Ryo involuntarily shivered as another splash of water hit him. Each splash soaked him a little more which made the icy wind feel as if it were cutting deeper. As an Illidari he was adept at gliding through the air with his wings so dealing with wind wasn’t a problem. He was however not at all adept at rocketing across the surface of the water on a goblin designed contraption and being constantly soaked by every passing wave.

“How’s the skimmer handling?” Zen’s voice came through the device in Ryo’s ear.

“Hasn’t fallen apart yet.” Ryo reported flatly having to shout a little to be heard over the roar of the rocket. The XA-1000 Surface Skimmer was designed for two things. One to be fast, two to be disposable and thus cheap and unfortunately it succeeded on both fronts. A piece of the wooden board snapped off suddenly causing a fresh spray of water to hit Ryo’s leg, which shifted his balance nearly causing him to lose control of the vehicle. After a few moments of struggling to stabilize he sighed, “Hasn’t fallen completely apart yet…”

“Looks like you’re almost to the Whale’s belly. Let’s go over the mission one more time. Sending an image of the target to your mask HUD.” Ryo’s jet black domino mask was a piece of Fateshifter technology similar to an engineer’s goggles. It came equipped with a heads up information display, visual / audio sensors, and served as an artificial means of using Spectral Sight. The image Zen sent was of an older man wearing the vestments of a high ranking Tidesage. He explained, “Okay your target is Colton Darkwater, a suspected traitor. The Proudmoore Admiralty thinks he’s been selling information to the Horde, but lacks solid proof. We know he’ll be traveling to the Whale’s belly tavern to meet someone tonight. Given its location in the bay a few clicks west of Boralus it would be the perfect place to meet with a Horde agent.”

“Right.” Ryo replied simply.

“We need you to stake out the location. If Colton shows up watch him, see who he talks to. Your mask is already broadcasting data back to base so all you’ll have to do is observe.”

“So… you don’t want me to kill him or the Horde agent? This plan seems oddly non-violent.” Ryo frowned.

“It would be preferable to avoid a confrontation for a number reasons. One he might not be traitor, two if he is and we catch him we might be able to use him to feed bad intel to the Horde, three… well he’s a TIDESAGE and this meeting will be taking place in an UNDERWATER tavern, he would have a considerable home field advantage plus, you’d be in a public place… bad guys don’t care about collateral damage.”

Zen was correct which was annoying. Ryo was a Demon Hunter, he was accustomed to beating information out of someone, not spying on them… but the mission was what it was he would adapt to his circumstances to see it done.

The dot marking his location on the minimap meet the dot marking his target. “I have reached my destination and thankfully the XA hasn’t exploded.” The board sundered suddenly and the engine coughed loudly.

“Yeah, you shouldn’t have said anything, now you’ve gone and jinxed it.” Zen replied with a concerned yet knowing tone.

Ryo quickly leaped off the board and Fel Rushed away giving him much needed distance from the XA before the engine experienced a catastrophic failure! Or in more common terms exploded into a giant fireball.

“Ryo?!” Zen called out over the radio.

With surprising agility for someone eight and half feet tall Ryo twisted around and spread his wings. He caught the initial pressure wave of the detonation and it carried him away from the fireball. “I’m fine it was just an explosion. I’m heading for the objective.” His reaction wasn’t a surprise really, Fateshifters were well versed in the language of a detonation.

“Should be a fairly short swim, once you get to the tavern you should be able to breath… underwater … somehow, that’s what the early reports say. Do you still have the aqua mask just in case?”

Ryo retrieved the underwater breathing device and slid it on over his mouth. “Device intact and functional. Going in.” He pulled in his wings and dove into the water below. The explosion of the XA had an unforeseen boon, it scared away the sea life so the path to the underwater tavern was clear. “So how did someone come up with the idea for an underwater tavern? The very notion seems ridiculous.”

“No clue, but it caught on I’ve heard of at least two other similar taverns. Apparently underwater clubbing is the latest trend .”

“‘Clubbing’? I suppose I can use the broadside of my glaves.”

Zen sighed,“Not that kind of ‘clubbing’ Ryo.”

From a distance Ryo could hear the booming tavern music like a siren’s call leading him to his destination. He spotted a sign made of luminescent coral reading ‘Whale’s belly’ which marked the entrance to the establishment. Said entrance being an open path between two giant sized sections of skeletal back bone. True to its name the Whale’s belly was built in the remains of some long dead massive sea creature.

The moment he crossed between the bones Ryo noticed a change in the water around him. It felt different warmer and lighter, or perhaps less dense, yet it was still able to support his weight so he could swim. He touched down on the ocean floor and began to walk. The water impeded his movement but not as much as much as any normal water would have. He began to take longer more gliding steps and found the movement more natural, it was rather like walking in a low gravity.

The tavern was booming with patrons from all walks of life. Alliance, Horde, Kul Turian and Mainlander. All were talking, dancing, drinking, and in general having a good time. None of them were wearing any sort of breathing apparatus so Ryo decided to chance taking his off. As he removed it a bubble of air formed over his mouth and nose. It must have been whatever magic that made the water feel less dense, he found himself able to speak and breath normally.

A more detailed glance around the tavern revealed there was little in terms of furniture. If it weren’t for the patrons, and what little decorations were present the Whale’s belly would have looked like any other section of ocean floor with coral, rocks, fish skeletons, etc. Ryo supposed that was the sort of aesthetics the owners were going for.

The ground beneath him shook suddenly, his gaze was drawn to the source. A massive blue green skinned twenty foot tall humanoid stomping across his path. The huge creature paused for a moment to glance at the Illidari. It was in that moment Ryo had a new appreciation for how his unusually tall form likely affected others. Ryo nodded to the giant, the giant nodded back then stomped on by. As the creature departed he noticed writing on the back of his shirt. “Bouncer”.

“A sea giant bouncer, interesting choice seems like overkill though.” Zen commented.

“Perhaps.” Ryo agreed.

“Well what do you think of the place?”

“Its like a dream in how odd it all is.”

Zen sounded a bit wistful as he said, “I’ll have to see it for myself someday… alright you’ve got some time before your target is supposed to show up. I would suggest finding a comfortable place to sit and wait.”

Ryo made his way to the bar going around what appeared to be the dance floor. There was a shining disco ball over head hanging from a section of whale rib, the patrons were dancing to the music in slow floaty yet graceful movements. Interestingly some of them were ‘swim-dancing’ above the dance floor proper.

The ‘bar’ as it were was a shallow cave carved into a rock wall with a low partition of flatten coral disks acting as a counter. A Dwarf behind the counter was readying a bottle to give to a patron. He placed a metal ring around the end of the bottle which generated a stable bubble of air, then he popped the top off with a bottle opener. The bubble had two effects it kept the liquid in the bottle and made the bottle itself neutrally buoyant, that is to say rather than using tables or counters all of the drinks floated in the water it really added to the motif. Ryo ordered a beer.

“Coming up on your left, Ryo.”

The Illidari turned expecting to see his target, but instead his gaze was meet with the sight of a rather attractive Void Elven woman. She was clearly focused upon him and took a place at the counter next to him.

“My aren’t you a tall one.” She drawled with a thick Silvermoon accent, with a casual yet flirtatious tone.

Ryo sighed internally. It seemed in every tavern he ever visited there was always at least one person that made some version of that observation, and he never knew how to respond. “Indeed.” A flat and simple response. He didn’t have time or inclination to try and think of something clever. He was here on a mission.

She laughed softly,“A man of few words then?”

“Usually.”

An awkward silence passed between them.

“Do you come here often?” She inquired grasping for something to say.

“First time.” It was Ryo’s turn to engage socially by asking some sort of question. He understood this pattern now thanks to efforts of his friends like Taco… or rather ‘Fraco’ as he was known since the teleporter accident with the drinking bird… long story. Ryo however remained silent. He didn’t look at the lady despite her loveliness, he merely focused on his drink and pointedly ignored her.

The Void Elf frowned a little. She had realized his rejection, so she moved on without another word.

“What happened there? She would have made for a good cover and she was cute.” Zen inquired with a puzzled tone.

“She isn’t her.” Ryo replied without emotional inflection.

“What?”

“She… is… not… HER.” Ryo stressed each word with a undertone of anger and sadness.

“Oh Idella.” Zen realized sadly.

Ryo flinched at the name, it still hurt to even think about her, about what happened, about what she did to give him a way of coming back. He had scoured Azeroth, Argus, Outland, and Draenor for Idella and the one that took her… that vile Claret. He never found any sign of them.

“I’m sorry Ryo. I shouldn’t have said anything. For what it’s worth I know what you’re going through.”

“How? You still have Raelynaa.”

“That is true, Rae is the woman I love the most… but she was not the first I ever loved. There was another… I guess it was… *phew*… eighty or ninty years ago. Her names was Fe’ra. She was a Sentinel.”

“You’ve never mentioned her before.” Ryo noted.

“Well like you and Ida, its painful to think about… even to this day. We meet back during my bounty hunter days. Her village was under siege from a group of powerful Saytr magic users. As luck would have it I had been experimenting with Arcanite at the time and you know how that stuff reacts with magic.”

“Boom.” Ryo replied with a small smile.

“Right, wasn’t hard to weaponize. So I went in with the basic plan of ‘blow up anything that moves’ but Fe’ra got to their camp before I did.”

“Having to work around a team of Sentials screwed your plan then?”

“Not a team, JUST Fe’ra herself … talking on the entire camp Saytrs, and their were dozens of them.”

“How?” Ryo asked with a quizzical expression.

“Well she came from a lost line of Elven nobility that had a natural resistance to magic, plus she was a remarkable fighter. We teamed up and routed Saytrs. I traveled with her back to her village to collect my reward and decided to split it with her.”

“‘Decided to split it’?”

“Yeah, since she was a Sential she wasn’t eligible for bounty rewards, in fact she didn’t even want it. She hunted down the Saytrs out of a sense of duty. So rather than accepting the payment she insisted I use it to buy both of us a nice dinner.”

“First date.”

“Exactly. Things took off from there. I decided to stay in town for a week, then a month, and then moved in with her at the three month mark. You would have liked her Ryo. She was an amazing fighter, had a fury like a forest fire, grace like a tiger, and sang like a songbird.”

“But you lost her…”

Zen sighed sadly. “I got called to a far away town. The trip would take months but the money was too good to pass up. I didn’t want to leave her, but the kind of money we were talking about would have bought a bigger house… one we could have started a family in. I asked her to come with me but by then she had been promoted to Captain of the Guard she couldn’t leave her duty for so long.”

Ryo winced a little and shook his head, he knew where this story was heading.

“While I was away the Saytrs teamed up with a Troll war party and attacked our village… they burned it to the ground. There was nothing left but ash when I got back. I couldn’t even figure out what had happened till I sought the help of a seer in another village.”

“What did you do?”

Zen’s tone became harsh, almost bitter, “I spent every copper that was going to go to my new home… new life with Fe’ra to hire fighters and build weapons. My team tracked down the Trolls and Saytrs and we destroyed them… they didn’t spare our children so we didn’t spare theirs. In the end I was left with nothing but memories, most good, some bad… but just memories and nothing more.”

Ryo frowned and stumbled over his words, “How… how did you move on?”

“Kept bounty hunting, kept sciencing, kept trying to keep people safe. Time helped. I’ll be one hundred percent honest with you Ryo… there is no trick or magic that can undo the pain you’re feeling. However if you just keep going, if you let new experiences in the pain dulls eventually… and hey you might end up meeting the woman of your dreams at a random tavern and know love once more as I did. The point is Ryo … well the only way to move on is to move on. I’m sorry I realize that doesn’t make much sense.”

Ryo stole a glance at the Void Elf lady once more. She was talking to group of others, perhaps friends of hers. She began to turn towards him and he turned away and downed the rest of his beer. If he was going to move on, it would be in steps not leaps.

A new voice spoke, “Perhaps the reason you struggle to move on is because you know she lives.”

The sudden voice startled Ryo, he was not an easy person to sneak up on, especially with Zen remotely watching his back. He spun to face the source ready to use his now empty beer bottle as weapon.

His gaze fell upon young Kul Tiran woman, with a serious face, and an air of decided fashion and education. She wore the plain grey and blue robe of the Stormsages, and did not appear happy to be here. She gave a brief glance of disinterest towards the dancers, then turned a sharp eyed stare upon him. Something about her was a bit off, though, something about the way the shadows didn’t fall upon her or the way she moved just a little differently from the others. Ryo tapped his mask, activating the Spectral Sight. “You’re not really here.”

“My apologies.” She spoke in a stiff tone, “Light knows I wouldn’t want to upset a creature such as yourself, but it couldn’t be avoided. This was the best way of contacting you.”

“Ryo, who are you talking to?” Zen inquired through the ear piece.

“An illusion, a very good one.”

“No kidding I don’t see anything on scanners, though given you’re standing in magical water local interference is a factor. What do they what?”

The image answered Zen’s question before Ryo could relay it. “I need your…assistance with a little problem is Drustvar. A threat, one you are well familiar with. If you aid me, I may be able to help you in finding the one you have been seeking.” She paused thoughtfully “The one that was taken from you.”

Ryo decided to play this tight lipped. She knew who she was referring to but didn’t want to give away any information. “What threat do you speak of?”

“A witch, but not one that Drustvar has seen before. She is ancient beyond years, her mere presence … a threat that throws the very balance of things into chaos. I hate to be melodramatic, but there it is. A matter of some urgency to say the least.”

“And who is this ‘one taken from me’?” Ryo could feel his heart beginning to beat faster.

The illusion gave him a steady look, her expresion hinted at annoyance. “Her name is hidden from me, but I have seen her. A nice sort of girl, very gentle, very kind. A good soul, as they say, with dark hair and a strength not often found in such innocence. The one you carry a piece of so close to your heart, a piece you received from…a mechanical cat….”

She pointed at the very spot where Ryo kept the his last reminet of Idella hidden. He managed to stifle his reaction but only barely. Anyone could have known about Ida she owned a business in Stormwind which meant there would be public records. Anyone could have known about his relationship with her, he lived their with her for some time at her shop, he was seen by customer frequently.

However… knowing he kept the item Ida stashed in project 80075 or ‘Boots’ the mechanical pet cat he built for her, that was not something that would have been easy to find out. Furthermore knowing about the armored pocket in his chest piece he crafted for said item, well that was something only he alone should have known. His heart began to race. Was what this person telling him was true? Could he free his Idella from the grasp for her captor? Or was this a trick? “Okay… let’s assume I believe you. What do you want me to do?”

“This is all rather awkward. I need some assistance in departing from Stormsong Monastery. My so called brothers and sister sages believe I should stay.”

“You’re being held by the other Stormsages? Why?” Ryo inquired with a raised eyebrow.

The illusion looked annoyed, but underneath the surface he glimpsed more, she was afraid. “It’s really rather complicated, but suffice it to say they ought not to be trusted. They hide more than just simple greed.”

“Do you have proof of this claim? I can’t go charging into a monastery on your word alone.”

“Really? And how would I provide proof of my warning? I’m a Diviner, not a bloody magician.” She huffed. She was an illusion, anything she could show him would also be an illusion and logically would not serve as convincing evidence.

“Fair point.”

“Ryo you’ve got incoming.” Zen reported.

The Demon Hunter glanced towards the entrance just in time to spot his target Colton Darkwater enter. “We’ll sort this out later. I have work to do.”

The illusion followed his gaze, “Him? Colton?! Don’t be a complete idiot, you great giant oaf, get your proof. Use your damn sight!” She looked away, Ryo got the sense she was looking at something where the actual diviner was not her illusion. With sudden fear in her face she said, “Please hurry! I’m sorry I have to go–” Then reached out as if to touch something unseen and suddenly winked out of existence.

At her suggestion Ryo used his Spectral Sight and barely managed to contain a surprised gasp as he saw who… or rather WHAT his target truly was. “He’s a squid face!”

Beneath a veil of illusion Colton Darkwater was not human, he might have been once… but now he was something else. Some sort gangly thin, octopod headed, Eldritch abomination. The very sight of the creature brought a sense of fear, disgust, and rage that came from deepest reaches of his very soul. It was emotions that weren’t just his own but rather stemmed from the generations that came before him.

Zen swore over the radio, “What the Fel? Damn it … tentacles means Old Gods. This problem just got one hundred times worse.”

“This just keeps getting better and better.” Ryo scowled.

“No kidding, the Tidesages are a key aspect of the Kul Turian forces. If the Old Gods have taken them over… or worse taken them over AND teamed up with the Horde… well we’re in serious trouble.”

“How do you want me to wrap this up? I need to get to that monastery. “Illusion girl’ might be in danger and she’s my only lead to Idella.”

“Wait what? Ryo you said it yourself you can’t charging into the Stromsong monastery, especially now that we know the Old gods are involved.”

“Zen… if Raelynaa … the mother of your children was taken, would you stop at anything to get her back?”

Zen sighed, “… no, I wouldn’t, but I also wouldn’t go charging in without a plan or back up.”

“Fine come up with a plan and backup then.” Ryo snapped a little.

“I’ll see what I can do, but the Templars are spread out all over Kul’Tiras and Zandalar. How are you going to handle Darkwater? We could use him intact so we can figure out what the Fel he is.”

“Alright direct approach, then.”

“Okay… I’ll bite. What’s the ‘direct approach’?” Zen inquired with a curious tone

Among the repertoire of Demon Hunter abilities was one called ‘Consume Magic’. It was used to remove beneficial magical effects from opponents. For example protective barriers, boons that enhance abilities and of course illusion enchantments. Ryo approached his target with calm lopping underwater steps with a his gaze fixed not upon Colton but elsewhere to avoid revealing his intentions. The mask of calm remained in place even as he moved behind Colton and pulled back his fist. “Colton Darkwater!” He called out the name with his booming voice,

Colton turned around to answer the call of his name just in time for Ryo to punch him in the face hard enough to knock him to the floor. In that brief moment of contact the Illidari reached out with his Fel powers to ensnare the magic of the illusion disguising Darkwater and tore it away as he fell. To the outside observer it would have appeared Ryo had punch the man so hard he turned into a octopod faced monster. Colton Darkwater looked up at his attacker, fire burning in his oversized red orbs for eyes to which Ryo pointed and shouted. “EVIL! Old god, squid faced evil from the depths of the ocean! Get him!”

“Ah… the ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ direct approach.” Zen noted.

Immediately all eyes turned to Ryo, then to Colton and then panic broke out. Some drew weapons and jumped behind whatever cover they could find, some swam for safety, and others simply stared in slack jawed amazement. Normally creating a panic in a public place would have disastrous consequences such as people trampling each other as they ran for the door, but the Whale’s Belly had no ceiling, the exit was to simply swim straight up which everyone that wanted to flee quickly realized. Ryo’s opening moving had quite nicely removed most of the threat of collateral damage.

He was suddenly thrown backwards as a dense wall of water slammed into him and smashed him into and then through a section of whale rib. In that brief second of making the declaration Colton managed to focus his powers and launch some kind of spell.

“I did mention the whole ‘fighting a Tidesage underwater was a bad idea’ thing, right?” Again Zen was annoyingly right, but Ryo didn’t pay him any attention. In fact all of what was going on was pretty much static, he didn’t really care about anything in this tavern right now. Someone knew where to find Idella, and he had to get to them, there was no time for anything else. His chest ached as he spat away a glob of blood which passed through the bubble covering his mouth and hit the water dispersing into a red mist. He needed to get this over with.

Colton’s hands became enveloped in dark auras as he began the gestures and chanting to cast another spell. Ryo Fel Rushed towards him to close the distance. He just needed to knock him out, but the burst of momentum didn’t carry him far enough. He hadn’t accounted for the water slowing him so much. Darkwater finished his spell and Ryo brought his arms up defensively, expecting to get his again.

Nothing happened … as near as Ryo could tell. He took the opening and unleashed a Chaos Nova. A burst of Fel energy exploded outward from him creating a wave of kinetic force that traveled through the water and slammed into Colton stunning him for a few precious seconds. With his target now defenseless Ryo surged forward and land a shattering punch across Darkwater’s jaw, or rather where his jaw would be if he had one. Colton tried to fight back but couldn’t as Ryo’s assault continued. Casting magical spells required concentration, concentrating while a giant Demon Hunter was repeatedly punching you in the face is quite difficult, as one might imagine. Ryo pulled his fist back to deliver one last punch to knock him out.

“Ryo! Dark Ranger on your left, look out!”

He turned to face the threat just in time for a net fried from an under barrel launcher to catch him, tangle him up and knock him to the floor. An Undead High Elven woman with skin as gray as a gravestone stood over Ryo with sadistic self satisfied smile and fiery red eyes.

Dark Rangers were Slyvanas Windrunners’ most elite fighters. It was said they could land an arrow inside the eye of running a man from a hundred yards away while mounted upon a back of a giant bat flying at high speed. Normally they used bow and arrow, but this one came prepared for an underwater battle so instead she wielded a harpoon gun, which she now leveled at Ryo’s head.

He had been so focused on the lead to Idella and dealing with Colton; Ryo had totally forgotten about the Horde contact. Now he was pinned to the floor by a net and could barely move, the Dark Ranger was about to pull the trigger and put down what she had realized to be an Alliance agent. There was only one chance, one desperate gamble he could take. Zen had feared the Horde and the forces of the Old god had teamed up. Maybe he was wrong.

“Why are you helping the squid face?” Ryo demanded and gestured to Colton as best he could given his bondage. The Dark Ranger did a double take at the corrupt Tidesage then shifted her aim to him. In response he made a sweeping gesture with his hand and from seemingly nowhere a massive shark, at least seven feet long swooped down and bit onto her harpoon gun nearly tearing it from the Dark Ranger’s grasp. Ryo thought back to the spell Darkwater had cast earlier, the one that had seemingly no affect.

“He commands the loyalty of sea creatures!” Ryo declared in astonishment.

“Well that’s kind of lame a use of magic. I suppose it makes sense for a Tidesage, though.” Zen commented.

With the Dark Ranger and Colton focused on dealing with each other, Ryo had a chance to free himself from the net. He got to his feet and tried to charge Colton, but a literal giant hand reached out and grabbed him from behind like a child picking up a toy. Ryo glanced over his shoulder and to his shock saw the sea giant he encountered earlier. “I seek no quarrel with you giant, release me!”

The massive humanoid with a glazed look in his eyes paid no heed to Ryo’s words and began to crush him with a massive hand. Colton mimed the gesture with his own hand with a contemptible glare on his eldritch face.

“Oh ‘SEA’ giant, okay maybe Aquaman is cooler than I thought.”

“Not … now … Zen!” Ryo groaned as he fought against the crushing grip of the massive creature. He struggled to move, struggled to breath, the sea giant’s grip slowly got tighter and tighter. With his limbs pinned there was nothing Ryo could do to escape his predicament.

The Dark Ranger still struggled with the shark, she had a nasty chunk taken out of her left arm. The shark must have bitten her, but as she was a undead creature the injury was more of an inconvenience than anything. The undead ‘Forsaken’ weren’t as vulnerable as normal living creatures, they could still be killed … again, but they didn’t have to fear pain or bleeding out.

The squid faced Colton grinned smugly, his victory was all but certain in his mind. The giant brought up his other hand wrapping it around the first and squeezed even harder.

Ryo grew weary of this battle, he needed to get to that damned monastery and trying to play this gently hadn’t be worth the trouble. “Time to end this!” He screamed as his form exploded in Fel fire burning the hands of the sea giant despite being underwater. When the fire cleared Ryo was now in his Havoc Metamorphosed form. Giant horns, sharp claws, massive wings, another foot and half taller and easily had another hundred pounds of muscle on top of his fairly beefy physique.

The tight grip of the sea giant was suddenly broke as Ryo with titanic strength pushed the hands apart as if he were opening a stuck door, now freed he Fel Rushed right into the giant’s face and landed a resounding punch right between his eyes! The sea giant went cross-eyed and then fell backwards landing with a ground shaking, earth quaking thud! The entire tavern watched in awe struck horror as the giant fell after one mighty punch, laid out by a creature perhaps a twentieth of its size. So shocking was the display Colton forgot to maintain control of his shark and it ceased its attack upon the Dark Ranger. Seeing a chance to shoot Ryo with his back turned she raised the harpoon gun with the intent to fire.

By the time the Dark Ranger had the shot lined up Ryo had already Fel Rushed to her grabbed the end of the harpoon gun and pointed it at the floor. Out of surprise she pulled the trigger causing the harpoon to fire into the rocky floor and bury itself several inches deep. He grabbed her by the throat and effortlessly lifted her off her feet then spun around and impaled the Dark Ranger upon her own harpoon. The shock rendered her mute at first than she began to scream, curse and struggle to free herself. Ryo grabbed the end of the harpon and bent it around with one hand forming it into a hook the Dark Ranger would be unable to escape. Then he turned his attention to Colton.

“Shark at your six!” Zen cautioned.

Ryo glanced over his shoulder and back handed the shark that had been advancing upon him from behind, the impact was so hard it actually spun the former apex predator of the sea 180 degrees and grabbed it by the tail, then with seemingly impossible strength and speed he swung the beast over his head at Colton!

Darkwater was so shocked by t he didn’t even think to attempt a mount a defense.

The shark came down with a thick rubbery thud of impact drawing a pained groan from Colton. Ryo lifted the shark up and slammed it down once more drawing another groan of pain.

“Um, I think you got him.” Zen called out through the earpiece.

There was another thick rubbery THUD as Ryo smashed the target.

“Okay I guess the ‘heightened aggression’ thing is still there. Ryo if were going to study Colton to figure out what he is we need him intact…” The Druid attempted to draw the enraged Illidari’s attention.

Ryo roared in white hot range and slammed Colton again, and again, and again! By this point Colton didn’t even bother to raise his hands to shield himself, he either lacked the strength or was unconscious.

“Alright well… we we got another five seconds on metamorph. I suppose we can wait then.”

Blow after blow landed. Colton’s body was slowly pushed into the silt of the ocean floor by impact upon impact upon impact. Ryo’s metamorphosis finally wore off and he shrank back to his original form and he let the shark go. Surprising the creature drunkenly swam off, have survived being used a club far better than Colton had as the target.

“You good now? Did you get that out of your system?”

Ryo doubled over and coughing and gasping for air. “I’m… I’m fine.”

“Good. I’ve got a team in route to collect the Dark Ranger and the mashed remains of Colton.”

“I’m going for the monastery now.” Ryo reported as he forced himself back up and took his hearthstone from his gadget belt.

“Right now?! Ryo I haven’t had time to prepare anything.”

“My only lead to Idella is in that monastery and they might be in danger. I am going.” Ryo was exhausted, sore, had just punched out a giant, impaled a Dark Ranger on her own harpoon, and beaten a squid face into coma with a shark… and his night was just getting started.

Author Zenru
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