"Alright, alright! I can do this... I can do this!" Yamcha repeated this like a mantra over and over, jumping in-place in the hallway of the Golden Trout, punching the air with every other word. The aforementioned inn was, for lack of a better word, his and Pu'ar's home since they came back from their botched job with the Golden Company. They'd gotten the skulls but not Blackfyre, the sword of dragon kings which bummed him and to a lesser extent Pu'ar out something fierce.
Once his heatstroke died down enough for him to do anything but wail and die slowly in a bed, Yamcha was just about ready to make his next move when Pu'ar said he'd rather stay in Myr for a while. Being a big history buff, his pal loved every second of being in this new world. Not just stealing from it, living it. Day in and day out, he'd go out into the place in different forms, sometimes as an animal and sometimes as an ordinary human and just mingled with folks. From the way he said it, Westeros and Essos were like the most interactive history book you could ever experience. To see firsthand how people lived in glorious detail. How did they organize city watches, how did they take care of waste, how did they make their famous tapestries,...
Yamcha honestly couldn't care less about details like that but Pu'ar was his friend and he'd more than done enough for him since they met. Giving the guy a chance to take it all in was the least he could do. Problem was, boredom set in quickly. Once he'd tried out and gotten a crossbow from Myr, there wasn't much else to do. Nothing seemed particularly interesting to steal, they had plenty of money so besides think about the one that got away, Yamcha willed away the hours then days bored out of his mind.
That was until Pu'ar suggested the thing that eventually brought him to stand in the hallway, nervous almost like never before in his life. On this planet, and especially Myr, there were places where you could get ladies to... Give you company. According to Pu'ar, there were almost as many establishments like this as there were inns and taverns. The thing was, you didn't have to... Do stuff with them, you could pay them just to say talk to you, which was Pu'ar's whole point.
If they could get a girl to show up there, and manage to talk to Yamcha well enough for him not to drop into a coma, then maybe he'd be able to find an actual girlfriend later! Now, even the idea of talking to a girl was so insane it took him three days to agree and that was with a whole bunch of conditions. She had to be covered up, head to toe. If he saw so much as a naked shoulder his brain would go into overdrive and give him an aneurysm. No touching between them either. And no... Sexy voices. Just hearing Robert's night ladies giggle was enough to drop him down the length of half a castle.
So, Pu'ar walked around these special needs places, talking to owners, offering quite a bit of coin, and then giving some girls tryouts. If Yamcha was going to talk to her, he needed to make sure she wasn't an airhead, getting one would defeat the whole point of the plan. Pu'ar took a little while but eventually, he found a girl that looked pretty cool but his own words. Her name was Seranea. She was tanned like most people in Essos but her blonde hair made her stand out. Once Yamcha's nose bleeding stopped from imagining her, Pu'ar finished up by saying she kept an ear out for rumors and stuff, showing an interest in current events.
And so, the day of reckoning was finally there. Pu'ar brought her to their room first, Yamcha waited outside and only came into the in when Pu'ar's gave him a thumbs up from the window then excused himself from the building next. With a big smile and pat on the back, he wished Yamcha good luck and nudged him back inside. Breathing deeply, in and out, in and out, Yamcha managed to simmer down his gong-like heart rate and gently, slowly, dared to reach for the handle.
Even slower, he pushed the door open, feeling his mouth dry up and eyes hurt from not blinking. Then he saw her. Sitting on the bed pressed against the eastern wall, Seranea was covered head to toe in a giant robe so thick it must've been hot and suffocating for her inside. Hearing the door creek like something out of some crap, slasher movie, she turned toward the noise and leaned to her left.
"Hello? Is that you, my lord?"
She spoke in the most normal voice imaginable, just curious. Not overly exotic in spite of her accent and sure as hell not sexy but it was already too much. Yamcha's damned imagination went into overdrive. He should've made Pu'ar not say anything. The voice, combined with what he'd seen of other Myr women from a very, very massive distance away and the few details like her blonde hair made the robe cover useless. If anything, seeing her be more comely in person and not the massive sex bomb he envisioned her at that moment might've saved the whole plan.
Instead of answering, Yamcha froze, let the mental image sink in, and then shut down completely.
"Yamcha? Yamcha! Are you awake?"
"Ooohhhh, what... Pu'ar?"
"Yeah, yeah, it's me! Oh man, Yamcha, I'm so sorry!"
"Sorry?" He moaned again, trying to blink away the daze from his eyes. "... About what?"
"The plan... I should've thought it through better. I'm the reason you got put back in bed."
"Bed?" That worked wonders for untangling his messed up head. His eyes snapped open and got his upper body out of bed so fast he very nearly banged into Pu'ar. Looking around, he noticed it was night out, the only sources of light being a candle on the nightstand next to his bed and another on the sole desk on the opposite wall.
"What the... I fell asleep?!"
"Well..." Pu'ar, who was back to his original form, floated to Yamcha's right and scratched the back of his head nervously. He already didn't like where this was going. "You did fall asleep... For about three weeks..."
"THREE WEEKS?!" He shrieked so loud Pu'ar did the same, flying back and almost crashing into the nearest wall. "WHAT THE- WHY DIDN'T YOU WAKE ME UP?!"
"Oi!" Someone from the neighboring room shouted through the wall, banging against it. "Shut yer trap! Man can't sleep with all this noise!"
"If you don't shut the hell up my fist'll help you sleep just fine!" Yamcha hollered back, emphasizing the point by banging the nearest wall hard enough for some of the planks to crack. After a loud yelp, whoever the nosey guy on the other end was shut up from then on.
"I tried to wake you up, Yamcha, honest," Pu'ar floated over, sounding miserable and pointing his head toward the floor. "But you were so out of it nothing worked. Coldwater, noise, slapping you across the face.
"So what's why my cheek feels sore..." Yamcha grumbled, working his mouth to get the stiffness from the left side of his face out. As easy as it would be to get mad at Pu'ar, it wouldn't be right or fair to his best friend. With a long, suffering sigh, he looked down too and shook his head. It was his own damn fault for it, if he wasn't such a scared moron, the whole thing would've gone off without a hitch and maybe, just maybe, instead of being in a short coma, he might've gotten a girlfriend by now...
"Don't worry about it pal," Yamcha dejectedly said. "You did everything just fine... I'm the one who screwed it up..."
"D-Don't get sad!" Pu'ar told him and hovered off to the desk, bringing something back with him right away. "I knew you might feel bad about this so I did some more digging about Blackfyre! I think I might've found someone else who can help us track it down."
"What? You figured out Toyne's notes?!"
"... No. The code or whatever they're using, its way too hard for me to crack. I can make out a word or two but... Anyway!" Pu'ar shook his own dropping enthusiasm aside and pointed at a page in one of those history books. The page detailed the Band of Nine, the cronies Maelys Blackfyre got together to help him take over the islands decades ago. Pu'ar's paw was pointed at one particular member of the group.
"Yep! He comes from a long family of pirates, they've been robbing the Stepstones and anyone around them blind for decades. Some of them even managed to become pirate kings in faraway places!"
"And I'm guessing the family line didn't end with him?"
"Nope!" Pu'ar said with a Cheshire grin. "I asked some folks around under different identities and I've heard that Samarro's son, Salladhor Saan is one of the big pirate lords on the Stepstones these days. He's so strong in fact, lots of people even call him the Prince of the Narrow Sea."
Yamcha saw where he was going with this and immediately and couldn't help but smile. "And if you were a crook around when your dead business partner dropped his sword at..."
"You might just think about picking it up!"
The two of them giggled like maniacs, long and hard. All of Yamcha's girl problems were forgotten about, just like they always were whenever there was a good score to nab and what better way to fill a lady shaped hole in your heart than with a magic sword from dragon kings!
"Wait a second, didn't Toyne imply he knew where Blackfyre was?" Yamcha asked, stopping to think back to their conversation with the Golden Company boss. "He got real mad at me the second I told him to fork it over. You really think he'd let this Saan guy keep it?"
"I thought about that too but it doesn't necessarily sink the whole plan. Remember, the Stepstones are a big, dangerous place. You'd probably need like a million ships just to take it on and way more people than just what the Golden Company has. Who knows, maybe the swords been stuck with the Saan's for years now and nobody in the Golden Company can do anything about it. The army from Westeros who fought Maelys was much bigger than any info I've gotten about the Golden Company."
"I'll take your word on that," He smiled before it turned into a curled lip. "One more thing, we're gonna have to go out into the ocean again, right? I hope you got something for that cause I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired already."
Pu'ar's black eyes glinted in the candlelight. "Oh, I thought about that too."
A/N: Hello, been a while since this fic was alive, just over a year. After writing out multiple versions of this return chapter, this one being the fourth, I think I've finally nailed down a direction to take the story in that'll allow for some shenanigans in the future.