The Trouble with Tridents: Part Four
Firi and Sei left through the same air vent they had entered the Kelp restaurant through earlier. The Krawk had tried to follow them, but had gotten stuck in the ducts. Sei swam back and forth, worried about his trident, while Firi calmly collected her bag full of seashells behind the dumpster. Sei could not understand why Firi was so calm.
"Firi! Do you not understand? Captain Scarblade's spies will find the trident and all of Maraqua will be threatened! There will be a second curse!" Sei exclaimed with panic in his voice, while waving his arms around. His Draik ears looked even bigger than usual and his long tail was almost in a knot.
Firi just smiled softly and looked at Sei. He was always so overdramatic. Firi on the other hand was completely calm; she knew they had an advantage to the spies.
"Sei, my dear friend, please calm down. Do you not understand? You and I have searched the whole of Maraqua by now for that trident and it has taken us several hours. The only place we have left to look is the castle where you started your shift and the spies have no way of knowing that. So while they are roaming around Maraqua in search for that trident, we will calmly swim by the castle and collect it."
But just as Firi had finished her sentence, they heard an evil chuckle behind the corner from where they were standing. Krick, the other spy from the restaurant, had been waiting for them outside to eavesdrop on them in order to find out more about the trident.
"Thank you, Kelpbeard's loyal subjects, my boss will be very eager to hear about this." Krick said before he quickly swam away.
Sei glared at Firi, who gave an embarrassed chuckle and held her bag of seashells closer to her chest. Her tentacles twitched awkwardly and she almost ripped the bag with one of her sharp claws.
"Now what are we going to do?" Sei asked, feeling helpless.
Firi, trying to make up for her earlier mistake, said with her most motivational voice: "Are you a royal guard, a keeper of the trident, and a trusted servant to Kelpbeard, or are you not? Will you stand by and watch as Scarblade once again covers this land in darkness, or will you stand up and fight for what is right and--"
"Uh, Firi, point taken, okay? Let us get to the castle before the spies do. I know a shortcut." Sei interrupted, unimpressed.
Firi flinched at the word 'shortcut' and said in a pleading voice: "No, please, not another incident like the whirlpool!"
"This will not be like the whirlpool. Come on, I will show you." Sei answered and started to push Firi in the right direction, which was harder than he thought due to the weight of her bag of seashells, which was now overflowing with shells of all shapes and sizes.
Sei took Firi through narrow paths she had never been on before in the huge coral reef reaching from the city all the way to the castle. The paths did not follow a logical pattern and Firi wondered how Sei managed to navigate through them successfully. The sides of the pathways were covered with seashells and Firi had to stop every few meters to collect some more, which made her bag even bigger and more heavy that she could barely fit it through the narrow paths, much less carry it by herself despite of her strong claws.
They exited the coral reefs close to the side entrance of the castle where Sei earlier had picked up the wrong bag to deliver to the Fishing Vortex. As they entered the castle, Sei got a glimpse of the bag he had been supposed to deliver and joyfully nudged Firi while pointing at the bag.
"You klutz." Firi said with a wink.
They quickly made their way towards the guardroom and Sei's locker where the trident had to be, but when they got there and opened the locker it was empty except for Sei's keeper outfit and trident polishing gear.
Firi's first comment when they opened the locker was: "I must say I am surprised your locker is in such a good order."
Sei looked offended. "I take my job very seriously, and for your information, my trident is known as the shiniest of them all."
"Why does that not surprise me?" Firi mumbled.
Suddenly, another trident keeper entered the guardroom and interrupted their conversation. She was a Maraquan Blumaroo, and known as the best keeper of them all. Her trident was the most powerful and King Kelpbeard's first choice as a replacement for his own. She was startled to see Sei and Firi there, but quickly regained her composure.
"Sei, what are you doing here? Your shift ended hours ago." She began, but before Sei had time to answer she continued: "Never mind that, we have a situation at the main gate at the moment. Several of Captain Scarblade's spies have turned up out of nowhere and I came here to collect my trident to try and chase them off. I do not understand why they would be so bold and show up here at the castle. Something big must have drawn them here."
Sei and Firi looked uncomfortable but did not say anything. They followed the keeper to the main gate where they saw the other guards fighting against the spies. The Maraquan Blumaroo joined the fight, but Sei and Firi swam up the main wall to the roof of the castle. From there, they started throwing seashells from Firi's bag at the spies' heads, distracting them, while the Blumaroo used her trident to defeat the Krawks swiftly and efficiently. Sei was astounded by the flawless technique the Blumaroo used when fighting with her trident, and he understood why she had been trusted with the strongest spare trident of them all. Firi did not care about the fight that much, she was more worried about her seashells. It will take me a while to collect all of these seashells when the battle is over, she thought, and sighed. However, she was still happy to help in the fight against Captain Scarblade, and help her friend.
When the fighting was over and the spies had scattered, Firi and Sei joined the guards down by the main gate. The Maraquan Blumaroo was smiling proudly and the guards were congratulating each other. Yet again had they defeated Captain Scarblade and saved Maraqua from his evil plans. Only, none of the guards were sure what the spies had had in mind this time, and they turned to Sei.
"Sei, do you have any idea why Captain Scarblade's spies attacked the castle?" The Maraquan Bluamroo asked.
"Uh, no, of course not. I am not supposed to be here anyway, my shift ended hours ago. So, uh, you are all very fortunate that I was here and could help you defeat the spies. You are all welcome! But, uh, I have to go now, so, bye!"
Sei quickly swam away from the other guards, who just shrugged at each other in response to what Sei had just said. He grabbed Firi, who was manically collecting all of the thrown seashells, and they swam back towards the city.
On the way back, Sei was getting depressed about the situation and mumbled to himself: "I am such a useless keeper. I will never find my trident. They should never have given me the trident in the first place. It is probably lying in a hole somewhere, alone, and getting dirtier by the minute, and I will never get it clean again."
Sei's bad mood could not dampen Firi's spirit, however, because the extremely heavy bag full of seashells would make her boss very happy.
"I have to go back to the Seashell shop now, Sei. Maybe we could keep looking for the trident later?" She suggested.
"The Seashell shop!" Sei suddenly cried out.
"What?" Firi asked.
"I went by the Seashell shop earlier, before I went to the Petpet shop, to ask you if you wanted to have lunch with me, but you were not there!"
"Then what are we waiting for? Let us go!" Firi said happily, and they both swam back to the shop as fast as the heavy bag would allow them to. Sei had to help Firi carry the bag all the way and when they reached the shop they were both exhausted. Firi's boss greeted them by the door, and her eyes sparkled when she saw the huge bag of seashells.
"You are such a good employee, Firi, I could not be more proud of you." She said giggling, and carried the heavy bag into the shop like it did not weigh anything.
Firi and Sei watched her with envy, but then followed her into the shop.
"Have you seen my trident?" Sei asked, still slightly out of breath.
"Why, yes, you left it here earlier. I kept it behind the counter; I did not want it to get lost. It would be dangerous if it got into the wrong hands." She answered with a happy voice, and Firi and Sei gave each other a tired look as she handed Sei the trident.
Sei was so happy to finally have his trident back that he hugged it so hard and accidently fired a water beam at the back wall of the shop. The wall broke and a wave of seashells welled out on the floor, covering the whole shop. It was at least a thousand shells in all different shades and sizes. Firi looked back and forth between her bag of seashells and the shells covering the shop floor, and eventually she cried out in disbelief: "What!? I thought you said the stock was running low!?"
Her boss smiled calmly. "Well, I might have been exaggerating slightly. But you know how uncomfortable I feel when I only have a few dozen of every shade and size in stock."
"No! You have never told me that!" Firi said, feeling distraught. I have carried this bag all around Maraqua for nothing, she thought.
However, her negative feelings were quickly washed away when she saw the happiness both Sei and her boss expressed as they cleaned out the shop and rearranged the seashells. Doing this job and being friends with Sei is always going to demand a lot of hard work from me, but in the end, it is always worth it, Firi thought, and joined her friends.