Chapter 22:

Chapter 22


The sun peaked over the horizon. A soft, gentle glow of light blanketed over the ocean. It was the crack of dawn. The crashing of waves and the squawking of birds created a natural alarm for Elizabeth and Isaac.

"Good morrow adventurers!"

"Time to get up sleepy heads!" Willie and Vera shouted at the two, startling them awake instead of the calming rise they expected. They got up, groaned, and rubbed their eyes.

"You're uncharacteristically cheerful this morning, Vera. Since when are you a morning person?" Isaac sleepily asked.

"Ever since I got near half a day of rest. Now come on!" She commanded. "I wanna get out of this horrid place. Ruined the beach for me." She jabbed under her breath.

"Are we even at Crystal Cove yet?" The ship suddenly came to an abrupt halt. The anchor dropped into the sand. Elizabeth and Isaac stumbled over from the force of their stop. "Guess that answers that question." Isaac stretched and Elizabeth peered over the ship's railings. The sands and waters were even more clean and pristine than back home. Just in front of the ship, no more than a couple meters ahead, was the fabled cove. A large, stone archway that spanned from to coast to coast. A shallow river flowed underneath the cove, reflecting all of the beautiful colors of the gemstones that hung above. Other than the cove, nothing else appeared to be on the island, apart from the occasional tree.

"I can see the other shoreline." Elizabeth said in disbelief.

"Thank god, because I was not about to search a whole island for some pretty rocks." Isaac replied, climbing the rails. "Let's get going. I'm not gonna wait around and have Grimwald or his men find us." He jumped down, boots making a large splash in the water. He turned back and looked up at Elizabeth, arms outstretched. "Go on! I'll catch ya!" Elizabeth hesitated a moment, considered her options. However, she took a bit too long for some people's likings, as Vera shoved her overboard. She shouted as she fell towards the sea and towards Isaac. Isaac did manage to catch her, but they both fell back into the water.

"Sorry Liz, you know I love ya!"

"Where's my apology?!"

"I had faith you could catch her, big guy!"

"Well don't expect me to do the same for you!"

"Who said I was gonna go with you guys?"

"What?!" The two shouted in unison.

"Tell ya what, you make sure that place is siren free and then I'll join."

"It's fine, whatever. Just stay on the ship."

"Sounds like a plan!" Vera cheered before walking back.

"Ugh." Isaac groaned and shook his head. "What exactly does that scroll say we need?"

"Umm." Elizabeth pulled out the scroll from her bag and scanned through it. "Sea water and ground gems are what we need next."

"Hm. Got a bottle?" Elizabeth sifted through her bag once more and presented one of the alchemist bottles. She handed it to Isaac, and he dipped it into the water. The glass quickly filled. He capped it and handed it back to Elizabeth. "There. Easy." The two ventured into the Crystal Cove Island. They waded through the river, under the arch, shaded from the sun. The rocky walls and ceiling around them glistened with stunning hues. Purples, greens, and yellows. Prisms of colorful light that reflected even more wonder and beauty into the world.

"Wow..." Elizabeth said softly.

"Ground gems huh. Well I don't see on the sand, or in the water either. What about you Elizabeth, see anything?"

"Oh! No. But I think it means grounded, like broken up." They stared blankly at each other.

"That... would make more sense. Let's get to grinding then." The two separated and began plucking gems and crystals out from the stone. They gathered one of each color, put them together in a pile, and crushed them to as fine of a dust as they could be. Once finished, the contents were poured into another bottle. A shining, sparkling bottle of mesmerizing sand. "Alright, I guess that's it then."

"I guess so."

"Man, I hope the rest of this quest can go as smoothly that!" Isaac laughed. They quickly arrived back at the boat and climbed back aboard.

"That was fast! I'm surprised there were no hiccups." Vera commented.

"Hey! Don't jinx us now!"

"Fine fine. So where are my gems?"

"Your gems?"

"Yeah? You guys didn't grab any of the mystical, magically important crystals for me, your mage?"


"What the hell?!"

"We didn't come here for you, we came here for Ethros and Elizabeth!"

"Well I thought you guys would still grab me a little something something!"

"Well you thought wrong!" Isaac and Vera continued to bicker and argue back and forth, eventually causing Elizabeth to take rest inside the ship's cabin and Vera to run off and gather her own gems, still arguing with Isaac when she came back, when Willie raised the anchor, and when they set sail back towards Ethros.