Sometimes, he envied those who was playing around him, recklessly, carelessly and yet with that broad smile on their faces, didn't even seem to care about one existance among them that was waiting to be acknowledge as one of them. Painful, that was what he thought of his life. He tried to pity himself, again and again, but no matter how hard he tried, the other twelves zodiac won't even care to take even a glance towards him especially the head of the family himself, Akito. The feeling of being shoved away, the feelings of that not being needed in the society, it was painful. What past? What history? He could care less.
As usual, on the roof top, watching towards the sky, sight-seeing the birds dancing in the air, the cloud floats softly like a cotton candy, little by bit calmed his heavy heart and stressful day. The sun was about to set soon and he knew that the existance of one person who really cared about him from the bottom of her heart, sincerely and innocently, climbing up the ladder and said, "Kyo-kun, dinner's ready." With that little enchanting smile carved on her face, who could've decline such invitation? He climbed down from the roof top where he ususally lay and went inside in to consume his dinner with everyone which was in his knowing that made him feel like a proper home for a cursed guy like him.
"Oya Kyo~ How could you let this splendid dinner runs cold? Are you trying to hurt such a beautiful maiden's heart?" Shigure on his obnoxious manner as always, teasing him.
"Mind your own bussiness dork!!!" He yelled.
"What a noisy bunch," Yuki finally uttered.
"What the- wanna pick a fight or something sissy boy?"
"Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you," He replied back with a little sneer on his face.
"Why you!" He almost lost his temper by the time Tohru accidentally tried to stop him and literally didn't mean to hug him.
"Kya~ Kyo-kun, sorry!" She had both her hands on her head.
"Stupid~," Was what had been uttered by Yuki.
"Hmmph!" He dashed upstairs in his cat form, getting back to the roof top.
After getting all his clothes on when he finally transformed back, he lay down quietly while gazing towards the stars which was very nice and gentle that night.
"So you were here all this time," Tohru's voice somehow startled him from his day(Night?)-dream.
"What it is just you," He finally settled down from his ill-temper.
"Say, you really love high place," She said it with another of her smile.
"Uhh.. I guess so," He stared away. "Hey...."
"Ehn??" Tohru replied.
"It.. It was nothing," He finally blushed.
"Huh?" She asked.
"Why?" She asked bluntly.
" Maybe for accepting me for who I am," His voice somewhat lowered down and he was still blushing.
She gave her innocent angel smile again and said, "Anytime."
That day, he was the happiest person ever lived that he knew, finally there's a person besides his sensei who was willing to accept his very existance which was not being acknowledge by anyone before. He felt as if his dark gloomy days were washed away by that just one smile of hears. He even wondered how long will he be able to enjoy that smile.
“On what occasion has made you summon us all here in this very hall, Captain Kenneth Rogers?” The king exclaimed in bewilderness.
“I’m sorry to call you all here but I have finally cracked the mystery of ‘the death of Queen Arianette Lieselotte,” He smirked.
The whole subjects including the royals were astounded by his bold proclamation. Their eyes widened in disbelieved and each one of them were looking at each other as if Captain Kenny had lost his mind.
“Let hear it out then,” Prince Airill uttered kind of interested with it.
“But before that, may I meet up with the Princess’s Caretaker, Miss Anna Hopperwine?” Captain Kenny called.
A woman, whose hair was half grey, stepped forward. It seemed that she had aged a lot from the last time I met her, which her hair was beautiful brunette. “If there’s anything you need my good lad?” Her smile was somehow crooked.
“Dear Mam, I have not wield any grudge to offense you nor the entire palace not even the Queen herself,” He bowed courteously towards the queen. “You had been Princess’s Eleanor’s Guardian for a long time now have you?”
The woman was agitated to answer but with a slight sigh, she replied his doubts with her refine statement, “Yes, indeed. Is there any argument about that?”
“It may or may not. It depends. What do you think about the late queen back then before she died?” He asked again, a bit monotonous.
“She was a fine queen and a fine mother or so at least, that’s what I’ve bear in mind,” She replied.
“Was she neither a good wife nor a good queen back then?” Captain Kenny questioned.
“I bear none of the right to judge,” She hissed angrily.
“You don’t but Ann A. Hopper does. That’s your real name isn’t it? The Dark Lord refers to the late Queen Arianette, Fredrick is the king and Lilliana is the current queen and the evil beauty is you! The proof is written inside the late queen’s journal,” Captain Kenny jumped into an astounding conclusion.
“And so? Does finding the real culprit behind the scene makes you a hero and changes the history and everyone will live happily ever after? It’s too late to change now, isn’t it?” She smirked.
“Guards! Seize her!” The King proclaimed the entire troop of army to arrest the old woman.
Soon, the old woman evolves herself into a beautiful, fine young lady far more beautiful than what she was when she first served the palace. She hurled herself out of the crowds and swiftly teleported herself at the window, “Insolent fool- traitor! You should have thanked me for releasing you from that horrifying curse!” She shrieked furiously.
“By curse, what did you mean?” The king asked.
“You love Queen Arabelle so much and yet you’re married with that fallen Goddess just for the exchange of peace of this land. She turned into a human just because of the contract that you made and in exchange, you need to marry her! Now that you’re by the side of the person you love most because of me and yet you do not know how to thank me?” She frowned as she turned herself into a hideous beast.
“How can I thank you for murdering the woman who saved the people of this land? He was dejected and was very pissed off by her foolishness.
“Or so must you pay for your incompetent.”
The Beast she had turned into attacked the king with her big claws that left him with a massive injury as she flew out of the palace, trying to run away.
“Penelope!” Captain Kenny shouted.
“Geez, no need to shout…” Penelope grew into the size of a full grown man and had Captain Kenny rode his back.
“Wait! You’ll be killed!” I called out for Captain Kenny.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back to marry you- I promise and this is the only way for me to avenge your mother,” He quickly pulled me into a kiss and flew up with Penelope in the air and chased after the wicked sorcerer, Ann A. Hopper.
“You foolish young lad! I should’ve destroyed you along with the queen years ago!”
“Then why not kill me now when you have the opportunity?” He smirked as he controlled Penelope and led her towards the sea.
“Oh, I’d be honoured!” She shrieked in excitement. “I’ll tear you pieces to pieces!”
“I’d love to see that but unfortunately, you have encountered my field, be prepared to face my judgement,” The Sea sprung in the air just like the glaciers.
“Ah, so this is the power of ‘The Devil of the Sea’. Fascinating! Fascinating!” She laughed hysterically.
“Capt’n, look out!” Penelope’s call wasn’t heard by him and ended up with Captain Kenny fell down towards the sea.
The evil witch followed him downwards in her beast form and tried to attack him but before she could do so, the devil disappeared as soon as his feet touched the sea. She exasperatedly searched for his stature but could find him until he dashed out of nowhere and slashed her bat-like wing and disappeared again.
“You cunning leg power is no match for my sorcery!” The air around her grew intense and Captain Kenny was taken aback, flown by the immense gush of wind into the air before falling back into the sea and vanished one more time. “Your little child play will not work twice against me.”
“We’ll see about that!” He suddenly appeared out of the blue and stabbed her with his sword. His calculation got it wrong, she deliberately took the pierce in order to put on an attack which finally hit his right chest that made him spurt out blood. He wiped the blood with his right hand and vanished once again on the surface of the sea, as if he and the sea were one.
“Fascinating! Fascinating! This prowess is far greater than what I have had in mind! More! More!” Ann howled, overwhelmed with excitement.
This time, Captain Kenny attacked from below and thrusts his sword directly into her heart. She licked the bloody sword that made him jolted backwards and rode on Penelope’s back once again, “What on earth are you?”
“Me? I’m just a human who had sold my soul in order to attain a massive power in order to fulfil my dearest’s wish. Do you know how much my twin sister had suffered in order to see her mentor, Queen Arabelle to get married with the King?! I thought that she might be able to fill her grudge to the fullest by killing the princess with her own hands but unfortunately, she raised her and even saved her from the illness! How stupid is that?!” She snapped furiously, fretting over the laments that she had been suffering.
“No, she did the right thing,” Captain Kenny withdrew his sword and put it back into its scabbard.
“What did you mean by ‘the right thing’? That late notorious queen had tarnished the purity of love!” She yelled angrily.
“No, you did. Love also requires sacrifice. She sacrificed herself for the sake of the love that she has not yet seen and wanted that love to grow more and more. Forget the agony, forget the grudge and you will eventually learn how to love,” He replied.
“Aren’t you the same as me?! We both have grudge on people! You hate your mom! She betrayed your love!” She argued persuasively.
“I’m sorry. I was wrong back then. When I finally overcome my grudge, I have finally found something deep inside me that grows bigger and bigger day by day. This is what we call love. I forget my hatred but I will never forget the pain. I will tell my descendants about the pain and tell them not to repeat the same mistake. If I can forgive people, why can’t you?” He slightly smiled.
“This is not fair! This is not fair!” She pulled out Captain Kenny’s sword and stabbed it right through her. “I cannot live in this filthy world!” Captain Kenny pulled out the sword out of her body and said, “This world is filthy, but, your actions made it filthier than it already is. This world is pure but it becomes filthy because of the content is filled with greedy people and people who do not know how to be thankful.”
“You… Why didn’t you appear before me before I made such predicaments?” Her eyes were filled with tears of regret.
“Blame the fate,” His hazel eyes were somewhat cold.
“Well then, I should get going to where my sister was. I bid my farewell and good night,” She finally smiled.
“Good night and farewell, Ann…” He gestured his hand and shut her eyes and let the sea engulfed the soulless body.
When he returned to the palace, the atmosphere was in complete silence and everyone’s gaze was pointed on him solely. He received an internal injury but it wasn’t fatal enough to kill him. “The great witch had committed a suicide after an argument. May her body will rest in peace for she had fight for the sake of her loved one,” He exclaimed. “Let there be no more treason against each other or murder in this palace.” Even when he said that, his face was pale as white as a sheet of paper. I wondered if Ann had attacked him that badly.
“Lad, you’ve opened my eyes. I will not doubt you anymore,” The king finally smiled despite the coughs he had. “But, I do not approve of you in marrying my daughter.”
Everyone especially the crew were astonished to hear such response from the king himself. The crew went berserk and started to attack the knights inside the palace.
“THE HELL WE’RE GONNA ACCEPT THAT!” Rio shouted furiously.
“After what they had encountered, how dare you give such judgement towards them!?” Sylvester fretted over such sad answer.
“Our Captain had officially proposed to her and she said yes! What else do you want more old man?!” Fredrick aroused from the crowds.
“Shut up all of you!” Captain Kenny ordered. His Hazel eyes gleamed with despair and he seemed to grit his teeth before finally saying his words, “What is there for me to do to attain your blessing over your daughter, your majesty?”
“As you can see, she’s the daughter of the fallen goddess and you- you are the ferocious Devil of the Sea. Do you think that the civilians will take it easy? If you ask for my blessing, I would’ve given it straight away but how are you to receive the blessings from the civilians? She’s the future queen,” The king answered briefly.
Everyone was dumbfounded because the king’s dictions had its point there. The crew stopped all the havoc and finally gained their consciousness and had deep thoughts together with their captain.
“I see. It seems that my existence is a sin itself. Don’t worry your majesty… I accept your judgement fairly. But, I have only one request before I go. Eleanor, I mean, Princess Eleanor,” He came nearer towards me and took my hand and kissed my finger where the ring was located. “I want you to keep this ring, the sign of our meeting. Knowing you is bliss in my life and I cannot ask more than that.”
I frowned. I shook my head slightly and slowly, he released my hand and averted his gaze away from me as he paced away little by little. Slowly, all the crew members joined him, including Chast and Keith. Penelope did turn back for a second or two but then, as what the members did, he averted his gaze and left me in the hold of the guards, preventing me from going with them. I wept and wept as much I could and I couldn’t accept the fate that we had to be separated just because of the peace of the land. And I had no power to oppose of it.
A few days later, it was finally the time for me to be crowned as the new queen.
“Captain, are you sure you want to leave this land today? You should at least see her coronation,” Hardy persuaded.
“Seeing her will only make me hard to leave this place. I must do what I have to,” He answered monotonously, his tone trailed off compared to his usual.
“Captain, it is not a sin to wait,” Henry tried to convince him.
“We set sail as I said so!” His voice went high with anger though deep inside him, he was crying so hard.
Hardy and Henry had no choice but to obey his orders since he was the captain of the ship. At the same time in a different place, I was dressed in pure white, beautifully that made me look just like a bride. My name had been summoned and today, I was to become the Queen of Ele Kingdom. The civilians stared at me amazingly and everyone revealed a wide smile on their happiness, the sign of happiness they had felt on that very day of my coronation. But, each step I took, a swift image of the sad face of Captain Kenny came rushing into my mind. His smile, his laughter, his gentleness towards me and the time when he protected me numerously, they all went back to me. As my father put on the crown and announced me as their new queen, tears began to stream down on my cheek. I went on my knees and sobbed hardly.
“I love him! I love him so much that it tears me apart to be apart from him! Father please, I want him! I want to be with him forever! I love the well-known devil of the sea, I love Captain Kenneth Rogers!” I broke down into tears in agony.
I could only hear chatters among the civilians. My father’s face went pale and the knights stood somewhere nearby just in case the worst was yet to come. And finally, a voice from below among the civilians finally uttered, “If you really love him that much princess, just go get him!”
I stopped my tears and got blurred from the sudden exclamation, “Huh?”
“Princess, please hurry! The Ship is about to depart!” A woman voice called out of nowhere.
“Don’t worry princess. We’ll help Prince Airill rule this land. Go and be with the one you love!” And so, the civilians began to give their blessings after seeing me in such pain.
“Thank you… Thank you everyone,” My tears flowed once again.
“There’s no time to thank us, princess! Hurry up or you’ll lose the ship!” The crowds shouted.
Without a second thought, I ran out of the palace and went right towards the harbour. The ship was departing as I ran towards the end of the jetty.
“CAPTAIN!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. He seemed to hear me and quickly ran off towards the back of the deck.
“Idiot! You should be at the palace right now!” He shouted.
“I don’t want to! Didn’t you promise to marry me?!” I cried so hard that I could see that he was thorn by it as well.
“For the sake of peace, I’m sorry,” He finally turned his back at me.
Without any delay, I jumped off of the jetty and tried to swim towards him. The civilians called for me but I ignored their callings. Captain Kenny faced me again and jumped off of the hind deck just to get me. Finally, he was able to get the half-drowned me.
“Stupid! Why did you do that?! You almost gave me a heart-attack!” He held me firmly in his hold and I could see that he was worried.
I quickly embraced him and said, “You’re the stupid one! You didn’t want to fulfil your promise when the civilians have finally given their blessings on us!” I sobbed.
“What?” He looked at the jetty and found out the whole civilians were witnessing their meeting with smiles carved on their faces.
“Take care of the princess, Captain!” One of the crowds shouted.
“Don’t you dare make the princess cry again, you hear me?!” Another voice struck our ears.
“Be sure to come and visit anytime soon!”
Captain Kenny gave his best smile and replied, “I will! Thank you and farewell!”
All of them gave a cheer and applaud over the touching scene. Everything went back to normal. I was still the cook but the difference was that I was finally married to him. Everyone was the witness and Chast and Keith were the flower boys. We finally exchanged our vows and continued our voyage to another land.
“So, how’s my beautiful wife’s been today?” Captain Kenny hugged me from behind.
“Fine. So, what is the name of our voyage this time?” I asked.
“Hmm… I wonder,” He answered.
“I know! I get it! I’ve finally got the name!” I shrieked in joy.
“What is it?” He asked, rather puzzled.
“This is an ‘Untitled Voyage’!” I smiled.
“And so it is,” We finally kissed.
This time, the sea felt warmer and gentler compared to the olden days. I had finally found my knight and now he was standing right next to me, protecting me till the end of my day. And years later, I had bear his child and finally gave birth to it which was a fine and handsome boy with caramel hair and hazel eyes, just the same complexion as his dad.
“Why haven’t you been to my chamber yet, Eleanor?” A cracked, rather sad voice struck my ears as I swiftly revived from my slumber.
Her scarlet bloody looking eyes somehow were blue with agony, telling me to seek for a reason of her death or anything that happened to me and the whole palace. Everyone was deceived by the lies that had been spread by the liar. The liar was the culprit or maybe the mastermind himself. Who would have had such suspicious traits if it wasn’t James but how was he connected to the incident in the first place?
I was determined to investigate it myself even if it cost me my own life for the sake of the future. I changed my nightgown into my daily outfit and tip toed towards Captain Kenny’s room which was quite far off towards the east wing. All of the royal members were placed at the west wing while the guests were placed at the east wing.
Later, I finally arrived at the eastern wing, in front of his room. I knocked the door gently and peered a bit inside the chamber when suddenly, he opened the door and quickly pulled me right in.
“Now, you’re turning into a pervert?” He raised one of his eye-brows with the look of dissatisfaction.
“What- No! I was trying to invite you to go to my mother’s chamber...” My sentence could not be finished.
“Ah, yes. I forgot about that,” He gave a low whistle and Penelope barged in hastily from the window near his bed. “They didn’t let this so called ‘lethal’ creature enter the palace and poor Penelope had to stay outside.”
“Well, a fate that I need to endure for being a bloody dragon,” He gave a low whine.
“Putting that aside, Mammy sent me another letter this morning and the content may not be a very good one,” He said while taking out a piece of paper and handed it to me.
“Dear Kenneth Rogers and Eleanor,
You two must HURRY or the evidence will be abolished by the culprit. It seems that the crystal ball couldn’t show a viewable image of what happened when the Queen died or the face of the culprit. Now, only you two can unveil the tragedy. You two are the last resort and you two definitely MUST expose it after Eleanor is crowned as the Queen. DEFINITELY!
“How come? It’s impossible! There’s no way that the crystal ball couldn’t show any image of the culprit nor the incident!” I shrieked in dismay, feeling helpless.
“And the old wizard we met sent us the letter as well,” He shoved another letter into my hand.
“Dear Sir Kenneth and Princess Eleanor,
You have finally arrived in the palace and I praise you for that. You have one chance left so use it wisely. I swear I have done my best to help you out in finding the real culprit but my magic cannot untangle the past to witness the incident. I’m sure Mammy cannot do it as well. Even magic cannot solve this and must you use your wit to solve this riddle. I have my faith in you.
Your old Wizard”
“As written, even magic cannot help us solve the mystery,” He took both the letters from my hand and put it back into safety for fear it might fall to the wrong hand.
“At least his letter is written in a normal way of which is not too old fashioned,” I interrupted.
“You got that right,” He added with a slight sneer on his face.
“And so, we’re going.”
“Wait, we need to be more careful,” He advised.
“You, yes. Me, no,” I grinned childishly.
“A princess’s escort won’t make much mess, will it?” He uttered monotonously, making his tone sounded sulky.
“You know, sometimes I wonder why aren’t you a ruler,” I paused. “You’d make such a splendid lord.”
“For a Pirate Captain, nothing is impossible since he controls everything,” He replied.
“Are you guys are going for a talk with no works or what?” Penelope moaned and I could sense that he was a bit disgusted.
“Mood-breaker,” Captain Kenny uttered.
“All the time,” I added.
“Hey!” Penelope grumbled in fury.
And so, off we went heading towards the late Queen Arianette’s chamber where it was located somewhere very secluded since she was a sacred woman herself. I wonder what was so sacred about my mother that everyone couldn’t let their guards down and tried their best to keep her line (which was who I was) alive.
“Eleanor, look out!” Captain Kenny shouted in a whispery tone, pulling me into his hold, while covering my mouth. Two guards were pacing nearby, chit chatting about an inn without any sign of awareness that someone had entered the forbidden building.
“That was a close one,” He heaved a heavy sigh.
“Yeah, a sweet escape…” I turned to face him.
Our eyes met and our nose bumped into each other. We remained silent for minutes and almost kissed when suddenly, Penelope interrupted, “I know you lovers are in the mood but don’t you think that it is not the right time? Geez, can’t you just wait for your first night?”
We averted our gazes, “For the first time, I guess Penelope has a point.” Captain Kenny released me and led us towards the appointed place. I was so embarrassed. First night?! Penelope, you’re still a baby dragon and yet how could you go and say such embarrassing words?! I wondered what Captain Kenny was thinking and I wondered where he got the map towards my mother’s chamber from. Maybe the old wizard attached it along with the letter he sent us.
“I can’t sense anything extraordinary about this room,” Captain Kenny spurted monotonously.
“Well, she might leave something for a clue,” I added convincingly.
“How about her journal?” He uttered.
“Well, if that’s the case…” I walked towards a queen bed and peered underneath it and there it was the journal.
“I wonder whether it runs in the blood or it’s just because you did the same,” He commented while holding his chin.
“I can’t tell you since you’d be looking at the same spot inside my room if I tell you,” I glared cautiously, not expecting him to ransack my room just to get my diary.
“I’d love to read yours but I’m not that low to start up with,” He smiled.
“Oh, really? Too bad I end up writing a certain ‘someone’ in it but yeah, whatever. He doesn’t even give a damn about it,” I grinned mischievously with my back facing him.
“Don’t worry, the first thing I’m going to do when we get to the ship is to ransack your room,” He replied sadistically.
“Oh, my god! Just how high is your level of a pervert?” My arms were around my body and paced a few steps away from him.
“So high to the extent of making you mine forever,” He licked his lips and at the same time, I end up blushing.
“Know your limits, idiots! I’m here,” Penelope growled in anger and I could see his blue face was blushing.
Not to waste any more time, I opened my mother’s journal and read it aloud, “I finally have a daughter of my own! I am so happy that I cried so hard when I hammock her when she was born. What a joy it was. 21st June, eighteen years ago.” I continued with my recitation, “I can’t believe that she’s plotting something behind my back! I hope that she won’t harm my daughter. 24th April, fifteen years ago.”
“It was 2 months before her actual death. Now that we know the culprit is a woman, we need to identify who is this woman. It might be your step mother,” Captain Kenny jumped into a conclusion.
I continued reading it, “Lord, I know that I’m going to die tomorrow. She had poisoned me all these time. I can’t believe it! Arabelle, if you ever read this, please take care of my daughter and my husband. I know that you have been in love with him for the whole time and I don’t understand why you let him go when you have the chance to marry him. It is okay, I’m leaving him to you and you must promise me that you will live happily ever after and give him a prince in my stead. He had always wanted a son.”
“She knew it all along that she’s going to die,” I sobbed, trying to catch a hold of myself.
“Please carry on,” Captain Kenny consoled me and hugged me lovingly.
“The unrequited love is a love of two lovers who deny their love because of their current situation,” Penelope read the next line which was the last line written in the diary.
“The unrequited love? The unrequited love! That’s the book mammy gave me on my 17th birthday!” I shrieked unbelievably.
“What happened in the end?” Captain Kenny frowned a bit.
“The dark lord has died a tragic death,
But for love’s sake he sacrificed himself,
The unrequited is once again recruited,
Both pairs are now together,
The evil beauty tried to separate them,
And that’s how the Dark Lord kept both lovers,
For future to bind them together,
As husband and wife,” I recited the last poem written from the novel.
“Wait, the poem sounds familiar. Though it the story is something else, but it’s trying to tell us how your father, the king has been in love with Queen Arabelle. The Dark Lord is referred to your mother, Queen Arianette. But, who is this evil beauty?” Captain Kenny jumped into a serious conclusion again.
“It’s not my step-mother, it’s not mammy, and of course it’s not me… Could it be… But why? Then what’s the motive of plotting all these long scenes?”
“Gather all your guards and the King. They will hear me and here’s the proof, clearly written on the novel,” Captain Kenny ordered.
And so the next day, everyone was gathered. From the crews of the Devil’s crew, guards, the king himself, Prince Airill, Queen Arabelle and all the servants and maids inside the palace. The mystery would be broken soon enough.
That morning, I hummed to myself and did my chores at my own pace, grinning like mad, replaying the scene where Captain Kenny had finally proposed me and the engagement ring shone beautifully on my pale finger. I wonder what should I call him which into my dilemma, to call him by his name, to call him with sweet calling or to stick with the current addressing. Someone abruptly embraced me from my back and I knew quite well who it was. I gave a slight, rather cheerful scream of joy.
“Stop it, it’s embarrassing,” I grumbled lovingly.
“You should say that when we kissed back then,” He replied.
“I’m shocked on how early you woke up today,” I mocked, without looking backward.
He took my right hand and kissed it, saying a bit sarcastically, “As if that certain someone could sleep from yesterday’s event.”
I could feel my face was hot from embarrassment, “It’s your fault that I couldn’t sleep!”
He laughed slightly and turned me around to face him. My face became redder and redder. I felt like burying my face in a pillow or somewhere he couldn’t see it. I couldn’t look at his eyes or his face for like at all!
“What’s wrong?” He asked, noticing that I was a bit troubled.
“Actually, I’m troubled. What can I call you since we’re now fiancés? And are you sure we need to go back just to get back the throne? I mean, my brother can rule it and he knows it very well compared to me,” I looked at him in the eyes and he was still hugging me.
He kissed my forehead and said, “You can call me anything that you see fit but since you’re still in this crew, just stick with the current call, okay. And we’re not coming back for the throne. We’re coming back to declare that you’re still alive and you can do whatever you want with the throne and there’s one thing that you need to seek at your mother’s chamber. Mammy told me to bring you there when we arrive there. It was from the letter I’ve got this morning from Mammy.”
“My mother’s chamber?” I repeated.
“Yes,” He nodded.
“LAND AHOY!” A voice startled us which we quickly released our hold as he quickly raced towards the deck to see the land which we were now finally arrived at Ele Kingdom. That morning became as busy as the buzzy bee. Captain kept giving orders and to ‘turn’ the pirate ship into normal sailor ship. I wondered if that peculiar ship could deceive anyone since that the mermaid carving just made it obvious that it was a pirate ship. But then I wondered why no one had ever doubted it for one for even once! And finally, we safely arrived at the nearest harbour.
“Greetings the Devil’s crews,” A fine young lad greeted us right after we got out of our ship.
“How did you know it was us? Aren’t our identities supposed to be a mystery?” Henry asked rather puzzled.
“I am Ale deFloid, the royal highness princess Eleanor’s escort. I was sent by the king himself to greet her ladyship towards the main palace after he had been notified by our former wizard about your arrival here,” He bowed courteously upon us.
“No need for that,” Captain Kenny stepped to the front. “Just take us there and she needs no escort. I alone am enough for her.”
“I’m sorry but the king will not accept any other escort other than me, Sir Kenneth Rogers,” He answered sharply.
“I have my right as her escort since she’s my fiancé,” He replied triumphantly.
“Fiancé or not, the king’s order is absolute. Let there be no war among us and be peace with each other. Come now, the king wishes to see his princess,” Ale didn’t look back and guided us all the way towards the palace.
I was dismissed from the crew and was escorted towards my ill father’s chamber where the route had always been taken by me back when I was a little girl. Everything remained the same and even the rows of armours were still on their spots.
“Your majesty, her ladyship has returned as you are to see her,” Ale bowed in an honourable manner which portrayed excess loyalty towards his dominion.
“Young youth, leave me and the lady in private.”
Coughs were heard throughout the atmosphere right after he finished his sentence that made the knight agitate to leave his king.
“No worries, let us be alone my dear loyal subject,” The king repeated again.
“Yes, you highness,” After he gestured his right hand in his left chest and bowed slightly, he finally left the chamber.
Silence played its game on us and the atmosphere was completely awkward for a little conversation. None of us spoken for ten minutes until my father finally break the intense silence.
“The ring on your hand, have you..?”
“Yes, I am engaged,” I retorted hastily without a second thought.
“My future king?” He frowns a bit, to make sure that I made the right decision.
“The well known Devil of the Sea, Kenneth Rogers,” I answered.
Father didn’t say anymore words instead of giving me a horrified look, “May god save you my child. You are the child of the sacred queen, how could you betray your mother’s trust?!”
“I did not betray any people and in fact, I am betrayed! For fifteen years, I’ve been living in hell, not knowing my past for fifteen years! And in those fifteen years, people were looking for me to assassinate or either to take me under their wings for their own selfishness. Do you even know how I feel right now?” I let out my tantrum at him.
“Do you know how miserable I was to lose my own flesh and blood and not- coughs- not knowing where she was whether she’s still alive or not? Do you know how desperate I was back then and how many people I had sent just to find you somewhere out there?” Tears fell from his violet eyes, as upset as I was.
I hugged him swiftly and said, “I missed you so much. Why must this happen to me? Why must this happen to us? Who did this? Why are you on bed? Please be healthy again. Please be the king that I has always looked up to ever since I was a girl.”
“I can no longer rule. My era has come to an end my dear. You must take the throne,” He persuaded.
“Why not give it to my little brother whom I’ve never met?” I asked.
“Prince Airill Lieselotte has made allies with James to conquer the world. James is merely using him without him knowing it. The coronation is next week and I’m glad that you managed to get here in time.”
“Wait, you mean my Fiancé’s step-father is using my brother to conquer the world?” I retorted rather astoundingly.
“What’s with the –coughs- bond?” He muttered.
“Family complex,” I answered stiffly.
Soon, I left him and went rushing towards where Captain Kenny would be. Thank god, he was waiting patiently at the staircase, waiting for me to finish my conversation with my father. I quickly grabbed his hand and shrieked, “We must meet my brother! He’s in grief danger!”
“What danger would possibly happen towards the prince my dear?” He asked rather monotonously.
“Your step-father is using my brother to take over this kingdom and then, conquer the world!” I answered briefly.
“What kind of relationship is that?!” He frowned.
“Just like I said, it’s family complex!” I retorted angrily. “No more time to be wasted and let’s go!”
Later then, we finally arrived in front of my little brother’s chamber. I knocked as politely as I could.
“Prince Airill Lieselotte, I wish to see you right this instance!” I demanded.
A voice from the inside finally answered rather menacingly, “Just who are you, dare to demand me, a prince?!”
“It is me, Princess Eleanor Lieselotte, your long lost sister.”
I could hear him heaving a low sigh and soon, he finally unlocked the door and let us entered his chamber.
“Are you trying to mock me? I know I have not yet reached the official age limit to become a successor of the throne but that doesn’t mean I am not suited to be one!” He roared fiercely. “You don’t know how hard I’ve been trying to persuade our father to make me a crown prince and yet you, who are almost nineteen, come out of nowhere just to take what which I have worked so hard to gain.
“I don’t care about the throne! What I care about is the fate of our people! Don’t you dare make allies with James! You know how greedy he is!” I retorted.
“So?” He raised one of his eyebrows. “Whoever I’m allied with has nothing to do with you.”
I had it enough. I took his collar and chocked him hard, “Listen! If you care for the throne, if you care for the fate of your people, if you care of YOUR own fate, please oh please break up your alliance with James! He’s merely using you!”
“Do you think that I do not know his attention? I am not that stupid. I’m trapping him with his own trap,” He answered with a large scowl carved on his face.
“What’s going on here,” A middle-aged woman got out in the middle of our argument and Captain Kenny was just standing there silently, witnessing the whole scene.
“What on earth are you doing to my son?!” Queen Arabelle quickly took my hand and tossed me aside harshly. “My baby, are you hurt anywhere?”
“Don’t treat me like a child, mother!” The young prince shoved away her hands away from touching him.
“I’m sorry my dear. And you! Who are you two?!” The furious queen asked, gesturing his fore-finger towards me.
“I have come back. It is me, Princess Eleanor Lieselotte,” I proclaimed myself.
“Ah, no wonder. That face and that hair belong to that Lady Arianette. But, the eyes are not the right colour. Hers were red, as red as her hair and you, just whose eyes you have there??” She muttered, rather sarcastically.
“Who else would have the same eye colour as me other than your own husband?” I answered angrily, biting my lower lips.
“Ah, yes. Yes... I haven’t been able to see him much recently. Too many conferences need to be attended since he is no longer powerful enough to walk on his own let alone ruling this land. I wish either of you will be crowned quickly. I want my freedom as soon as possible.”
“You don’t even care if your son won’t be the king?” Captain Kenny deliberately asked, kind of astonished.
“Even if he has the talent and such, I don’t want to burden him with something that he cannot handle. I’m not the kind of mother who would force her child to do something that he doesn’t want. Oh and even if I’m a bit sarcastic, that doesn’t mean I don’t care about your well being Eleanor. I see you both fair and square as my children but I oppose violence against each other if you know what I mean, princess,” Her eyes were glaring at me.
“I understand, my lady,” I was facing down wards towards the marble floor.
“And so, I’ll have my way towards the next conference. I wish you two all the best for the coronation,” Finally, she left.
“Wait, if she has no objection in Eleanor being crowned, then who was behind her assassination?” Captain Kenny’s jaw dropped.
“Wait, someone’s trying to eliminate my sister?” The prince shrieked in disbelief.
“You’re just a fifteen year-old teenager who knows nothing. Stay out of adult’s business,” Captain Kenny murmured.
“How did you know that he’s fifteen?” I asked.
“I don’t know, a light guess.”
“Yes, I’m fifteen and you have problem with that?” He asked grimly.
“Nope. Nothing at all,” We answered simultaneously.
My brain was working like mad. If it wasn’t my step-mother who planned for my assassination when I was three fifteen years ago, then who else would? Could it be James? My mind messed up. What did my mom wanted me to see in her chamber? What was the truth behind all these messed up family complex? What was this drama all about?
Finally, we managed to get ourselves back to our voyage and now, this was the finale. This would be the last stop which mean, we had finally had our route towards Ele Kingdom that was for me to take back what ought to be mine from the olden days. Captain Kenny was avoiding me ever since the love trial and it hurt me more than what I could bear. Thinking that he was secretly peeping for my stature without me looking and looked away when I was looking at him, seeing him pretending that he was not hurt despite knowing the fact that I didn’t love him anymore was killing me from within. My mind messed up and I myself in a dilemma whether I was still in love with him or not. Lady Fasasha hadn’t said anymore words than just a simple answer, “The fate will never face its back on you. Tell him that and you’ll know the answer.” Even for now, I hadn’t had any opportunity to tell him about Lady Fasasha’s answer of our relationship.
I was doing my daily chores as usual and finally, it was dinner time. Captain Kenny was speechless and the atmosphere died without any laughter from any of the crew. They didn’t dare to make even a sound, seeing their captain was completely down without any reasonable explanation. Two days more and we would arrive in Ele Kingdom very soon.
“Captain, we’re finally going to Ele Kingdom. It’s a sacred place...” Thomas couldn’t manage to finish his statement since Captain Kenny knocked the dining table and made quite a sound from it with his right hand. Everyone was astounded by his sudden actions and remained silent and stunned. Without anymore words, he took a last sip from his goblet and left the room with a loud bang coming from the door he slammed. Everyone was now staring at Thomas and we could see that his face was pale as white as a piece of paper.
“Did I just say a taboo?” He shivered.
Everyone faced each other in a bewilderment yet not being able to solve the captain’s mystery.
“It’s not like him to get angry without reason, right?” Sylvester added.
I left the room at my own pace, letting the children doing their chores in cleaning the table under the supervision of the blue snake-like dragon. I rushed towards Captain Kenny’s room and stood there for quite a moment until I gained myself some courage to knock his door. As I had expected, no answer came from the door unless I announced my identity.
“You don’t have to open the door, but please just hear me out, okay?” I uttered and there was still no answer coming from the other side of the door. My eyes started to water and my voice started to sound a bit husky but I just ignored it and continued saying what I had to say which I had kept for so long.
“Are you sure you want to disband me from this crew because of the trial?” I sniffed, holding my tears.
He still refused to give any answer from the other side of the door but I know that he was standing right in front of me since the shadow beneath the door was there, proving that he’s inside his chamber.
“What’s your main point in taking me as your cook in the first place? If I can’t be the one to stand by your side, then just let me stand behind you! Is that so hard to be done?” I sobbed and I finally realised that I could no longer hold my tears as one by one, dripping on the wooden floor.
“It was my main point to take you as a mere cook. She played this trick all along. She did this to us and she wanted this to happen between us no, to everyone!” His voice finally heard.
“Who?” I questioned.
“Who else do you think it was? You said Mammy was a fortune teller right?”
“Yes. But it can’t be her...” I was greatly astounded by his sudden statement as if he was putting the blame on Mammy.
“Of course it wasn’t her. Come to think of it, why couldn’t she and the old wizard predict about your step-mother’s plots? Why didn’t she and the wizard know about your whereabouts when Anna took you away from the palace? This is weird isn’t it? This puzzle makes no sense...” He mumbled.
“Are you saying Anna has been plotting all these scenes?” I asked again.
“If I were Anna, I’d rather have a life being thrown than having all the villagers die in vain. The virus, it was spread throughout the village,” He answered, sounding weird.
“How would you know about that?”
“Do you think that doctor won’t go and do some research on that case?” He murmured.
“You mean, Hardy made some research?” I was quite overwhelmed with what I was hearing.
“Of course he did. Right before he knew me. The virus wasn’t supposed to attack people unless the main source of the village had been contaminated with it. The virus won’t die unless being burned.
“So that’s why Mammy burned the whole village? Just to stop the virus from spreading?” I asked, forgetting my main point in chasing him to his chamber.
“Yes,” After he answered the single answer, the air around us grew awkward and silence took place for quite some time.
“Captain, what if I’m still in love with you?” I whispered slowly by the door, fearing that any of the crew might be walking nearby and might be hearing what I had said.
There was still no answer from him. I was determined this time. I must confirm my feelings towards him once and for all and if I no longer had feelings for him then, I must accept my fate to leave this crew. I begged for him to open his door but he still refused to do so. I had it enough! I shouted at the top of my lungs and said, “Fine! Then you won’t feel at all miserable if I date Frederick, right?”
The door flung open and the image of a pissed man who looked as if he would kill someone appeared in front of me and quickly grabbed my hand and pulled me in his room and had the door shut.
“Can’t you find any other man better than that womanizer? Are you a sicko? You never learn!” He shouted shrilly, being very pissed off.
I finally managed to laugh after all these time, being all gloomy thinking of his reaction towards me and somehow I was so relieved that he could scold me that bad rather than avoiding me. Tears watered my eyes and I could stop crying. I rested my head on his broad chest and hit it over and over again using my right hand non-stopping.
“You’re so evil! You know that you’re enchanting me all over again. I know now. I am now secured. Captain I love you. I love you so bad that it hurts me so much when you actually want to disband me. It hurts me so much when I know the fact that I have to be separated from you,” I shrieked from my sobs.
“But what about the trial?” He was quite insecure with my exclamations.
“You believed in such superstitious?! Am I not being persuasive enough?! Just what should I do just to make you believe me? Are these tears are not enough? How much longer do you plan to omit your own feelings?” I begged him.
He spread his arms and held me into a longing hug, not wanting to let me go, “I don’t want to believe in such stuff. I don’t care even if you love me no more. I just want you. I just want to own you for myself solely. I don’t care if you love other man, I’ll definitely kidnap you and make you look at me again!” His hazel eyes were so cold and piercing that it pierced directly into my eyes with such a possessive look in his eyes.
“Then don’t ever let me go! Don’t ever let me fall for any man other than you! Let me be by your side forever!”
Suddenly, a low thud came from the door. Captain Kenny quickly released me and opened the door swiftly with the look of an evil devil carved on his face since that in front of him were his fellow crews who were eaves-dropping us from the very beginning.
“How much have you heard, rascals?” His monotonous tone was somehow sarcastic and deadly.
Everyone turned pale and gave me a glance of begging but even I myself couldn’t say a word due to the shock and was unable to help them.
“A-all of them!” They said synchronically.
“Starting from...?” Captain Kenny gave them a poisonous glare, the glare that could kill the most pious person.
“We was wondering why Eleanor said that you won’t care if she date Frederick and we now know the main reason now,” Rio uttered rather convincingly.
“Capt’n was so mean to address me that way,” Fredrick was somehow being rather far from the other crew mates, probably sulking.
“Seriously you guys, just date already...”Keith added, a bit annoyed.
“And who gave you the permission to eaves-dropping?” The menacing glare of his grew rather intense.
All of them bowed and said rather simultaneously, “We’re sorry, Capt’n! We won’t do it again.”
I chuckled a bit and slowly, my chuckles turned into a merry laugh that I could feel a heavy weight had finally been lifted from my tightened chest. I was now secured that whatever happened, the fate between us would never change. We were destined to be together and we were fated to be together. The furious captain could finally calm down and he finally sighed.
“Since everyone has already knew this, I would like to make it official in front of everyone then,” He heaved a heavy sigh, as if he had no other choice.
He took out a small box, saying, “I will not delay this anymore and I will regret if I don’t do this as soon as possible. I want every one of you be the witness of this event.”
I could see that everyone was blanked with bewilderment on what he would be doing right now. He approached me and stood still in front of me.
“I have made peace with my mother from the last letter I sent her and she sent me this and I know well of her purpose of sending me this,” He paused as he knelt down in front of me and took my right hand. My heart was throbbing and it was beating loudly that I could hear them thumping like mad. I had never imagined this but this was it! This was going to be the most memorable scene ever! “Eleanor, or rather, Princess Eleanor Lieselotte... Will you marry me?”
Everyone’s jaw flung right open and my face flushed from the embarrassment of being under excess satisfaction! Tears once again streamed down my eyes and I just couldn’t say no. Everyone was grinning towards each other and elbowed each other. I took both his hand as he stood up. Our eyes met and finally, my lips grew into a most beautiful smile ever, replying for his propose and finally saying, “Yes.” Everyone cheered with merry smile and even the sulking Fredrick got back on his feet and shared the joy with the others. He gave me a hug but he hesitated whether to kiss me or not since the bunch was just right behind of us. Couldn’t they just give us a little bit privacy here? Well, that’s not important and what’s important right now was I WAS ENGAGED! And my fiancé was the well known ‘The Devil of the Sea named Kenneth Rogers! I was so happy that I could hardly sleep. I wonder what would happen once we’re arrived at Ele Kingdom. I couldn’t stop imaging me in a white gown as he took me by the hand and we exchanged oaths and for the finale, exchange rings. I was ecstatic by it that I could hardly sleep!