The Road back to El Dorado.
(The Road to El Dorado II)
Started: 22 - 01 - 07
Finished: 26 - 01 - 07
Rating: M, but only just!
Summery: After arriving in Spain Tulio and Chel find their spark dying, and a few months later Chel and Tulio part as friends. Chel leaves for Africa while Tulio acquires passage back to Mexico to find El Dorado and Miguel aboard a schooner captained by an Irishman called Jack, but things rarely go according to plan...
IMPORTANT NOTES, KINDA MUST READ TO GET THE STORY (Well most of them) :
1) The sail on the boat Tulio and Chel used to destroy the entrance wasn't stuck, so Miguel never had to fly to their rescue, and stayed in El Dorado.
2) Altivo (the horse) went with Tulio and Chel back to Spain.
3) Almost two years have passed since Tulio and Chel left El Dorado.
4) This story is slash (love or loath it) so giving you the head's up now. Nothing major in this story though.
5) I'm not a historian, doctor, sailing ship captain or any other expert in any field, so if facts are wrong on things exist a few years - or centuries - before they were discovered I say sorry now, and tell me so I know for the future.
6) You want to put this story on another website, fine by me, but ask first and give proper credit k?
7) I live in Australia, and our spelling can be a little strange at times, so by all means point out any mistakes you see, but just remember your color may be my colour.
8) Last one. I do not own The Road to El Dorado or any of the characters portrayed in the film, if I did, there would so be a slash filled sequel, which would explain why I don't own it. As for Jack and other OC's scattered here and there, if you can convince them to appear in your stories then they can.
Special Thanks: To RosylaGypsy, cause although I'd seen El Dorado years ago, she made me watch it at her house and provided the spark that ignited the fire of this story! Thanks Rosyla!
- E - L - D - O - R - A - D - O - I - I -
Tulio sighed as he gazed out at the endless blue. The first time he'd crossed the ocean it'd been in chains then in a rowboat with a horse and his partner. The second has been with Chel in a trader's vessel. This time Tulio had saved - stole - enough gold to buy passage on a freelancing schooner called the Silver Fox.
With four masts the Silver Fox was slightly bigger than conventual 2 or 3 masted schooners, but she held more cargo and rode the giant waves of the oceans as if they were mere ripples in a pond. There were other vessels heading for the Americas that could make to journey faster, but Tulio didn't want to end up in a rowboat again.
That had been an adventure. Little food and water, no direction, storms, starvation, sharks, one warhorse and Miguel...
He sighed again. He'd been doing a lot of that once he'd made it back to Spain. Chel had commented on it more that once.
Tulio thought he'd loved her, but after reaching Spain he stopped sleeping with her. Then he stopped cuddling. Then kissing. Chel didn't mind, she felt the same way. They'd parted a day before the Silver Fox left as friends, when they arrived as lovers. Tulio still sometimes worried about her, but he'd taught her how to mark cards, make loaded dice, cut a purse from a nobleman's belt and the fine art of talking oneself out of a nasty situation. She'd be fine.
There were several other passengers aboard, but they kept to their cabins. Some of the small crew often talked to him about this and that, but Tulio soon lost interest.
They were talking about gold today. The kind that is hard, cold and lifeless. To be made into jewellery, cups or some other common item. 2 years ago Tulio would have joined them, drooling over the thought of it, but now he only longed for one type of gold.
Tulio turned and made his way to where the captain stood at the wheel. Passing Altivo the horse gave a nicker, earning him a pat on his nuzzle. Chel refused to take him, so Tulio had to persuade the captain to let him take his four-legged companion along.
The captain was an Irishman in his early 20's. Blonde hair, green eyes and a joyful attitude that was constantly reminding him of Miguel. Maybe that was why Tulio found a little comfort when talking to him.
'Tulio!' Jack chirped, hair swept around in the wind. Blonde hair, but not gold.
Tulio liked Jack, not just because he could talk with him all day, but that Jack was just as comfortable standing with him in silence for hours. Tulio sighed.
'You do that a lot.' Jack said. When Tulio failed to reply Jack asked, 'Who was she?'
'We've been at sea for a month, but I don't know the lass's name that makes you stare out beyond the horizon and sigh.' Jack turned and leant his back against the wheel, draping his arms over it to keep them on course.
'She was just a friend.' Tulio replied.
'Right, and I'm a mermaid.' Jack joked before turning serious. 'Seriously mate, tell me about her. She leave you and take your heart?'
'No, I left her.' Tulio sat on a crate, not looking at the Irishman. 'And I've regretted it every day since.'
'Well that was stupid.' Jack said, speaking his mind. 'Why don't you go back to the lass? She in the new world? That why you going there?'
'Yes, she's in the new world.' Tulio said, choosing his words carefully. He hadn't told Jack about El Dorado. 'But she's... err... living in a monastery... up in the mountains... and the bridge was destroyed in a storm.'
'Well even the damn English could build a new bridge in two years.' Jack frowned.
Tulio had thought of that before, that the people of El Dorado had or built another way into the city, but how was he to find it? He and Miguel had stared at the last entrance without realizing, and the new one would be in a different area, and most likely much smaller.
'Perhaps.' Tulio said eventually.
'Tell me about her.' Jack asked.
'Hair as soft as velvet, shone like the sun. It wasn't blonde, but gold. Eyes like two emeralds sparkling with mirth and adventure. Beauty surpassing all others, as if comparing silver to stone. Could never keep her down for long.' Tulio rambled, having begun to question what kind of partner he thought Miguel to be a long time ago.
'And her name, sir poet?' Jack said eagerly.
'Her name...' Tulio trailed off, not wanting to say Miguel's name out loud. If he did that, he'd have to acknowledge he loved Miguel more than he should. Remembering an old man talking of an old goddess of beauty, music and dance in a tavern one night, Tulio chose that name. 'Her name was Hathor.'
'Sound's foreign.' Jack presumed. 'Well you'll see your lass soon my Spanish amigo.'
'What...?' Tulio began.
'LAND HO!' A crewman hollowed from the rigging. Tulio lifted his eyes, squinting to see a green haze on the horizon.
'We're a little too north.' Jack commented, peering through his telescope. 'I must update my charts soon.'
'How long before we dock?' Tulio inquired, trying to sound casual.
'Few hours, sometime in the late afternoon or early evening.' Jack turned his attention back to the wheel. 'Could you tell the rest of the passengers to get ready?'
Tulio did so, offering to help the richer ones assemble their bags. They couldn't notice a few missing coins.
- E - L - D - O - R - A - D - O - I - I -
Altivo was the first off the Silver Fox, racing up and down the waterfront and glad to stretch his legs. Tulio managed to calm the horse down, controlling his own excitement. He was one step closer to Miguel. He still had to find El Dorado and another way in, but it was a start.
Jack wished him good luck, handing him an expensive looking golden necklace one of the passenger's had left behind. Tulio had refused at first, but Jack threatened to tell the necklace's owner he'd stolen it. It was a golden eagle with emerald eyes. He pocketed it, as it reminded him too much of Miguel.
He rented a modest room near the docks, saving the necklace for when he really needed it. The next-door tavern proved fruitful, with many patrons so drunk they wouldn't notice if Tulio stole their shoes let alone their purses. The gossip was slow, with much of the talk about the slave traders arriving and an old Lord's affair with a pretty servant girl. If Tulio had a gold coin for every time he'd heard that one...
Ensuring Altivo was settled in the stables, Tulio retired. His room had a table, bed, two chairs, washbasin and a window. He didn't need anymore than the basics. Two years without Miguel had made him see money doesn't mean happiness. Lying on the hard bed, Tulio waited for sleep, knowing he would dream of gold hair.
- E - L - D - O - R - A - D - O - I - I -
Breakfast was plain and rushed. After being cramped on a boat for weeks on end Tulio longed to ride the streets of the town. Although he came here to find Miguel, one day wouldn't hurt, and he needed it. He didn't bother with a saddle for Altivo, preferring to ride bareback.
Many of the people he passed spared him a glance, as he was on a horse, but none actually looked at him. The exotic foods he'd tasted in El Dorado were stacked high on stalls, but none looked as ripe, and their colour seemed to be duller. The cloth was vibrant, but lacking the intensity of what he'd worn in the city of gold. When he left he didn't think he'd miss it, how wrong he was.
Altivo suddenly halted, snorting.
'Stupid horse.' Tulio muttered. 'What is it?'
Altivo tossed his head and nickered, turning down a street into the slave market. Tulio let Altivo lead him, but cringed at the sight of the slaves. Working all day for nothing, poor food, little water, they were treated like animals. When they could no longer work they were disposed of. He shuddered; thinking how close he and Miguel had come to this life. Tulio would have worked on the plantations, but Miguel, with his golden hair, would have been taken as a showpiece or worse, a pleasure slave.
A crowd was gathered on the road ahead. Altivo seemed frantic now, so Tulio dismounted and tried to calm the former warhorse. Altivo settled, but kept nodding his head towards the commotion. Tulio figured it was distressing the horse, so he approached.
A large round man, obviously a slave trader, was whipping a slave on the ground. Tulio couldn't see the slave's face, but could hear his cries and that was enough. As the whip came back for another stroke Tulio grabbed it and yanked it from the owner's grasp. The several onlookers quickly disappeared.
The man was richly dressed, bearded and fat. He snarled at Tulio for ruining his fun.
'Stop.' Tulio growled, coiling the whip.
'He's my slave, so my property, and deserves punishment.' The trader said, spitting as he spoke.
'What did he do to deserve this?' Tulio gestured to the whip. Altivo had moved and was now behind the trader, nuzzling at the slave.
'Nothin'.' The trader said dismissively. 'But he's not broken yet. Only caught 'im a week ago.'
Tulio fumed, but resisted the eagre to use the whip in his hands. He walked around the trader to examine the slave.
That was the first thing that struck Tulio. The slave was lying on his stomach, wearing nothing but a filthy pair of white trousers, his back covered in whip marks from this beating but also many more in the last days. Kneeling down next to the man, Tulio suddenly felt sick. The slave's hair covered his face, but Tulio's stomach told him who it was. It explained why Altivo had been acting strangely; he'd caught his sent.
Shifting the slave onto his back Tulio saw more whip marks across his chest and stomach. The movement caused the slave's hair to fall back, revealing an all too familiar face.
'Miguel...' Tulio breathed, just managing to keep his breakfast down. Miguel was unconscious, but his face was bruised and scratched, one lone whip mark trailing down his left cheek. The anger Tulio had felt moments before was back, but he resisted taking any action. Attacking the trader would only cause more problems, so Tulio would have to find another way. He decided to act casual.
'It's a shame.' Tulio said out loud, examining his friend.
'What that?' The trader asked, peering over his shoulder.
'Fine face, gold hair.' Tulio lifted one of Miguel's eyelids, already knowing their colour. 'Green eyes. Such a slave would make a marvellous addition to my household, but in his current state...'
The trader's eyes lit up at the prospect of a sale. 'Yes, yes. I thought as much, but he's my best, slaves heal, and I'll not part with 'im cheaply.'
Tulio bet the man said that about all his slaves, but bit his tongue. Altivo nudged his vest, causing it to make a clinking sound. Tulio remembered the necklace Jack had given him, and a plan formulated.
'I can understand that. I've just arrived here with my family to set up a plantation or two, but my gold will not arrive until tomorrow. I'll be needing slaves for my plantations, can you tell me where I can find some hard working men?'
'You're in luck sir!' The trader exclaimed. 'I handle that kind of business as well.'
'Excellent!' Tulio faked being excited by the man's revelation. 'I'd like to take this one now, but I have no money... wait a moment.' Tulio withdrew the necklace slowly, making sure to catch the gold in the sun. 'I have this. I propose a trade; the necklace for the slave, then tomorrow I can come back and acquire enough to run my plantations. I'll pay full price, plus an extra... say 5, to ensure quality.'
The trader's eyes were fixed on the necklace, clearly thinking it was a deal too good to be true. Tulio had no idea how many slaves it took to run a plantation, but he was guessing it was more than seven or eight. Suddenly the trader's expression changed.
'I'm suppose to be holding this one for another gentlemen, he promised me a very high price.' The trader said. Tulio suspected he wasn't lying this time, but couldn't lose Miguel.
'Is this gentlemen about to make you rich?' Tulio said aggressively. 'Sell me this slave or the deal's off.'
'Fine.' The trader said eventually, extending a sweaty hand. Tulio reluctantly took it, wiping it on his pants once the man's back was turned as he gloated over the necklace. Tulio hoped the first thief the trader came across stole it.
'Perfect, I'll come back tomorrow around midday.' Tulio forced a smile and lifted Miguel off the ground. He was lighter than a man of his size should be, worrying Tulio. Altivo sat down to let Tulio place Miguel on his back, but whined when Tulio moved to get on.
'Right, sorry I called you a stupid horse.' Tulio ran his hand through Altivo's mane. 'And thank you for finding Miguel. I'll get some apples for you later ok, but Miguel needs our help now.'
Altivo let Tulio climb on behind Miguel then set off back to the waterfront at a canter pace. Tulio wrapped his arms around Miguel to stop him falling off and as they rode only one question was on Tulio's mind: what happened to you Miguel?
- E - L - D - O - R - A - D - O - I - I -
That is a very good question Tulio. What did happen to Miguel? You'll have to wait till the next chapter to find out. Good lord, it has almost been a year since I last put up a story, and that was a one shot. But don't worry; this story will be updated once every 5 - 7 days, depending on various unforseen factors.
P.S. - Reviews faster updates