The ground cracked open, dropping us into a dark abyss. The cries of a little girl screaming her heart out tore echoed forth with great gusto.
That little girl was me.
"AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! BUBBLE BUDDY, HELP!!!!"
I quickly summoned the squishy mass of destruction. And it worked! The beautiful slime-bro appeared in an instant. But he fell too, and a lot faster.
Some help he was!
Okay, I'll admit. It's quite possible at this point I was about to soil myself. But come on, YOU try falling into an unknowably deep, dark hole and see if you can stand the feeling of your breakfast coming back up your throat.
I don't think the others noticed my girlish cry of terror though. They were busy screaming themselves.
I hugged Charlotte tight and waited for the splat.
I didn't have any clue as to whether I could survive a fall like this, let alone her. We've been falling for about 15 seconds now and since people fall pretty damn fast every second thats enough to make water feel solid.
So. That's it, folks.
If imma die, at least it's with my cute little Princess!
That said, I bid you...adieu.
...We're not dead?
I opened my eyes.
We weren't falling anymore. And it was bright. Really bright.
I felt something gripping my leg and immediately panicked. "Motherfuck!" I hissed.
"Ouch! Hey, stop that!"
"Jesus! You nearly gave me a heart attack!" I glared at Chelsea, who clung to my feet as if her life depended on it. Which it might've.
"You nearly made me fall again!"
"Right. Sorry." I coughed. "Uh, so, like...how'd we stop?"
She pointed. "Those things helped, I'm sure."
"Hah?" I turned my head around and was shocked. "Holy fuck!" I choked out. "I'm a goddamn chicken!"
Wings! I had wings!
They were about twice the length of my body, like seven or eight feet long, tapering off the closer they got to my back.
The feathers were a pure, solid white with a faint golden outline.
But they just reminded me of a chicken.
Did I seriously just get downgraded from a lizard to a bird!?
I mean at least people didn't raise lizards to fatten up and eat. What kind of tomfuckery is this? I can't accept it. Father, you bastard, this is from your side of the family, isn't it?!
"Pretty..." Charlotte muttered, her eyes once again clouded with confusion. She reached out and yanked off a feather, making me jerk. It didn't hurt but it felt really weird.
Son of a...At least let me have bat-wings! I was fine with the scales, okay? They're better than feathers, if nothing else. Can't pull on them. Don't get wet, can't catch fire.
What good were feathered wings?
I was full of resentment.
I refuse to be reduced to a bucket of KFC!
I'm a Dragon, dammit. I want my Dragon wings!
I mentally concentrated, willing them into existence. We then dropped about ten more feet.
"What're you doing?! They shrunk, they definitely shrunk!"
Eh, she was right. The wings got like two feet smaller and struggled harder to hold us up.
"I'm trying to trade them in for different set. This angel skin ain't my cup of tea."
"At least put us down first! I don't wanna die!" She clung tighter, trembling in fear. She then began to climb higher and higher, wiggling her soft, warm body up along my own until her breasts pressed against one side of my head.
She wrung her legs around my waist and wouldn't let go.
A sweet, fruity fragrance assaulted my nose.
"Can't you just create another one of those water spheres?"
She stopped. "Oh yeah...now that you mention it..."
I waited. "Well?"
" Actually I'm happy where I am, thanks."
After a while of getting used to controlling these overgrown chicken wings of mine I finally got a good view of the surrounding area.
If you looked up you saw the hole we fell from, along with a clear blue sky missing a sun. Which made the light entirely illogical since there's no real source.
Below us stretched a lush paradise that held numerous flowing streams, waterfalls and the scent of cool, fresh air.
There were all kinds of trees ripe with delicious-looking fruits and thick green vegetation everywhere the eye could see.
"This place is just bursting with life energy!" Chelsea exclaimed fervently, clearly amazed. "It's like an entirely different world!"
"Hey, you said that black jade stuff seals off energy." I organized my thoughts. After seeing this place my many years of reading and anime-watching told me someone was a filthy hoarder. "Think it was being used to keep the life energy here all pent up?"
The woman revealed a shocked expression that turned dark fast. "That makes a lot of sense." She nodded."Don't tell me someone's been stealing the life energy from the Dry Lands all this time? I KNEW something weird was going on!" I saw her wave a fist. "No way this place could exist in a region like the Dry Lands otherwise. If what we suspect is true then it's no wonder the land has been dying so fast."
She looked up. "And that isn't even an actual sky, that's a barrier. The black jade must've been used as the core to strengthen it's sealing effect. We're in what amounts to a giant greenhouse."
"I wonder what'd happen if we broke that barrier then?"
"Logicially speaking the life energy that's been accumulated should return over time." She said. "The Dry Lands used to also be teeming with life. That was years ago, however. At least a good thousand years. Although it won't regain that state even with this much life energy returning back, it WILL give it a chance to revitalize itself to a similar degree in a few centuries."
Wouldn't have to do anything myself then. Feel it'd be faster if I did though. Well, in some areas. Would probably take a good few years if I wanted to do the entire Dry Lands.
"If we let out all the energy gathered here then all I'd have to do is create some lakes and rivers to help stabilize the water cycle. Without this blasted place sucking up all the life energy, that'd be enough to ensure moisture stays where it should. The Dry Lands won't be so dry anymore."
All the while Charlotte was strangely quiet. I assume because the nature of the conversation was so big. We're here just casually talking about transforming a desert into a richer, greener area in a matter of just a few generations. And creating lakes like they're something that could be done with a wave of the hand.
I'd be speechless too.
If I wasn't a Dragon-Angel talking to an Undine/Goddess who literally CAN create water with a wave of the hand.
Far to the bottom of this "greenhouse" I heard--and saw--Bubble Buddy having a jolly-good time passively destroying everything around him.
"How do we break open the barrier then?"
"Ugh. Good point. Let's see...If I was at full strength I could do it, I think. But..." She sighed. "I'm not capable of it right now." She looked at me expectantly just then. "No, wait, you might be able to. "
I gave a short bark of a laugh. "Yeah, right." My tone was thick with sarcasm.
"No, I'm serious. Look at that, you can create disaster-class water monsters like it's nothing. You're basically a walking apocalypse."
Ignored, yet again.
"I'm sure you can manage to take this thing down. Why don't I teach you how to create a Water Avatar?"
"See, all you do is create a more advanced Bubble Buddy, combine youself with it, and you're essentially a great water monster yourself. Then you grow as large as you want, use Water Solidfication, and pound away at this dang thing till it breaks." She explained her plan with a self-satisfied smirk.
"You underestimate my lack of control." I struck her idea down mercilessly. "Forget that, way too complicated. Just teach me a good water jet type technique. Sure I could cut this thing down then. Simple is best, after all." A concentrated blast of water seems more my style anyway. Don't think I can manage anything more than that yet.
"...Oh. Yeah. That's good too." She looked so defeated. I almost regret opening my mouth.
Should I give her a spank to cheer her up?
Let's leave it for later though. Don't wanna look like a pervert in front of my cute little baby girl.
"Anyway. Don't know if I can pull it off, but I'll try." I promised. "Though this place might collaspe and make a large crater so let's get the little one out of the blast zone. We should go back, round up my posse and arrange their lodgings. Then we'll see if we can break this place apart."
"Sounds good. I'll let them stay at my Palace. Let's go."
I, having now all but mastered the way of the chicken wings, was about to ascend.
But something locked me in place.
"Afraid I can't let you do that."
A calm, emotionless voice entered my ears.
"It's pretty important to my research, okay? This big bro's tryna make drugs."