This post has the following content warnings:
Jan 20, 2022 9:49 AM
Permalink

Chu Wanning hates the ocean.

It's pretty enough to look at, if one has time for that, and Chu Wanning enjoys his own fair share of seafood, but he's a sensible person. He has no business going any further than the railing of a sturdy pier, and neither should anyone else.

He isn't irrational, and he isn't a coward. This is an extremely calculated and warranted strategic aversion to traveling on the open seas. There's lightning. There are water parasites. There are monsters that you won't be able to see coming through murky water. There are pirates. There are storms. The ocean is a death trap, and anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves.

Xue Zhengyong lied to himself when he said that one little boat trip would be "fine" and "not a big deal" and "good for your health, Yuheng, you need more fresh air!" Chu Wanning would have never entertained such nonsense if Xue Meng hadn't been so starry eyed at the prospect of taking a year to study alongside his cousins at university. It would break the boy's heart not to go, clearly, and of course Chu Wanning couldn't let his pupil travel alone.

So now here he is, in maritime hell. Aboard a boat. He spends most of his time white-knuckling, pretending not to be scared seasick in front of Xue Meng. He drains himself completely every day, pushing past an uncooperative mind and stomach to get work done. He perches on deck and takes notes on the physics of the vessel. He sketches ropes and steering wheels. He tastes salt. He counts down the days until they'll see land again.

Total: 327
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

More days past when they left than until they'll arrive, the whole ship explodes into a flurry of motion at once as the junior crewman relegated to lookout duty shouts of a pirate flag on the horizon. 

Permalink

Oh, fuck. Where's Xue Meng, he needs to protect Xue Meng.

Permalink

Xue Meng is not in their cabin where he is ostensibly supposed to be, especially in case of a pirate attack. 

Permalink

FUCK.

Chu Wanning sprints for the deck.

Permalink

A cannonball hits the ship. 

Permalink

He staggers, loses his balance and slips to the floor. He curses bitterly and lunges back to his feet, diving for the stairs. "Xue Meng!"

Permalink

If Xue Meng is on deck, it isn't immediately obvious in the rush of frantic sailors. 

Permalink

Chu Wanning starts bodying his way through the rush of frantic sailors, blood roaring in his ears.

Permalink

The pirate ship is drawing alongside theirs when he finds him, tangled up in the rigging with two sailors, frantically doing nautical things to the sails. 

Permalink

"Xue Meng!"

Permalink

Xue Meng looks up, eyes widening. "Teacher! You should be in the cabin!"

Permalink

"Who the fuck do you think you're talking to? Get in the cabin this instant before I shoot you myself!"

Permalink

"But I can help!" he exclaims, wide-eyed and earnest. 

Permalink

Chu Wanning grabs him by the arm and yanks. "No. Go wait below deck! I can do whatever they asked of you."

Permalink

"But you don't know how to set rigging!"

Permalink

He slaps him. "Go right this instant."

Permalink

He slumps, releasing the ropes. "Yes, Teacher," he says, chastened. 

Before he can make it more than a few paces, a plank is dropped between the pirate ship and theirs. The focus of the frenzy shifts, lifeboats being lowered and sailors fighting pirates. 

Permalink

Shit. New plan: keeping Xue Meng away from pirates in whatever direction makes that easiest, ideally towards a good hiding place. Chu Wanning shoves the boy behind him and draws back.

Permalink

They're relatively close to the lifeboats. Xue Meng makes his life more difficult by attempting to protect him back. 

Permalink

Xue Meng needs to cut that out and get in a lifeboat at once.

Permalink

Xue Meng will reluctantly head for the lifeboats IF his teacher also does the same. 

Permalink

He’s following behind you, yes, just go!!

Permalink

 

Xue Meng has just clambered into the lifeboat when one of the pirates grabs Chu Wanning by the arm. 

Permalink

- shit -

- this would honestly be fine if he could trust that idiot boy to stay in the life boat - Chu Wanning tries to kick the pirate between the legs and tug his arm free.

Permalink

The pirate laughs, dodging out of the way, then picks Chu Wanning up bodily. 

Xue Meng does attempt to jump out of the lifeboat to his teacher's defense, but one of the other lifeboat-occupants physically holds him back. 

Total: 327
Posts Per Page: