Arien could not help but sympathize with the lagiacrus who had been thoroughly entangled in the culling net, and was writhing dementedly along a swathe of the beach. The creature could not figure out that the more it struggled the tighter the dragonite fibres of the netting closed along it's body, and that it would eventually suffocate to it's own defiance. The brilliant green netting cut into it's lustrous blue plates, which were turning pink from exposure to the sun, it was as if the poor animal was being cooked alive. Around Arien are eight other cullers, they are clad in slippery blue wet suits, the likes of which he is also wearing. They hold their mettallic gray spears at length from their body, a gesture of fear, as if the beached lagiacrus could harm them in any way. They were only capable of fear, taught from a young age to fear the natural world, doctrinated that all creatures were evil mindless beings, who were born for the sole reason of being exploited for monetary gain, and Arien agreed, he did not know any better for it was how he was educated from a young age. He did not know about the time before his generation or his father's generation, a time when men and monsters fought against eachother as equals.It was a time when a monster's claws were tested against the steel of human innovation. However those times were put to sleep by shadowy figures and the memories of that time wiped from archival records. Only elder dragons know that hunters used to exist.
It was sun down when the lagiacrus stopped struggling. Its pink bleached plates were burnt to crisps by the many hours of exposure to the sun, and peeled off easily from its great body. Noticing that the leviathan was dead the cullers approached it and begun shaving off huge chunks of blubber and flesh from it's flank. While it's meat was loaded into large crates ,which were sent to a ship nearby, the claws and hide of the lagiacrus, as well as the shell shocker's severed from it's back were placed together in a huge pile, and were washed away in the tide. No one had use for them. As Arien was cutting into the belly of the beast he noticed a turquoise gleam. Curiously he approached it shielding it's blue light with the shadow of his hand so the other cullers could not see it. It resembled a water droplet and looked too delicate to be solid, but as he curled his fingers around it he felt it's hardness. Pulling it out from the lagiacrus's dense Belly fat, Arien realized that it was more beautiful than any thing he had ever seen, and was immediatedly humbled by the intense mystery that it gave off. A soft breeze causes Arien to look up and he notices the waves churning beneath the moonlight. Intuitively he reverted his gaze back to the droplet substance cradled in his palms and realized that it was an identical colour to the sea. The sea never looked more beautiful.
Chapter 2: Kushala of the deep
It was dawn when they reached the harbour. The wooden dock was painted a hue of pink, as buttery sun light bounced off of it. Little raptorlike creatures called Jaggi scurried around everywhere along the street, looking for scraps to eat. At the toll of a bell they congregated at the backdoor of a small restaurant. Momentarily the door opened and a chunky tanned man wearing an ivory white apron, and a tall white hat emerged. In one of his hands he held a handle connected to a bucket of some sort of churning brown liquid, and he was using his free hand to pet the birdlike heads of the jaggi. He was smiling and his mouth moved nonstop. It seemed like he was talking to the small creatures, as if he was addressing his pets. He scooted down beside the busy flurry of fur and scales and laid his pail before them. Immediately the creatures starting lapping at the sludge in the bucket with their tongues. A couple of strides away, a woman wearing a dress of pale green feathers was seated at a table, with a blue crested raptor, ( a Baggi) yawning lazily on her lap. Arien was glad to have returned to the port. He was tired of watching animals die, and seeing them living beside humans in peace was a relief. However there was a note of sadness throughout the scene for it seemed like the creatures were out of their elements and had not led the lives they were born to fulfill. Just as Arien was admiring the blue raptor on the woman's lap, a coarse barklike voice returned him to the ship.
" Arien! you gonna stand there dumbfounded or are you gonna help us unload this meat?" Yelled one of the crew members.
Turning around Arien recognized the owner of the voice to be the first mate, a tall ebony skinned man known as Barrick.
"My where are my manners," spoke Arien
"You probably left them at sea" cracked Barrick. Apparently it was supposed to be some sort of a joke.
To assist them with transporting the cargo their captain had hired a man who trained Duramboros. Durams were massive beasts which panicked easily, and the crew had to be extra careful not to touch the creature or make loud noises. Although it's tail club was severed Duramboros was more than capable of using the remainder of it's tail to seriously injure a person. As the rider and the Duram approached the crate ( which was already unloaded off the ship) the crew fell silent. Even the boisterous Jaggi around the port ceased their usual gestures of recreation and assumed places underneath vacant tables or on the roof tops. The Duram rider/trainer jumped off the creature's back and tied a rope around the place where the Duram's tail club would have been. He proceeded to tie the other end to the crate. Once it was secured he ushered some nonsensical words to the Duramboros, and with one gentle uppersweap of it's tail the Duramboros heaved the crate into the depression where it's tail club would have been. The beast kneeled down allowing it's rider to climb upon it's back, and proceeded to walk away in a stately manner. After the cargo was loaded into a terrestrial vehicle pulled by aptonoth the Duramboros returned with it's rider to transport the remaining crates. This was repeated until all the crates were delivered.
Moving the crates took longer than Arien would have liked and it was high noon by the time they were finished. Memories of the lagiacrus writhing painfully along the beach, haunted Arien, and possessing the creature's jewel seemed to worsen matters. After taking a drink with the other crew members, Arien decided to retire from the group. He was in no mood for celebration, and saw no festivity in the feast their captain had planned for them. Bidding goodday to the crew Arien left the doors to the restaurant, and walked purposelessly along the harbour. It will be a month until Arien would be required to venture out to sea again, and he was determined to figure out what the jewel he extracted from lagiacrus meant.
A cloud of dust burst from the pages of a book Arien had opened. It was sundown and the sea looked like a sheet of blue silk through the Romanesque window beside his desk. Since he was in a library and surrounded by scholars and politeness Arien let down his guard and he placed the lagiacrus jewel beside him, attempting to locate it in a guide book about monster biology. There were articles about lagiacrus scales and hide, and even horns and shell shockers, but he could not find an explanation on the sapphire-like substance he extracted from the creature. Frustrated he rose from his seat and approached a book shelf near to him. As he was about to pull out an older book about monster biology he overheard a conversation behind the shelf. Silencing himself he made out two voices a male and a female.
"We encountered it off the coast of the north lands.... It was truly spectacular!" Said the girl " It wasn't really aggressive either.... but it did free the tuna we caught in our net."
"A monster altruistically helping an unrelated one.... th-thats impossible" Said the guy "It was probably planning to feed on them!"
"Maybe..." replied the girl skeptically
"Anyways what did it look like?!" asked the guy
"Well this is going to sound weird.... It had four legs and a pair of wings! What kind of sea creature Looks like that! that kind of body is just not aquadynamically advantageous. It's tail was really beautiful it ended in a fork like that of a fish and was dotted with bright green light spots." Spoke the girl
"Your ship was armed! howd you let it escape?" asked the guy excitedly
"Well the captain lost control of the ship, it seemed like the waves around us were rising up and trying to swallow us up." continued the girl
"That sounded scary" said the guy
"It was" assured the girl. "but I also felt happy, happy that nature has a way to fight back against abuse by man"
"Remember Estchiko" said the guy, calming her down "we are biologists... We are not supposed to sympathize with monsters."
"I guess so..." spoke Estchiko with a muted tone, notably embarrassed by her outburst.
"Excuse Me!" cried Arien appearing around the book shelf, and alarming the couple. "My name is Arien, it is so nice to meet you"
"Nice to meet you too" spoke the guy, having recovered from surprise. "my name is Abdax and this is my pupil Estchiko, we are..."
"Biologists right? I mean... Oh sorry.... Im just so happy to meet you, its just that.... I have a lot of questions I want to ask you... I hope it will be alright."
Abdax rolled his eyes. He had a busy schedule and he was not prepared to let this ignoramus called Arien to ruin his day.
"Now listen here Arien-sir...." began Abdax
"We'd be happy to answer your Questions!" Burst Estchiko
And both Abdax and Arien turned to her with surprise
"oops, Im sorry..." She said, her pale cheeks blushing pink
"Right....We'll be happy to talk to you, hows tomorrow sound... In the sailor's pub?" Said Abdax through gritted teeth.
"Tomorrow's fine" spoke Arien "Thankyou so much"
"Don't mention it" replied Abdax while looking at Estchiko with a "what the heck were you thinking" expression on his face.