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Chain of Pearls: Part Two

by shadowcristal


"You must retrieve it," Natasha stated coldly, for once feeling the power in her hands. "I suppose it is probably at the bottom of the sea. It won't do grieving today, but perhaps we can start searching tomorrow." She guided the Eyrie to their cabin and put the restless one to sleep.

     Trisha was still a child. The Bruce shook her head as she watched the girl drift off in harmony with the fading waves. The storm must've been something the sea had summoned to punish that foolish act, but now...

     This was Trisha's chance for redemption, to show that she was an adult. Natasha couldn't help but to roll her eyes at the thought. That playful and careless child, growing into a responsible, mature adult? She smiled but the smile quickly turned into a frown as she confronted the serious situation the ship had landed in. Without the Chain of Pearls, they were at a disadvantage. They would no longer have any luck with wind, which was one of the most important things for a pirate, for anyone on a ship, for that matter.

     The next day the Eyrie declared that she would leave the ship to search for the remains of the Chain of Pearls. No one said anything except for her nanny, who bid her farewell.

     "I'll bring it back, you'll see," Trisha said determinedly. "There's bound to be some magic left in the pearls, and that'll help us. You'll see..." The Eyrie smiled with quivering lips as she neared the sea.

     "Take this with you," Natasha said, giving the girl a dagger. "A pirate lass needs protection."

     "I thought you were angry..." the Eyrie muttered. "Too angry to talk."

     "I am angry, stupid," the Bruce said. "We won't forgive you if you don't come back with the pearls. The magic's in them, and a new chain won't be that hard to forge. Here." Natasha chucked a roll of something silvery to the girl, who caught it and realized that it was the thing she would make the new chain out of when she found the pearls.

     "Thank you," Trisha said as she dived into the deep sea.

     "Foolish child, always causing trouble and being so dramatic," the Bruce muttered. "But I do hope you return... What are you guys staring at? Get back to work!"

     "Y-yes!" the other members of the crew exclaimed in unison, and soon got ordered around. Life on the ship was going to return to normal, but there were noticeable changes. Some pirates turned clumsier, and some started doing mistakes despite the fact that they knew the routines by heart. They were all wishing for the presence of the pearls, for they realized that it was with the help of the Chain they had become so successful.

     For the Eyrie, who had realized how precarious her situation was, there was nothing she could do about the ship but to find those pearls. She dived deeper and into the sea that was now swallowing her. The light above became dimmer as she landed on the bottom, though in some spots there were bright blue colorful rays of light.

     No pearls in sight. Trisha wondered how long it would take to find them, for her naive, carefree heart truly believed that she would find them all. It was quite certain that she wouldn't be able to return to the ship unless she found them all...

     The Eyrie shuddered. What if she ended up as an old lady and still hadn't found those pearls? Trisha tried to get those creepy thoughts out of her mind as she swam left, where there was little vegetation.

     Soon more plants appeared, and they seemed to leave a path for her to walk on. But walking underwater was something slow and harrowing, to hear the sounds of the sea and not being able to move fast... No. Trisha decided to keep swimming, though she might lose the road, but at least she would be able to escape from any apparent dangers.

     The rays that had begun as aquamarine blue now turned into deep green, and there were several shades of green with a faint touch of light blue dancing like the flame of a candle on the field in front of her. Items sparkled in neat, organized rows, but they were too small for her too see.

     That sparkle... that shine... With a gasp, Trisha ran forward, realizing what it was. It was pearls! Pearls, like those on the necklace she had destroyed. The Eyrie held up the last pearl of the Chain of Pearls, and saw it glow brightly. There was no doubt about it. The magical pearls were here!

     Suddenly the Eyrie grew a bit suspicious, for she saw how neatly they were lined up, and their equal size. But hadn't those pearls also been perfect? Well, if she didn't bring any back, she wouldn't be getting back. Trisha leaned forward and was just about to pluck the first pearl in the row when she heard a small, shy voice that froze her hand.

     "Please don't take it," somebody said. Whirling around, Trisha saw that the owner of the voice was a beautiful Maraquan Uni. But the sparkly things in her hand was the Eyrie's attention-grabber. There, right in her right hand, the Uni held the pearls that the girl had been looking for. It was those milky-colored pearls that she had admired during that short time... Trisha looked at her lonely pearl, and then at the ones in the Uni's hand. This had to be it.

     She took a look at the pearls on the field, and suddenly viewed them as less beautiful than before. Some of them were in a bluish color, others in a pinkish color. None of them were in that pure white hue which glittered and scattered fragments of the rainbow like the pearls of the Chain.

     "I've been looking for those," Trisha said, pointing at the pearls in the Maraquan Uni's hand. The Uni's hand shivered slightly, and her solemn face expression softened, the lines grew deeper and her face looked sad. It was the kind of sorrow that was quiet, mourning, a sorrow that would last a lifetime. The Eyrie wondered why she looked so sad for a split second, since that Uni probably knew that those pearls weren't hers anyway.

     "Please give me these back, and I won't touch yours," the Eyrie said, holding out her paw.

     "Okay." The voice that spoke the one, single word was raspy and rough, as if it was unused to speaking. It was by no means ugly, but deep and light at the same time, with uneven pressure that no normal person would use. The Maraquan Uni spoke no more, but gave the pearls back, one by one, removing them from her hand slowly as she looked at each of them in that silent, sad way.

     "Thank you," said Trisha when she had received all her pearls. Those would be enough to make a necklace, and she could feel the magic brimming. She smiled at the Uni, who looked as if she was going to burst into tears. "Don't be sad," the Eyrie said. "You did the right thing..." She patted the Uni's shoulder, and started walking down the path that had led her to the field.

     She had expected the Uni to stop her or something, but she heard nothing and kept walking. As she left the field, Trisha felt a bit sad. There had been so much beauty in there, with all those pretty colors and the pearls on the ground. She looked at her own, and tried to cheer up. The pearls from the Chain were the most beautiful ones she'd ever come across, that was one thing for sure. But why had the Uni looked so sad? Why did she have that weird, unused voice? Why didn't she stop her? And that sad face expression...

     Trisha shook her head, her carefree self no longer wanting to ponder these serious matters. The Uni was a kind soul, who had not refused her request, and now they all had to see her as someone responsible who had brought back the pearls. But...If... If only she hadn't broken the chain in the first place...

     "Did you hear? She spoke!" someone said, returning the Eyrie to reality. She looked at the Maraquan pets who were busily discussing something important right in front of her, and stopped from curiosity. Speaking was nothing unusual, but that gossipy way those pets spoke of it seized her interest.

     "Spoke?" Trisha asked, joining in the conversation.

     "Yeah!" another pet said. "The warden of the place we call Pearl Haven, she never speaks... I think she's mute or something. Though rumors say that several pets saw her yesterday and she spoke to them!"

     "I think there's a curse or something that makes all wardens of that place mute."

     "Well, I heard her speak! She had a good, breezy, cool voice, but it sounded kind of weird... Like this." The Eyrie shuddered when she heard the imitation. It wasn't a good one, but it was good enough for her to realize that they were talking about the Maraquan Uni she had met just a while ago.

     "To not be able to talk... It must be horrible!"

     "No wonder why she looked so sad," the Eyrie muttered.

     "But when I saw her talk, she had these sparkly pearls in her hand that I had never seen grow in the Pearl Haven... Maybe they granted her the ability to talk." Alarmed, Trisha quickly hid her treasures and kept listening, though her mind was greatly disturbed by the things the others were speaking of. Finally, when she could no longer bear to hear, Trisha quickly escaped.

     But she did not return to the surface. Instead, she walked down that lonely little path which she had thought of as lovely, but her mind was perturbed and her heart filled with guilt. The Eyrie knew that the magical pearls was probably the reason to why the warden could speak. Who was she to take away this ability?

     If she didn't return with the pearls... Then they'd surely never allow her back on deck again, nor let her be an adult. It was her fault, and she had to repair as much as she could. But to rob someone of a precious ability like that, an ability that had been lost but restored and now gone once again.

     The Maraquan Uni had been very kind, Trisha realized. To give back those pearls, to know that she wouldn't be able to speak again... The Eyrie understood her sadness, her silent mourning for the words she would never be able to utter.

     It was cruel, and the positive, carefree child did not want to be cruel and stiff. It was the last thing she wanted to do, but in order to save her own skin...

     She saw the warden approaching, waved a bit and wondered what she could do for this kind creature who had returned her treasure. Suddenly an idea entered Trisha's mind, and she placed one pearl in the Uni's hand. The warden opened her mouth and out came a meek croak.

     A few more pearls were added, and now the voice sounded like hushed winds, with that soft undertone of aspen leaves falling and slowly being crushed. Still not enough... The Eyrie could feel the power in her hand diminished as she placed another pearl in the Uni's hand.

     The warden looked happy and hopeful, her face lightened of something that Trisha could only faintly understand. It was joy over words, joy over the ability of speech, something that everybody usually took for granted.

     But if she gave those pearls away, Natasha and the rest of them would notice. Then again, being an adult perhaps meant that you can take risks, that you know what is right or wrong... And Trisha was sure that giving this Uni the power of speech, the thing that she had been robbed of because of her duty, was doing the right thing.

     Then again, she had her own skin to think of. Imagine those pirates chasing her around, or even worse, abandoning her... The Eyrie realized that she had been taking a pearl from the Uni's pile and returned it.

     "You can take it," the warden said quietly. "I was destined to be mute, anyway." But that hopeful light which had crossed her face told another truth, and Trisha felt that if she had been mute all her life and got a chance to talk, she would certainly grasp that chance and never let go. It was the Uni's kindness and her sense of justice that had let her, no, letting her, even now, to return something incredibly valuable, precious and important to the rightful owner.

     If she was the rightful owner, for the Eyrie certainly did not feel worthy. She had seen Natasha's strictness and honesty, this Uni's kindness and good ethics... She was inferior to them in many ways, having endangered her friends so many times and claiming untruths a great magnitude...

     Trisha wanted to be good too, to be good like the creature in front of her. But how? How could she... The Eyrie looked at the two piles, then at the field and thought of something only she could think of, something creative and friendly. Something that might repair all her bad behavior, for right now she was truly regretful for many things she had done in the past.

     "Are those available?" she asked. The Uni raised her eyebrow, and after a long moment of silence, she nodded.

     "Well, maybe there'll be a way... Which of them is the most powerful one?"

     "The aquamarine-touched ones," the warden replied peacefully, her face not revealing her curiosity.

     "I have an idea. How about we string it together so it'll make two Chains of Pearls, and mix it with the aquamarine ones so we both have the power? After all, you should have some reward for finding this." The Eyrie smiled nervously, feeling uneasy because of all the silence and the presence of the beautiful but eerie field.

     "I guess... we can try." The Uni bent down and plucked some aquamarine pearls. Trisha took out the roll that Natasha had given her and started to string the pearls together. She made a little knot in between the pearls, to make it resemble the original Chain of Pearls. When the Eyrie finished stringing it together, she held it up for them to admire this new, modified Chain of Pearls. The magic that dripped into her hand wasn't as powerful as the original work of art, but it wasn't too shabby.

     "Here you go," Trisha said, placing the new necklace around the Uni's neck. The warden coughed twice, and tried speaking. It worked fine, and after a few sentences she had gotten rid of her rusty voice, replacing it with a beautiful, whispery kind of voice that soothed crying babies and talked to trees.

     "Your voice is wonderful," the Eyrie stated as she strung together her own necklace. The finished product told her that it was good enough to be a good luck charm for the ship. Hopefully they wouldn't kick her out because she had tried to be creative and think outside the box. Trisha placed the necklace around her own neck and smiled. "Well, now we each have our own necklace and I think these will be powerful enough to suit our purposes. I'd better return to my ship, they'll be dying for this..."

     "Thank you," the warden said, and Trisha could feel that the Uni meant those two words with every fiber in her body.

     "I'll come back someday, okay?" she said as she swam upwards, not quite wanting to leave this mystical, pretty place. But she had a life that awaited her on the surface, and the Eyrie figured that she understood a bit more about being an adult. On top of everything, she had gotten the item back, in a different way. Still...

     Trisha wondered how much she would get yelled at this time, but it didn't really matter. If everything turned really bad, she could always return here. It didn't matter if they got mad at her, because the Eyrie knew that deep down in her heart, she had done the right things. Not just the right thing, not only one thing, but as many as she could. Adulthood was partly about doing the right things, but sometimes they conflicted. Trisha decided that she would just meet problems like this, to try and do as many good deeds as possible instead of doing one and being cruel to leave the rest hanging there. Well, she mustn't let Natasha and those guys hang there any longer...

The End

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