Chapter 124:

At Last, the City of Nun

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

When the team, Captain Stone and Kako, finished their dinner with the Hobusian King, they spent a moment to rest before they made their way down to the smaller ‘Sea Spirit,’ which Captain Stone owned.

Odell was the last to leave the ship, but he was momentarily stopped by his father’s hand on his shoulder.

King Fio leaned in close to his second son and whispered:

“Be wary on your travels; the more I have thought about this, the more I worry about what plots we are playing into.”

“Don’t worry, Dad; we will be alright!” Odell said in a reassuring tone.

“I hope that is true; in any case, when you are in the city, seek out an old acquaintance of mine. He goes by Tancred, and he runs a detective agency in Nunvo.” The king handed Odell a letter. “I had sent an advanced force to the city, but worryingly, I lost contact when it seemed a discovery would be made. When you see Tancred, give him this letter, but don’t open it beforehand… and it's best to keep it quiet until the time comes.”

“A letter, dad, that’s a bit old-fashioned.”

“Yes, but it is secure; now, journey on, my son!”

With his father’s final words, Odell made his way down the ladder and joined the rest of the team. He carefully slid the letter into his pocket and joined their casual chat. Captain Stone fired up the ship's engine and set out toward the city nation of Nun.

“Alright, there’s no more sea monsters, right?” Gwyn asked as he looked over the edge of the truck-shaped ship.

“No, Gwyn,” Fiona replied.

“No other towns to stop at?” he added.

“None at all,” the princess replied again.

“In that case, we’re almost to this city!”

“Right you are!”

The Nonpareil and blue princess jumped in the air with joy while shouting ‘yay’ in unison.

“We will need to have a plan for once we arrive,” Rheba said as she crossed her arms. Hal nodded in agreement. Harlan reluctantly nodded as well.

“First thing we need is a change of clothes,” Odell said. The others looked at him with confusion. Kako chuckled to herself.

“He’s right; you’ll only stand out dressed in those clothes,” the author chimed in.

The group looked down at their attire. They wore standard clothes for their respective nation's attire. Gwyn held the end of the orange cloak on his shoulder and tilted his head. Everything he had seen worn on Resh was undoubtedly striking. He could see how he might stand out dressed like he was.

“They will have plenty of clothing stores, don’t worry too much about it,” Odell said with a smile. “The more important thing is what we do with the Ali-442.”

“I’m sure they have plenty of long-term parking,” Rheba said.

“You don’t understand, Rheba, we’ve been on this long journey; this vehakul is part of the team now!” Odell said. “Plus, I want to try my modi– I mean, don’t you all feel anything parting ways for so long?”

The others shook their heads in unison.

“I’ve never been that into cars,” Gwyn said.

“The seats are uncomfortable,” Fiona added.

“I’m too tall,” Rheba grumbled.

“It smells…” Harlan whispered.

“Netzian technology is superior!” Hal boasted.

Odell’s mouth was wide open in shock. He had thought all the issues of the Ali just added more character to it.

“I think it’s a little cute,” Kako commented.

“Thank you, Kako; at least someone here has taste!” Odell said as he turned away from the group. He crossed his long arms and huffed.

The rest of the group agreed they would put their transport into long-term storage, much to Odell’s chagrin.

As they reached their conclusion, the small ‘Sea Spirit’ entered the port of Nun. They were immediately surrounded by a swarm of luxury ships making their way out to the channel as they came in close. The citizens of Nun had gleefully watched the Japhinth chase Captain Stone’s small ship away earlier and, now with clear and safe waters, were leaving early in the morning to party through the night.

The team anxiously sat as the captain expertly maneuvered through the storm of ships. The small ‘Sea Spirit’ weaved back and forth on the water like it was performing a small dance while the already drunk Nun citizens angrily yelled down:

“Watch where you’re going!”

Gwyn made a small confirmation to himself that road rage, or sea rage, in this case, was universal.

Eventually, the boats cleared up, and Captain Stone gracefully pulled his ship to port. As the team jumped off the boat onto the dock, they stared up at the intimidating bright buildings that towered over them like giants. Odell navigated the Ali-442 from the ship to the port as the captain walked from the helm to the open flat bed of the ship. Some dock employees quickly spoke with Rheba to check the paperwork.

“Well, this is where we part ways,” the captain said to the team as he looked down from the deck of his ship. “It was wonderful getting to know you lot!” he added.

Rheba returned from the paper check and reached a hand up to Stone. It easily reached the captain’s ankles. He happily kneeled down and accepted her handshake.

“Thanks for your help, captain,” Rheba said.

“The pleasure’s all mine, dear. Next time any of you are in Aqui, stop by my pub!” With his final words, the old captain departed Nun and headed back to the coastal town on the other side of the channel. Gwyn, Fiona, Rheba, and Odell waved goodbye as he left. Harlan watched the others and pondered if she should join in, and Hal stood with his arms crossed.

“I’m afraid this is where I must part ways as well,” Kako said from behind the team. They turned to look at her. “I have some business in this city, but I do look forward to seeing you again!” With her final words, the author, K.A. Natos, turned away and began to walk away from the dock.

The group gathered together into an incidental huddle shape and discussed what they ought to do next.

“We’re finally here; let’s go see the city!” Fiona said.

“We need to start on reconnaissance right away!” Rheba interjected.

“A place to lay our heads should be prioritized,” Hal added.

“Does it seem like we are getting stared at?” Gwyn asked as he looked around.

There were very few citizens on the docks. A Hobusian, a Bentulousian, and their children stood a little down the way, and a Zenotote and Aqueenian pair of students had stopped their morning commute. All looked and muttered to the others about the odd team on the beach.

“I told you!” Odell hissed to the others. “All our clothes are giveaways that we are from other nations!”

The team quickly hurried into the vehakul and sped off into the streets of Nun.