Vol 24 Women of Vana'diel

This page has been archived here from official Square Enix sources. It was originally posted on 30/04/04.


#24. The Kubira-Umbira

I traveled southeast through the windswept Buburimu Peninsula, passing through the gates of the port town of Mhaura as the clock struck midnight.

Having bid my chocobo farewell, I strode toward the beckoning lamps outside the inn.

The innkeeper showed me to a small but comfortable room. I stretched out across the bed and drifted into a deep sleep.

I awoke a few hours later, my spirit rejuvenated. I headed out the second floor exit to breathe in the night air.

It was still dark outside.

Listening carefully, I heard the sound of waves lapping against the shore and the songs of the early morning’s sea birds. The warm eastern wind carried in the scents of the ocean, bringing on a wave of nostalgia.

Just standing there as the day quietly began to dawn, the town of Mhaura revealed itself to me. There were white houses protected on both sides by the enveloping cliffs. I could see the ferryboat landing in front of me.

From so far away, I could see something rocking back and forth with the waves—several small sailing vessels moored at the dock. I got my hopes up figuring that one of them had to be the Kubira-Umbira. I descended the stone staircase next to the inn.

Even drawing right up next to the ships, I was unable to discern which one might be the Kubira-Umbira. None of the boats had their names inscribed on them. There was nothing to do but examine the small nameplates nailed to the back of each ship, one by one. I approached the first ship.

Just as I reached it, I was startled by a voice.

“Hey there! I’ve never-ever seen you around here before.”

I glanced around and saw a young Tarutaru boy standing on the deck of next boat.

He had a white hat and apron, with a coil of rope slung over his shoulder and a scrub brush in his hand. I assumed he was a sailor, or at least a cabin boy.

“Yes. This is my first time in Mhaura,” I said.

“No kidding? Whataru you doing up so early, then?”

I’m looking… I need to find a specific ship. Would you be able to tell me which boat is the Kubira-Umbira?”

“The Kubira-Umbira, you say? Do I know the Kubira-Umbira?” he asked.

He jumped on the deck, twirling his brush. As he landed, he struck a pose and smiled broadly.

“You seek the Star of Mhaura? Seek the King of the Gugru Blue, do you? You ask of the scourge of the pirates of the Bastore Sea? Why, she is rightaru before your eyes, matey-watey!”

His voice resounded through the port, frightening seabirds into flight. Their cries echoed through the cove as they headed out to sea. The boy continued, as I stood there stunned by the noise of the birds.

“So! I reckon you’re one of them dastardly-wastardly pirates! We have none of those shiny trinketarus you so treasure aboard our ship. Go away!” he shouted.

“P-pirate? Me? You’re got to be kidding,” I stammered.

He had things completely wrong—but he kept shouting and threatening me with the brush, which he waved as if it were the deadliest of blades.

“Big Brother-wother! Wake up! We have bandits to deal with!” he shouted.

The boy’s voice echoed off the cliffs that jutted up out of the sea. I quickly leapt onto the ship and retorted, “I’m only here to see the captain!”

Just as the boy prepared to shout again, he stopped cold. His brush was still ready to strike, but he stepped back and regarded me with a raised eyebrow.

Suddenly, the hatch on the deck between us flew open.

“You insolent fool!” shouted the Tarutaru who rushed out of the hatch. He was twice the size of the boy.

His tanned skin gave him away as a man of the sea.

Without even a glance at me, he began to shout at the boy.

“I told you a thousand times to call me Captain! The next time you call me ‘Big Brother,’ I’ll toss you into the Gugru Blue!”

“I know that, Big Brother-wother! But there’s a strange man here who wants to talk to you. That’s more important!”

The boy pointed at me. The captain’s pointed ears twitched.

He turned around slowly, scratching his head as he spoke.

“Er… And you would be?” he stammered.

“My name is Kauffmann. I’ve come from Windurst with a request for you, the captain of the Kubira-Umbira,” I replied.

I handed him the scarf that I’d received from the Tarutaru lady in Windurst.

“I haven’t the foggiest idea who you are. And what’s more, I don’taru want to know,” he shot back over his shoulder. There was no emotion in his voice.

The seabirds returned, calling and swooping over the Kubira-Umbira.


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