Pirates, the Sight, and the Sea - Part Nine
Mithy caught up with his sister just as the amulet slipped out of her grasp and disappeared into the depths of the ocean.
“Roselia, what was that for?” he demanded angrily. He almost added, “You’re making me nervous out of my mind!” but stopped before he sounded too much like his mother, a white Cybunny whom he was slowly remembering more and more as the morning went on.
Roselia kept her eyes trained on where the necklace had disappeared, refusing to tear her gaze away. “Tresor got the amulet from a water faerie. I just thought that...”
Her brother put a hand on her shoulder and gave her a comforting squeeze. “I know Rosy. It’s hard, but don’t worry. Everything’ll be fine. That Lupe looks like a fighter; I’m sure he’ll heal in no time.”
She frowned, still staring into the ocean. “I’m not so su—”
Mithy glanced at her nervously. “Rosy, are you okay?”
Her brother followed her gaze and froze. The water below was wavy and churning from the ship’s wake, but right at the spot where the amulet had fallen, the water was slowly spinning, a small whirlpool forming from the waves. The water spun, increasing in speed until suddenly, hurtling out of the vortex, was a pinprick of bright blue light. The spark whizzed up through the air, flashed over their heads, and then darted into the cabin they had both just come from.
Without a word, Roselia turned away from the railing and ran after the spark. Timothy’s mouth gaped open as he darted after his sister, having a vague feeling that he had run across a deck like a lunatic before in the past.
Roselia swung open the cabin door and flew down the small flight of stairs two at a time. As she and Mithy reached Alieria’s private chamber, Mesh stood up, the green Skeith questioning their sudden arrival with a raised eyebrow. However, a second later he froze, catching sight of the floating blue orb.
“What in Fyora’s name is that?” he asked, pointing at the light.
In response, the pinprick started to make complex patterns in the air, dancing around the cabin in mesmerizing designs. It started moving faster and faster, brightening until it was nothing more than a streaky blur like a comet, and then there was an intense flash of white light. Roselia closed her eyes, shielding them from the blinding ray, but when she slowly opened them, the pinprick was no longer a speck of blue light.
It was a water faerie.
Roselia’s eyes widened, stepping back until she bumped into the bed behind her. The water faerie had appeared out of nowhere, a tangible form that was surrounded by a shimmering haze of magic and undeniable power. Her damp wavy hair reached the lower half of her back and was threaded with bits of shell and seaweed that gave her a strangely regal look. She had bright aquamarine eyes, a pair of thin translucent wings protruded from her back, and her lower half merged into a striking tail made up of iridescent blue scales. She looked young and beautiful, but Roselia immediately sensed that she was much older than she appeared.
The water faerie casually fingered one of the many necklaces draped around her neck. Some were short braided pieces of kelp that clung to her throat, while others were long bits of twine threaded with shells, but the necklace she toyed with was one Roselia instantly recognized: a crystal drop pendant on a thin silver chain.
The water faerie amulet.
The faerie smiled graciously. “Ah. It seems as if my little amulet came in handy. Apparently everyone has matched up.” She turned towards Mesh, Timothy, and Roselia, and addressed them respectively. “The loving father who has a knack for card games, the selfless brother who cares for his little sister, and the young Usul with the uncanny ability to see beyond our physical appearances.”
Roselia gaped. “How do you know all that?”
“The sea knows and does many things,” the water faerie replied, her voice laced with both a wisdom that seemed beyond her years and a playful edge of mystery. Roselia felt lost, unused to being in the presence of someone who knew more things than she could ever have imagined in her wildest dreams, but before she could ask her to clarify, the faerie continued. “Now, where’s the young brown Lupe?” Her eyes roamed around the room curiously. “When I received my amulet back, I thought it was he who called upon me.”
“Actually...” Roselia took a breath and stepped aside, revealing Tresor. The Lupe was limp and unconscious, lying on the bed behind her. “I was the one who called you here. I was wondering if you could help him. I know you’ve already given us back our families, but please. Tresor...” She choked up, unable to continue.
Darn it, she cursed herself. Why do I always get emotional at the worst possible times?
But the faerie seemed to understand her perfectly. Maintaining her graceful air, the faerie glided over to Tresor, frowning as she drew near. He was perfectly still, only his chest rising and falling gently with each breath, and his eyes were closed. She stroked his head. “I was not trained in healing,” she said softly. “I was taught to be a navigator, a guide.”
“Please.” This time it was Mesh who interrupted her. “Please, Miss,” he pleaded, coming over to the bedside looking pained. “He’s my son, a son that I completely forgot about until today and who I love more than words can say. I can’t lose him again. You must try. Please.”
The faerie looked at his desperate face and slowly nodded. “Very well. Healing is an art, but it is something all water faeries instinctively know. I will do my best.”
She closed her eyes and laid her hands a few inches above Tresor’s wound, her pale fingers looking small and almost uncertain. Roselia clenched the bedpost as soft blue light radiated from the faerie’s hands, falling upon Tresor in an unearthly glow.
“Gwara eshi lause uri, aura dela acqui dei...”
The faerie murmured the ancient chant, her lips moving slowly as she repeated the words passed down through the ages from one water faerie to the next. The entire thing was unexplainably beautiful, the words sounding both lilting and musical, and the spell drew from everything around them in an attempt to heal Tresor.
Mithy held onto Roselia tightly as the three of them watched the faerie work, listening to the unearthly chant and watching her hands glow with magic. The water faerie’s face was serious, making it impossible to tell whether it was working or not, and the tension in the room only thickened once Mesh added his own haphazard prayers into the mix, muttering pleas under his breath.
Come on, Tresor, Roselia thought, watching from her spot at the footboard of the bed. Don’t go. I never got the chance to thank you for saving me, for helping me find Mithy. Please, Tresor. Just be all right...
After a few long minutes that felt like an eternity, the water faerie ended her chant and opened her eyes. Her hands had returned to normal, no longer glowing with blue light, and her face looked weary, as if it had aged in the few minutes it had taken to perform the spell.
Mesh was the first to rush to his son, leaning over the bed to see how Tresor was faring, but Roselia and Mithy were right on his tail, anxious to know whether it had worked or not.
Roselia held her breath as she looked, and almost fainted with relief.
The gash was gone. It would have been impossible to know he had been injured at all had it not been for the telltale bit of dried blood on his shoulder.
As if sensing an audience, it was then that Tresor slowly opened his eyes, his eyelids fluttering and his pupils shrinking in the cabin light. “Dad?” he croaked out upon seeing the green Skeith hovering over him. “Is... Is that really you?” But he barely had the chance to speak as within seconds he was smothered in a hug.
“Tresor, I’m so sorry!” Mesh apologized, clenching him tightly. “I’m so sorry!”
“Dad, it’s all right,” Tresor said, returning the hug. Part of him felt like crying, but he couldn’t; he was too happy to finally be reunited with his father. “Although you owe me a couple hundred games of Cheat after this.”
His father laughed, a throaty chuckle resounding deep inside his gut as he let go of his son. “Deal.”
“Tresor!” Roselia exclaimed, rushing over to him; it was her turn to give the Lupe a hug. “Tresor, I’m so relieved you’re all right! For a second I thought...” She shook her head, expelling the thought, and added, “Thank you. You saved me twice today. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay you.”
The Lupe looked at her incredulously, a grin still on his face. “Well, apparently you just saved me.”
Roselia shook her head. “No, it was the water faerie that did that, the one who gave you the amulet.” She turned around to show him, but save for the four of them, the cabin was empty. The water faerie had vanished.
Mithy’s face crumpled in confusion, the Ogrin glancing around the cabin as if they had overlooked her. “Apparently she couldn’t stick around.”
“Well, whoever it was who saved me, thank you,” Tresor said, swinging himself off the bed. Despite being stabbed in the shoulder earlier, he felt great. He knew that part of it had to do with the water faerie, but he had a good hunch that the other half had to do with the people surrounding him. He looked around at them. “I can’t believe it,” he said. “We’re all back together.”
“Which is great, son,” Mesh said, but his earlier excitement seemed to be fading away, something that Mithy immediately noticed.
“What’s wrong, Mesh?”
The Skeith shook his head. “There’s still one big problem we have to face: How are we going to get off this ship? Not only are we out in the middle of the ocean, but we’re also caught in the midst of a rival pirate battle that has been in the making for over seven years.”
Roselia froze. Mesh was right; in the middle of all the mayhem over Tresor, she had completely forgotten that up on the deck there were hundreds of pirates sword-fighting for their lives. And it was all because she and Tresor had altered the ship’s course so that they could find their families.
Her stomach flipped.
“We need to stop the fight,” she said, looking around at everyone. “It’s our fault that they’re even fighting at all, and if we ever want to get home, they need to be stopped.”
“Rosy,” Timothy pleaded, “I don’t think you understand. Pirates are ruthless. They aren’t about to stop fighting just because one Usul tells them too.”
Roselia felt like slamming her head into the glass cabinet; he was right. “Well, we have to do something,” she said determinedly. “Otherwise we’ll never get off this ship.”
“Well then,” Mesh announced, his deep voice clear and concise, “I guess that means we should check out the damage. You know, figure out if it’s even possible to get the crews to see reason.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Tresor nodded.
The four carefully formed a line and carefully made their way up the cabin steps. Mithy and Mesh were in the lead; they were the only ones with cutlasses seeing as Roselia and Tresor had lost theirs amidst all the confusion earlier on the deck. But as they climbed, Roselia couldn’t help but imagine the chaos that was occurring above deck. She could already imagine the brutal shouts, the mayhem of sword-fighting, and the full out assaults as each pirate fought for their life. It was a scary image in her mind, and she was all too afraid to see it realized.
“All right,” Mesh whispered from the front of the line. “I’m going to open the door on the count of three. Tresor and Roselia: Stay close to us. Once we’re able to assess the damage, we can make a plan as to how we’re going to get out of here. All right?”
When they agreed, the Skeith nodded.
“All right. On the count of three: one... two... three!”
On the final count, the cabin door was swung open and the four of them rushed out into the bright sunlight. But despite everything they had imagined about the fight, none of them were prepared for what they saw.
To be continued...