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Captain Threelegs and Ryshu the Nimmo – the Rivalry


by little_hamsters365

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Some Neopians may not know it, but there is a fiery and bitter rivalry between Cap'n Threelegs and Ryshu the Nimmo. Each one runs a training academy, and they are arch competitors. But top Neopian Times reporters wanted to find out the real facts, because this can't be the only reason for the fierce hatred burning between them. First, we interviewed Cap'n Threelegs to hear his side of the story.

     Reporter Hammie, also known as little_hamsters365, also known as myself, was chosen for the job. I was told to find out and write down every minute detail of the relationship between Cap'n Threelegs and Ryshu the Nimmo. So on a slightly overcast day in the middle of the month of Sleeping, I entered the Swashbuckling Academy.

     Cap'n Threelegs eagerly asked, "Are ye interested in startin' a course at the academy, lass?"

     "Actually," I replied, "I'm here for an interview. Would you be so kind as to give us one?"

     The Eyrie pondered a moment. Then he finally said, "If it puts me inter the Neopian Times, then ye've got yerself a deal! I'm gonna need all the advertisin' I can get. Everyone's takin' their business to that ole lubber Nimmo's training school!" He spat on the polished wooden floor. "Ryshu. Curse 'im."

     "Well, actually…That's what we wanted to interview you about," I told him. "So, we know you're business competitors. Isn't there anything else that sparks the fury between you?"

     He shifted slightly. "Well…" he trailed off, as if debating about whether to tell me or not. "Aye..." He looked down at his peg leg thoughtfully. "I'll tell ye. Let's see here…"

     He closed his eyes before beginning. "Ever since I was a lad, I wanted to be a pirate. Ryshu was…and still is…me brother. He always was stuffy and sophisticated. Well, we grew up t'gether, as many brothers do. We was the best o' shipmates. When we was old enough to start work, our mother sent us off t' sea. A ship in disrepair was t'haul cargo, and we was the sailors. But…" He trailed off.

     Sensing that he might not finish his story, I urged him on. "What happened, Cap'n Threelegs?" I asked him.

     He sighed and opened his eyes. "Somethin' horrid 'appened on the sixth night o' our voyage. Raided by pirates we was. I saw how truly evil they was on that day. I regretted ever wantin' t'be one. We and a few other crewmen was hauled to their ship. Sunk our old ship. Cargo, sailors, and cap'n. Took us aboard an'…chained us in the brig. We was left for three days. No food…no water…no nothin'. Then we was hauled up to deck and bribed. 'Join the crew o' this ship,' they says. 'Ye'll git all the food ye can eat.' And we needed food an' water. So we…accepted. Everyone 'cept me brother. Noble, he was, but foolish."

     "That doesn't explain the rivalry…" I trailed off, and then continued, "It doesn't explain the hatred."

     "I ain't finished," he replied softly. "Ryshu was kept in the brig. 'He'll crack one o' these days,' the cap'n would say. I brought him food and water wid out the cap'n knowin'. But then he…the cap'n, that is…he found out Ryshu was me brother. Also found out I 'ad been sneakin' him food. So he did somethin' cruel. Cruel beyond belief, matey…"

     He paused for a few moments, sobbing. "He made the crew form a circle around me an' me brother. Each o' us was given a cutlass an'…we was to fight t' the death. Couldn't back out. Couldn't kill me brother, either. But he said somethin'… He said I deserved it fer joinin' the crew. He became insane wid fury, he did. An', ye kin see where he made 'is mark."

     Cap'n Threelegs looked down at his peg leg. I felt his fury. I felt his pain. "Out of everything you could've done in your life, why did you start a training school?" I inquired quietly.

     "I don' want other liddle lads and lasses to suffer me fate. I want 'em to be able to defend themselves if they ever…well…"

     I decided it was time to go to Mystery Island and have Ryshu finish the story for him. I entered the Training School soon after leaving Cap'n Threelegs.

     "Ryshu? Would you mind giving me an interview…?" I filled him in on everything I knew so far, and asked him to tell the rest of the story.

     "Cut off his leg for a good reason! That fool turned on me! He joined the crew for some bread and water!" He made a disgusted face. "But then he swiped at me. Made several bloody cuts. Painful cuts." He removed the bandages on his wrists. I'd always wondered why he wore them.

     Personally, I thought cutting off a leg was an extremely rash action, but I didn't voice my opinion.

     "I had him pinned to the deck of the ship. He was bawling his eyes out, the coward. I…I had him at my mercy…but…I couldn't bring myself to deliver the death blow. I just couldn't kill my shipmate…my best friend…my brother." He stared at the ceiling.

     "So…what happened? I thought you two had to fight to the death."

     Ryshu looked back at me. "I turned to the captain. Told him straightforward: I won't kill my brother. I wasn't entirely sure Threelegs felt the same way towards me. I looked back at him and…I couldn't believe what I'd done. He was a traitor, but I should have forgiven him. I'd never experienced such rage as I did that day. I don't know what triggered it - my brother's betrayal…the captain's cruelty…the crowd of pirates surrounding us, laughing and jeering…"

     Ryshu paused and shifted in his chair, eyes resting on his staff. I could see it in those eyes - the memory of the pain erupting from Cap'n Threelegs, the violent crew screaming insults and annoying chants, and the captain of the ship…a cruel captain, laughing, his head tilted back, mouth open. He looked so familiar…a green Lupe, with a jagged scar running across his left eye…

     "Captain Scarblade!" I burst out. Ryshu nodded. I was astounded that I could see that in just those small, sad eyes. The memory had wedged itself into such complicated depths of his mind; I knew he still grimaced every day when he felt the pain and torture of being forced to try and kill his only brother.

     He picked up the story after a few minutes, which snapped me back to reality. "Threelegs wasn't moving. He was lying absolutely still. Bloodied by scratches, cuts, and gashes…I couldn't believe what I'd done. In the midst of all the chaos, I stood there. A lone red Nimmo, young and inexperienced. And then the dam broke. The dam holding back my sorrow. I gave myself away to tears, streaming down my face, blurring my vision. I was positive I had lost my only brother. Positive I had nothing to live for."

     "But he didn't die…" I put in.

     "I thought he had," Ryshu replied. "Anyway…I looked down at myself and I found out Threelegs wasn't the only one who was injured. I was badly hurt, but I had been taught all my life by my father to preserve and endure. Fight the pain. 'Pain,' he'd always say, 'is a sign. It means you're still alive.' Threelegs had always remained distant from him, but I followed in our father's footsteps."

     "I can see what encouraged you to start a training school." I smiled reassuringly.

     And at that moment, I saw him smile. It wasn't anything big, but his mouth curved slightly upward, and the sorrow in his face disappeared. But as quickly as it appeared, the smile vanished, replaced by sadness once more as he continued his story.

     "The captain had the first mate throw me overboard. He left me to die. Of course, none of them knew that I was an expert swimmer. I used go out to the lake every morning with my father and swim, but that was before all this…Anyway, I swam for about two hours nonstop. What urged me on was the sound of my father's voice, echoing through all my joints and muscles, making me carry on. The pain splintering through me was incredible, but I just repeated my father's saying to myself. With every stroke I would think to myself, 'I'm still alive.'"

     I had never thought about Ryshu having a father, but then I realized just how important it was that he did.

     "I found an island when my muscles began to cramp. Sighing with relief, I dragged myself up the sandy shore and rested. Soon the rest turned to sleep. My dreams were laden with cackling captains, murder, an angry crew, and my brother, hissing 'traitor…traitor…' When I finally woke up, I was in a cozy old inn with a blue Zafara innkeeper standing above me. She had a worried expression on her face and she seemed to relax when I gained consciousness. She-"

     "Wait," I said, interrupting him abruptly. "Captain Threelegs…his name wasn't always Threelegs, was it? I mean…he used to have four…"

     "You are correct in saying so. No, his name wasn't always Threelegs. I…" he trailed off. "I don't even remember his real name. Everyone I used to know called him Lefty."

     "Oh…I'm sorry for interrupting. So, did you know what island you had landed on?"

     "Indeed. The Zafara innkeeper told me that I was found washed up on the beach. When I asked her where I was, she told me I was on Mystery Island. I didn't yet know what happened to Threelegs. I took him for dead, and I started my training school on the island that saved me. I love this island. It's my home."

     "Do you know what happened to Cap'n Threelegs?"

     "Yes. Many years later, I found out he was still alive. I was so happy when I read in the Neopian Times that a certain Eyrie named Threelegs was sailing on his first voyage as a captain. But my happiness turned to rage as I recollected the memory I had been trying to banish for so long. I was certain me hated me. So, you see why we're rivals not only in business…but in life. We want to forgive each other, but we can't. We just can't."

     Later that day I walked out of the Mystery Island Training School with mixed feelings. If they could just learn to forgive each other, they would be so much happier. "Soon," I said aloud. "You'll be brothers again…I promise. I'll help you."

     Boarding the small boat I had rode to Mystery Island, I faced the setting sun, and, with confidence in my heart and sea spray in my face, I sailed to the horizon.

The End

 
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