Chapter Twenty-Five – The Night Crawler
I’m guessing that this chapter is either going to be about worms or a blue teleporting mutant.
Joey is pleased that they have a deal with Karthago, so he talks to himself about this as he heads to bed.
“Yes, I am tired,” he whispered (page 206).
Which is exactly what I do when I’m tired. I remind myself, out loud, that I am tired.
He goes to sleep and has a dream where he’s in the pit of fire in the Underworld surrounded by zombies screaming at him, understandably pissed that Joey didn’t try to help them the last time he was there. I actually kind of like this scene, although I wish Joey had this dream and woke up screaming every single night of his rotten life.
Joey wakes up and lays recovering for a while. Suddenly he sees a small figure crawling towards him. He reacts appropriately.
“Holy cow!” He hollered (page 208).
This is the same kid who told his sister “Over the tree, dumb shit!”
Joey starts throwing pillows and blankets at the figure, which scurries away, and as it passes the light he realizes it’s actually Princess Adele. He asks her what the hell she’s doing in his room, and here he actually does use “hell.” I’m really not sure what Tesch is going for here. Who exactly uses “holy cow” nowadays, besides people who don’t curse?
He looks around for a bit and finds a secret door, so he props a chair against it to keep Adele from sneaking back in. Then he notices his backpack is open and realizes Adele must have come in to try and steal the Key. Fortunately, Joey stopped her before she did. Well, Joey, I hope you’ve learned your lesson about showing your super-secret advanced weaponry to little kids. And no, that’s not a sexual euphemism.
Chapter Twenty-Six – Fishermen’s Wharf Island
The next day Joey gets up and makes sure that he locks his backpack inside the shelf. I’m not sure how you lock something inside a shelf, but I’m also not sure why Joey doesn’t carry the Key around with him. This is not exactly something you want to leave behind in your hotel room.
They have breakfast and decide to head out to go fishing, because it’s raining and the Karthaginian King Fish always comes out after it rains. Joey is pleased, because he’s awesome at fishing. Prediction: Joey is going to catch one.
They head outside and Rasmos talks about their big harbors. At the War Harbor, they have 270 warships permanently stationed. Hmmm. That seems kind’ve high. I’m not exactly an expert on ships or how many can be stationed at a harbor, but some quick Googling tells me that at Port of Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world, 36,000 ships arrive per year, or about 98 per day. So. I guess it’s theoretically possible.
Then Rasmos says at another harbor, there’s a thousand merchant ships. Okay then.
They board the yacht, which is called the Rising Sun, and head out. Joey immediately starts finding the fishing poles and starts singing one of his old fisherman songs:
“Rain or Shine, fishing is fine!” (page 213)
I have no words.
Rasmos and Maya talk about dolphins, since there’s a bunch of dolphins swimming near them. Maya loves dolphins, of course. It isn’t that surprising, but seriously, fuck dolphins.
Maya tells Rasmos the entire story about how the mermaids destroyed the ships, in great detail, which I assume is because Tesch need to fill up the page. Rasmos asks her how she stayed underwater for so long without air. Maya doesn’t want to tell Rasmos about the magical shell, for some reason, so she distracts him by telling him how pretty he looks today, which works like a charm.
After a bit they see a school of Kingfish, so Joey baits his hook and tosses it in and immediately gets a bite. He has a difficult time pulling it in though.
Joey was fighting with all his power. Then he started to sweat. It was a fight. Big sweat pearls rolled over Joey’s face, but he did not care (page 217).
Because it was a fight. And he was sweating. It was a sweaty fight. A fight with sweatiness.
Eventually, with the help of some of the other guys on the boat, they pull the fish in. Joey is pleased as punch and declares it the pinnacle of his fishing career. And I still don’t care.
Maya decides to take a dip, so she changes clothes, gets her bag, and is heading out when she’s intercepted by Rasmos, who asks her if she really likes him. Maya thinks about General Henry and frets:
‘Is this the beginning of a hopeless love triangle?’ (page 219)
But she doesn’t give Rasmos a straight answer. They kiss. And then Maya jumps off the yacht. Once she’s underwater, she pulls the magical shell out of her bag and starts swimming around collecting rocks.
Meanwhile, Rasmos waits for Maya to surface and when he doesn’t he flips his shit, tears his uniform off, and dives in after her. Of course, he can’t find her, so he gets ‘real nervous’.
Naturally, Maya hasn’t even thought that the fact that she’d be diving underwater and not coming back up might possibly cause anyone some alarm, so she is continuing to fret about her situation by thinking to herself in complete, awkwardly phrased sentences:
“It seems that I have feelings for two different men at the same time!” (page 220)
It does seem that way.
Rasmos runs to fetch Joey and explains what happened, but Joey is unconcerned because Maya is a “strange bird” who has the gift of survival. Then he picks up a dead fish and kisses it.
“Right fishy? Our Maya is a survivor, she is always coming back!”
Prince Rasmos, still wet and shaken asked with a trembling voice, “What kind of people are you?!” (page 221)
Sociopaths. Assholes. Also slightly insane.
Chapter Twenty-Seven – The Kingfish Festival
Maya gets back and refuses to tell Rasmos how she survived. Luckily for her, Rasmos is so happy she’s not dead that he doesn’t press the issue. They head back in. As they pass the Mercantile Harbor, one of the generals looks at a warehouse built over the water. There’s a few ships covered in tarp, but the golden tip of the ship is poking out. Not in that way, you perverts. The general is suspicious because the tip is a golden unicorn, and they don’t have ships like that. So they sail over and pull the tarp off and holy shit! It’s the missing gold ships from Selinka, from the last book! What a massive coincidence that they would be missing for so long and just randomly turn up in this warehouse where they’d be casually noticed by someone on the ship that our two heroes were on when he was glancing over and saw the tip of a golden unicorn poking out from beneath a tarp.
The general says he’ll have a crew clean up the ships and have them sent back.
They head back in to attend the Kingfish Festival and Tesch spends some time describing everything. It’s very fancy. Someone offers Joey wine, but he turns them down because he doesn’t drink wine. Instead, he thinks about how he misses his family and Krimmy, which is kind of a nice moment.
Nothing happens for a few pages. They officially sign the treaty and nothing continues to happen for a few more pages. Finally Princess Adele asks Joey to dance, and he agrees, and she apologizes for trying to steal his shit.
Chapter Twenty-Eight – Jody & Jolena
A servant gives Joey a message written in a language he doesn’t understand, and says a couple maidservants of a princess showed up on Griffins. Joey takes off and finds the maidservants. Who apparently speak English, they just can’t write it. They tell Joey everything that happened to Krimmy, in detail. He’s worried, but he tells them not to talk to anyone about what has happened and sends them to the feast to get some food. However, Princess Adele was eavesdropping outside the door and immediately runs back and tells Queen Miranda.
Miranda sees Joey sitting at a table trying to figure out what to do. She goes over and asks him what’s going on. Joey tries to hold it together but quickly breaks down and starts sobbing and tells her everything. Miranda holds him for a bit and finally gives him a big hug and has to leave for a meeting of some kind.
I don’t have too many complaints about this scene. It’s actually a fairly natural reaction for a naïve fifteen-year-old boy who is clearly in way over head. On the other hand, this is yet another reason why Joey is completely and utterly unqualified to be the supreme military commander.
A steward comes up and offers Joey a chalice of wine. Joey accepts and chugs the entire thing.
Chapter Twenty-Nine – The Shadow Monarch
Geierkralle, the shadow monarch of Tyronia, isn’t a very nice person.