THEY DIDN'T KNOW how monster infested the sea really was. One minute they were sleeping, another they were battling off a sea monster. The days seemed endless for Alkaios, the sunsets and sunrises blending into one.
"How long have we been sailing?" Alkaios moaned, banging his head against the mast. Elina rolled her eyes at his dramatic, the boy would never learn. She glanced at the sun which was just setting over the horizon. She glanced at the scratches dug into the mast, taking her dagger and adding another. She paused, before answering.
"Three days, counting today." She flipped her dagger before sheathing it away.
"Yes," she countered, pushing her hair back. "And would you, for once, help me? We've got to ration our supplies,"
"No way!" Alkaios huffed. "We have to eat when we want to, and however much we want."
"Then we'll die-" Elina deadpanned. "of starvation- the least heroic way to die."
"That's still a no from me," he answered, "I'm going to sleep instead." The sky blending into black, Elina burned out the torch. Light would attract the monsters- if there were any. She could only hope.
Now looking back, Elina knew she should've had a plan-because no sooner than she closed her eyes- she had to open them to screaming.
"Elina! Wake up!" She rubbed the sleep out, coming face to face with Alkaios panicked face. His knife was gripped tightly in his hand, and immediately Elina brought out the dagger. Only then did she realize what had happened.
"You lit the torch!" she accused, shoving him. Indeed, the torch shone bright in the dark landscape.
"It was dark!" Alkaios defended, crossing his arms. "You can't expect me to work in the dark- besides you were supposed to keep watch." Elina's cheeks burned with embarrassment as she realized she had fallen asleep on the job.
"Whatever, where's the monster? I expect that's why you woke me up?" Elina brushed off Alkaios's trembling fingers, staring at him pointedly. "Well? Go on now."
"I-i-it's o-o-ver-r there." He managed, pointing to a shadowy figure on the ledge. Grabbing the torch, Elina shone it over the ledge- a small pot coming to view.
"Good job little one," she remarked sarcastically, "now we can attack a pot!"
"I swear, it was not a pot!"
"Well- it looked like that." Alkaios gulped, and Elina turned around very slowly. Looming over them, in all its glory, was a monster. Or at least, it could be described that way.
Beastly eyes glinted purple in the moonlight, with long sharp claws that Elina knew would tear her to shreds. "You idiot!" she screeched, immediately pulling out her dagger. She glared at the torch, their source of trouble, before mounting it again. She would fix that problem later. Right now she had a monster to deal with. "If you don't die tonight, I will personally kill you myself."
"Looking forward that, darling." Alkaios snorted, facing the deadly monster. It growled, before slapping one of its scaly tentacles on board- sending the pair scrambling. Its head inched towards Alkaios, cornering him."I'm stabbing it!"
"Wait no!" But it was too late- he sent a clean cut right through it. Elina held her breath, watching the monster squeal and hiss. It immediately leaping back into the sea- beheaded. "What did you do!"
"I saved us!" Alkaios said proudly. He even brought out his muscles for effect, while Elina worriedly looked into the sea. "Come on, give me some credit!"
"Credit!" Elina marched over to Alkaios, dagger held in a deadly angle. She breathed heavily before gritting out her next words angrily. "That was a rare breed of a hydra, and do you know what they do?"
Alkaios gulped as her steely gray eyes bore into him. He shrunk back slightly. "No?"
"Every time you cut something off- it grows back, doubled." There wasn't even a warning, instead a huge wail as the monster emerged once again, angry as ever. This time with one more head.
"Holy mother of Zeus!" he crowed, watching the monster elevate to its full height. "Please tell me you have a plan Elina!"
"Plan...Plan...Pl-" she trailed off, lost in thought.
"You don't have a plan!" Alkaios screamed as the monster came flying towards him, snapping the mast in half.
"Not at the moment!" she screamed back, as something came flying towards her. In all its glory was the gift that Aleta had given her. Savior, gift, omen- whatever it was Elina knew what she had to do. Alkaios however, resorted to jumping around - distracting the monster.
"We have to get it drunk!"
"What?" Alkaios stopped in his place. "I'm not wasting-"
"There's no time for anything els- oh." Elina watched as the monster slashed through all their cases of wine, meant as gifts of peace for the other King. The monster seemed to smirk at her, and Elina drew her dagger. If she were to die, at least she would do it stupidly.
"I have a better idea." Alkaios appeared next to her. "Let's jump." He pulled her close before diving into the murky sea.
The only problem was- Elina couldn't swim.
The murky waves crashed against their bodies as Elina struggled to stay above them. Alkaios had been separated from her, and she could only hope he was alive. As she was dunked one last time, she murmured a silent prayer to Poseidon before blacking out completely.
Everything was blurry. Words, voices, pictures- everything blended into one. She sputtered, sitting upright immediately, coughing heavily as she did so. Sand was stuck everywhere, caking her in layers. Elina brushed it off, determined to finish the quest. The book lay a few feet away from her, and tucked inside was the peace treaty. Safe and sound, thankfully. Although she couldn't say the same about Alkaios. The beach stretched on for endless miles- but there wasn't a single sign of her partner.
He couldn't have died, she assured herself. No, he was much too strong for that. Perhaps stupid enough, but he would've survived the choppy waves. But first, she made a mental note to thank Poseidon with a sacrifice after she acquired a proper one. She sent one last shuddering look towards the sea before deciding to explore. Surely there had to be some food she could get, then she was to begin her planning for the next day. The island was beautiful, greenery covering most of it. It was gorgeous, the birds and the animals playing in the water. So innocent, so wonderful. Elina just wanted to sink into the water, and let the coolness numb her mind. She almost found herself doing so- but yanked herself back.
"No, no, no." She groaned, resting her head on a tree. She knew exactly where she was, and probably where Alkaios was too. Elina was in the Island of Temptation, and Alkaios was probably visiting the queen.
Elina was starting to really regret agreeing to this.
a/n: yup, a little holiday updateeee. dedicated to imperfectuniverse because she's literally the best. :)