The water reached roughly Lapis’ waist and was pleasantly tepid. Gregory vaulted over to the next moment and reluctantly sank to his hips. The stranger slid over and paused atop the wall, staring into the water. He curiously prodded at the water, withdrawing at something. It took a few more touches before he finally accepted the water, sliding in entirely to feel around on the bottom. Lapis would get clear readings on the motion of the water. The way the small waves moved, bouncing off the walls and rippling back, this pond was a circle, its origin at the center. Of course, something else was moving in here, making it more difficult to read anything. Many somethings, in fact. They didn’t have to wade far before they were entering a field of floating water weeds, coating the entire surface in a sloppy green blanket. Something was writhing just underneath, lurking in the cover of plant life.
Anzo stopped at the edge of the pond, pausing for the time being while everyone else hopped in. He could have been him being cautious, but he was just having a bad feeling and that something bad was about to happen, It wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last.
"You all are brave." He exclaimed, as he kept his eyes on the waters surface. He would also crouch down with his left knee to the ground. "I believe that you are not alone in there." He added, he wasn't at all sure what it was or if there was anything at all. This was just him being overly cautious.
"Someone's in the water? Are you sure?" Lazuli asked, stepping into the water. She didn't see anything. But water was her twin's specialty. Lazuli was better with soil, though that wasn't available here. Instead she stirred the greenery sticking out of the water and the plants fused into a lotus flower. She decided three flowers were enough for whatever it was in there. But...
"Um, Lap, you sure it's just one thing?" There were too many ripples in the water, too many stray bubbles. She had the feeling they were going to be surrounded so she started backpeddling toward the shore. "Guys, we should, like, figure out a way to investigate from outside the pond."
“You can stay here if you like. I don’t think there’s any way to see anything from the edge though.” Gregory pointed at the wall, following the curvature with his finger. “If the wall continues like that, then this pond is circular. Whatever we’re looking for is probably at the center.” He pushed ahead. When Lazuli combined plants, several dark shapes scattered. “Just fish.” Gregory mumbled. He was pretty sure that was accurate. Their light only carried so far, and the wall was out of sight by the time they spotted anything. Emerging from the water weeds, a humanoid silhouette came into view. They were short, 5 feet or under, but broad, short-necked and round-shouldered. “Hello? We’re sorry to intrude, but we believe you have a magical artifact that could really help people if-” A tremendous splash interrupted Gregory’s attempt to negotiate.
Another figure just like the first hand sprung up from behind Lazuli, where it had laid perfectly still, heart barely even beating. Webbed hands grabbed her and a foot hooked behind her leg, trying to shove her down into the water. The other moved an instant later, lunging across the water to close with Lapis in an instant. A palm broader than her face lashed out to slap her, a clap on the ear hard enough to burst her eardrum if it landed. “Get away from-” Gregory only made it a single step before something wrapped around his leg, tipping him head over heels into the water. He enjoyed a brief moment of clarity down there, everything so much more visible.
What had tripped him was a simple black eel, now eying him with a standard fishy lack of interest. The creatures attacking the twins… he had no idea what they were. They were vaguely humanoid, as the silhouette of the one he had seen before suggested, but no part of them was human. Their broad heads were hard, covered in a tough sheath that sharpened their frowning beaks and formed a solid bowl atop their heads. Their backs were similarly tough-looking, expanded outwards with a sweep of their ribs and covered in thick plates that looked similar to a crocodile’s scutes, but bigger and thicker. The rest of their skin was softer-looking, slimy and bumpy like an amphibian, but its looseness couldn’t hide the power in their muscles, the sheer force with which they attacked. Were these… kappa!?
Continuing to keep his distance at the water's edge, still not convinced that it wasn't safe to go. Anzo proceeded to analyze the waters and what troubles might have been hiding within.
Though, it has not been that long until a humanoid figure, but, not human. His worries came to light as his comrades were attacked, one by one. Springing into action, Anzo had reached behind him and wrapping his fingers around the grip of his knife, gripping it tightly and ripping it out of its sheath in one quick motion. Though it wasn't for very long, the golem had just as quickly released his grip as he would kunai threw his knife like a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun. The target for his attack was the very palm that was about to smack the side of Lapis' face, square in her ear. He was fully aware that he most likely won't be able to retrieve his knife for a third time.
"More than one?" Anzo said under his breath, while he was still in the position. "Kappa?..." The golem added, he took his eyes off of the others for a moment and turned his attention to their newest companion. Thoughts raced through his mind, could this creature be working with these water dwellers? or could it all be a coincidence?
Gregory insisted on wading further into the water and Lazuli wasn't going to be shown up, despite her protests. She followed further in, more slowly and carefully than before. Then a humanoid creature popped out of the water. And watched. It let Gregory talk for a bit before proving Lazuli's worries right. She tried retreating again, this time intending to stick with it, when something splashed behind her. She didn't even get a chance to turn around before limbs wrapped around her.
She barely had enough time to take a breath before she was underwater, flailing her limbs fruitlessly. No. Stop. Breath. Okay, not the last one. But focus. She knew she couldn't afford to panic. Panic and flailing meant she'd drown faster. She prepared for a fight already. One of the lotuses she prepared bristled behind the kappa holding her down and its petals grew into long and pointed spikes that poked at the kappa. She hoped that would make it stop holding her at least.
Lapis took a deep breath almost instinctively as she was dragged below the surface, she wasn't quite as agile as actual marine creatures, but she had spent her life diving, so she was still fairly calm as the creature approached her.
one swift move of her hand and she shifted the current in a violent spiral, it wouldn't necessarily harm the sturdy Kappa, but she was making sure she got enough room to get away from them, at least, while she waited for help.The creature were, after all, much stonger than a teenage girl.
Lapis was well-adapted to aquatic battle. Her command over the current robbed the creature of his momentum, and he was forced to stop swimming and dig his feet into the floor, standing steady against the current. He approached again, slower this time as he struggled against her control of the waves. Deep green eyes studied her up close, and he deliberately extended his hands, clapping down on both sides of her head the moment he was in range.
Lazuli had a stroke of luck right away in her fight. Anzo pierced the kappa’s palm with his knife, and the slap was stopped lest he destroy his own hand. It didn’t stop her from being dragged underwater, and the kappa firmly planted his feet, keeping his intact hand around her waist to keep her on the concrete floor. Her retaliation was poorly planned. The stabbing petals of the lotus couldn’t penetrate the kappa’s tough, shell-like back.
Gregory tried to stand again, only to have his feet yanked out from him again by the eel. He wasn’t at any risk, but they were preventing him from helping the others. Somehow, these guys were controlling the animals in their pond. Fine. This environment suited them, so he would change it. Instead of trying to stand again, Gregory made the concrete under himself rise until he was in less than a foot of water. The eel lurked on the edge of this island, unwilling to risk stranding itself. With his new vantage point, Gregory viewed the battlefield and decided to rescue Lazuli first, but before he could make his move, he saw the stranger standing beside her, watching the kappa atop her with unknown intent.
Gregory wasn’t sure what he was doing. Did he even understand battle? Whose side did he think he was on, if he did? Then the stranger reached out a hand, and Gregory saw tiny bolts of electricity crawling down his fingers. “Hey, don’t do-” It was too late. The stranger plunged his hand into the water and released his lightning. The kappa holding Lazuli stiffened and jerked backwards off of her. The one fighting Lapis groaned and crouched lower in the water, every muscle tightening as the shockwave went through him. But the kappas weren't the only victims of the indiscriminate attack. Gregory felt like his bones were lit on fire for just an instant, but he managed to remain standing. His clothes steamed and he would need to check out his hair when he got the chance, but it seemed that his concrete defenses helped a little. Hopefully the girls were alright.