Chapter 9: Blake, Jonathan, and Bianca

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"Almost there." Kelko announces, clearly pleased.

We walk the last agitating steps until we finally arrive.

Ping, Ping, Ping

Black drops melt away into one of the multiple pools of water. I realize that this oasis is no ordinary oasis, it's an ink oasis. The is ink so dark that it seems like the night sky is scattered on earth, and the darkness that once faced me now has a calming sound.

Ping, Ping, Ping

I shake my tail to a non-existent rhythm and almost bump into Kelko. He doesn't seem to notice and walks with a concrete expression on his face.

The shading on the tree trunks are magnificent. Some skinny, while others are larger and you can tell it would take a lot of power to cut them down. The ground's darker grey with a few black spots from the ink drops, it's certainly a sight to behold.

"Wow." Is all I can manage to get out of my mouth. We're all filled with wonder at how grandiose this oasis is, even Kelkos eyes widen just a bit. The pinging sound creates a small song. It's random but the sound seems to have some sort of pattern, making a perfect melody. The farther we walk in, the more the trees block the scorching sun above.

"Guys, I'm gonna jump in!" Jolton yells while backtracking his steps.

"Jolton, I'm not entirely sure that that's a good idea." I say, staring the the inky pools.

"It's fine Eim, what could possibly go wrong?" Jolton runs in at full speed. Kelkos eyes widen and he opens his mouth to stop him but it's too late. Joton takes one giant leap and dives in.

I hold my breath. I see the bubbles of air rising to the surface. But then they stop. And Jolton isn't resurfacing.

"Jolton!"

I'm about ready to jump in after him, but I then I hear him.

"Guys, where are you?"

That's Jolton. No doubt in my mind. We run on the mossy ground, avoiding puddles of ink to where we hear the sound. And sure enough Jolton's there. Standing on his own two feet. Drenched in ink.

"There you guys are, where did you head off too?" Jolton asks with a confused face.

"Where were we?! Where did you go?" Viol screams. Jolton looks more confused.

"I didn't go anywhere, what are you talking about?"

"Teleportation pools." Kelko says. "This swamp goes on for miles and miles, we were lucky that you didnt pop up too far away. Each puddle of ink teleports you to another one, but they're all connected so there's no way of knowing where you'll end up."

"So you're saying that we're basically gambling?" I say, putting my finger in the cool ink.

"No we are not gambling!" Viol says while grabbing the hood of my hoodie and pulling me up. "Nobody's gonna take that risk, we could end up where we want to be, or we could end up right at the beginning."

"Viol's right, we don't have time to take risks." Kelko says while brushing some ink off of Joltons shoulder. It only makes the ink smear.

"Come on, let's just keep walking." Viol says stomping over to Kelko. Jolton jumps out the pool, quickly walking after them. That leaves me holding up the end.

The oasis seems to go on for miles, which isn't like the oases in Arastrakane. I start to wonder if we really are in a peaceful oasis.

The shades of grey make no efforts to stand out, and the black pools get scarier by the minute. Kelko's right, if we head into one of those pools we could end up anywhere. We keep on walking only stopping to get water from rare puddles filled with water and not ink.

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