The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)
“Alright, Aqui will be in sight shortly!” Odell said in a chipper voice as he piloted the Ali-442. The vehakul had just reached the top of a hill and as it was heading down, Odell made his declaration. The passengers within the Ali all let out a collective sigh of relief.
After leaving the small village of Horizon, the group made their way down a path that cut through the mountains. They drove down a long, empty stony road for three days. The scene looked so similar that it became hard to tell whether the team was getting anywhere. They had started to bicker a little from being confined in the Ali for so long. It wasn’t until they finally managed to break out of the mountain road and saw open hills ahead that they felt any progress had been made on the trip.
The team sped through the hilly path until a new scene came into sight. Out in front of the group was a sprawling seaside town. It was Aqueenian in nature, the architecture aligned with the ornate skyscrapers in Quenth and the factories in Qu, but this town still managed to look distinct from the other two.
The city sought to run along the coast rather than moving inward to land. It was long and seemed like it wouldn’t stop stretching until the water that ran alongside it ceased. Its buildings were light and sandy colors, with bright red, purple, and yellow pastel roofs. Many green trees were placed strategically between the houses to add splashes of natural color wherever needed.
The blue water alongside the town was divided by a bright, white sandy beach. The blue was a brilliant shade that could rival even the complexion of an Aqueenian.
If one visited the town on a cloudy day in the past, they might have thought that the clear water was the ocean—a mistake that could no longer be made in the current day.
The water alongside the city of Aqui was a channel that divided the No continent, where the team was, and a section of land and islands known as Kent. The best comparison was the English channel on earth, which was slightly narrower than the sight on Resh.
What sat on the other side of the channel from the Aqueenian village was what could only be described as a grand city. Its buildings towered in the sky and seemed to dance across the coastline. The architecture was not aligned with the Aqueenian style of swirling and ornate structures; instead, it was blocky, gaudy, and took on the appearance of a brightly lit carnival.
Each building was covered in intense lights and different colors, which shined so brilliantly that a city like Las Vegas would be jealous. The light remained on at all hours, burning through the night and day— the city was its own sun and its own stars.
The shining city was the team's destination, Nun, and it was an overwhelming sight for anyone who had never laid eyes on it before. Gwyn immediately felt himself get distracted by the bright place before he even had a chance to admire the coastal town, which was their next stop.
“There it is,” Odell said as he steered the Ali down a road that would enter Aqui.
“How… how large is it?” Gwyn asked as he traced Nun’s skyline down the channel. It seemed like it would go on forever.
“It’s… big….” Odell answered.
“It is said that it rivals some nations in size,” Rheba added. Gwyn’s mouth hung open as he tried to imagine just how large the city was. It didn’t take him long to realize he could not picture the large scale, and he moved on to the next important question, which had begun to burn in his mind.
“We have to search in a city that big? How are we going to find anything?” He realized that the mission they were sent on was going to be more involved than he could imagine.
“It won’t be easy; there is a long road ahead of us,” Rheba said solemnly.
Gwyn nodded and looked back at the city. He stared at it a moment before smiling.
“Well, whatever challenges face us, we’ll take care of it head-on!” he said with a wide grin.
“You seem oddly excited,” Odell said with a laugh.
Gwyn just shrugged. Throughout the mountain travel, the Nonpareil had time to think, and he was slowly beginning to realize that he had bested a formidable enemy in Horizon Village. The more he thought about it, the more elated he was to continue the mission. His world-traveling adventure had finally begun, and the Nonpareil wanted to see just how far his abilities could go.
“Forget all that!” Fiona chimed in, “There’s a beach! Let’s go swimming while we have time!”
Rheba shook her head.
“We have more important things to do,” the Bentulousian warrior said, “We won’t go anywhere without getting tickets for the ferry.”
“Then we get the tickets, and we go to the beach,” Fiona replied. “We should have a little time to relax before the ferry leaves anyway.” Her purple eyes were alert and engaged as she prepared to make a case for some much-needed R&R.
“There will certainly be time to kill; she’s probably right about relaxing a little while there,” Odell added.
“Why don’t we split up, Princess Fiona can go to the beach, and the Bentulousian can go to get tickets,” Harlan softly chimed in.
“What if Rheba wanted to swim later?” Gwyn asked.
Rheba shook her head and rubbed the brown fur on her chin.
“I don’t like swimming for leisure, too much hair to dry,” she explained.
“Alright!” Fiona chirped. “Then Rheba can get tickets, and the rest of us can go to the beach!” She was adamant. The others did not know, but it was the first opportunity she ever had to go to a beach with friends.
Odell shook his grey head.
“I’ll pass; I sink like a rock,” he said.
“Zenototes don’t swim,” Harlan stated in a short breath.
Hal just shook his head without replying
Fiona frowned and puffed out her cheeks for a moment. She looked at each of the team members. Gwyn sighed.
“I’ll go with Fiona,” he said.
“Really? Thanks!” the blue princess’s face lit up upon hearing someone would join her.
“I’ll go to get tickets for the ferry,” Rheba said, “the rest may join me or do something else. Odell is likely correct that we will have to kill some time.”
The group nodded in agreement as Odell continued to drive their vehakul to the beautiful seaside town.