The two parts of your brain warred with each other over what to do but the fact that you were so close to obtaining Ægir as your own was spurring you on past the logical side of your brain that was telling you to walk away now before you got killed.
After catching your breath, you got up and stood there, reassessing the situation. Your body was feeling a little heavier now and it wasn’t quite as easy to move as it had been earlier.
You noticed too, that Ægir was starting to puff as well, his sides blowing out as he nostrils flared with each breath.
“I’ve got this… I can do this,” you encouraged yourself.
Dragging your feet to the edge of the bank, you feebly called for ‘ha’, hoping it would catch him in your weak attack but only the outer edge of your vibrations touched him and his health bar dropped another 1% to 71%.
“I guess I could do this for the remainder?” You thought, taking a moment to collect yourself, “what other option do I have?”
Taking a step back from the edge, you tested how stable you were on your legs. You were fearful that trying to jump over the riverbed again would end with you falling and possibly being trampled to your in game death by the vicious water stallion.
“Ok. If each of my hits are 3% of his health… each… I have 7 hits to go. If I do a few more ‘move’ hits then try another ‘spin’ then I might be able to chip him right down because the spin move is a little more with the cobra poison in it…”
You bounced on the balls of your feet to see how light you were and although you felt slightly heavier, you still felt like you might be able to make the jump and not suffer too much from it.
Using the back of your hand, you wiped the blood from your forehead and focused on where you wanted to jump from, coaxing Ægir to within strike range as you jogged along the top of the bank to get him to follow you to the gap.
As expected, he did follow, his flowing water mane swishing back and forth with his cantering stride as his ears flicked forwards, then back, and he let out a roar of defiance.
As he went to pass through the narrower section of the dried bed, you sprinted and jumped the gap, calling your skill forth and planting a strong hit to his neck and back.
“That felt a little more powerful that time?” you thought as you landed and spun on your feet then jumped down into the riverbed and stamped your foot to get Ægir’s attention.
He had seen you and was coming back at speed but at the last minute you called for spin and jumped back up the side of the bank, completing your dance on the sidelines.
Ægir’s health dropped from 71% to 67% then to 59% and you whooped with delight.
“My skills must be getting stronger because that took off a lot more than I thought it would,” you thought as you knelt down on one knee, panting rapidly.
Your eyes glossed your health bar and you had dropped a little as well, the exertion of fighting taking its toll on you and you were now at 49%.
Feeling encouraged by your combination attack you stood again and lined yourself up to do another whip attack followed by a haze attack.
“Move!” you shouted as you launched over the gap while Ægir raced beneath.
Again, you nailed the move but as your feet touched down on the opposite bank your legs gave way under you and you fell to the side then slid down the embankment, letting out a screech of fear and pain as your whole right side became disabled.
Hearing Ægir galloping back to you, you blindly slammed your left hand into the ground, screaming ‘ha’ as you felt the ground start to shake with his approach.
You heard his steps falter but then searing pain in your back caused you the scream out in pain as he whacked you with his hooves.
“Spin!” you shrieked, your skill activating at the same time that he reared up and smashed his front hooves down onto your body.
Just then a voice yelled at you.
“Now! Place me into his chest!” It shouted and you knew instinctly that it was the orb calling you to action.
You covered your head with one arm to protect your skull and grabbed for the orb in your pocket, producing it quickly and holding it up.
The minute Ægir saw it, he backed off and you managed to open a swollen eye to look at him.
His sides were heaving and he still looked infinitely pissed with his ears back but he didn’t come near you.
“Place me inside his chest,” the orb directed.
With laboured breathing, you pulled yourself to your feet and staggered towards him, pressing the orb into his flowing liquid chest and his body flushed bright blue, his eyes going from red to white and his ears flicked up to attention.
“D-Did it work?” you asked no one in particular, falling to your knees in front of the now calm stallion with your head bowed.
Through very hazy vision, you saw your health bar was at 23% and you coughed, seeing blood splatter down onto the dry bed.
“Ægir,” you addressed your stallion in a weak voice.
He stepped forward and bowed his watery head to yours and whickered in your ear.
“Please… take me back to level 44?”
With ease, your now calm steed dropped onto his knees then let his hind quarters follow suit, flopping to the ground so that you could climb onto his back, which you did, wrapping your hands into his watery mane as you settled a leg over each side of his back.
“Ok,” you whispered weakly, “up.”
Putting his front legs up, he used them as a pivot point to pick the rest of his body up and you were jolted a little in the process but managed to stay aboard.
“Good boy,” you praised weakly, patting his watery shoulder, “let’s go.”
Turning slowly, your stallion walked calmly out of the riverbed, towards level 5.
The temperature around you started to drop as Ægir picked his way along the path that wound slowly down into a dense mist of the new level.
Because you were so beat up, you couldn’t see very well, so you just trusted that Ægir knew where the teleport pad was.