56 The Waterway
Kyrie left Taru's case and his hoodie in the guild storage area. He pulled Taru's blades free of his staff and attached the parts to his back with his support straps. Small spaces meant he'd need all the maneuverability he could get out of changing Taru's configuration.
Candor grabbed his weapon and the four of them headed for the riverbank. When they arrived he leaned down and unlocked one of the circular waterway access covers.
If access wasn't restricted, then the waterways would be an easy method to take down a city. And a city would fall if they weren't kept clear. Just like the border along the walls.
"I'll go first," Kyrie said as he moved closer to the hole. He wanted to get it over with. If he was down there, then he wouldn't have to worry about going down.
Candor rested a hand on Kyrie's shoulder. Kyrie already had problems with such spaces, it'd be best if Candor went first. "Let me go down and turn the lights on. Then you can follow."
"There are lights?" Kyrie had thought he'd have to use his watch's flashlight option. Light would be better for seeing but that also made it harder for Kyrie to pretend he was somewhere else.
Candor nodded. "Yeah, each section has a separate lighting control. It's not the best lighting but its pretty good. You can come down after I turn on the first set of lights." Candor paused and glanced up at Kyrie. "Be quick about it. The legends down there are hungry and they know the lights mean food." Candor had done this kind of mission many times. The best he could hope for was not having anything attack before the lights were on.
Kyrie nodded and unslung his blades. "Got it. Keep clear of the hole if you can."
Candor nodded and turned to Hogswell, "Send Syra down when we've cleared the first wave." It's be better than her coming down in the middle of an attack.
Hogswell nodded. He understood; a rookie didn't have the experience to handle such a situation.
Candor climbed into the hole and down the ladder. The light from the hole was enough for him to find the light panel. He flipped a witch on the side and the screen lit up.
Candor clicked through the light options and set a timer for 30 minutes. If they didn't reach a panel in 30 minutes the lights would go out and a lost team notification was sent to the guards. They'd send help, if they could. If they couldn't the mission would go back up, with a higher mission rank.
Candor held his sleek, dark war hammer in his left hand. It was made out of the mystic ironwood. A series of runes lined each side of the 15-and-a-half-inch handle all the way up to the balance point near the head of the hammer. Candor 's war hammer was tactically enchanted.
A stiletto blade was attached to his waste and ready for him to grab after he turned the lights on, after he told the legends he was here.
Candor flipped the switch and heard a splash.
He held his war hammer between him and the sound.
Candor glanced towards the closer thud. Kyrie stood there; his knees were bent as he waited.
Splish, splash, splash the sounds were growing louder and the clean water rippled as the legends got closer.
Kyrie's hands shook. He was underground again. He was down but he wasn't in a basement, he could handle it. It wasn't a construct made for people it was a tunnel for water. And Kyrie liked water. Especially, the clean variety.
Splash, splish, slap.
A large dark green leg slapped over the edged of the walkway. It was followed by a second, a third and fourth, a fifth.
Slap a head, no three heads appeared. They looked like turtles, but then they grinned. They were hungry, they'd been eating other legends to survive.
And now they had two tasty looking morsels in front of them. It was too bad it was only two. They were hungry and wished for at least one morsel for each of them. But they would share and they needed to be quick, more of the legends that lived in the tunnels were coming.
Kyrie and Candor stayed near the wall.
Most of the town was constructed to allow for fighting distances but underneath wasn't. They had updated the more than a thousand-year-old structure with lights and panels, more controls on the river access.
But they needed the water flow for those living above, widening the paths wasn't possible. And going near the edge was a risky – rookie mistake. Anything found down in tunnels thrived in the water.
One of the mutated turtles closed its mouth of shark's teeth and slipped down a little.
Kyrie tensed and shifted so hi right blade was in front and his left brushed the wall.
It lept, Kyrie gambled.
He stepped forward and sliced his left blade through the head of the turtles open mouth. The seal turtle was dead before it realized its attack hadn't worked.
Candor slipped his thumb against the rune for acid burn on his war hammer. Then he struck. He hit the seal turtle on its head. It screeched and launched itself at his leg.
This turtle also didn't find what it wanted. Candor's blade had slipped into its cheek as he struck its head with his hammer right on the same spot as before.
The turtle stopped and slipped into the clean water. The water turned pink as the blood from two of the three seal turtles seeped into the once clean water.
The last turtle glanced at its buddies in shock. Gone. They were gone. Shit, it dropped below the water and moved to find its bale. The seal turtles were an unusually social species of turtle.
Kyrie glanced at Candor, "Is it –"
"Yes." Candor growled. They'd have more seal turtles to deal with if they didn't stop it. And the only one who had the range to do that wasn't here. It'd be best if they –
"What the hell are you doing?!" Candor yelled as his hand shook with fear and rage for what should've been a highly experienced hero. Who had just done one of the stupidest things he could've.
Kyrie had entered the water after the seal turtle. One of Taru's blades lay with the staff, Kyrie's watch, and his boots on the walkway.
Kyrie didn't answer as he was busy trying to block the turtle's path. He'd never be able to keep up with it if it passed him. And his first strike had missed.
The seal turtle snapped at the stupid human that had followed it.
Kyrie tried to dodge but he couldn't compete with a seal turtle in the water.
It latched on to his arm.
Kyrie's aura flared as he tried to snatch the blade from his left hand.
He caught it, just as the seal turtle started to let go.
Kyrie started to swing when a hissing sound tore through the water.
The seal turtle had started to strike again. This time it was an electric attack coming from the turtle's eel-like tail.
The electricity struck Kyrie and burned at his aura.
But Kyrie's strike had also landed. It cracked the underside of the turtle as he reached for the hole its head had retreated into. He quickly yanked his blade down and back up.
The seal turtle snapped at Kyrie's hand as his blade hit and tore through its underside.
The electricity stopped and Kyrie shoved up on the turtle's body. His blade was free as he pushed towards the surface with burning lungs. His vision darkened as his hand broke the surface.
"Grab it!" Candor's yell was muffled by the water and lack of air in Kyrie's aching lungs.
Kyrie fumbled for an it to grab on to. His hand brushed the cool wood of Candor's war hammer.
As a hand brushed his bare foot.