Water was good. This wasn’t his water. His was bigger. A kingdom of water. This water was nothing compared to his water. He missed his water. It was filled with all dark creatures, some strange and dangerous. He would stretch out his beautiful tentacles and smash and strangle. He missed his water but this water was good.
Briney stretched out his purple tentacles. They had grown longer. He looked at them with some satisfaction. It had been a long time since he had been big. He wanted to grow big but big him would not fit in this water.
Nova didn’t like big him. Briney drooped at the thought and then puffed back up. It is because Nova hadn’t seen big him. If she saw big him then she would like how strong and beautiful he was. Then she would give him more crystals.
Briney wiggled in delight at the thought. More crystals, more and more. He gathered up his tentacles and then shot forward, spinning through the water. The rush of the water over his body made him squeal and he propelled himself forward, faster and faster. Until he was on the other side of the lake where the fishermen were.
Sliding down deeper, he watched them gather up their nets. A familiar feeling grew in him as he watched their bobbing boats. So flimsy. He could go up and smash and crush, grab and rip. Show them that he was strong, that this was his water now. All water was his.
Pirate Jace said not to hurt people. Not yet. Not until they hurt him back. He would protect Nova but Nova wasn’t here. Briney swished back and forth, swaying with the tide. He glanced at one of the nets with all their shining fish. It was strange. They put the fish in and then took them back out. Humans were strange.
Briney drifted closer to the boats. Moving silently, deadly. A predator. He was the beast of the water. He moved to one of the nets, circling it. The fish began to squirm in terror.
Yes! Fear me! I am strong. I am deadly.
Suddenly a net began to slide over him. Briney blinked in surprise. As the net began to close around him.
He slid his tentacle through the net and yanked. The net parted for him easily, submitting to his strength. He swam out of its hole, then reached up and slapped the boat. The boat rocked to the side. He hit it again and he could hear the cries of the humans above.
He could hear them scrambling. They would get the pointy things and Briney would crush them. But…Pirate Jace said not to fight. Briney drooped. He sank down and then propelled himself away from the boats.
He drifted in the water, feeling not as happy with the water as before. He let himself drift, letting the water pull him wherever it wished. Then he felt it. A tremor, disturbing the water. A wave of excitement went through Briney. He twisted in the water and felt the vibrations slide over him.
He shot down, diving deeper into the water until he had reached it. A crack at the bottom of the lake. One of the many cracks that covered the lake. Briney slid away from the crack hiding behind one of the rocks. The rock wasn’t big enough to hide him. He was too powerful to be hidden but they were foolish.
The crack trembled and then something began to climb. Its body was like that of the humans but covered by razor-sharp fins. Its mouth filled with pointy teeth meant to render. On its head was a dangling light. Briney made sure not to look at the light. He had seen them use it before. How the man looked on with a dazed expression as they ripped and tore him apart.
Instead, he waited until they all came up. There were four of them. More than he fought before but he was even bigger now, stronger. A thrill shot through him and he couldn’t wait any longer. He shot forward.
The four turned in unison. Two of them tried to run away. They were the smart ones. Briney went after them first. His tentacle wrapped around one of their waists, dragging it back towards him. The other he smashed into the lake floor.
His delight was interrupted by pain. Briney twisted around to see one of the beasts biting down on his beautiful tentacle. Rage went through Briney at such disrespect to his beauty. He curled the tentacle around the monster’s head and squeezed.
The creature scratched at his tentacle but once caught in his grip there was no escape. With a satisfying crunch, the beast stopped moving. Briney flung him down with the one he smashed and returned to the one in his grip only to see its body had gone limp. He held on too tightly.
A hint of disappointment went through Briney as he tossed him aside as well. He looked at the three bodies and frowned. He was missing something.
Suddenly new pain blossomed behind him. Briney twisted around, catching sight of finned feet before more pain. The fourth one! It was hurting him, attacking his body instead of his tentacles. Briney twisted, trying to catch the beast but it kept dodging and attacking, moving just out of his sight.
But Briney was an old monster and though he wasn’t as big as usual he had many ways to fight. This time he felt the water. The creature moved but Briney didn’t attack. He felt the creature clawing at his back. Still, he didn’t move, not even when the beast pulled back, preparing to attack once more.
The beast surged forward, with deadly intent but this time, Briney acted. Two tentacles shot forward. The creature tried to dodge but Briney was ready for it. He didn’t need to see the beast to know. The water spoke to him. It told him where his opponent lay and Briney seized the creatures. A third tentacle wrapped around the beast’s legs.
Briney jerked the beast forward until he was hanging in front of him. The monster bared its teeth, showing its rage. It was good. An opponent that fought back with zeal. Briney respected the creature for that. It was a good fight.
Briney opened his beak. He watched the beast’s eyes widen as it struggled to get away.
There was no escape.
Thirty minutes later, Briney swam down the length of the fissure. He was filled and satisfied. The meal wasn’t the best. It wasn’t as good as the crystals but it was filled with mana. Even now, he noticed that his tentacles had grown longer and the wounds on his body had already closed up.
The fight felt satisfying though he knew he had grown lazy to let such creatures injure him. He needed to get stronger and bigger because he could sense it. In the cracks, something was preparing. Something big.
Excitement shivered through Briney at the thought. He would get big. He would get strong. He would fight and show it that though this wasn’t originally Briney’s water. It was his now.
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