A Legend Begins Again: Part Five
Garin didn't have to wait long for Bloodhook to show up. The rain had just started to come down when the Eyrie arrived on the cliff, sword drawn. Garin glared as more thunder boomed overhead and drew his dagger. Bloodhook snickered and started to circle Garin.
"Finally decided to face me like a man, did you?" he asked. Garin's glare hardened as he stepped back and also started to circle his opponent.
"Yeah, I guess you could say that," Garin said, gripping his dagger. "I faced you once, I can do it again. This ENDS tonight, Bloodhook!"
"Yes it does," Bloodhook replied with a hiss. "Tonight is the night I finally remove you from my side... you painful little thorn!!!"
With that, Bloodhook charged, sword swinging in a fast fury, which Garin blocked, adjusting his footing so that he wouldn't be knocked over all together. The sheer force of the strike made his arm ache, and he winced, but that's when Garin realized that Bloodhook was attacking him out of sheer rage. If he could find a way to take advantage of that, he might win this battle faster than he thought! Garin smirked and pushed back on Bloodhook's blade, then suddenly leaned backwards and dropped to the ground, sending the much larger pirate off balance and stumbling forward.
Garin kicked Bloodhook's legs out from under him, and the Eyrie fell forward onto his stomach with a yelp. Garin smirked and quickly stood back up, twirling his dagger in his hands skillfully. Bloodhook growled openly and got up, his wings trying to stretch out, but he screeched in pain, remembering that they were still crippled thanks to that blasted Kyrii! He growled again, but then whipped his tail back into Garin's face, catching the Usul by surprise just long enough for Bloodhook to charge again, this time, catching Garin and pinning him to a large rock with a snarl.
Garin grunted in shock as he held his dagger up to block the strike, trying his best to keep the sharp edge of Bloodhook's cutlass away from his face. Garin took a deep breath, then quickly lifted his legs and kicked Bloodhook in the stomach, hard enough that the Eyrie wheezed and stumbled just enough for Garin to push the blade back and get out of the tight spot he had been forced into. He stood at the ready once more, panting slightly as Bloodhook looked at him and snarled, his eyes bloodshot and furious. Garin bit his lip.
'This is going to be harder than I thought!' he thought.
Meanwhile, Jacques and the others watched from the beach below, near jumping or gasping in fright at each strike that Bloodhook made at Garin. Isca and Caylis watched too, each sister holding onto the other, Isca for comfort, and Caylis to comfort. Jacques glanced at them, then back up at the battle through the rain. He bit his lip and his hands wrung the hilt of his sword nervously...
And then, sheer horror!
Bloodhook suddenly reached behind Garin and grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt, then flung him sideways, towards the edge of the cliff, then, wrapped his tail around Garin's ankle, and caused the boy to lose his footing all together and fall. Garin rolled against his will towards the edge of the cliff, and over the side, but flung his arm up and drove his dagger into the rocky edge, leaving him hanging by one arm over the side, and below him, sharp rocks and churning surf. He grunted as his arm stretched and strained, then gulped as Bloodhook laughed and suddenly loomed over him.
Jacques and the crew gasped, and Isca let out a slight scream, her hands flying over her mouth, fearing that a sudden sound would make things worse. Jacques' hands stopped fidgeting around the hilt of his sword and tightened, drawing it out as he jumped over the rock he had been hiding behind.
"C'mon, he needs our help!!" he shouted, and the others followed to the cliff, starting to climb as quickly as they could.
Garin grunted as he tried to pull himself up, but then winced as Bloodhook stomped on his wrist, which was already hurting, and pushed down, trying to get him to let go of his dagger and fall. Bloodhook laughed and stomped his foot down again on Garin's wrist, and this time, Garin cried out in pain.
"Fall..." Bloodhook hissed. "FALL!" He stomped his foot down again, but Garin would not let go, for his life depended on it. Bloodhook snarled angrily... then chuckled and raised his arm, his cutlass rising with it.
Isca gasped. This was it... the exact same thing she had been seeing in her dreams... this was it! She let out a sob of terror and covered her eyes with her hands, unable to watch anymore... fearing the outcome.
The cutlass came down, and those moments seemed to drag on like a snail moving across a road for Garin, his heart pounding out of control as his eyes widened in terror. And then, time seemed to stop all together, as Bloodhook's cutlass was about to hit its mark... and light a bolt of lightning that split the sky, Garin thought of a way to save his life.
He reached up... grabbed Bloodhook's tail and gave a good, strong, yank!
Bloodhook screeched in shock and pain, falling off balance as he was suddenly pulled over the edge. Garin saw his chance as Bloodhook grabbed the edge of the cliff. He grabbed Bloodhook by the ears and scrambled up the Eyrie's body like a ladder, taking special care to kick Bloodhook in the face as he reached the top. He pulled his dagger from the ground as he finally reached safety and moved away from the edge, dropping to his knees to catch his breath and wait for his heart to slow down.
Jacques and the others had just arrived at the top when they saw Garin climb to safety, and sighed in relief, fearing they may not make it in time. Jacques ran over to Garin and helped him up to his feet.
"You okay?!" he asked over the wind and rain.
"Peachy..." Garin replied, his voice laced in sarcasm. Jacques couldn't resist a smirk.
"Rrrr!" came a growl, and Garin turned around to find Bloodhook climbing back up. Garin snarled and turned, holding up his dagger.
"You... good for nothing WHELP!" Bloodhook roared and charged. Garin readied himself for an attack... or at least, an attack against him. For at the last possible, second, Bloodhook changed his course... and went at Jacques.
Jacques let out a yelp of shock as Bloodhook swung at him, then sliced a deep and painful cut into his arm. Jacques grabbed the wound as he fell back with a shout of pain, and Bloodhook moved to strike again.
CLANG!! A flash of blue and gold blocked the strike. Bloodhook gave a blink of shock, finding himself staring into Garin's crystal blue eyes, which were burning in icy rage. His teeth were bared, and his face hardened in almost insane anger as a growl escaped his throat.
"Big... Mistake!!" Garin shouted in Bloodhook's face, then pushed back on the cutlass with his dagger, then struck again, but this time, twisting the dagger so the sharp edge moved in just the right way, and sliced Bloodhook's cutlass clean in half, all the way down to the hilt. Bloodhook gave a gasp, then grunted in pain as Garin raised his foot and kicked him in the chest, sending him onto his back. Bloodhook tried to sit up, but then froze... as Garin stopped the blade dangerously close to his throat, and he dare not move another inch.
Garin stood there, his Maractite dagger blade very close to Bloodhook's throat, his eyes looking like an ice-cold blizzard. Bloodhook nervously glanced at the blade, and then at Garin, feeling as if his doom were wrapping around him like a warm blanket. Jacques sighed in relief that Garin had won the duel and had Bloodhook pinned, but there was still something to be done... finishing Bloodhook off. Isca and Caylis watched from the water, knowing that Bloodhook deserved the fate that was about to receive, but deep in her heart, Isca felt sick.
"Go on!" Talak shouted to Garin as encouragement.
"Finish him off, Garin!" Jacques shouted. The crew shouted in agreement, but Garin didn't move, his eyes locked onto Bloodhook's fiery orange eyes, which were swimming with fear.
Garin felt his stomach churning, and his heart pounding in his chest. He wanted so badly to do it. He wanted so badly to rid himself of Bloodhook, and prevent him from coming back and threatening the lives of his friends again. But his arm seemed dead, numb, and unable to respond to his commands... but which commands? Garin's mates were shouting at him to finish Bloodhook, and Garin's mind was screaming at him to jerk his arm and finish off his enemy while he had the chance, but his heart... his heart was screaming something else...
Garin bared his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut. He knew which one he wanted to obey; he knew which one... he knew which one would put a stop to this. Garin started to let out a growl, gripped his dagger, and then opened his eyes...
"NO!!!" he yelled, yanking his arm away from Bloodhook and flinging his dagger to the ground, so it was out of his reach and view. He stood there, his chest heaving up and down, and his eyes softening back to their crystal blue.
"No..." he said again. "I won't do it." Jacques, and the others stared in absolute shock, and so did Bloodhook.
"What?!" Jacques asked, his voice mixing with others of the crew. They all knew that Garin HAD to not be thinking clearly, and Bloodhook stared at Garin in shock and disbelief.
"You must be mad!" he said.
"Nope," Garin said, still panting. "I'm just smart. I won't kill you because I'm not a killer. That was the stupid mistake you made somewhere back in your life. You got so used to taking life, that greed and hate filled every vein of blood in your body. I won't make that mistake, I won't take a life, unless my own, or my friend's lives are threatened." Garin looked over his shoulder at Jacques and the crew, then he looked back at Bloodhook and glared.
"Don't think of this as an act of mercy for you, I did this for myself," he said. "So I won't become like you. EVER."
Jacques watched and listened carefully, and couldn't help but feel extremely proud of his friend. Garin had made the right choice, it was crazy, but it was indeed, the right choice. And Isca, felt sorely impressed by Garin's choice. Maybe he wouldn't be a whole pirate after all. He was good...
Well, sort of good.
Bloodhook glared and started to sit up, and Garin watched his every move to make sure he didn't try anything. Bloodhook now sat on his knees, and he looked up at Garin, with angry eyes.
"And now what?" he asked. Garin glared and grabbed Bloodhook by the shirtfront and pulled his face close to his.
"You run," he hissed. "And never... let me see your face... again."
Garin shoved Bloodhook onto his back, then turned and walked over towards his friends, stopping to pick up his dagger as he did. Jacques crossed his arms as he reached them, then smiled and put his hand on Garin's shoulder, patting him lightly as Garin returned the smile and was congratulated by the others, while below, Isca laughed in relief and hugged Caylis, who couldn't repress a smile herself.
Bloodhook groaned in pain and rolled onto his side, growling and cursing Garin's name in just about any way he knew how. His wings had been crippled, his dignity stripped from him, and the chances of him taking back his ship, gone. He glared over his shoulder at Garin, and found him looking back at him with his friends, as if expecting him to make a move even though Bloodhook knew better, as he was disarmed.
But the truth was... he was a coward.
Bloodhook growled and stood up, facing Garin and pointing a clawed finger at him, his lip curling into a snarl, then his pointing hand turning into a clenched fist. The scar on his face stung as the unsatisfied need for vengeance burned inside him.
"Mark my words... Garin the Foolish," he said. "This is NOT over! I'll be back!"
"And just like before... We'll be ready," Garin said, crossing his arms with a crafty, yet proud smirk on his face, with his friends standing at his side.
Bloodhook scoffed in anger, then turned and jumped. Garin gave a start, then ran with Jacques over to edge to look... but Bloodhook was gone. Jacques looked around, then at Garin, who also looked for the Eyrie.
"Where'd he go?!" Jacques asked.
"Forget it, Jacques," Garin replied. "He's gone. It's over... For now, at least."
The sky had cleared and a new dawn was rising, the menace had passed. Garin and his friends returned to their ship and were making ready to set sail once again, while in the meantime, Garin said goodbye to Isca and her sister.
"So you're not going to give up being a pirate?" Isca asked. Garin sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Isca..." he said.
"I know, I know, you need excitement," Isca said with an annoyed sigh. Garin smiled.
"You're never gonna leave it alone, are you?" he asked, then laughed as her cheeks puffed up and turned red in aggravation. "I'll take that as a no!"
"Garin!" Jacques called as he walked over. "We're ready and awaiting orders."
"Alright," Garin said with a nod, then looked back at Isca. "Thank you both for your help... I'll visit Maraqua when I can."
"You're still an incorrigible pirate..." Isca said. "But you're welcome."
Garin laughed, then waved goodbye to the sisters as they dove underwater to return to Maraqua. Garin turned and walked with Jacques back to the ship, sighing as he came aboard and stroked the railing with one hand. He walked up to the helm and gave orders for the crew to set sail. Garin put his hands on the ship's wheel and took in a deep breath of the salty air of the sea.
"Home sweet home!" he said with a smile. Jacques nodded with a smile, then looked at Garin.
"You really think Bloodhook will be back?" he asked. Garin nodded.
"Aye, he'll be back, someday," he said as he gave the wheel a slight turn, then looked at Jacques with a smirk. "Why? Are you scared?"
"Of course not!" Jacques said.
"Uh huh..." Garin said with a snicker, and Jacques scowled.
"Sail ahoy!" one of the crew shouted. Garin and Jacques both looked over to one side as the crew started to gather and look as well. Garin grinned. It was a trade ship, sitting low in the water, which meant it was probably loaded down with treasure. Jacques rubbed his hands together.
"Now that's a prize if I ever saw one!" he said. "Shall we pay them a visit?"
"Aye!" Garin said, turning the wheel in the ship's direction. "Hands to action stations!" he cried, and the crew scrambled excitedly to obey. Garin's grin widened and he laughed.
"Now THIS is a pirate's life!" he said. "A pirate's life for me... Forever!"