Because of Kaya’s fervent pleading, captain Tot handed her the dagger that was used to commit the murder. However, before any of us could do some investigating, on the dagger or otherwise, we needed to find Amethyst, so Kaya just pocketed the blade. Fortunately for us, Amethyst was the type of charr that was very easy to find. Her loud, booming laugh was what betrayed her this time. As we followed the noise below deck, I saw her standing amidst the cargo, talking to a very nervous looking sylvari.
“Hey, Amethyst,” I said weakly, feeling as if I was walking out into the Bane.
She turned around—the sylvari immediately bolted off—and as her eyes caught mine she started grinning.
“Well hello there, eye candy! Oh!” she exclaimed, her eyes finding Garron who came down the stairs behind me. “Garron, how nice to see you! So good to see you two getting along so well.”
“These are not children who need to be schooled, you know,” Kaya said with a note of boredom in her voice. “Well, not by anyone below my level of intellect.”
“Ah. And miss brains joins us as well, the pleasure.”
Amethyst’s voice had gone cold as she talked to Kaya. All I knew was that those two did not get along, but I still had no idea why.
“Still…” Amethyst continued. “For all three of you to come and find me, something must be going on. We’re not sinking, are we?”
“Not as far as I know,” I said, glancing to the sides of the ship, just to be sure. “No, we need your help.”
Slowly, Amethyst’s eyes grew bigger and her eyebrows moved upwards. She was on the verge of dropping her jaw, but managed to contain herself, though with visible difficulty.
“You need my help?”
“Yes, yes, you see, everyone on board trusts you,” Garron said.
“For some reason,” Kaya whispered barely audible.
If Amethyst had heard her, she was doing a good job of hiding it.
“Sooo?” she said drawn out and slightly suspicious, narrowing her eyes a bit.
“We are going to try and solve the murder,” I said, as matter-of-factly as I could.
“Aaand,” Kaya added, “for that investigation to be credible, we need an established person on our team. Kumara and I are a too recent of an addition to the crew.”
A loud rhythmic thumping originating from Amethyst’s tail accentuated the silence that hung between them. She was smirking at them, waiting for them to continue.
“Will you help us?” Garron said.
“If you say please, and I do mean all of you.”
Garron was quick to say, “Please help us, great and honorable charr!”
Having trouble swallowing the little pride I had left, I took more time to find the words. However, after a few seconds I rolled my eyes and curtly said, “Please help us.”
Amethyst shifted her glare to Kaya and I could have sworn that there was a malicious glee behind those purple eyes of her. Kaya, on the other paw, looked as if she swallowed something extremely sour. Her mouth formed a thin line, so thin in fact that it was hardly visible. She was staring Amethyst down with narrowed eyes, which was quite the feat considering their difference in height.
“Kaya…” I said softly as we three charr were staring at her.
One of her eyes twitched for a moment, before she said, “Please,” very quickly, and very coolly.
Apparently Amethyst found that to be enough as she wrung her paws together and grinned broadly.
“This sounds great! I have never done an investigation into a murder before!”
“It is still a murder, a death we are talking about, Amethyst,” said Garron, suddenly very serious.
“Well, yes, I know that… it’s just… you know…”
It was probably the first time that I had seen Amethyst crawl back from something she said.
An awkward silence and a few minutes later, the four of us stood around the main mast, looking intently at the narrow cut in the wood.
“And what can we learn from staring at a hole in the mast?” Amethyst asked curiously.
“Well,” Kaya started haughtily, “for one it will allow us to make an estimation as to the length of the assailant.”
“Will it?” Garron said with his eyebrows arched.
“Won’t it?” Kaya retorted. “The height of the cut could indicate just how high the culprit could reach.”
“And, what is your conclusion?” Amethyst said.
“Well…” Kaya said, looking perturbed. Then she turned around and with her most convincing smile said, “I am fairly sure that it couldn’t have been an asura!”
Garron, Amethyst and I stared blankly at her. Obviously, we had expected more.
“Well, that is still something,” I quickly added, trying to defuse the building tension.
“Aha, returning to the scene of the crime, beast?” a cold voice rang behind us.
We turned around and I saw the first mate glare darkly at me, his hand on the hilt of his blade. I bared my fangs, but Amethyst clamped her claw around my shoulder, squeezing it painfully. Taking the hint, I took a deep breath.
“No, first mate… sir,” I said, steeling myself. “We are here to investigate.”
“Investigate?” the man scoffed. “You good for nothings will take any excuse not to work, won’t you?”
Garron seemed to mutter something under his breath that sounded a lot like, “Yes, yes, we took Ascalon from you lot by sitting on our tails.”
Thankfully, the first mate appeared not to have heard him.
“Quite the contrary, sir!” Kaya piped up, giving him her most charming smile. “We got permission from the captain and the boatswain to do this investigation.”
The color seemed to slowly drain from the human’s face and he kept opening and closing his mouth, with only strangled grunts coming out of it. His hands hung limply at his sides.
“He, the captain…” he managed to stammer after a few seconds, “gave you, you… permission for an… investigation.”
“Yes sir,” Amethyst said happily. “The four of us will find the culprit, don’t you worry.”
A color returned to the man’s face; however, it was a bright scarlet. Gritting his teeth, he grunted, “This is unacceptable!” before storming off in the direction of the captain’s quarters.
The four of us exchanged glum looks.
“He really hates charr!” Kaya said.
“Yes, yes, well, how can we explain it…” Garron said thoughtfully.
“He thinks of us as skritt,” I said bluntly.
“No!” Kaya said with an understanding gasp.
Garron and Amethyst looked back and forth between me and Kaya, but neither of us elaborated.
“I wish we had access to the body,” I said with a sigh.
“I had asked the captain about that yesterday,” Amethyst said with a smile. “Just out of curiosity, of course.” Coming from anybody else, that would have been suspicious, but with Amethyst, nobody was surprised. “Apparently they have kept to corpse for investigation, although they will have to throw it out soon because of the smell.
“Great! Where is it?”
“You want to look at a corpse?” Garron said incredulously.
“Follow me,” Amethyst said, beckoning us.
The other three stood on the opposite side of the room, next to the open door, away from the stinking corpse. I could not blame them, as I myself tied a bandanna across my face to block out most of the smell. Examining the human body made me wonder how they had ever managed to withstand the charr so long in Ascalon as their body did not appear to be made for fighting—or any hard work—unlike us charr.
That, however, was not the focus of my examination. The wound had begun to fester, but it still managed to convey the information I had hoped for.
“It was either a human, or a sylvari,” I said, walking back to the others.
They all looked rather surprised, but Garron was the one who spoke up.
“You can tell that from looking at a corpse?”
“Yea, the angle of the wound is the biggest pointer, but the amount of bruising around the wound also shows the amount of force. The angle indicated someone of similar length as the dead mouse, the bruising showed that it couldn’t be a norn or charr, or there would have been much more.”
“How do you know all this?” Amethyst said with a tone that sounded a lot like admiration.
“I used to be a scout. When we found corpses I had to decipher what killed them.”
“Couldn’t they have enchanted the weapon to make it look that way?” Amethyst said.
“That is a possibility, yes,” Kaya said, frowning.
“Kaya, may I hold the weapon for a bit?” Garron suddenly said.
She arched her eyebrows, but handed him the blade regardless. He held the blade, flipped it over several ways in his paws and examined it closely. Then, he closed his eyes and his face had an expression of utmost concentrations. After a few seconds, he handed the blade back to Kaya.
“It wasn’t enchanted,” he said matter-of-factly.
“How…” Kaya started, but Garron cut her off with a gesture.
“That is all.”
Obviously, he was hiding something, something big. But, then again, so was I.
“Moving on,” I said firmly just as Amethyst had opened her mouth. “We at least know it is a human or a sylvari now.”
“That does help a bit,” Kaya said with a nod.
“Not much,” Amethyst said with some trepidation. “I mean, quite a bit of the crew is either human or sylvari.”
“True,” Kaya sighed.
“Should we inform the captain?”
“No, I don’t think so,” I said. “Not until we know more. If this information gets out, it might just lead to panic and more mistrust; especially because our evidence is so thin.”
“Good thinking, eye candy.”
I rolled my eyes and moved on, “Does anybody have an idea as to what our next step is?”
“Well,” Kaya said, holding up the dagger, “we should have this dagger inspected; see if it can’t tell us something.”
“You have daggers,” Amethyst said, “can’t you tell us something about it.”
“Only that it isn’t asura-made,” Kaya said tersely.
“Yes, yes, a good idea little one. We will arrive in another port soon,” Garron said with thoughtful nods.
“What kind of port?” I said softly.
“Mostly human,” Amethyst said slowly. “However, they have been trading with just about anyone who docks there since the rise of Zaithan,” she quickly added.
I let out a grunt and rolled my eyes. “I’m afraid we have little choice but to head into the port and find a blacksmith who can tell us more.”
“That’s the spirit,” Amethyst said with a relieved grin.
“What do we do in the meanwhile, sit around?” Kaya said.
“I guess we’ll just do what we’re actually paid to be doing,” I said.
“Yes, yes, that would be wise,” Garron said.
“I’ll tell the captain that our investigation is on hold until we reach port,” Amethyst said to which the rest nodded in consent.
List Of Recurring Entities:
The following is a list of characters—apart from Kumara and Thornfang—who have made an appearance before this part, sorted by order of appearance. With all the different stories on CoT, I understand it is hard to keep track of all the characters.
Kaya: An asura that Kumara got to know in a krewe they both worked in. Now, she sets out with Kumara to see the world.
Tot: The asuran captain of the cargo ship Serendipity.
Amethyst: A charr clothes merchant from Lion’s Arch that loves to travel from time to time.
Garron: A pitch black charr deckhand working with Kumara to solve a murder.