The Unforgettable Voyage
“Do we still have to go?” a strong voice repeated. It belonged to a short, but fairly built Orange Grundo, donning the famous purple and orange uniform of Kreludor’s Yooyuball team. He sat at the prow of a long wooden boat that seemed to creak loudly at any movement he made in his seat. Next to him sat a Blue Grundo wearing the same uniform, and almost directly behind him sat a surprisingly quiet Pirate Grundo. The very back of their boat had a small cabin where their cook could work. Their boat was powered by nothing other than the oars they held in their hands.
“You complain too much, Qlydae. Cricket that chirps too loudly gets eaten by bird,” answered a calm, gentle voice that belonged to a White Grundo wearing a bright red and yellow uniform belonging to Shenkuu. He straightened his long, black mustache as he spoke, looking at Qlydae from the corner of his eye. He chose to sit three seats behind the Team Kreludor Grundos, and was glad for making that decision.
“Four hundred miles of hearing Larcy’s phrases of wisdom and I think I’m going to puke,” whispered a young, Blue Grundo to Qlydae as he ran his hand past his tuft of purple hair. "Well, at least it's better than having to hear the whole team do it!"
“I might crack before you do, Zenor,” laughed Qlydae as he nudged the Blue Grundo sitting next to him.
“The faster ye can row, the faster we’d be gettin’ there,” growled the quiet Pirate Grundo as he rowed. His uniform was red and black and all torn, colors only worn by Krawk Island.
“Relax, Zayle, nothing wrong with messing with the wise one there,” the two Kreludor Grundos laughed to themselves again as they started to row. They were all only a few miles out from Altador but could barely see the shore far behind them. “So... why are we going to Lutari Island?”
“Weren’t you paying attention to the commissioner, Qlydae?” Zenor sighed, taking a break from his rowing. “We’re supposed to motivate them to field an Altador Cup team, and he wanted us Grundos to go to show how we have species unity even though we’re on different teams.” They both collectively rolled their eyes.
“Lame,” whispered Qlydae so that only Zenor could hear. From the corner of his eye he could see Zenor nod silently.
“This was a horrible idea!” The door to the cabin slammed open and Weldar, a tall Mutant Grundo stormed out out holding a huge cooking pot full of foul smelling food. A trail of black smoke followed him out of the cabin, tainting his grey and red Virtupets uniform. “Just because I am related to Gargarox, who happens to be the Grundo Chef, does NOT mean I can cook! I don’t even know what half this stuff is!”
“Chef who cannot cook is out of a job,” said Larcy while rowing. The silent Zayle smirked, while Zenor and Qlydae laughed. This only made Weldar more upset.
“You all think you’re so funny? Fine, cook it yourself!” As he said this, Weldar suddenly dropped the pot. Instead of just bouncing off the bottom like he expected, a crashing sound was heard as the pot hit the bottom, and it went right through without much effort. “Uh... oh,” whispered Weldar, looking straight down at the hole that was quickly filling their boat with water.
“Weldar, you genius, way to go!” The four other Grundos scrambled out of their seats, looking for anything they may have brought that could fill that hole. Without thinking, Weldar grabbed the running Qlydae and stuck him through the hole. To everyone’s surprise, he fit perfectly.
“Oh no, no, no, I am not going to serve as a giant bath plug for this boat!” grunted Qlydae as he tried to pull himself out. Larcy and Zayle laughed quietly at the sight of only half of Qlydae visible to them.
“Without ye, we’d be sinkin’ pretty fast.” Zayle grinned, as did the others. Qlydae sighed heavily and crossed his arms, obviously frustrated at the situation. Zenor was the first to break that silence.
“I really hope that the pot doesn’t disturb the Slug Monster,” said Zenor, looking at the ocean surrounding them.
“Arr, the Slug Monster lives in the Maraquan Ruins. We are nowhere near Maraqua,” said Zayle as he tried to squeeze some water out of his uniform.
“He who lives in old tales can never learn the new,” responded Larcy proudly.
“I am getting really tired of your phrases, dude,” growled Zenor, grabbing his oar as if it was a bat. Zayle tried to lower Zenor’s oar slowly.
“We don’t want to be startin’ fights, lad,” Zayle said calmly, standing between Zenor and Larcy.
“Why do I have to listen to you, you silly pirate?” Zenor pushed Zayle, glaring at him. Zayle’s eyes opened wide and he grabbed his own oar, ready to swing away at the Blue Grundo, but Weldar grabbed him and pulled him back.
“No need for that, Zenor,” yelled Weldar, still holding onto an angry Zayle. “We all joined the teams we best fit, no need to insult.”
“Says you! We could have had a perfect team, the five of us Grundos, but no, you three just had to join other teams. Traitors!” Zenor stood his ground, still holding onto his oar tightly.
“Why, you spoiled, little...” Weldar grabbed Zayle in a way as if to use him as some type of bat, but stopped. The ocean seemed to shake like an earthquake and they all felt it. From afar they saw something come out of the water that resembled the Slug Monster’s yellow, curvy, hard shell and come right towards them.
“It’s the Slug Monster! Let’s get out of here!” yelled Qlydae, using his legs underwater to kick and try to move the boat. The others all rushed to their seats and grabbed their oar, working fiercely to move away. Even Weldar, who was supposed to cook and did not have an oar, was using his big hands to paddle as to help the others. The humongous shell was coming closer every second, and it didn’t seem like there was anything they could do to keep their distance from it.
“Brace yourselves!” Weldar yelled, ducking for cover. Within a few seconds, they were all ducking somewhere on the boat to brace for the Slug Monster, but all they heard was laughter. Slowly all of them came out of their hiding places and looked in the direction the shell was and were surprised to find none other than some of the Maraqua Yooyuball team. A fairly large Maraquan Skeith was laughing the loudest, followed by a Maraquan Techo. Both of them were holding onto a huge inflatable shell made to look like that of the Slug Monster.
“You all were brilliant, Grundos! Did you hear them, bracing themselves – hah!” They both swam around their boat, ridiculing them further.
“Oh get out of here, or I’ll be tellin’ your captain ‘bout this!” yelled Zayle to the two Maraquans. They did not seem to be afraid at all about the warning.
“Oh I’m soooo scared that our team captain is going to get angry!” mocked the Skeith, laughing heartily still. As they kept laughing, however, they failed to notice another shell much larger than the fake one they held lifting above the water behind them. The Grundos quickly took note of it and grabbed their oars quickly, getting their boat going as fast as they could.
“Look at them go, what cowards!” laughed the Techo as he watched the Grundos get away quickly. The shell which must have been four times as big as the Skeith kept rising above them, casting a shadow over the Maraquans. Noticing the shadow, the two Maraquans turned around and froze in the water. The two of them shrieked and threw their fake shell in the air as both of them swam fiercely towards the Grundos. Without much effort, they passed the rowing Grundos, which were all struggling to get away once again. The shell had moved and was approaching their boat quickly – much quicker than the Maraquans with their fake shell.
“We’re never going to make it!” cried Zenor as he rowed frantically. The Slug Monster had raised its head out of the water and it was glaring at their boat.
“I have an idea! Since we can’t out-swim it, maybe we can fight it off,” exclaimed Qlydae from his hole on the boat.
“Are you insane? It’s humongous, and none of us have Battledome experience. Plus, all we have is our Yooyuball slings and those rubber balls made to look like Yooyus to show the Lutari Islanders!” said Zenor as he kept rowing.
“Aye, lad!” Zayle smiled as he got up and grabbed all of their Slings from their backpacks. “We use these to rid us of the beast! I am good at passing, so I can throw ye the Yooyus. Zenor is quick and can sling many Yooyus at it. Weldar is strong and can also hit the Slug Monster well! Larcy, ye can help me give them Yooyus,” explained Zayle to all of them.
“What about me? And who made YOU leader?” yelled Qlydae from below.
“Ye would be helping us stay afloat, lad. And we’d be in trouble and I am no leader, we work together. Go!” As soon as Zayle finished, Weldar and Zenor got to the railings of the boat where they could clearly see the Slug Monster. Zayle and Larcy got to the bag of fake Yooyus and slung them to the others. Weldar focused on getting some good hits, while Zenor tried to get many consecutive, but not as strong, hits on one part of the Slug Monster.
“I think he’s slowing down!” said Weldar as he hit the Slug Monster on the head once again. After a few more hits by the giant Grundo the Slug Monster seemed to give up and sink back under the sea.
“We got him! Finally!” yelled Zenor as they all jumped and celebrated. “Way to use teamwork, everyone. We did it!” They high-fived each other and threw their slings back in their bags.
“Wait... I feel that rumbling again, guys,” Qlydae cried out, still stuck on the floor. The four of them stood back up on guard again, but did not expect what came next. Without warning, a huge tail pushed out of the water and into the air and smacked the back of their boat with a cracking sound that could be heard for miles. The impact was enough to send all four to smash against the cabin as their boat sped through the sea for no more than half a minute. After what seemed like hours to them, their boat slowed down and came to a stop, causing all four to crash down on the floor.
“That... was awesome!” said a very tired Zenor, who had landed on top of Zayle.
“Get... off... me,” said the muffled voice of Zayle from below Zenor. Zenor rolled off Zayle as Weldar and Larcy came to their senses as well. The strength of the hit had caused Qlydae to be pushed off the hole and was now sitting against the cabin with the others.
“Why did we stop so suddenly?” said a confused Zayle. He was the first to make an effort to get up, and as soon as he did he jumped in excitement. “We made it! We’re in Lutari Island; that monster smacked us right onto shore!” The other four got up as fast as they could and looked around the sandy beach they had been pushed onto.
“Finally... Now let’s finished what they wanted us to do,” said the exhausted Qlydae, who was for the first time in hours able to use his legs to walk. The others agreed and they jumped off the boat, heading towards one of the wooden gates of Lutari Island. As they approached the gate, a door on the side opened and a tall Green Lutari came out to greet them.
“Sorry, but the island is closed to visitors,” said the Green Lutari.
“What do you mean by that? Coach Riki was the one that told us to come here; we should be clear for entry,” said Qlydae as the others nodded in agreement. He reached into his pocket looking for the permit that Coach Riki gave him but instead only pulled out a wet unreadable crumpled up piece of paper.
“I am sorry, but without the proper paperwork we cannot let you in. Good luck with your travels, Grundos. Oh, and be careful, I heard the Slug Monster is doing some travelling lately.” The Lutari retreated into the gates of the island and closed it behind him.
“Seriously? We came all this way to not be let in?” cried Zenor as he slumped into the sand.
“Can our boat even make it back?” questioned Qlydae as they all looked towards their boat, which had been anchored in the sand. As soon as he had finished his sentence, one of the wooden planks holding together the cabin gave way and the whole cabin collapsed in one swoop.
“Arrr... that answers that question,” sighed Zayle as he also slumped in the sand.
“Boat that has no cabin... oh whatever, it can’t float.” A frustrated Larcy sat down next to Zayle. The four others laughed, as all of them had never expected Larcy to not have one of his phrases of wisdom handy.
Even though they did not manage to enter Lutari Island, they still managed to work together as a team, and prove that no matter what team they are a part of, they are still able to gain their goals. Leaving, however, is a whole different story.