The Lord of Land Under Wave

Fiction By Micheala // 1/26/2012

 

I looked down at the dagger sticking out of my stomach and felt myself dissolve into darkness. When I came too I was lying on a bed presumably somewhere in the inn. Lord Tír-fa-Tonn, Land Under Wave starred down at me imperiously with a sarcastic grin twitching at the corners of his mouth.
“Welcome to my world,” said Arashi grinning at me. The tattoos on his arms rippled like actual waves turning into horses.
“You said I would be safe here,” I said accusingly.
“You are,” he shrugged.
“Not from you,” I said. The tattoos on my wrists itched, a curvy line over a straight one on the back of each wriest. My parents would disown me if they ever found out.
He grinned, “Hadn’t you heard the saying, ‘it takes loyalty to get loyalty, servitude for servitude,’ No?”
I shook my head. Things had seemed so simple at first for all I had done was buy a portrait…
I often shopped at the market by the ship yard, it was more dangerous but I got first dibs on every rare and pretty thing before they had been parceled out to shops and the other markets. This was the market where according to rumor one could buy anything from a mermaid’s hair to a slave.
Chigaru had just gotten in a shipment of, well let us just say liberated rare artifacts. I had known Chigaru for years; he would send me one of his sons with a message whenever he got in a particularly fine shipment.
Rami had come this time; I suspected Chigaru was trying to set me up with Rami’s older brother Meti but either way I could not wait to see this week’s shipment.  
Both were beautiful I thought to myself as I threw a piece of lace over my shoulders and grabbed my parasol. They had soft black hair, golden brown skin, and dark liquid eyes. I slipped my white freckled foot into a soft golden silk slipper reminding myself of all the reasons why my parents would never permit me to marry either of them.
My parents were intent on forming an alliance with one of the higher ranking noble families. We were nobles but only barely my grandfather had been a merchant who had collected enough money to buy himself a title since then our fortunes have decreased steadily.
Rami waited outside the door for me along with my Abigail/bodyguard, Shania. My parents insisted she go with me whenever I left the house. They didn’t care if I sneaked out of the house and climbed down the drain pipe as long as I took Shania with and she said it was alright. For that I was grateful although it made me laugh sometimes, they were so proper yet they hired the daughter of a pirate for an Abigail for their daughter.
Shania walked on the street side of me with one hand always on the scimitar at her side. She was only a few years older than me but that made her suitable for such a job while I was considered a sweet little thing.
Rami walked slightly behind me chattering about his sister in-law’s new baby. It had arrived three days ago and was named Ebony. Apparently she was nearly as cute as his little sister Kebi.
I could have taken a skiff on the water ways or a palanquin but I preferred to walk so that I could listen to Rami chatter. That was how I found out the news that the noble ladies considered too gossipy to discuss with me.
We passed the 1st market where my family’s employees called out greetings as they sold silk and other fine cloths.
“Kelsi Ceolsige tell your father that the Jade Lady came in today,” called out one of the merchants passing her in the street.
I nodded my assent grinning at the news. The Jade Lady had been missing for a month presumed lost with all hands on board but then again the Jade had a habit of getting lost after all these years we knew she’d pop up again sometime along with her captain, my eldest brother, Deirdre, The Wander.
He had such a habit of being late that we had sort of become used to it. I had friends who would cry if their brother’s ships were even a day late presuming them lost at sea forever but us he could be three months late and only then would we start to worry. But whenever he was late, he brought back gifts for us from where ever he had wandered off to this time, Singapore, Morocco, and sometimes places no man with a skin as pale as his had even been to before.
He would likely spend all day unloading and settling back into his rooms on dry land. I would continue with my shopping and hopefully find a welcome home present for him.
The golden roof of Chigaru’s shop glinted before me as I stepped into the little street that dead ended in a courtyard before his shop. The stone statues on either side had been freshly repainted and the kohl glimmered around their eyes.
Meti waited outside the door to welcome me and remove my silk slippers. He wore canvas pants but was bare-chested and bare-footed.
“Salam Kelsi, I heard your wandering brother has returned,” he said in the soft lilting tone all his family had.
“The Jade Lady came in just this morning,” I replied. I had wished for years that I had their accent but instead I had the sea rough voice of my father mixed with the spicy Celtic tones of my mother.
“My father got in a lovely shipment late last night,” Said Meti as he led me through the open red door. Lovely was our code for enchanted black market shipments. Magic had been forbidden in Alia since the Albion Royalty took over four generations back. 
The shop was filled as always with things from many lands. But closest to the door was the ranks of guardians that Chigaru kept to keep out riffraff and thieves. They were mostly stone though some were clearly magic most were old enough to hide in plain sight.
We passed through an arched door way and wandered through the treasures to the large maroon room in the back where shipments were brought before they were sorted. Carpets were piled haphazardly on the floor in between the carpets the floor its self was covered in precious magical artifacts. Meti walked carefully betwixt ivory busts and twisting gold jewelry.   I smiled and started to search through the wealth of exotic things the closest I would ever get to another country if my parents had their way.
Enchanted jewels trickled through my fingers, statues hissed at me, I twisted the ring Meti had handed me before I started to look through the artifacts, it was bespelled to prevent being bespelled by some unknown object though I still had to handle the exotic stuff carefully. This time there was a wealth of pictures some cursed, some inhabited by yokia, and some were simply exotic pictures. Behind all the other paintings up against the wall there was a painting of an exotic looking young man which was dripping wet with sea water. I picked it up and stared at it. It was a masterfully well done piece. The man looked as though he could step out of the painting at any moment… as though if I wasn’t looking he might start to breathe!
The painting was wet so I scooped it up under my arm and went to tell Chigaru that his un-loaders had been careless. 
.........
 
“It has been dripping wet since I got it,” Chigaru replied when I told him, “Other than that it seems to be nothing more than a painting. If you want it, it is yours.”
“Really?” I asked
“You have been such a good customer, besides you want a coming home gift for your brother I’ll through this painting in for free,” said Chigaru smiling.
He handed me a gold hilted dagger, “This dagger makes sure the owner of it comes home safe.”
I felt the dagger and inspected it carefully for any signs that the spell was starting to wear thin. It was in good shape except the tip was broken off.
“It is rather worn,” I said letting it fall to the table as though I wasn’t interested.
“It is nearly new!” Chigaru protested.
“It is missing the tip,” I said.
“Five double weight gold,” he said jumping into the bartering.
“It is broken!” I exclaimed, “One gold.”
“You insult me,” he said looking at me sideways, “Three double weight gold.”
“Three gold,” I said grinning.
“Two double weight gold?” He said hesitantly.
“Three gold and one copper,” I said.
“Deal,” said Chigaru, “Girl I rue the day I taught you to barter.”
I smiled at him well aware he had only allowed me to get the slip on him because he wanted me to marry his son.
.......
 
I hung the strangely dripping portrait on the wall in my bedroom. I wasn’t worried about it having any sort of strange powers, Chigaru was usually pretty good about knowing these sorts of things. 
 Still it intrigued me I hadn’t meant to get it at first but it really was exotic and well done. I stepped forward and straightened it. Ah well I could stare at it later right now I needed to get changed for the welcome back feast.
I had just started to unwrap my top when I heard the voice behind me. “While I would not mind it somehow I don’t think you are the kind of lady who wants a gentleman watching her undress but if I have spoke out of turn I apologize.”
I turned in surprise. I didn’t recognize the male voice. A lean young man only slightly taller than me stood leaning cockily against the wall where an empty picture frame hung all that remained of my dripping picture.
“Chigaru will have to be teased about this,” I said to myself.
“Don’t blame the Egyptian,” said the young man. He had ruffled black hair underscored with a glinting dark blue. His skin was pale like a Scotsman though without the freckles. He bowed, “Arashi Tír-fa-Tonn at your service.”
I blinked uncertain of what to say. It wasn't every day I had a stranger apear in my bedroom after all.
He knelt at my feet and grasped my hands staring up at me with loyalty in his eyes. “As a reward for releasing me from my prison let me swear loyalty to you.”
I shook my head, “I did nothing worth any oath please feel free to leave and go where you wish.”
He kissed my hands, “I wish to stay here.”
I withdrew them quickly. He thought I was one of those people who required repayment for every deed. “If you wish to repay me then leave.”
“You are cruel Kelsi Ceolsige,” said the young man as he released my hands and stood, “But I will leave for now.”
 
I stood staring, more than a trifle upset, at the spot where he had disappeared from, litteraly disapeared. I shrugged and continued changing.
 
The family was already sitting down when I arrived. “You have grown,” said my brother standing up to plant kisses on my cheeks. I smiled at him and kissed him back.
My bother waited until I had sat down to his right before he sat down. As always the table was covered in all the most luscious food my mother could concoct. She was a brilliant cook who enjoyed running a household and wanted the same for me but I took after my da and brothers I wanted to race across the waves in a ship that was my own to foreign lands and smell the spices of the farthest reaches of humanity.
But all that was impossible for me for born as a girl I belonged to my parents in a way my brothers did not. I would never set foot in a forign land, never smell the spices of another continent, never, but it was useless to wish for my life was planned out already and there was nothing I could do.
After the feast I returned to my rooms where Arashi waited on my bed for me. “The maiden returns,” he said wriggling his eyebrow at me, “You took too long girl I was getting bored.”
“I don’t know who you are or why you are still here but I don’t care. Get out of my room,” I said. I kept my voice quiet my brother slept in the room next to me and I didn’t want him hearing that I had a man in here. My brother would be concerned about my honor as well as wanting to bash this Arashi.
“I am hurt I already explained I am Arashi,” he pouted.
......

Comments

Arashi

He is a cousin of Justin Tam LIn and shares many of his features though his temperment is more wild and watery. Such a fun characture to write about I have been mullling over him for several days and have only just now gotten the story to the point where I wanted to post it. Oh and his name is Japanese it means wave or storm or something like that.

Micheala | Thu, 01/26/2012

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