(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 8.)
In case you were wondering, the rest of the party are also affected by the tutorial trap in the previous chapter. While they are traveling through the portal sequence, something attacks the bonded animals’ magic. Kara and Adriane withdraw their magic from the rope, and blame each other for harming the animals. Tasha sets the girls straight and tells them that Emily is attacking the animals, and that her power has been supercharged. Ozzie wants to help Emily, so Tasha orders the party to send their magic through Ozzie’s Ferret Stone. Unfortunately, the magic rope explodes, and the entire party scatters just short of the last portal. Ozzie and Lyra are the only two who manage to make it through the final portal.
Meanwhile, Emily is trying to recover from the tutorial trap. She has flashbacks of her first encounter with Lyra, finding Phel after the very first boss battle, healing Ariel at the beginning of the series, and her first meeting with Lorelei. This final flashback reminds Emily that she has a special bond with Lorelei, so she uses that to gain control of the aquatic animals’ magic and release them from her web. Through this massive flashback sequence, Emily learns that though she’s healed many animals, their pain will always be a part of her.
Suddenly, Indi appears before Emily. He polymorphs into hundreds of different animals, then settles into the form of a unicorn colt. And then Emily is roused by Marlin, who shows her something awesome: a healed Indi, now in the form of a purple unicorn colt. Emily can sense her Rainbow Jewel’s magic in Indi’s horn, and realizes that she’s bonded with him.
Miranda has apparently left the party while the party was sleeping. What’s even odder is that Emily is the only one who remembers who she was, and that she was a party member in the first place.
Cribby then tells Emily and Marlin to look at the ocean. The bodies of hundreds of aquatic creatures are floating around the ship. Emily casts Aura Sight and discovers that they’re all suffering from the magic sickness. Even worse, a pack of sea wolves — half-wolf, half-shark creatures — are attacking them. This really bothers Emily because the sea wolves are hunting the weak, defenseless animals.
Come on, Emily, you should know by now that nature isn’t nice! Predators usually go after weak (read: sick, old, or young) animals. So Emily shouldn’t be appalled at the sea wolves’ behavior! Argh, Emily’s new “we gotta save everyone” attitude is really bugging me.
Niva, Marlin’s new sea dragon buddy, tries to fight off the sea wolves, but she’s too weak to deal with them alone. Marlin equips a knife and dives into the water to assist Niva. Emily, sadly, is too afraid of her new abilities to help him….
Emily bonds with: Indi!
Next time: Emily’s party is caught between a rock and a hard place.