Headed by a Snake
501 Panicking a Little
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Headed by a Snake
Author :CouchSurfingDragon
© Wuxiaworld

501 Panicking a Little

⟬ Third interview: Nikandros, Captain of the Golden Eagle. ⟭ 

Stepping into the Captain's quarters, Coraline reflexively covered her nose and mouth with her hands. 

Everything. reeked. of vomit. 

...and alcohol. 

The door closed behind her and Lone. It granted them privacy... and protected Olesya from the smell. 

Coraline glanced to the wall at a ventilation duct. The magic formations that circulated clean air throughout the ship were not working fast enough. 

Taking a look around the room, it looked like it'd been stripped of anything nice. The most expensive things around were the maps on a table at its center, a compass and some measurement tools. Nikandros' military coat was hung up in an open wardrobe dresser, expensive and its breast heavy with achievement medals. 

Also... the bed was made. 

Who makes their bed in their own room? 

A psychopath, for sure. 

Distracted as she was, Coraline couldn't react in time to a sudden pressure atop her head. A heavy hand pulled her down, just as the sound of glass shattering rang in her ears.

She pieced together what had happened as she stared at sparkling green fragments showering the ground beside her... 

"G-get off of me," She shoved Lone's arm away. 

A little bit of glass never hurt anyone. 

"Sorry," Lone bared his teeth in a grimace. "I moved out of reflex."

"It's fine... just... just don't do it again," She warned in a low voice. 

Mister Lone's hand on her head wasn't appropriate-- not at all. 

"Oh... Dear guests," Nikandros rolled his eyes, his arm still forward from the throw. 

He was slumped in a leather chair, wearing a sheer sleeveless undershirt, stained yellow. Earlier, she thought his tummy was cute. Without his coat on, it was not. 

"F-forgive me if I don't stand," Nikandros explained with slurred speech, "It's... customary... for the Captain to drink... in order to deal with the SHITE he deals with every gods damned sun."

The Captain was drunk... very drunk. 

Coraline couldn't blame him. 

Being the Captain of a prestigious luxury liner that had fallen out of favor, the murder of a high elf was the last thing he needed. 

Alcohol was a coping mechanism. It was one that she knew well, herself. 

"Captain Nikandros," Coraline grimaced as she stepped towards him, skirting around an unsavory pile of retch. "I have a few questions. It won't take long."

The half-elf Captain narrowed his eyes, trying to focus his unsteady gaze, "Ohhh... it's... it's you... the fffffucking... girl. Sea god's.... ssssshite. You... you highbloods are the gods damned worst..."

He belched loudly... and Coraline flinched, fearing the worst. 

Thankfully, the Captain took a long pause... and swallowed whatever was in his throat, "Ugghhh... Soooo... Come to mock my inability to keep my ship in line, have you?"

Coraline sighed, careful to breathe through her mouth... Speaking to the Captain was going to be more difficult than she had initially judged. 

She tried to adopt the friendliest voice she could, muffled as she was through her hands-- "Not at all, Captain. I just wanted to ask you about--" 

"Sod off, wench." The Captain groaned. With an unsteady hand, he reached over to an adjacent table, grabbing a brown bottle... "The hells is the green one? Bah."

Nikandros took in a deep breath, raising his voice, "Before you go... how about a drink? Dear guests?"

Coraline grimaced beneath the hands covering her mouth, "Captain, please, I just--"

"Come on, now!! You and the boy!!?" He poured the dark liquor into two dirty glasses-- taking a swig directly from the bottle, "Trust me, it's... it's the only way to live... when life... is so ffffucking unFAIR. Come on, then. This is the good stuff..."

"Don't mind if I do," Lone cheerfully stepped forward.

Coraline grabbed the boy's wrist, glaring as sharply as she could. 

Lone paused... then returned obediently to her side, "Uh, business first, Captain."

"Well... fine... more for me," The Captain grinned. He grabbed one of the glasses and downed its contents in a swift pull.

"Make it quick, then," Nikandros gestured lazily. "I don't have all sun. I have... maps to... aw, the hells with it..."

Coraline pursed her lips. Concerning the situation, getting straight to the point was a necessity, "Captain Nikandros, where were you when Master Highblade was murdered?"

"Ugh," Nikandros bit his upper lip, making a strange smacking sound. "I was... ffffucking... the maps, you mushroom-brained whore."

"And the key to the vault? Do you still have it?"

"Of... of COURSE I do!" 

The Captain tilted his body to jam his hand into his trouser pocket, then slammed the key on the table. Some of the contents in the remaining glass spilled. 

Such was generally an unforgivable sin... but it wasn't Coraline's place to judge. 

"What do you take me for?" Nikandros growled, "A drrrrrunk?"

"And lastly..." Coraline hesitated. 

She wasn't planning on asking for anything else... but she would not find a better situation to ask for liberties... "I need an exemption from the ship's formations. I need to be able to cast spells."

"Right, right... Sure... Ah huh..." The Captain nodded absentmindedly, reaching for the remaining glass. Instead, he clumsily knocked it to the floor, "Sea god's codpiece... Beatrice[1]! BEATRICE!! Where the... gods... damned..."

Coraline shot a confused look to Lone, who returned the look in kind. 

Who was... Beatrice? That name wasn't on the boarding list. 

Then... she felt it. 

In an instant, the air blurred around her... and she was... embraced by an invasive, sweltering warmth. 

"Coraline, what's going on?" Lone knitted his brows. 

"I'm.... f-f-ffffine," Coraline insisted. 

She was not. Perspiration just... poured down her face and upper body. Her hair was sticking to her forehead and... everything just felt terrible. Admittedly, she was panicking-- but only a little. 

Fine was subjective. 

"Beatrice, there you are," Nikandros yawned noisily. "Clean up this mess."

"CaptaINN!" Coraline squealed-- far more panicked than she had intended. 

"Oh, right," Nikandros put his palms on his cheeks, squeezing his face. "Beatrice, give that girl an exemption... Allow her to cast spells... not Evocation or Necromancy, though... and... not on me."

Coraline sensed... a fwooshing sort of response... and the heat... the presence of whatever-it-was disappeared completely. 

[1] The Captain pronounces this name (bey-ah-tree-chay)


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