The Trouble with Tridents: Part Two
Firi found it quite amusing to watch her friend manically searching the surrounding area. His long Draik tail twitching as he swam from place to place, and his big Draik ears reacting to every sound he heard. It was not the first time Sei had lost his trident (and probably not the last), but he always panicked and was always going on about the dangers of a lost trident. Firi wondered why King Kelpbeard even trusted the guards with these obviously dangerous items in the first place.
"If a Neopian who is not used to handling the trident gets a hold of it, they could damage it or the buildings nearby and of course they would blame me!" Sei complained as he kept on searching. "Or if a petpet finds it and plays with it, it could get dirty and I just polished it this morning! It would be really bad as well if one of Captain Scarblade's spies would get a hand on the trident, because then they would be able to figure out the secret of the trident and come up with an even stronger weapon." He continued, and Firi just rolled her eyes. "But of course, the most important thing is to make sure the trident is not anywhere near the Bubbling pit because that could have dire consequences for the whole of Maraqua!"
"I never really understood that, by the way." Firi interrupted. "How would Maraqua be in danger if a trident fell into the Bubbling pit?"
Sei stopped his searching for a moment to explain. "Well, no one knows exactly how it works, but if a strong trident falls into the Bubbling pit, its power disturbs the currents and Maraqua could yet again be swallowed by a giant whirlpool. My trident might not be strong enough to cause this whirlpool, but the effects would cause citywide damages to New Maraqua, which would take a lot of time and effort to repair."
"Well, then what are we waiting for? Let us go to the Bubbling pit right now to make sure it is nowhere near it!" Firi said, and Sei nodded in agreement.
They arrived at the Bubbling pit, holding their breath, and hoping for the best. They started searching around the edge of the hole in the ocean floor, but did not find anything. As they searched, all Firi found was a lot of big and beautiful seashells. Firi's attention was soon transferred from the disaster of the trident to the need to fill her bag full of shells. Sei did not notice Firi was distracted until he had searched most of the pit by himself. Firi was too preoccupied with looking and counting her bounty that she did not notice the look on Sei's face.
"Firi, my dear friend, what do you think you are doing?" Sei asked with a sweet voice and Firi looked up at her friend with a look of embarrassment.
"I am doing my job, of course." Firi tried to excuse herself, but Sei was too used to Firi's dedication to her work that he only rolled his eyes.
"Well, I cannot find the trident anywhere around the edges, and it is not in the Bubbling pit, either." Sei said with relief and actually looked like he could breathe again.
"Where did you have it last? Can you remember?" Firi asked, but most of her attention was focused on her bag that was filling up nicely with seashells.
"No, sorry, I have no idea. I had so much work to do today." Sei sounded stressed out and a bit confused. "I cannot remember where I had it last."
"Why am I not surprised?" Firi mumbled to herself as she threw the bag of seashells over her shoulder. "So, what are we going to do, then?"
"I guess we will have to retrace my steps and visit all of the places I visited during my shift today." Sei's voice was determined and Firi could see that Sei was prepared to search the whole of Maraqua as long as they found the trident eventually. "If I remember correctly, my first assignment involved the Fishing Vortex. Do you remember? I told you about it earlier." Sei continued, and Firi nodded in agreement even though she did not recall him telling her anything about it.
"Then what are we waiting for!? To the seashe-- I mean, to the Vortex!" Firi made a cheerful little dance as she started swimming towards the Vortex. She used her left claw to create a rhythm and her tentacles moved pleasantly with it. Sei chuckled softly to himself as he followed her. Firi had always been somewhat strange, but he rather liked it, and even though he could never have imagined being friends with a Mutant growing up, he was more than happy they had found each other.
As they got closer to the Vortex, Firi lagged more and more behind since everywhere they swam, Firi found a new shell to add to her bag. There really was no such thing as "no time to dwell" in Firi's vocabulary. Sei swam into the Vortex only to find the whole place in chaos. It was temporarily closed due to 'maintenance', which apparently was due to Sei's earlier visit where he had been supposed to discretely dump the castle's excess items in the Fishing Vortex.
An angry Maraquan Grarrl swam up to Sei and growled: "Sei, trident keeper, what have you done to my precious Vortex?"
Sei did not understand what the Grarrl was talking about and looked back at him with a confused look on his face. "I do not know. What I have done?"
"There are so many unusual and strange items in the Vortex, we had to close the place down for maintenance." The Grarrl continued, "The usual prizes we promise our customers were nowhere to be found, and instead they pulled up things like Blueberry Fish Pop, Clamade, Fish and Rhubarb Burgers, Fresh Seaweed Pie and Iced Fish Cake."
Sei laughed nervously and realised he had mistaken the castles excess item bag for the castle's food waste bag. Trying to cover up his mistake, he said: "Well, obviously the castle must have provided me with the wrong bag of items. I assure you that I will have a word with them so that this never happens again."
This time Firi joined them in the conversation and looked at Sei with narrowed eyes.
"I am sure you will." She muttered, and Sei discretely nudged her to be quiet.
The Grarrl missed this little byplay and nodded with a small smile. "Yes, please do. This has never happened before and our customers are not happy about it." Firi knew this fact already as she had met a horde of angry Maraquans and tourists outside the cave, and because of their bad mood none of them had wanted to sell her their precious seashell necklaces or shells. At least, she had managed to refer some of them to the Seashell shop as a way to brighten their moods.
"Is there anything Sei can do to help right now?" Firi asked with glee in her voice and Sei aimed a look of horror at her.
"Oh, no, it is okay." The Grarrl said, "We have almost found every wrong item in the Vortex already. Our staff is very dedicated to keep the Vortex running smoothly and I am very proud of them." Sei's sigh of relief could be heard throughout the cave and Firi wrinkled her nose.
"I am happy you got it under control." She said happily and pushed Sei out of the cave.
"You really should have helped them to correct your mistake." She then commented and Sei nodded in agreement.
"I know." Sei pouted and looked at her with big innocent eyes. "But it was my first time delivering to the Fishing Vortex."
"Sei, you are the biggest klutz this side of the ocean." Firi snorted with a smile, and Sei smiled back.
"But you like me anyway?"
"Of course I do. You are my best friend, but let us leave before they discover anything else that might have been thrown into the Vortex that you cannot make an excuse for."
As they left the Vortex behind, they heard a voice of horror coming from the cave. "What are these Mysterious Draik Gloves doing in here? This could not have been the castle's fault. SEI!!!"
They turned around to look and out of the cave swam the Grarrl with a thunderous look on his face. Firi and Sei quickly hid in a huge kelp forest not far from the Whirlpool.
"One of these days that Grarrl will not forgive you." Firi shook her head with a fond look, and Sei nodded in agreement.
"My next assignment was to deliver a Container of Purple Liquid to the Petpet shop." Sei tried to recall his day as perfectly as possible, and Firi hummed as she was digging under a huge kelp for a shell she could see was stuck under the massive roots.
"I remember I was swimming from the Vortex and then I took a shortcut through the Whirlpool."
Firi looked up at Sei with big eyes. "A shortcut through the pool?" That did not make any sense to her, and she got a bad feeling about it.
"Yes, the currents from the pools will push you almost all the way into Maraqua if you time it perfectly." Sei said with a voice full of happiness. He loved to use the pool as a quick transport when he had to get somewhere really fast, and today he had used it to get to the Petpet shop because he had been running a bit late.
Firi got hold of the shell eventually and cackled with glee when she saw the size of it. "Then let us go to the pool." The seashell bag was getting quite heavy by now, but Firi did not mind as she had a very picky boss to please and the more seashells her boss had to choose from the better.
"Right, here we are!" Sei said with a smile, but the smile disappeared when he saw that not everything was quite right at the Whirlpool.
To be continued…