The Pirate Prince wandered down the beach. He looked up to the high cliff blocking his way inland. It had stood there ever since his bearing had recovered and he had been able to stand up to take in his surroundings.
When he had, he was careful to avoid his dried vomit as he stood. A long beach stretched as far as he could see on either side, the sea pinning him under the cliff. he had decided to go to his right on an impulse, still unable to think clearly a make a rational choice. As he walked, the cliff loomed ever closer with every step until it almost brushed his shoulder. Soon enough, he was thigh deep in water, as there was no foothold on the cliff for him to walk on, and rocks a few dozen meters offshore broke up the waves enough for him to walk freely. Suddenly, he took a step into a drop off, gravity dunking him under water.
His skin now all to familiar to salt water, he swam as hard as he could against the weight his excess clothes and metal on his belt. He breached the water, clinging to the cliff to keep from going under again.
As his blood was of a distinct purple, the gills on his neck allowed him to breath underwater, but this did not stop him from preferring dry air. But his love for both this and the sea tore him for many sweeps, until he turned to piracy. It was a good medium, sating both his unusual nature and his love of thrill and riches. And even though he was a pirate famed through both the seas and land, he had his own fears, one of which was his precious ship sinking.
But now, of that he would not think. Instead, he concentrated on solving his dilemma. Should he part with what little coverings and possessions he had left, or leave them where he hovered to make the trek to land as quick and easy as possible? To make this decision, he would have to at least move to somewhere he could stand and move easily. When he found his footing again, he trudged back the way he came.
It wasn’t long before he was only knee-deep in the water, shallow enough for him to inspect his person and decide what to leave behind. His shoes went first. If he was to swim for a long while, they wouldn’t be of much help. His large coat would be useless as well. He shed it along with two pistols on either side of his waist and all of his ammo and wet gunpowder. Really, the only things he kept were necessities, such as clothing, and things he couldn’t leave alone for a singly moment, with the exception of the foreign ring he had found. For some reason, he found it strangely endearing, and he kept it if only for curiosity’s sake. Plus, there was his money, the string keeping it closed and tied to his belt reinforced and tightened. Everything else, including, reluctantly, his adornment of jewelry, he wrapped in his coat and pinned down by a large rock in the sand by the sleeves. Later, he planned to return and retrieve everything when he had the equipment.
But for now, he checked everything he had planned to keep and headed back for the drop off. Before diving in, however, he crouched to dip his face and gills into the water. It had been a long time since he had last breathed through his gills. That was the whole reason he had blacked out in the ocean. He had panicked and chocked on the seawater he should have been able to breathe through.
He took a deep breath before submerging his head in the water, taking a few moments to recall just how to breathe underwater. He concentrated on the muscles around his gills, opening them fully before letting out all the air in his lungs. Then, he sucked in a mouthful of water, careful to keep his throat closed to it. In theory, the water should travel down two other tubes leading to his gills, located just where the feeling of his throat ended. But as soon as the salt entered those tubes, the saltwater stung the unused tissue, making him inhale violently, which not only made him choke, but sucked the saltwater even faster toward his gills, tearing them up raggedly. He bolted upright, coughing viciously, and hit his back on the cliff, knocking him down.
He coughed like this for a good several minutes where he sat, his gills, throat, and lungs all sore. The fact that his legs and back were aching from the long trek to follow the cliff wasn’t helping anything, either. When his fit has subsided, he took long breaths he looked out to the sea, where the sun was hovering only a few inches above it. He sighed, cursing his situation. He had no choice but to sleep the night through in the water. Refusing to lie down in fear of getting swept away again, he leaned back onto the cliff, trying as best as he could to get comfortable before letting his weariness wash over him. He grinned sorely at the analogy, his last thought being the hope that he didn’t die from hypothermia overnight.
Slowly, he began to dream. It was dream filled with fire and water…and a long, comforting embrace.