Chapter Eight

Looking at her with his one eye, he politely offered a small little smirk as if to start a conversation.

“Hi”

But she would not have it. Leaving his sight in an instant. He tried to get her attention, but she vanished in the midst of the crowd. He moved his way through hundreds of people to try and find her, but she simply vanished. Perplexed, he sat on a stool and began to resume his drink.

“Don’t try it. Trust me. Not worth it”. A voice called out.

Looking confused, Alastair turned to face a man who will become a good friend of his. “Oh yeah?” Alastair inquired in confusion.

“Aye. She’s tough. Tougher than you, especially since you rip people’s heads off. I’ve never seen a greater feat of strength” The voice commented.

“Thank ye lad, but whats your name?” Alastair inquired

“Reggie. Reggie de Groute”

“Pleased to meet you. That wastrel deserved his fate”

“Cold. Cruel. Shame, you have a such a happy disposition”

“I don’t like to use the strength I have in that manner, I believe in a easier lifestyle. But if I had to, I have no qualms with using it”

“How did you get so strong?”

“Years of time incarcerated”
“You were a prisoner on the outside?!” Reggie exclaimed

“Aye. The Tolbooth in Aberdeen”
“Wait…..The Tolbooth? Whats your last name?”

“Groovybeard”
“I heard about you” Reggie said, pointing at Alastair with one hand.

“Yes?”

“You led a massive prison revolt”

“How do you know?”

“I was a citizen before I came here. I heard about this daring conflict. You won right?”

“Sort of. Had to escape certain death. Lost a lot of people along the conflict. War, dontcha love it?”

“Crime?”

 

“Spanish spy. But I was framed. Set up by my former apprentice. He was taken care of.”

“Taken care of?” Reggie replied with a small deal of fright in his voice

Alastair only replied with an angry face and a small smirk. “Head was ripped off, his limbs impaled on a piece of pier wood” he replied.

“Alastair, you are a dangerous man. We must sail sometime”

“In time. Now I gotta find that woman”

Alastair walked out of the cave, discovering the woman heading towards her ship on a beach next to a stone bird statue. Smiling he ran over to her.

“Excuse me miss?”

The woman turned around, stared at him with the same angry face he would make. Almost with a face of disgust. Then turned around, got on her ship and sailed off. Alastair was not upset as much perplexed by her mysteriousness. He was not in love, but he definitely wanted to get to know her. He asked around at his other Cutthroat brethren, inquiring about who this woman was. Nobody knew, except Reggie. He found Reggie in the same spot he was at when they had their first conversation.

“So who is she?” Alastair asked, sitting back down next to Reggie.

“Don’t really know. She just showed up, eliminated a fleet of three ships, we instantly gave her membership to our fleet.” Reggie replied

“So she is a good swordfighter?”

“Everything. Sword, gun, cannon. She even used the personal powder magazine of a rogue crew to blow up their ship. Very smart, very dangerous. But very beautiful. Others tried asking, but she is a clam matey. Good luck to you”.

So Alastair began sailing around with other members of the Cutthroats, looting ships, cutting throats, but one day he discovered something. Alastair was heading back from collecting chests from a nearby island, tall with amazing stone spires, when he saw something in the water. He pulled his sloop alongside a shallow series of islands. Dropping anchor, Alastair jumped into the water to discover a cave protected by a stone arch. Traversing the cave, losing air, he discovered an underground region. A cave with glowing goo all over the walls, but above all, a stone head. Alastair had no idea what this place was, except of it being a place of solitude. It was beautiful, truly a testament to the power of the Sea of Thieves. Alastair took a map and wrote down the location of this area, as he knew it would be handy to come back to. Returning to a new outpost he discovered known as Plunder Outpost, Alastair turned in his loot, then stopped in the tavern for a fast pint and some food. Pretty soon, a person pulled up next to him in the tavern.

“You found it too eh?” A voice replied.

Alastair looked over. It was the woman! But he did not reply, as he knew the pain of ignorance she gave him. She tried to talk to him again, but Alastair walked out of the tavern and back to his ship. The woman chased him down, stopping Alastair from getting back onto his ship. Alastair looked back around as she took his hand.

“What?” Alastair replied sternly

The woman gave this look of sadness, as if to apologize, but did not. Alastair’s cold expression warmed up.

“Look I’m sorry about that, but I dinna do anything wrong to you. You just gave this instant cold shoulder like I wronged you. Which is not the case, as we had just met” Alastair explained.

“Aye. You are new to the fleet and I did not mean to do that to you” The woman explained.

Then all of a sudden, a storm roared over the outpost! The two took refuge back in the tavern, taking refuge from the downpour next to the fireplace. They each quickly got warm next to the fire; Alastair still haphazard to talk to her, while the woman engaged in conversation with him.

“You been out here a while?” she asked softly

“Aye” Alastair replied

“Your eye, what happened?”

“Long story.”

“We got plenty of time, unless you don’t want to talk about it”

“Long story shot I exacted revenge on my enemies”
            “How?”

“I ripped his head off, impaled his limbs and chest on pier wood.”

Her complexion went from soft eyes and defensive posture, to wider eyes and looks of intrigue. “Did he suffer?”

“Oh did he suffer. I ripped off his arms, then cut his legs off, then, well, you know”

“Aye”

“But how long have you been out here?”

“All my life. Last I recall. I learned how to fight, how to survive. Nobody can match me”

“No doubt. All I heard about you was your strength. But I don’t know you”

So their small talk blossomed into a two-day conversation. Alastair was more talkative than her, but he learned her name: Charlotte St. Clair. Charlotte learned a lot more about Alastair, and that his world was something that she grew to like about him. But his personality was what won her over, his big heart and laughable jokes especially. But Alastair was perplexed by her shy silent attitude. He wanted her to be more open, but that he would take her on voyages to show her his techniques. Charlotte and Alastair finished their conversation, but as Alastair got back to his ship, she turned him around to give him this small little smile.

“Have a good night, see you later Al”
            “Thanks Charlotte. Real great turning things around”

She smiled and walked back to her ship. Alastair returned back, but something in his head was not right. He felt love. For her. But something about him had to come to terms with his family. They had to been gone. Or dead. But they definitely were not here. He felt bad. But the losses he suffered would not be for nothing, if he gets enough gold to provide for them. But he did not. Not yet, at least. His whole life was taken away, he had to start over, and get more gold in the process. But perhaps, he could still get gold and have a great time with her.

But despite his love for this new woman, he still yearned for the sight of his family. He missed his daughter, whom reminded him so much of himself, with her quirkiness and quick wit. He missed how his daughter always read some of his maps and journals, never asking for words, learning for herself. Most of all he loved his wife. Met her one day while sailing around. He grew so fond of how much she loved his world. And him. But those memories remained buried. Days gone by for him. He pressed on towards Golden Sands. Home.

It was midday. He found himself wandering on an island. Empty, nothing but sand. His hands covered in water and seashells, as if being beached. With the sun beating down from high, Alastair walked on for what felt like hours, when out of the blistering heat, he saw a figure. Some thing was staring him down, but he saw no eyes, just a form standing in his vision. Using whatever sight he had, what was not eliminated from the suns rays, he walked towards the figure, only to see it lose its shape the closer he got to it. Until finally, he started running towards the figure, but then, losing his footing, the figure vanished. He had no idea what it was, except that he tried to find out what it was. But then suddenly, he ran into a series of palm trees and rocks.

~

Alastair looked behind the rocks, through each trunk and branch of them trees, nothing. No sign of the form. Until he heard a change in the wind, which brought a massive fog to the region, so now Alastair is trying to find something that is somewhere in the thick of perpetual blindness. Such a state of affairs for the poor guy. But he returned to looking around in the thick of it trying to find this form, when all of a sudden, there was a sight of fog moving faster than normal, as if something was definitely still here. Maybe it was the figure he saw earlier, he was not sure. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a loud shriek bellowed through the fog, scaring Alastair to his wits end. It was the glowing green face that chased him before.

The creature was not as physically formed as he had saw before in his dream. This time, it possessed the green face, but it was black specter with red piercing eyes. It ran. At Alastair, starting at a slow pace turned to a veracious running speed. With each run, the creature breathed heavier and heaver, like a wild animal ready to strike his victim with gnarling teeth. Alastair drew his sword, ready to strike, and the creature and him engaged in sword combat. Learning from his time in combat, Alastair and the creature were evenly matched, Alastair with an exceptional defense against the creature’s powerful offensive blows. But with each lash of the sword, the creature was willing to bruise the blade to defeat his enemy, while Alastair watched it get destroyed in the process.

~

            Then, Alastair found some separation to give chase. While Alastair ran around the island, to regain stamina and strength, the creature howled and charged straight for him. The creature lost Alastair in the fog, while Alastair hid behind a rock. He could hear the creature hissing, breathing, but most of all, whispering, some weird words Alastair barely made out. Getting closer from the rock, towards the creature, Alastair made out some words uttered by the creature. From the soft speech, he could make out a sentence: Collect more Souls. Alastair knew he was a dead man, but maybe he could get clever and eliminate the creature first.

            Slowly drawing his sword, using the cover of the fog for cover, the midday sun turned to night, but the fog did not yes dissipate. Alastair moved towards the creature, drew back his sword, and with all his courage, slayed the creature. He stabbed the thing in the back, quickly pulled it out to chop the creature’s head off. He did it. Walking away with a sigh of relief and a sweaty forehead, the creature’s body stood up, picked up its head, slapped it back on the neck, good as new. But something changed: Alastair saw more of the creature’s body: A pair of boots and bandaged hands. The creature started to lunge back, but not before another ghost emerged to help Alastair. This time, both the ghosts started to attack, but then the first ghost, the creature vanished at the sight of the second ghost. Dumbstruck from the event, the ghost turned around, facing Alastair, getting closer, whispering only one sentence to him: You are safe. The ghost offered a small smirk. Then Alastair woke up again. Another bad dream. Nothing but bad dreams since he got to the Sea of Thieves.

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