The Greatest Treasure
The winds were growing strong when Captain Alia strolled to the front of her ship, the Blue Dubloon. Alia scanned the skies with a worried grimace, knowing the day's outcome was looking bleak. She could hear the whispers and nervous chatter coming from the crew members as well: a storm was coming.
It was finally that time of year, the time when the Blue Dubloon set sail in search for the treasures said to be hidden in a small cove off the coast of Krawk Island. The treasure was foretold to contain more dubloons and gold than any pirate could imagine, making it Alia's priority to set sail and retrieve the riches for all of her loyal crew members, including herself. The only problem was that nobody had ever set foot in the unknown cove, as tales of creatures guarding the entrance scared off most pirates that were seeking the treasure as well. Even the Map of Krawk Island is marked with a clear warning where the cove's location would be: "KEEP OUT!" Alia, however, was not so easily discouraged. She made the necessary preparations for the dangerous journey, and was currently setting sail for Krawk Island.
"Steady now, steady!" Alia shouted towards the uneasy crewmembers. "It's only a little wind. I'm sure we'll be out of it by..."
Alia's voice was cut off by a monstrous wave crashing onto the ship's deck, causing Alia to fly backwards in a sea of salty foam.
"GAHH!" she sputtered as she regained her footing. "Alright everyone, man your posts! We've hit a storm but we're not breaking speed! We must reach Krawk Island before sunset!"
Alia struggled through the water as she headed for the wheel, attempting to guide the ship through the rapidly approaching storm.
Alia's head whipped frantically towards the skies, now darkened with clouds. Rain started spitting upon Alia's nose and drenching her fur. Her grip on the ship's wheel was beginning to slip from the constant pour of rain, causing the wheel to spin out of control. Crewmembers were tumbling around like dolls as more waves crashed onto the deck.
"Take hold of the wheel!" Alia barked at a nearby crewmember as she ran towards a loose rope.
Alia was in the middle of retying the rope when her eyes caught the sight of something truly horrific. There, headed straight for the Blue Dubloon, was a wave. Not just a wave, but a 1000-foot tall tsunami that was about to take down the ship. All Alia and the crewmembers could do was stare. A few jaws dropped and a few dropped the ropes they were tying, but everyone simply stared.
"No..." Alia whispered, afraid that her dream of finding the Krawk Island treasure had endangered her entire crew. She slowly shut her eyes...
The rain stopped. The wind was gone. There was no more water under Alia's feet. Alia eyes snapped open to find the sun shining brightly down upon an undamaged Blue Dubloon.
"What... what happened?" George, one of the Ixi that worked below deck, stuttered as he emerged up onto the main deck. Others began to join in his confusion, murmuring nervously about the swift disappearance of the storm and the ginormous wave that was seconds away from ending the Blue Dubloon's journey forever.
After accepting the reality of the situation, Alia looked up to find that Krawk Island was now directly behind the ship. She looked back towards the front of the ship to find that right in front of them was the unknown cove they'd been searching for.
"Oh my, it's, it's the cove! It's the cove, everyone!" Alia cried, throwing up her hat in celebration. She stomped her hooves into the deck and began to dance around the main deck, the rest of the crew following her lead.
"Wait!" George stammered, causing the celebratory dancing to come to a halt. "Captain Alia, where are the creatures that supposedly guard the island?"
Alia froze and scanned the nearby seas, holding her sword close to her side. There was no movement; there were no ripples in the ocean.
"It must have been a myth," Alia said cautiously, still on alert for movement in the blue waters. "Maybe the so-called 'creatures' were the ones that rescued us from the storm and delivered us to the cove. We should start to prepare the boats and head for the cove."
The crew began to nod in agreement, hugging each other in relief that everyone was safe. A few minutes later, the longboats were ready and the crew began to head out for the cove. The waters got clearer as the crew neared the cove, becoming almost translucent when the longboats reached the shore.
"Wow, this cove is magical! I've never seen waters as clear as these in all of my days as a pirate," exclaimed Lucy, a Kacheek that had been sailing the ocean blue for almost her entire life. "The treasure has to be here somewhere!"
Alia got a good feeling about the cove too. As the crew tied up the longboats and set out to explore the cove, Alia's sword started to glow a shade of blue as they wandered into a small cave.
The cave was tucked behind a large tree, masking its presence from most onlookers. It wasn't until Lucy tripped over a rock and fell against the tree that the branches shifted and revealed the cave's entrance.
Inside the cave, the walls were also a vibrant shade of blue. It wasn't going to be easy maneuvering the cave, though, as the cave veered off into many different tunnels, all glowing blue.
"I thought that your sword was going to help us reach the treasure," George pouted. "Now all it's doing is making us more confused... everything is blue!"
"Well, maybe as Alia travels down different tunnels, the color will either fade or brighten depending on whether or not she is getting close to the treasure," Lucy stated, adjusting the pair of pink glasses on her face. "If that's the case, then she should walk down each tunnel until the sword starts to fade. If it does, then she should turn around and try a different tunnel until the sword becomes bright blue."
"Lucy... that's genius!" Alia exclaimed. "Okay, everyone, I'm going to have George and Lucy come with me as I go down each tunnel. I need the rest of you guys to wait here, and we'll come back to tell you if the treasure is down the tunnel or now."
It ended up being the third tunnel that Alia, George and Lucy travelled down when Alia's sword began to glow bright blue. Alia looked ahead and saw a room aglow with blue walls and the gold tint of treasure.
"It's down here!" Alia yelled down the tunnel, alerting the remainder of the crew to follow down the tunnel.
When the entire crew emerged into the room filled with treasure, all of their eyes lit up with happiness. They did it! They found the lost treasure that no other pirates dared to look for.
While the crew danced around and sorted through the dubloons and other trinkets they discovered, Alia stood off to the side taking in the sight before her. She started to walk towards one of the treasure chests when her foot crunched against a piece of paper. Puzzled, Alia bent down and picked up the discarded paper. When she unfolded it, the note read:
"The greatest treasure in life is the friendships you share."
Alia simply smiled at the paper, folding it back up and carefully placing it in her pocket. She realized she didn't need any of the riches they found, because she had all of the treasure she'd ever need: the people in the room with her. Her friends.