We emerged from the caves. I gasped for air, Destran did the same next to me, while Jack and Yara raced ahead, laughing. I shook my head, they were both an impossibility. I was just glad I could swim at all, having not grown up near any water I felt like I was doing very well. I followed Yara and Jack as they raced out of the water to where we had left Zakhon. He was laying on the ground near where we left him. Destran ran forward and felt for his pulse.
“He’s alive, just unconscious. What do you think happened?” He asked. Jack strutted forward.
“Hmm,” He put a hand under his chin. “It looks like he got into a little spat with some Severe. And I knocked him flat." I looked at Zakhon, shocked.
“Why?” I had to ask.
“Because he’s a coward.” Jack spat with some menace. Suddenly there were footsteps behind us. We all turned to look.
“Lyra!” Yara said, smiling. Lyra had appeared out of the water, she looked a little worried.
“What has happened to Zakhon?” She asked.
“He provoked two Sievere to try and get himself killed because you left.” Jack said bluntly. “By the way, it’s good to have you back Ly!”
Lyra shrugged slightly. “Yeah, I passed the Sievere and they were pretty angry, but that doesn’t explain why he is in this state, and Jack, NEVER CALL ME ‘LY’ AGAIN!” Her voice grew in volume and pitch as she voiced her frustration. Of course Jack had no intention of backing off on the teasing.
“Ly, Ly, Ly, Ly, Ly, Ly” He chanted. I rolled my eyes at the teasing, but then had to step back out of the way of the suddenly violent scene as Lyra grabbed her dagger and launched an attack on Jack. Jack simply dodged everything until Lyra simply threw her knife at him. It sliced through the side of his neck and he dropped to the ground, holding his neck. I stepped forward to try to help as Lyra went to tend to Zakhon, Jack simply waved me off with a grin as his neck knitted itself up.
“Gah that smarts, was that all really necessary?” He said, feigning a whine. Lyra ignored him as she tended to her waking beloved.
The scene was now too romantic for me to be comfortable around so I wandered back in the direction of the ship, looking out to the west I saw that we had about two hours of sunlight left, I turned to call back to the group and nearly ran into Destran who had followed me, Yara not too far behind. I assumed Jack was still trying to goad Lyra.
“We should get back to the ship, we’re losing daylight.” I said. Destran nodded, pulling out his map. Unfolding the parchment he smothed it out on a patch of dry sand on the beach. He pointed to one of the holes that Jack had put in the map.
“We’re here now, we need to get…” He dragged his finger across the map to the next hole. “Here, the Marshes.”
“Sounds awful.” I said, a bit put off by the sound of our destination. Yara smiled, and knelt on the sand next to Destran, I knelt across from them, looking at the map upside-down.
“What will our route be?” Yara asked. Destran perused the map again, “This way,” He said, drawing on the map with his finger. “Then through this pass, then I think we can cut through here and be there in three or four days.” I cringed for Zakhon, he had been sea sick for the entire five day journey we had spent coming here.
“Let’s swim back to the ship then.” I said, standing and brushing sand off my knees. I turned to where the other three were kneeling, laying or jumping about spastically, respectively. “We’re going back to the ship!” I called to them, Jack stopped his jumping and cannon-balled into the water, swimming at breakneck speed towards the ship. Yara dove in gracefully, disappearing into the clear water, but I saw her wake as she sped past Jack to get to the ship first. Destran waded in then kicked off, steadily making his way towards the ship. I turned to see Lyra helping Zakhon into the waves before I jumped in myself.
During dinner that night Lyra told us about her time under the waves, she kept looking at Zakhon and it was obvious to all of us that she had missed him. Zakhon looked back at her with the same look in his eyes, the scene was so tender that I stood and walked over to the rail, sorry to intrude. It seemed that Yara and Destran didn’t mind as much, I could tell how they felt about each other, though it wasn’t as strong as Lyra and Zakhon, yet. The moon made the cresting waves look silver on the beach, the rest of the water stretched a dark dark blue, like an angry seivere’s eyes, I had seen Lyra mad enough times to make the connection. But despite the dark color the seas were calm and it seemed that everything was well. Nothing could go wrong, right?