Chapter 38:

The Odd Aqueenian 4

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

"What is she after?" Gwyn shouted to the other two. They had temporarily lost track of Dia and were now frantically running through the hallway to chase after her. Fortunately, the path was clear to both Fiona and Odell.

"She must be planning to do something at the conference! We need to hurry." Odell yelled forward to the other two. Despite not knowing exactly which way to go, Gwyn was the fastest and led the group with Fiona on his heels and Odell only keeping up with the assistance of his Needaimus ability.

"Turn left here!" Fiona yelled to Gwyn, and he turned the corner. They exited that hallway into the grand entrance that made up the front of the castle. It was long and wide, with two rows of swirling columns running down to make it seem like three hallways.

The columns were equally spaced and had the light fixtures hanging out near the ceiling on a thin pole with a large decorative light hanging on the end of each.

Dia sat like a witch on a broomstick on one of these fixtures while examining a hand-drawn paper map. She rotated the map 180 degrees in front of her, then spun it back the way she had it.

"I'm telling you; we should have made a right back there," she said out loud from her perch as she tried to find the way. "No, I'm not lost!"

The trio could not hear her Needaimus, but they all knew to who Dia was currently speaking. Fiona started to run into the room but was caught with the back of her shirt by Odell. He held up a finger to his lips and shook his head.

Gwyn nodded to Odell and began to tiptoe over to a column. He slid behind it and peered out from behind, but Dia was still preoccupied with her map.

Odell suddenly began to float just above the floor. He pointed from himself to Dia while looking at Fiona. Then he made a couple of hand signs.

"I don't understand; just spit it out," Fiona said in a quiet but pressing voice.

"I should have the advantage in this room; just support me," Odell hissed back as he pushed off the floor with all of his might. He went back to the wall, then he spun in the air like a gymnast and propelled himself off the wall with a mighty push.

His target was a column that Dia was not on, which he pushed off similarly to the wall. Then he bounced off the ceiling, and then he bounced off another wall.

He began to ricochet around the room before Dia took notice of him. At that point, it was too late. He flew next to her with one arm held out, she was unable to react as it smashed into her, and she was knocked right off her perch. Odell continued to fly forward and bounced off the next wall.

Meanwhile, Dia flapped her wings but was not able to fully break the fall. She hit the ground while managing to tumble so that the impact would not be as harsh. However, Fiona was ready to go as she zapped next to Dia and swept under her legs. Dia, who had not fully regained her balance, stumbled even further in the direction where Gwyn was.

"Get her, Gwyn!" Fiona shouted.

Gwyn stepped out from hiding.

"What am I supposed to do!" he shouted back as the beauideal was starting to regain her balance as she headed his way.

"Just give her a good knockout blow!" Odell shouted as he went from his ricochet to the ground behind Dia. He kicked her in the back, so she headed to Gwyn and bounced away without missing a beat.

Gwyn balled a fist but stood still like a statue.

He had not ever been in a fight, nor had he thrown a punch at someone. He wasn't sure how to do it properly or if he grasped the situation enough to join in this fight. Gwyn contemplated how he might be able to restrain her instead.

This hesitation was noticed by Dia, even as she was knocked off balance, and she smirked. She jumped forward to Gwyn to get out of her stumbling and spread her wings. Odell bounced in for another blow, but she simply spun in the air and let him fly right past her.

She took to the air right over Gwyn's head and flew around a column to avoid another blow from Odell.

Fiona tried to teleport in Dia's way, but the winged Aqueenian was already expecting it and punched Fiona out of the air with a hit right in her core. The princess hit the ground hard as Dia began to fly to the door.

Before she could make it through, Odell landed in front of the door. The ground cracked underneath him as he slowly moved his arms out to block her. Dia flapped her wings to stop midair then retreated up to the ceiling. Odell bent down like he was about to jump again, but before he could, Dia pointed a single finger at him.

A beam of energy shot from the tip of her finger. As soon as he saw the flash, Odell gritted his teeth but could not do anything more as he was blasted.

"Magic too?" Fiona muttered as she sat up while holding her stomach. Odell fell to his knees as the spell drained him. He paused for a moment as he tried to fight it but ultimately fell facedown on the ground.

Gwyn steeled his resolve and balled his fists as he watched Odell collapse.

"Odell!" he yelled out.

Calm down, partner; that spell didn't kill him.

Gwyn didn't listen. He charged ahead at Dia, who was descending in the room. She landed just behind Odell and began to walk out of the main castle hallway. Gwyn ran past Odell with his good fist raised. He threw it at Dia, who had her back turned. It was clear that he had never punched another person before by his form. It was sloppy with a weak arm and weak wrist. He was likely only to hurt his hand if it landed.

Dia spun around and caught Gwyn by the arm. The next thing he knew, he was lying on his back and staring at the ceiling. Dia smiled and winked as she pointed a single finger at him. The tip glowed like it was hot with energy.

"This might sting a little," Dia said in a sweet voice.

Before she could fire the shot, Fiona appeared next to her and pushed Dia's arm in the air. The magical energy shot to the ceiling, but this ended up with Fiona in the same position as Gwyn. Dia sighed and walked away from the three on the floor. She smacked her hands together as if to shake off the dust.