Carpathia III: Episode 87: The Island
Exploring the island took very little time, though the small size didn't make it any less interesting. Back at the village, Jaze saw that there were little springs which burbled up water in a few places, but nothing like the torrent that flushed up from the top of the hill on this island like a kind of water volcano.
Kagurain started his tour of the island at a bridge that crossed the foot of the waterfall. The bridge was old and significantly decayed, even with flowers growing in the moss running down the center. Besides the castle and bridge, there were many other minor artifacts scattered everywhere, all of which appeared to be centuries old and worn to the point of being unrecognizable.
Jaze followed Kagurain throughout the island and listened as he proudly and animatedly pointed out every feature as though it were a grandiose part of his realm. Even through his own melancholy, Jaze managed to giggle a few times at the stories Kagurain managed to concoct for even the most insignificant features of the landscape.
Later, Kagurain flounced away without explanation, leaving Jaze and Ryuu alone. Jaze sat on the bridge with his feet dangling over the side holding the gun he took from Rhoskel's dead hand while Ryuu sat next to him.
Jaze: What do you think, Ryuu? Should I just throw this in the water and forget about it?
Jaze held up the gun, making sure the dangerous end was not pointed at anything living.
Ryuu: You never know when we might need it.
Jaze turned the gun around in his hand again.
Jaze: Maybe. I don't like it, though. I don't know how to use it or if it might go off accidentally.
Ryuu held up his paw and pointed at a switch near the trigger.
Ryuu: What about that little switch? It says "safe" next to it.
Jaze looked closely at the spot that Ryuu indicated. Indeed there was a switch with the word "safe," partially obscured by blood, etched into the metal. Jaze moved the switch into the safe position.
Jaze: Don't move. I'm going to try this out.
Jaze pointed the gun towards the water and carefuly wrapped his finger around the trigger. Holding his breath and looking away, he squeezed gently at first. Nothing happened. He continued to squeeze harder and harder and still, nothing happened. Satisfied, Jaze released the trigger and lowered the gun.
Jaze: Well, I guess that worked. I'm not really sure I want to have this reminder of what happened, but it's the only thing I have of Rhoskel.
Ryuu put his paw on Jaze's arm.
Ryuu: Nothing has to be decided now. You can get rid of it later if you want.
Jaze reached over and scratched behind Ryuu's ears.
For a few moments, they listened to the water rush by in silence until Kagurain unexpectedly appeared behind them.
Kagurain: Oh, that's Thirteen's gun!
Jaze looked behind him at Kagurain and then back at the gun he was holding. Possibly, he thought, Rhoskel acquired the gun from Thirteen when he was promoted.
Kagurain: It has blood on it! Did you kill him?
Jaze: Um... no, I didn't. I got this from... somebody else.
Kagurain scrunched his face up in disappointment.
Kagurain: Aw, that's too bad. He was a terrible person. Anyway, come! I got some extra fish and it's on the fire right now!
Once again, Kagurain skipped away merrily, leaving Jaze and Ryuu to themselves. Feeling rather peckish, Jaze stood up, wondering what sort of cooking could possibly be done on that island. Before he could move, however, he felt a tug at his shirt.
Ryuu: Hey, should we tell him about his brother?
Jaze sighed deeply and tucked the gun into his belt loop.
Jaze: I'll have to, eventually. I don't think he wants to know, since he hasn't asked me anything yet. I'm still trying to figure this out myself, honestly. It's like he's a ten-year-old in a teenager's body.
Flapping beside Jaze, Ryuu put his paw to his mouth and scratched his head with the other.
Ryuu: Hmmm... I guess I should leave stuff like this to you.
Jaze: Anyway, let's see how well this kid can cook, eh?
Ryuu perched himself on top of Jaze's shoulder just as he started to walk away.
Ryuu: How are you holding up? You seem a little bit better.
Jaze sighed again.
Jaze: Better, I guess. I don't know. I have a lot to work out. I want to learn more about Kagurain, though. I think he's been here for a very long time.
Together, Jaze and Ryuu went back to Kagurain's castle, another worn, ancient curiousity on the island, to see what he was cooking up for dinner. There wasn't much to it. There was just some fish roasting on a grill, seasoned with simple spices, what they presumed to be salt and some sort of pepper. Similarly seasoned was the leaves of some of the nearby bushes. Kagurain served each of them a helping of fish and greens on a small, wooden plank.
Kagurain: Same thing every day. Sorry. This is what I got.
Jaze took the plank and pinched off a piece of fish. The wood had given it a nice, smoky flavor and even the salt added a little zest to it. The greens were a different story, however. One sniff and he wasn't sure if he wanted to try it. Sure enough, it was like eating boiled bay leaves. The flavor was as pungent and bitter as the smell. Jaze did his best to appear as though he were enjoying it, but he failed miserably.
Kagurain: Yeah, I know. You'll get used to it.
It quickly became clear that Kagurain had a tendency to disappear suddenly, as it had already happened several times that day. After dinner, Jaze looked up and he was gone again. Everything added up to him being as random and unpredictable as any little kid. Jaze and Ryuu strolled the short distance from the castle to the rocky shore below the waterfall. He sat down and tossed a stone into the water while Ryuu snuggled beside him.
Ryuu: I can go find him, if you want.
Jaze: Nah, he can clearly take care of himself. He seems to have gotten through his ordeal at the compound in decent shape. He still needs help, though.
Not long after, Jaze heard Kagurain's voice behind him.
Turning around, both Jaze and Ryuu were stunned into silence by what they saw. Standing behind them was Kagurain. His pants were unzipped and pulled down to his upper thighs, revealing a very impressive stiffy. Jaze looked away almost as soon as he realized what he was seeing.
Jaze: Gah! Jeez, Kagurain, what are you doing?
Kagurain: Jaze, sometimes my pee pee stands up. Is there something wrong with it?
Without turning around, Jaze thought quickly before he spoke again.
Jaze: No, Kagurain, that's perfectly healthy. You... um... know what to do to make it feel better?
Kagurain: Well, if I rub it a lot, then...
Jaze heard all he need to hear and interrupted right away.
Jaze: Yes, yes, that's right. You go somewhere and do that. When you're done, come back and I'll explain what that's all about.
Jaze still didn't turn around, but was relieved to hear Kagurain's footsteps trotting away from him.
Ryuu: Can you explain to me too? There's still a lot I don't know.
Jaze rolled his eyes and gazed off towards the setting sun.
Jaze: I guess we should build a campfire. This is going to take awhile.
Commissioned art in this episode from:
All city pictures from SimCity 4