I'm back! Sorry for the long wait. Anyway, I would like to warn you that this chapter contains some of the controversies between atheism and religion. I am not biased in my writing. However, if you find this in anyway offensive, please pm me and express your concerns.
Mercay Island is much bigger in this story than in the game.
Time for chapter 2!
Nintendo owns all characters and islands.
I own Roy Karlson
When the remaining crew woke up from their four hour rest, they wasted no time and quickly began preparing for the two mile hike to Oshus' and other opportunities that may cross their path. Link gulped down a 'hearty' breakfast of cold rolled oats in water alongside the remains of a burnt head of cabbage while Leaf blabbered on about his dream that he got drunk, along with Neri, Ciela, and Linebeck. Linebeck was inching the ship toward the dock, apparently in deep concentration. ("Kid, don't but me about breakfast; docking a boat takes skill. Eat some leftovers. But don't use the stove. Too risky.") Ciela was bust packing Link's provisions, yawning every few moments and refusing to speak in either anger of previous events, or (as Linebeck occasionally called it) "Still needs her coffee syndrome."
Within ten minutes, everything was set to go. Link was dressed and ready in no time flat, beckoning the rest of his cabin mates anxiously at the base of the steps. They abided, and walked up onto the deck, somewhat blinded by the early rising sun in the east.
Mercay Island had a refreshing feel to it early in the morning. Few beings stood outdoors at this time, except for the elderly man who got his daily exercise by taking a brisk walk around town before the children and younger adults flooded the streets. As soon as that happened, he headed over to the milk bar. In the furthest west portion of town resided the island's main farmer, Roy Karlson. He too, was wide awake, bending over his crops and weeding them; his sun-burned face and neck showing his devotion to his job. Roy was an amateur astronomer and navigator, giving him and Linebeck something to chat about over a bowl of fresh potato soup that Roy occasionally made. Although he was respected by nearly everyone in town, Roy was a bit different than most of the population on Mercay. He, rather than Hylian, was human; the evolutionary cousins of Hylians, and the second dominant race on the planet. This wasn't very obvious, other than his curved, not pointed, ears. Linebeck, as well as most people, overlooked this, and saw him as a friendly, humble man. The remaining few, however, saw him as inferior to their own genetic code, and refused to buy produce from him; shipping their goods in from Molida Island; a costly 300 Nautical miles, or a near 2 day trip.
As the odd group of companions passed him, Roy waved hello, to which they quickly returned, and continued down the street that would lead to the bridge.
"Shoot…" Linebeck began as soon as they were a block further, "I should've picked up some food while we were there… We're nearly empty on supplies. Got any cash, kid?"
Link reached for his wallet but not before Ciela could interject, "Linebeck! You're an adult! You shouldn't be mooching money off of a child!" Linebeck rolled his eyes. He had been down this road so many times he couldn't believe she still argued with him about it. It was humorous to him, however, that even a small comment from him could bother her enough to annihilate her cold shoulder attempt. Linebeck was actually curious (and brave enough) to provoke her again.
"Looks like someone's talking again…"
Ciela scoffed, flying over Link's head to come face to face with the captain, "I never said I wasn't!"
"You didn't say anything."
"So I have to talk to make you happy?" Ciela asked sarcastically, putting her tiny hands on her waist, "Last I checked, you hate my constant chatter."
Linebeck nodded, "Oh, I do. I truly do. I'm just commenting on your lack of ability to… persevere."
"Sparkles!" He mocked as they turned the corner, entering the heart of the town.
"For the last time!" Ciela yelled, exasperated, "I never said- you know what? Forget it. Forget I said anything. We can pick up supplies on the way back."
Linebeck mentally sighed. That hadn't been as entertaining as he had imagined it. Usually, she didn't give up so easily. What was up with her lately?
During their argument, Leaf and Link had been carrying on a steady conversation. It seemed as if they had grown immune to the Captain and the Spirit of Courage's fights.
As Ciela returned to the outer rim of the group, she noticed the town becoming more busy as the sun accelerated higher into the sky. Children carrying satchels of books began to flood in the same direction as they headed to the island's only school house, and vendors set up shop on the sides of the streets, loudly advertising their products, which ranged from home-cooked meals, jewelry, and flowers, to hand written books, flat wear, and clothing.
Every so often, they would see a beggar on his knees outside a shop or home, pleading for money, work, or food. One of them even began following them, telling the story of his homeless family, their dying child, and other horrid endeavors. It was a heart-wrenching tale, and they wanted to help, but money was an important factor to saving Tetra and defeating Bellum and had to be spent wisely. After a few minutes, Link gave up and tossed him a blue rupee.
"Farore bless you, kind sir!" The beggar yelled, fingering the money delicately in his hands as the travelers continued forward.
They reached the outskirts of the city, and the roar of the islands largest waterfall could be heard nearby. As they crossed the bridge, Link noticed the abundant Hylian Pikes jumping up stream, thrashing around in small splashes as they migrated to the northern seas for the summer months. Just before Link stepped off the bridge and on to dry land, the Earth trembled; and a small portion of the bridge tumbled into the water.
"Again?" Ciela groaned, breaking the prolonged silence.
"I guess Bellum's getting even more ticked off," Leaf pondered.
"Let's just hope it doesn't break the bridge entirely. I'd rather not go through that cave again," Link reminisced wearily.
Without much of a conversation, they trekked onward for a mile, the sun's heat swelling as it climbed the sky. Hiking a shade-less hill brought out each individual's sweat and left them short of breath. Even Link began to stumble in the sweltering heat, and the group decided to finally take a water break. Luckily, they had been following the stream, so they didn't need to waste their bottled water.
At first, Link tried drinking from his shaking hands. That proved to be a difficulty, so he dunked his head into the stream to intake his vitals.
Ciela laughed at this, then sighed, "Neri could be anywhere by now, so don't take too long." After she said this, she could be heard gulping down plentiful handfuls of water.
Linebeck drank from his hands as well, while their food and water containers rested in a home-made tide pool to cool.
Leaf however, just lied down in the water, drinking all that was around him.
While the two fairies and the hero drank, Linebeck was thinking of a way to get Ciela to reveal her secret that she spoke of to Leaf last night.
He inched closer to her, to which she responded by looking up at him quizzically.
"What do you want?" She replied brusquely, obviously still angered by their earlier conversation.
Linebeck shrugged, "I don't know… a light, non-P.M.S.-y conversation? How does that sound?"
Ciela blinked and raised her eyebrows, "First off, you don't know anything about P.M.S. Second, Neri's gone missing, and I'm in not much of a mood for anything… And lastly, if you're trying to apologize, you might as well just come right out and say you're sorry."
"What would I apologize for?"
Ciela jumped into the air in her fury, becoming a bright neon yellow once again, "You moron! All you do is provoke me; pick on someone your own size for once! Our arguments…" She sighed and lowered herself, her color still not returning to normal, "…they're pointless. And I'm sick of it. Act like a grown man for once." Her color dulled much too quickly after that, putting her in a short-lived daze, "Let's go guys, we're almost there."
With refreshed throats, they stood up and continued down the path.
Ciela had no idea what made Linebeck act that way. When they first met, their personalities dramatically clashed, so naturally, they argued. Now however, she suspected he purposely said things to put her in rage. It wasn't fair; he was literally taking advantage of her.
Finally, they reached Oshus' home. Link lightly rapped on the door and it was answered by an immediate, "Come in."
As soon as the door opened, the two fairies began fluttering around their master, Link ran up to the old man, and Linebeck stayed in the back.
"Ah, hello, Link," The Ocean Spirit spoke gently, "What brings you here? And where's Neri?"
Link swallowed, "That's the reason we came- Neri's gone. She was taken."
"Taken?" Oshus bellowed an uncharacteristic tone for such a man.
Link flinched slightly, then turned to Ciela, "Tell him what you saw, Ciela."
The yellow fairy sighed, "Well, I didn't see much of anything. Her scream woke me up, and once I collected my bearings, she was gone."
Oshus pondered this for a moment. For such a feeble old man, (or spirit) he still had quick wits.
Finally, he spoke again, "If one was intelligent enough to capture Neri rather that steal valuables, they must be holders of evil magic. Obviously, they cannot blend into regular society, so one would go to… an uncharted island. Do you think you could find one?"
Link beamed and nodded, "Of course! That shouldn't be too hard…"
Oshus smiled, "But absently searching for land requires will power, teamwork, and most importantly, companionship. Without these, you will quickly abandon the mission and Neri will never be saved. Do you understand?"
"Yes," Link confirmed, "I don't see why we couldn't."
Yet again, the great spirit smiled, "Good. Now you must hurry; Neri is fading. I can sense it!"
On this note, the four adventurers bid Oshus goodbye, exited his pseudo-home, and headed back to town.
The dock was now in sight and the S.S. Linebeck could be seen swaying in the Southwestern Sea about a block away.
"Linebeck," Link spoke up over the chatter of the town to get the captain's attention "Weren't we going to stop at Mr. Karlson's to pick up supplies?"
"Right. We were…" Linebeck said, turning around, "C'mon."
They walked back up the road and made a right, coming straight to the man's home. Linebeck knocked on the door, and not to his surprise, the joyous man opened it almost immediately.
"Linebeck!" Roy greeted enthusiastically, holding the door open as they walked in, "So good to see you!"
Linebeck studied the room. Vegetables and fruits were spread across the room in their respective crates, cartons of milk gathered in a tub of ice water, and a cucco clucked around the room, pecking at the ground, somewhat guarding her nearby clutch of eggs. As usual, the back door was closed and locked. Behind there was Roy's personal space; his bed and bathroom. Surprisingly, they were the only customers there.
"Business is slow, hmm?" Linebeck commented, motioning to the lack of visitors.
"Actually," Roy smiled, sorting a crate of potatoes, "I'm closed."
Confused, the captain looked up, "What? Why? It's nearly eleven o'clock!"
"Slept in…" Roy said simply, whipping a bead of sweat from his forehead, "This you kid?" He motioned to Link.
Linebeck blushed furiously, "N-no… not at all. We're both after the Ghost Ship. So we're traveling together. Along with…" He pointed to the fairies, "them."
Ciela, unable to hold back a retort, blurted out, "We have names…"
Roy looked at her, "Forgive me. Please introduce yourself."
Ciela flushed, "…I'm Ciela, and this is Leaf."
"Nice to meet you," Roy grinned, "So what can I do for you?"
Linebeck took out the list he had made before they left, "One dozen apples, eight russet potatoes, a quart of milk, one dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and a bushel of kale."
By now, Roy had the merchandise on the counter and put into a large cloth bag, "That'll be twenty rupees."
Linebeck looked from Roy to the bag, then back again, muttering numbers under his breath before speaking aloud, "Wait, wouldn't that be thirty-seven rupees?"
Roy leaned on the counter, "For you, twenty."
Linebeck's jaw dropped, "Roy… you have to make a living."
"So do you."
Reluctantly, Linebeck reached into his pocket, pulled out a red rupee, and placed it on the counter.
"Do you want to stay for some potato soup? I've got a whole pot done," Roy asked, motioning to a large container on the stop, bubbling and steaming.
Linebeck picked up the bag of groceries, "You've already done far too much for us, Roy. We should go."
Ciela furrowed her brow. Linebeck had never been this polite for as long as she had known him.
Roy sighed, "You look starved, and I need company. Please?"
Linebeck shrugged his shoulders, "Alright. Is that okay with you guys?"
Link and Leaf nodded readily; their stomachs speaking for themselves. Ciela nodded reluctantly, although her stomach let out a pang in agreement.
"Great!" Roy clapped his hands together and walked to the cupboard, taking out three bowls and two shot glasses (bowls for the fairies) and filled them to the brim with the hearty soup. He placed them on the table where each being now sat and they began eating almost immediately.
The soup was delicious. At just the right viscosity, the potatoes complimented the thyme and basil perfectly.
After they had all eaten about half their portion, a conversation started.
"So how've you been, Roy?" Linebeck asked, stirring his soup.
"Good, other than the fact that the church tries to get me to join every other day."
Linebeck laughed at this, but Ciela stopped eating and looked up.
"You mean," She began, "You're not part of a religious group?"
"So… you don't believe in the Goddesses?"
"Nope. Does that bother you?"
Ciela's face flushed, "No, not at all! It's just that… I've never met anyone who… doesn't believe as I do..."
Roy smirked, "You know Linebeck."
Ciela let out an involuntary, quiet, gasp, "Linebeck, you…"
The sailor merely nodded.
Roy quickly covered for him, "We're not saying what you believe is wrong, or even incorrect. We just believe differently."
"I-I'm sorry. Please forgive me…" Ciela muttered.
"No need to, Sparkles," to her surprise, Linebeck was the owner of the voice, "I get it."
"Now Ciela," Roy began, "You can't go around telling people about Linebeck's beliefs. The majority of our society doesn't appreciate it."
Ciela accepted, "I promise."
By now, everyone was finished with their meals. Link sighed, "I think we ought to start heading back. Thank you, Roy!"
"No problem, kid. See you later."
They crew stood up, grabbed their groceries, and headed back to their ship. Before they even left the shop, however, Ciela realized she had a good portion of Linebeck's reputation on her shoulders.
DUN DUN DUN!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
Reviews are appreciated.