Chapter 3: Odd Faces
The sea crashed against the ship in giant waves, with foam spewing up and down the side of the hull. On the deck was Al-Fahil, a "for -hire" kind of fellow from a land not well known. Beside him were El-Risha and Dachim, his cohorts. They always tagged along wherever Al-Fahil decided to go. Sometimes he thought that they were bothersome, but most of the time they were quite usefull to him.
"Go back and wake the Hylian kid.", Al-Fahil ordered. At the moment even he was under orders. He hated taking orders from another, but considering the price he was to be paid, he let it slide. El-Risha skittered back to the crews quarters and entered one of the rooms. It was a small room, all wood. Opposite was the bed/couch where Trent laid. He had been sleeping for days. A good blow to the back of the head assured that. Above him was a small cabin window, circular with a cross beam. At the foot of the couch was Spryte, in a cage which hung from the ceiling. All she had been given to eat for days was a piece of greens. No water. She had tried to make herself comfortable, but it is not easy to make oneself cozy in a wooden cage. Especially when it is next to a drafty window. The ungodly trap was swinging with the rocking of the ship, making Spryte even queezier.
El-Risha walked over to Trent and shook him. The lad woke up to the biggest headache he had ever felt in his life. Sitting up, his vision was blurry. ' What's standing in front of me?', he thought. He clasped his head in his hands wishing his headache away, but to no avail.
"Al-Fahil wants you up.", El-Risha jeered.
"Where's my fairy?!", mumbled Trent. He looked around but couldn't find her. El-Risha walked over to the cage and gave it a good swat.
"Right here! And aint she cute!" Seeing his little friend trapped made Trent's blood boiled. How dare this oaf cage a fairy like that! He ran over to El-Risha and slammed the man against the wall of the room.
"If she's been harmed in any way I'll KILL YOU!", he growled, his voice rising. His eyes were still seeing spots from his headache, which was growing by the minute. Thanks to the ear-rings, he could see the fear in El-Risha's heart and let him go. The man quickly darted over to the other side of the room, scared to death. Unhooking the cage from the ceiling, Trent set it down onto the table by the cabin window. He opened the door to the trap and scooped out his limp little fairy, placing her back into his pocket.
"Get me the master of this ship and a bowl of food.", he barked. El-Risha raced out the door. "And water too!", he added. He opened his pocket and peered inside. Spryte laid there shaking. Trent patted her with his hand.
"Where are we?", he whispered.
"On a ship. We've been here for days.", responded the fairy, still shaking. Trent sat there and thought to himself. 'We must be out to sea, but where are we going?' A small whine broke his attention.
"I want some water", Spryte moaned, "I'm thirsty."
"I know. I know. I'm having someone get some for you right now.", he cooed, "Food too."
Al-Fahil appeared with a bowl of mush and a pitcher of water. He bowed to Trent and placed the food and water on the table by the window. Trent took the pitcher of water and poured himself a glass. He then lifted Spryte out of his pocket and brought her to the glass to drink. She drank large gulps of water, taking in as much as she could. When she was finished, he held her weak body to the bowl of food were she ate mouthfuls. Trent turned his attention to Al-Fahil.
"Where are we?", he asked. His headache continued to pound him.
"You sir are on the sailing ship Corintianus. It is the master's ship.", the Arab answered quietly, " We are sailing for Brynnel. We will reach Windora port in a day and a night."
"Why did you kidnap us?" Trent wanted all the information he could get. Al-Fahil shuffled a bit, then sat down opposite the lad.
"You see, it was under orders. He, the master, wanted your journey to the shore to be safe.", he wavered, "If you had continued on the course we supposed that you would have taken, you would have been killed by the Greebs."
"Who is he?", Trent asked. For although he could sense emotions, Trent could not read names.
"He never told us. Suffice to say he paid us a hansome wage to get you here!" Al-Fahil's words were deviously cheerful. Yet Trent had no choice but to trust him. He looked down to see Spryte curled up in his hand. Opening his shirt pocket, he gently dropped her down in, then went to work eating the mush. Though it tasted terrible, he was famished. Dachim enterd the room and whispered something to his fellow Arab. Following Dachim, Al-Fahil left the room and closed the door. Trent finished dinner and leaned back onto his bed/couch. He looked longingly out the window. This trip was turning into a nightmare.
A day or two later, the Corintianus docked in Windora bay. Trent and Spryte were led off of the ship and their bags were given to them as well. Walking off of the dock, they were met by an old man who began to study them intently. He looked them up and down, scrutinizing over every inch of their bodies.
"Uh...what are you doing?", Trent asked. The old man held up his hand to silence the lad. He looked into Trent's eyes and he jumped for joy.
"Oh, good! Now our Nadina will be found!", he chortled., "Come, come with me!" Trent and Spryte left the three men to follow the elder. They walked thru the town and up to a small hut in the woods where an old woman walked over to them.
"Enter please.", bade the old man. They did as he said and entered the hut. "Sit,sit I have something to ask you." The two sat down and the old man sat opposite.
"Can you go find my grand-daughter? She left for the woods and hasn't returned.", he asked. Trent was suprized. Why would this man ask such a thing?
"Why do you want me to find your daughter? Can't someone else do it?"
"No, no! You must find her. I see it in your eyes that you will. Trust me.", the old man said, "And if you do....I will give you something special as a reward." Now Trent wasn't the rescuing type, but the idea of a reward was very tempting. So, he agreed and was off into the woods that afternoon. The forest was bright and cheery, unusual considering that most forests are dark. For hours the two meandered through the trees. They felt like they were getting nowhere. Then Trent suddenly stopped walking.
"Spryte, why do we seem to be getting ourselves into situations like this?", he asked. The little fairy peeped out of his pocket.
"Because you can't say no! You've always liked adventure, and have to meet any challenge, it's your nature." He nodded in agreement and the two continued walking thru the woods. From overhead they could hear a girl calling to them. Trent looked up but she was nowhere to be seen.
"Where is that coming from?", he murmured. He stopped to listen and found that the voice was coming from up in the branches. Staring harder, he saw a girl high up in the tree, caught by her ankle in a noose. She was squirming like a mouse to try to get free, but to no avail.
"Are you Nadina?", he asked.
"Yes, please get me down!", she cried. Trent wondered how he would accomplish this. He drew his sword in hopes that an idea would come to mind. Pointing it at the rope holding Nadine, he wished that he could just shoot the rope with an arrow, causing her to fall. To his surprize, an energy bolt in the shape of his sword blasted away and hit the rope dead on. It split in two and the girl fell down through the branches and into his arms. Thankful that she was alive, she put her arms around him and gave him a big hug.
"Thank you, oh thank you!", she said. He looked around, wondering what to say. He blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
"Uh, your welcome?"
Later that evening they returned to the hut with Trent still thinking about his sword. The old man was overjoyed to see his grand daughter and brought out a small box.
"I have been saving this for a special man. My ancestors called him the 'Triangle Man'. They told me to wait for him and give him this when he finds something precious of mine. You have and I give you this in return."
The old man gave the box to Trent and he opened it. What he found in the box was a beautiful black leather glove. It fit onto Trent's left hand and lower arm perfectly. But he had an obvious question.
"What does this glove do?" The old man smiled and brought Trent outside where they walked up to a boulder on the side of a hill.
"Smash that boulder with your fist.", he said. Trent hit it as hard as he could with his right hand, which was bare.
"OWW!", he exclaimed, clutching his bruised hand. He was in some real pain.
"No,no stupid, your OTHER fist.", the old man retorted. The young man did as he was told and smacked into the boulder with all his might. To his amazement, the boulder crumbled. Trent stood there with his mouth hanging open.
"Wear it for when you need it.", the elder informed. Trent thanked the old man and went to gather Spryte. As he walked into the small house, the old woman handed him a parchment.
"This parchment was given to me by a man who stopped by here just days ago.", she said hesitantly, "He told me that 'Triangle man' should read this."
Trent peered down at the parchment and began to read.
'So, you've gotten this far.....good. Now there are fourteen items which you need to find in order to get home. That's right, you've found the first two already, the Ear-rings of Thought and the Glove of Strength. I will only tell you the next one that you need. It's the Belt of Protection. To get it you must make your way to the Island within the Land. Once you get that item, I will tell you where to go from there.'
Trent stuffed the paper into his pocket. Who was this giving him directions? How did this guy know where he was? He looked at everyone nervously and coughed to clear his throat.
"I must be going. C'mon Spryte.", he mumbled. He gathered his things and walked out the door, where his horse was waiting for him.
"My horse? How did he get here?" The old man walked up.
"I led it off of the Corintianus when you arrived. Oh yes, the man who gave my wife the parchment, told me to tell you to meet a woman from a far land in a pub on the sun. That's all he said." Trent mounted Windrunner and galloped away. As the horse ran, he looked down into his pocket.
"Time to visit a pub.", he stated confidently. Spryte nodded.
"The Flaming Pub", Trent read, unsure how to picture it. Was the bar on fire once? Were there transvestites behind this door? He tied up his horse and stepped inside. Loud music permeated the thick pipe and cigarette smoke. Bottles of half drunk alcohol smashed against the wall. All around people were seen laughing, arguing, dancing and fighting. Rowdy music was playing in the corner. Walking up to the bar, Trent ordered a drink and looked around for a woman who would want anything to do with him. As far as he could tell, the only women who were there were either bar maids or drunk prostitutes. The bartender reappeared with a mug of Lauyith, a stiff drink not unlike a mix of Vodka and Mint Schnapps. Trent remembered the drink from his childhood. He remembered his father and uncles gathered around the table in the living room, slugging down pitcher after pitcher of the light swill. Trents first experience at drunkeness was due to this concoction.
He took the mug and slammed the whole thing in one drink. Immediatly his head started spinning and his balance began to drop off. He grabbed the edge of the bar for support. Slowly but surely things began to clear. But unfortunately the wrong thing came into focus, namely a large Huluth.
Now Huluths were ugly at best, horrifying at worst. They stood six and a half feet tall and looked like a cross between a Bulldog and a Dragon. Their short tempers were only used to extort from rich travelers what they deemed valuable. And this Huluth saw the Triforce necklace about Trents neck...he wanted it. He grabbed Trent about the collar and hoisted him up off his feet.
"Hey kid, give me necklace.", it growled. Trent looked around for support. As he suspected, everyone was simply staring in awe at what the Huluth would do next.
"Uh, can I have something in return?", the young man asked, his bardering skills totally futile. The Huluth stared him in the face.
"You can have your last prayer!" Trent knew then and there he was going to die.
From across the room, two people arose. One of the two was dressed from head to foot in a dark, forest green suit. A gold sash was tied around her waist and gold mask covered her face, hiding her identity. Her associate was dressed in a blue version of the same, but without the hood and mask. His short hair was brown and he looked surprizingly like Trent. He drew a dagger from his belt and threw it into the back of the Huluth. Seeing it sink into the monster's flesh, he then jumped out of a window, making his escape. Reeling from the pain, the Huluth dropped Trent and screamed in agony, clutching the protruding weapon. Blood trickled down its back. The masked woman leaped off of a table and landed just behind the beast, another knife in hand. She jumped onto the Huluth from behind, and with one swift move, slit the creatures throat. It crashed forward onto the bar, blood pooling on the surface. As the room hushed up from the death of the Huluth, the strange woman grabbed Trent by the wrist and headed out the door of the pub, with the lad trailing behind. They ran down several alleys and finally stoped in a small, empty, courtyard where a white stallion was waiting for them. But as Trent got closer to the horse, he noticed that the 'horse' had wings and a horn. 'Wait a minute', he thought, 'This isn't a horse, its a flying unicorn!'
Trent slowly stepped back from the beast and stared closely at the garbed enigma beside it.
"Who are you?", he asked impatiently. She pulled off the hood over her face to reveal a face unlike anything Trent had ever seen. All he knew was that she was, for all her strangeness, very attractive.
She was, for all intents and purposes, Asian. Her skin was darker than Trent's and her eyes were not as large and noticable. She had straight, black hair that ran down to her waist and thick bangs which covered her forehead.
She looked to be about twenty-five to thirty and had a lithe, yet well toned figure which was decidedly feminine. The young woman walked up to Trent and held out her hand in friendship.
"My name is Sing Ta-Chu Kitowa.", she introduced, "This is my unicorn, Shaa-Do-Lan. You may call me Sing." Her voice echoed in Trent's head, for he was not used to hearing an Asiatic accent. He shook Sing's hand and began to introduce himself.
"I know who you are", she interrupted, "You are Trent. And your fairy...", she remarked, pointing to his pocket, " ....is named Spryte. I have been told of your past and future together. And I am here to guide you on your quest."
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