A Legend Begins Again: Part Four
Garin stopped somewhere in the forest, just in view of the shoreline, to catch his breath, his hands resting on his knees. His face felt stiff from the tears that had streamed out of his eyes and dried as he ran. He hated having to run off from Jacques like that, but what choice did he have? He had to keep his friends from harm somehow. Bloodhook would never stop until Garin was dead, and would harm his friends to assure that...
Garin sighed sorrowfully and sat on a nearby rock, taking out his dagger and staring at himself in the blade. He wanted badly to kick himself for all that had happened... but really, what could he do? Except face Bloodhook alone.
Bloodhook was Garin's first foe. He'd never forget that wicked Eyrie's voice, face, or manner. After that first battle with him, he'd not seen hide or hair of him, and had become so wrapped up in making a name for himself as a pirate in Neopia's waters, he'd nearly forgotten about Bloodhook's threat after their first encounter that he would return. Garin said he'd be ready... but so much had happened. The Battle at Maraqua, all his encounters with Scarblade, among other adventures...
Garin shuddered and tightened his fists around the fabric of his trousers. That could all end if he lost the unavoidable, upcoming fight with Bloodhook, which was a fight that couldn't be avoided. Garin looked up and out towards the ocean.
'I need a strategy...' he thought. But the truth was... he needed help.
Jacques panted for breath as he ran back into the square, looking at Talak and Bill as they reached the same spot, followed by Jim a moment later.
"Any sign of him!?" Jacques asked.
"Not a trace!" Talak panted in reply.
"We looked all over!" Bill said. "But we haven't found or even seen Garin! Bloodhook seems to have vanished as well, which bodes ill..."
"Aye..." Jim said with a scared nod. "If Bloodhook has Garin... he may be preparing a trap, or worse, Garin may already be--"
"DON'T SAY THAT!!" Jacques snapped, causing Jim to shrink away in shock and a bit in fear. Jacques looked at Bill. "Did anyone search the jungle yet?!"
"N-Not yet." Bill said. "Sam wanted to but I told him to wait until someone was available to go with him!"
"Well we're available! Now quit standing around and get moving! We're losing daylight fast!!"
"Right!" Talak said, turning and heading back to the ship to fetch the others. Jim sighed nervously.
"Great... going into the jungle, near dark, with a crazed, bloodthirsty buccaneer on the loose!" he groaned. Jacques looked at him.
"Hey Jim, think you can do me a favor?" he asked, then spread his hands about a foot apart. "Think you can find me a stout piece of wood about so big?"
"Um... I think so, why?" Jim replied, blinking in confusion.
"Then do so and tie it to your spine. It needs stiffening!"
Isca broke the surface of the water and looked around. The shore in front of her was definitely Krawk Island, but as to where Garin could be... it could be anywhere, though she had a feeling that he was close. She scanned the shoreline carefully, knowing she had found him here before, even though it had been mostly by chance.
"Oh, what I wouldn't give to have dreamt about where to find him!" Isca whimpered aloud, swimming closer to shore, with Caylis close behind her.
"Keep calm, Isca, we'll find him!" she said, also scanning the shore. "And if not him, we'll look for his friends, they may know something!"
"Right, good idea." Isca dove back under the waves so she could swim faster, Caylis following, but then she broke surface again, riding the waves closer to shore and picking up speed.
The two sisters were unaware, however, that Garin could see them from where he sat on the rock in the trees. His ears perked up and he stood to get a better view, then ran forward onto the beach and cupped his hands to his mouth.
"Isca!" he called, and both Aishas stopped, breaking surface to look towards the shore. Isca sighed in relief and instantly swam for the shore, stopping just short of the rocks, as Garin climbed onto one and looked down at her.
"You've no idea how happy I am to see you!" he said. "But what are you doing here?"
"Looking for you!" Isca exclaimed, rising out of the water just enough to hug Garin in relief. "I just thank Fyora that we weren't too late!"
Garin didn't like the sound of that.
"Too late?" he asked, worry lacing his voice. Isca frowned.
"Garin... both Caylis and I have been having the same dream..."
It didn't take long for Isca to explain to Garin everything she had seen in her dreams, and already it was sitting heavily on his shoulders. He rubbed his neck nervously, but it wasn't just HIS fate that worried him... With him gone, what would become of his friends? Garin shuddered at picturing Bloodhook standing over him, laughing before he struck the final blow.
"So... it's over for me then?" he asked.
"We don't know that for sure..." Caylis said. "Isca and I have never really seen your doom in our dreams." Garin looked at her, and then looked down at the water. He sighed.
"The dreams you girls have confuse even me!" he said. Isca frowned again and put a hand on his arm.
"Do you still have the necklace I gave you?" she asked, and Garin nodded. "Then come on! You can stay in Maraqua until the danger passes!"
"Run!?" Garin questioned suddenly. He may have been scared, but he was no coward and never ran away from a fight! And besides, he couldn't abandon Jacques and his crew, not to that tyrant!
Garin's fear was quickly replaced by anger and he clenched his fists. He wouldn't give Bloodhook the satisfaction of taking the only home he'd known for all these years, nor would he let this beast keep chasing him and threatening him! It was just like when they first met... he couldn't run from the threat; instead, he had to face it! Garin stood up and looked back towards the jungle.
"No, Isca," he said. "I can't just run away from this... I'm gonna end this, once and for all!!"
Jacques looked around cautiously as he and the others moved through the trees. Still no sign of Garin, and it was getting darker by the second, not only because of the time of day it was, but because it appeared that storm clouds were starting to gather. Jacques cursed their luck and silently crossed his fingers under the hand guard of his sword, hoping they would find Garin safe.
A loud clap of thunder made Jacques jump and his hair stand on end. He growled as he calmed himself down and kicked a small bit of foliage that stood in his way as he and the others came within view of the nearby cliffs.
"This isn't looking good!" he said. "Garin could be anywhere!"
"So could Bloodhook," Talak said. "Don't let your guard down for a minute!" Jacques nodded in agreement and looked around again, pushing past some shrubbery and thick leaves to get to the small spot of beach that stretched from where they stood to the rocks and cliff.
"Hmm..." Jacques said in thought. "With a bird's eye view it might be easier for us to find Garin..."
"Or for Bloodhook to find us." Talak said. Jacques sighed and looked out over the water.
"Where are you, Garin?" he asked aloud.
"I'm right here!" came the reply, which caused Jacques to jump and whirl around. Garin turned the corner around the cliff base, ankle deep in the surf, with both Sea Aishas in the water behind. Jacques sighed in relief.
"Garin!" he said as he and the others ran over. Jacques stopped, glared slightly, then punched Garin in the arm. "What were you thinking!? Running off on your own like that, you might have gotten killed!!"
"Sheesh, calm down mum!" Garin joked, rubbing his arm. Jacques rolled his eyes, which fell upon the two Maraquans. He blinked in slight surprise.
"Isca? Caylis?" he asked. "What are you two doing here?"
"It's a long story, Jacques." Caylis said. "One that will have to wait. Garin intends to confront this... Bloodhook, I believe is what he's called."
Her words caused Jacques to shoot Garin a look. Garin met the look with a similar look of seriousness, but then he sighed and looked at the others as well.
"Garin, you could be killed!" Jacques said.
"I know... But it's a chance I'll have to take." Garin replied. Jacques just blinked at him, and Garin smirked, punching his best friend in the arm. "Hey, taking chances is what our lives are all about, right?"
Jacques paused... then smiled and nodded. He put a hand on Garin's shoulder.
"Doesn't mean I don't want you to be careful, you got that?" he said. Garin chuckled and nodded.
A loud clap of thunder and a strong gust of wind nearly sent Garin's headband flying off, and he grabbed it before it could, tightening it carefully before looking up at the sky. Isca did the same and Caylis frowned down at the water. Garin closed his eyes and sighed, then nodded and looked up the rocks, then jerked his head at the others.
"You all wait down here, stay out of sight," he said, then started to climb. "I'll signal if I need you!"
"Be careful, Garin!" Isca cried over the wind. Garin nodded over his shoulder, then kept climbing.
It didn't take long to reach the top, the cliff was slanted enough that falling wouldn't have meant serious injury. Garin found himself standing in a place that was flat, yet stretched over the water, and as he looked down, he saw the others take their places, hiding behind a large set of rocks, and Isca and Caylis retreated under the water, though he could still see their shapes in the shallow water. Garin sighed shakily and rubbed a hand through his hair, giving a small, and inconspicuous wave to Jacques with his other hand, and he saw Jacques nod, meaning they could see everything that would transpire from where they hid. Garin nodded back secretly, then turned and faced away from the water. All he could do now... was wait.
To be continued...