Scarblade's Pearl: The Revenge - Part Two
Nira's head snapped around at the sound to her left, then froze. A red Draik stood in the doorway leading to Lightning's bedroom. What made Nira freeze was the fact that he had Lightning's head in the crook of one arm. That, and the fact that he had a crossbow. Which was now pointed at Lightning's head.
“Don't you move, Pearl,” he said softly.
Nira's breathing became shallow and pained. She couldn't have moved, regardless of whether the Draik had wanted her to. The scene in which she had become a part froze her to the spot. Seeing she wasn't about to move toward him, the Draik nodded at Nira's sword.
“Drop it,” he whispered, eyes narrowing.
Suddenly coming back to her senses, Nira instead gripped her sword's hilt tighter. Her eyes narrowed menacingly. The Draik's eyes narrowed right back.
“Drop it, Pearl, or the Eyrie gets it!” he growled.
Nira looked at Lightning, heart racing. Their eyes met, and a silent message passed between them.
Don't do it! Lightning's eyes said.
I have to... Nira's eyes replied.
She looked back to the Draik, glaring.
“If I obey, will you leave this place in peace?” she asked.
The Draik grinned.
“Aye, I'll leave in piece. Just put away that fancy blade of yours,” he answered.
Tears misting the edges of her vision, Nira bowed her head and dropped her sword. It clattered to the ground beside her feet. She wouldn't have put up much of a fight, anyway. Her arm was still badly injured, after all. The Draik grinned and picked up the blade. He put it onto his own belt.
“Good choice, lass,” he said softly. He then released Lightning from his hold, and, not expecting it, she fell to the ground with a thud. She groaned as the Draik moved around behind Nira.
“Hands behind yer back,” he commanded. Reluctantly, Nira crossed her wrists behind her. She let out a squeak of pain as metal cuffs were fitted tightly to her arms.
“What's this? Has our Pearl gone soft now?” he whispered in amusement. Nira gritted her teeth, wishing she could spit in the Draik's eye. She hated him. Not only because he'd broken into her home, either. There was a strange, burning hate buried deep in her soul. She wasn't sure where it came from.
The Draik chuckled and started leading her away, back towards the front door. Nira glanced back once, meeting Lightning's eyes again. She was still on the ground, but she had lifted her head to gaze at Nira in horror. Nira couldn't hold her gaze. She turned back to the path ahead.
The front door had been carefully opened, she noticed. The knob had been quietly carved out with what seemed to be a knife, from the look of it. The door had swung open easily after that. Nira cursed the knob. If only Lightning had bought that fancy security system a couple months back.
“Why would I need one?” she had said. “No one's going to try breaking in out here. Mystery Islanders care about each other's privacy.”
Yeah, sure. Then again, the brute leading her away wasn't from Mystery Island.
Nira was shoved forward through the open doorway, nearly landing face-first in the sand. Thankfully she managed to only land on her knees with a groan. More than one person laughing made Nira spin around to survey her surroundings. There were three other pets on the beach outside Lightning's home. One was a she-Kougra, her pelt darker than the midnight sky. One was a purple Bruce, who was grinning proudly at her. The last was a blue Gelert, who wore a sly grin. The Draik came out behind her, roughly taking hold of Nira's arms and hauling her to her feet.
“Light it up!” he said in triumph. “We got what we needed.”
The Kougra laughed.
“That didn't take long. I thought our little Pearl was stronger than that?” she cried in amusement, getting right in Nira's face.
Nira flinched back, resisting the urge to bite the bold Kougra's nose. The Kougra smiled. With a giggle, she tossed the torch she was holding into a bush in front of the house. The fire quickly began hungrily eating at the leaves and scraggly branches.
Nira's eyes widened in horror as the Gelert and Bruce threw their own torches into the bushes. She tried to wriggle free of the Draik's grip.
“What are you doing?! You promised! You promised you'd leave in peace!” she wailed.
The Draik gripped hard (making Nira grit her teeth to stop from crying out) and laughed.
“I am leavin' in piece, lass. Or more, pieces,” he said triumphantly.
The others laughed at his twisted, evil wit. But Nira was still staring at the house, struggling to be free.
“Lightning! LIGHTNING! Get out of there N-”
Nira's screams were suddenly cut off as something hit her in the back of the head. Hard. She passed out instantly.
“This is just too easy,” said the Draik, hoisting Nira over one shoulder.
“Don't say that!” exclaimed the Bruce.
“Yeah, you'll jinx it!” added the Kougra.
The Draik shrugged.
“I'm just wonderin' why she didn't use her powers against us, or even douse the fire. It's not like we've got a limited supply of water.”
The Draik nodded his head toward the water for emphasis. The Kougra “hmphed” and glared at him.
“I'd say we got lucky. Now shut your trap and get moving. Scarblade won't be happy if we dilly-dally much longer.”
Scarblade watched anxiously as his crewmen returned, eyes lighting when he saw they had Nira in tow. The Draik carrying her quickly made his way over to the captain as soon as he was able.
“Mission accomplished, cap'n,” he said with a grin. Scarblade's eyes shone as he stepped forward and took Nira from the Draik, cradling her in the crook of his left arm as if she didn't weigh a thing.
“And the 'Lightning' character?” he asked distractedly. The Draik smiled.
“Let's say she's out of the pan and into the fire.” He chuckled darkly.
“Good,” said Scarblade quietly. “Dismissed.”
The Draik bowed his head and moved away. He was wise enough to know he would get his reward. Pressing the matter, especially now, would only make things worse.
Scarblade, meanwhile, held Nira in and almost tender, fatherly way. Gentle as any pirate could, he stroked her cheek, grinning at her peaceful, unconscious face.
“I have you again, Lass,” he whispered. “My precious pearl.”
Nira's eyes opened slowly. Her vision was blurry, and the room seemed to rock ever so slightly. She shut her eyes again and groaned, rolling over. Her head hurt. She just wanted to go back to sleep. Back to her dre-
Her bed doesn't rock.
Nira's eyes flew open, not blurry in the least now. Where was she!? She sat up abruptly, wincing as the blood rushed to her head. When her vision cleared again, she gazed around in confusion. She was in a hammock, suspended over a wooden deck. The room was an odd shape, with the walls seeming to curve ever so slightly. Nira recognized the slow rocking as her senses became more alert. It was like the rocking she'd felt when she'd gone to Altador.
On a boat.
She was on a boat! Or maybe a ship, considering the size of the room she was in. A faint light came in through small, round windows on one side of the room. Nira took a deep breath and let it out. She couldn't fathom how she'd ended up here!
But then she remembered.
Fear and panic took hold of her. How long had she been out?! What had happened while she was unconscious?! And most importantly, what had happened to Lightning?!
With surprising ease, Nira got out of her hammock and down onto the deck. She paused when she realized her boots and her sword (now returned to its sheath) were lying on the ground beside the hammock. In a different situation, she may have paused to wonder who had put them there. Not now, though. Now, she put her boots on quickly as possible and belted her sword without hesitation.
There were wooden steps leading up to a hatch, which Nira assumed lead outside. She ran towards it, then suddenly froze at the bottom step.
What was she thinking?! She'd just woken up in a strange place, in a hammock, with her sword and boots nearby, and she was about to charge out into the open?! How rash could she get?!
Nira was thinking over her options, trying to come up with a plan, when the hatch suddenly began to lift. She stared with mouth agape as light came through the opening, turning the figure above into a shadowy silhouette. She blinked, as most do when confronted with sudden strong lighting.
The figure smiled, noticeable because of his teeth contrasting the blackness of his silhouette.
“Good morning, Lass,” said a deep, ominously familiar voice.
Nira's vision cleared enough that she could make out the form of a green Lupe. Her eyes widened in sudden fear. Scarblade chuckled darkly.
“Happy to see me?” he asked.
To be continued...