Chapter 2:

Chapter 2: The Great Capital

Beyond Waters

You've been to the Capital haven't you lad? With its garlic pillars,
an' olive veg wrappin' around it.

"Yes, sir! Thrice and counting with my dear pappy."

Ah, well I'm sure you recall its loomin' spire,
towerin' over anythin' else in the city!

"I do, it was very big."

It was, wasn't it! A fine slab o' marble, chiselled an' carved into beautiful works o' art.
Statues an' pillars. Towers an' pottery.
All the same light, bright white, with some greys thrown in occasion.

Eventually I spotted small ants crawlin' around the place.
Till it hit me on me head that 'ose ants were people!

Hurryin' to rush down for a hello, I was waved back a Whale!
The majestic beast soared past me, wavin' its tail back an' forth,
swishin' an’ swashin' off into the distance.
Fizzin' circles soaped up me sight, ticklin' me from head to toe.

After ‘em bubbles cleared up, I ventured on towards me new goal.

In time, after rowin’ myself down a bunch,
I could spot shape o’ ‘ose people down there.
Such odd ‘air ‘ey have, I thought. Blues, greens, sapphires an’ emerald. 
Vibrant colours o’ ‘air they had,
not shared in kind by the borin’ brown mop that me youth had worn.
Other than that, the lot down there were rather normal
for an underwater civilisation!

An’ so, at last arrivin’ I dragged the attention o’ ‘ose around me,
as I tried pullin’ down to meet ‘em there on the floor.
I looked around at ‘eir faces, shocked an’ flabbergasted.
With ‘em starin’ at me like that, even I started feelin’ a lil’ nervous.
What 'ould they say? What 'ould they do?
I had no clue o’ the rules o’ this new world I stumbled upon,
who could blame me.

Not ‘em it seemed.
A second later an’ the crowd once frozen
were thawed an’ back in business. Some stayed locked on me,
but most shrugged me off like a bug in the corner o’ ‘eir room.

One o’ them walked up to me, cloaked in some strange silver armour.
Bright blue striped ‘eir attire,
it somewhat resemblin’ me ol’ world’s cloth.
An’ takin centre stage was some strange symbol.

I believe you know what I mean lad when I describe the
famous Silver Whale, placed crest upon a shield-shaped platter.

Well, with that nod o’ yours it seems you know ‘em quite well!

“Mmh, they’re nice and good guys who stop mean men.”

Quite right me boy. Knights who protect ‘eir proud Capital.
I take respect in ‘eir kind o’ loyalty an’ honour.

- You. Follow me. The knight commanded.

I didn’t do anythin’ wrong did I? Me self thought.

Yet, how could I argue against a man in arms?
An’ so I did as I were told. Swam through the bustlin’ city’s streets,
in pursuit o’ the knights walk; not makin’ a complaint in the slight.
Didn’t want to cause a commotion as soon as I got there after all!

Couldn’t say I weren’t at least a lil’ worried though.
I overheard some gossipin’ girls chattin’ away.

- Ew how dirty. They remarked, just loud enough so I could hear.

Kept goin’ on, ignorin’ what the lot were sayin’.
Not the first time me self were insulted on me
messy look!
Didn’t have much an excuse this time though.
Still soaked from before, bile mostly cleaned off
from bein’ washed away by ‘ose prior waters.

Lookin’ around, I spotted people barterin’ an’ hagglin’ for weird fruits an’ veg.
Fish hung from some o' the market stall’s white an’ blue striped roofs.
Kids were runnin’ around playin’ tag an’ one or two adults were catchin’ other kids,
thievin’ supplies from ‘eir stock.

- In here. Pointed the knight, towards an egg-coloured buildin’.

In I went, still havin’ to swim mind you.
I must’ve looked so out o’ place there, with everyone wakin’
around. How lucky o’ ‘em, I enviously thought.

- One o’ those for the gentleman please. 
The knight regarded, as I floated there in wait.

It was some clothes shop from what it appeared. Strange how none
o’ ‘eir catalogue were gettin’ wet though. Must’ve been some strange
material or somethin’, is what I rationalised on.

- Here, try them on. The knight said, chuckin’ a pair o’ boots at me.
I caught ‘em in a rash reflex, droppin’ to the floor in 'eir weight.

Finally breakin’ me own silence, I asked ‘em

- What are ‘ese? As I took a second stare at ‘em in confusion.

- They keep you stuck to the ground. I’m sure it’s pretty inconvenient
for you to be swimming wherever you go. The knight joked.

- Ahahaka! True I suppose! But I don’t exactly have any money to buy ‘em with.
I said with me hand scratchin’ the back o’ me head.

- Ah don’t worry, whenever us knights see anyone come from outside
we are to lend ‘em a hand, well a couple of boots in this case I suppose.

- Funny, aren’t ya mate! What happened to ‘at formality from before?

- Apart of the job. Gotta keep up our role for the good of the people.
We don’t want anyone thinking we’re soft, I guess.

- Ah, fair enough. Say I’m starvin’, ye got anywhere ‘at I can eat?

- Yeah, we do, in fact get those shoes on and follow me, I’ll treat you,
considering you said you had no money.

- Ah yeah, ahahaka! Forgot ‘bout ‘at one!

- How did you even forget in the first place?

- Who knows ahaka! Me self laughed, with a nervous sweat on me face.

An’ so we went off to a local pub after ploppin' 'em boots on me feet
an' sinkin' onto ground floor.

Now, after doin' so I rethought the knight's words an',
well it may be difficult to explain to you lad, but drinkin’ underwater
wasn’t exactly commonplace in me home town.
I didn’t question it much though an’ didn’t let it bother me
on how I were to drink 'ere but I went along with the guy on ‘eir kind offer.


- Man, 'ese shoes are handy, I can walk in water with near ease!
A bit on the heavy side though!

- Haha, you'll get used to 'em eventually.
On another note, whatdaya want? The knight asked, slippin’ into a more casual accent

- Well, with me bein’ new I don’t exactly know what I can order.

- True. My bad. Alright, in that case…Two ales please!

- Same drinks as home 'en…

- Now now, they’re not exactly the same as you’d be used to, I’m sure

- What makes ye so sure, I doubt ye've had a proper ale from where I live.

- I mean you’re somewhat right,
but I’ve still taken a couple outsiders to pubs before, 
they go on about their old homes quite a lot on
how famous they were for ales, gins and the lot.

- Now hol’ me a think for a second. Old home, what do ye mean old home?

- Well, you can’t exactly get back now, can you?

- Ah, didn’t think ‘bout it like ‘at… What do I do then?

- You can start by digging into this ale!

- Whipee! I’ve been waitin’ all day for one o’ ‘ese… wait what is this?

- Don’t ask just try it, try iiit.

- Quit nudgin’ me, alright. Down the hatch!

- Well?

- Its ale alright.

- See!

- But how? We’re underwater.

- It’s a form of magic.

- Magic?! You 'ave magic down 'ere?!

- Yeah, fun stuff ain’t it, they fill it with magic, and filter it to a certain taste.

- Ye can do that?!

- Mmh, and due to how magic works it doesn’t
instantly disperse out into the water

- Man! ‘Ats pretty nice, got a weird gulpin’ texture. I can’t quite describe it.

- That’s the magic in solid form. Pretty neato right?

- I’d guess so! But can ye get drunk from this is the question.

- Not reall-

- Ye can’t?! What’s the point then?!

- It tastes nice?

- So, how do ye know what bein’ drunk is?

- I’ve had an outsider come here with an entire barrel of beer.
It filled the bar. We don’t talk about it much anymore.

- How on earth did 'ey bring beer through 'at cavern… Oh!
Do you know anythin’ bout ‘at place above,
with a cavern an’ an upside-down lighthouse, an’ such.

- That’s often one of the first few things I’m asked.
Yeah, I’ve heard of it, outsiders go through it to get here.
It’s the home of the Silver Whale.

- Silver Whale? Has 'at got somethin’ to do with yer emblem?
Wait! I saw it before I think!

- No, you’re mistaken, you wouldn’t think you saw it if it were the Silver Whale.
You’d know.
After all, they not only would be (as the name suggests) silver in colour,
but they'd be at least ten times larger than an ordinary whale!

- Ah, well it definitely wasn’t it then.

- Oh, about this emblem, yeah it's to do with the Silver Whale.

- I thought so.

- Anything else you’d like to ask?

- How do I get to the lighthouse in the Silver Whale’s home?

- Yup, not straying from the pattern still.

- Huh?

- Nothing, just same talk as usual.

- Oh, didn’t mean to bore ye. 

- No, it’s fine just the same talk with all the other outsiders.

- Why do ye call 'em outsiders?

- Huh?

- Why do ye call 'em outsiders?

- I heard what you said, what do you mean?

- Well, it's just… well it… uh… I guess it doesn’t sound all great I suppose.

- What do you mean doesn’t sound all great?

- It sounds kinda insultin’ ye know?

- Its fine, isn’t it? What other word would you use?

- I guess ye’ve got a point there then!

- You didn’t think that through, did you?

- Nope, not at all. Without bein' drunk to death, I can’t make a coherent thought!

- You can die from being drunk?!

- Ahahaka, funny lad ain’t ye.

- I’m older than you!

- How’d you know?

- …

- Echem, ‘You didn’t think that through, did you?’

- Quiet you!

- Ow me head!

An’ so we left the bar, about to say our goodbyes, with me
still got a pain on me head an’ them a pain in ‘eir head!

But before we went our own ways I asked ‘em one last thing from afar,

- Oiiiiii! What’s your naamee?

- It’s Flint!

- I’ll see ye around Flint!

- Wait! What’s your name?

- Clay! Clay Clayman! The greatest sailer o’ the seven seas!

- Really, haha, well Clay, I’ll see you around then!

- 'At’s a promise Flint!

Thus, we parted paths, an’ I set off on me own journey.

An’ with that me boy, I’ll tell you the rest another time.

“Aww, what happened to the knight?”

Well, you’ll have to find out lad.
I’ll tell some other time, for now I’m tired!

“Bye, bye grandpa.”

Bye, bye Flint.

Real Aire