The Master Mariner

Once upon a time, there was a handsome young fisherman who was surprised while fishing by a battle taking place in the water. It was a fierce fight between a strange creature and a red fish. The creature was half man and half fish. The fisherman saw that the man was about to be killed by the fish, so he intervened with a spear he had on board and killed the fish.

The creature grabbed the boat’s railing with his fins and said to the fisherman, “I am the King of the Caves of the Sea. You have saved my life, and therefore I will reward you. Take this talisman in the form of a small silver fish. It will bring you luck. If you ever find yourself in mortal danger, just throw the fish into the sea. It will come to me, and I will help you.” The fisherman thanked the King of the Caves of the Sea and hung the talisman on a chain around his neck.

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From that day on, luck smiled on the fisherman. His boat never leaked. He never encountered a storm. The fish seemed to swim into his nets as if by magic. Within two years, he had become so rich that he could buy the most beautiful merchant ship in the world and became a master mariner. With the beautiful ship, the master mariner sailed to the most beautiful places on earth. There, he earned good money buying and selling valuable objects.

One day, his ship sailed to the port of the Eastern Islands. Various goods were offered at a market, from brightly colored birds to dazzling copper objects. There was a stall with various filled leather bags. “What’s in the bags?” asked the master mariner the seller. “These bags are filled with different kinds of wind,” replied the man. “If you go south, I have a bag here for you with very reliable northwestern wind.” He pointed to one of the brown bags. “If you go east, I have one of the best sorted western gusts of wind here. I’m selling them today at a very low price.” “Give me a good east wind,” said the master mariner. He paid fifty gold coins for it and took the bag with him. Now, the bags looked very much alike, and the shopkeeper had mistaken the contents of the bag. Instead of an east wind, the master mariner had bought a bag with a terrible storm.

Back at sea, the master mariner set course for Silkland. It was the country ruled by the most beautiful princess of all princesses. The princess saw the beautiful ship entering the harbor and wanted to meet the captain as soon as possible.

The next morning, the princess visited the ship. On the deck lay the most beautiful, precious carpets. The princess was impressed, not only by the treasures but also by the captain. Hardly had the young captain laid his beautiful eyes on her two or three times, or she began to believe that he was the most handsome and brave boy she had ever seen. The master mariner, in turn, had fallen head over heels in love with the princess.

The princess was allowed to choose which gifts she would like to accept. She ordered some of the treasures to be taken to the palace. She looked with interest at the silver fish the sailor wore. “What a beautiful silver fish,” said the princess. “It’s a gift I once received from a friend,” replied the master mariner. When he saw that the princess was very interested in the talisman, he wanted to give it to her. “I’ll give it to you,” he said, and hung the pendant around her neck.

The captain and his crew stayed in the land of the princess for a few days. Then they had to continue their journey with a new load of trade goods on board. But wherever the captain went, the image of the beautiful princess of Silkland traveled with him. Three months passed. The princess hoped that the master sailor would return to Silkland. One morning, a ship approached the harbor. The princess thought it was her beloved sailor’s ship, but it was not.

It was a pirate ship! The captain of the ship had taken a job from the old king of the Oyster Mountains. He would capture the princess and hand her over to the old king who had set his sights on her. Once on land, the pirates plundered the entire city, and the people were locked up. The princess tried to hide, but she was eventually found and captured. Meanwhile, the master mariner’s ship also reached Silkland. The crew of the ship fought hard to defeat the pirates. But in the fighting, the master mariner was hit on the head and knocked unconscious. His crew did not know what to do and lost the battle.

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The princess and the master mariner were taken to the pirate ship, and the pirates took possession of the beautiful merchant ship. The pirate ship was set on fire, and the pirates prepared for the journey to the Oyster Mountains. On board, the loot was counted. It was so much that it took them an hour to finish counting. When they finished counting, the master mariner was brought out. “So, you thought you could handle me?” roared the cruel captain. “I’ll show you what happens to people who try to thwart my plans.” Then he ordered one of the pirates to throw the master mariner overboard. Splash! The sailor fell into the pitch-black sea. Fortunately, he could swim and managed to grab a piece of wood to hold onto.

The evil captain then turned to the princess. The pirates had tied her to the mast. “Well, my beauty, are you going to decide to become the wife of the king of the Oyster Mountains?” The princess recoiled in horror. The pirate grabbed her by the throat, causing the silver fish on her neck to fall onto the deck. At that moment, thick black clouds of mist rolled from the cabin onto the deck. One of the curious pirates had found the bag with the terrible storm inside and opened it. The strange clouds became darker and denser every second. A storm broke out with the force of an explosion.

The entire crew went overboard, including the captain. The princess was the only one left on the ship. The rope to which she was tied to the mast had saved her. The silver fish had come to life in the water and shot over the railing into the sea. The storm continued, and the princess was terrified. Her fear grew even greater when she saw the ship heading towards a rocky island. The master mariner had also been blown by the storm towards the rocky island. There, the King of the Caves of the Sea emerged from the water. The silver fish had called him. The king took the mariner in his webbed hands and swam with him to a safe place. There, they saw the ship with the princess tied to the mast. “Oh, save her! Save the princess!” cried the master mariner. The King of the Caves of the Sea stretched his hands out over the island and spoke a strange and mysterious word. Its power was enormous. The storm subsided, and the island was given a safe haven in a flash.

Remarkably, nothing had been damaged on the ship. The princess was unharmed, and the cargo had also been well-preserved. The master mariner sailed back to Silkland with the princess and returned all the possessions to the people. There was great joy, but the joy became even greater when the master mariner married the princess.