Chapter 11 – Water Temple

The Holy Water Temple of Mesa Island was an interesting place. 

Mesic was a serious and stern god, and her temple reflected that in being completely and utterly vicious to anyone who wasn’t prepared to deal with its challenges. At the same time, it wasn’t anywhere as straightforward as the other two ‘Matron Temples’, which was why Julius and his students were currently still in the main ‘hub’ area of the temple.

The hub consisted of a large, circular room with a large white staircase leading down from the temple’s main entrance and contained doors to nearly every other room in the temple along its wall. Those doors only opened when they found an alternate route in and completed whatever challenge was in there, whether it was a complicated puzzle or a fight against oversized dungeon monsters, so they were more of a way to get back once they were done.

It also contained the actual entrance down to the ‘boss room’ of the temple, which was a door built into the floor directly under the staircase. Thankfully, it still seemed as if the way down wasn’t trapped by anything, which gave them the breather they needed as they traveled down into the dark depths of the temple.

Equally thankfully, it looked like his team learned to pace themselves better. They hadn’t gone all out from the start of the first fight and they’d switched out whenever one of them needed to rest, maintaining a steady pace so no one was ever outright exhausted. Mask also seemed to be integrating into the team pretty well, keeping the temple monsters constantly distracted as they continued to dart in and out of the fights.

Granted, they still needed some help in their knifework. It was clear that the rogue was skilled, but at the same time it was obvious that they learned by experience, not with training. While not bad, it did lead to its own version of pitfalls. Something to keep in mind when training them. 

“I still can’t believe you used a lightning arrow while that undec had me.”

“It worked, didn’t it?” 

“If by worked you mean almost fried me, then yes!” 

“But it didn’t, ‘cause I timed it.” 

Sighing, Julius put a hand on Sergio’s and Adrien’s shoulders to get their attention. 

“Sergio, apologize. And Adrien, you also need to apologize for throwing that Jelloon at Sergio.” 

“That was you!?” 

“What’s the problem? I timed it.” Hm. He had to admit, that was kind of good. Still.

“Kids, no fighting with each other or you’re not fighting the boss.”

“…” Adrien sighed. “Okay. Sorry for throwing monsters at you, Serge.”

“…I’m suspicious of why you said ‘monsters’ instead of ‘a monster’, but I guess I’m sorry too for nearly zapping you. You do have to admit, these are pretty cool though.”

“Oh yeah totally. I’m still kinda surprised electric weapons would be in a water temple, but I guess Mesic’s nice about her rewards.”

Hm. Speaking of. Julius glanced behind him at his other students. “Girls, don’t read while you’re going down the stairs.”

Sophia squeaked out a ‘sorry’ and put her book of elemental shielding magic into her pack while Maria huffed. “Aw, why? Don’t I need to memorize this stuff before we get to the fight?”

“Using magic you’re not used to in a fight is a recipe for disaster,” he replied dryly.

“Well, what if I use the book as a focus?” She let go of it, letting the tome float above her palm with a blue glow. “It should channel water magic just fine this way.”

“U-Um, i-it could, but you might wind up burning out the book if you use it too often,” Sophia corrected.

“What, really? Huh. Okay, guess that plan’s out…I guess plant stuff would work better with a water boss though…hm.”

As his two more magically inclined students got into a discussion over what would be more effective in the upcoming fight, Julius hung back a bit and started walking again once he was in step with the two holding up the rear. “How are your new weapons treating you? Still holding up?”

Mask stiffened slightly, slipping the glowing blue dagger back up their sleeve while Sue beamed, cracking her knuckles through her ice-white gauntlets. “Great! I feel like I could punch through steel with these babies!”

“Um…I don’t think I could stab through steel with my new dagger, sir, but I do like it,” Mask replied, earning an amused snort from Sue. “I don’t know how cutting someone with water would work though.”

Julius shrugged. “It depends. Typically, watersteel is used to grant extra protection to the base steel. It’s more of a defensive weapon, since it tends to produce blunt blades, but some skill with water magic can turn them deadly. In the old days, some were even enchanted to immediately surrounded a victim’s head with a bubble of water when they were cut or stabbed, making it much harder for them to heal themselves, on account of the sudden drowning and all.”

“Huh. Effective,” Mask muttered, dropping the long, curved dagger out of their sleeve and looking curiously at the blade again.

“It probably isn’t that type of knife, but you never know with gifts from the gods.”

“Hm…” Slipping the knife back into their sleeve, Mask seemed to go deep into thought. 

Well, thankfully Mesic didn’t seem to hold anything against his students. She’d actually provided them with a lot throughout the dungeon. Aside from the new weapons, books, and arrows, one chest had provided Sergio with a full restock of alchemical bombs, though those had run out again pretty quickly from the various monster battles, and another had helmets for Sue and Adrien. It seemed the water god was in favor of keeping heads decently protected, which was nice of her.

Julius hadn’t gotten anything at all, but he figured that was fair. It was probably to discourage him from trying to go for the core; a little warning that she was keeping an eye on him in particular.

“Hey, do any of you hear music?” Maria suddenly spoke up, pausing on the steps.

Julius frowned as the rest of his students paused too, glancing at the caster of the group. “Hm. Give me a moment.”

He walked further down the stairs, lightly pushing past Adrien and Sergio, and craned his head. Dimly, he could hear something. The vague tinkling of crystals and soft chimes. Maybe a flute too.

“Huh,” Adrien murmured from right behind him. Seemed he’d followed him down. “Is that normal?”

“No, it’s not. Head’s up kids-” Julius paused. All of them were right behind him. Well, he hadn’t exactly told them to wait… “…Anyways, it sounds like the temple has a guest. Make sure you’re ready.”

At a round of affirmatives, Julius continued taking the lead down the stairs and into the core room of the temple. It was a wide, circular room, much like the hub upstairs, but while the hub had the mosaics along its walls painted to look like crashing waves and blue waters, the core room was designed to look like the depths of the sea. 

Dark blue and black tiles mixed together with the occasional pair of yellow dots, looking like glowing eyes in the depths of the seas. A single, tiled path stretched straight through the large pools of water on either side of it, leading to a wide, circular platform right in the center of the room. On the far side, a similar path led to the opposite wall, where the temple’s sea-blue core was fixed into the stone above the portal gate out of there.

And in the center of the room was an old man, noticeably without a flute, sitting cross-legged in the center of the platform and humming along to the odd melody playing throughout the room. The man looked human, with a pale skin tone and a close-cropped white beard and sideburns. Under the hood of his indigo cloak, the man was clearly bald and had a black eye-patch over his left eye.

His other eye was closed, but it opened as Julius stepped out onto the pathway, revealing a blue iris. The man smiled as he stood up, his right sleeve dangling loosely next to his body. It looked like he only had one arm.

“Well hello there!” the man greeted them with a grin, a slight lilt to his words, “You must be the lightlander champions I was warned of.” 

“And you must be the darklander general squatting in the temple,” Adrien retorted, stepping in front of Julius.

“Oh ho!” He chuckled, scratching his beard with a black-gloved hand. “Such a spirited young man we have here! Judging by your sword, I imagine you must be the ‘chosen hero’ the western nations put such faith in. Ah, but where are mine manners!” The man pressed his hand to his chest and bowed like a noble. “Mine name is Hans Samore! It is a sincere pleasure to meet your acquaintances!”

“…Uh…sure. Same?”

“Yeah, hi. Are the theatrics really necessary?” Julius asked. The constant music was making him tense.

Hans smiled again as he straightened. “Theatrics make life enjoyable, mine good man. Judging by your dour demeanor and luxurious mustache, might I guess that you are the tutor so enamored with mine master, Lord Valondrac?”

“…Right, I guess that’s my cue to start fighting.” Drawing his sword, Julius scanned the room for any creatures Hans may have brought with him. Seeing nothing besides some ripples in the water, he locked eyes with Hans as he prepared to approach. 

“Well, someone seems to know what he wants. But, take it from me, mine good man.” As Julius took a few steps forward, a sudden glow beneath his feet caught his attention. “You’ll never get anywhere if you force things.” 

Quickly moving, Julius pushed Adrien back before an explosion rang out, throwing him off his feet, only managing to catch himself before he tumbled into a nearby pool, stabbing his sword into the ground to stop his movements. It was at this moment that he realized the music stopped–and before he could react, several things wrapped around him and pulled him into the pool. 

He only just managed to close his mouth before he plunged into the water, struggling as the various limbs of some creature pulled him under. Grasping for his dirk, he could feel his fingers graze the hilt of the dagger, but he couldn’t–A sharp arrow flew past his face and a pained rumble sounded out from the waters as the tentacles loosened. He spun back, kicked off it and yanked himself up onto the path, feeling two pairs of hands pulling him up.

“Oh ho, how quick,” Hans said, his voice ringing out through the room as Julius tried to catch his breath. Sophia and Mask were helping him out of the water as Adrien, Sue and Maria all took point, all in ready stances while Sergio nocked another arrow and let it loose into the pool below. Some black mist surged up in the water where his arrow hit. “I must admit, I’m surprised you didn’t try charging me.”

“Yeah right! The old man just got knocked off from a few steps! We can tell when there are traps, old-…uh…”

“Old dude?” Maria offered.

“Adrien, Ria, focus,” Sue said, glaring at Hans, who smiled genially back.

“O-Okay, okay, I’m good,” Julius muttered as he stood up and yanked his sword out of the ground, brushing his now wet hair back so it wasn’t in his eyes. The soft glow of Sophia’s magic washed over him, and he let out a slow breath. “That was an interesting trick.”

“I did warn you, Mr. Tutor. If you try to force things, you’ll always wind up failing,” Hans chided, a low tune starting to emanate through the room. There was an odd, clattering sound to it, breathy and eerie.

“Hm.” Julius glanced down at the pathway, frowning. “Maria, Sophia, can either of you use a, uh, ‘mage sight’ or something? See if there are any more traps on the paths.”

“Yeah, I gotcha Teach,” Maria replied, waving a glowing hand over her eyes and staring down at the path.

“Oh ho! You have mages in your party! How wonderful!” Hans grinned. “A cleric and a caster then? Or merely a healer? I don’t see any Rakuli symbols on your robes, young miss.”

“H-Huh? Um, Rakuli?” Sophia asked.

“Your Light Land gods. Though, I suppose they do spread around quite virulently. One of the three godly tribes.” Hans pressed his hand to his chest. “As I am sure you can tell, I am more an adherent of the Ouzan faith mineself.”

“So you’re a demon worshipper!” Adrien shouted, taking a slight step forward when Maria nodded to him.

“Not exactly, young man. I would say I am more of a demon partner than a demon worshipper, and the Ouza are gods, no mere demons. Even the greatest prince pales in comparison…ah, but I ramble on. Mine sincere apologies. I am still a tutor at heart.” Hm. So he was a talker.

“You were a teacher?” Sue asked.

“Indeed I was! Nobility requires education for their children, you understand-”

“Hey, Teach,” Maria muttered as Sue and Adrien stepped in front of her, keeping Hans’s attention on them, “There are five mines between here and the platform. Should I try blowing them?”

“Can we get around them?” Julius whispered back.

“I don’t think so. They have a wide radius.”

“Got it. Sophia, you’re on shields. Big enough to keep us covered. Adrien, Sue, you’re with me. Charge him right after the shield drops. Mask, Sergio, support. You see anything come out of the water, kill it quick.”

They all nodded in acknowledgement, Sue and Adrien keeping theirs subtle.

“-and forming mine own school had always been a sincere dream of mine, so the moment the opportunity came, I had to take it. Opportunities are like that, children.” He grinned. “You should take them when they come, even if it costs you.”

“Good advice, old dude. Shame we’re gonna use it against you.”

“Oh ho! But isn’t that the dream of any tutor? To have their students use what they learn effectively?” Hans chuckled. “Ah, but I get ahead of mineself. Children, tutor, I want you to know something. I am a summoner.”

Julius blinked, even as his students frowned. 

“And that means?” Adrien asked.

“I am entirely ineffectual if I do not have a creature to support me. I require preparation. I require time.” Shit. Shit.

Hans grinned wide and his cloak abruptly ripped and twisted around itself, looping and curling until it formed a pseudo-right arm bulging with bright, completely blue eyes. Under it, the warlock was wearing black pants and a gray shirt, missing its right sleeve, with two leather belts studded with colorful jewels forming an X over his broad chest. He was a hefty man, bulky with a noticeable gut, but with a clear solidity to him as he smirked, the music abruptly switching to a much more rapid tune. “So I thank you, dear children, for giving me the time I need.

“MARIA NOW!” Julius shouted, the mines already detonating as she reacted faster than his order. He charged right through smoke, saw Adrien and Sue were already ahead of him, and saw two figures leaping out of the water.

One crashed its fist against Sue’s gauntlets, raised in a block, in a shower of water and ice as the other caught an arrow in the throat, spinning out of the air and ripping it free in a spray of blue and purple blood that steamed as it hit the ground. 

Both demons were covered from head to toe in a mix of blue and gray metal, set in the style of some kind of noblewomen with long metal gowns and neutral faces carved in steel, while their ‘hair’ extended upward in tendrils of metal, curling like their heads were on fire and frozen in place at the same time.

“Apognosi, the devils of despair,” Hans stated, using his demon arm to prop up his normal one as he lectured, even as Sue smashed hers clear in the face and Adrien started slashing at the other. 

“I would have preferred to use the demons of water, but Acedians are difficult to wrangle at the best of times-” he continued, a wall of stone forming between him and Julius as he swung for the bastard’s head, “-and I would hate to kill a number of youngsters just because mine partners wanted to finish the dance quickly.”

Julius ducked back as a stone fist erupted from the wall, the stone breaking apart and rapidly reforming into a solid body. “Of course, an older man in his prime is perfectly fair game.”

The gray devil twisted around and swung a massive hammer for Julius’s head and he ducked under it, swinging and carving straight through its chest in a spray of rocks. “Ah Limboans. Hardy, but basic.” And the damn asshole kept on talking as more gray devils formed up all around the platform along with swarms of large blood-red bats. 

“Devils of stone and order, they are intent on obeying their overlord’s commands at all costs, though they cost little to bring into this world. The vilerodons are somewhat trickier, bloody beasts from the Red Mother’s realm-” Julius cut straight through one of them as the rest swept past, trying to target his further students and getting shot down by arrows and fire for their trouble. “-but suitably vicious for dealing the rabble.”

Julius vaulted over another limboan and charged right at Hans, who was slowly backing up with a visible smirk, bisecting gray devils as he passed while Sue punched her half-frozen opponent straight back into the water and Adrien ducked around his bleeding foe to join Julius’s charge right before Sue turned to catch the demon with a hook into the stomach.

“Oh ho, quite determined. I suppose that deserves a reward.” Hans smirked, lightly clapping twice as the orange gems on his belts glowed. “A further lesson then. While limboans are hardy devils of stone, they lack the flexibility-” And an orange fist nearly caught Julius in the face as he ducked back, the new demon’s wide grin baring sharp yellow teeth. “-more common to Gulans, the devils of gluttony and earth, commonly associated with clay for their malleability.

“A simple drop of blood-” Hans tossed a vial up into the air that one of the bats smashed through, spilling blood all over the bulky orange devil, which sprouted red horns, rapidly grew fur, and swung its new claws for Julius’s face only for a fireball to slam into its newly red eye. “-is enough to convert them into a far more effective form, such as the carnin variant.”

The gulan had a second to howl in pain before Julius lopped its head off, only for two more to immediately slam their claws into his sword–one got a knife slammed into its belly as Mask rushed forward and the other got the top half of its head split off by Adrien when it tried to bite at Julius–and there were more coming, red-orange and gray devils rapidly filling the platform as Hans turned and started walking towards the darkening core.

Julius swung as Mask ducked and slashed straight through the gulan and apognosi leaping from the water, splitting both in half as Mask twisted around it and chucked their knife straight through another limboan’s head right as a carnin got an arrow through the face and Sue drop-kicked the remaining, bleeding apognosi right in the face, launching it straight off the platform and into the pool.

“Invidians though, now they have an intriguing mix.” SHIT. Burst of green splashed up from the ground as six emerald devils charged straight for his students.

“NO CONTACT!” Julius shouted right before Sue tried to punch one, the snarling acid demon getting dangerously close to her with its claws.

“Demons of envy and acid, they provide a particularly caustic element to any army-” And thank the gods Sergio was on point and the invidians rapidly went down twitching and spasming with lightning arrows in their heads. “-though they might not be particularly effective at a range.” 

Julius smirked at the sour frown on Hans’s face before he kept up his push, cutting through at least four snarling carnin on his way–by this point, the platform was a full on melee and he was certain Adrien, Sue, Mask and Maria were in the thick of it, based on the crackling of ice, burst of flames, and the occasional knife sprouting from a demon’s head, plus the fact that he could see Adrien dealing with the–holy fuck that apog was still alive–writhing mass of metal and black tentacles trying to reform itself.

“Of course, in regards to a gulan’s adaptability, there are other mixes that will aid in their transformations.” What.

“Shit-Sorry!” Maria shouted as a gulan twisted around from a burst of vines trying to hold it still, pulling the magic into itself and sprouting green leaves as its arms extended like–shit–vines, swinging its newly thorny appendages in a wide arc and getting them cut right off for its trouble.

“It’s fine! Easy mistake!” Julius shouted back, keeping his eyes on the smirking warlock, who wagged a finger.

“Now, the holun race of gulans-Oh, you’re not a fan?” Hans asked, turning as Julius rushed from the platform and onto the second pathway. “Ah, I know.”

Julius swung at the newly forming figure and grit his teeth hard at the sudden jolt buzzing through his body as his blade hit a crackling yellow-steel saber. He stumbled backward as the fully armored golden knight stared down at him, twirling around its blade before pointing it straight down.

“Avaricians are demons of greed and lightning,” Hans explained as the golden knight went on the offense, thrusting their blade towards his face at a rapid pace–he had to duck and twist just to keep from losing an eye, “It’s said their golden hue attracted the Ancient Tempest to bless them with a scrap of her power. It certainly puts that so-called ‘lightning god’ of yours to shame.”

“Starting to think you have some god issues, old dude!” Adrien shouted as he jumped in, batting the avarician’s blade aside in a shower of lightning. “Inadequacy, maybe?”

Hans’s lips actually twitched into a scowl for a moment as his knight pulled a second saber out of nowhere in an attempt to parry Adrien’s rapid swings–they fully jumped back after a second and twisted around as–Julius yanked Adrien back and blocked the heavy overhead swing of a blazing claymore. He nearly buckled from the sheer force as a fully armored crimson knight radiating heat slammed their sword right into his blade.

“Annoying brat, aren’t you? It doesn’t matter. This is an Iratan, young hero, devils of pure wrath and flame, the descendants of the Ancient Rupture-” And the damn demon just kept trying to slam their sword down onto Julius. His sword was good, reinforced steel but even it would warp and break if the stupid bastard kept up with its hits. “-blessed with her flame! You have no chance.”

“Yeah yeah, sure, but I killed your apo back there pretty easy!” Adrien shot back as he rushed past and sliced deep through the iratan’s side.

Julius took the brief reprieve of the demon stumbling back to glance behind him and confirm the first apognosi really had been cut down, a few leaking scraps of metal left behind as his students kept dealing with the rabble. Maria was getting some good work out of those fire spells, cooking gulan and limboans alike before Sue darted in and smashed them to pieces, the rapid temperature shift killing them quick as Mask and Sergio kept up with stabbing and shooting at the ones they missed, all while Sophia continued chanting healing and protective magic.

“You and me,” he muttered to Adrien, grabbing a chunk of stone and chucking it straight at Hans.

The warlock easily batted it out of the air with his demon hand, smirking again as both his knights immediately broke off, backing up to form a guard in front of their summoner. “Oh ho! You truly thought a simple rock-”

“Your sword handles the lightning, right?” Julius asked Adrien while Hans kept on talking.

“Yeah, pretty well.”

“Got an idea. Think you can get one of goldy’s arms off?”

“Hah, you’re damn vicious sometimes. Water would hurt both of them, right?”

“Probably. I’d bet more on goldy than reddy.”

“Nice, that works for me. Cheat rules?”

Julius smirked. “Cheat rules.”

“Great. MASK, OPEN, BLUE TO YELLOW!” Ha! Smart kid, smart!

And both of them rushed forward right at the same time, the knights running to meet their charge and neither of the dumbasses expected the pepper bombs right in the charging iratan’s eyes but both of them quickly learned that small particles right near a heat source did not mix well as the red knight’s face full on exploded. 

Their yellow partner had a second to react before Adrien was swinging right for them, rapidly stabbing into their guard and putting them right on the defensive as Julius crashed straight into the iratan, unsheathing and stabbing his dirk straight into the knight’s side, a howl of pain and rage sounding out from their cracked helmet. Which was promptly rewarded by Julius’s fist crashing right through those cracks, sending them stumbling back as he pulled his dirk free, resheathed, and swung his sword right for the overwhelmed avarician.

The gold knight spun, tried to meet his swing with one of their sabers and got a cut straight across the abdomen from Adrien and a hard cut right into its upper arm as their swing faltered and Julius drove his blade home. The avarician stumbled back, a lightning bursting from their body and they tried to create some distance right before a bright blue watersteel dagger–thrown damn well–punched straight into its throat. 

They dropped a sword, clutching at their bleeding neck as they seized and twitched in coursing electricity before Julius ripped the wet dagger free, turned, and threw it straight at Hans, who leaned to dodge it, visibly scowling by this point. A swift cut left with Julius’s broadsword put an end to the now-headless avarician as they toppled into the water, bursting into electricity as Adrien grabbed their dropped saber and charged for the howling iratan, their rage raising the temperature higher by the second.

To the iratan’s credit, they were putting up a decent effort in trying to overwhelm Adrien, matching his hits with the massive claymore. Shame Iginia was unbreakable. Bigger shame that they didn’t notice Adrien drop the saber and Julius catch it, though they definitely noticed when he shoved the electrified blade straight through their armor and into their stomach. The iratan howled again, flames bursting up all over their armor as they seized and struggled to rip the saber from their guts while Adrien backed up to get some good distance.

Once they did though, they were met with the sight of Julius grinning right at them. He made a ‘come at me’ gesture. They erupted into pure fire and tried to cut him in half. They didn’t expect him to swing hard and smash his sword right into their blade. He grimaced a little at the chips of steel flying through the air but it was more than worth it as the iratan stumbled back, their seizing muscles keeping them off balance.

They shook off the shock, howled in rage again, and completely missed as Julius took a step back, leaned down, and let Adrien run up and jump off his back, though they definitely saw the moment Adrien swung down hard and cut straight through their entire body. There was a brief spray of fiery blood when the demon realized what happened, and then their two halves fell to the sides, finally clearing the path right to Hans.

 “…Well. It appears this old man still has plenty to learn.” As Julius straightened up, both he and Adrien charged the summoner. “And with that lesson, I bid you a fond farewell.” Just as both of their swords were about to cleave into Hans, a cheery tune played as a black light flashed out, causing him and the remaining demons to completely vanish.

Wincing a bit at the jarring impact of his sword hitting the wall, Julius kept his guard up as Adrien and he pressed their backs against one another to scan the room. 

From what it seemed, every last demon they’d been fighting had vanished too. The platform in the center of the room was completely clear of anyone aside from his students.

“…So are we good?” Adrien asked, glancing over at his friends.

“Well I’m not seeing anything,” Maria replied, her hands on her hips as she looked around. Sue and Mask seemed a little more alert, but both of them were clearly starting to relax too.

“Hm. Keep your guard up,” Julius said, glancing down at the water.

“Why? The bad guy ran away. We won, right?”

“The core isn’t clear-” An eruption of water came from right behind him–he turned and caught sight of the apognosi with the neck wound because of course one of them had to stick around–and Adrien blocked a fist wreathed in pure darkness as it slammed straight into his shield.

And then an arrow caught the apog straight in the side of the head. Julius and Adrien stared at it for a moment, the demon twitching slightly before she turned and stared at a grinning Sergio, who gave her a jaunty salute. The apognosi glared for a few more seconds, looking more offended than pained as blood leaked from her wound, before she very slowly flipped off Sergio and fell backwards, bursting into a black cloud when she hit the ground.

And then the core flashed with a blue light, a victory tune signaling the end to their fight.

Finally relaxing, Julius let his arms fall to his sides, letting out a tired breath after the arduous ordeal. Looking over at Adrien, Julius noticed that he seemed to be shaking. Worried that he might be injured, he reached out. 

“Hey, are you o-” 

“YES! THAT WAS FUCKING AWESOME!” Bringing his arms up in a cheer, Adrien started laughing. “Ahaha! We didn’t even plan that! And it fucking worked!” 

“Yes yes, that was great and all, but you all have to admit, it was my quick timing there that saved the day,” boasted Sergio as he sat on the floor, shaking out his hand.

“Hey! I blocked their attack first! And besides, Mask did a better job with their knife!” 

“Can I have that back, by the way?” 

Smiling to himself, Julius walked over to grab the thrown watersteel dagger as the rest of the team began to cheer and congratulate each other over the astounding fight they had. 

It was nice to see them being so jovial. And hey, this time they didn’t have to piss off a god, so it was a win all around.

He pulled the dagger free and headed over to his students. With this, they’d finished all three of the divine matrons’ temples.

Three down, four to go.  

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