder, slicing through flesh and drawing hot blood that mixed with the waters upon the deck.
In pain and rage, the great Naga coiled itself around him and it began to tighten its grip around him. The breath was forced out of him as he felt his bones felt as if they were getting crushed.
The Naga would have attacked but a sphere of air formed around the Nagas head, drawing the air out of it's lungs and Chris slipped through could tail and collapsed upon the ground.
From inside the ship Ursa and Brigid emerged with the wizard chanting something as more and more oxygen was drawn from the Naga by the sphere.
Ursa drew her bow and an arrow found itself within the Nagas breastplate and stumbled it back, the Naga used it's vast magics to call upon similar hands of water to the ones it had bound Mulengu and Pyrrha in.
Brigid began chanting something and the water no more than a few meters away from her halted as if held back by some invisible force, before it all turned to an invisible gust of air.
Chris lungs still weak and his body burning with pain arose from the ground. He raised Lucius-aurora and he roared as he leaped at the Naga.
He didn't know what he struck but he knew that it was the Naga. The creature screamed out in pain as his sword plunged deep into it's body everything but the hilt had vanished into it's body.
The Naga twisted and writhed until the both of them plunged over the edge of the deck and into the salty waters that became crimson and tasted of blood the more Chris drew out his blade and plunged it back in until the Naga stopped it's writhing.
He tried to swim above but in its death throws the Naga had wrapped it's tail around his leg and Chris could do nothing but struggle as the bloody water rushed into his body and his strength left him and the darkness swallowed him.
The first thing that he felt was the hot sun beating upon him. His eyes hurt as he forced them open to the blurred image of the ships deck.
"Hey, Christian, Christian" the voice was a bit faint and static but it became more loud and audible when it shouted " Hey guys, he is awake! ".
The voice belonged to Pyrrha who loomed over him like a angel with a face of relief " What happened to you?, what happened to you gauntlet and how did you get back on the deck?".
His right gauntlet, he could feel the sun beating down directly upon his flesh. He looked at the hand which he opened as he felt something small within his palm, the thing was a golden seashell.
"What is that?" Pyrrha asked him and though his throat was scratchy and pained Chris answered.
"I... i don't know".
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos