Vol 2: Chapter Seventeen – The Origin of The Chandecobra

The next evening came and although the storm still wasn’t as aggressive as they feared, all signs pointed towards it picking up during the night. So the crew, with the help of our party, spent most of the day making sure everything on the ship was extra secure and everyone knew their tasks when the storm would hit. It was now late in the evening and Cobal, Mana and Kimi were sitting in the main underground
They’d found Old Goof gambling his money away and were looking at the game to see what it was like. It didn’t seem to be particularly complicated. It was probably more of a case where no matter what you did, it was better than nothing. Goof wasn’t exactly winning but he still seemed to be in a good mood.
“So what’s the story behind this ship?” Cobal asked Goof.
“Where did the name Chandecobra come from? It’s not a word I know of. Is it some sort of creature?”
“Oh, you’d have to ask the captain about that, he can tell you.” Goof looked around until he spotted Captain Ferla sitting elsewhere eating some bread.
“Captain, these folks want to know the story of the Chandecobra.”
“I’ll be right with you,” Ferla replied with his thundering voice that even when he didn’t intend to be loud, still was easily heard from across the room.
Captain Ferla got up and moved to sit down next to Cobal. “You see, I wasn’t always the captain of my own ship. When I was a young boy, I set out to join a sailor’s crew. Our captain was Jasen Farseer, a well known captain in his time. We traveled aboard his Fallbaran from town to town, trading goods and transporting people. It was a particularly stormy day, and the rain and wind were harrowing our ship. The weather was much worse than it is right now, and some of us were worried we weren’t going to make it back to shore. We could see the Ravadier Peninsula on the horizon, but getting there in this storm would take more luck than skill. That’s when one of the sailors spotted something strange on the waves. There, in the distance, there was a figure standing on the waves, riding them up and down as if they were solid ground. The figure looked like a human if not for the snakes protruding from their head. Each of the snakes seemed to have a will of its own. I remember thinking it looked like a candelabra made out of snakes. Shortly after we spotted the figure the wind hit the ship again and we had to focus on staying afloat. By the time we looked again, we couldn’t see the figure anymore. Those who didn’t actually see it say we’re lying about it or we’d just gone crazy, but those of us who saw the creature know what we saw. There’s still stories being told about it among sailors and rumor has it we also weren’t the only ones to see a strange creature like that. Anyway, after that I thought of the name Chandecobra and decided that if I ever got my own ship, then that’s what I would call it. Perhaps it would help in seeing this creature again, I am still very curious about what that was.” They heard a loud noise from outside and then heavy footfalls before the trap door swung open. “Captain, the storm’s getting real bad out here,” a voice rang.
Ferla got up. “All hands on deck, let’s make sure we get through this alive.”

The next few hours were harrowing and they all worked throughout the evening to try and stop the ship from getting swallowed by the waves. By the time the sun was completely gone and it was dark on all sides they realized they’d been pushed awfully close to shore. With the threat of crashing looming over all of their heads they made the decision to try and beach the ship. The rocky cliff sides were broken up here and there by sandy beaches that would definitely damage the ship, but get them all to safety. Getting there was a different story though. Cobal was working with Goof on the deck making sure that none of the ropes were coming loose. Mana, Kimi and Mirgia were down below and Cobal had no idea where Dylon was. He was probably helping out somewhere else.
“Cobal, come here,” a voice shouted from across the deck.
Cobal made his way across, making sure the rope that was tied to his waist didn’t get stuck behind anything. Everyone was wearing ropes which made walking around a lot more difficult, but it would prevent them from being swept away and never be seen from again. Cobal already had to help one of the sailors back up on the ship who was tossed to the side. The man had to be brought downstairs with a severely broken leg from crashing into the side of the ship. But that was still a lot better than death.
“What’s up?” Cobal asked Goof, who was the one that called him over.
“That there rope got loose and this crate is being mighty unwilling to stay in place, can you go get it for me?”
Cobal looked at where Goof pointed and nodded. “I’m on it.”
He stepped in between two other crates that were still being held to the deck, although one of them was shaking quite a bit, making Cobal worried the ropes on it would snap next. He saw the rope that Goof was talking about, but it was violently moving around in the wind.
“Be careful over there, some of those planks got loose earlier.” One of the other sailors yelled from a distance. Cobal minded the spots and got to the rope. Right as he was about to grab it, a gust of wind hit the ship and everyone either tumbled or held on for dear life. As Cobal grabbed the railing, one of the ropes came right at him and hit him in the side, throwing him across the deck.
“Woah there Cobal, you good?” Goof asked, getting up from being pushed over himself and quickly making his way over.
“I’m fine, I think.” He tried standing up but struggled more than he would have liked. “Actually I don’t think I’m fine,” he replied, gritting his teeth. “I might have to lie down if I’m honest.”
Goof nodded. “I’ll get you below deck, hold on to me.”
Cobal limped across the deck and down below.

The situation below deck was chaotic too. Mana was running around bringing food and drinks to the people who were either resting or hurt. Cobal was the fourth injured person to go down below. Luckily the crew was larger than it needed to be specifically for occasions like this. Mana explained why Ferla decided to do this and why it was such a good idea. Back in her old world, companies would often hire exactly enough people for the job they needed to be done. This would sometimes result in problems when people quit or got ill and they couldn’t immediately find replacements for those people. The companies would just hope that the existing employees would pick up the slack so they could avoid paying a few extra people a constant wage. It sounded like pretty irresponsible stuff, but it could also depend on the kind of job, Mana had explained.
Cobal made his way to their lodgings where Mirgia was laying on his bed, awake. He looked up as Cobal entered the room. “Easy there, are you okay?” He asked, seeing the way Cobal limped inside. Goof popped up behind him. “He got hit by a rope pretty badly, he needs to at least lay down and get something cold to cool down the wound.”
Mirgia nodded. “I’m on it.” He got up and took a moment to steady himself. He looked pretty pale himself. It seemed his motion sickness was a lot worse when the weather was this intense.
Cobal laid down and waited for Mirgia to come back. Instead of Mirgia, Mana returned to the room first, bringing a moist towel and some water. “How are you doing?” She asked.
I’m fine, probably just badly bruised. I’ve had worse, but with how much the ship shakes I can’t be careful and still do any work. I’d probably just get in the way.”
“You would,” Goof said. He grinned. “I’m going back out there, thanks for your help and hopefully it’s not that badly bruised.” He nodded once and then left the room, leaving the two alone.
Mana let out a deep sigh. “Okay, let’s have a look at the wound.” She carefully felt the bruised spot after Cobal took off his tunic. “I’m no doctor, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be that color,” she said. She took the towel and carefully put it on the wound. Cobal grimaced. It definitely stung pretty badly, but the way it felt he was pretty confident nothing was broken.
“Turns out ropes can be pretty tough if enough force is applied to them.”
Mana nodded. “Not surprising, adding velocity to anything will make it hurt more.” She looked weary.
“Is everything alright with you?” Cobal asked.
Mana nodded. “I’m fine, I’m fine. Just need to make it through this, that’s all. We’ll be fine.”
At this point Cobal had known her long enough to pick up on the fact that she wasn’t fine. “You’re doing great, you know that right?”
She looked at him and nodded. “I know.” He saw tears welling up and before long the tears were streaming down her face. “I can’t do this.” She said, “I want to go home.”
Cobal sat back up and grabbed her hand. “Look at me.” She looked at the small tankard of water next to him, avoiding his gaze. “Look at me, Mana.”
Hesitantly she did look at him, eyes still streaming down her face. “You’re going to be okay. I know that it’s hard right now, but we can’t go back home. Captain Ferla is a very capable man and Goof told me they’ve gone through storms that are much, much scarier than this. They’ve always been fine, and down below we’re completely safe. It’ll be a bit of a rough trip for a little while but before you know it we’ll be in Rildar. There we can take a day or two to compose ourselves, how’s that sound?”
Mana nodded and sniffled. Cobal offered her a handkerchief that admittedly looked borderline offensive. It’d gotten pretty dirty back in Fitseren and although he transferred it to his clean clothes he hadn’t found the time to take off all the dirt stuck to it. After Mana blew her nose Cobal laughed. “I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s some dirt stuck to your nose. May I?”
She nodded and he carefully wiped it off. “Lovely,” he remarked, wiping his hand on the wet towel that was on his wound. He winced again, touching the wound definitely wasn’t a smart move. “We’re going to be fine.”
Mana sniffled again and nodded. “I’m sorry, sometimes I get panic attacks like this. Even when things go well, suddenly the anxiety will just spike out of nowhere. It really sucks because you can be having a great day and then one intrusive thought will completely throw you off. Now it’ll take a while to recover.” She sighed. “I’m sorry.”
Cobal shook his head. “What are you apologizing for? Like I said, you’re doing great. Look back to the day we met. I didn’t think you’d last a week on the road. Now people are starting to actually see you as the hero. I have no doubt you’ll do great things, remember that.”
“What if I don’t want to do great things?”
Cobal laughed which made the wound hurt more, but he couldn’t stop himself.
Mana looked at him kind of shocked.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh at you.” He clasped his hands together. “Look, I’ve only known you for a short while, but I’m not a dense person.” He paused. “Well, not that dense. I can see that your summoning wasn’t an accident. If you don’t want to do great things and be a hero, that’s okay. But if I’m completely honest I don’t believe it for a moment. You’re a kind person, and if people need your help, you’ll be there for them. That’s what heroes do. They don’t have to slice up entire armies or cast city destroying spells. Real heroes are people who lift those around them up.” Cobal chuckled. “I can’t believe that I’ve changed my stance on this so much in a short time. Half a year ago I would have told you that real heroes fought armies, but that’s no longer how I feel.”
He looked at Mana who now had a smile on her face, although there was still a trail where the tears had been just a moment ago. “You’re already a hero, Mana. And I’m very glad that I get to be friends with the hero that’s going to save my kingdom.” He reached out his arms and hugged her. She squeezed her arms around him and he yelped out in pain. “Maybe no hugs yet,” he said, quickly recoiling. “Not until this heals a bit.”
They both looked at each other and laughed.

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