Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2229965-Marineman-Treasures-of-Millennia
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Fantasy · #2229965
Gilltom and Lumina search for what Finross calls "Treasures of Millennia."
         It was a beautiful summer day deep in the Questaric Sea. Just one of the many wonderous places of the world of Lorstar. The currents were calm, the water was warm, and the sun shined brightly through it. Saltwick Town was lively and full of joy. Marineman and merfolk traveled through the town, all with their own agendas. Among them were Gilltom and his lover, Lumina. The marineman couple were sitting at a table reading their favorite comic books. They both loved comedy, and their comics were the perfect source of amusement. Almost as good as TV.

         There was only 1 problem, though. Gilltom and Lumina had read these comics many times before. They were starting to get boring. Gilltom sighed and looked up at Varoura.

         "I wish I had enough money to buy some new comics," he said. "I'm saving up for a new bed, so I can't afford to spend too much."

         "I feel you, Gilltom," Lumina said softly. "These comics are great, but I read them a thousand times. They're getting old fast." The couple sighed and shook their heads. They were both saving their money for much more expensive luxuries and were hesitant to spend money on minor desires.

         "My next modeling gig won't be for another week," Gilltom said. "I guess I'll have to wait until then."

         "Maybe you don't have to," a familiar voice said. Gilltom and Lumina looked over and saw Finross approaching them with a confident smile. He looked like he was dying to say something to them.

         "What does that mean, dude?" Gilltom asked. Finross paused for a bit, then looked boldly at Gilltom.

         "I've heard rumors that some very special, underappreciated treasures were appearing in Angulent Trench," he said. Gilltom and Lumina were instantly intrigued by Finross's statement. Gilltom leaned over and grinned widely, showing his razor-sharp teeth.

         "Very special treasure, huh?" Gilltom asked amusingly.

         "Underappreciated?" Lumina asked confusedly. "That sounds very odd." Finross chuckled and nodded. His red eyes glittered with a slight shine of delight. He liked that his best friend seemed so interested.

         "What are they? The treasures?" Gilltom asked. Finross was about to answer, but then stopped to think. It wouldn't be very fun to just tell Gilltom what the treasures were outright. Finross felt this was probably a good time to test his best friend's intelligence. Gilltom could sense the mischief in Finross's mind. He knew he was up to something. Sure enough, Finross chuckled and shook his head.

         "I'd rather not just tell you," he said. "I want to see if you can figure it out yourself." Gilltom's eyes narrowed and he sighed with a toothy grin. Lumina gave Finross a similar expression.

         "You feeling a bit tricky today?" Lumina asked. Finross shook his head.

         "No Lumina," he replied. "I just want to test Gilltom's intellect." He looked back at Gilltom and crossed his arms, glancing at the comic books for a second. "Those comic books are fun, but they're not very good for your mind," he said. "I'll tell you what. I will give you 3 hints about what the treasures of Angulent Trench are. Hopefully, you'll figure it out yourselves." Gilltom chuckled and did a face palm. Finross sure had high expectations of him. Then again, this sounded like a good idea for an adventure. A hunt for an unknown treasure. His instincts pricked from the excitement.

         "Alright, dude," Gilltom said confidently. "Give me the 3 clues to this so-called underappreciated treasure." He leaned over in his seat in anticipation. Finross was amused by his friend's enthusiasm.

         "OK," Finross said, and he took a deep breath, preparing to give Gilltom and Lumina the clues. "Here is the first clue," he said, holding up one finger. "These treasures are truly ancient. Things that have remained hidden for thousands of years. They're truly treasures of millennia." Lumina gasped in amazement and curiosity. She was already fascinated by the mystery. Gilltom did not lose composure and continued listening intently. "The second clue," Finross said holding up 2 of his webbed fingers now. "These treasures are not the least bit manmade. They are entirely treasures of nature. Formed naturally without influence from people."

         Lumina went from being excited to puzzled. She realized she didn't know of any undersea treasures like Finross was describing. Gilltom felt the same way, but he dared not to show it in front of Finross. He knew his friend wouldn't be pleased to see him befuddled. Thank the gods Finross didn't have a 6th sense like he did.

         "And finally, the third clue," Finross said holding up a third finger. "It is not shiny, edible, or alive. At least....." he paused, giving a small smirk and looking away as if he were wondering something. Gilltom noticed Finross's hesitation. Did he decide not to say the entire clue? Finross looked back at Gilltom. "Yeah. It's not shiny, edible, or alive," he said. Gilltom could sense Finross was going to say something extra but stopped at "at least." Gilltom made sure to remember those 2 last words of the clue. They could have been a part of something important. Gilltom gave a skeptical look.

         "Sounds pretty weird," Gilltom said. Finross chuckled again and looked at Gilltom with narrowed eyes.

         "It's funny you think that," he said slyly. "You already have one yourself." Gilltom gasped slightly from this statement. However, he regained his composure when he realized Finross had unknowingly given him a fourth clue. He smirked and shook off the surprise. Still, it made him even more curious. He already had a treasure like this? Was it in his stash back home? Gilltom tried hard not to show his growing curiosity.

          Lumina smiled and brought a finger to her lips as if she were wondering. Gilltom memorized the clues perfectly. He and Lumina were ready. He stood up, packed his comics back into his inventory sack, and walked up to Finross.

         "Thanks for the clues, dude," he said, extending his hand for a handshake. "I'll return with a motherload of these treasures of millennia. Count on it." Finross grinned and firmly grasped Gilltom's hand for a strong handshake.

         "I'll be waiting here in town for you, then," he said. "I'll help show you exactly who desires those unusual treasures."

         "It's done then," Gilltom said, ending the handshake. He turned to Lumina. "Let's go, Lumina," he said eagerly. The couple swam at high speeds, dashing to the north where the dark, foreboding Angulent Trench was located.

          The undersea pit was known to be quite scary. Not just from the darkness, but the frightening sea creatures that lived down there. Although most of them were not dangerous, they were known to be very intimidating. Long needle-like teeth, enormous eyes, giant, gaping mouths, and glowing spots that hypnotized other creatures. This knowledge did not frighten Gilltom. In fact, he liked the idea of seeing creatures like that. He loved frightening deep-sea beasts. To him, they were supremely cool. Lumina, his lover, felt the same way.

          As they dashed speedily through the sea, Lumina glimpsed at Gilltom occasionally. She couldn't help herself. In her eyes, Gilltom was the most handsome, attractive guy she had ever known, and likely ever will. His long, waist length dark blue and light blue streaked hair flowed brilliantly in the water. His bright blue eyes were hard not to stare at. His body was slim and sexy. Not too thin, not too muscular. Perfect for modeling and dancing. Of course, his most attractive feature was his personality. Friendly, fun, confident, compassionate, bold, respectful, and trusting. It was a practically perfect combination to her. His personality made him look so beautiful to her. She could hardly take her eyes off him.

          Gilltom sensed Lumina's feelings of infatuation. They were clearly sparking in her mind. He turned to her and gave her a sweet, loving smile. Then, he slowed his dashing speed and floated closer to his lover. Lumina knew what he was desiring and moved towards him. Gilltom gently grasped Lumina's shoulders with his webbed hands. Lumina did the same with him. They leisurely twirled through the water, and Gilltom now floated above Lumina. They gazed into each other's eyes with longing and passion. Unable to resist each other, they slowly closed the distance between themselves and kissed. The kiss was passionate and full of love. Their lips slowly moved around, deepening the romance. Gilltom and Lumina's hearts raced warmly and pleasantly. It felt like their hearts were drumming a lovely tune, powered by their love for each other. Waves of joy surged through the bodies like gentle, luxurious waves.

          Soon, they pulled apart and gazed into each other's eyes. Gilltom smiled, his face turning a slight tint of pink. Lumina giggled slightly and let go of his shoulders. She sank lower and winked at him.

          "Always a pleasure," she said tenderly. Gilltom smiled wider and his face felt warmer. Oh, how he adored this girl. He felt like the luckiest person under the sea to have a lover like her. Slightly distracted, he almost didn't notice the Angulent Trench was coming into view. Gilltom looked ahead and became entranced by the sight of the massive pit he would soon explore. He had only been here a few times before, and never to find treasure. Gilltom remembered the clues Finross gave him and wondered what the Treasures of Millennia could be. Ancient natural treasures that weren't shiny, edible, or alive. Gilltom thought intensely what the mysterious treasures could be. He knew if he could figure it out, he'd be rewarded with an even better treasure. A whole bunch of brand-new comics. Hilarious comics for him and Lumina to enjoy together. After that thought, Gilltom and Lumina were now floating right above the massive dark trench. The dark grey, moss covered rocks cast shadows into the pit. He could barely sense the electrical pulses of the creatures swimming around. Even in this foreboding place life flourished. The ocean was truly a wonderous place.

          "Time to head down there and find the treasures of millennia," Lumina said eagerly.

          "Yes! Let's do this!" Gilltom cheered. The 2 marineman slowly sank down into the darkness of the trench. It was not completely black, but quite dark. However, Gilltom, thanks to his sensitive eyes, could see nearly perfectly. He also picked up the small sounds of creatures swimming nearby. A tiny angler fish swam towards him with its glowing lure. Lumina moved to the left to avoid a needle toothed viper fish swimming nearby. The snake-like predator would have been very dangerous if it wasn't just the size of a man's forearm.

          "These creatures look pretty cool, don't they?" she said.

          "Totally intense," Gilltom agreed. Looking around as they descended deeper into the chasm, Gilltom and Lumina thought about the clues Finross gave them.

          "Treasures of millennia," Lumina wondered aloud. "Well, a millennium is 1,000 years, so these treasures must be at least 1,000 years old."

          "And they're formed naturally without any interruption from people," Gilltom said. His eyes suddenly sparked with realization.

          "Formed," he said curiously. "I wonder if he used that specific word for a reason."

          "Possibly," Lumina said. By this time the couple sank down to the bottom of the pit. Nothing but sand was beneath their feet. They looked around the rocky cliffs, wondering if they were where the treasures were.

          "Could he have been talking about crystals or gems?" Lumina wondered.

          "No," Gilltom said. "Crystals and gems don't last for thousands of years. Plus, they're shiny, and Finross said they weren't shiny." Gilltom walked around, looking at the cliffs and down at his feet. "It's not alive, so the creatures aren't the treasure." He paused. "At least," he said slowly. Gilltom remembered Finross was about to describe the treasure more but hesitated. "At least what?" he wondered. "They're not shiny, edible, or alive at least what?" Lumina sighed and shrugged.

          "I don't know anything like that other than the rocks of these cliffs," she said looking around. "But didn't Finross say you already had a treasure like that?" she remarked. Gilltom did remember, but he couldn't think of anything he possessed that matched that strange description. Lost in thought, he touched the shark tooth he wore around his neck, rubbing it gently with his claws. He walked around, then stopped when he felt something odd. Gilltom looked down at his feet. He had just stepped on something hard. Something buried in the sand.

          "What is it, Gilltom?" Lumina asked, noticing his attention moved to something. Gilltom crouched down and brushed the sand away from what he stepped on. There was a rock buried under it. A rock with a strangely familiar texture. Gilltom had an extremely keen sense of touch. Thanks to this, he realized this stone was something he felt before. Lost in thought again, he once again touched his shark tooth necklace.

          That was when it hit him. Gilltom's instincts triggered like a lightning bolt. This stone had the same texture as the very tooth he wore around his neck. However, he knew very well this tooth he wore was no ordinary one.

          "I think I got it, Lumina," he said brightly. "An underappreciated treasure. Underappreciated because not everyone would see it as a treasure," he explained. "They're treasures of millennia because they took thousands of years to form. And," he paused.

          "And what?" Lumina asked excitedly. Gilltom then rummaged through the sand excitedly as if he were looking for something.

          "They're not shiny, edible or alive. At least," he paused. "Not anymore." Gilltom pulled a light-colored rock out of the sand. He looked at it closely from all sides, then tossed it away. After more digging, Gilltom grabbed another rock, looked at it, and then gave a loud holler.

          "I got it!" His voice echoed through the trench.

          "What?! What?!" Lumina asked, hopping with excitement.

          "Look at this! Look!" Gilltom hollered. He showed Lumina the ordinary looking stone. However, when she looked closely, she realized this rock was anything but normal. A clear indentation of a 7-armed starfish was on the rock. It looked like a 3D image of the creature. Lumina immediately knew what this was.

          "It's a fossil," she said with awe. "So, the treasures of millennia Finross described are fossils?"

          "Exactly," Gilltom said. "They took thousands of years to form, they're completely natural, and they are not alive or edible. Not anymore at least." He gently clutched the fossilized tooth he always wore around his neck. "I did have a treasure of millennia all along," he said. "Finross, my friend, I have solved your riddle."

          "You're amazing, Gilltom." Lumina stared adoringly at her lover. Gilltom chuckled and scratched his head, flattered by Lumina's gaze.

          "Well, let's start digging," Gilltom said. "Let's each try to find 10 fossils. That should be worth a bunch of comics." Lumina nodded and crouched down to dig through the sand. Gilltom did so as well.

          For 30 minutes Gilltom and Lumina rummaged through the soft sand at the bottom of Angulent Trench. So far Gilltom found 3 fossils. One of a jawbone, one of 2 small fish, and a large fossil of half a shark skull. Lumina found 4 fossils. 2 were of starfish, 1 was an eel backbone, and the fourth was a very large shark tooth.

          "I hope these fossils are worth a lot," Lumina said. "These don't seem like something a jeweler would care for. I've never seen them in pawn shops either."

          "I'm sure there are collectors," Gilltom said. "Finross said he knew who would want these, so we'll just meet back with him once we collected enough."

          "I wish I knew how valuable each one was," Lumina said softly.

          "Well, there's no way to find out, unfortunately," Gilltom said. "For now, let's just collect every fossil we find." After a while, Gilltom and Lumina realized they had searched this area quite thoroughly.

          "Let's swim further ahead," Gilltom said. "We might have more luck somewhere else." The couple swam through the trench and stopped in a wider area. The trench walls were much farther apart now, and the light was brighter. There were also more creatures swimming around. A gulper eel drifted close to Gilltom, its gaping mouth wide open. "Gnarly," he said quietly. Gilltom once again searched through the sand for ancient fossils. Almost instantly he picked up a large stone. Emblazoned on it was the fossilized face of a fish with an incredibly large mouth. He had never seen a fish like this open its mouth so wide. "Score!" he exclaimed. He hurriedly put the fossil in his magic sack. It took only 2 minutes for him to find another fossil.

          "I found a huge shark tooth!" Lumina exclaimed. Gilltom gave a thumbs up without looking at her. He was focused completely on the fossils. There were so much more here than the other area. So many that Gilltom decided to collect the ones that seemed the most unusual. Lumina did the same.

          After 10 minutes of searching, Gilltom was close to collecting 10 fossils. He made sure to choose the ones he believed were the rarest and most valuable. Unfortunately, he didn't know exactly what was considered valuable or worthless. He had to rely on general assumptions to choose which fossils to carry.

          Suddenly, when Gilltom picked up a rock, he felt a slight tremor beneath his feet. So slight, others might not have felt it. This unexpected sensation made his instincts spark for a split second. Just enough for his 6th sense to pick up something. Something that made his stop dead in his tracks. Was he really sensing this? Gilltom swallowed hard and flexed his fingers to focus his sense. What he picked up was absolutely terrifying. Something humongous was buried under the sand. Something very much alive. Gilltom could clearly sense the electrical life pulses of the beast. It was so large, he believed it could easily swallow him and Lumina whole. The desire for treasure faded and a survival instinct surged in his mind.

          "Lumina," Gilltom said slowly. Lumina heard the fear in his voice and slowly turned to him with a worried expression.

          "What is it?" she asked nervously. Gilltom slowly faced Lumina with a look of dread.

          "There's something alive under the sand, and it's enormous," Gilltom said fearfully. He looked down and saw dark red scales under the sand. Gilltom knew he and Lumina were in trouble. Did this creature know they were on top of it?

          That question was answered when Gilltom tried to lift his feet off the ground. Instantly, a tremor shook the entire trench. The sand slowly flew off the emerging creature, sending Gilltom and Lumina hurtling above it. An elongated, dark red, shiny, slithering body emerged. At the front, was a gaping mouth filled with hundreds of overlapping teeth and 2 ginormous black eyes that stared ravenously at Gilltom and Lumina. Gilltom knew what this beast was. It was a crimson frilled shark. An abnormally large one.

          "Great Johnny almighty," Gilltom stuttered. "I've never, ever seen or heard such a huge frilled shark."

          "I don't think we can fight that thing, Gilltom," Lumina said, horrified. It was true. The eel-like shark must have been 40 feet long. It could easily swallow them whole. There was only one option.

          "Swim away!" Gilltom cried. Without hesitation, Gilltom and Lumina dashed through the trench as fast as they could. The shark opened its mouth and began sucking up everything in its path. All the creatures Gilltom and Lumina dashed by were drawn into the crimson shark's mouth and devoured alive. It was eating prey. Luckily, they were much faster than it, and escape seemed likely.

          "Whatever you do, don't look back!" Lumina shouted, glancing at Gilltom. That simple twist of her head threw Lumina's dash off course. She tilted to the side and slammed into Gilltom, causing them to tumble violently.

          "No! No! No!" Gilltom cried as he flipped uncontrollably. He tried desperately to regain control of his momentum, holding onto Lumina's hand as tight as he could. After focusing intently and slowing down his tumble, he regained stability. He looked back at Lumina. She gave a look that wordlessly said, "my bad." Without another word, they continued to swim away, but this time they were dashing hand in hand.

          The enormous frilled shark continued to suck up and devour all the creatures in its path. It opened its mouth wider, strengthening its vacuum. Gilltom struggled to hand on to Lumina. They dashed faster, but they could feel the creature gaining on them. Worry began to infest their minds.

          Suddenly, they heard the horrendous sound of a vicious stab followed by a low pitch roar. The vacuum force suddenly weakened. Gilltom and Lumina turned back and were amazed at what they saw. It was Gilltom's brother, Yaykose, who had plunged his signature obsidian blade deep into the shark's skull. Gilltom stared in amazement as his brother pulled his blade out of the beast and continued his assault. The shark was dazed by the debilitating hit and could not fight back. Yaykose dove downward and slashed a wide cut across the beast's body. It turned its head downward and tried to swallow him, but Yaykose dashed forward and escaped its jaws.

          "You stiff, or what?" Yaykose called out in a slightly angry tone. Hearing his brother's voice caused the fear to disappear from Gilltom's mind. He gathered his courage and dashed in to join the assault. Lumina, finding her courage thanks to Gilltom, followed after him. Gilltom slashed at the creature's eel-like body with his venomous claws. Lumina did the same. Yaykose diverted the shark's attention by using the light shining off his blade as a lure. The beast couldn't take its eyes off the shining blade. It was hypnotized. Yaykose looked down at Gilltom and growled.

          "Gilltom," he said. Thanks to Gilltom's incredibly strong hearing, he could clearly hear his brother's words even though he wasn't nearby. "You need to harvest its guts, Gilltom. Come on. Now's the time to be brutal." Gilltom winced slightly. He knew his brother could be very vicious in battle. However, when he looked at Lumina, he saw she was struggling to continue her attacks. The shark could turn its attention on her any minute. Gilltom's instincts triggered strongly, giving him the courage to unleash his inner brutality.

          With a mighty roar, Gilltom charged at the shark. He brought his fingers together to perform a knife strike and with a strong strike, stabbed the beast's chest with his hand like a knife. The strike sunk his arm deep into the shark's body. Gilltom was disturbed by the sensation of his arm piercing it, but he did not let it stop him. He grabbed a handful of innards and ripped them out of the shark. Blood seeped from its gaping wound. Lumina saw what Gilltom had done and was frightened. However, it seemed the beast was gravely weakened from that attack. Growing bold, Lumina also pierced the beast with a knife strike. Her sharp claws and finger positioning made her hand stab like a blade. Without hesitation, she too ripped a handful of guts out of the shark. They did this 4 times, avoiding the shark's thrashing all the while. Yaykose continued to divert its attention. Keeping it from attacking them.

          When Gilltom ripped out part of the shark's heart, it let out a low pitch wail that sent shockwaves through the water. It was nearly dead. Yaykose charged at the creature with his blade and stabbed it in the skull again. The blade sunk deeper into the shark's head than before. It thrashed around, and Yaykose yanked out his blade. Gilltom and Lumina watched as the creature flailed aimlessly, gradually weakening. When its thrashing ended, the giant shark's black eyes dulled out and became grey. It sank to the bottom of the trench lifelessly. Gilltom and Lumina gave a sigh of relief and slowly descended to the sand below. Yaykose sank down towards them.

          When Gilltom faced his brother, he smiled widely. Yaykose simply gave his usual calm gaze. Lumina found it funny that although the brother's eye colors were the same, they were very different. Gilltom's eyes seemed bright and friendly while Yaykose's were pale and calm. Despite their differences, the brothers truly cared for each other.

          "Thanks, bro," Gilltom said to Yaykose. "You know, if you keep saving my life like this, I'll never be able to repay you."

          "I don't care," Yaykose sighed. "You don't owe me anything."

          "So, what exactly are you doing here anyway?" Gilltom asked his brother. Yaykose looked at the now dead frilled shark lying on the ground in front of them. He growled slightly as if he were disappointed.

          "I came here looking for fossils," he explained. "I heard some rare ones could be found here, so I came to dig for some." Gilltom's eyes lit up and his smiled grew wider.

          "You came here to look for treasures of millennia, too?" Gilltom asked. Yaykose looked puzzled for a minute, then he nodded.

          "I doubt I'll find that many now with this enormous corpse on top of the sand," he said, looking at the shark they killed. Gilltom and Lumina groaned. They knew Yaykose was right. Finding more fossils would probably be difficult with this dead beast lying in the trench. Scavengers were probably on their way right now to feast on it. Sure enough, Gilltom and Yaykose sensed a swarm of incoming creatures. There must have been hundreds of them.

          "I guess we'll have to get out of here," Lumina said.

          "Yeah, let's go," Gilltom said. Quickly, the group swam upwards to escape in impending feeding frenzy. Once they emerged from the trench, they looked down and were amazed at the sight of hundreds of scavengers devouring the massive frilled shark like piranhas. Unlike piranhas, however, these hungry creatures would likely take days to strip the beast of all its flesh. Gilltom and Lumina knew their treasure hunt was over. Yaykose seemed especially disappointed.

          "Crock," Yaykose cursed. "I won't be able to search for fossils for days now." Gilltom looked at his brother. He decided to do something nice for him.

          "I managed to collect some fossils, bro," he said. "I can give you some if you like." Yaykose's eyes lit up and he turned to Gilltom.

          "Really, Gilltom?" he asked. Gilltom smiled at his brother. Although Yaykose was not smiling, he could tell he was happy.

          "Sure thing, bro," Gilltom said. "Let's go back to Saltwick so I can show you what I collected." Together, the trio dashed back to Saltwick Town to show each other their treasures of millennia.

          20 minutes later, Gilltom, Lumina, and Yaykose arrived at Saltwick Town. Finross was sitting at the same bench they were at before. He smiled as they approached.

          "You're back," he said. "So, did you find some treasures of millennia?"

          "If you mean fossils, they did," Yaykose said.

          "Oh, hello Yaykose," Finross said. "What are you doing here?"

          "Long story," Gilltom said as he sat down at the table. He pulled out his magic sack and searched through it, pulling out the fossils he collected one by one. Lumina did so as well. Yaykose's eyes lit up with intrigue when he saw the ancient fossils. Once Gilltom and Lumina unpacked them all, he looked at them closely.

          "Take your pick, bro," Gilltom said cheerfully. Yaykose examined the fossils thoroughly. There were 14 in total. Gilltom had 8.

          "I'm impressed, you 2," Finross said. "I'm sure collectors would buy some of these for a lot of money."

          "Collectors?" Lumina asked.

          "Yeah. Pawn shops often buy and sell fossils for collectors," Finross explained. "The pawn shop here in Saltwick is particularly fond of fossils."

          "Yeah? Well so am I," Yaykose said. Gilltom was surprised.

          "You collect fossils, bro?" he asked.

          "Yes," Yaykose replied. He picked up a shark tooth fossil and examined it, scratching it softly with his claws and bringing it close to his eyes. "I'll pay 30 dollas for this one," he offered. Dollas were the currency of Lorstar's underwater society. Gilltom gasped in disbelief at his brother's offer. Lumina was equally astonished.

          "30 dollas?" Gilltom asked in shock. "Are these things really worth that much money?"

          "No. Usually they're worth twice more than that," Finross answered.

          "No way," Lumina said. Gilltom and Lumina counted the fossils they collected, then attempted to estimate how much money they were worth. When they finished, their eyes opened wide and they stared at each other in disbelief. Their open mouths formed wide smiles and they became very enthusiastic. "Do you know that this means, Gilltom?" Lumina asked elatedly.

          "Well, to me it means I'll get more than just a bunch of new comics," he said. "I'm a huge step closer to affording that new bed I want!" Gilltom and Lumina rushed to each other and embraced lovingly. Finross smiled.

          "They're quite a couple, aren't they?" he said to Yaykose.

          "Yeah," Yaykose said nonchalantly. Yaykose pulled out his magic sack and packed the fossil. He then took 30 dollas out of the wallet pocket of the sack. Gilltom heard the sound of dollas jingling and turned around to see Yaykose handing him the money. Gilltom grinned and accepted the cash.

          "Thanks, bro," he said. "Enjoy that fossil." Yaykose sighed, then turned around and walked away. Gilltom chuckled and shook his head. Sometimes his brother's loner nature annoyed him. Not that much, though.

          "OK," Finross said. "Now that you have your treasures of millennia, are you ready to sell them to the pawn shop?"

          "Totally, dude!" Gilltom cheered.

          "Let's go get some moolah!" Lumina exclaimed. Finross led Gilltom and Lumina to the pawn shop to sell their fossils. Several minutes later, they obtained enough dollas to buy more comics than they ever desired. The treasure hunt was a terrific success.

          The next day, Gilltom and Lumina sat at the Saltwick Town benches again. Now they were reading brand new comics they bought with the dollas they got for their fossils. They smiled and laughed as they read the hilarious stories.

          "These are quite the treasures, aren't they, Gilltom?" Lumina said.

          "Money well spent, Lumina," Gilltom chuckled. Lumina nodded and they continued amusing themselves with the humorous stories. Their laughter echoed through the town. Yaykose, who was walking nearby, looked at them and rolled his eyes.

          "Money well spent, huh?" he murmured. "They should read real books. Comics rot your brain." He leisurely swam off, the sounds of his brother's laughing fading away.

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