“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nessa’s voice had an edge to it.
“I’m fine, really!” Serena reassured her.
The elf sighed. “It’s all so strange,” she said. “Why are these things coming after you? Are you sure you don’t know something? No strange dreams or anything like that?”
She laughed, “I’m not an Oracle or seer, Nessa. I’m as baffled as you are. The only person who has a clue is Tiko, and he’s not exactly talking.” Serena kept her tone light. I don’t want to scare her, make her even more worried than she is now. Even though I’m as baffled as she is.
The ship rocked gently beneath them. Christos was on deck, making sure they got back to Saltmarsh safely. The attacks were getting more frequent, and being squeezed by that rug had given her moments of terror. “We’re going to find out soon enough. Once we pick up Christos’s First Mate in town, we’re heading to Theros. That’s where Tiko’s from, where he says my destiny lies. This isn’t going to stop until we go there, figure out who’s hunting me and why.”
Nessa snorted as she pulled the brush through Sirena’s hair. “Tiko needs to tell us more. If he knows what’s hunting you, and why, shouldn’t we know? How can we be ready to protect you, keep you safe, and kill this thing if we don’t know what we’re against?”
“He told us, back before we went into the temple. Remember? We were in the storm with the face and got blown off course?”
“All he told us was that the sapphire he bought off of Christos is some sort of artifact that keeps some bad guy locked up.”
Sirena turned in the chair, facing Nessa. “That wasn’t all, love. He told me I have to destroy it, at the right time, or it’ll be set free. And that the other side wants to get me to unlock the prison instead. I know what a Marin is. They’re evil, nasty things. That there’s been one trapped this long…let’s just say the threat’s to more than the surface world. He’ll be angry enough to destroy anything living under the waves, too.”
Nessa caressed Sirena’s cheek. “I’m scared I’ll lose you.”
Sirena smiled, “Nope. I like life too much! Especially with you in it!”
The clamor of feet running on the deck above them drew their attention. Muffled shouts of commands, followed by a shift in how the boat moved told them they’d arrived.
“Let’s go on deck,” Sirena suggested. “Christos needs me to help navigate into the dock. If the Shauhagin haven’t destroyed it, that is.”