So over the next couple of days we sailed along the coast, staying close to the shore but not close enough to be spotted. Ever since our incident with those Sievere, Destran had decided it was too dangerous to go into open sea directly. Wimps! They couldn’t control themselves when those water folk attacked, I too was affected but not to the margin they were. I guess it helps to be lustful all the time, it helps resist being controlled by lust enchantments!
Took Destran half a day to get all his strength back, weak sod nearly drowned to death. Zahkon wasn’t as affected as much, but I suspected his magic had something to do with that. I had been sung to on many occasions before, and as my lungs always fixed themselves and my heart began beating once I had breathed in the tiniest speck of air, the Sievere’s found it pointless to continue. That being said I was able to gather some sort of resistance towards their songs, even if it was limited at best.
I guess they never expected anyone to be able to survive days under water!
I had given up on trying to goad those Sievere back after a few hours, and returned to my pirate shenanigans. It was highly amusing for me, even for Yara and Lyra as well! Stereotypes were funny! The only person it seemed to annoy was Zahkon, and I was A-Okay with that! Little tree thumper spent most of his time in a bucket anyways. He had gotten over his little ‘I want to die, my life is crap!’ phase and was back to being a full blown love-struck dimwit, something that made me gag.
It was quite bright today… well as bright as a purple sky can be! And I was finishing off my 10,000 bottles of rum on the wall song, much to the delight of the others. I turned it around on them when I said ‘one more time’ and began again, spent the next ten minutes trying to stop Destran and Brena from throwing knives at me, aiming for my throat.
I was up on the mast, surveying the area around us. I had told them it was a pirate’s duty to keep look out for merchant ships to plunder, officially I was keeping an eye out for that Sievere that Yara had a go at. By the way she was threatened, she probably thought she was going to lose everything, and people who lose everything make desperate, stupid decisions. I should know.
An hour passes and I heard somebody climbing up towards me, I assumed it was Brena and so called out to her as such.
“Now, now Brana. If ye want some lovin’ ye’ll have to wait until we be back on land! No privacy on this here love tub. Unless ye want ta be makin’ a peep show out of it?! BAH HA!” I taunted her.
“I seriously doubt she’d ever want to be with you, let along make it a public thing” I heard a different, sarcastic, female tone.
I looked around to see Lyra of all people climbing up to speak with me. She perched her nice butt beside me on the mast and gazed out into the ocean. I was very confused as to why she was sitting next to me! ME!
“Isn’t the ocean so… magnificent?” She said dreamily.
“Aye, that be true. But I doubt ye wanted ta speak ta me about no ocean now did ye?” I questioned her.
“I can barely understand you!” she laughed.
“I be a pirate! A pirate’s life is the life for me! This is how pirates be speaking in daily accordance to their fellow sea rats!”
“I didn’t notice any of those pirates attacking the town talking like you.”
“That be because those lily-livered landlubbers weren’t no real pirates!”
“And you are?”
“Ha! Well in any case… I haven’t really spoken to you much… at all really” she said darted her eyes away.
“Well that be because Idiot don’t like his personal whore speaking ta somebody twice the man he be!”
She instantly slapped me with her eyes turning black. I nearly lost my balance!
“Don’t you ever call me a whore! We Sievere are-”
“Monogamous, aye I be getting the parlay scroll about that one” I cut her off. Her eyes turned a little bit back to blue.
“Why do you act like an idiot all the time?! It’s really frustrating you know! You’re clearly smarter then you seem if you know about Sievere and their relationships” she said with a calmer voice.
“It be funny!” I laughed.
“Really? That’s the only reason?” She said with her eyes turning back to normal.
“I don’t believe you… you are a strange one Valenstar. You have evil powers, you annoy everybody to no ends, and by all accounts you should be evil! But you also saved me, and I know you tried to hide it but it took a lot out of you. That was the only time I’ve ever seen you tired actually, even after fighting that Darma, fighting Zahkon, you weren’t tired. You went out of your way to save me, putting yourself in real danger. I know for a fact you aren’t evil… but I still can’t figure you out” she finished with a deep sigh.
That little speech sparked something within me… what was it…? WHOA! Respect?! She had earned herself a little respect! I can’t believe it! She wasn’t as empty headed as I had believed her to be, there was more to her then teenage awkward love scenes.
“Maybe it’s best not to figure me out. You might not like what you see” I said to her in a mildly serious voice.
“What’s the deal with you? Brena told me that you were born with your healing powers and strength, what about the power to heal others?”
“No, the healing others thing I learned later in life at the…” I cut off before I said too much.
“At the what?” She asked tilting her head.
“At the strippers club where I grew up” I laughed.
“Yeah, you’re lying again!” she also laughed.
“Look Lyra, I know you’re just trying to be friendly. Like you owe me something after saving your life, but you don’t. I'm a dick, a full blown, arrogant, egotistical dick. You don’t want to get to know me”
“No… there’s more than that. I can tell” she said patting me on the shoulder.
That’s when I felt another flashback coming along… I was starting to be reminded of a time I saved a family from a passing bandit when I snapped into action. These flashbacks were not right, something else was involved. It was not like me to just be reminded of times I had mostly forgotten about! I focused and fought back, and I could feel a foreign presence floating around in the air.
I concentrated all my might into reaching out and grabbing it with my mind’s eye, it was a dark figure, mostly blobby, but strangely familiar. I took out a hand and touched its shoulder…
“-falling into place” I heard a calm voice say.
I looked around, but it wasn’t me who was controlling my body. The room I was now in was particularly dark, with a few fire torches lighting the walls, I looked to my right and saw a particularly large chess board with some very strange pieces on it.
There was me, and Destran. Zahkon, Lyra, Yara, and Brena were there too; in the middle was a pedestal with a glowing image of a stone on it. On the other side was were pieces off all sorts and sizes, I could see Vaan, Sievere, Falath’Nakan, humans, a large snake like thing, a toppled over Darma, and a man I thought I recognized but my head didn’t look at it long enough for me to fully see. I looked up to a large throne and somebody sitting in it, although I couldn’t see their face because it was covered in shadow.
“The pieces are set, the game is about to begin” I heard the calm voice again. Upon hearing it again I knew who it was.
“Yes father” I said with a particularly girly voice. I looked down to my hands and began playing with a doll of myself! I knew then and there what was going on. I was Desdemonda somehow!
“Have you… peeked into our friend’s mind yet?” Sethos asked me.
“His mind is closed off right now, but I saw enough to know they are heading for the Marshes. The stone wasn’t being guarded by the Sievere” I said with an angered voice.
“Good” Sethos said almost dreamily.
“…Damn Sievere… trying to take MY Jack… and that stupid village girl too! Ohh I can’t wait to gut her!” I said under my breath.
“Well then” Sethos began. “It’s time to make the first moves.”
One of the Sievere and the giant snake moved towards the other end of the board, near a ship piece I had not noticed before. Just as it did, the man I thought I recognized moved towards a giant palace like piece, and several more pieces appeared on the board.
Four men, one of which I knew I had met recently. They appeared on our end of the chess board, next to Brena, and then floated over towards the palace like piece too.
“Oh good, he has returned with the captives. That sets up the village girl” Sethos said with a small cackle.
“The Sievere you corrupted will not survive father… I sense this” I said.
“It matters not, she is just a pawn. Besides… I need him to awaken his potential…” Sethos went on as the Zahkon piece began floating. “In order for him to kill this thorn in my side” he finished as the Zahkon piece floated over to another piece I hadn’t noticed. The Guardian!
“What are your orders, father?” I said whilst putting my attention back on the doll of me.
“Summon Valak; it’s time he made his debut in the game.” A Vaan piece moved from their side to the middle, I recognised it as the General!
“Oh and daughter, I want somebody to go and retrieve the stone before they do. If they are heading to the Marshes then they have a lot of area to cover. As soon as he’s done seeing to the village girl’s family, I want you to send Ury-”
WHACK! I snapped out of it to feel a sudden pain in my head and Lyra screaming. Everyone looked at me and began laughing; I had fallen off the mast! Lyra climbed down and rushed over to me, I brushed her off as the blood in the back of my head was already retreating inside my wound.
“Are you alright? You sort of lost track of the world again and fell off!” She fussed.
“It was… nothing” I said whilst pondering over everything I had seen.
This didn’t last long as very soon I felt another pain in my side. I looked down to see an arrow in my left kidney, and Zahkon staring at me with murderous eyes.
“Stay away from Lyra you cursed creature!” he threatened me. His wanting of a fight momentarily distracted me from my thoughts, as I rose to my feet and yanked out the arrow.
“Gotta try harder than that ye Idiot!” I goaded him whilst slapping my buttocks at him.
He fired another arrow to which I dodged, Lyra called for Zahkon to stop but neither of us did. He fired a few more before I threw my boomerang and knocked his bow out of his hands. I caught my trusty annoying tool and threw it again at his head as he leapt for his bow, he was becoming very aggravated now and so he reached for his sword again and unsheathed it.
He ran at me so I unsheathed my own sword and swiftly parried him, and pushed him away. He came again, so I deflected the force of the blow around me, causing him to stumble past me as I stepped to the side and gave his butt a quick slap with the face of my sword.
“Come now! Did ye think that ye’d be able ta beat me with your cutlass again? BAH HA!” I goaded him some more.
He focused his eyes and threw some undisciplined attacks, to which I blocked effortlessly. I spun my sword around in a sword lock and threw his out of his hands and pointed my edge at his neck.
“No form, no rhythm! Ya best be a baby seal stuck in a sea net!” I continued to taunt him. I walked over to his sword and kicked it over to him.
“What’s the meaning of this?” He said with narrowed eyes.
“Try again, this time try aiming for my body, not my sword” I lectured him.
He came again, and it wasn’t until a few passes later that he got the hang of it. He wasn’t trying to hit my sword away; he was trying to hit me. He was trying evidently to kill me, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
“Focus, my defence is too strong. You have to knock me off balance!” I continued.
He tried slashing at my legs, to which I stepped over them like a skipping rope. He tried to push into me more when I turned it around and threw him off balance and came in with a few attacks of my own.
“Keep your arms up! Watch my body, not my arms! The body shows everything a swordsman will do in a sword fight!” I told him as I used my hilt to bash his chin.
He stepped away and watched me, waiting for me to make the next move. So I took the liberty to try and make him go one step further.
“If you’re having trouble keeping up, then don’t hold back! Use your magic!” I called to him.
“No! I shouldn’t learn things like that…” he said moving his eyes briefly away in embarrassment.
“The moment you hold back in a fight as the moment you wind up dead. You have to keep on your toes, besides you barely know how to use it anyway!” I lectured him.
“I guess… so” he said meekly, beginning to see reasoning in my argument.
“Then show me what you got!” I said with a small smile on my face. My god I was having fun!
About half an hour later, Zahkon’s tattoos were glowing for a third time. He was tired however and couldn’t keep it up for long.
“Let me rest… I can’t… do this!” He complained.
“Don’t be such a baby Idiot! If I can take your wind blasts, you can make your body glow-” I was cut off by a loud bang.
The ship shook and we heard a high pitch shriek coming from beneath the waves. The others dashed to the sides and claimed to see scales! I however was more interested in the Sievere that had appeared on the stern, I wasn’t the only one as Yara was looking at her too with black eyes.
“Levina!” She yelled at the Sievere who beckoned Yara to fight her with the knife she was holding.