[Loop and Coil - Aboard the ship in the lower decks]
Deep into the lower decks of the great damaged battle ship, in one of the countless cargo-holds, a small disfigured bird, if it could be called that at all, stood perched upon a literal hill of tumbled crates. Short twisted limbs hanged lifelessly from its bloated body as its ash coloured feathers lay motionless over its withered skin. The peculiar creature’s great soulless eyes, staring over a sickly alabaster beak, were glued at one of the high corners of room, gazing at everything and nothing at the same time.
So still it was, that were it not for the spasmodically twitching tiny warped wings on its back, one could mistake it for a stuffed prize that was once stolen from the dusty antic of some noble and then left to be mangled by bears…repeatedly.
This quite scene belied the horrid chaos and panic that had overtaken the rest of the ship no so long ago.
That is, until the mountain of crates started to shift and moan.
Barely a second before the storm of silver slashes encompassed the small wooden hill, the creature lazily took the air with feeble flaps of its atypical wings. Unsteadily it floated to the other end of the room and slowly sank to the ground, its unwavering gaze fixing on the countless empty crates just as they exploded into torrent of useless firewood and splinters.
Pushing himself upwards with a rod of silver, Loop Lionheart, rose from beneath the debris. His is ebony bangs fell messily around his pale, boyish face and his spiky ponytail was falling apart. His once pristine chest plate was marred with blood and dirt, his ivory tunic now full of holes and tears. Yet even then, as he stood tall with his head held high and his spring blade in his hands, Loop presented a perfect picture of a prideful and honorable warrior, albeit one that had been dragged through the deepest darkest pits of the netherworld and had lived to tell the tale.
“What...in the twisting seas happened? Where the helix am I now?” Loop groaned, gripping his head. Damn, it felt as if the cargo of the entire ship had fallen on it…and judging by the where he woke up, he doubted that was far from the truth.
Coil, for his part, stood completely non-pulsed at the whole scene.
Loop blinked, before turning to look quizzically at the motionless bird-like-thing that stood to by his side.
“What do you mean I tripped?” The room fell silent. “How improper! I am NOT idiotic klutz! You should not Insult the one who saved your life time and time again.”
Once again the room went mute. A second later a vein popped on Loop’s head.
“The fact that I can’t help aiding you is irrelevant.”
“Why you!” Loop proceeded to swing the silver rod in his hands at the tiny creature…only to stop at about an inch away from its face as if he hit an invisible brick wall. Loop sweat dropped quite spectacularly at that.
“Damned knight training! Why can’t i never force myself to hit this infernal thing?” He grumbled straining with his entire body to push his sheathed blade forwards but to no avail. Finally he drew back his weapon and swung it in a wild flurry around the still unmoving bird with all the speed and force he could muster.
A moment later, gasping for breath, Loop stared resentfully as the dust settled to reveal an unharmed Coil standing in the untouched center of a circle of devastated wooden floor.
“You know what? To the abyss with it! And just so you know, I remembered what happened and it’s all YOUR fault!”
[Some time earlier – during the attack of the previous island]
The spring blade tore through yet another wretched underling of the Shade Pirates. Despite his victory, though, Loop knew that he had to find someway to escape. The trade town was done for, he had managed to help a few civilians as he run through the streets and took out a good number of nameless attackers, but everything around him was burning and he himself was wasting along with it.
His body was tired and wounded, easy as it was to neutralize these low level thugs, every once and while one of them managed to sneak in a lucky strike. The damage was slowly building up, his muscles were starting to complain and the searing heat of the blazing inferno around him was rabidly draining him, not to mention the physiological damage he was suffering by listening to the pleads for help and mercy from the hundreds of suffering innocents the area.
No time to contemplate. The more he spend in the open, the higher the risk of meeting one of the Shade Pirate’s stronger crew members. If that happened, he would fight to his last breath but at his current state, he had no illusions that he could escape such a confrontation with his life. As such, he stood up, took a deep breath and shot through yet another alley, heading towards the town’s port. He dearly hoped that Coil had found a nice and safe place to sit on over there.
That damn hell-spawn had somehow managed to vanish yet again and last time Loop had seen him, he had been floating towards the docks. While Loop hated the little monster, it still didn’t change the fact that it was probably the most helpless thing in the whole town, not to mention had made pledge to Coil and was thus honour-bound to protect him until they managed to find a safe heaven for Coil live in. As such every instinct in Loop’s body and mind had sent him sprinting after it.
‘Almost there, be safe my friend.’ Loop thought frantically as he ran.
A moment later Loop found himself amongst the chaos of the local shipyard. Pausing to look around, his eye fell on the vanishing form of his pet, as it flew through a gun port of nearby warship.
A warship that appeared to be in the process of being taken over by pirates.
Loop took a moment to facepalm with a heavy sigh.
Not pirates again. Seriously, why did Coil take such great interest in those pillagers? Last time Coil had joined up with a pirate crew Loop had found himself branded as a pirate and his face on a local wanted poster. Imagine! Him, a knight of the Royal Coil, the protector of his kingdom and grand champion of justice, being mistaken for a two-bit terrorist of the seas.
Still, a ship filled with powerful and experienced sailors was his best chance of getting the two of them out of this mess.
Shaking his head and steeling his resolve, Loop dashed at the ship and up its boarding plank. There he had faced some kid that had proclaimed itself the ship’s captain and told him he would join his crew as a lookout. Loop always had a six sense for what was happening around him, it seemed as a fitting position at the time.
A minute later, he had found himself running through the lower decks in search Coil when the ship, in its wild evading manoeuvres, gave a rather spectacular lunge to the side. Naturally Loop was send barrelling through the entire level before colliding with the floor of the cargo compartment.
The last thing Loop could remember afterwards, was an avalanche of wooden crates descending at his face.
That and lots of pain.
[Back at the present]
Knight and pet fell into yet another staring contest for the longest time.
“Have I ever told you how much I looooath you?” Loop hissed with as much hate as he could muster.
For the umpteenth time that day there was silence between them.
“Yeah, whatever you say.” Loop flippantly exclaimed before finally turning and walking out of the cargo hold. “You just stay here where it’s nice and safe. I’ll go and see what happened of the pirates that sailed with us.”
When Loop finally arrived to the bridged he was met with two great surprises.
The pleasant one was that most of the rest of the ship’s rag tag crew had no only survived but had infact managed to find a safe place for them to make port at.
Sure the place looked barren, ransacked and depressing but at least they had somewhere to regroup, recover and plan. That’s what Loop hoped in any case. If this place was filled with enemy soldiers or pirates like the previous island currently was, their little impromptu group was in deep, deep trouble.
The other surprise Loop received was far more bothersome, and he had to admit, at some level predictable.
Coil had disembarked from the ship and was currently settling down on the beach, sitting next to some young girl that was saying something about pumpkins or the like. There was little Loop could do to keep the sigh of frustration from escaping him.
“Spring step.” He eventually mumbled.
With a great, inhuman leap, Loop soared past the ship’s railings and through the air before finally coming to land in a crouch next to his infuriating pet.
Coil on his part, just flew up and latched on the top of Loop’s head the moment he landed. Loop grimaced. The damn thing wanted him to act as its damned carriage during this whole ordeal and frankly, the caricature of a giant mutant bird weighting on his head, was the last think he needed at the moment.
Still, he opted to ignore Coil’s annoying presence in face of bigger problem at hand.
“Pardon me,” Loop begun, speaking loudly as to address anyone within hearing range. “Does any of you seasoned...travelers know of our current location? No matter how…charming this place is, I’m not very fond of being lost.”
Loop paused as a familiar yet unwanted voice entered his head yet again.
“Before you ask, yes, the bird-thing on my head just talked.” Loop said flatly. "I’ll explain later but for now could someone, please, answer the question?” The knight pleaded.
Made it myself. (Tukinode may not reflect the ideas of his original creator)