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Oh. There's the guard. Oh boy, he was strong- and prettier up close. Wide, violet eyes stared at him blankly as he tried to process what had just happened. He hadn't thought that anyone had noticed him climbing up the ship, and it turned out that he was wrong. Just how much had this man seen? Judging from what he was asked: not a lot. That was good. Irving would just play dumb if he asked how he got out to the ship without a boat. Right now he had to worry about talking to the man. As he'd gotten older, his voice had become more... Potent. It was to the point where he didn't even talk much back on his own ship because some of the more "promiscuous" or weak willed crew were so distracted by it. It was disheartening, but he'd live. Those were men that he'd known all his life and if they were that distracted by his voice, he could only imagine what it would do to this poor-
He had to stop himself from smiling. [#b867f9 "I'm not important."] The teen replied softly. Getting found out by the other crew members wouldn't be ideal at this point. Besides, the man still hadn't let him go. If his voice didn't work its magic soon, he'd been in a world of trouble. His caretakers wouldn't let him leave the boat anymore. [#b867f9 "I just..."] He stopped and looked at the man when the realization. Had he said [i "My boat?"] Oh shit. This was the captain. All of the sudden a great ton of pressure seemed to mount upon him. [#b867f9 "Was curious..? How about you let me go and I'll be on my way."] Irving flashed him a nervous smile while his heart thundered in his chest. The man's expression hadn't changed much. His eye wasn't getting misty and he wasn't getting that sappy expression. If anything he looked grumpier. What the...
The merman's smile faded and was replaced by a confused frown. Odd. Even if he was speaking quietly, this level was usually enough to put most people into at least something of a daze that made them more pliable and easy to work with. Hell, that was why he was usually brought on shopping trips to make the deals go in their favor. He didn't try and wriggle out of the man's grip, he just stared into that devastatingly beautiful face and tried to figure out just what was going on. [#b867f9 "I'm really not trying to do anything to sabotage you. I just..."] Irving fidgeted. This was so embarrassing. [#b867f9 "I saw you and I wanted to get a closer look. You guys are new to the harbor and I've never seen your boat before. I got curious."] The boy shrugged and continued to watch the man. [#b867f9 "All right... So I wasn't interested in the boat."] Irving admitted with a sigh. Something about this man was just too intimidating to come up with a lie. Honestly he was just hoping that if he kept talking to him that his voice would finally have an effect with him and he'd be able to escape.
[#b867f9 "I mean, I was at first. I just wanted to get a look and then continue on with my look, but then I saw you and I..."] A soft blush rose in his cheeks. [#b867f9 "I really, really should go now. Preferably right now."] Before he went and spilled all of his guts to this man and made him think he was just flattering him to get free.
Harley remembered a lot of things. He remembered his brother dying for seemingly no reason - as his father described it 'it was his time to go' - and then his sister going for the exact same reason. He was lucky that he figured out what was going on before he and his mother suffered the same fate. The same mother who, after he had disposed of his father in a fit of rage, admitted to turning a blind eye to the murders. He, of course, remembered her taking his eye before he killed her. And all of that, in the end, had been for money. Claims to their lives, wasted.
They had asked if he wanted the money for the brutal attack on the family, thinking it had been a...robbery gone wrong. He accepted the money, and took it to skip the town he was living in and then make a living bounty hunting. Vigilante business on the side? It was nothing special. The best part of it was taking over a pirate ship, and being top boss as though it had been his to start with. Nobody stood up to him save maybe a few, but after a quick talk-down, they stood for him.
Now, docked at Flet Shary, he was trying to figure out what they needed while his crew partied at nearby bars and taverns. A checklist in hand, a few of his crew stayed behind to help him count rations. Joking around, one of the crew slapped him on the shoulder, "You sure we don't need any more beer, Boss?"
He smiled back, nodding a few times before crossing beer off the list, [#4682B4 "If only I could order a few cases of sobriety for you lot."] He wrote water in its place. It was as close as he'd get. He would have to stop for repairs on his sword but he had no jobs as of late. That could wait. Wandering aimlessly for months was part of the job.
He leaned against the railing of the ship, mulling over what else they might need. Food, check. Water, check. Beer, add a few check marks there. He glanced to his side, at the water just below them. It wasn't that big of a difference, but the water had been disturbed. He moved away from the edge and around a corner where the captain's quarters were. All he had to do now was wait, and behold! A small man climbing up the side, peeking over the edge of the ship. How had nobody but him noticed?
The question was now, did he confront him? Well, of course he should before another of the crew did. He quickly rounded the corner and grabbed this would-be stalker off the edge of the ship and onto the deck out of sight of the others. [#4682B4 "Who are you?"] he whispered, [#4682B4 "and [i why] are you climbing up the side of my ship?"]
It had been about seventeen years since his “parents” had found him. Found being the loosest term for it. What had actually happened, that they had managed to tell him through uncharacteristic weeping and solemnity, was that they had heard that a mermaid had a treasure that she was fiercely protecting and only the bravest crew could vanquish her. So, the band had weighed anchor and departed from their main port in Shuowana and set out to hunt down this legendary beast. They soon found her with the chest that the stories had all mentioned. The mermaid fought them until the bitter end. Once they obtained the chest they looked inside and found not gold and coin as they had hoped- or even spices or other such luxuries. What they had found inside that chest was a baby merfolk wearing a strange amulet; more specifically baby Irving. Wracked with guilt the pirates took in the infant and swore to bring him up to be strong like his mother had been.
It wasn’t long after they had taken the infant in, that they became aware of what the amulet did. Once he was out of the water, he had two legs like a human would and once he was once again submerged in water, his fins returned. This made raising the child much easier. They were able to pretend that he was human- at least most of the time. His voice had a mesmerizing quality to it which meant that they had to teach him to be quiet around strangers that weren’t used to his voice and he was not, under no circumstances, to sing. Ever. And as much as the boy longed to sing, he obeyed. After hearing what his beloved caretakers had been willing to do to his mother, he understood that humans were very dangerous. Even so, he did like to sneak off the boat to go swimming from time to time. He was part fish, it was literally in his blood. Keeping him out of the water was going against his nature. His caretakers knew this, so perhaps that was why they turned a blind eye to his nightly excursions. Tonight, however, they encouraged him to go out and do whatever he wanted- within reason and nothing too dangerous Irving- for his eighteenth birthday.
After pocketing the money that they had given him and holding a small celebration with them, he dove off the bow of the boat and into the waiting sea. As always there was a dizzying moment as everything changed around to let him breath. After so many years of swimming he was used to it, so the sensation that used to take a minute to shake off was shaken in mere seconds and he was off. Irving wasn’t sure where he was going to go this time, but decided not to worry too much about it. He’d let the crew worry for him. Despite having killed his mother in cold blood, they really were like family to him. Sure, he had been horrified to learn what they had done, but he could also see the genuine remorse in their eyes when they talked about what had happened and occasionally when they thought he wasn’t looking. Murderers or no, they were his family. Family worried about family, right?
Irving shook off these thoughts and lazily swam around the harbor. No thoughts of family right now. It was just him and the ocean. Maaaybe he’d go out and sing something? Really push the limitations that had been set upon him? Or he could go and check out the new boats that had sailed in. It was still too early in the evening to attempt something like that. With that settled in his mind he swam lower and weaved lazily through the anchors until he reached a spot that had been previously unoccupied. [#b867f9 ‘Hm…’] He skirted around the ship and found a spot where he could surface without being spotted. There really wasn’t much activity on deck- which wasn’t that surprising. The real action was in the tavern. Usually only a guard or two were left behind to watch the ship. Speaking of guards… Irving slunk back closer to the ship, so he was more obscured. [#b867f9 “..!”] He gasped softly. That was a beautiful guard. Irving watched the man for a bit longer before sinking beneath the water. This man warranted a closer look. He swam over to the anchor and started climbing the chain slowly. It would be difficult at first with his very long, very heavy tail, but once his fins were out of the water he’d be able to use his feet to get the rest of the way up. It wasn’t as if he’d never made a climb like this before. It was slow work, but eventually the last of his fins were out of the water and he had feet again. The transition had him stop to catch his breath and give his arms a bit of a rest. He was so close- he wasn’t going to give up now. The boy continued climbing until he could peek though the railing. Huh? Where was the guard?
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