Scarblade's Pearl: The Revenge - Part Four
It had been early morning when Nira had left the Revenge. It was sunset by the time she saw Mystery Island on the horizon. Her wings ached with every flap and movement, but when she saw Mystery Island, a new energy filled them. She could make it. She dared not go into the water, even with her newly re-discovered powers. What if she were to run into a Maraquan official?
It wasn't worth the risk. She just wanted to get back and find Lightning.
When she reached the shore, however, the sight that greeted her was anything but reassuring. Nira gasped as she circled down and landed, falling on her knees in the sand.
Lightning's house was gone.
In its place, there was a mess of blackened wood and miscellaneous items. Nothing remained of the once beautiful place Nira had called home. Worst of all, there was no sign of Lightning anywhere. No tracks, or anything else to indicate she made it out safe.
Nira was sooo done with tears, but couldn't keep them from coming to her eyes.
"Lightning..." she whispered disbelievingly. A sob escaped her and she let her head fall in her hands.
"Lightning! LIGHTNING!!" she cried, louder and louder. But there was no answer. Just the gentle lapping of the waves upon the shore. Nira's sobbing was so terrible, that her body actually began to shake with it.
"Why?!" she cried angrily. "Why must everyone I get close to suffer?!"
She said nothing more, just sat there sobbing. Lightning was gone. Nothing could have distracted her from her misery.
Not even the appearance of a ship on the horizon.
Isca and Caylis swam ahead of the Black Pawkeet, trying as fast as they could to reach the shores of Mystery Island, hoping desperately that they had made it in time. But as they got closer, they started to see what they had hoped would not have come to pass. A lone figure was huddled there on the beach. In front of her were the blackened remains of what looked to be a moderately-sized building.
Isca gasped, her hands going over her mouth.
"No... We're too late..." she whispered.
Caylis saw it all as well, mouth hardening into a line. When Isca turned to her, she had tears in her eyes.
"We're too late!" Isca exclaimed. Caylis's mouth softened, and she pulled Isca into her arms.
"I'm sorry, Sister," she said quietly. There was nothing else to say, after all. Isca, in reply, began weeping into her sister's shoulder.
Garin, looking over the side of the Black Pawkeet to watch the Aishas, felt his heart clench when he heard Isca's words faintly on the wind. Now he could see it too; the ruined building and the lone figure on the beach. Without stopping to think, he moved into action.
Over to the row boats he went, quickly beginning to lower one into the sea. The crew, busy as they were, didn't seem to notice their captain's precise and quick actions. Jacques did, however, and rushed over when he saw his friend struggle with the rigging.
"Going to shore without me?" he asked with a half grin. The Usul grinned in return, allowing Jacques to give him a hand.
"Not a chance," he replied.
Together, they lowered the boat into the water, then began paddling fast as they could for the shore.
Nira didn't even look up when she heard something being hauled out of the water and onto the beach. Nor did she look when footsteps sounded, coming toward her. She didn't even react when a strong hand hauled her to her feet, and two strong arms embraced her. She just went on sobbing quietly.
"I though I told you not to open that wound again," said a voice. It was not the voice of the person holding her, however. But it was familiar enough that Nira turned her head and opened her eyes to look. Through her tears she recognized the shape of Jacques. Turning back around, she saw that it was Garin who held her. Her lip quivered a bit.
"Lightning... Scarblade...." she sobbed, but Garin shushed her gently.
"We know," he said sadly. "We know."
Nira gave one last fitful sob, then passed out from exhaustion.
"Nira? Oh, Nira, please wake up!" said a voice frantically.
"Calm down, Isca. She's just exhausted," said another voice calmly.
"You worry too much, Isca," chuckled yet another voice.
"And you worry too little!" said the frantic voice angrily.
Nira's eyes fluttered open to find four figures around her. She blinked, trying to recognize them. Jacques and Garin were there, and so were Isca and Caylis. Garin was grinning at Isca, who looked both flustered and angry as she glared back at him. Jacques was shaking his head and Caylis rolling her eyes. The slow motion of the vessel beneath her told Nira she was likely in some kind of boat. The sky above was dark and dotted with many stars. Jacques was the first to notice Nira had woken up. He half-smiled.
"Hey," he said quietly. Everyone stopped what they were doing to look in Nira's direction. Isca hurried over first, grasping Nira's hand in hers and looking terribly worried.
"Oh, Nira, you're awake! Are you alright? You aren't hurt are you? I mean, besides your arm?"
"Isca, Isca," Caylis cut in, putting a hand on her sister's shoulder.
"You gotta calm down, Isca," said Garin, grinning mischievously. Isca gave him a look that said "you better be quiet now, or I'll bite your face off". Nira couldn't help giggle a bit. Garin's grin brightened.
"See? She's fine," he added triumphantly.
Nira sat up slowly then, with Jacques leaning over to help her if she needed it. She didn't understand the worrying/scolding look Isca was giving Garin now. She really did feel fine.
"Garin's right, you worry too much," she said quietly, smiling. She rolled her shoulders, wincing as pain suddenly shot up and down her right arm. She clutched at it, realizing a fresh cloth had been tied around the cut.
"Careful," Jacques warned. "I re-bandaged your wound, but it's worse than before."
Nira groaned and gave the Kyrii a half grin.
"Yeah, I can tell," she answered jokingly.
This made a chuckle go through everyone. Nira managed a smile, then blinked when she realized the pain in her arm was lessening. A lot. She lifted her hand to look, but the cloth kept her from seeing any difference. Without hesitation, she undid Jacques' careful knot and pulled the cloth away.
"Nira, don't-" Jacques started to say, then stopped and stared. The others stared, too, mouths hanging open a little. Right before all their eyes, Nira's wound began shrinking. Before long, it was completely gone. Nira blinked, then prodded the spot experimentally. Nothing. The skin felt normal.
Nira looked from one face to another, trying to figure out what they were thinking. Isca looked stunned. Caylis' eyes were wide in surprise and interest. Jacques looked baffled. Garin just gaped. Nira gulped, suddenly feeling self-conscious.
"Any idea what just happened?" she asked them. Snapping back to their senses, looks of confusion and shrugs began to be exchanged among them. Caylis swam closer to Nira, reaching out to touch her arm, then hesitating.
"May I?" she asked Nira politely. Nira grinned and nodded. With a nod, Caylis reached out and gently stroked the spot where the injury had been. Other than a thin layer of sea spray, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Caylis moved back, shaking her head.
"I don't understand it. Her skin feels completely normal. You didn't put anything special on the wound, did you, Jacques?" she asked, turning to the Kyrii. Jacques shrugged and spread his hands.
"Just some disinfectant. Nothing more," he replied.
Nira's mouth twisted in concentration as she ran a hand over her arm again. She then stared at her palm, willing it to give her the answers. Unfortunately, all that was there was a thin layer of-
"Wait!" Nira exclaimed, suddenly seeming excited.
Everyone turned to Nira with wide eyes.
"What is it?" Isca asked.
Nira turned her hand so the others could see it. They all squinted in confusion.
"Your hand is wet?" Garin asked, giving Nira a look. He looked all the more confused when Nira nodded excitedly.
"Yes, exactly! Wet!" she cried excitedly.
The others all looked at each other, then turned to Nira, looking concerned.
"Did they hit you on the head, maybe?" Jacques asked. Nira shook her head in frustration.
"No, no! Well, yes, but that's not the point! The point it, my hand is wet!" she repeated, putting great emphasis on the word now. They still looked confused.
"Yeah, aaand?" said Garin. Nira groaned and rolled her eyes.
"Wet means some kind of liquid, in this case, water," she explained. Understanding began to dawn in Isca's eyes, and she moved forward hesitantly.
"Water?" she said in questioning fashion, trying to get Nira to continue. Nira smiled and nodded.
"Yes, water! And what can I control with my powers?" she asked.
Jacques' eyes lit with recognition.
"Water!" he exclaimed.
"Exactly!" Nira crowed.
Caylis came forward, still looking confused.
"Wait, what are you trying to say? That your water powers can heal?" she asked. Nira shrugged, half-grinning.
"How else do we explain this?" Nira gestured to her arm as she spoke. Garin, Isca, and Jacques were nodding agreement, but Caylis still didn't look convinced. She waved Nira's comment aside.
"There's not concrete proof that your powers healed you. If you can do it again, then I'll believe you," she said firmly. Nira's mouth set determinedly. She already had an idea on how to convince her disbelieving friend.
"Alright," she said. Quickly she drew her sword and, before anyone could stop her, sliced it across the back of her hand. The pain was immense, but she gritted her teeth against it. When he'd come to his senses again, Garin wrenched the blade out of Nira's grasp.
"What are you doing?!" he exclaimed.
"That's no way to prove a point!" Isca added.
"Calm down, calm down. I know what I'm doing," said Nira in a placating tone.
Before all four sets of eyes, she used her powers to bring a small blob of water over to her injured hand. Breathing in sharply, she laid the salty water over her wound, then placed her other hand on top. A soft glow came from beneath, and when she lifted it, the scratch had already shrunken away.
Nira looked up at Caylis (who's face was the picture of astonishment) triumphantly.
"Told you," she giggled.
To be continued...