Chapter 9:

Chapter 9: A Homely Mornin'

Beyond Waters

Night had fallen. The cavern roof had dimmed its many sparkles an' shines to leave a bit o' glim out in the rough. A few dots were speckled 'ere an' there, but it was rather pitch-black outside.

The Arch-Mage headed in not long after we had our chat an' went inside to sleep. On my end however, I decided to stay up a bit longer with me havin' some rest already in the day. So, with all 'at time I had, there was only one way to spend it. Yes, trainin'. I felt rather motivated after me lil' bondin' session with the mage, so I wanted to put to it an' make sure me words weren't just some blank sheet o' scroll.

When I were to want to come back in for sleep, the Arch-Mage said the door was unlocked an' I could come in—so long as I locked up afterwards. They told me the whereabouts o' me room an' wished me g'night.

Eventually, surely enough I was beginnin' to tire. Trainin' for so long will do that after all. Yet, I kept trainin' nonetheless. A bizarre phrase, especially for someone like me. I never really put much effort into stuff. I was a right rascal back in the day. Always causin' trouble an' the lot. But after that conversation, I couldn't help but feel like I was doin' somethin' wrong. I wanted to better me self, if I could put even one step to gettin' there that was good enough. I'd just have to keep doin' 'at every day. Unfortunately, me eyes were fallin' on me. I tried liftin' 'em back up but too heavy they were. Tired I was. Very tired. An' so I fell asleep. Out in the open I winked me self a nap. What a foolish thing indeed.


Mornin' came like a shark to fresh meat. Wakin' up to a full eye-blindin' view o' the cavern's rocky sky, I shielded me sight from it beamin' rays. 5 more minutes—is what I wanted to say. Then I realised I wasn't in me ol' life on the surface. I couldn't just laze about whenever I felt like it. Another thing I noticed was the fact I fell asleep. How embarrassin' after all 'at bravado I put on. Waltsin' over to the Mage's home, past the flat surface o' the mountain peak, I clambered me way to the door an' opened it. I remembered in how I was expected to lock the door when I would come back in. What a stupid thing to forget at night.

Enterin' the tower, I was greeted to a lovely smell, which was a strange thing to notice from bein' underwater. I shrugged it off as one o' 'ose things you get from havin' your potential unlocked or whatever. So, as for the smell, it was a brilliant thing indeed. Garples swept me senses with its sweet, fruity aroma; the homely scent o' nead warmed me soul, whilst the pottle added even more o' 'at with an extra helpin'. Along with that was the smell o' seaweed tea. All quite the calmin' thing to start the mornin' with indeed.

- Ah I was wondering where you went off to. So, considering I couldn't find you in your bed I assume you worked the night away. The Arch-Mage yelled down from his kitchen.

I made me way across over to the spiral staircase to find a door to the right leadin' right to the great mage,

- Not quite. I answered, in a downtone manner, as I made me way into the wood-boarded floor o' the kitchen.

- What happened then? The mage queried.

I stared at the magic oven with the mage pourin' magic onto a fryin' pan o' food.

- Well, I ended up winkin' me self a nap outside.

- Winked a nap?! What does that mean?

- I took me self to sleep.

- What? I don't understand. The mage puzzled, hand to ear, ready for listenin'.

- Well, I-

- I'm messing with you. Come and sit down and I'll give you your breakfast. It's all ready now after all.

- Don't mind if I do. Me self chimed, takin' me seat on a comfy lookin' green couch an' tuckin' me legs into a brown coffee table. 

- So, what do you want on your plate? The mage said waverin' about a ceramic disc.

- Everythin'.

- Everythin'? You're quite hungry, aren't you?

- Well, a sailor has to have an adventurous appetite.

- Sailor? They asked, platin' up me meal.

- It was what I did back at me home. Ye know, what ye lot call the surface world or whatever.

- I see. So, what do you do as a sailor?

- We steer what we call a boat. It's a fine contraption. Allows us to ride ahead the waves o' the sea. It lets us travel to different lands across the world. As well as explore an' find things never seen before.

- Seems like quite the creation. You don't have magic up there, right? How does it work?

- It's a lil' complicated, I don't completely understand it me self. I'd have to explain a bunch o' different concepts an' the like. I say as I take a sip from me porcelain cup.

- Ah.

- Say, on another note, this tea—it's magic, isn't it?

- Why of course, I don't exactly know much on how you drink on the surface world without magic, but every drink here es made with it.

- Well, I guess 'at makes sense, we are underwater after all.

- There was one time I heard of however. An outsider supposedly leaked somethin' out into a bar. It was all over the news a while back. Quite the humorous event. Apparently, everyone inside were knocked out an' had a headache afterwards. No one was all too sure why. For a good while they were saying it was a terrorist attack or something. 

- Now 'at ye mention it, I think I heard o' 'at when I went to the Capital. It was said 'at they carried some barrels o' beer.

- So, I've heard. It was that outsider who inspired the drinks we have now. It's just another way to fill us up now.

- Oh yeah, it doesn't seem like somethin' to quench yer thirst. Ye lot down 'ere don't need to drink anythin', do ye?

- Well, we don't need to, we've got food too.

- Huh?

- What? We get hungry like you do. Es it that weird o' a thing?

- Well, I guess ye won't need to drink anythin' if ye've learned to live underwater.

- I'm not quite following.

- Eh, it's not too important, don't sweat yerself about it too much. I suggested, as I got me self up from me seat an' patted me trousers off, after the tasty meal.

- Going to train?

- Yup, might as well.

- Where'd this determination come from?

- Well after our talk the other day I can't help but feel the need to try a bit more.

- Well, you might want to rinse yourself off.

- Rinse myself off?

- In the shower.

- Shower?! Underwater?!

- What are you going on about?

- How does it work?

- Magic.

- Haha, very fun- oh I'm dumb.

- What?

- I thought ye were messin' with m—oh it doesn't matter. Anyways, where's the shower?

- On the opposite side of the staircase on its left. Use the blue toothbrush too.

- Thanks, I'll figure it out from there.

On 'at note I headed over to the bathroom's door an' opened it up. 

I was firstly greeted by a white, tiled wall, each square o' white separated by a grey outline. On the far left was a rather spacious bathtub. Much like the walls, the tub was also white. 

Avertin' me eyes to the right was the shower, with a dolphin-patterned curtain coverin' it. Next to it was a fluffy, grey towel hung on a silver rack. Lookin' down just in front o' the shower was a furry ol' rug the same colour as the towel an' the same pattern as the shower curtains, with it stretchin' over all the way to the bathtub. A bit ahead o' 'at bathtub was a sink an' toilet just opposite o' the front door, with a shiny mirror platted on a cabinet above the sink.

I got undressed an' went into the shower, turnin' a silver tap. Out came, quite as the mage said, magic. What a clever way to wash, I thought to me self. 

After the shower, I wiped off the magic with the towel from the rack, wrapped it around me an' walked over to the sink. On top o' the sink was a lil' box holdin' a weird tube o' somethin' an' a few toothbrushes, one red, another green an' the furthest to the right blue.

I grabbed hold o' the tube an' me blue brush an' opened the lid sealin' the lil' container an' squeezed out a weird chrome paste. Magic. That's what it was. I wiped me teeth with the brush to an' unexpected mint taste. Probably one o' 'ose magic filters talkin', I reasoned.

Once I brushed out me teeth a gooden, I slipped back into me adventurous attire an' placed me hat on me messy hair's top. I went an' walked out o' the bathroom ready for me trainin' to continue once more, me coat's tail flowin' behind me.


- You're not getting anywhere if you don't change your posture.

- Youch! Quit hittin' me with 'at staff. Where'd ye get it from anyway?

- Its a pride possesion of mine. I fought for it a long time ago, before I became Arch-Mage in fact.

- Seems to have quite the history. I joked in whimperin' pain.

- If you have enough energy to make little quips like that, surely you've got some spare to work harder. Would you not agree?

- Yes, yes. I'll try me best.

- You better, if you don't want to be killed or worse.

- Is this better? I asked as I straightened me back a lil'.

- You're getting there. Keep at it, we may have all day, but we don't have all night. Sleep es imperative to prevent stagnation in progress.

- Ye're a real dictionary for big words today aren't ye?

- You'd say so, would you?

- Wait ye have dictionaries 'ere too?

- Of course we do, how else would we record words?

- I don't know really, I guess.

- You ask some foolish questions, you know that?

- May seem so to you, but I only know what I learned on the surface, not much on what goes on down 'ere. I waved me words about, as I waved me stance in accord.

- Yes, that pose! Don't move. Not a single step. You have to take in every detail of your current stance. 

- Alright, memorised.

- If you can pull it off again, you can tick off your first step of the dance.

- Now we're talkin'.

An' as such we practiced an' practiced, until we could practice no more. Until the day faded to night. Whereas once risen, the sun lent us more time to improve once again. For a long time did this carry on. I worked long an' hard. To the point o' grovelin' to the floor, beggin' the achin' to let off. Only to get over the pain an' stand back up to learn even more o' 'at sacred dance.

'Like a coral's beauty, gasped in vibrance.
The playful nature o' a dolphin, elegant in its cheerful glee.
Me arms that o' eel. Slitherin' soared in the cavern skies holy light.
Blessed by the gods, the Whale in all its precious greats. 
Craftin' the grandest o' sights to witness the grandest dance.'

A great warrior had etched that poem into the hearts o' the entire sea. It was the first Arch-Mage. Me teacher told me o' 'em tales an' that o' the pride o' magic users across the great waters. Arthur. That was his name. Your father was named after that man's excellence. The strongest o' 'em all. It was Ichlam, who was to inherit that title. But stolen it was, by their brother. Gerald, Arthur's eldest son.

Let me take a lil' detour, as I tell ye lad, o' the great tales o' the war, as me teacher had once told me.

Real Aire
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