Release that Witch Chapter 1136
It was a split second that contained an eternity.
Joan saw her body lengthen in the pitch-black ocean indefinitely until a white speck of light slid into her view. Then the white fleck burst into a haze of blazing white light that blinded her. The next moment, the memory that her body had been stretched beyond the human limit gradually came back, and she heard a deafening roar of water. The sound shattered the tranquility of the deep sea.
She felt she was spinning in a whirl, but soon denied this thought. A whirl only spinned around its center, but the water torrents here constantly crashed into each other, which was why they produced such earsplitting sounds.
Even Joan, as a mermaid girl, found it hard to keep her balance. Everything was out of control. She was flushed down by the thunderous water torrents like a feather on a stormy sea.
"Where am I?" she thought.
Although she had no idea what this place was, she was positive that this was not the depth of the ocean, as she could not feel huge water pressure weigh upon her scales. She gathered that the water was no more than 100 meters deep, which meant she could soon reach the surface of the water. Nevertheless, no matter how hard she tried to reconnect Camilla, there was no response from the other end.
This urged upon her to swim up and get herself out of danger.
Fortunately, swimming was much easier than changing directions.
She strained to raise her head and rose slowly against the rush of water. When she rose out of the water, her eyes huge in bewilderment.
The Shadow Islands seemed to have vanished in the thin air.
She could only spy rocks around and above her.
The vast sea had transformed into a narrow "stream" that stretched a few hundred meters. The tumultuous seawater ran wildly, her eyes screwing up against the equally wild wind. The wuthering wind and the wind she had heard earlier down the bottom of the sea vied with each other.
Joan turned around, blinded by the light behind. The water currents were now rushing to that light source.
"Am I... going to be flushed down again?"
Before she could stop it, she had been pushed into the haze by the resounding currents.
Then the surrounding became quiet instantly. Everything seemed to be far away from her. For a moment, Joan felt she was flying, her body so light she could not feel it. The next moment, it suddenly dawned on her that she was indeed floating in midair!
There was the blue sea underneath, 1,000 meters apart! She was no longer surrounded by those rocks but actually in the sky. The light she had seen was the sunlight peeping through clouds. The seawater gushing from the cave had now become a large waterfall.
"But... I'm not Maggie or Lightning. I can't fly!" Joan thought.
The next moment, she started to plummet.
"Ya — Ya — Ya — "
After a frightening long drop, Joan plunged into the water.
She would have probably been scared to death had she not watched a similar scene in the magic movie. When she came out of the water again, she heaved a deep sigh of relief.
"Why did I end up floating in the sky? I had been deep down the ocean a moment ago!" Joan wondered.
At this thought, Joan stared up and was frozen on the spot.
"God almighty, what is it?"
She could not believe her eyes.
A huge rock was suspending in the air, so large that she could only see the side facing her. It cast an enormous shadow on the sea as dark clouds overcast the sky. A few white puffs of clouds scudded across the rock, giving her the impression that she was looking at the crest of a towering mountain rather than a gigantic rock.
Nevertheless, this "mountain" seemed to be more magnificent than the Impassable Mountain Range. Joan judged that the rock must be 100 meters thick.
On the humongous rock were many cracks, the shortest stretching a few hundred meters and the longest a few kilometers. Seawater gushed out of those cracks, forming a huge waterfall connecting the sea and the sky. As the water converged, the ocean waves foamed and splattered.
Joan believed even Thunder had never seen such amazing scenery.
Although she did not know where she was, she was sure that this place was very far away from the Fjords and the Graycastle. Otherwise, people would have noticed such a huge rock in the sky.
"Can I... still go back?"
Joan returned to the water, a few bubbles coming out of her mouth.
Just then, she heard another splash, as though something else had fallen into the sea.
"Is there someone else like me?"
After doing a quick calculation of the distance between that fallen object and herself, Joan dived into the water and swam in the direction of that splashing sound.
She swam for around seven minutes until she saw what had fallen into the water. It was a strange boat, as large as the three-masted ship she had seen, its lower part a combination of a fish and a squid. The upper part of the boat was a ribcage, which housed a pulp of inner organs. The entire boat looked like a dead body of a half-eaten animal that made Joan felt a jolt of nausea.
However, the monster was not dead. After it fell into the water, it started to swim in the direction of the ocean waves with its four fins. Joan's eyes followed it, and then she was astonished at what she saw!
A little way farther on, a fleet of similar monsters lined up in the ocean, sliding in and out of her sight as the water rose and fell.
After the monster that had just fallen into the water joined them, the fleet marched slowly toward the east and disappeared from her view. Joan was relieved.
She wondered what she should do next. Since the boat-shaped monster had fallen from the sky, there might be some other grisly enemy.
Although she had never seen such monsters before, Joan did not think a good idea to approach them. Ever since she had become a witch, her instinct had never lied to her.
"Don't force yourself. Your friends are waiting for you."
Camilla's words came floating out of her memories.
Then she thought of the smiling faces of Lightning, Maggie and Lorgar.
She wanted to go back.
She had never had such a strong desire in her entire life. She yearned to return to Neverwinter, the place where she had only lived for a winter but had made many friends.
She was longing to meet everybody again!
"Ya!" Joan shouted self-encouragingly and swam to the west after she figured out where she should go.
No matter how vast the ocean was, it had a boundary.
Also, Lightning had told her once that the earth was a sphere. As long as she swam on, she would see her friends from the Exploration Group again!
She was certain about it!
"We have to go," Thunder said as he looked at Camilla Dary who was stooping over the railing. "Our destination isn't the Shadow Islands. We're wasting our supplies. It has been three days. I don't think I can force the fleet to continue to stay here any longer."
"But..." Camilla said apprehensively, "Joan's not back yet."
"This isn't your fault," Thunder said as he patted Camilla on the shoulder. "Waiting for her here won't make things any better. Do you remember what you said earlier? There are two reasons for the disconnection. One is that the connected individual is dead, and the other is that you guys are two far apart. If you insist it was the second scenario, we have a greater reason not to linger on."
"Are you saying... that we should look for her to the east of the Sealine?"
"To be completely honest, the chance that we find her there is slim, but it's better than waiting here doing nothing," Thunder said good-naturedly. "Remember that Joan is special. A sailor will definitely die if he's drowned in water, but Joan won't. She has lived undersea for more than a decade, so she could survive without us."
"I... I see," Camilla said while biting her lip. "Then I'll come with you, to the 'Sealine'."
"No," Thunder interrupted her. "I can't let you continue with our adventure under this condition. I promised to King Roland. No matter what happens, I'm obligated to bring you back to Neverwinter after the exploration of the Shadow Islands. They need you to fight the demons. Plus, only His Majesty knows what had possibly happened to Joan at the bottom of the sea. Your information is crucial," he paused for a few seconds and then said solemnly, "We all have our own responsibilities, and all of us need to fulfill our duties. That's what we should do."
Camilla closed her eyes, sad and agonized.
Two hours later, the "Snow Wind" whistled. The fleet set their sails and headed toward the far east. One of the ships left the fleet and headed in the direction it was coming.
The two parties parted and soon, neither of them could see each other as the other gradually disppeared in their views.