11ReminalListening to the Pirate Camp theme too many times makes you want to write a story about Venture Leaguers. That's what happened here.
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Author's Notes: Listening to the Pirate Camp theme too many times makes you want to write a story about Venture Leaguers. That's what happened here.
The name's Lustor. Just Lustor. I don't know who named me that, or why they named me that, or even why I was named in the first place. But yeah… that's my name.
I'm a Venture Leaguer, full Rank 3 in everything and a Red Parrot. No one really knows me, but I like it that way. To have people following me around all day like Hollis or whoever would be torture. I stick to myself and do missions. Most of them I've already completed, but I make sure to stop in at Crux Prime every few days to check in with the daily mission guy at the Launch Pad. Occasionally I'll get a mission with dragons involved—my favorite. Other than that, though, I lead a pretty lonely life. There's nothing really in between one mission and the next for me, nothing to look forward to after I smash the last Ronin, or Pirate, or Stromling of the day. I just retreat my Nimbus Isle property and wait out the night.
I wake up at six o'clock sharp, as I always do. The sky is starting to lighten, and I do my usual to prepare for the day—eat breakfast, take a few Hiccup Tablets to clean my teeth, and equip all my gear. I walk out of my small house, say hello to my Skeleton Dragon, ICANHAZRAWMEAT (he's a property pet now because of what he did on the Assembly tower section… you don't want to know), summon up my Ship Rocket, and sail off to Nimbus Station.
When I arrive at Brick Annex, I hurry out (some people there still don't like me because of ICANHAZRAWMEAT) and go through the passage to the plaza. A few new recruits with instruments—piano, violin, a flute—are playing a sad song as I pass them. I stop to listen for a while, then stop, sit down in the trees next to the path, and listen. The piano has the main part, playing a hopeful melody as the violin backs him up. Then the flute kicks in, playing a sad, wistful part as the piano and violin play the lower chords and notes. A minute or two passes, and then all three instruments trail off, leaving a few notes still hanging in the air. The song touched me more than I like to admit. I give the trio a generous amount from my money pouch and walk on, still humming the song.
I walk on over to the Gnarled Forest Launchpad, determined to beat Swifty McGurk's best time and confident I will too.
A few minutes later, I'm standing near the tiki heads at the entrance, wiping Maelstrom dust off my arms. I had a little bit of trouble with pirates along the way, but quick thinking and a little bit of my cutlass soon dissuaded them. A reed flute's quirky music soars through the air as I approach the raceway. Swifty McGurk takes the instrument out of his mouth and greets me with a huge smile. "Here to beat me time again, lad?" "Yes." I say determinedly, pulling out my VL race car and climbing in. Swifty lets me go solo this time, not waiting for other people to come. I take the path through the waterfall, knowing that I can avoid the rock pillars. It works perfectly, and within a minute I'm soaring past the ships. I look up to see an Admiral looking down from the deck. I wave, blow a raspberry, and keep on going.
The rest of the race is fine. I take the waterfall path two more times, and I'm at 4 minutes 29 seconds when something goes wrong. The Admiral leers down at me again, and before I can blink, his cannon arm has sent his grappling hook through that air. It latches onto my car. He tugs, and I'm sent over the railway into the ocean. The cold water is shocking, and with dismay I check the watch on my car. 4:40… not good. Especially underwater with a crazed Admiral.
I pull out my barbed whip and snap it upwards, hoping to reach the ship before the weight of the Admiral drags me under. It snags the ship, and I tug up. The parts of my car are dragged back into my inventory, and I check the watch on my wrist. 4:52… only one chance left. I activate my Daredevil Fig Fire and sprint faster than any car to the finish line. 5 seconds left… 4… 3… 2… and still ten feet away. I leap with all the propulsion I can muster and land heavily on the finish line. I look up and see the clock above the line reading 4:59. Then I pass out.