Well, I am pleased with the positive comments this story is getting, but I would like to request, as the writer, that any further discussions be taken elsewhere.
I am not getting onto anyone, merely requesting this thread not turn into a lore discussion or anything. Thank you for your understanding.
People have asked, and now I will deliver. I can not promise this will be a regular series, but now and again I can make a chapter for it. There are some things, such as sailing terms and whatnot that I do not know and I apologize for. Also, Maria, Marai, they are fish people and I will try to use Maria as much as I can; I may hit 'a' before 'i' by mistake though.
Nautilus is very tricky, however, because most of his lore is about him in utter darkness. I am not sure about this, but I can hear nothing while underwater. So, I am unable to really make out what he can and cannot experience while on his own, underwater, in utter darkness at the bottom of the sea.
I hope everyone enjoys chapter two.
Chapter Two: Dead Man's Tale
After a time, Nami pushed herself away from Nautilus. She met his glowing, orange eyes with her own red-orange (maybe orange-brown) eyes. She closed her eyes for a moment, and then opened them. "Where did you go? After you defeated that beast, I mean?" She asked timidly. She sounded as though she would not try to make him answer.
Though he knew he did not have to, Nautilus did answer, but not before gesturing toward the water.
As to two of them walked, his footfalls leaving imprints in the sand and her tidal pool leaving it slightly wet. He led her into the water until he was waist deep, while she was nearly shoulder deep; one would guess her to be as tall as him but that was only due to her having a fin instead of legs. He let his anchor sink into the water, and then leaned his arm against it.
He looked out at the sea, diving into his private thoughts and memories, at least those he could recall. "After I set off that depth charge, I was blow upward and away by the blast, and then became ensnared in a fishing net." He began his story.
What everyone else knew was that he had come to Bilgewater from the sea, but none knew of his journey there. Nami was the only one who had some idea of his past, and now he would tell her what became of him after their meeting.
It was dark once more, all light having faded in one, large and blinding flash. He couldn't feel his body, the shock wave, he believed, had been too much for him to survive. He imaged these were his last moments of life, and then he would be gone from the world and into the afterlife. He only hoped she had heard his final words to her:
Thank you and farewell.
With the water all around him, his words had turned to bubbles, the water silencing him and taking the air from him. He did not know how that could be, and still allow him to breath, but he did not truly care at the time.
He only hoped that girl, the Maria Nami, had the pearl and would make it back to her people safely.
Suddenly, he felt himself being moved.
He tried to lift his arms, but was unable to. He tried to move his legs, but they only dangled. He was trapped in something, but did not know what.
And then, he was assaulted by light and sounds; his eyes hurt from the bright light and his head pounded from the sounds.
"What do you think it is Captain?" Said one voice, it sounded young but not too young.
"It looks like an old diver's suit. I remember my grandfather spoke of them." Said another, older voice.
All around, the noises continued, each syllable hurting his ears. He brought his hands to the sides of his head, a ripping and tearing sound screaming at him in protest. He tossed his head to the sides as more, louder, sounds went off.
"It's alive! It's alive!" The older voice said. "Get the guns! Quick!" The voice said.
As he turned to his side, eyes such tight to keep out the light and hands to the sides of his head, he heard the sound of metal being ran on. It was agony! "Wait for my command!" Called the voice.
Finally, after seeming hours, but really minutes, the sounds stopped.
He laid there, his breathing the only sound he could hear, as his senses began to adjust to his surroundings. His time underwater had made him vulnerable to the light and sounds of the over world, welcoming him with only pain of having returned so quickly.
After several minutes, he began to recover. When he did, he removed his hands from his head, and then used them to push himself up. His eyes drank in the surroundings.
Around him were ten man, some young and others old, armed with guns and harpoons. They were on a metal ship, with him over a net of metallic links; what had bound him. To his left and ahead was a tower, where the helmsman kept the ship away from hazards that would otherwise mean doom for the ship and its crew. Behind him was a pit, from where soft sounds were heard.
"What are you?"
The question made him look over at an old man. He had a rust-colored beard, wore an orange jacket, and dark boots. Everyone wore the same orange jacket and dark boots, plastic and waterproof by the looks of them. The old man appeared to be the leader and captain of the ship and its crew.
"What in name of the seas are you?" He asked again, appearing braver than the others around him.
A thought came to him. He opened his mouth to speak, but, instead, the only sounds he heard were that of water pouring and splashing and gurgling. By the look of the men around him backing away, it was coming from him. He leaned his head forward, feeling nausea welling inside him, and began to hurl his insides. Water, small fish, bits of coral, and some dark muck began to litter the space around his hands.
After a minute of this, followed by coughing, he was able to breathe through his mouth without gurgling or anything else coming out of his mouth. He looked up, into the eyes of the old captain, and began to rise to his feet. Those with weapons took a step back, fearful of the seven-foot titan growing before them.
"Nautilus…" He said.
The old man, seeming calmer, shook his head. "Nautilus? Who is that? I am Timber, Captain Timber of the Blue Whale. Are you Nautilus?" He asked.
The titan put his hands to his head, his head still pounding from the rush of light and sound. "Nautilus…" He said again, going to his knees as his head pounded painfully. It almost felt like each beat was his head hitting his helmet, keeping his head inside the suit.
"The ship's being rocked Captain!" A familiar voice called out in his head. "Whatever's got him will pull us all into the grave!" The voice said.
There were more voices, most yelling and filled with panic and fear, and then his own, pleading for help as he held on for dear life to the ship's railing. His grip was tight, even in the heavy suit, but the thing that held him, the same one rocking the ship, held him in a tighter grip.
Images began to appear, all of them sailors and one of an older man, but not as old as Captain Timber. He wore a blue coat, an eye patch over his left eye, and was larger than any of the other men. His one-eyed gaze analyzed the situation and his men with care, taking into account the man's pleas with sincerity.
Metal began to bend. The railing was being stretched.
Finally, the captain looked down in surrender, and mumbled something. He did not hear the words, but somehow knew what they meant.
In seconds, the men trying to help the pleading man left him, leaving him to hold on to the railing for his own life, and then they began to work the railing with tools. They were disassembling it!
As the ship rocked, the grip on his leg tightened, the man begged for help, for salvation from his plight from his fellows. None so much as looked at him. He was still there, and yet they had already abandoned him.
Suddenly, the railing came undo, and the man began to be pulled below. His fall was broken when he caught the anchor of the ship, but only for a few seconds. In that time, his eyes locked with the one-eyed captain. There was a message in that stare: Forgive us… We can do nothing, but save ourselves.
And then the chain on the anchor broke, the dark thing that had him had won. He never took his eyes off the man who had sentenced him to his doom at the hands of some alien, seafaring creature until his vision was lost in darkness.
It was an honor to know you… Nautilus.
His arms fell to his sides. His head no longer hurt.
He stared down at the deck of the foreign, metal ship, lost in a sea of emotions far more vast than any he had ever known.
On his knees, he remembered… he had been betrayed and sentenced to die so his fellows could live. He was the only one brave enough to explore the unknown… yet allowed cowards to decide his fate. He had held respect for each man aboard that ship… and now he had paid the price for such trust in others.
"Nautilus." He spoke again, without looking up. "That is my name." He added.
He heard movement, people walking about and the waves hitting the sides and hull of the ship, as well as low whispers. One voice, however, spoke to him. "Well, Nautilus, do you know what you are?" It was Captain Timber, repeating his previous question.
The titan looked up to see the old man standing over him. All he could do was shake his head. "I am a sailor." He said, and then looked down again. "Betrayed by his crew and left to die." He added. He hadn't realized until then, but his voice was booming, almost echoing, compared to the voices he heard.
The whispers stopped, and footsteps were heard more. "Well, Nautilus, we could use a big guy like you to help us." The captain said. Nautilus looked up when he heard those words. "We're a fishing crew, employed by Noxus. These waters have already claimed a few of my men with sickness, and were just on our way back to port." He said. He then extended his left hand. "What do ya say? Will ya help us get back to port, or just sit there and feel sorry for yerself?" He asked.
Nautilus looked from the hand to the man's face. He was a sailor, yes, but he did not know of fishing. He didn't know what kind of sailor he was. Finally, he reached forward with his left hand and took the captain's hand in his gloved one.
Timber smiled. "Since yer so big, help carry the heavy loads. Just put that hunk of metal over there for now." He said, gesturing to the corner of the ship where the anchor was.
Nautilus nodded once, and then went to it, setting his anchor down and tying it to the side with rope. He then rose and was directed to a sailor named Josh, the last remaining sailor who helped with the heavy lifting. There had been four; one had been washed away by the tides, the second was crushed by one of the loads, and the other two died of illness.
He quickly found out that he was much, much stronger than Josh, able to lift three times the load he was. The two made a good team, with Nautilus as the brawl and Josh directing him.
As night rolled in, nets were cast and shifts were taken in case something went wrong. Nautilus found that he did not need sleep. The act of trying to only caused him to lay on the cot he was provided. After two hours, and his shift came, he never returned to the cot. Though they found it strange, none of the sailors, or Captain Timber, forced him to sleep. So he chatted with the crew to pass the time.
When morning came, he was able to pull the fishing nets aboard without the aid from the other sailors, which allowed them to avoid injury and allowed for better coordination. The catch consisted of a variety of fish with some lobsters mixed in, which were stored with the rest into the pit. All and all, it seemed an easy job, yet it did not feel like the work he had done before.
What he felt more attracted to was navigation.
Nautilus spent his free time looking over the charts and maps of the ship. He was able to almost subconsciously pick out lands and seas, distinguishing between rocky and smooth terrain and rapid and calm currents. There was one place in particular that draw his attention; it was an area in the center of an imaginary triangle formed by Bilgewater, Ionia, and Noxus.
For a time, everything was going well, better with him on board and willing to help out the rest of the crew, until they began to near Noxus.
Nautilus sat in the helms room, reading over the charts, when one of the crew, Tarson, called out from the deck. "There's something in the water! Left side!" His voice called out.
Captain Timber, steering the ship, turned to Nautilus. "Go see what the boy's going on about." He ordered.
Nodding, the large man rose and started out. In the weeks he had spent on the ship, he had never taken off his diver's suit. He would have… were it not for what laid under it. He didn't want to lose a second crew.
As his steps banged against the stairs, he took them two at a time to make the best time possible. Others began to look over the deck as well, trying to see what it might be.
When Nautilus arrived, the men parted for him to take a look. He had become a quick friend to many of them. He looked over the edge, and then froze for several moments. What he saw, however, made him stagger back.
He ran to fetch his anchor, still lying tied near the Blue Whale's. He turned his head as his hands worked to undo the rope. "GET AWAY FROM THE EDGE!" He yelled. "SEA BEAST!"
Just as he said the words, something rammed the side of the left side of the ship. The force caused everyone on deck to stagger and stumble toward the center of the ship, some slipping to the right of it. Even Nautilus had been caught off guard, but the rope around his anchor prevented him from going far from it.
After a moment, there was another hit, this time harder and from the right. Those in the center were tossed to the left, two of them being swung over the railing. One of them managed to catch the rails, but the other one splashed into the water.
"Throw him a line!" Captain Timber ordered from his vantage point above. Even he was shaking on his feet from the impacts.
Josh and Tarson were the first ones on the scene, casting out a life preserver tied to a heavy rope. The sailor grabbed the preserver, holding it tight, and waited for his fellows to pull him up. As the two men pulled, he kept his eyes peered for the thing that had rammed the ship.
Before he could get to the ship, he screamed out in pain. "Something got my leg! Something's got my leg!" He yelled out. The two men pulled harder, but they were unable to get him up over the water. "It's got me! Help! Help!" He cried out.
Josh and Tarson were beginning to lose their rope. As it slid away, Tarson lost his grip, and Josh was nearly flipped over the railing. He caught the rail with his legs, but that would not help him for long. He was losing the tug of war, and would soon be over the edge as well. The rope burned as it slipped through his hands.
Before he lost it, Nautilus reached over, passed the sailor, and coiled the length of rope around his metal-gloved fist. A bang knocked against the ship; he had dropped his anchor. He pulled, bringing the man over board closer to the ship, and then wrapped his other hand in the rope. Alternating between hands, he was gaining the upper hand against the beast.
Suddenly, he felt the other end leave, and nearly fell back but was able to keep his balance by stepping backwards instead. In only a few seconds, he had the man over the railing, allowing Josh and Tarson to pull him back on deck. The man's right leg was bleeding from bite marks below his knee.
"Get below deck! EVERYONE!" He ordered. Without another word, all six of them fled below deck, out of the reach of the beast who had nearly claimed one of them. "Captain Timber! Lower the anchor! This beast will not let us leave without a fight!" He yelled.
As though in answer, the ship was hit from the left. Nautilus staggered, but kept his balance. He looked back up at the old man. "NOW!" He yelled.
There was the sound of chains falling, a loud splash, and then a series of smaller splashes. After a few seconds, the ship jerked forward, and seconds later paused all movement save for the waves.
Nautilus grasped his anchor, his weapon, once more, and waited above deck by himself. He didn't have to wait long as the ship was attacked from the sides again and again, yet he did not budge.
Finally, realizing the attack was futile, the beast rose from the seas. Its eyes met the angry glare of Nautilus.
The sea beast was like a giant python, but with wing-like ears at the sides of its head. His skull, he imaged, was harder than steel. The teeth were sharp, sharper than the crew's harpoons, and a wicked tongue darted out of its mouth. The patterns on its body made it difficult to distinguish it from the dark clouds, but he could make out the movement.
It lunged for him. He swung his anchor in one hand. It was a solid hit, but not enough to make it back off. It recovered, and then lunged for his arm. The beast flung him into the air, and then began to coil itself around aboard the deck, moving from the sea to the small land to better get at its prey.
Nautilus landed with a hard thunk, creating a small crater on the deck in the center of the beast. He landed on his left shoulder, grunted from the impact, and then rolled to his chest before rising. Oddly, he did not feel any pain, and was able to get back up quickly.
The beast lunged at him almost immediately, tossing him against the scaly body of the beast. It attacked him with a series of head-butts, keeping him off balance and unable to attack. Over time, it began to show as his suit was bent and he grunted in pain.
BANG! A sudden, loud sound was heard and the beast ceased its relentless assault.
Nautilus fell to his knees, his suit bent badly at the helmet, chest, and arms. He looked up just before another bang sounded, and the beast turned to the source. A harpoon was sticking out of its left eye, now closed due to the projectile.
To his right, he saw who had done it: Tarson, Josh, and Arnold, the engineer, were there; each one held a gun of some kind. Tarson was the one who had used the harpoon gun, and was now reloading it as Josh and Arnold aimed their handguns at it.
The harpoon guns were designed for use against beasts such as this with their sharp, jagged heads and shoulder pad for more accurate shots. While they could be used for fishing, such prey would have to be worth the price of ammunition. The handguns, likewise, were used to stun and distract their targets with their heavy bullets, loud blasts, and knockback recoil. Both weapons were far too powerful for mere foes, but perfect against monsters such as this.
However, the beast was not dumb enough to let such threats go unscathed.
It hissed and lunged toward the three, who took shelter within the doorway of the stairs down. Its head was too big to fit through the door, but that did not mean it couldn't get through. It rammed against the door, forcing the frame to move aside, and then snapped its jaws at the three.
The sailors wisely backed away, down the stairs, but their intervention gave Nautilus the chance to recover.
"GET AWAY FROM THEM!" He yelled, climbing over the beast's body and jumping onto its outstretched neck. His landing was hard, but it was not enough to flatten the muscled neck. Instead, he landed on it and bounced off, to the side.
The beast tried to pull its head out, to retaliate, but it was stuck for the time. He took the chance and wrapped his arms around its neck.
Squeezing for all he was worth, Nautilus's arms slowly but surely began to move closer and closer together. The beast's lover body began to whip to around the deck, hitting the railings, cages, nets, and the inside of the pit as it thrashed in panic. There was no escape for it now, not under the strong grip of the sailor's metal-enhanced strength.
In a matter of seconds, the beast's head became separated from its body.
The body and head both whipped and thrashed about, painting the deck, helmsman tower, and Nautilus in a fountain of red blood. Nearly a minute past until it finally ceased, the life now gone from the monster of the sea.
Nautilus was not finished.
He grabbed the beast's severed head and, in one mighty tug, pulled it from the stairs, taking the frame with it. He grabbed the frame, threw it into the sea, and then began to beat the beast's head with his already blood-covered hands.
"Nautilus!" A small whisper met his ears, but did nothing to divert his attention. "Nautilus! Stop!" Again, the whisper came.
Suddenly, he felt resistance on his arms as he drew them back. In the heat of rage, he turned his head to see what had grabbed him; to see what kept him from protecting his crew!
It was Josh who held his right arm back.
He turned his head to the left. There was Tarson, holding his left arm.
Panting, he turned to look at the beast, or its head. He barely recognized it. The skull had been bashed in, the scales flayed from it, the muscles in it were scattered around, and the deck under it was red with blood and gore.
He turned back to Josh. "It's dead, Nautilus." Was all he said.
Nautilus fell backwards, his metal suit clanking against the ship. Both sailors let go of him then, allowing him to look at his hands. The metal and rubber was stained red. It was then he also noticed that his body was emitting a dark green aura around him. The aura was not just on his arms, but surrounded his whole body.
It did, however, not last long. As he calmed, the aura began to fade until it was completely gone.
"Are ya alright?" It was Captain Timber's voice. Nautilus turned to the old man, meeting his eyes. He saw fear where he had not before. He also saw the rest of the crew looking at him the same way, like he was more dangerous than the beast. "Will ya be alright?" He asked again.
Nautilus looked back at the remains of the beast, the one he had killed with the help of Josh, Tarson, and Arnold. He stared at it for nearly a minute before turning back to the captain. "I… I don't know…" He said. It was a frightening experience for them all, but more so for Nautilus because he did not even know what he had been doing.
Timber looked around, gauging the damages his ship had taken. Finally, he looked back to Nautilus. "Go get some rest. We'll make port at Noxus tomorrow morning." He said, and then looked to the others. "The rest of you too, get some rest! Tarson, Josh!" He gestured. "Don't worry about the rest of the fishing, the beast's body will fill the rest of the pit. Just clean up the head as best ya two can." He said.
It was late at night when he arrived on deck once more. The rest of the crew were asleep, at least he hoped they were, so they would not know he was up to something. Standing at the edge of the railing, watching the waters below, Nautilus's mind was a sea of troubling thoughts.
He did not know what had happened to him, what had caused him to go berserk like he did. All he could think of was protecting the rest of the crew. He didn't even know the blasted thing was dead until he was about to turn his rage to those he was fighting for.
Only did he realize what that thing had did to him, the one that had dragged him into the abyss, the one that had forced his crew to abandoned and betray him. It had changed him into something that was not human, and, in so doing, made him part of it. Only now did he feel it, after that aura had appeared over him, the darkness within him.
He was no longer human, but a monster. He couldn't bear the thought of staying, putting the rest of them at risk of being killed by him. They were all good men, and he would never be able to live with himself if he hurt even one of them.
He put his hand on the railing.
"Nautilus? Is that you?" A voice said.
He paused, and then saw the glow of a light out the corner of his eye.
"Nautilus, what are you doing?" The voice asked.
He turned to see Captain Timber with a lamp. He looked up to see that there was another light at the helm. It seemed the captain intended to get the shore as soon as possible.
The captain's eyes took in the sailor in the metal and rubber suit. His face softened. "Take the life boat boy. It'll be easier than swimming in that suit of yers." He said.
Nautilus shook his head before turning back to look over the railing. "I do not plan on swimming." He said.
"Then what? Do you intend to sink to the bottom and walk?" He asked. The old man had no idea he had hit the nail on the head.
"I cannot stay, nor can I go back to land without finding out what I've become." He began. "This body, my body, has been changed by something in the darkness of the abyss. I do not know what has happened to me, but I know the answer is somewhere down there and to the east, where I was changed." He said.
There was silence, the only sounds that of the wind and waves and the gentle sounds of the lamp's flame. Finally, Captain Timber spoke. "I wish ya luck in yer quest then." He said. It sounded like he had turned around. His voice began to fade. "If ya ever want to return to the sea, we'd all welcome you back aboard The Blue Whale. I've not seen a braver man than you since my days as a cabin boy, and those fellas weren't even half as brave as you." He said.
Nautilus waited until he no longer heard the captain's footsteps, and then pulled himself over the side of the railing. As he fell, anchor in hand, the last sight was that of the ship's name in dull, dark blue: The Blue Whale.
And then, he splashed into the water, sinking back into the abyss.
Chapter Two: Dead Man's Tale; Part 2
"After what I believe were weeks, I emerged at the shores of Bilgewater. I never found that center of the triangle." Nautilus said. He had skipped some of the details, but, in utter darkness, he had no way of knowing what those details were. He could feel and attack, but no light was there to show him the way.
Nami, having changed to leaning against her staff planted into the sand below the water, had been listening with true earnest. She looked away, thinking over what he had said. "After that, what happened? When you arrived at Bilgewater, I mean." She asked.
Nautilus straightened, and then pulled his anchor from the water to lean it against his shoulder. "I began searching and asking, trying to find out who I was. All I remembered from before I was turned were those last minutes with my crew and a few names. Eventually, I was directed to the Institution of War, who I worked for at the time. They would tell me nothing of my former crew." He said, shaking his head at the bitter memory.
She looked back to him. "I am sorry." She said sincerely.
He shook his head. "You have nothing to be sorry for." He said, and then started back to the shore.
She followed him, staying close behind and to his left. "You didn't have to help me in that way, to risk your life for me." She said.
Again, he shook his head. "For what did I have to live for at the time? I was nothing, a living, empty shell that destroyed whatever he came across as he walked. Until you showed up, I did not even know what I looked like." He said.
When they reached the shore again, he stopped and sat down in the knee-deep water. He turned to her and watched as she approached, and then sat down next to him with her fin the water and her upper half above the water. "What are you doing now? There is more than you joining the League, I take it?" She asked.
He nodded. "Even the League has yet to figure that out." He said with humor. His tone turned a little more serious then, but not as much as before. "They left me in darkness, my former crew, and left me to die. It is because of them that I was changed." He said.
She looked up at him, her eyes soft. "Then it is revenge?" She asked. He nodded. "You are not like that, though. You can return to the sea, become a sailor again. That captain said he and his crew would welcome you back. Why do you not-" She paused when he raised his hand, bidding her silence.
"Had I not been as hurt as I was, I could have killed the two who stopped me." He answered to her question. "It is because of my crew and that thing in the abyss, that I am so full of rage. If I am unable to control myself, my angry, how I can ever return to the sea? How can I look at another sailor in the eyes and feel I can trust them?" He began, asking her a series of questions.
She opened her mouth, but had no answer, so she closed her mouth.
"Until I find them, I cannot look at my own reflection and see a man of the sea… only a monster from the darkness." He brought his hand to his face, and then, slowly, removed the glove. His hand was darker than the depths, seeming to absorb light and corrupt it into more darkness. The sight made her gasp. "I've become part of the abyss, in body at least. If the day comes, should I lose my mind, I fear those I am around getting hurt.
"The first reason for joining the League is to find my former crew and get my revenge, but the second reason is, should I lose myself, I will be around those who can stop me." He explained, his voice little more than a whisper.
As he put his glove back on, Nami spoke with a soft voice. "That will not happen." He glanced at her out the corner of his eye. She took his ungloved hand and held it in both of hers. She looked up into his eyes with hers; a fierce fire burned in them. "I promise, as the Tidecaller of the Maria: You will not become one of those monsters." Her voice was full of courage and sincerity.
He waited until she let go before putting the glove back on, and then looked to the horizon. His voice, for the first time, held fear of the unknown. "If I do, if I lose myself, after I am subdued, and no one else will do it… Will you end it?" He asked, pleading.
Her voice was like steel. "I will be the one." Tempered by blows he could only begin to image. "And I will remember you as Nautilus the sailor, and as the Noble of the Abyss." She added.
He turned his head to her. She could then see the sorrow and fear in his eyes; his eyes were blurry. "Thank you." He said, and then turned back to put his head in his hands. "I am afraid of that day." He added.
She put her arms around his covered neck and rose on her currents, putting his head close to her chest. "You will not change though, I promise." She said.
For a time, they stayed like this, until he moved his hands under her arms and set her aside. He stood then, picking up his anchor. "I need to get going. It's almost night." He said.
She rose as well. "Where are you going?" She asked.
Nautilus shrugged his shoulders. "I… do not know. I've never stayed anywhere but the League dormitories." He said.
Nami grabbed his free left hand, holding it in both of hers. "You will stay with me then. I'm borrowing a little room near here. Fizz helped me to find it." She explained, adding the last part as an afterthought.
He let her lead the way. This was the second time she was the guiding life in his life. While others would think of him as weak, or something else, but this was just another time in his life he was lost in darkness. Even the strongest man would follow the smallest light if he were surrounded by utter and complete darkness.
I refuse to believe, REFUSE!, that Nautilus did nothing but walk in darkness until he got to Bilgewater! So I made it more interesting. I hope everyone likes the new badass, sea beast slaying titan as much I.
Really good story, and I feel like playing Nautilus again.. but I suck with him, so I don't deserve him I guess, but as a fellow summoner, I can say that this one of the more better stories I have read, because some of the other stories make champions too lesbian, like riven. I love Riven....
Well, this one took awhile. As it turns out, it's difficult to add on to lore that, for the most part, is none existent. I was also worried about making it too long, fearful of clashing with the lore of other characters or misinterpreting their personalities; something I fear I already have.
Well, if I have messed up, I am sure someone will point it out. Without further ado, chapter three. Enjoy.
Chapter Three: A Whole New World; Part One
"Here we are." Nami said cheerfully.
Nautilus looked up from his worried, troubled thoughts to the small building before him and her.
It appeared to have seen better days with its weather worn painted walls of maroon. The windows were boarded closed, none of the glass showing, and one window even boarded from the inside; he guessed none of them had glass. The door was slightly smaller than the frame it was attached to. Finally, the roof, from what he could see, was little more than an oversized tarp that kept the rain out.
The former sailor stared at it for a few long seconds, and then looked to Nami. "Is it even stable?" He asked.
The Maria turned her head to him, back to the house, and then back to him. She then smiled. "It is safe. Fizz and some of his friends from Bilgewater fixed it up." She frowned. "We can try the port if you are not comfortable with this. A human named Sarah gave me the name of an inn she said would treat me well." She offered.
Fizz, the Tidal Trickster, and Sarah "Miss" Fortune, the Bounty Hunter, had already spoken to her and gave her recommendations as to where to stay. Personally, he thought the trickster was more concerned for her safety. Unless Miss Fortune was staying in the next room over, he doubted a building full of pirates would see Nami as anything but prey.
Being out here, away from the majority of Bilgewater's population, would be best for the both of them. "Have you been to Bilgewater itself? How many know you are here?" He asked.
Nami thought for a few seconds, and then answered quicker than he had thought she would. "Only Fizz and the summoners of the Institution of War know I am here. I've only just recently arrived on the surface a few weeks ago." She answered.
Or so he thought.
"But… you said you have spoken to Sarah Fortune." He said.
She nodded. "Miss Fortune is the one who told me about you and gave me a small tour of the port." She said. She began moving to the door, but stopped when her hand went to the knob and she turned back to him. There was a smile on her face and an innocent twinkle in her eyes. "Will you come in? It's a very nice place." She said.
Nautilus thought, turning his head to look around at the land, water, beach, and even the sky. There was nothing for miles, and the only ships were tiny specks near Bilgewater's ports.
Finally, he nodded and turned back to her. "I will." He said.
Nami, pleased that he was willing to give it a chance, turned back to the door and opened it. When she did, a small surge of water flowed out, revealing the house to be partially flooded. She did not even slow as she entered.
Nautilus followed after a moment, forced to crouch down to avoid the top of the frame and turned sideways to slip through, and then carefully pulled his anchor through the doorway. There were times, like now, when he regretted his size and wished his body was not what it was. While it did give him an aura of intimidation, that only worked for times he did not want to be in contact with others.
Once inside, however, he was genuinely surprised by what he saw.
In the center of the room, there was a geyser that let water into the small room, and provided enough water for Nami to not have to conjure currents to move freely. The walls were a mix of wood and coral, giving them stability and resistance to the waters. There were small fish swimming in the water, most fleeing from the two of them as they moved closer or staying far enough away to flee at a moment's notice. Finally, there was a deeper area where the water descended into the ground, most likely for her to sleep comfortably.
Something in the air caught his attention. "Are you cooking something?" He asked.
She moved toward the far corner, opposite the side where the deeper end was, and placed her staff down against the wall before looking to him to answer. "Oh! My stew!" She exclaimed, and then dashed off into another room.
Nautilus took a few steps forward, following after her, placing his anchor on the ground near her staff, and then went to the room she had dashed to. He looked inside to find the Tidecaller 'standing' over a large pot of boiling water. She appeared frantic with panic.
"It's bubbling! What do I do?! What do I do?!" She said, her hands going from one shelf to another.
The shelves held ingredients, utensils, pieces of dry wood, items of magic, and fish hanging from strings. Foaming bubbles were running over the side of the pot as steam rose from the top of it. Sweat could be seen on the back of her neck.
Nautilus took a few steps forward, clearing the distance in just three strides, and stood over her. He placed his right hand on her left shoulder, gently easing her to the right, and then took a step forward. He grabbed the pot at the two side with both his hands and lifted it from its place over the coals positioned above the water, and moved it onto a dry, cooler spot. The boiling water stopped almost instantly.
"How did you do that?" Nami asked, surprised.
He looked at her, keeping his hands were they were, and spoke. "The water was boiling over." He began, and then indicated toward the coals. "Water, when warm enough, turns to steam and then boils." He said. He looked inside, and then looked to her. "Have you never cooked before?" He asked.
He was correct in his unspoken assumption. "No, I have not." She said. "Most of my meals are raw, or warmed over a thermal vent underwater." She added.
Nautilus looked back to the pot of steaming water then. After several seconds, he stepped away from it, and then began to take things off the shelves and placed them onto the counter.
Nami watched him curiously. "You know how to cook?" She asked as she watched him work. She knew of some of the things he picked out, either by others telling her of them or having tasted them, but she had never used them to cook with.
He nodded as he read the labels on the bottles of spices. "I… yes, but only a few recipes. Could you chop up some of these fish? Be careful with the knife, though." He warned.
She nodded, and then did as he requested. As she cut up fish, she glanced back to him now and again to watch him as he put up spices, got new ones down, set aside utensils, and took control of her otherwise mess.
When she finished cutting up two fish into sixths, he turned his head to see how much she had done. "Wait." He said. She paused. "Let me put these into the pot, and add some spices." He said, taking the chopping board from under her hands and carrying it over to the pot, where he emptied it before handing it back to her. He then added some spices, rosemary and garlic they were called, and then added some vegetables to it.
By this time, the water in the pot had slowed its steaming, so he put it back onto the coals. He then took up one of the ladles hanging on a hook and used it to stir the pot. The water was beginning to smell good.
Nami moved closer to him, looking into the pot, and then to him. "You do not know how to cook either?" She asked. He paused for a moment, but then continued. She was silent as she watched him, and then spoke again. "Is it your memory?" She asked.
He paused once more, but this time he looked to her. His eyes were like a window into his own confusion. "I… yes." He admitted, looking to the wet, three inch flooded floor. When his head came up, he turned to the pot and began to stir the food and water once more. "I do not know what I am doing, but I know why I am doing it." He said.
Before she could comment, he lifted the ladle up, a small amount of fish pieces, vegetables, and spices within it. He held his free, left hand under it and held it inches from her faces. "Try it." He said.
She leaned forward, putting her lips to the warm, wet metal, and sipped as he carefully tilted it for her. When he took it away from her face, the inside of it empty save for a small puddle, he put the ladle back into the pot. Her jaw moved as she chewed the contents in her mouth, and then watched her throat move as she swallowed. Her cheeks turned a shade redder. "It's good." She said, head tilted slightly to the side in an attempt to hide her reddened cheeks.
He gave a single nod, and then went back to stirring. He picked up another fish and placed it into the pot whole, added a pinch more rosemary and garlic, and then hung the ladle at the side of the pot before gripping it and placing it back on the cooler spot. Finally, he retrieved two bowls and spoons. He handed one bowl and spoon to her and kept the other pair for himself, and then served her two ladles of the stew before serving himself. "Be careful, it's hot." He warned.
She nodded her head, finally looking back to him, and then stirred the food in her bowl slowly with her spoon. "There are chairs we can sit in." She said, gesturing with a tilt of her head toward an area behind him.
He looked, and then followed her to the chairs. They did not look like the sturdiest of chairs, but held his weight without breaking, though they did creak as he eased himself into the seat. Nami, however, sat herself down into the water.
She took a spoonful of the stew, moved it to her lips, lightly blew on it twice and finally placed the spoon in her mouth. She removed the utensil from her mouth and chewed; there was a smile on her face and a soft moan emanated from her. "It's very good." She informed, and then turned to him.
He was staring into his bowl, his spoon moving in circles in his bowl, and was not eating at all.
Nami frowned. "Are you alright?" She asked. He only nodded. "Nautilus, is there something wrong?" She asked.
Nautilus shook his head, and then picked up the spoon and consumed its contents.
The two ate in silence until both of their bowls were empty; Nautilus rose and held out his hand out to refill her bowl. She held it up to him, but did not let go when he gripped it. "Nautilus, I am here for you, please talk to me." She said, looking up and meeting his eyes.
They stared at each other, testing the other's resolve. She wanted to know what was so troubling him, and he did not want her to know. Finally, he spoke. "It's you." He said.
She did not flinch. "What is it about me?" She asked.
He took a deep breath before speaking. "Bilgewater is a dangerous place to live, and an even more dangerous place to live near. If someone knows you are here, or simply sees this house, they may come and investigate." He said. He paused, appearing to have more to say and thinking over what he should say, before adding more. "I am just worried about unwanted company."
Nami finally released her bowl, but he did not move to refill her bowl. "I am well aware of the risks I am taking to live here, but I do not intend to stay." She said. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and then opened her eyes again; they had softened. "The first person I met when I arrived on land was a man named Gangplank." She began.
After several days of waiting with her hard earned abyssal pearl, Nami was at a loss as to what to do. The shore her people had told her of was deserted of any and all traces of people, meaning footprints and buildings. She had been lucky enough to find a cove to rest in and hide from surface dwellers, but all who came by did not stop to wait on the shore. The carrier of the moonstone was nowhere to be seen, and that worried her greatly.
Finally, she decided to do as she had before: Do things herself. She held up her staff, summoning the waters around her into a tide, and advanced to the… land.
At first, Nami was frightened that her waters would vanish out from under her, that she would be left stranded on the land to die. But that didn't happen.
She took a deep breath… and then coughed violently. She turned and dove back into the water, where she could breathe. "Wh- What was that? It felt like I was being stretched from the inside!" She said as she panted.
Nami managed to slow her breathing, and then looked back to the land. She then began to swim back up until she broke the surface of the water. She took a smaller breath from her mouth, and then went under again. "Air… That's what it is: Air." She said to herself.
She thought this over before trying again. When she emerged onto the land for a second time, riding upon her small tidal wave, she realized that she could survive as long she breathed slowly. She even found out that, with her magic as the Tidecaller, she could make water from the air; which she used to keep her skin wet.
She did not know it, but her gills, normally used to take oxygen out of the water to let her breathe; now took in the air and filtered out the oxygen, as well as other gases, to let her breathe. By keeping her skin wet, the sun did not bother her, and it gave her a supply of water-laced oxygen to keep her gills moist. While the tide that kept her off the ground did serve to move her forward, it also kept her tail wet and left a trail of shallow mud behind her. The only difficult part was the light, but her eyes would adjust to it eventually.
Nami was, for the most part, amazed by the scenery spread out before her. There were large, brown columns with green on top of them, some even containing circles of red, yellow, and green. The ground turned from yellow to green and brown. Along this new ground were pretty colors, small creatures of different colors, and dull, gray stones covered with green.
Curious, she moved toward one of the small, brown creatures. When she neared it, several feet from it still, it ran up the nearest column of brown and hid within the green. It had left one of the brightly colored circles on the ground; tiny bite marks laid within it, as well as a white and yellow inside.
She reached for it and picked up with her free left hand; her right holding her staff and the pearl inside her dress. She looked at it: the outside was red, the inside was white in some places and yellow in others, she could see tiny black pieces inside it, and there was some kind of liquid running off it and onto her fingers.
She placed it back on the ground, and then moved away. In a few seconds, and after she was about ten feet from it, the brown creature returned from the green above and returned to the item. It looked like it was eating the colorful item.
Caw! Caw! (bird sounds of some kind)
A sudden sound made her flinch and look up! Above her was a small, winged creature that was making the sound. She back away from it, fearful it might attack her, but stopped when something hit her head.
Her staff came up and she began to scan the area, looking for her attacker. Instead, all she found was another of the brown columns, this one only a few feet from her.
She heard something and turned, and then she saw what it was: two of the red foods had fallen from the green. Both were whole, without the appearance of anything having bitten them.
She reached down and picked up the nearest one, looking at it strangely. She cleaned off the brown with her water, and then opened her mouth as she brought the food closer to her face. Her lips touched the shiny, red surface, and her teeth sank into it, piercing through the red cover and into the white. Finally, a sweet liquid seethed through it, her lips, and into her mouth, onto her tongue and over her teeth.
Her eyes widened; it was the sweetest thing she had ever tasted.
Nami took tore off a large piece with her teeth and began to chew; savoring the new taste assaulting her taste buds, and then, after it was turned to mush, swallowed. She took another bite, chewed, and swallowed, and then continued.
When it was all gone, core and seeds included, she smiled and picked up the other one, and then used her staff to get a few more down from the green. By the time she finished, she had five, all of which sat in her dress for later. When she became hungry, she would eat them, but her first priority was looking for the moonstone bearer.
Nami managed to find her way back to the shore and then the cove, where she would spend the next several hours. While she had found her first journey to the surface a wonder, she did not want to be on land when the light went away. In the darkness, without the safety of the moonstone, she feared there would be abyss creatures of the land that would get her when she fell asleep.
In the morning, she was back on the land, feeling very confident in herself. While she feared being away from the cove that had been her home for several days, she knew that waiting for the moonstone bearer would only put her people into further danger. So, she started out, leaving her temporary home to explore the unknown and strange surface world.
While she passed by the brown columns with their green tops, she did get a few more of the sweet, red foods. From her meal of them last night, she had found two of them to contain small, green creatures. They were much smaller than the ones she had seen before, and, oddly, tasted good.
The first one had been an accident, and she had bitten part of it off. Curious, she pulled the rest of it from the food and ate it, thinking nothing of it, and then finished the food. The second one had emerged from a bite mark she had made, and she was able to fully taste it without the sweet, white meat of the red-covered food. It was green, gooey, and somewhat slimy, but it was tasty.
"You liked eating worms?" Nautilus asked.
Nami nodded as she smiled. "They were very good. I now know the names of the creatures and fruits, but I did not at the time." She said happily.
The Titan of the Depths only stared at her for a time before finally blinking. He coughed, clearing his throat, and then let out a sigh. "I am sorry for interrupting your story. Please continue; I will not interrupt you again." He said.
She only giggled. "It's alright. Even I find it funny after everything else I've found." She assured him. "I will skip ahead a little to when I meant Mr. Gangplank." She added.
Before she could begin, Nautilus spoke. "I was going to ask about that: Where did the two of you meet." He asked. It was easy to tell that he wanted to know this above most anything else.
The Tidecaller looked at him skeptically. "He was in a small boat with some of his men, along with a chest and several bottles of rum, I think. They were very jumping…" She began, resuming her story.
"Row faster you scurvy dogs!" Gangplank yelled from over his shoulder. He turned back, looking to the waters, and aimed his gun at one of the other boats.
Nami remained under the surface, watching the five boats row. She could feel the waters shift as the oars entered and left the water, propelling the boats forward. Some had two oars while others had four. She also heard something, muffled at that, being done. Due to her distance from the lead boat, she could hear only one of the people on it, and the person's voice was booming.
She watched in shock when she saw someone fall into the water, a trail of red coming from the person. Whoever it was, he did not move as he sank. Another entered the water, and then another. Finally, the lead boat began to leave the others, so she followed that one.
When it stopped, she heard the man's booming, muffled voice. "Keep rowing! There's land over there you can rest on!" She heard him say. Indeed there was land, but that was where she had made a small base for herself. "Unless you lot want to mutiny!" He added. The oars began to move again, a little slower, but still in swift motions.
Chapter Three: A Whole New World; Part Two
Within a few minutes, they arrived at land. The man's boots splashed into the water before the rest of him and he held the chest under one arm with his gun in the hand of his other. "Come on then!" He yelled.
As his men, three of them, put the boat on land, he walked on. After several strides, he paused. "What's all this?" He asked, looking over the scene before him. In front of him was an out-of-the-ordinary arrangement of shells, rocks, fruits and plants, and scraps of clothing. Nearly five yards away from the beach, most of the area was mud while all around it was dry. This was not natural.
His men walked up behind him and paused at the sight as well. "What do you think it is Captain?" One of them asked.
Gangplank shook his head. "I don't know, but someone's here." He put the chest down and turned to his men, pointing at them as he spoke. "I want you two over there, and you are with me! Whoever was staying here, we're going to get 'em." He said. His men nodded and went to do as he ordered.
As soon as he turned back around to start to the beach, he gasped and froze, along with his man. In front of them was a woman, half woman and half fish actually, staring at them. She wore a scaly dress of blue, green, and yellow, a headgear of some kind atop her head, and a staff held in her right hand.
What made them stop was the large, soccer ball-sized pearl under her left arms. It was darker than night and shined in the sun like no other gem they had seen. In all accounts, it was beautiful.
"You want to 'get me'?" She asked. The bearded man, Gangplank or Captain, nodded his hairy head. She smiled excitedly. "Then you must be the moonstone bearer!" She exclaimed, and then held out the pearl to him. "Here is the abyssal pearl. Is the moonstone in that box?" She asked, her eyes going to the chest.
Gangplank's eyes turned to where hers were, spotting his chest of booty. He turned back to her. He was still confused by this sudden turn of events. "N- No, that's full of gold and gems." He said, and then looked at her suspiciously. "What is a moonstone? And what is that?" He asked, pointing at the pearl.
Nami's smile faded, replaced with a frown as she drew the pearl back to her side. "Then… you are not the moonstone bearer?" She asked, looking him the eyes. The man shook his head. "Oh, I am sorry for the mistake." She said, her head turning to the ground. She turned back to return to the sea, not wanting to get in the way of whatever they were doing.
She barely heard talk between the two men, and then stopped when she heard footsteps behind her.
She turned in time to see the hairy-faced man coming closer to her. "Hold on there." He said. "What are you and where did you get that gem?" He asked. His left hand was on the handle of his gun and his right hand was on the pummel of his cutlass, but of which she did not know what they were.
Nami answered, but her mind was elsewhere. "I am a Maria, and this is a pearl from the abyss. My people have survived for centuries against the creatures of the abyss because of the moonstone's protective light, which wards them away." She began. Subconsciously, she tipped her staff's head for him to see the gem embedded into it. "I am the Tidercaller. It is my quest to find an abyssal pearl and exchange it for a moonstone on the surface. I have the pearl, but the moonstone bearer is not here." She explained.
Gangplank raised his right hand from his sword to scratch his beard as he thought, but kept his other hand on his gun. "Well, I cannot say I know who this bearer is, but I do know of a strange beauty who goes by the name of Diana. She talks some nonsense of the moon being mighty, the Solari being blind, and other rubbish, but she has a weapon, a sword with a crescent shape, that shines like the moon." He said.
Nami's hopes began to rise. "Do you think she would have the moonstone?" She asked, excited once more. This land woman, Diana, could be the moonstone bearer she was looking for! All she had to do was find out where she was and how to get to her. "Please, tell me everything you know about her!" She requested.
Gangplank's eyes went to the pearl, then the staff's head, and finally to the gems on her crown; they all would fetch a high price. He met her eyes once more, and, upon seeing her sincere and hopeful smile, he smiled. "Me memory isn't what it used to be. Maybe there is some way you could, um, refresh me memory." He said, scratching his chin.
Nami tilted her head to the side, her smile vanishing once more, as she thought about what he could mean. And then it came to her. "Hold still." She said with a smile. She brought her staff's head close to his forehead, calling upon her magic. A bright light came from the staff, and then water formed from the air. The water engulfed the top of the man's head, and began to swirl around him, below his hat's line.
The man near the captain, a smaller man with a clean shaved face and a bandana wrapped around his head, took several steps back out of fear of the magic.
After a minute, Nami brought her staff away from the captain's head and placed the butt of her staff on the sand. She smiled at his bewildered expression. "Do you remember now?" She asked.
Gangplank's right hand went to his head, inspecting it to find out if she had done anything to him, and then, when he only found it wet, took a step back. His cutlass came halfway from its sheath. "What in the bloody seas did you do to me just now?" He demanded with a dangerous tone.
Now Nami was confused. "I healed your head." She said, as if that should settle everything. It did not, as the man was still angry, so she went on. "I saw those people falling into the water and just thought you were all hurt." She added.
The bearded, angry man appeared shocked by this. He and his man shared a look, and then both looked at the fish-girl strangely. "How long have you been up here? I mean how much do you know about us here on the surface?" He asked.
She shrugged her shoulders. "I've only been on land for about two weeks." She said, looking from one face to the other. "Why?" She asked.
The bearded man suddenly looked more surprised than angry. "I see." He said, and then coughed before straightening and recomposing himself. He spoke in a more gentleman-like tone. "Me name is Gangplank, captain of the Dead Pool, and if I can be of any help, just ask." He said, straightening his collar.
Nami was not impressed, but his offer to help her did raise her hopes once more. "Oh yes, please." She began with a smile. "Could you take me to this Diana person?" She asked.
The man, Gangplank, smiled, revealing a set of yellowed teeth. "It would be my pleasure." He began. "But first, I will require payment for me services." He added, and then pointed to the pearl under her arm. "That beauty would suffice, or either the one in your staff or crown there." He said.
Nami, frowning, looked at the pearl, and then her staff, and finally up at the crown atop her head. She looked back at Gangplank, her eyes sad. "But, I need these." She said. The staff held magic within that helped her control the tides, her crown was a gift from her people that declared her as the Tidecaller, and the pearl, of course, was needed to trade for the moonstone from its bearer.
Gangplank let out a sigh, his smile shrinking, and shook his head. "Well then, I can be no help to ya. My apologizes." He said with false sincerity, yet it was missed in Nami's despair. "I do wish ya luck in finding her though." He said, and then turned back to his man. "Go get the others. We'll be leaving here shortly." He said.
The man nodded with a quick "Aye Captain" and ran off to fetch the other two, who had missed Nami's appearance completely. It was just the pirate and the Maria now.
Nami took a long, slow breath, careful to not gag herself on the air, and then began to think over what to do. She thought of something. "I can pay you, just not with these." She said, and then gestured to the area behind him. When he looked back, she began to explain. "It is not much, but I did find these around here. Would you take any of them instead?" She offered, fanatic and near panic.
Gangplank stroked his beard as he approached the little encampment she had made. She did not use it for sleep, but to place the things she found that interested her. As the pirate looked around, he noticed that some of the clothes were nice, even valuable, but nothing was near to the value of what the Maria held. To him, it was junk.
Finally, he found something underneath the rocks that caught his interest. He picked it up, wiped off the dirt, and stared at it with a causal look. "What is your name?" He asked as he looked at the shiny pebble.
"Nami, Tidecaller of the Maria." She answered. She knew what he was holding, a pretty, clear pebble she had found near the bottom of the ocean among a large, sunken ship, but that was all she picked up from it.
The pirate stood and held the gem out to her in his thumb and index finger. She looked at it, and then him, her face displacing the unspoken question on her mind. "Where did you get this?" He asked.
She straightened, and then pointed toward the sea with her staff. "Under the water, near the bottom, is a large boat, like that one you came in, only much bigger and with rooms in it." She pointed to the boat as she spoke before looking back at him. "Will you take that instead of my things?" She asked, hopeful once more.
Gangplank smiled, his yellow teeth showing again, and nodded. "If you get me whatever else was in that big boat, I will gladly answer any questions ya ask me." He said, this time with true sincerity.
It took little over an hour, but Nami finally managed to get all of the shiny and dull items onto the shore just as Gangplank had asked her to do. By this time, the other three men had returned and a large boat, like the one she had found, were near the shore with the captain. She did not know it, but what she was doing was gathering the gold, silver, gems, and crystals from a Demacian ship that had been sunk by Gangplank himself. The raid had ended in disaster for him and his crew, but now, with the help of the easily deceived Maria, the outcome had changed.
When she was finished, Nami reemerged onto the land and watched with the captain as his crew carried all the treasure up and onto the ship. She did not think anything of what the items were, so she spoke with the captain as to where to do to meet Diana.
He offered to take her to meet the woman, but she declined, getting an uneasy feeling about the other men on the ship. Instead, he gave her direction and a device called a compass, telling her to go southwest, around an island by going west, and then to ask for a little blue fellow named Fizz.
After thanking him for his help, Nami quickly departed, swimming away from the captain and his men. She did not know why, but whenever one of them looked at her, she was overcome with fear and a shiver ran down her spine. She had felt this same way when she was in the abyss, but this time was different. She had feared death and failure in that dark, monster-filled abyss. She felt worse with those men, humans they were called, looking at her with smiles. Some had winked while others laughed, and those nearly made her flee for her life.
After an exhausting swim, she made it to the port settlement Gangplank had called Bilgewater. It did not look like the place she wanted to stay at. There were many ships, all along rows of flat, wooden ramps, and many of them with men walking on and off them. The buildings were stable, but many of them had people coming out that appeared to have been beaten, dazed, or were dripping with colored water. The sounds were also worrisome to her. Some were loud, others were soft, and the rest she identified as screams and cries.
It took everything she had to not dive back under the water's surface and swim away, but she had to find this Fizz person. All she knew about him was that he was small and blue, nothing else. She did not know how to go about searching for him in such a crowded land over the sea.
"Man over board!" Came a cry.
Nami turned her head to see a ship behind her, much larger than Gangplank's, but that was because it was closer to her.
Suddenly, there was a splash, and then the sound of panting to her right. She turned her head to see a woman with red hair swimming toward her.
Before she could speak, something hit her head, dazing her. With clouded vision and thinking, Nami tried to figure out what was happening as she sank below the water only to be pulled back up. An arm came around her waist and she tried to escape, but was unable to with her senses still dazed from the blow. "Pull us up! And don't throw anything at us this time!" The woman yelled.
It was several seconds before Nami realized that she was being raised from the water, her tail completely out of it. Just as she came to, her senses were dulled once more when she felt her right shoulder hit something hard. She rolled onto her back and was able to get control of herself enough to make a small pool over her tail.
When she came to and was able to look around, there were men and a few women standing around her, looking down at her. The woman with red tail she had seen before the hit to her head was there as well. She wore the less clothing of them all.
"Wh- what are you?" She asked, taken aback.
Nami blinked her eyes, and then put her hand to her head, nursing the injury. "Nami, the Tidecaller of the Maria." She said without thinking. She then looked around at the people, all humans, around her before looking at the red-haired woman. "Do you know a little blue fellow named Fizz?" She asked.
The woman, still dumb folded, looked down at Nami's tail. She let a sigh and smiled, straightening as she did. "Oh, you're one of Fizz's friends. I should have known by your appearance." She said, and then held out her hand.
Nami looked at it, and then looked to the woman again.
After an awkward silence, the woman took her hand back and frowned. "You've… not been up here, on the surface, for long, have you?" She asked. Nami shook her head no. "Do you know who Fizz is?" She asked. Again, Nami shook her head. The woman waved her hands to her the men, who stepped away and went to do other things, and then crouched down near Nami. "Why are you looking for Fizz?" She asked, her tone different.
Nami straightened, rising up with her tidal wave, and watched as the woman rose with her. She was shorter, but her tidal wave did not make it appear too obvious. "I was told by a man named Gangplank that Fizz could help me find Diana." She said, her right hand gripping her staff and the other moving protectively over the pearl in her dress.
The woman's eyes glanced to left hand before meeting the Maria's eyes once more. She smiled and waved her hand casually. "Fizz wouldn't know where Diana is. Gangplank lied to you." She stated. Nami frowned, her hopes once more dashed. The woman lifted her chin up with a finger, meeting her eyes with a smile. "But I can help you find her too." She said.
Nami did smile in return; she would not give away her trust so easily to these humans now. "What do you mean?" She asked anyway.
The woman took her hand from Nami's chin before speaking. "Diana is a Champion of the League of Legends, a selection of special representatives invited by the Institution of War to help govern Runeterra." She began, and then winked. This one did not give off the same feelings as those men from before. "I am Sarah Fortune, captain of this ship and a Champion of the League, as are Gangplank and Fizz. You can call me Sarah, sweetie." She said.
Nami was only confused by this now. "The League of Legends?" She asked.
Sarah nodded. "Diana should be there or in the Institution of War. She usually stays at one of those unless she's on one of her purge missions." She said. The topic sounded horrible, but the woman spoke of it casually. "I was just heading to Bilgewater to collect my pay for some bounties and then I was going to return to the Institution." She added.
Nami looked around at her new surroundings. The men did not stare at her, but appeared more eager to do their work. The few who did look her way did not look at her, but at Sarah, who either pointed at something or gave them a nod of her head. She did not feel afraid, but uncertain.
After a couple minutes, she, Sarah, and her men were stepping off of the ship and onto the dock, as they called it. Behind them, escorted by her men, were others with metal links around their hands. Sarah had called them 'bounties' and warned her to stay away from them or she may get hurt. By the way they looked, she would have avoided them anyway.
Nami spoke to Sarah as she was led through the settlement. Bilgewater, it turned out, was a city-state and major port for trade with other city-states and peoples. Only the toughest and most feared could make it in the small port, but that was what Sarah, as a bounty hunter, was trying to remedy by capturing those toughest and most feared. She could not get at Gangplank because of his reputation, skill, and that he was a Champion like her, but she used that to her advantage and let him shoulder the responsibility both held. The Champions, it appeared, were the leading force and protectors of Bilgewater in an ever changing world.
After they had 'dropped off' the 'bounties' and the men had departed, Sarah led Nami to an odd looking stone. She explained it as a teleporter of sorts, one that would take them to the Institution of War in an instant. Nami followed her onto it, and tried to get off when the stone activated, but Sarah kept her on.
In an instant, they were somewhere else. Nami would have fallen forward if Sarah hadn't been there to catch her. "Careful there, let yourself get your legs, err, tail back before moving." She said, her eyes looking down to her tail for a moment.
After a minute, Nami was able to hold herself up again, allowing Sarah to lead her through this new, drier land. The air was different, drier, but she was still able to create water and use to keep herself wet.
Her eyes wondered all over the place. Though she did not know what any of it was called, she was awestruck by the sights and beauty around her. There were even people made of stone that looked like they could come to life at any moment. When she turned back to Sarah, the bounty hunter smiled at her, and it was then she realized that her eyes were wide as she had scanned the scenery. She felt herself blush, and then heard the woman laugh before saying that she was surprised by the sights her first time through too.
"A little while later, I meant the Summoners and they introduced me to Diana." Nami said, and then let out a sigh as her smile shrunk a little. "She knew nothing of the moonstones, nor the abyssal pearl. She explained to me how the Lunari had disappeared, that the Solari had wiped them out, and that she was sorry she could be of no help to my people." She said, finishing her story.
Nautilus said nothing as he looked to the flooded floor.
Nami's smile returned as she went on. "I then asked if I could be a Champion of the League, to represent my people. They agreed, but I only asked because I remembered what Sarah told me about how many people knew her name and what she was doing." She said. She reached into her dress and pulled out a large pearl as black as night. "Somewhere out there is the moonstone bearer, waiting for this pearl for some reason." She said as she stared into the void. "Until I find the bearer, and exchange this pearl for the stone, I cannot return to my people. I only hope the stone they have holds out." She added.
Nautilus reached over and put his hand over hers, three of the gloved-fingers alone bigger than her own hand. "You'll find your moonstone, and I will help." He said. She looked up questioningly. "After all, you struggled for days to find me, and I nearly blow myself up so you could get it. If need be, I will travel to the moon itself." He said.
The Maria smiled as she looked into his glowing, orange eyes. "Thank you, but I doubt it will come to that." She assured him.
Nautilus let out a sigh. "I hope not. Space is worse than the abyss." He said.
There was silence, other than the water and a few fish, as she looked at him. "Space?" She asked.
He nodded. "Above the sky and where the stars are, I've been to space." He confirmed. "To this day, I wait for a call from Zaun to get my payment for that." He added.
Again there was silence, and then he looked at her. Confusion was written all over her face. His shoulders dropped as he frowned. "I've had more misadventures than Fizz, if you can believe it." He said. "Would you like to hear it?" He asked.
Nami smiled and nodded her head as she put the pearl away, back into her dress. "Please." She said, showing the same excitement he had seen from her before when they first met. At the time, she was too young for his tastes and too much of a child, but now she expressed curiosity, yes, only on a more mature level.
"Well, I suppose I can tell you the short version." He began. "I was on my to Noxus to visit Captain Timber and the crew of the Blue Whale, when I stopped by Zaun for a rest…"
So I have not been able to use the whole single line skip, but I noticed this "insert horizontal line" option. I think I'll start using that for these little time-skips or character POV from now on because it actually works. Anyway, do not get your hopes up for some crazy space adventure, maybe later, but I do not know any of the terminology for space workings (any help would be great as that would allow me to make a bonus chapter).
Until next time.
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