[Prompt] Oceanic Secrets
Despite being exposed to the air, the sand was still soaked. Water bubbled up and out each time their boots and feet pressed into the sand. They left deep prints in the sand that were filled with seawater. Sachiko tersely warned them of the danger of quicksand that often appeared where the ocean had receded. But the warning fell upon deaf ears, at least in the case of Lumikki who dismissed Sachiko as 'worrying over nothing'.
Fish were lucky enough to be swept away with the parting of the waves, but sedentary creatures like starfish and snails were less lucky, left on the sand under the cruel gaze of the burning sun. Sachiko felt a pang of guilt for leaving them where they were but she didn't have time to intervene as the group quickly made their way down the path. Nature would just have to take its course.
Roxy was slowly getting more and more frustrated. Every attempt she made to talk to her sister was dismissed. She could save them Permoskyths knows how much time if the other would just listen to her. A hand fell on her shoulder and gave a light squeeze after she let out a soft growl of frustration. She turned her head and Zaniah gave her a soft smile.
It felt like hours before the monotony of walking was finally broken.
"Wow! Look at that!" Lumikki gestured wildly.
It took a while to come into focus, what with the hazy lines of heat and the constant movement of water beneath the horizon. But eventually they all saw it. From the surface of the ocean, spires and towers reached towards the sky. And if their location didn't make the towers fascinating on its own, there was also the small matter of what they were made of - and decorated with. They were made of a deep blue rock unlike anything seen on land. On its roofs and spires grew large corals of all shapes and colours, almost like a reef had been placed on top of the building in place of a traditional roof - like a dyslexic architect had been in charge of it. Star fish, barnacles, and other stationary sea creatures decorated the walls. There was no denying this city has once been deep underwater.
"The lost underwater city…" Roxy crossed her arms as she leant back to look up at the towers. "They're finally rejoining the rest of the world."
"How do you know that?" Lumikki gawked at her sister.
"Fish told me." Shrugged Roxy.
Green eyes flitted between her sister and the humiliated expression of Sachiko.
"Roxy!" Lumikki was scandalised. "I told you not to do that!"
The other shrugged without an ounce of genuine remorse. Lumikki frowned but eventually the allure of the mysterious city called her eyes back to it. There was longing in her eyes, clear to anyone who looked. The city had well and truly enraptured her.
And she was not the only one.
"Can we get closer?" Breathed Zaniah.
Lumikki jumped almost a foot in the air, somehow she had forgotten all about their other companion, silent as she was. When her heart finally returned to a normal beat, her face fell in disappointment.
"Water is too deep." She said with a sad shake of her head. "We'd-"
"You can go in the city!" Interrupted Sachiko, tail wagging ever so slightly. "We'd love some visitors after so long!"
Her optimism earned her two puzzled looks and one utterly unamused cross of the arms. Roxy popped her hip out to one side.
"We can't breathe in water like you, Sushi." She growled.
"Oh sure you can!" Sachiko waved off her concerns. "The water is enchanted so anyone can breathe in it - just don't stray too far from the city's borders as the enchantment doesn't stretch far."
The three shared dubious looks. It sounded far too convenient - especially to Roxy who already doubted Sachiko's every move, waiting for the other shoe to fall.
No one moved to enter the water, even after Sachiko shouted encouragement to them. Roxy was about ready to give up and head home, regardless whether or not anyone else chose to follow her.
"I'm going -" She began.
"I'll test it." Zaniah announced suddenly, cutting Roxy off before she could even begin.
"Don't be stupid!" Roxy reached out and grabbed her arm, sharply tugging her back. "You'll drown!"
Zaniah tried to reassure her ("I'll be fine, I promise! I'll come up for air if I can't breathe.") but Roxy was having none of it. Her grip was like iron and she was well rooted on the spot. There was no budging a stubborn Roxy.
A pale hand appeared, gently resting on Roxy's wrist. She turned her head, coming face to face with Lumikki's green eyes that sparkled with more knowledge than she had any right to have.
"Roxy," She said softly. "Why are you so worried?"
Roxy recoiled her hand as if burnt. She crossed her arms and jutted her chin in the air. A pitiful attempt to appear the picture of nonchalance.
"Go on then." She growled. "Test the water. 50 bucks says you can't breathe."
Zaniah shot Lumikki an uncertain smile before she turned to Sachiko. The other was already up to her waist in water with her palms held outward to guide Zaniah into the water. Cautiously, she took the other woman's hands and stepped into the water.