A dark spot in the horizon of the sea caught the faintest of suspicion from the guard. The armed soldier, still in the ripe age of seeding, is stationed at the gate of The Port.Though many travel through this area, with him only recently replacing a past guard that is alleviated from his duties, he is still a bit unsure of the procedure when one spots an oddity.
A dot in the horizon? Is it a ship? Sure, it is moving quite fast.
Yet, is it a ship of great size? And what is it doing heading towards The Port? Already it is getting too close for comfort for the newly recruited guard.
The new recruit squinted his eyes as he try to pick up more details of approaching ship, mostly the sails of the ship as it often bare some kind of identity, or credential of the sailors stationed on board.
He looked closer, with the sun still high in the sky, he was thankful he could see rather well at the approaching ship.
The sail often contains an emblem, representing the identity and origin of the ship. The guard observes the sail: a fully black sail that is darker than darkness it self, with a yellow ship anchor at the middle of the emblem.
"Hmm." the guard thought to himself, "A house the dabbles in the ruthless sea? The black background of the flag that represents a past sinful deed?"
The guard thought carefully, though he is illiterate and barely educated, he is trained to at least memorise all emblems near where he lives.
Oh yes, how could he have forgotten. Thats the emblem of House Davenport!
The guard hopped on the spot as he steadied his helmet from falling off his head. With urgency, he ran over to the castle, going directly to the Lord and whispered the thing in his ears. Kent did not say anything back, instead he quickly dropped all he is doing and made his way to The Port.
Before long, Kent arrived at The Port and tried to find the ships docks. The guard ran alongside him but did not say anything, in a mere coincidence, the yellow anchor on the sails was covered by the shadows of the gigantic ship, it was so hidden that Kent could not distinguish the sail. But at the side of the hull, where a plaque was still visible after long usage, he could see a few words engraved.
"The Fair Lady" Kent read out the words. So that is the name of the ship.
"Lord! There it is! But it seems like the ship is not in the proper position yet!" the guard shouted beside the lord.
A few moments of unsuspected time passed. An eagerness filled Kents mind as he waited for the men on the ship to come off.
The watchman finally stopped at a spot where a ship seems to be waiting at. He looked at the ship carefully and noticed the Davenport emblem on the sail, but it was barely visible as Kent had to crank his neck at an awkward angle.
He then looks at the giant ship. The iron masts were stuck in the firm sand at each corner of the ship and only some of the sails and the anchor could be seen.
"How could House Davenport afford to create such a big ship? What is it doing? It is in our waters." the new guard thought to himself.
All he saw now were mere shadows, a bit scary too. "This is no great ship." the guard thought.
Kent quickly approached the ship, without any hesitation, and tried to get a better view of the ship, especially of the sail. However, the ship seemed too big for the lord to take a good look of it.
And before long a loud thud erupted as the anchor of The Fair Lady dropped into the low waves. Strong damp ropes that are thicker than ones arms grappled against The Ports cleats, stationing the gigantic ship stable with the shore.
What a beastly monstrosity this ship is. Kent thought in his head silently.
Kent rubbed his nose and tried to shake the image of this ship out of his head. The guard looked on with a helpless look on his face. "Its OK. House Davenport owns many ships. We can get used to the sight of them." the new guard replied, walking towards the ship to inspect the craft more.
Slowly but surely, the crew finally made their way out of the ship, their faces pressed against the cold, choppy seas. Some were clearly amazed of the ship itself, others were in awe of the power the vessel had. Some were highly anticipating seeing land for the first time in a while.
All but the captain, Giselle Daverport. She, despite being a person of high birth, shared no resemblance of one. Her skin wrinkles for worse for a person of her age, much due to the nature of the harsh sea. Her eyes looked closed, yet is also has a unique wariness of her surroundings, as if she could discern everything in her sight. She is old, well past the age for constant seafaring ventures. But despite this, her demeanour carried an undying spirit, an unbending will to carry forth.
As the ship mates get off of the vessel, Giselle turned her back on them and began walking towards the ships starboard, gazing out in the distant sea.
"Lord! The Lady of the Davenport is coming." Kent heard the guard announced out loud, for he and everyone else that is near.
By then, people both old and young, both women and male, have long noticed the arrival of by far the biggest merchant vessel they have seen for a while. The crowds around the docks grew in number. And guards hurriedly set up station in the ships area to prevent any rash behaviour.
Giselle stepped off of the ship. She briskly walked to the back of the ship. At a distance, she could feel the warm breeze against her face as she gazed out at the horizon. It was then that she noticed something a bit strange about her ship.
Well, she wishes that it was something she has only noticed recently, but the truth of the matter is, she know this day is coming. A wind blew by and the ship creaked from the pressure.
The captain sadly caress the wooden hull of the ship as she marvels at her beloved. The crew which she had long grew familiar with, both old and new, with many lost during the journey, agree with her assessment. The ship is old, far too old and is no longer seaworthy. Without repairs, they can no longer continue their journey across the distant seas.
Giselle knows this and is devastated. They all are, but none were hit as hard as the captain.
It was then a voice spoke up. "My lady, you
e spacing out again."
Giselle turned her head, rather slowly and regretfully as she try to enjoy the view for a while longer.
The captain looked at the men, standing before her. He had a fair complexion, and brown eyes. Aged almost half her own, she is rather proud to have such a lad as her first mate.
"Don worry Aspheus, it is nothing."
"Hmm, maybe you are right." Aspheus replied, "But its not like this is the first time. You
e a very deep sea sailor, you know that as well as I do."
The old hag laughed bitterly, "I can help it, Im old. Since the day I was born, this has been all I have done. This ship is my life."
The first mate didn have any more to say in hope of persuading his captain. "As you wish. I shall see you on the morrow then. When youve ready our next course of action."
"If the ship falls apart, it will be all your fault. If the ship catches fire, it will be all my fault. If the ship sinks, it will be all my fault. I have prepared this ship from the bottom up, I have done everything to make it strong and durable. The best anyone can ever have and I still couldn avoid the tragic end of time"
The captains eyes begin to tear up as she lifted her head towards the large body of water to the south. She has travelled for centuries, voyaging across a number of seas and she knows one day, this is where she will meet her end, but never has she expected her vessel gave up before the very end.
With herself alone upon the The Fair Ladys deck, Giselle closed her eyes and for a brief moment, let her thoughts wander as she wondered what would become of her legacy once she is gone.
She wandered away from the deck, heading towards her private quarter, it was one of the few privileges of owning a vessel, that they are entitled to sleep in their own private room.
She walked towards her cabin and knelt at the large wooden wardrobe. With a nod of her head, the wardrobe doors slowly opened and revealed a large wooden trunk, its edges were scratched from years of use. Inside sat neatly, sat all her belongings. She ran her fingers along the smooth wooden surface and inside she saw a number of dresses and suits. Most of which were stained from the sea water, but she placed them all neatly together and filled up the trunk.
As she was preparing to take the trunk back to her cabin, a knock sounded at the door. The old hag turned, her eyes narrowing in the direction of the sound.
The door opened slowly and closed behind, Giselle was expecting her first mates last pleads, but instead she was presented the face of one she was not familiar with.
As he walked past the captain, he looked directly at the old hag, his long black hair flowing down behind his shoulders and his murky eyes focusing on the captain.
"Are you Lady Giselle?" he asked.
She did not respond. Years of eking with her crew made her constantly on guard
"You are?" she asked.