Ferros had given me the day off and I had decided to spend it at the beach just north of Highport. It was warm and sunny as I walked along the rocky outcrop, just over the waves, and sighed happily. I hardly ever got time to myself and the quiet breeze and smell of the ocean made me feel relaxed.
Due to the warm weather I wore my lightest tunic and shorts so that I could swim in the water. My heavier leather armor would have only been a bother on a day like today. Even if it was safer to wear it.
I make my way down the rock cropping and come to stop at a large rock ledge. I couldn’t help but smile. The wind about the small cliff I stood on was delightful against my bare legs in the heat of midday and I was glad to have chosen such light clothing.
Trying to think of what to do first I take note of Several water birds just a little further down the rocks. They sat about the crevices looking for food not even paying me a speck of mind. I decide to do a bit of watching before taking a swim.
I began observing them curiously, from a distance, as they pecked at some wiggling worms within the cracks. I hadn’t been crouched for long before I saw a shadow fall over one of the boulders beside me.
“You going swimming in your clothes?” The gruff voice of Garrett, the guilds only bowmen and resident asshole, asked just before he scattered the birds with a well placed rock.
“I had planned on it,” I replied sourly. I had hoped to spend the day relaxing and preferably alone. Why couldn’t it have been anyone but Garrett? “Did you follow me up here?”
A cold smirk flashed across Garrett’s face, his brown eyes flickered with amusement. “Sorry to burst your bubble princess but I was already here before you.”
I looked around at the area where I stood and frowned. There was nowhere he could have been hiding except for the tree line some fifty feet up the embankment behind us. “Creeping around in the trees then?”
“Looks like someone wants to talk themselves out of venison tonight,” Garrett growled at me his eyes narrowing dangerously. He was wearing his ragged leather armor, which I didn’t understand his need to keep using it when he could just buy a new set, and had his bow in hand. So he had been hunting and decided to bother me instead of actually killing anything.
“Oh well don’t let me keep you then,” I hop down the slight lip of the outcrop and land in hot sand that feels great against my bare feet. I had left my boots on the rocks near the birds.
“And miss the show?” Garrett landed in the sand beside me.
“It can’t be all that fun,” I prodded a scratch in the leather chestguard he wore in the slim hope that he’d lose interest in following me down the beach. “You can’t swim in your leathers.”
My attempt to get him to leave backfired badly when Garrett stripped off his chest guard and leggings. Left only in his tunic and loose cotton pants he gave an infuriating smile. He’d known full well I wanted him to go away.
“I hope you drown,” I say seriously and head off down the beach moodily.
Garrett follows with an annoying kick in his step that sends waves of sand all over my legs and feet. So much for a relaxing day on the beach.
I was grumbling to myself about annoyances when I noticed a sliver of metal poking out of a sandy bar just a fraction in the water. I run up to it, grateful for something to give me a valid excuse to ignore Garrett, and dig out the metal to find it was, in fact, a large trident made out of blue glittering water steel. A blessing from Ilien perhaps. The lady of the water liked to leave beachgoers presents.
“Bit unwieldy,” Garrett commented as he followed me to the edge of the water. In spite of his taunts he didn’t seem too willing to get his boots wet. “That thing is bigger than you are.”
“Its enchanted,” I mumble as I drag it back to the beach. It was a good two feet longer than I was tall and I had some trouble holding it up. I could feel the pulse of magic under my palm though and I didn’t want to leave it on the shore. “Wonder what it does.”
“Probably something stupid,” Garrett said jokingly. He examined it from a distance. Garrett was rather mistrustful of anything magical and I found it ironic that I was his favorite person to pick at seeing as how I was the only mage in our little guild.
“You’re a mood lifter,” I groused and gave him an irritated glare. “It could be something cool. Like I could command a fish to attack you with this thing.”
“We’re on land,” Garrett replied smugly. “What is it going to do? Spit water at me?” Garrett’s smile faltered a second later and he hopped on one foot kicking at a crab that had climbed onto his boot and pinched his leg. “What in the hell’s?!”
I stare in shock at the little crab as it flew into the water and scuttled back to stand beside the trident. I smiled. “Well, so it commands crabs. Cute.”
“Cute? That little fucker just pinched me!”
“You were being obnoxious,” I waved off the angry man and looked at the staff again. I smiled. “You think it can make fish fly?” I asked.
“It better not be able to,” Garrett eyed me and the staff and took a step back. No sooner had he done that then a slender grey fish, with sharp fins, erupted from the water and went straight for Garrett’s head. With a yelp he swatted the thing away and it shot into the sand barely missing his ear.
I gasped in delight and looked towards the water, “Shark with wings!” I squealed only to feel the trident be ripped away from my grasp.
“Don’t you fucking dare!” Garrett roared and lifted the trident as high as he could and threw it into the ocean before I could take it back from him. He rounded on me then his brown eyes flashing and his handsome, stubble shadowed face, bright red in anger. “I told Ferros letting you off alone was a bad idea. We’re going back to the Hall before you summon something that’ll destroy the city.” I was scooped up over his shoulder and hauled off back towards the road home. My things forgotten by the rocks on the cliff.
I kicked and wiggled but had no hope of being set free. Garrett had his magic suppressing token in his pocket like always so I had no way of setting him on fire. I gave up and made myself go limp in the hope I would at least make his arm sore.
Once I’d given up my struggle I looked up to see the little crab that had pinched Garrett’s leg standing where it had been left watching us walk away. I sighed and blew the little crustacean a kiss. I had not known him long but he would forever be my hero.