So it’s you, she said with a fierce strike.

Oh, yes, replied the monster, clearly enjoying himself, You thought you got rid of me, didn’t you? He quickly sidestepped her blow and nicked her stomach with his claw.

I knew we weren’t finished…Glayelle swore we had, but I knew better. Undeterred, she twisted her sword and cut him deep in the arm.

Well, you knew right. But don’t worry, it will all be over in a couple of seconds, he said, laughing in her head as the deep green blood clouded the water.

And why do you say that? she asked warily. There was something…but I can’t remember…

She saw the green cloud move like a living animal toward the unconscious, drifting Matt.

Oh, don’t you remember? My blood is highly toxic; there’s no way to kill me without at least killing yourself, he replied smugly.

For the first time in a hundred decades, Laurielle deserted a fight. She sheathed her sword, grabbed Matt, and swam for the surface.

She could still hear the monster cackling in her head.

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