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 Navigational Woes - (III)

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PostSubject: Navigational Woes - (III)   Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:04 pm

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"Shit."

That was the only word going through Kerri's mind at the moment as he attempted to speed away from his pursuers, cutting through the water like a knife through butter. He had only popped his head up out of the water for a few seconds, but it had been enough for them to spot him. The wrong place at the wrong time he supposed, but before he had realised what was happening, the boat had loomed up behind him. It was his mistake to breach the surface of the ocean and now he was paying for it.

A net was dropped into the water, the merman nimbly dodging it with his superior underwater agility. Unfortunately, he dodged straight into the shot of a speargun, the pointed weapon piercing Kerri just below his shoulder.

Above the water, the culprits of the attack were gathered on the one side of their ship, staring down into the water as the red filtered through it's depths. One man, who's rather opulent looking hat did nothing to hide his lack of hygiene, slapped the man carrying the base of the speargun.
"You're not supposed to damage the merchandise, goddamn it!" He yelled, spittle flying from his mouth.

The second man shrunk backwards at these words, clinging to the speargun as if it were a lifeline. He was incredibly relieved when his captain turned around to motion to crew members further up the deck.
"Drop the seastone one!"

Back in the water, Kerri was attempting to pull the spear from his body. Before he could register it's descent through the water, the seastone net was upon him, tangling the young merman within it's mesh-like walls.



A short distance of the ocean away, a small ship was sailing through the cold morning breezes. Although the ship didn't have much of a crow's nest, one individual was hanging off the mast. For most, it would be a mystery how she got up there, but for those who were used to her personality - those who traveled on her ship - it would be a normal occurrence.

Holding on to the mast with one arm and balancing herself with her feet, Shiori shielded her eyes with her remaining arm, squinting at something in the distance. It looked like there was another ship over there. Perhaps it belonged to pirates? She could quite tell as it seemed that the sails had been taken down temporarily.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:37 pm

"I was, but then I found my knife," she replied to Hayes with a small smile, holding up the knife and wiggling it a bit to show the cook that she'd gotten it back.

Kerri meanwhile had sunk back into the water a little bit. He had been about to actually reply to Shiori before Hayes had appeared, but now his courage had deserted him. It was a nice offer, but he wasn't really equipped to travel on a boat anyways. That said, being stuck in the four blues wasn't exactly the best idea. He really needed to get back to the calm belt and swim back through into the Grand Line. He was sure he could avoid a few sea kings.

That said, it seemed these people couldn't even read a map. With a small sigh, Kerri lifted his head out of the water just enough so that he could speak to the humans without the ocean muffling his voice from them.
"I had a debt to repay," he replied to Hayes, before looking to Shiori once again. "I can lead you to the island closest to Reverse Mountain though... if you need it." His voice got a little quieter at the latter part of his words, as if he was embarrassed or not entirely sure if his offer was even appreciated.

Shiori grinned widely, "Really!? That'd be awesome!" she laughed loudly, tucking her knife back into her jacket with the others of the set, and leaning over the edge of the ship in her excitement so that she was as close to the ocean as she could possibly be without actually falling in.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:06 pm

Hayes nodded at the merman. It seemed that Kerri wasn't that bad of a person, either. He had hoped so. He didn't want to have the idea that he helped out some psychopath, even if it was from pirates looking to sell him off.

"That'd be appreciated. I'm not even sure we're too far away from my home yet, and we've been sailing for a few days." The chef said with a chuckle. He took a seat on the railing of the boat, on leg in and the other bent, his foot resting on the side with him. After a second of thought, the chef remembered a certain predicament that the merman was in earlier that day. "Wait, wasn't there a spear sticking out of your shoulder back on that boat? We should find somewhere to get that checked out. There's no doctors here, but I know of an island where we can go. It's the least we can do to pay for your guidance."

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:22 pm

Shiori glanced at Hayes and then back to the merman, scanning what little she could see of the latter for any injuries. All she could see from the head up was a little notch in his right ear fin, but that appeared to be an older injury. If he truly had a shoulder injury though, it would be hidden beneath the water.

Kerri sank a little deeper into the water at the mention of his injury. "It's fine, I pulled it out," he replied. Under the water, his arm raised up to hover over the injury once again, but this wasn't clear to the two who remained on the boat. Quickly moving to change the subject, Kerri glanced up at the sky where the stars were beginning to show against the dark of the night. He paused for a moment, blue eyes scanning the stars and placing himself in his mental map of the south blue based on them.
"You need to turn 60 degrees to the right and keep going in that direction if you want to reach the island nearest to Reverse Mountain," he stated out loud, still staring at the stars.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:32 pm

"It can't be that fine. It's a very recent injury, and it's gotta be a big one, at that." Hayes said, looking down at the merman. He thought of whatever else he knew about wounds to add to his argument. "I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure it'll be infected if it isn't already."

The chef looked back in his memories for the name of the island that he had heard about from travelers in his home. He told the two of them to hold on after he thought of it, and ran off into the galley. He returned with a map in hand.

"I don't know if you know of an island called Fen, but I have a map with the island shown, if you need it." Hayes unrolled the map, showing the face of it to Kerri. He pointed at a rather large island not too far from Fairwell, so it would be on their way, more or less. "It's right there. I don't know where we are exactly, but I think we're on the way anyways."

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:00 pm

"It's fine," he replied, a little more force in his tone. He then went silent for a moment, before he turned and glared at Hayes, "And if you can read a map then why do you even need my help."

A flick of his ear fins and Kerri dove back under the water, those on board the ship able to catch a glimpse of his blue and white patterned tail before he disappeared beneath the waves.

Shiori sighed and ran her hand through her fringe, "I guess maybe not so forceful with him next time?" she suggested lightly, shrugging to Hayes. "I mean, he's not exactly had the best experiences with people. We could probably stand to be a little more... mindful of that I guess?" She frowned to herself, turning her own gaze back to the waves. It didn't look like he'd be coming back anytime soon, though perhaps having a little bit of time to cool off would be good for the merman. At the very least though, she wished he would let them at least take a look at his wound, even if he didn't want to go and see an actual doctor. She wasn't an expert on the biology of merfolk but an injury was an injury after all.

"I wish i'd asked him his name before he swam off though," Shiori sighed again, gathering up the fishing supplies and turning to replace them back in the bait and tackle box. She didn't want to risk accidentally harming the merman further by catching his fin or something with the hook on her rod. She'd give it a day or so to see if he was still nearby before fishing again.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:48 pm

"I can't read it well enough to know where to go, honestly. With this map, I can't tell where we are exactly, so I can't figure out where to go from here." Hayes said as the merman swam off. He felt bad for what he did, and what Shiori said after just compounded on that. "I know, I just didn't want him to suffer anything. He went and found your knife for you,
and he offered to tell us where to go."


The chef looked off towards the sea, wondering if he'd ever get the chance to apologize. He hoped they would at least cross paths again in the future so he could say something. He rolled the map back up, tying it together with a small string.

"Oh, his name is Kerrigan, I believe. I asked him when I untied the knot holding him in the net." Hayes said as he stood up. He made his way over to the cabins, waving at Shiori. "Good night, then."

It took a while for the man to go to sleep, feeling like shit after making Kerri swim off. His dreams were uneventful, and he woke up the next morning feeling equally like shit, but with a duty to cook.

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:00 pm

"Yea, I know," she frowned, having not meant to be so hard on Hayes. Perhaps this was a lesson that could be learned for them both, "Well i suppose the least we can do is actually listen to his advice," she reasoned. After finishing putting the bait and tackle away, Shiori headed towards the cabins to go and fetch their temporary helmsman.

Shiori nodded as Hayes told him the merman's name and committed it to memory, waving at Hayes as he entered the cabins himself. "Don't feel too bad about it," she tried to comfort him with a few words, "You weren't to know that he was going to react that way."
With that, she poked their helmsman and got him to come and steer the ship. Shiori watched him as he realigned the ship's direction based on what Kerri had told her, the captain attempting to learn so that when their current passengers left in Fairwell, she'd be able to steer the ship without them.

Shiori remained outside for another half hour or so before she went to catch some sleep. The helmsman was switched with one of the other crew members after a few hours, to keep the ship on the right track during the night.


Kerri meanwhile kept an eye on the boat, glad to see that they had followed his directions even after he's left in such a way. At least they'd be able to get where they were going now. With that in mind, he went to get a little shut eye himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:09 pm

A couple days later, Hayes decided he would go fishing for a couple hours. He already made breakfast, and his plans for lunch were simple ones, so he figured he would have to time. As he grabbed a fishing pole and bait, he wondered if Kerri was still anywhere nearby. He hoped that if he was around, that he wouldn't get caught by the hook.

Walking over to the side of the boat, he took a seat on the railing. He looked out at the ocean, a deep blue blanket of water. He put a worm on the hook as he searched for where he wanted to cast it. Deciding on an area he felt was going to be good, he sent the line off, aiming for just a bit ahead to make up for the movements of the boat.

It wasn't long until he got a bite, only a few minutes. He pulled on the pole, reeling in his line. It felt like a large fish, maybe 50 pounds, give or take. After a good minute of struggling, he finally took the fish out of the sea. By the looks of it, it was an oceanic salmon, though he couldn't remember the exact species.

As he made to unhook his prize, he called out for Shiori, wanting her to see his amazing catch. Just as he finished taking the fish off the hook, it began squirming in his hands. He could only barely hold on to it. He had to put in in the ice box quickly before it jumped out of his hands and back into the water.

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:56 pm

Shiori heard Hayes's voice and came jogging over to try and help Hayes with the fish that was flip-flipping in his grip. She laughed loudly, "That fish is huge!" Bringing the ice box over, she opened it to try and help Hayes get it in, but the large fish managed to slip from his grip, skittering across the deck.
"Ah shit! Quick, grab it!" Shiori called out, chasing after it as it fell out of Hayes's hands. Her attempts to reclaim it however were to no avail, as before long, the fish managed to flip itself high enough to get over the ship's side and drop back towards the ocean.
She wanted to try that huge fish with her spicy fish stew recipe!! However, it seemed that it was not meant to be as it escaped. The tawny haired captain rushed to the side of the ship to watch it drop back into the ocean with a brief, "Aw maan."

Still lingering around the duo's boat, Kerri found himself listening in on the noise going on above deck. Although he didn't need to, he poked his head back above the water, just in time for the fish to leap over the side of the boat. Almost as if on instinct, the merman's gaze focused on the falling fish, pupils narrowing. Milliseconds later, Kerri leaped upwards, out of the water and grasped the fish between his shark-like teeth before disappearing back beneath the ocean's surface.

"Kerri!" grinned Shiori, happy to see that the merman had stuck around, despite having been annoyed by the events of last night. She had shortened the name that Hayes had told her, making it sound more like a nickname. It then dawned on her that the fish had still technically been lost though, and flopped her upper half down on the railings that prevented them from falling off the ship.
"I wanted to eat thaaaaat," she pouted, an almost whiny tone to her voice.

The merperson in question swam back up to the surface, fish still in his mouth and chuckling in amusement at the tawny haired girl's whiny tone. The fish still in his mouth, he grabbed it with his hands and tossed it back towards the boat.
"Catch!" he called out.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:59 am

Hayes tried his best as soon as he saw the fish go flying away, but it was too slippery for him. After it flopped off the side of the ship, the chef made a low sighing noise. He hated when his time he took to fish was wasted like that. It took all his willpower just to stay sitting while he waited for a bite. He walked over to join Shiori at the edge to look down at the ocean sadly.

However, what he saw was the fish still out of the water, and in the mouth of a certain merman. His face lit up. His efforts weren't wasted after all.

"Hey, Kerrigan, can we have that fish back?" The chef said to him. Thankfully, Kerri threw it up to them, either from some combo of what Hayes and Shiori said, or just one of them. The young man grabbed the flying fish out of the air, this time getting it into the ice box and closing the lid on it. "Thanks! Oh, and sorry about the other day. I don't know if I offended you or something, but if I did, I apologize."

Worried that Kerri might get hooked or tangled, Hayes picked up the fishing rod, setting it on the ground so it wouldn't be able to touch the merman.

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:36 am

Shiori followed the fish with her eyes as it was thrown back towards the ship. Hayes then deftly caught it and dropped it into the ice box where it belonged.
"Woohoo! Thanks Kerri!" she grinned, rushing back to the edge of the ship now that the fish was in the coolbox and beaming at the merman who still floated alongside the ship in the water.

Kerri looked at Hayes as he spoke and shrugged halfheartedly, "It's fine." He didn't really care about the whole doctor thing. After all, they'd been trying to look out for him. He just didn't need their help. His injury was completely fine after all. That said, he looked to Shiori next, his frown returning to his features.
"Who said you could call me Kerri anyways," he replied indignantly with a small roll of his eyes, as if the nickname was highly annoying to him.

"Aww c'mon. It's cute though, and so much shorter than Kerrigan," Shiori frowned, the little pout back on her features at her nickname being denied. "I'm Shiori though. You can nickname me too if you want!" She added, the grin returning to her expression at the idea of getting a new nickname.

The merman sighed and hugged himself with his arms, though due to the majority of his body being underwater, the individuals on board the ship were not privy to this fact.
"No... it's fine," he replied, looking off towards the side rather than Shiori as he replied. The nickname just reminded him of his family - his brother always used to call him that after all. Sometimes he did regret not getting along with his family more, especially since out here all sorts of things could happen to him before he got the chance to see them again. With this melancholic thought in mind, Kerri slipped back under the water and disappeared once again, leaving a frowning Shiori behind.

The tawny haired captain stood up fully from where she had been leaning over the side of the deck and sighed quietly. She looked to Hayes, her concern tinged with guilt clear from her expression.
"I think I made him sad..."
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:28 pm

Hayes's discomfort and guilt suddenly weighed less after what Kerri said. It was't exactly the most easing thing for it, but it certainly helped. A light smile replaced his small frown, his mind wondering what could be going on with Kerri.

Then he realized that Shiori had actually called Kerrigan 'Kerri', which seemed to upset the merman. He didn't exactly understand it, but he could tell it wasn't either of their faults. He saw a bit of himself before he joined his captain on this adventure. Sad, lonely, worried.

He set a hand gingerly on Shiori's shoulder, wanting to comfort her somehow. He looked into the deep blue of the sea, and shook his head. "No, it wasn't you. I think he just has something going on in his head. I used to be like that. I hope he can find his happiness, like I did."

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:55 pm

Shiori nodded, appreciating Hayes's attempts to comfort her. Kerrigan did look like he had something else on her mind, but it definitely seemed like she'd triggered the emotion with something she'd said, even if it wasn't directly caused by her.
"I hope so too," she replied before turning and wandering back towards the cabins so that she could go and write in her journal.

---

It was a few days later, and Kerri had spent the past few days popping up now and again to direct the ship in the right direction - towards Fairwell and in turn Reverse Mountain; the entrance to the Grand Line. Though he never seemed to appear for long, the other members of the crew had also become to grow accustomed to his presence and were used to responding to his callouts when he were to recommend a change of direction.

As he had done the past few days, Kerri popped his head up out of the water, having noticed that the ship had turned a few degrees in the wrong direction. He looked rather paler than usual, and that was saying something for someone who had pale skin on a daily basis. Kerri looked almost exhausted, but he called out to the occupants of the ship.
"You need to turn the ship 4 degrees starboard," he directed.
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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:47 pm

Hayes called out to the temporary helmsman as he listened to Kerri's recommendation. He repeated exactly what the merman had said, though he didn't have much idea how he could tell. Hell, everyone on the boat could barely see the change.

"We're lucky to have you here, Kerrigan." The chef said as he looked down at the navigator. He noticed his pale skin and tired demeanor. He didn't know if he should bring it up or not, seeing as what happened the last time, but it could be crucial to his health to go see a doctor. He decided he would at least suggest it once more. "I'm sorry, but I still think we should go to that island so you can get proper treatment for that wound. I won't force you or anything, but I think it would be wise, you look sick, very sick."

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PostSubject: Re: Navigational Woes - (III)   Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:02 pm

Kerri smiled a little as Hayes commented on how they were lucky to have him there, but sighed almost wearily when commented on how sick he apparently looked. He wouldn't lie to himself, he didn't feel the best in the world. Perhaps it was no longer smart for him to deny the truth. Well...it had never been smart, but if he denied it for much longer it might actually do some damage.

Shiori wandered over to the side of the deck, adding to Hayes's words and hoping that this would illustrate the gravity of them to the merman.
"He's right. You know, we just want you to be healthy. If you like, we can bring you on board and treat you as best as we can with our own first aid kit in the meantime. Only if you want to of course."

The merman frowned, but after a few tense moments of silence, finally nodded.
"Alright. I can't exactly say no when you're only trying to help. It's not like I have any other options," he replied, clearly not happy about it but willing to go with it for now in the name of self preservation. Maybe over the past week or so he had come to trust this small crew a little bit too. Either way, he was willing to give them a chance.

Shiori smiled warmly and then went to go and grab a ladder so that she could help Kerri onto the boat. She helped him onto the deck before offering to carry him inside. After a little bit of deliberation and a reluctant agreement, Shiori asked for Hayes's help in bringing the merman inside where he could rest on what little comfortable beds they had.

"If you bring me that map you were talking about before, i'll point you in the right direction to the island," Kerri spoke weakly, shrinking in on himself a little bit at having to accept all of this help, "I'm pretty sure I know which one it is, but just to be sure." His ear fins had visibly drooped from their normal positions as well, as if signifying just how weary he really was.
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