"If you board my ship, you're mine!"
- Date of Birth: Mon DD
- Place of Birth:
- Height: cm
Ata was a new immigrant to Bodrene.
Being a port city, Bodrene does not enjoy a solid industrial foundation like the inland cities, but its thriving commercial vitality has allowed countless gold prospectors to realize their dream.
Ata counts himself as one of these gold prospectors. In order to fulfill his dream, he willingly started to work in the city harbor.
Bodrene is one of the stops for an endless stream of traders and merchants passing by, forming a prosperous trading route. Ata is strong and willling to endure hardships. Not only were his basic needs fulfilled, he also managed to earn extra income as well.
However, Ata’s diligence became a threat to some people’s eyes. Who allowed him to do this much? In the long run, to the laborers who rely on the dock work for their livelihood—especially the elderly—his diligence would starve them.
Amongst the human kingdoms, the Federation of the Free is the most tolerant of immigrants. They have introduced a series of policies to protect the rights and interests of immigrants in the Federation. Thus, a group of strong, disgruntled men did not dare to openly confront Ata, but instead quietly ambushed him in an alleyway that Ata passed regularly through.
“You guys better not start any trouble!”
Facing this group of ruffians, Ata immediately greeted them with his fists.
Moments passed, and a black-and-blue faced Ata finally came into an agreement with the ruffians sprawling messily on the floor. He came to Bodrene to earn money, and not to risk his life. Furthermore, after exchanging fists with these men, Ata developed a sense of camaraderie with them—indeed, the friendship between men are sometimes inexplicable.
And so just like that, the Ata who arrived alone in Bodrene joined this group of misfits, and took on all the jobs in the harbor. At the same time, he was also confident enough to negotiate a pay raise with the employers, thereby filling his money pouch to the fullest.
“These days are so… hic!”
Deep in the night, with a bottle of ale in his hand and a toothpick in his mouse, Ata stared at the night sky and felt a complex mix of feelings. It’s not that he was dissatisfied with the life he had.
But, his dreams were always filled with the sound of the waves…
After agonizing over it for a long time, Ata finally revealed his heart to his brothers. “So you’re leaving us!?” Zak glowered at him, his coarse red beard still stained with ale.
Ata glanced at him and felt guilty; he could only thicken his skin and whisper: “I didn’t come to Bodrene only to do hard labor my entire life.”
Zak smashed the bottle in his hand, and the brown liquor splashed all over Ata’s face. “So are you looking down on our brothers who are doing these hard labors?!”
The crash of the bottle pierced through the hustle and bustle of the tavern, causing the bartender immediately turtle his neck in, and hide underneath the liquor cabinet. Customers saw the situation and hurried out the door, but some who were unafraid stared at the angry bull-like Zak, and at Ata who had no choice but to play the bullfighter.
Who gave them permissions to watch this scene?
Without Ata’s input, several brothers stood up, and “asked” those few nosy onlookers out of the tavern.
Now there were no outsiders in the tavern. Ata licked the liquor on the corner of his mouth, and his warm gaze suddenly changed to two sharp eyes glaring at Zak.
The tavern’s atmosphere grew heavier, and the burning fireplace seemed to visibly cool down.
At the peak of that silence, Ata suddenly burst out laughing.
Then, Zak also laughed with him.
The laughter quickly infected everyone in the tavern.
Ata hit the table with his right hand, stood up abruptly, and scolded with a smile. “If this were before, you would already sprawl on the ground!”
“Oh, you still know how to bring up the old times?” Zak exclaimed provokingly.
“Come come come! If I don’t outdrink you till you collapse today, I will change my name to Lil’ Kitten!”
The next day, the residents of Bodrene heard about the incident in the tavern, and from that day on Ata, who always liked to swagger around the city, was never seen again. Someone swore that he saw a bunch of dock laborers that night, carrying a body and disposing it into the sea.
Amidst the swirling rumors, Ata actually followed Zak into a fishing village near Bodrene.
“If you want to go out to the open sea, as a brother I can’t stop you. But let me ask you a question: Do you know sailing? Or have you thought about how big ship do you want to buy, how many crewmembers you are going to recruit?”
That night, among the snoring of brothers who were partying in the tavern, only Ata and Zak, both of them still evenly matched in drinking, chatted while drinking their liquor.
Facing Zak’s interrogation, Ata found himself speechless.
So heeding Zak’s advice, Ata decided to follow the fishermen on their trips to the sea, so that he could learn crucial maritime knowledge and at the same time further fill his coffers. The captain had promised the crew that any loot that each person acquires during the adventure is their own to keep—and Ata was confident that with his own affinity to water, diving deep into the sea in order to collect a few large pearls is not that hard.
He is born for the sea. Working so hard for so many years in Bodrene was all for the sake of saving enough money so that he could buy his own ship, and set sail to find the ocean of his dreams: Azure waters, white and soft beaches, endless corals under the sea, clumsy sea-turtles, arrogant long-legged crabs, gorgeous jellyfishes…\n”Come, put this on.”
While Ata was lying on the side of the ship daydreaming, the captain, with his fake leg, limped towards him and threw him a set of smelly sailor clothes, a sticky and slimy blindfold, and a rusty cutlass.
Ata came to his senses, and discovered that the entire crew had already put on similar sailor outfits, with their faces covered by various headscarves, eye masks, and facepaint. Ata was stunned. He found it difficult to connect in his mind the people he saw before him with the good and pleasant fishermen from before.
“What is this for?” Under the gaze of the crewmen, Ata dumbly put on the clothes given to him.
The captain grinned, revealing a golden tooth: “I found a big fish. Get ready, we’re going to work.”
“Ah! Curse this memory of mine!” The captain, who had already turned away from Ata, turned his head back absent-mindedly and said, “I keep forgetting to tell you: We are fishermen only when we are in the village. Once out in the open sea, we take on a new identity! In a while, the real work will begin, so pay attention. And for heaven’s sake do not let anyone see your face! But don’t worry too much, Zak and I are old acquaintances, so I will look out for you!”
“So our new identity is…”
The captain pointed at something behind Ata’s head, and there a skull-and-crossbones flag was waving in the wind.
- DDth Month YYYY — introduction of HERO.