A few seconds passed before Vivi managed to open her eyes. She still felt sickeningly dizzy, and her head throbbed as if she had run it into a wall, but her surroundings were beginning to look more or less normal—the smoky shadows lifted as if blown away by a gentle breeze, leaving in their place the still raging-battle.
She glanced around as she struggled back to her feet, trying to get her bearings. She saw the wizard, still standing right in front of her, but now with his back turned—he had just finished once again casting his spell, this time on Esmond, who collapsed onto the deck before Vivi could react. The wizard looked around for his next target, and his eyes landed on Aenwyn, who was now fighting the centaur together with Sergius and Sarjeon. He lifted his staff towards her, but Vivi, whose mind was finally clear enough to realize what was about to happen, finally sprung into action. She launched herself towards the wizard, snatching up her knife from the deck as she passed it, and latched on to his staff with one hand while slashing at him with the knife in her other hand. Reacting completely out of instinct, the old elf clumsily grabbed Vivi's wrist in a desperate attempt to keep the knife away from him, sending his spellbook tumbling to the deck in the process.
"Well!" he exclaimed, his tone somewhere in between intrigued and offended. "You're not supposed to be awake."
"Sorry to disappoint," Vivi grunted, struggling to pull the wizard's staff away from his grasp—but while he was old, the elf wasn't exactly frail and weak, and Vivi knew it wouldn't be long before he would manage to pull himself free.
"Oh, I suppose I should only blame myself," the wizard responded, with surprisingly little emotion considering the situation he was in. "I must not have read the incantation correctly... Or perhaps I needed to cast it just a bit longer..."
"Well, I'm glad to hear you have something to ponder about," came Aenwyn's voice from right behind them. Vivi quickly turned her head and spotted the captain, standing with her sword pointed toward the wizard. Behind her, Vivi noticed the others had managed to throw a net over the centaur, momentarily subduing him.
The wizard, however, made good use of the distraction to finally fling Vivi away from him, and, realizing his spellbook was out of reach, drew his own sword. "I have to warn you," he said gravely, "while I may be out of practice, this sword is not just for show."
"Duly noted," Aenwyn replied, lunging forward to strike at the wizard. Visibly surprised at the speed of her attack, the old elf raised his sword to defend himself—but he was vastly outmatched. After a very brief flurry of strikes, Aenwyn knocked the sword from his hand with a flick of her blade.
"Ah— Bravo!" he exclaimed, raising his hands with a sheepish look on his face. "But, perhaps it should not be too surprising, it has been quite a while since I used that sword last."
"I'm sure it has," Aenwyn said calmly, barely out of breath. "Now, are you going to surrender, or will I have to be a bit more persuasive?"
The wizard didn't look like he needed much more persuasion, but before they could find out for sure, they were interrupted by shouting from behind them. The centaur, even though nearly half the crew was now trying to hold him down, had managed to partially cut himself free from the net, and was now charging towards them.
"This again?" Aenwyn said, turning away from the wizard to face her new opponent. "You really don't know when to stay down."
The centaur only replied with a slash of his saber, which Aenwyn expertly parried. Sergius and Sarjeon joined the fray as well, but the centaur was somehow managing to keep all of them at bay, swinging back and forth between them all with astonishing speed for a being his size. The wizard, meanwhile, dove to retrieve his spellbook—but before he could make any use of it, Caio sent a blast of fire towards him, forcing him to conjure a shield to take cover behind.
"I got this one," Caio said calmly, charging up another fireball in his hand. "You go help the others."
Vivi nodded and turned towards the centaur, looking for an opening. The remnants of the net still hanging from the centaur's shoulders flew by her as he turned to block one of Sarjeon's strikes, and she decided that was as good an opening as any. She grabbed onto the net, trying to hold the centaur down—but he was far too strong, and Vivi would have been lifted clean off her feet if Mao and Myrin hadn't immediately rushed to grab the net as well. The centaur lashed out with his saber, trying to free himself—one of his strikes caught Mao in the arm, and she let go of the net with a cry of pain—but he was clearly running out of steam, and it wasn't long before they had cornered him in the stern of the ship. The fighting paused, and the centaur glanced around at them all—he was outnumbered and surrounded on all sides, but still defiantly holding his saber in front of him.