The Mouse and The Unicorn King (Part Three)

Battle. The clang of weapons resounded from the deck below and there were yells being called across the water. The pirates scrambled to try and find the archer, but as they looked yet another pirate was struck with an arrow. Mouse was enjoying this combat, since he could pick them off with no retaliation.

The rest of the group seemed to be in a less enjoyable mood however. John and Dyl were busy with the large pirate who had been launched onto the deck. Sprout had joined in, punching at the pirate with all his might. Thorin still stood near the helm, his war hammer in hand.

Shayd was still in dire wolf form, currently biting at a circling shark. Unfortunately, all her bites resulted with her submerged nose blowing bubbles. When her head surfaced again, she shook her dripping fur with disgust at the taste of salty sea water.

Moments later Hebog flew past his head, a loud screech piercing out above the battle cries. Mouse instinctively watched as Hebog darted directly for the pirate with the glowing eye. Claws outstretched, Hebog slammed into the pirate seconds later. The pirate screamed in pain as the claws dug into the flesh of his shoulders and wings flapped around his head. Hebog screeched once more, pecking at the glowing eye savagely. The pirate lifted his arms to try and tear the blood eagle away. Hebog dodged the pirates clutching hands and flew back towards the ship. He perched above Mouse on the tip of the mainmast. Something glowing blue and white was lodged in his beak and he was flapping his wings in victory.

The pirate was clutching at where his glowing eye had once been and was yelling in agony. Blood leaked from wounds on his shoulders and also his now empty eye socket. He stumbled as the gigantic killer whale below him began to dip under the water.

There was a movement in the water below the pirate and seconds later the giant shark form of Amber emerged from the water. This time Amber was able to snap around the pirate’s leg and she dragged him into the water.

What a terrible way to die, Mouse thought with a wince. I’m glad I’m up here and not near any of the pirate’s sharks.

Blood stained the water red around where Amber had dragged the pirate into the water. Parts of his torn flesh floated to the surface and a shark fin appeared above the water before disappearing once again.

Mouse turned away from the gruesome sight and back to the other pirates. It wasn’t because the sight of the blood and flesh made him squeamish, but because there was more blood to be shed.

Righteo, who looks like they want to be my next target, Mouse mused, scanning the approaching skiffs. Surely someone wants to volunteer.

There was a howl and Mouse noticed the dire wolf slowly turn back into a humanoid, as its front leg was bitten. The shark Shay’d had been trying to bite, had been successful in its attempt and its jaws were sunk into the flesh on her arm as she turned back to being an eladrin.

Shay’d swore as the shark swung its head and body and its teeth tore through her skin. Shay’d’s blood filled the water and her body was pulled through the water forcefully. Her head went under several times and each time she surfaced just long enough to catch a breath.

Looks like someone just volunteered.

Mouse pulled back the string and aimed, the wriggling target making it harder than the slow moving pirates. There was of course the off chance that he could hit Shay’d too, and that would be a bit unfortunate.

There would be one less person to help with camp set up and pack up, and that would be a hassle.

Mouse found that joking helped calm any nerves that could have crept in, and his aim was marginally better when he did. He usually kept these jokes to himself however, due to the fact that they may result in his getting punched by some of the members of the group.

He relaxed the grip on the string and arrow and released the arrow towards the shark. Mouse hooked another arrow onto the string and watched to see if the shark or Shayd surfaced. Moments later, Shay’d surfaced above the surface, coughing up sea water. A shark fin circled her, almost as if waiting for her to gain her breath before attacking again.

Tut tut, playing with your food are you, Mr Shark? Well that’s just bad manners, your pirate should have trained you better.

Mouse fired another arrow at the dark shadow of the sharks back. As his arrow slammed into the water, the shark jolted and squirmed. Mouse couldn’t help a grin spread across his mouth as he reached to his back for another arrow.

Shay’d had seemed to recover from her near drowning and a low growl emanated from her throat. It was so loud that even the pirates on the skiffs turned to look at her.

See, Mr Shark, you’ve angered her with your bad manners. I can’t help you, it looks like you’re now the one on the menu.

Shay’d transformed back into a dire wolf, the growl rising from her throat and resulting in a long howl. She bared her teeth and pushed through the water towards the struggling shark. Her large jaw opened wide and she dipped her head and shoulders under the water. The body of the shark floated to the surface, two arrows sticking out of its back and side. There was also torn flesh and bite marks all over its gilled neck and head.

If only his master had taught him proper meal etiquette.

Well, there wasn’t going to be a minutes silence for ‘Mr Shark’s’ death and Shay’d had already begun to doggy paddle towards one of the skiffs. Another pirate was struck down with an arrow and one of the skiffs were lit up by a sudden lightning bolt.

Mouse noticed Thorin swing his hammer and yet another bolt of lightning crackled through the air. It was a well-known fact that water and electricity don’t mix and the pirates were no exception. Several of the pirates convulsed and fell unconscious, burns forming on their skin.

“Who the hell are these guys? They can’t be simple traders,” one of the pirates said loud enough for Mouse to hear. “They can even govern over the sky gods and make lightning form.”

Naw, these poor fellas. They’re only just realizing that? I’m afraid they’re a little too late however.

John, Dyl and Sprout had taken down the large pirate on deck, although Sprout continued to punch the corpse with enthusiasm. The large pirate had put up quite a fight and John and Dyl had received several injuries. The two of them approached the side of the ship, despite their injuries, to see how many of the sea pirates were left.

One of the sharks who had a skiff tethered to it began to swim away. Since the pirates in the skiff were already dead, there seemed no point in hunting down the shark.

Just as things seemed like they were finally calming down, the nymph form of Amber was flung into the air. Sea water sprayed around her body and her limbs flailed as she began to fall back towards the whale’s open mouth. Mouse hadn’t noticed that the Killer Whale had started exacting revenge upon the shark that had killed its master.

“Shivers,” Thorin said, lifting his war hammer. “We’d better stop that.”

“Best not to zap or hurt Miss Amber while we’re at it though,” Dyl said, his brow furrowed in concern.

Amber was tossed up in a spray of liquid once again and fell with a slap back into the waves. She floated to the surface, her eyes dulled from unconsciousness. The waves were already crimson with the blood of several other creatures, so Mouse couldn’t tell if she was bleeding.

Hebog screeched from his perch, the glowing eye nowhere to be seen. He pushed into the air and circled once above Amber. Hebog dove down to the surface of the waves, as they rolled Amber over so her face was under the water. Hebog grabbed onto one shoulder and pulled so that her head moved so she wouldn’t suffocate. The killer whale surfaced next to Amber, the movement making a wave pull Amber from Hebog’s grasp. Hebog screeched angrily at the whale and clutched again at Amber.

Mouse reached around to his quiver and pulled out an arrow. The arrow had a strange green tip, which Mouse noticed as he hooked it onto the string. He drew the arrow back and took a breath. Any second the whale would attack and Mouse was certain Amber wouldn’t live through it. With not a second to lose on a joke, Mouse released the arrow from the string.

The killer whale seemed to scream and then it was silent, sliding back under the water. As it slid into the water however, a green aura rose from it. It formed into the figure of a female dressed in a fluttering gown. The aura woman looked around and spotted the rocking form of Amber. She floated across to Amber and placed her hands on her patient’s chest. Amber suddenly took a deep breath and her eyes fluttered open. The aura slowly dissipated as Amber began to tread water.

Shay’d swam over to Amber, still in wolf form and Amber put her arms around her fluffy neck. Shay’d dragged Amber back to the ship and then turned back into a humanoid. They both climbed back onto deck and lay down, water dripping from their bodies.

The others sighed and sat down. Well, all except Sprout, who was still punching the corpse on the deck. Mouse put down his bow and lay down in his hammock.

“Anyone for some lunch? I have some salted meat,” Mouse called down to the others.

“I think I’ve had enough salt for a month,” Shay’d called back, coughing.

“Okay so one order for fruit, what about everyone else?” Mouse said.

Thorin then took the wheel of the ship, while the rest tended to their wounds. Mouse was happy to keep watch from his crow’s nest and stayed there until evening.

_____________________________________________________________

As the sun began to peek over the horizon, Mouse could feel his heavy eyes begin to close. However, Mouse spotted something on the horizon and narrowed his eyes trying to see what exactly it was. It didn’t take long to see that it was flying through the air. Mouse frowned and grabbed his bow. If this flying thing was a threat, it was better if he wasn’t caught without his weapon.

However, as it approached, Mouse soon realized it was the most majestic thing he had ever witnessed. For, riding on a magical flying carpet, was Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle’s mane was fluttering in the wind as he moved forward and his pearlescent horn glinted in the dawn light.

“Twilight Sparkle? Is that really you?” Mouse asked aloud.

“Yes, I finally found you,” the unicorn replied in a deep voice.

“Wait…you can talk?” Mouse asked in surprise.

“Err, yes. Most unicorns can,” Twilight Sparkle answered calmly.

As Twilight Sparkle drew closer on the magic carpet, Mouse frowned a little.

“You seem smaller than what I remember,” Mouse said, leaning on the railing of the crow’s nest.

“Thank you, you look taller,” Twilight Sparkle replied, his long lashes blinking.

“How did you find me out here in the middle of nowhere?”

“I asked this flying carpet to take me to you and it did. Unfortunately it can’t speak otherwise you could ask how it knew where you were.”

“So, what are we going to do now?”

“We should fly to the moon together. I hear the weather is lovely this time of year.”

Mouse could just imagine the sight of Twilight Sparkle and himself flying off to the moon. He didn’t need much convincing on the matter and he smiled broadly.

“Hell yes, that would be amazing,” Mouse said with a nod.

“What about you’re traveling party? Wouldn’t they miss you?”

Mouse paused and glanced down at the boat.

“Yes, they would miss me terribly. With my wit, cunningness and amazing skills. However sometimes you just have to do what will make you happy. You know what I mean?”

“Correct, Mouse’s happiness comes above anything else,” Twilight Sparkle replied.

The boat shuddered from a sudden impact, Mouse’s daydream dissipating immediately. The loud crack of braking decking ruined any further dreaming and Mouse was knocked off balance as the ship shook.

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