PART ONE: LAKE NAUNET
For several weeks, the Sage of the Undine Pillars, Queen Denise of Atlantica, had received prophetic dreams that deeply distressed her. The Queen dreamed of a Lake with great potential to begin the process of de-extinction and supplementation of Oceanic life after several species were undergoing major extinction events including the greatly endangered Water Dragon Species that was currently being over-hunted by the Ghorma people in the Third and First Physical Planes of Existences respectively.
Though several world leaders including the Sage herself had banned the practice of Water dragon hunting entirely, the Ghorma people had persisted in hunting down the creatures with bloodied dragon stake being a popular delicacy among the warlike tribe of Undines. Diplomacy was entirely lost to the Undine race that was known for their ferocity and barbarity and hunting of the Water Dragon had not halted in the slightest.
In an effort to save the water species which the Sage was connected to psychically, she had consulted with several scientific experts in the world as well as done extensive research on her own. Further, she had connected psychically with the remaining dragons in her care that had revealed to her of their species’ dying hope…
Ever since she had learned of the dragons’ last hope of survival, she had researched the means non-stop sometimes to the detriment of her health against her Protector Basil’s advice. The Sage planned to travel to the very Lake that held the solution to the Dragon’s existence, the last existing Primordial Lake, Lake Naunet or Lake Nu in short.
For months, the Queen-Sage had poured herself into locating the Lake to no avail. The many volumes of Books she read from only told of its existence and the Dragons that she spoke to only knew of its existence due to the extensive memories they possessed and shared, carried across millennia but no of them knew of where it was truly located. The dreams she had only made her more curious although their end was always the same- with some mysterious force holding her back from accessing the lake.
It was said that the Lake had a sole Melusine that could access its true location at will but the name of the Melusine was not included probably to protect her from being summoned for the Lake’s location to remain a secret. The Queen had run out of her ideas and had turned to her friends back in the Dyson Sphere, namely King Ember and his comrades to help.
King Ember did not provide the answers she needed but his son, Prince Emre thought to ask the Queen to consult with Avery Alison whom he felt strongly about knowing about the Lake. The Queen had then consulted with the young Protector and she had been very forthcoming with answers.
Not only did the Protector validate the existence of the Primordial Lake, she knew of the Melusine to whom its protection and access was solely assigned to. It was to none other than the elusive Lady of the Placid Lake, Lady Amabel Alison. Learning of this enabled the Queen to summon the version of the Lady that existed in the First Plane of Existence in that timeline ( B3) who was none too happy to be summoned in such a way.
The Queen asked Lady Amabel to take her to the Primordial Lake which the Lady adamantly refused claiming, “Anyone I have ever traveled with to my Lake has suffered a similar fate… A cursed disease afflicts them and they succumb to it within minutes. Even if I wanted to help you, which I don’t, there is no way I could. Besides, I doubt any crime I have ever committed would be as bad as killing the Sage of the Undine Pillars. No one deserves the fate in store for that,”
“I am willing to risk my life to preserve the lives of the noble Water dragons. Take me there this instant Amabel,” the Queen commanded subtly inserting compulsion to her command.
Amabel hesitated feeling the effects of the Queen’s compulsion and taking it not too kindly.
“My Queen, why would you risk your life in this way? I cannot permit you to so recklessly sacrifice your very life for a species that has existed for so long a time in our world. If indeed the water dragon is to become extinct, it is by Deasura’s very will and we should therefore not interfere with it,” Basil asserted.
“Don’t you dare even think of interfering with my mission, Basil. My life is naught if it cannot be used to protect and conserve all Oceanic life. Already so many species have become extinct on my watch; to my shame forever. May Deasura curse me if I cannot save the water dragons,”
Basil was startled by her pronouncements.
“Amabel, take me to the Lake this instant,” the Queen commanded reinforcing it with psychic force.
Amabel nodded and did as she was commanded.
“I shall come with you. If your life means so little to you, then I suppose mine is even less worthy,” Basil said.
“So long as you do not get in my way, Basil, you are free to come but know this, if you try to get in my way, I shall send you on your way home,”
“Is that right, my love? Shall you so easily send your own Protector home when your life is at stake after all we have been through?”
Denise sighed but did not respond further to her mate’s questioning. She simply traveled to Lake Nu and when both she and Basil were safely in its waters, Amabel left them on their own stating, “From here on out, you are on your own. Do not hold me accountable for your own foolishness,” before promptly fleeing.
The moment she was gone, Denise and Basil both begun to feel the Lake’s effects. A plague-like sickness overcame them making them feel weaker than they’d ever felt before. They got so weak that they fainted, suspended in the Primordial Lake waters. Denise came to after several hours and found both her hands and feet as well as her Protector’s were bound by sea weed that had grown and had began absorbing them into itself as if eating them.
It took great effort for Denise to free them of the weeds as well as awaken her Protector but she was ultimately successful. They then sought for a way to save the Dragons unsure of their next steps until they saw what appeared to be a shining light orb coming towards them with smaller orbs following the larger orb.
Despite their best efforts, Denise and Basil could not out-swim the orbs torpedoing towards them. Suddenly, the Lake’s waters drained and in their place were several spirits emerging from the smaller orbs of light while the beautiful corporeal form of a female emerged from the larger orb suddenly floating before them. The Spirit appeared vexed and looked disdainfully at the Sage and her Protector.
“What reason do you have for coming here, Queen Denise?”
“I wish to find a means to save the Water Dragons. Are you the Guardians of the Lake?”
“I am the Lake’s originator and the Lake is simply a manifestation of my power. Do you know who I am? I am a powerful Sidhe unlike anything you have ever encountered! I am far more powerful than you could imagine. I am not a simple Guardian as you presume me to be,”
The Queen was stunned to see a Sidhe in the flesh.
“I see. Forgive my ignorance, my lady. I ask no more of thee than an answer to the extinction of the Water Dragons,”
The Sidhe stretched out her hands and a warm, glowing aqua-colored energy ball formed in it. Soon, the ball evolved into a Water Dragon egg.
“This egg may be used to resurrect a singular Dragon which once upon maturity, can be mated with another Water Dragon. Their offspring shall multiply exponentially to a point they shall no longer be endangered,” the Sidhe Naunet proclaimed.
The Sage smiled and reached out to take the egg.
“Did you really think it would be so easy, Queen Denise? For my egg, you must complete a Labor,”
“A- A Labour, my lady?”
“Yes indeed and you may not receive help from your Protector. You must accomplish this task alone,”
“I am prepared to perform the Labour, my lady,”
“Very well,” said Naunet transforming back to the Lake.
Before long, she conjured a Hippocampus monster which immediately begun to attack the Sage. Denise fought for her life while her horrified Protector remained frozen in place watching the battle unfold. Once the Hippocampus was slain, another monster, the Kraken, was summoned and once it was defeated, several other monsters were conjured each one worse than the last.
Finally, with Denise’s energy nearly entirely spent, the final monster was called- the Hydra. With its many vicious heads in place, Denise had a hard time fighting it knowing that cutting off even one of its heads would cause two others to grow in place, more vicious than its last. The true solution to extinguishing the Hydra was to conjure a poker to magically burn and seal the heads cut off which was impossible as she was unable to escape the Primordial Lake.
Denise had no choice but to summon a weapon that could magically burn things even in the Lake with her remaining Chakra. It was in essence, a Spirit Blade designed for the singular purpose of slaying the Hydra and magically sealing the heads cut off which Denise did. However, with merely one head left, Denise’s strength gave out and the monster bit her just as it gave out, gravely injuring Denise.
Basil screamed in terror as he observed his beloved wife and charge fall due to the quickly spreading poison of the Hydra’s venom. He swam to her side but felt a sharp pain coursing through his body too- a sure sign that his charge was dying. He carried her in his arms begging her not to die, begging her to fight the poison despite knowing that it was too late.
Denise struggled to breathe trying her best efforts to die heroically.
“Thank- you- Bas- for everything. I- I am so sorry- I was- so- stubborn. For-give… for…” she spoke before expiring.
The moment her spirit departed from her body, Basil felt a pain he had never experienced take over him. She was gone- truly gone from the world. He was prepared to join her, hastily retrieving his dagger from its scabbard.
“I have given my life to you, my love, Denise and this night, I shall join you in the Paradise Lands. Deasura, have- have Mercy on my soul. I cannot- I cannot bear an existence without her,”
TO BE CONTINUED…