The Journey to the Ice Kingdom of Ondaria
Down in the depths of the well they swam, the old and rusted pipes taking Jack and his companions deeper and deeper into the gloom. The young Elves swam smoothly and gracefully with accomplished ease; they seemed almost as comfortable in the water as they were on land. But they were a long time in the murkiness, twisting this way and that through the dark, unending labyrinth of pipes and shafts. Willow was out in front and she was just beginning to wonder what in Tassiotus they were doing down here when suddenly there was light, a soft, steady glimmer from ahead, and slowly; the Avecco Ocean came into view.
Jack followed after Willow and Blaze, emerging from the last of the pipes to the open water. He wasn’t as smooth in the water as his companions. He’d only had a dozen or so swimming lessons back home in Cobblekeld, but he was glad now that he had. His mother had warned him of the importance of learning to swim, and he was thinking now that she was right. He cut his way through the water swiftly, and with the banana-shaped breathing device between his teeth he was able to breathe.
When he joined up with Willow and Blaze, he found himself between two vast stretches of multi-coloured coral shelves that looked like forests made of lace. He thought it was beautiful. But when he looked up he froze, his eyes closing in terror as one of the ocean’s enormous serpents with massive jaws ringed with teeth the size of buildings slithered overhead and on into the black. Together, the Earthling and the Elves swam down to the ocean floor as if shot from cannon, the waters closing in all around them in a darkening cloud.
The Professor was right! Willow was thinking at this point. To enter these waters any other way would’ve been simply disastrous! We’d have been fish food!
Steadily, they crept across the seabed, staying low, using brightly coloured rocks and plants to guide them safely through the darkness. All around, all kinds of strange-looking species of glowing fish swam in schools through the craggy shelves and ledges. Up ahead, the two huge coral forests widened and the shadows deepened.
The small group moved swiftly and smoothly through the ocean for quite some time, twisting and turning, weaving and diving through tunnels and caves. They kept a close watch for trouble inside the caves, and an even closer watch on the outside. All about, gargantuan sea-creatures lurked menacingly around with one thing in common; they were hungry.
About an hour later, they appeared out from the last of the tunnels and on into the final stretch of water, and the structure and the foundation of the Ice Kingdom of Ondaria began to take shape ahead. But now there was another threat. Neither of them had noticed that a horde of oily skinned savages, man-shaped and lizardlike with large, brown scaly bodies and wild orange eyes had followed them out of the caves. Jack was the first to sense the danger, and a...