Chapter Three - Wyr'anthos

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With Alice in the middle, the children held hands and waded out into the pond.

As the water moved up their bodies, Alice looked nervously from her brother to her sister. Dotty smiled and squeezed her hand tighter. 

The girls' skirts billowed around them as they sank deeper into the pool. The water closed over their heads and for a moment, Alice struggled to pull herself free and get back to the surface. Henry faced her, grasping her shoulders he looked into her eyes. He shook his head letting her know everything was going to be alright. He indicated to her to breathe normally. She calmed herself, letting the air flow from her lungs then cautiously breathed in. A smile lit up her face when she realized she was not going to drown. 

The dragon had disappeared for the moment and the children wondered if they should continue on without her.

The water around them was crystal clear and they could see that the ground beneath their feet gradually sloped away towards the centre of the pool. Shoals of small fish darted among the clumps of pond weed that drifted and swayed in a gentle current which appeared to be flowing from somewhere ahead of them. 

They stepped onto a series of flat rocky slabs that circled away into the distance on both sides.

This is impossible, thought Dotty. The pond is not this big.

Without warning, they found themselves stood at the edge of a huge circular chasm. Its rocky walls dropped away into the darkness beneath their feet. From deep within it the children could feel the flow of the water pushing against them. A stream of bubbles rose up in front of them and the dragon suddenly reappeared from the depths.

For the moment the way ahead is clear. Mirrorglow told them. The now familiar buzz once again returned to their heads. We should go now.  

The dragon swam closer. You will need to hold on tightly to my fins so that I can take you through the portal into my world.

Lowering her head, she allowed the children to grasp the fins that grew in a great frill down her neck. She turned and dived back into the dark abyss.

While we are close we should all be joined by the magic, the dragon told them. Your thoughts are mine and mine are yours. Do you understand?

A chorus of agreement flooded Mirrorglow's mind.

She smiled a dragon smile.

Down and down the dragon swam, the rocky walls of the chasm closing in around them. Fear gripped the children as the light faded away and the temperature of the water started to drop. 

It is not much further. Mirrorglow told them sensing their distress. 

Without warning, there was a flash of light and each felt a subtle change in the water. They did not understand what it was, just the something had happened. Ahead a faint light appeared. The dragon swam towards it. Then they were clear of the narrow passageway and into the sparkling crystal waters of a vast ocean world that stretched away in all directions.

We have just passed through the portal into my realm. This is Wyr'anthos, The Water World, home to the last of the Water Dragons. 

Mirrorglow paused for a moment before settling down atop a great spear of black rock that jutted from the seabed. She lowered her head allowing the children to drift slowly down and stand beside her.  

They gazed in awe at their surroundings. Great columns of light lanced down from somewhere high above warming and lighting the waters all around. The sandy plain of the seabed spread away into the distance its surface interspersed with great forests of seaweed that swayed in time to the movement of some unseen current. Enormous pillars of dark rock, like the one on which they stood, rose sentinel like from the seabed and arched away overhead. 

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