“So what should we do? We can’t stay here doing nothing!” Evan asked, worried about the evil magic that was about to succeed in the Temple of the Moon.
He did not know how Okegiga and the other Centaurs had overcome the evil god in the past to win this brutal war. He only knew that if he continued to lose time and let the fallen Centaurs successfully summon the evil god, the difficulty of the challenge would increase exponentially.
The destruction of summoning magic and the re-sealing of the evil spirit were a much easier path.
Evan was considering the possibility of a forceful attack. Though dangerous, it was not totally impossible.
At present, the most troublesome thing was the mad dragon. He happened to know a powerful black magic that might have an effect beyond imagination in dealing with dragons.
“You’re right, we have to hurry up. It’s going to be dark soon. This is very unfavorable to us. With the help of the Temple of the Moon, the fallen astrologers could use the power of the stars to defend themselves.” Okegiga asked other Centaurs to apply some herbal medicine to the wound on his arm and simply wrap it up.
“What should we do?” Evan tapped Okegiga’s arm with his wand. Although he was not proficient in healing magic, he could try his best to get him better.
“Since we can’t fly, swimming in is the quickest way.” Okegiga said, “I know a secret passage into the Temple of the Moon, which goes through the depths of the lake.”
Following where Okegiga pointed, Evan looked to the cold, deep blue lake water outside the Temple of the Moon. It seemed to connect to the lakeside outside the school castle.
He didn’t know if there were Merpeople there, but the idea of swimming in from the dark lake was crazy.
He turned his head to look at the proud Centaur and confirmed that he had not heard him wrong. The Centaurs were not aquatic animals. How would Okegiga pull this off?
“The elder thought about this before, and he prepared some herbs for me to help us breathe under water.” Okegiga took out something wrapped in a piece light grey leather from inside his leather armor and unfolded it in front of Evan.
Inside was a mass of green seaweed-like herbs, resembling a bundle of slimy, grey-green rat tails.
“Gillyweed!” Evan recognized this herb, and he never imagined that he would see it here.
He didn’t know where the Centaurs got these cherished herbs from the depths of the Mediterranean. It took centuries before the human wizard Elladora Ketteridge discovered the effect of this magical herb for the first time in the history of magic. So, her portrait appeared on the famous wizard Chocolate Frog Cards.
It was said that she nearly suffocated to death when she cooked a lot of Gillyweed on a side dish. She stuck her head into a bucket of water for a week before recovering.
From then on, the Wizarding World knew the use of Gillyweed.
Later wizards and Potions Masters began to analyze its specific components, and developed a magic spell and a large number of precious magic potions to help wizards breathe underwater.
But at the end of the dark Middle Ages, the Centaurs, who had been thought to be in a state of ignorance and primitiveness, had already discovered and used Gillyweed, which was incredible.
“I’ve tried it before. Swallow it before going into the water, it will work immediately.” Okegiga gave Evan some of the Gillyweed. “Because the quantity is limited, this infiltration could only be carried out by the two of us, with no assistance whatsoever.”
Evan nodded and looked at the herbs that were still squirming in his palm.
“Listen, human!” Okegiga stooped and looked at Evan, his dark brown eyes sparkling. “What we’ll do in a moment is very dangerous, and we’re likely to die in the Temple of the Moon. I don’t know why you came here to help us, and I am very grateful for this. You have earned the friendship of the Centaurs. But I hope you’ll think it over carefully. After all, this Civil War is a matter of the Centaurs themselves. I don’t want to…”
“Don’t say it, I won’t go back!” Evan interrupted him. “Facing that evil god is not just the Centaurs’ matter!”
On top of what Evan said, this was only Gryffindor’s illusion magic.
Evan’s challenge was to help the Centaurs to re-seal the evil spirit known as the god of the forest. He had no reason to withdraw from it anyway.
Even if he died in the Temple of the Moon, it would only mean that he had failed the challenge.
Okegiga didn’t speak. He patted Evan’s shoulder firmly and then took a new lance and a bow from his clan and put them on his back.
“After a while, my people will re-attack the guys in the colony to grab their attention.” Okegiga yelled, “We’ll take this opportunity to dive in underwater, and you’ll follow me.”
They reached the rushing river, which stretched to the central lake of the colony.
“Very good, take the herbs, I’ll count down from three and we’ll swallow!” When the battle in the distant colony resumed, Okegiga made a gesture, “Three, two, one!”
Time seemed to stop as Evan stuffed the Gillyweed into his mouth.
He hurriedly took off his shoes and socks and followed Okegiga into the cold river.
Not surprisingly, the water was very cold!
Evan felt that the skin on his legs was being bitten as the water flowed into them.
The more he walked, the deeper the river was, and his soaked robe fell heavily.
Now the water had passed his knees; and his two loose, clumsy feet stepped on the sand and smooth, sticky stones, and kept slipping on them.
With all his strength, he chewed Gillyweed quickly and vigorously. It did not taste good. It was tough, slippery, like an octopus’s tentacle.
Soon, his body began to change, and his lower body, soaked in the cold, biting water of the river, began to swell outwards. Suddenly, Evan felt as if an invisible pillow had pressed his mouth and nose.
When he inhaled, he only felt his mind spinning.
His lungs were empty, and there was a sharp knife-cut pain on both sides of his neck.
Evan quickly grabbed his throat with both hands and touched two long and narrow cracks under his ears, opening and closing in the cold air…
The Gillyweed worked. He had gills. He was stunned. He turned his head and looked at the Centaur beside him. The strong Centaur had now become a strange monster.
He too, had gills on his face, thin webbings between his fingers, and even his four hooves began to deform. He waved for Evan to follow him.
Without hesitation, Evan followed Okegiga and plunged into the water.
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