"Ren!" I yelled, reaching over for him. He was hanging precariously over the edge of The Wraith, Bloth's ship on one side, Dark Water on the other.

I knew that this moment would come in time

That I'd have to let you go and watch you fly...

He took the bag containing the Treasures in one hand and put one end of the bag in his mouth to get a better grip. The wind whipped hard, making it hard to see in the rain. The ship was slippery from the rain, making it hard to hold on with one hand. Not even my powers could make it somewhat dry. I reached over farther to grab a hold of his hand. I wasn't going to lose him! Not now!

A harsh wave hit the ship on the starboard side, where Ren and I were. The impact caused me to stumble away from the rail. Niddlar took my place, unable to fly in the high winds. I heard the faint sounds of swords clashing. Noijitut! Bloth was boarding the ship! Determined, I shook my head to clear the salt out of my brain and rushed over to the side again. To my horror, Ren was slipping!

No! I thought. Not after all this! I refuse to let it end like this! I shoved my black hair out of my face and reached for him again. I didn't like the look in his eyes as the Dark Dweller appeared. It was a look of... victory? He tossed the bag up over the deck and let go of the ship.

I know you're coming back so why am I dying inside...

"No!" I screamed.

Niddlar had a look of pure shock on his face. "Ren!" He had to stop me from going overboard to save Ren. I tried to shake him off, but at that moment, one of Bloth's goons tried to snatch the Treasures.

I drew my dagger and bowled him over. I felt such a fury I never felt before as I punch the goon in the face. Niddlar grabbed the Treasures and went to hide behind a barrel. As I finished one henchman off with a thrust of my dagger another came up. I decided to use the storm to my advantage. Concentrating hard on getting my mind blank, I summoned the wind, rain, and lightning at Bloth's men. The electric bolts struck a few while others were blown off the ship into the raging seas. I couldn't keep this up though. Using too much power at one time made me feel lightheaded. That and another wave knocked me out of concentration. I fell to the deck hard, spraining my wrist and getting a few splinters in to the deal.

Opening my eyes, I saw Ioz fighting off Bloth. The same fury that filled me just a few moments ago came back. I charged at Bloth, intent on getting rid of him for good. If it meant adding more blood on my hands, by Kunda so be it. I didn't care anymore.

Ioz was thrown into the mast-- or what was left of it-- as I ran by. I don't think he saw the look in my eyes, but for some reason he let me join in the fight instead of telling me to go fight Bloth's goons while he handled the big guy. Both of us were driven by the sheer will to get him off our ship and into the sea. Bloth swung his sword at us, screaming insults. Ioz was shouting his share as he parried the attack. I sent a kick at his gut. It didn't do much good. It didn't even phase him.

"Give it up Bloth!" Yelled Ioz. "You'll never get those Treasures!"

"That's what you think!" Bloth answered. He had a demonic look in his eye.

I hoped Niddlar was still in his spot as I rammed into Bloth with my shoulder. He fell back a few steps, but only from the force. Good enough for me, I intended to throw him overboard if I could. Before I could get any further, I felt a pain enter my arm. Blast it! His archers were still around! I pulled the arrow out and threw it down. Then I chucked my dagger at one, putting him out of commission. The other one was knocked unconscious by Niddlar, who was throwing Minga Melons at him and Bloth.

That fight lasted long after the storm was over. We were weary by then, almost unable to stay on our feet. Niddlar had run out of fruit to throw and was resorting to fish that had washed on deck and driftwood. Ioz's sword was broke and he had to use an empty barrel for a shield. I was low on power, and not feeling very well from the loss of blood. But Bloth left an opening at the point when I was about to give up.

His ship hadn't broken up in the storm, but it was severely damaged, and somehow the constrictus was released. For once, I was thankful for that vile creature. It reared up over Ioz and Bloth, aiming to catch both of them. I pushed Ioz out of the way just as it started coming down, getting Bloth in his mouth. To this day I can still hear his screams before dying. Still hungry, the creature was about to make us its snack, however, the remaining members of Bloth's crew caught its attention and it went after them instead. I let out a long sigh of relief and stood up shakily.

Are you searching for the words that you can't find

Trying to hide your emotions but eyes don't lie...

Ioz knew Ren had gone with the Dark Water somehow before I told him. I guess my fighting style was different, or he did catch the look in my eyes. Or maybe it was Niddlar's doing somehow. Either way, he knew. But he hid his pain more easily then I and started to quickly survey the damage. Our sails were totally destroyed, out mast gone, holes everywhere and leaking water, and our provisions were down to nothing. Our destination, Octopon, was a three day journey.

"We're going to have to take The Maelstrom." He said. "We have no choice."

I sighed again, knowing he was right. I hated it when he was. Especially now. I went to look for Dark Water, but it had strangely disappeared. I commented on this.

"Let's hope that's Ren's doing," was Ioz's only reply as he had Niddlar take us to Bloth's former ship.

The ship was deserted. Even Konk was gone. I felt no remorse for any of them. Ioz took the helm as usual. Niddlar helped me get the anchor up. As Ioz steered the ship to the direction of Octopon, I could only stare at the sea; watching the spot where Ren had disappeared. Here, I felt remorse. How could I have let that happen? I was right there, and he still went down! Some friend I turned out to be.

I guess there's no easy way to say good-bye...

Three days later, we were in Octopon. Jenna was waiting for us at the dock, though she was quite surprised to see us arrive on The Maelstrom. Jenna had been prepared to fight Bloth's crew. She took the bag from Niddlar. He had refused to give it up at all, even to me. I guess he blames himself as much as I blame me. Jenna was showing the sadness she held, not holding back at all as she opened the bag. It contained the three Treasures that remained as jewels, Ren's sword, and his Compass.

Jenna looked up. "Where is the remaining two?" She asked.

"The fourth one is... the Compass," Niddlar answered heavily. He was more glum then usual, quieter. He hadn't complained at all about being hungry during the voyage back here, which worried me. I placed my hand on his shoulder.

"And this fifth is the Octopon," Ioz finished.

Jenna nodded and beckoned us to follow her. We followed her to the underground area where the first eight Treasures were kept. The three jewels and the Compass flew to their places. Then the ground began to shake. To our astonishment, the thirteenth Treasure appeared from the glass.

So I'll be standing on the edge of the earth

Hoping that someday you'll come back again

I'll be standing on the edge of the earth hoping for someday...

It was the symbol of Octopon joined with the symbol of unity. With all the Treasures together as one again, a white beam came from the pool in the center of the room, closing up the tear on the ocean floor and sealing up the Dark Dweller and his evil water. I could feel the life returning to Octopon and the rest of the world. I rushed upstairs and outside, with a small hope that Ren would be washing ashore.

Don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say...

To the day, it has been sixteen years since Ren disappeared. Everyday I went to the ocean shore, with the childish hope that he'd return. Ioz and Niddlar had given up that hope. I guess I should too. You'd think being thirty-two years old you give up fantasies like that. I guess it was my unspoken love for him that keeps me from giving up.

I don't want to let you leave this way...

I toss the flower I was holding into the waters and watch it drift away. A single tear escapes my heart. I have to return back to the palace now, Jenna will be worrying. I say my farewells for the day to Ren, then head on back.

Since returning the Treasures, Octopon has gone back to its former glory. It is a major trade center. Of course, there are still pirates and thieves out there, but things are generally ok now. I've been thinking of returning back to Andorus, to see how my people are doing and just to try to forget what happened. But Jenna, the representative of the throne, has needed me more here. Along with Ioz and Niddlar, we four are trying to decide who should take up the crown with Ren gone. I've been against this the whole time but Ioz, being the chauvinistic pig he is, says a woman can't rule the kingdom. Needless to say, Jenna had to break up many fights between Ioz and I.

I want you to know that I stand right by your side...

Today there are representatives of the island chain that make up the Kingdom in the meeting hall. This has to be the hundredth time we've seen them this month alone. They are demanding a king. Their own places are going to end up in the Abyss if we don't get one soon, they say. We still haven't found a trustworthy fellow. I mentioned to Jenna she should have taken over long before, but she won't hear of it. Ioz won't take it for fear of losing his freedom and the people wouldn't accept Niddlar. I remember Jenna asking me.

"I couldn't," I told her. "Many people of the other islands are against me as it is. If I took it up, they would revolt for sure."

Eventually the room gets to hot for me to stay any longer and I leave, thoroughly disgusted. People were never happy! I went up to my rooms and to the balcony to get some air. I guess I really can't blame people for being edgy. After all, the name Bloth still brings nightmares to the children, or so I heard, and even though the Dark Water had been vanquished sailors were still afraid to go too far out. Why do I try? My soul is heavy from everything: stress, lack of sleep, more stress....

"Come in," I said as someone knocked at the door. Ioz walked in.

"Are you all right?" He asked gruffly.

"Fine, I was just sick of the bickering." I didn't bother turning around to face him.

He joined me on the balcony. "I agree. If Ren was here--"

Argh! Was he starting that argument with me again? "Don't start Ioz. It wasn't my fault."

He side glanced me, as if trying to see if my temper was shorter then usual. "I should have been there. I wouldn't have given Ren the chance to fall."

Unfortunately for Ioz, it was shorter then usual. I shoved him out of the way. "Noijitut Ioz! Don't you think I tried? Between the storm and Bloth's men coming at me I was doing my best to stop him!"

And I know that this may be

The last time we see each other cry

But whatever happens know that I'll...

I ended up throwing Ioz out of my sight. Literally. That noijituting gantha pig! Why did he have to make everything so difficult!? I felt the dam that had been holding my tears burst. Sixteen years worth of tears cried themselves out in a few hours.

I'll be standing at the edge of the earth

Hoping that one day you'll come back again

I'll be standing at the edge of the earth hoping that someday

You'll come back to me

I'll be praying for whatever it's worth

Believing that one day you'll come back to me

I'll be standing at the edge of the earth

Hoping for someday...

That night I had a disturbing dream. I don't remember much of it, except the faces that had haunted me while I was in the realm of the Dark Dweller were leering out at me and laughing. I could have sworn I heard his voice...

I shake my head and slowed my breathing. This was useless. He wasn't coming back, Tula, face it. I got out of bed and put some outdoor clothing before going outside. I wondered what the dream meant as I walked along the shores of Octopon. Could it be the Dark Dweller was resuming his power and somehow break free again? I shook the thought out of my head. That was ridiculous: there were guards watching over the Treasures and they would tell us of the slightest changes.

And I know that this may be

The very last time we see each other cry

But whatever happens know that I...

The wind blew, slightly chilly. My skin prickled at its touch. I rubbed my arms, but didn't bother turning back yet. I felt something calling me.

I'll be standing at the edge of the earth

Hoping that one day you'll come back again

I'll be standing at the edge of the earth hoping that someday

You'll come back to me

I'll be praying for whatever it's worth...

Something didn't feel right. The energies of Mer were disrupted somehow. Concerned, I followed a path that seemed to open up at my presence. I felt afraid at what I would find. However that voice in my head told me if I left now, there would be no coming back later. I drew in a deep breath and followed the path into a dark tunnel.

Believing that you'll come back to me

I'll be standing at the edge of the earth

Hoping for someday...

It grew somewhat chillier. This was odd; Mer was rarely ever cold, even in the winter. I frowned. This wasn't right. The tunnel didn't seem to end either. But that was impossible; I was just letting my fear run away with me. Everything had an end.

Waiting for someday Believing in someday

Praying for someday, I'll be...

The tunnel opened up to reveal a dense forest before a sandy beach. One of the twin moons was shining brightly enough to illuminate the entire area. I moved carefully into the forest, quietly moving into the bushes.

Longing for someday Clinging to someday

Cherishing someday, I'll be...

I expected an attack. I didn't know by whom, but I guess anyone. I had my dagger drawn, my muscles were tense. I watched the beach carefully before moving towards it. But then I noticed something wash ashore.

Thinking of someday Dreaming of someday

Wishing for someday, I'll be...

The something didn't move. I waited for a few minutes. It looked like a rag doll from this distance, but I couldn't be sure. It wasn't moving. Fine, time to be daring. I carefully stepped out of the protection of the forest and into the openness of the beach. As I approached, the figure grew bigger. But it still was limp.

Living for someday Counting on someday

Knowing that one day...

I gasped as I got closer. It was definitely a person! And he had a familiar profile. I ran the rest of the way, throwing all caution into the wind. Could it be? My heart thudded as I knelt down and carefully rolled him over. Tears blurred my vision as the familiar face was caught in the moonlight.

I will see you.

"Ren..."