Ember Part 7
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Toroa, June 21st, 1500

 

PoV: Yord

 

Keeping Wuld away for a day so that he could have a secret surprise birthday was easier than what Yord had thought with the addition of the newcomers. After the usual morning exercise, while he was still thinking whether he proceeded to distract Wuld or not, Robin came bounding away from the direction of the library. She was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and had her hair in a twintail, instead of leaving it straight like whenever he saw her. Robin looked really happy – smiling so wide –seeing that Wuld was still home with him.

 

He had thought that she wouldn’t be visiting again so soon after yesterday and would just spend her time together with her mother or something. Wasn’t her mother someone she hadn’t seen since she was still a baby? Is it something like a lonely child latching on someone her age who didn’t reject and fear her?

 

In any case, he took advantage of the situation and bring the two kids to play in the hidden beach. He let them walk in front, with Yord leading Robin while he followed behind them carrying two wooden surfboards. As he watched them interact – Robin smiled happily and talking animatedly interspersed with Wuld’s response – he wondered inwardly.

 

Was the time she spent with her mother Olvia actually less than the time she spent with Wuld? And judging from the way the ship they came in looked like, they hadn’t stopped in Ohara that long. Maybe they briefly docked to get Robin aboard and hastened to sail here.

 

When he saw the ship appeared on the horizon yesterday, Yord actually wanted to stop and see as it approached the dock. But he was still in the middle of an errand, so he could only walk away to go home and help his mother. They were surprisingly busy that when he could finally go toward the dock, everybody but the crew of the ship was already gone. He only saw a damaged ship with many holes and sail with a large rip that was mended with stitching.

 

Seriously, when one of the sail had a large rip, people should fix it better than just stitching it together haphazardly. Or just buy a new sail. Ohara had a dock, even if it was small. Someone must have some ship paraphernalia like a sail to sell them, and they could exchange the damaged one with the new while waiting for their business in Ohara to be concluded.

 

But as he kept walking, another thought came up in his head; If even they stopped to pick up Robin at all. They might have just stopped the ship in the middle of the sea and had someone row a boat to bring Robin from the Ohara before continuing to sail here. After all, he saw a bounty poster for Robin’s mom in the desk where the one who had a library monitor shift sat.

 

They might be to spooked to land, hence the dismal state of the ship they sailed on. But if that was the case, that would mean that the time Robin spent with her mom was even less. Why would she let her running around with Wuld instead of doing a Mother-Daughter bonding activity herself? Was she busy with something in the library?

 

 While Yord was busy letting his mind wander, they already reached the beach. Wuld slowed down his walk to get near him and took away one of the wooden surfboards he carried. Yord just smiled looking at the way Wuld tried to show off his surfing skill on Robin. Well, that would mean that he didn’t need to spend any effort in distracting him.

 

Yord sat down and decided that he would just be a bystander today, watching two kids playing in the water instead of surfing like he usually did whenever he was in the beach.

 

...[]

 

At first, it was Wuld showcasing his skill with a surfboard, and Robin sitting at the edge of the water, happily cheering at him. Wuld paddled seawards, standing to wait for the wave to swell and break before riding it ashore. Before long, Robin who sat by the beach looked tempted to try but she visibly restrained herself since she knew that she would drown because of her Devil Fruit power.

 

Wuld who was usually so insensitive saw that she wanted to have a go, so he talked with her for a while before letting her above the surfboard. Yord wanted to warn him the danger of placing someone like her in a precarious position above the water, but then he remembered that Wuld already knew that she wouldn’t be able to swim so he restrained himself from saying an unnecessary thing. But he still walked closer so he could help save her from drowning.

 

When Robin was settled above the surfboard, Wuld didn’t actually let her off from his supervision and stay close to her. Robin sat above the Surfboard, bobbing up and down from the wave, and before long, the anxious frown on her face was replaced with a nervous smile.  Wuld fixed his gaze toward her for a while before glancing at Yord.

 

“Hey, since you are idle and free, let me have your surfboard while she plays with mine.”

 

“What about her?” Robin, who was starting to relax tensed.

“You watch her. I wanted to try something.” Wuld didn’t wait for an answer and run toward where he left his surfboard and brought it to the water.

 

Yord frowned at Wuld’s behavior before sighing and exchange glances with Robin. Robin was still nervous and held onto the board she sat on gripping it tightly until her knuckle turned white, but she still gave him a tight smile when Yord glanced at her.

 

Yord let out another sigh before reassuring her“...relax, I’ll watch over you.”

 

Robin nodded and a little bit of tenseness left her posture. Before long, she started to kick her legs in the water, necessitating Yord to hold the surfboard in place so it wouldn’t drift away. Both of them stayed in place while turning their gaze toward the direction where the last member of their group went. Meanwhile, Wuld was paddling over to the part of the beach where the wave was calmest and stopped there.

 

He stood above the surfboard and lifted one of his legs, before kicking toward the water. He plunged into the water from overbalance, and Robin burst in a fit of giggling while Yord only smirked before quipping.

 

“What do you want to try?” Wuld surfaced and looked toward him “How to jump into the water?”

 

“Ugh, shut up, bro!” Wuld climbed above the surfboard again and grumbled. “I’m sick of paddling, you know?”

 

“And?”

 

“When people hit the water fast enough, they could die from breaking all their bones.”

 

“And you want to use your leg to push the board?”

 

“Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.” Wuld nodded before repeating what he did before, this time he fell on his knee before he could plunge into the water, but the surfboard flipped over and he fell into the water again. Yord could only smile wryly and shook his head before turning his face toward Robin.

 

“Hey, do you want to feel how it feels to be surfing?”

 

Robin tilted her head at him and bit her lips before answering“But I can’t swim...”

 

Yord smiled reassuringly at her, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”

 

“How?”

 

“Let’s get over here...” Yord turned and dragged the surfboard toward the deeper water, while Robin grabbed at the edge of the board. He looked around before nodding at Robin“Over here is okay.”

 

“...Umm, how would I do it?”

 

“Crouch above the board, and put one of your knees on it.” Yord started, ”Yeah, balance yourself with your hand.”

 

“...Okay?”

 

“Then I would push you toward the shore.” Before Robin could answer, Yord pushed the surfboard “Now!”

 

“hyaa!” Robin shrieked out of a sudden surprise, but she could keep herself above the board by sprouting two pairs of hands that promptly gripped the board. When she reached the beach, she still looked shocked and didn’t release her grip.

 

Yord came closer and frowned in worry over spooking her. “Hey, are you okay?”

 

Robin turned her gaze on him, her eye trembled and watering. Before Yord could apologize and soothe her, she mumbled under her breath.

 

“What?”

 

“Let’s do it again!” Robin said excitedly, in contrast with her shaking arm and watery eye.

 

...[]

 

When they went back home after a long day of playing in the sea, they saw Robin’s mother and Hocha talking with a serious face outside. Wuld and Robin went over, and instead of picking her up and went back toward her own place, The two women stepped over to the front porch. Wuld looked toward the two for a while before stepping to open the door.

 

Yord was still outside the fence, busy letting his mind wander. When the surprise birthday celebration started, his mind still in a whirl, considering the implication of Wuld’s success propelling his surfboard using his foot. He might have failed more than his success, and could only propel the board over a limited distance, but Yord still thought that it was something interesting to try.

 

Maybe he would try it himself tomorrow when he went surfing.

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