Face of Eternity : Principality of Dreams
The ocean winds were cold, sending Neptunes cool breath across our faces. Tides were rocking our boat as we quickly splashed across endless waves of water.
The sky was so much more blue over the ocean, and the sun was sparkling off the waters in such a pretty way, like stars in the daytime.
Slipping out of my dopy overalls, I donned my specially made Eighth Star Battle Dress, ready for anything as we set sail. Even in a nice place like this, you always needed to be ready for combat.
The boat we were borrowing from the docks was a small passenger boat. They let us use it because it was fast, and could easily outrun any pursuers.
Speaking of which, we heard some bells ringing not far in the distance. The sailor captain warned us that those bells meant we were about to deal with trouble.
“That them?” Indena leaned over the boat railing, staring at a flag peaking over the horizon.
I used my telescopic vision to see what the flag was; it was a skull and crossbones. The classic ‘Jolly Roger.’ These pirates really were into the theme, weren’t they?
“Yep, that’s them.” I said. “Man the poop-deck! We got scurvy pirates off the starboard side!”
“Don’t say poop-deck!” Indena yelled. “Call it the back of the boat!”
I heard poop-deck in a cartoon once, it was funny.
“At least she knows boat terms.” Yamin added.
At the back end of the boat, we had a special weapon waiting for those dastardly pirates...a bomb!
Not an A-bomb, but a small bomb.
Okay, it wasn’t a straight up bomb, despite my clarification. But I had a plan on how to get away from them and get to the beam island in one piece. Since the pirates were trying to steal lead and stuff, they’d try and follow us, thinking we have some in the crates. That was when we’d detonate boxes full of natural gas canisters on them and their boat would explode!
And it wouldn’t be a total fib either, since the canisters were made of lead. This was the perfect plan!
“I feel like we’re in a cartoon.” Marek said, sinking in his seat.
“That’s what happens when you let a four year old decide our plans.”
Can’t Indena get my age right? “I’m seven!”
“I know what I said!” She yelled back.
The pirates were getting closer by the second. They hadn’t raised their guns or cannons yet, but we saw a few of them on the edge of their ship, preparing to intercept and come down here to steal our stuff.
"Are we going to let them board our boat?" Yamin feared.
"No," Uncle replied. "We'll be leaving the boxes around the water as tribute."
They'd be like water mines. This was a great evolution to my original plan.
The pirates were very close now, and they were just behind us, quickly catching up.
“NOW! Release the natural gas into the water.” I ordered.
Marek started to pick up one of the crates, but he noticed it was shaking on its own.
“It’s fighting back!” He gave it a good shaking, but the box was trying to push him down.
“There’s something in there.” Indena helped Marek put the box back down.
The crate burst open! Splinters went everywhere! And right in the middle of it all sat one purple witch on the floor.
“Oh gods! Not her!” Indena grumbled, quickly recovering. “What are you doing here, witch?”
This was the witch, Melpomene. I called her Mella for short. I don’t know how, or why she was in that box, but this wasn’t a good time for her to be here.
“Fire mage, I’ve come to challenge you for the Evil One's life.” She stood up, speaking in a slightly monotone voice. Somehow she didn’t have a single splinter wound from that box falling apart.
“Can it wait? Take a look at what we’re dealing with! Dumb witch.”
Mella turned around, taking a long gaze at the pirate ship that tailed us. Then she turned back to Indena.
“That’s a threat?”
Mella’s eyes started to glow purple, and then she kicked her foot backwards, knocking one of the crates into the water.
Mella raised her hand and shot some sort of energy blast at the crate.
The gas exploded with a big boom! The explosion should have hit the pirate ship, but it didn’t do anything!
“Just as we suspected. Physical attacks don’t harm them,” Uncle said.
“Melpomene, what does that mean?” Yamin asked. "Are they ghosts?
Mella turned to Yamin, then said, “The things you face are not physical, but spiritual. Their bodies are merely projections of spirits. So it's something like that.”
I guess "Ghostbeard" kinda wears that tag on his sleeve, huh?
“Defeating them will be easy for those with magic abilities, as that is all that can hurt them.”
Indena fired off a fire bolt at the boat!
The fire bolt damaged the structure of the boat, causing the whole thing to wobble.
In retaliation, the ghost pirates pulled out their guns and cannons, aiming down on us.
All sorts of ammo rained down from above!
Mella raised up her hands, all the bullets and cannonballs were caught mid-air by some kind of rippling blue effect she spawned.
“How are you doing that?” Marek breathed out a sigh of relief.
“A spirit is made of mana. I am a mana witch. Thus their attacks are nothing more than toys for me.”
“It’s a witch!” One of the pirates shouted. “What do we do?!”
“A witch means nothing to us! Fire again!”
Mella smirked. The blue glow around the ammo she’d caught started to glow brighter.
The pirates fired off more shots toward her, but those were caught in her mana trap as well.
With the flick of her wrists, the ammo she caught launched back at their boat!
All those shots tore up their ship completely! The whole thing was destroyed! It sank all the way to the bottom of the sea.
“I think we’ve overestimated their intelligence.” Uncle chuckled.
“Indeed. However, their existence worries me.” Mella said. "These spirits are…strange, unlike real ghosts. I do not understand why though."
"Are they not actual ghosts?" Yamin asked.
"As you may know ghosts, no. When a person dies, their soul leaves for the beyond, so long as nothing tethers them to this world. And even if they were tethered, they would be un-seeable to most people." She pulled her big purple hat down over her face, then she started mumbling to herself. “Perhaps the large amount of mana in the air makes them more corporeal? Maybe…”
"Maybe they're cursed?" Marek shrugged.
If there was a curse involved, my body would have detected it. "No. I didn't see a curse on them," I replied.
Since things were a fair bit safer without the pirate ship directly behind us, Mella marched up to the front of the boat, and I mean the very bow and pointed to the island.
“They have congregated in that tower of spirit energy. But I sense a dark presence looming over it. Answers may await us there.”
Now that Mella mentioned it, some stormy looking clouds started to gather above the tower. There was something very weird going on over there.