It had been two weeks ever since we left the harbour and Renka was on his way back to our home after finishing what he had to say even what he thought of me. Keith joined us now since he wanted to learn Captain Kenny’s special attack and had been through under a lot of training and practices under Captain’s very own supervision. As for Maria, she decided to stay with mammy and help her with all she could until her son could finally accept her solely. Somehow, Captain Kenny’s words were still echoing inside my head.
“I have no interest in any particular girl until recently,” and “How can a person who reads love stories could be so dense?”.
I couldn’t stop grinning and my heart ached, as if it would explode just about any time. My face turned ruddy every time I played the flash back of the scene. Was he being serious? But then, I couldn’t deny the fact that I was literally in love with him. If he had said ‘I love you’ back then, what would have happened to our current relationship? I didn’t have anyone to consult my feelings to and I had no idea what would the guys think when they knew this.
“What’s wrong, Eleanor? Your face looks red,” Hardy popped out of the blue and settled down beside me at the hind deck, watching the bluish-night decorated with constellation.
“Nothing! Really...” I hid my face that was reddened with embarrassment away from his eyes’ reach.
“Hmm, if I’m not mistaken, you’re thinking of someone. He has hazel eyes with caramel hair, sturdy stature, broad chest and he has a few piercing on his ears,” He finally stated.
I couldn’t deny it and my face turned redder and redder. Hardy suddenly laughed due to my reaction and finally said, “I’m sorry for my rudeness. I’ve suspected this from a long time ago.”
“This is so embarrassing,” I covered my face with both my palms.
“It’s okay. Captain turned mild nowadays. Can’t you see it?” Hardy finally said.
“Yes, I kind of realized it now,” I answered.
“Yeah and thanks to you, he finally understands something. Stealing and been stolen by each other,” He suddenly grinned.
“I don’t get what you’re trying to imply,” I tried to smile but somehow, it was kind of crooked.
“Don’t worry. You’ll understand it soon enough,” He finally got up and fled from where he stood.
I was left in bewilder that I really couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell me. Suddenly, a well-known figure came up and took his place, “Can I sit here?” I nodded hastily. Suddenly, the atmosphere around us grew quite awkward as he sat.
“You better get in or you’ll catch a cold,” He reminded.
“It’s okay. Hardy is here, right? He’ll take care of me,” I replied.
“It’s not like he’s a girl,” He pouted.
“What’s wrong with that? You’re not happy that Hardy will be the one nursing me if I’m ill?” I asked in an astounding manner.
“How can I? He’s still a man and who knows what he might do,” He replied.
“Well, you’re a man yourself. But you’re not doing anything unnecessary,” I replied bluntly.
“What if I do something unnecessary?” He mocked sarcastically, having his face in front of mine.
I halted like a statue, stunned by his sudden bold act. My heart throbbed and it was literally saying, “I don’t mind if that person is you.” But then, my stupid mouth answered, “Well, impossible for a woman-hater to attack a woman especially if the woman is me.”
He then came nearer and nearer that we’re almost an inch away from each other, “Because that girl is you that I dare do anything.”
My face flushed red hot chilli pepper. Why was he being so bold out of the blue? Was he really having feelings for me? I couldn’t speak nor could I move even an inch. A cat caught my tongue if I must say. He then released me while uttering, “Why do you trust me so much? I’m a man too you know and don’t try my guts.”
Was he just doing that to mock me or to show his real ego of being a ‘real’ man? I got it! He’d never fall for a woman like me even though how much I loved him; it was just an unrealistic dream. He’d never ever fall for me!
“So, you’re doing this just to show your masculine side?” I retorted furiously.
“Why are you being so dense? I’ve told you already, haven’t I?” His eyes were catching mine.
“Enough with the word ‘dense’! Just say it already! What’s your attention?!” I finally burst.
“Nothing in particular, I’m just worried about you. Can I not be worried of my own crew?” I was expecting other thing but his answer was rather astonishing.
“My, my... I thought it was something else,” I pouted, replying him half-heartedly.
“What are you so upset about?” He raised one of his eye-brows and stared sharply into my eyes.
“Everything! I barely know you anymore. Where’s the Captain Kenny I used to know?” I blurted.
“So, you’re missing the old me? The sarcastic one who always made you cried?” He retorted, his voice sounded frail in disappointment.
“I’ve had it enough! I’m leaving and by tomorrow morning after we reached the next port, I’m not going to follow you and I’ll be staying with Chast, Keith and Penelope!” I abruptly stood up angrily without facing him.
I was about to cry but then, I caught a hold of myself and left him alone at the hind deck, heading towards my chamber. I wasn’t expecting him to say that. I was glad that he said he was worried but as one of his crew? That was really obnoxious! I thought that we might be able to share our feelings but I guess it was one-sided. There’s no way he would fall for me, not even an inch to the truth. He had always despised woman all of the kind and since I was a woman myself, he would probably despised me more since I had always getting on his nerve, getting him in troubles and all.
The next day, the sun was hiding behind the clouds, seeming that the clouds themselves were engulfing it. The breeze was very cold since we’re almost there to the north towards Ele kingdom. A few more ports and we’ll be there for sure. I was still sulking and tried to keep my distance as far as I could away from him. I was hoping that none of the crew would realize that.
“Ah, welcome. Are you guys’ sailors?” A masculine voice out of the blue greeted us with a merry tone.
“Well, yes we are,” I replied since I was the nearest person to him.
“My goodness, I’ve never seen such a beautiful lady in my entire life! You must be a goddess that descended on earth,” He hastily took my hand and kissed it.
I could feel a very intense killing aura right behind me emitted by Captain Kenny but why should I bother? Our relationship was just captain and crew.
“Sorry for my rudeness. I have forgotten to introduce myself since I have been enchanted by this beauty of yours, milady. I am known as Lucius Archmen, the prince of this peaceful land,” He bowed courteously upon us.
“It’s alright. No harm done,” I smiled reassuringly.
“May I know your name, my lady?”
“I’m El...” Before I could manage to speak my name, Captain Kenny dragged me backwards and retorted, “Her name is Ella. I am aware of your superior title but I am not at all pleased if you treat my crew with such suspicious manner.”
I was flustered by his sudden interference and had been scowled ever since, all the way towards the castle since the prince insisted us to go there when he saw me. On our way, I secretly whispered to Captain Kenny.
“Why did you lie about my name?”
“He’s a prince right? And the news that the Devil of the Sea has kept the lost princess as a hostage just to conquer the world has spread like wildfire thanks to James. We are not to reveal our identity at all especially you as the princess of Ele Kingdom,” He explained briefly.
“Why? It’s not like something bad will happen,” I replied back.
“The prince may be a good acquaintance, but the king has joined forces with James. Since that James is too ‘clever’ not to be able to give our exact properties, people might not be able to recognise us. As long as we stay like this and play it right, we’re safe. Other than us, the other crew-mates can reveal themselves easily since that the Devil’s crews remain mystery in the eyes of the world. Not even their names were known by the civilians. Unlike me and you, I am the most wanted criminal in history. I manage to hide my face from the world while you... people just know you recently. If the prince is sharp enough, he might be able to find the resemblance of the late Queen Arianette Lieselotte,” He talked as we paced.
“Well, at least they have a vague properties of you having caramel hair and good-looking. You might be mistaken as a Casanova with that face of yours,” I giggled.
“I’m in dilemma whether to accept it as a compliment or as an offence,” He sighed even though I could see that he was smiling a bit.
“Here we are...” The prince paused. “Right in front of the castle of the Lumbaria. You might be bewildered just why we’re still coping in monarchy instead of democratic like in the south, right?
“Hmm... out of date?” The crew monotonously answered in synchronically.
“Actually, the northern land prefers monarchy because our kingdom has long stood ever since the medieval age of knights and warriors before the other era took place and now, this is the era where pirates lurk everywhere. Our soldiers have caught numerous pirates from the sea and we’re ‘expecting’ the Devil’s crew to settle here,” The prince answered spontaneously.
“Do you have any idea of who are the crews?” Captain Kenny asked boldly rather sarcastic.
“I’m aware of the latest news and I was told he has the caramel hair and a very good-looking face. And please don’t worry, I won’t suspect you guys since there’s no way the heinous crews are those odd looking guys back there. They do look deadly but, they don’t look ‘evil’ enough,” The prince answered.
“But, with that solely will not lead you directly towards him,” Captain Kenny began to smirk to see that the prince was a bit naive.
“I guess you’re right. That lady over there can’t be the lost princess since the lost princess is the most sacred maiden on earth! She’s pure. She gives off the image of a goddess. She’s the love of all men and since you’re not attracted to her, which means that she’s not the princess in conclusion. The princess can win all of the men’s heart even the cold-hearted Kenneth Rogers, the Devil of the Sea. I guess maybe he’s attracted to her and is now forcing her to marry him. He must have done something dirty to make sure that the pure goddess will no longer be pure since he’s a devil,” The prince came out with such weird statements that had made the captain a bit irritated.
“I wonder if that’s really going happen...” He said in a shallow tone.
“Well, I’ll try to find him and stop him from pursuing his filthy desire! I am the most suited person to her and I know we are bounded by heart. I will make that princess my queen. We’ll rule this land together and we’ll have a happy ever after though the step-brother is kind though. Anyhow, human are devilish creature to take him down from the throne and prefer the pure princess in his stead,” His words somehow irritated me.
“Well, I’ll wish you all the best then,” Captain Kenny cheered from him.
I wondered why they both could chat casually without even a shred of doubts of suspecting each other. Captain Kenny looked as if he had plans behind it but the plan didn’t manage to work since the prince was a bit dense or he pretended to be dense to lower Captain Kenny’s guard. I wondered.
“Say, what’s your name captain and how old are you? You look younger compared to any other captains,” He suddenly asked.
“Antonio deLavigne, a westerner. I’m 24 years old,” Putting aside the name, he was telling the truth.
“Nice to meet you then, Antonio. Anyhow, regarding to my dream, I will ‘definitely’ make Princess Eleanor as my queen. I won’t hold back,” They way he pronounced it as if the appointed princess he was mentioning about was there.
“Tell me when you’ve succeeded. Her love is not my concern and she’s free to love anyone, don’t you think so?” Captain Kenny’s smile was literally a fake one.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to invite you to our wedding when I succeed,” He replied back with a smile carved on his face.
I wasn’t quite sure but, their merriness was somehow deadly, as if the prince was challenging Captain Kenny into a fight. I shouldn’t lower my guard and I needed to be careful. I wondered what might be happening next.
The scene was indeed awkward to start up with and I was not the right person to mingle in their conversation. I took a sneak peek at Captain Kenny’s expression, his eyes reddened furiously, as if someone was about to be killed instantly without any delay. The evil aura emitted from his body blended in the atmosphere, creating a deadly and lethal scene that made the whole crew avoided being any nearer from him, not even Chast.
“Shoot, Capt’n is ‘literally’ angry,” Sylvester whispered towards the other crew who was sitting nearby.
“I can’t believe it. This is the first time for me to see such intense killing aura gathering around him,” Rio added, his voice somewhat trailed off.
“I can see the worse is about to come. Hmmm, a war... A world war...” Artney muttered slowly, mimicking a fortune-teller.
“What are you? Mammy???” I monologue, a bit pissed.
Captain Kenny who remained silent just now finally commanded, “If you feel like camping here, please continue so, and Scar, don’t forget to pay for the compensation to the ship guarding chief.”
“If ye want an inn, I’ve rented wan fo us. Let’s go,” Renka uttered. “A room can only hold three people. Since we hav 23 people including me, I’ve rented 8 rooms fo each o’us. One room will hav two people and that’s uh, since when did’ya recruit anotha memba, capt’n?”
“Seriously, she’s... my... my mother,” Captain Kenny mumbled, a bit disgusted.
“What’s with the tone?” I whispered to myself.
“Oh, I see. Nice to meet’cha Mrs. Rogers,” He answered.
“I’m sorry. I’m no longer Mrs. Rogers,” She answered, a bit sad.
“And that proves that she’s no longer my mother,” He answered boldly.
All of them synchronically uttered shockingly, “Capt’n!”
I didn’t hold back and slapped him swiftly, “If I were Maria, your word is very offensive.”
“I know. I still can’t forgive her for creating a ‘hell’ for me,” His eyes shone maliciously, giving a sharp glare directly towards my eyes and then, he fled.
I was left remaining frozen from my stupid misbehaviour that I hurt him without giving a slight thought of his feeling when he did his best to convince me and console me when I was down. It was too late for forgiveness, even though he was walking on his normal pace; somehow I felt as if the distance began to grow between us. I had created a wall between us once again right after a wall of awkwardness after the accident kiss was broken. Tears filled my eyes once again as his figure started to diminish from me and everything became blurred due to my tears that were filling my eyes.
“Don’t worry, sis. Capt’n understands that... Just let him settle his feeling now, kay,” Chast gave his cute grin towards me that calmed my heart for a bit.
“It’s okay, princess. It’s not entirely your fault. Just let him go for this time,” Fredrick had his right hand on my left shoulder.
“It is okay, Eleanor. It’s my fault by the way. Just go for him,” Maria smiled.
Everyone got their own rooms and Maria and I shared the same room. That night, Captain Kenny didn’t show up at dinner time. I was worried whether I slapped him too hard or whatever. I couldn’t finish my feast that night and left half of my food remained untouched. I trotted in the hallway and searched for him everywhere. At the balcony, in his room that he was sharing with Fredrick and Hardy, in the kitchen, in the living room, everywhere inside the inn but I still couldn’t find him. Finally, I got out of the inn and searched for him outside of the inn. It was pitch-black and I could see nothing. Suddenly, I felt a hand touching my right shoulder from behind. I swiftly turned around and saw a figure of a guy giving a sly grin towards me, “Hey, lady. What are you doing here alone? Want my company?” I quickly shifted his hand away from holding me shoulder and tried to find something to defend myself with.
“Whoa, what a violent girl we have here. Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle,” He approached nearer.
“What do you think you’re doing, pervert?!” A well-known voice was heard from behind him.
“What the hell? You have any problem with me, lil’ boy? Don’t try to act like a hero,” The man shoved him hard that made him fell on the ground.
“What kind of a man would hurt such a delicate child,” I threw a pebble at him but he managed to dodge it and attacked me with all his might.
“Get away from her!” The boy that I met with Captain Kenny just now spanked him hardly at his back but the man was too strong to actually punch him on the stomach that made him barely moved.
“Don’t worry, lady. I’ll treat you nicely,” before I realized it, he was already on top of me, tearing my clothes.
“Captain!” I screamed at the top of my lungs with tears watering my eyes.
An image of a sturdy figure abruptly appeared and pulled him away from me, shoving the man away from me and countered his attack by a heavy punch on the face. Captain Kenny was holding a gun on his grip and was pointing it directly at the man’s head.
“What do you think you’re doing towards my girl, you son of a bitch?” His hazel eyes shone like those of a devil, glaring at him with intense disgust carved vividly on his face.
The man tried to fight back but Captain Kenny was stronger since he’s the one who wielded the title ‘the Devil of the Sea’.
“Should I give you my judgement for hurting my girl?” He chocked the man’s collar tightly that made him barely able to breathe.
“Spare him! Please!” The words slipped out from my lips.
He threw the man hastily on the ground and warned, “If I found you trying to rape a girl again, I’ll make sure that I’ll cut your ***** (censored)!!”
The man fled as fast as lightning until his figure was no longer seen in the horizon. Captain Kenny took of his coat and wrapped me with it, saying, “I just can’t take my eyes off of you.” Then, he went towards the boy and asked, “Boy, what’s your name?”
The boy who was half conscious answered, “K-Keith Flamingson.”
“I owe you one, Keith,” He grinned, giving the child a boost to get up. “Then, do you have any parents?”
They boy hesitated from answering at first but then, he answered, “My father was killed and my mother died right after being raped by a robber. I was brought up in an orphanage nearby.”
“Have you ever betrayed or will you betray others?” He asked again.
“I will not! That’s the most unforgivable act!” He answered confidently.
“Then, will you be one of my crews?” Captain Kenny finally stated his real intention.
The boy was astounded by his sudden question and finally answered, “THANK YOU, MASTER!”
“Then, be sure to be ready by tomorrow. We’ll be leaving before noon. Be sure to come at the harbour. Go to a ship with a mermaid carving on it,” He responded.
“I will, master!” Then, he finally left though his stomach was still hurt due to the last punch.
Captain Kenny went straight towards me who was still shivering and wiped my tears with his cunning fingers.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself from feeling what Maria might be feeling without thinking of your own feelings,” I cried.
He hugged me while stating, “Are you an idiot?! Just to apologize for that trivial matter, you almost give me a heart-attack! I can’t forgive myself if anything happened to you!”
“I’m sorry...” My tears drenched his white blouse.
“No, you don’t have to. Please don’t cry anymore,” He brushed my hair and hushed me from sobbing.
Somewhere from afar, Renka had accidentally witnessed the whole incident right after the rapist left the scene. He gritted his teeth and balled his fists for not being able to save me before Captain Kenny came for my rescue. And finally, he left us alone.
That night, I quickly returned to my room without Maria or anyone spotted me and quickly changed my ripped blouse for a new one. I still had Captain Kenny’s large coat with me. The door of my room was knocked abruptly. I headed towards it and opened.
“Yer okay? Nothin’ happened to ya, right?” Renka anxiously asked while holding both my shoulders.
“I’m just fine, what are you talking about?” I played dumb since I didn’t want him to know the truth.
“I’m sorry zat I didn’t manage to get to ya in time. If he weren’t nere, who knows what would’ve happened too ya,” His expression turned gloomy. “I’m the worst brotha eva lived!”
“Please stop blaming yourself, Renka,” I tried to smile.
“I love ya. I juz dunno what I might do if he wasn’t nere,” His expression turned gloomy. “But, eitha way, you’ll juz see me not moe than a brotha.”
“I’m sorry, Renka,” I answered timidly.
“It’s okay. It’z not yer fault ta begin wif anyway. I am not fo ya,” He then fled.
I was greatly astounded by his sudden confession. Somehow, I felt sorry for him and felt very guilty since I even dared to tell him about my dream knight and such while he kept holding his feelings for me. Oh God, how stupid I was back then! I headed towards the balcony, where I thought the breeze might ease my tangled feelings for a bit. I couldn’t believe my eyes since Captain Kenny too, was there, probably reflecting his behaviour towards his mother.
“Hey,” I greeted, adjusting my position beside him.
“Hey,” He monotonously replied, without looking at me.
“So, what’s our captain’s doing here?” I tried to be friendly as possible.
“Playing flash-backs in my head,” He answered nonchalantly.
“The first time I met you on Mammy’s house,” He giggled abruptly.
“What?! What are you giggling for?!” I could feel that my face was hot from blushing.
“You want to hear it?” He was now facing towards me.
“Yes, please,” I retorted, a bit interested.
“My first impression, I was wondering who’s the beauty on the balcony who was hanging the laundry and suddenly, my mouth slipped. I called for you for like three times but you didn’t seem to notice me. I thought that you were deaf so, I tried to make fun of you but then you suddenly noticed. You were so dense back there,” He giggled, covering his mouth with his right hand.
“How mean...” I moaned.
“But time sure flies. It’s been half-a-year since you joined this crew. The crews become attached to you,” He grinned mildly, facing the beautiful scenery upon us which there, constellation shone beautifully.
“I guess so,” I paused. “Can I ask you something?”
“Well... uh... never mind,” My face suddenly flushed bright red.
“What is it?” Captain Kenny grew curious quite instantly.
“Well uhh... have you... have you ever kissed someone, before... you know,” I didn’t manage to finish the sentence but Captain Kenny somehow understood what I was talking about.
“Well, to tell you the truth, nope. I have no interest in any particular girl until recently,” He answered.
“Really?! Who’s that girl?”
I peeked at his face for an answer but then, I saw his face was kind of pissed and his face was a bit ruddy, “How can a person who reads love stories could be so dense?” Then he left, feeling very irritated.
I had no idea that my question would make him be that angry. I was just merely asking. My heart was thumping non-stop which in my mind, was thinking, “Could it be that I’m the girl that he was referring to?” I should be angry or upset but unfortunately, my heart jumped in joy. I didn’t know why I was so happy. Wasn’t it an offense if he loves me or vice versa? Wasn’t he my enemy? The one I hated most back then? The one I always quarrelled with. But why, I couldn’t help myself from grinning. But then I finally understood. I finally came to my senses that I was in love with him. I was head over heels for him. I want him. I want him to be solely mine. I wished to hold onto his words, to believe that I was the girl he was referring to. But, what if it was someone else?
“Mother... Don’t leave me. I love you,” I cried, holding the sickly most beautiful woman on earth.
“Please live for me, Eleanor. I love you too. Please, don’t ever forget your surname. The name is your pride. The reason of your existence,” Her voice chocked at her throat, a bit vague from what could be heard from my ears.
“I don’t want the surname. It’s not important as how important you are to me,” I sobbed to my heart’s content.
“No, Eleanor. You will be the Queen and your lover will be your King. The most important person to you is your future lover. I can’t protect you forever though I can love you forever. He’ll protect you forever like how your father protected me,” Her smile was somehow weak but very reassuring. “Remember my love, only death can part lovers.”
“I will remember that, mother,” To my surprise, my hands which were holding hers felt very cold. And finally, she left me with a smile carved on her pale pink face. I wept and wailed over her death and was consoled by a very sturdy stature.
“It’s alright. It’s alright... It was just a nightmare. I’m here,” Captain Kenny was embracing me tightly.
I swiftly hugged him and buried my head in his broad chest that my tears didn’t seem to stop rushing from my pale cheeks. He softly brushed my hair in a comforting manner and we remained in that state for quite a while. When I was quite certain that I was no longer crying, I pulled my guts to face him.
“Sorry,” I swiftly shoved him away from me as my face reddened from the embarrassment.
“It’s okay,” He retorted a bit shocked, maybe he was stunned for his action to actually embrace me when I seemed very weak.
“That dream... it comes again. I’m very scared. What if I’m the princess?” I bluntly asked.
“Then, what if ‘you’re’ the princess?” He made the word ‘you’ became intense and I could see that he was referring to my feelings.
“Then, if I’m the princess... will you...” Before I could finish with my sentence, Maria barged into my chamber with a happy look carved on her face.
She quickly grabbed my hands and exclaimed enthusiastically, “YOU’RE AWAKE! ELEANOR’S AWAKE!”
Captain Kenny’s expression turned gloomy as if he had lost the main sentence that I was about to say just now. He groaned slowly, not letting Maria heard him though I could see his unsatisfied look that was extremely annoyed with it. I giggled mildly as I smiled towards him. I wasn’t sure but I thought I saw him blushing right after seeing me smiling at him.
“And what are you doing in here, Kenneth? You’re not plotting any perverted acts on this pure young maiden, right?” Maria pulled me closer towards her.
“If I am to do so, I would’ve done it a long time ago,” He said angrily, not facing towards us.
“Eh, then you really are plotting something until the appointed time comes?!”
“AS IF I WOULD!” He retorted hastily with his face reddened from anger or embarrassment.
“Then, you don’t like Eleanor?” Somehow, Maria’s face turned rather sly, with a cunning smile carved on her face.
For the first time in my life to see Captain Kenny’s acting so weirdly, as if he was an innocent lad who was denying that he was in love. Wait, was he really?! No, it was probably my imagination or so.
“No. I don’t hate her,” He answered briefly.
“Then, do you like her? Oh, sorry, do you love her?” This time, Maria’s question was intense enough and that’s what I would really want to know.
He paused for a while, didn’t dare to answer. We waited patiently for him to answer and finally, he replied, “I wonder.” He slightly giggled and left us in bewilder. Maria and I was facing each other and we had no idea what he meant by that. Which was it? My brain messed up the whole day; even so, right after hearing my awakening, all of the crew came and greeted me casually. Chast still couldn’t stop his crying habit. Well, what could I expect from a child?
“LAND AHOY!” Josh exclaimed.
Finally, after two weeks and five days being on the sea and eat almost burnt home-made dishes, we could finally have our tongue taste the ‘real’ cuisine, the best made by infamous chefs in the town of Shawn.
“I can’t wait to get to the bar. I almost lost my sense of taste,” Sweeney moaned.
All of the crew retorted synchronically, “Shhhhhh.....!!!”
“I can hear that,” Maria uttered, a bit hurt and a bit gloomy.
I giggled at their cute little atmosphere that I didn’t actually look where I was heading to when I abruptly collided with Captain Kenny who was walking nearby. I quickly apologised, “Sorry!” but he didn’t seem to bother and said, “Careful when you walk. What if you bumped into one of the crooks downtown?” then he left. He was acting really weird ever since we left Faintlight or rather, after he apologised for the accident kiss.
“Ah, Eleanor! Ain’t ya gettin’ taller and moe uhh... shabby,” a voice that I had long longed to hear struck my ears. A voice that I had been missing for a long time and I knew whose voice was it. I quickly turned towards the source and saw a sturdy image of my foster brother, Renka. I trotted towards him happily and attacked him with a tight embrace while uttering, “Renka, I missed you so much!”
“Heh, me too. Mammy and Pappy too if I am to tell ya’. Oh and, right afta ya left, Pappy had been callin’ ya for like lotsa times and he didn’t even remember that ya left fo’da crew,” He gave one of his childish grin.
“Really? I’m sure Pappy had been missing me so badly. What brings you here, Renka?” I asked bluntly.
“Yer not happy wif me bein’ here? That’s mean,” He sulked.
“That’s not it! I mean... it’s quite rare to see you here. I know you go overseas quite a lot since you’re trading things for Mammy’s work...” Before I could finish my sentence, Renka cut it with his own statement, “I ain’t here fo work. I’m here for ya, solely.”
Somehow, his black eyes were serious and the childish grin he gave me vanished instantly, as if something worse was about to happen.
“I’ve brought ya a piece of reminda from Mammy. Ye hav two seasons approximately fo ze coronation. Yer father iz ill,” Renka’s eyes shone intensely.
“Wha... what are you talking about?! I’m an orphan, am I not?” I shrieked shockingly.
“Hey Capt’n, could it be zat yer hidin’ it from her? Ya didn’t tell it yet, aint’cha?” Renka’s attention was now towards Captain Kenny.
“What is it all about, Captain?” I asked doubtfully. “What is he saying?”
“Capt’n, what are you hiding from all of us?” All the crews joined my question.
“Since when did you know this?” Captain Kenny’s face was rather dark and gloomy now.
“I’d love ta save it later but’cha see, I knew this just recently too. Mammy’s so mean to hide it from us all tho. Why aint’cha tellin’ her yet?” Renka asked boldly.
“I... I don’t know.”
I grabbed Captain Kenny’s left sleeve with both of my hands and stared at him straight through his eyes, “Please, answer me.”
“I... I’m sorry, I lied. You are the lost princess and I’ve known it weeks ago, when Mammy finally answered my questions. I’m sorry,” Captain Kenny finally answered everything.
Tears streamed down from my cheeks, “How could you hide it from me?”
“Just who on earth would have enough guts to tell you when you went running into them and cried while stating that you didn’t want to have such horrid past?” His explanation was enough to answer all my questions.
“Sorry for making you endure it alone. From this day onwards, I won’t be giving any more burdens to any of you. It’s okay... I’ll find my way back. I’ll sail somewhere where anyone can’t harm me. Then, you all won’t be hurt anymore, right” I released his sleeve and left the harbour and ran aimlessly, heading nowhere.
“Eleanor!” I could hear Captain Kenny’s voice calling me over and over again but I just couldn’t stop my legs and they were becoming heavier. My heart wouldn’t stop aching and finally, I skidded to a halt where in front of me a dead end. I huffed and sobbed at the same time and finally, the masculine stature that was chasing me stopped near where I stood.
“Don’t come near! I’m a burden to everyone! I know that those were no ordinary dreams but still, I don’t want to acknowledge them. I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore! Those dream, they’re still chasing me. They hurt everyone who’s in good terms with me. The servants’ children, Cecille, Myra, Rayne and Andrew, they’re all killed and they were my friends! I am not suited for the throne! I don’t want anyone to know it! If they knew that I’m the princess... They’d...” He quickly embraced me from behind and interrupted my line, “I know. You don’t have to mention it, I know. I dare take the risk. You’re one of us now. Your pain is our pain, your tears is our tears. We are in the same ship.”
“Why are you the one who’s doing all the comforting? Why are you the one who always come for my rescue? Why are you the one who always stay by my side when I need someone?” I held my sobs so that I could be able to say all those lines.
“You once said that a woman needs protection from a man, right?” I slightly nodded after he finished his sentence. “Then, I’m offering you mine. I will be your shield, I’ll be your sword and I’ll be your knight. Use me as you see fit.”
“Are you saying this out of sympathy?” My eyes became blurry from my tears.
“Trust me. If this out of sympathy, I wouldn’t be here doing this comforting,” His brace became tighter, as if he wouldn’t let me go.
My heart was thumping like mad. I hoped that he didn’t hear it but somehow, I could hear another heartbeat from behind me, giving me a very warm feeling. The feelings of being protected, secured, the feeling of being wanted and being held lovingly by the man who sworn for your protection. I couldn’t think of anymore words then just letting myself in his firm hold, his warm and large hands were wrapping me. The tension in the atmosphere grew bigger and bigger. I couldn’t help myself from blushing continuously.
“What are you guys doing there?” A half-shocked shrieking voice rung in our ears from Captain Kenny’s back.
“Mind your own business, lil’ guy,” Captain Kenny quickly released his hold and jerked away from me with a slight scowl on his face.
“Is this what people call ‘adultery’?” The child’s eyes widened.
“What?! No! Where did you even learn that from?” He blushed, defying the child’s accusation.
“Then, why does that sister over there is crying? She looks a lot younger than you. Could it be that you’re a rapist?!” The boy, probably a twelve-year-old, was holding something in his hand that looked like a long stick and was ready to attack him.
“That’s not even an inch to the truth...” Captain Kenny monologue to himself. “Then, do I look like a rapist to you?” He uttered sarcastically.
“With that good look of yours, no girls could ever resist you. And when the right time comes, you’ll attack them,” The boy muttered bravely.
Suddenly out of the blue, a blue snake-like dragon went on and approached me while yelping, “Everyone is worried... Captain, you are so mean to make a woman shed tears. What kind of gentleman are you?”
“A talking serpent?!” The child cried shockingly.
“Hey, you insolent fool! I am not a not a serpent and I am a very graceful water dragon owned by the Devil of the Sea, Kenneth Rogers, the great pirate of the sea,” Penelope pouted and was waving his wings angrily.
“Don’t go around telling him about us randomly you stupid dragon...” Captain Kenny caught Penelope by his right elf-like ear and pulled it.
“My greatest apology, master,” he uttered.
“No way! You’re the Devil of the Sea?!” The boy released the stick that he was holding and came nearer towards our stature. He then abruptly bowed in front of him, “You’re my most respectable person! I adore you! Please be my mentor!”
“Didn’t you just accused me randomly and now you’re begging me to be your mentor? What kind of person are you?” Captain Kenny raised one of his eye-brows, looking at the small figure that was bowing upon him.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know that you are the Devil of the Sea. As far as I heard, the Devil of the Sea is a woman-hater, a heart-breaker despite the good looks of his. But, I didn’t expect to see him being intimate with a girl over there. She must be someone special. Even the Devil can love a person,” The boy making a conclusion of his own.
“Even I am a human myself,” Captain Kenny whispered to himself.
“She’s no ordinary girl. She a prin...” Before Penelope could finish his sentence, Captain Kenny covered his mouth from spouting more about my background.
“She’s one of my crew and her position is a cook. That’s enough for an introduction,” Captain Kenny gave a death glare towards Penelope.
“Well then, why don’t you guys come over to my place? Please accept my hospitality as an apology,” He bowed courteously.
“It’s okay. Our crew is waiting for us at the harbour. I’ll have my leave now,” Captain Kenny grabbed my hand and was still pulling Penelope’s right ear and fled from the incident place.
Somehow, he was being a bit cold towards Penelope and the boy and he didn’t even say even a word towards me. Not long after that, we finally arrived at the harbour with everyone, including Renka, was waiting for our return. Maria quickly snatched me away from Captain Kenny and was hugging me tightly, saying, “You poor girl. Please be my daughter-in-law... I promise my son will protect you with all he can and if he makes you cry, come to me, okay.”
“Ehhh... But...” Before I could finish my sentence, Renka interrupted, “If that’s da case, he has ta go ova ma dead body first.” Somehow, Renka sounded serious, as if he was challenging her.
Everyone in the crew went, “WHAT?!” simultaneously, including Captain Kenny. How did this even come out like this? I wondered.
Finally, the appointed day had come for me to be awakened from my slumber for the whole four days straight. When I first opened my eyes, the first image I saw was... Penelope! He was sleeping by my side soundly and it was in the middle of the night. I could hear my stomach grumbled like mad but it was too hurt to stand up from my bed so I decided to wait but waiting wouldn’t be any good since I was getting hungrier and hungrier. When I started to move, I accidentally revived Penelope from his slumber.
“Already awakened, milady?” His voice sounded merry somehow compared to what I had been hearing for the past few days when he first hatched.
“Yeah... By the way, is there anything that I can eat?” I asked and my stomach couldn’t stop from grumbling.
“Ah, one serving coming right up,” He swiftly ran out of my bed and headed towards Captain Kenny’s room who was nearby.
Footsteps were heard minutes later and it sounded like as if it was running towards my room. I stretched my neck to see what was coming ahead and saw Captain Kenny’s anxious expression at the doorway, sweating with a shocked look on his face.
“Penelope was right, you are awakened,” He finally spoken as his masculine stature came near towards where I lay. “You’re okay?”
“Other than the pain on my back, I’m kind of hungry,” I replied, burying my face under the pillow.
“I see. I guess I’ll just have to wake Maria so that she can reheat something for you to eat then,” He started to pace away but I quickly grabbed his hand thoughtlessly.
He seemed shocked with me grabbing his hand without thinking but still acted cool about it, “What’s wrong?” He asked mildly.
“I’m... scared,” I confessed.
He gave a slight smile and sat at the bed-side, patting my head while saying, “Why are you afraid?”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I explained briefly, “Nightmares. I don’t know but it seemed as if it was real. Someone tried to kill me over and over again but that Anna girl kept saving my life countless time. Then, when I arrived at a cottage at a country-yard, I saw corpses everywhere, scattering the ground. They were infected by a flu that came from the west. Anna’s twin, Anne suffered from the same disease and so did her husband, Henry. It was terrifying,” My hand squeezed his hand. “But... But mammy was there! She took me away. She said she was sorry towards Anne and killed both of them who were sickly on bed. Then, fire started engulfing the whole village, and... and...”
Captain Kenny abruptly embraced me but not too tight so that he wouldn’t hurt me, “What if the dream was the fragments of your memory?”
“It’s not, isn’t it? Tell me that isn’t my memory. I’m not the princess and I don’t want to have such frightful past. I don’t want to know that my step-mother was trying to kill me! I don’t want to know that both Anne and Henry died because of me! I don’t want it!” I sobbed at his sturdy chest but he just remained silent. Captain Kenny came to realise that Hardy purposely left the bottle of Dragon’s blood somewhere nearby. He held me tightly and forced himself into a crooked smile, “It’s just a dream. Don’t worry. It’ll eventually go away.” Somehow, he was biting his lower lips as if he was hiding something from me.
“You’re hungry, right? Penelope will be guarding you now. I’ll prepare something for you, okay,” Captain Kenny finally left my room.
Somewhere nearby the hallway, Hardy was standing as if he was waiting for Captain Kenny’s arrival there. He gave him a cold look, “What’s wrong, Capt’n? You’re the one who said that you’ll be telling her the truth about the letter but you didn’t!”
“That’s so unfair,” His hair seemed to cover the sad look in his eyes.
“So now the devil has turned into an angel?! You can’t hide it from her forever!” Hardy exclaimed furiously.
“I don’t know,” He paced away, heading towards the kitchen. The angry doctor went back to his chamber and flung the door hardly.
After grabbing breads and soup from the stove, he silently sat on the chair nearby at the kitchen, giving himself a face-palm. He heaved a heavy sigh, “That’s unfair of you to put the burden on me alone, Eleanor. Why do your tears always making my body trembles as if I’m about to fall apart? I never fell for another woman’s tear instead of yours. Why seeing you like that hurts me so much?” His hazel eyes were somewhat blue as rain poured slowly into a heavy-downpour.
He slowly knocked the door of my room and entered with a few slices of breads and a bowl of cold soup, “Sorry, this is the only thing I could do. I don’t have enough confidence for the stove.”
I wiped away my tears and gave him a warm smile, “It’s just enough. Thank you.”
“Feeling any better now? You looked pale,” He settled down by the bed and shoved the tray of meals at me gently.
“Not quite. I’ll gain enough energy after I finish this I presume,” I smiled at him as a token of my gratitude.
“It’s just weird. Normal people usually wake up when people aren’t sleeping. I wonder what time is it now,” He was now facing me.
“I wonder,” I answered with my face reddened without me even realizing it. My heart thumped loudly that I could hear it clearly despite the heavy downpour outside the ship. “Well, uh... I’m... I’m not implying anything but uh... Ummm...” My head was searching for a suitable word to explain my gratitude to him for saving my life countless time.
“Yes?” Captain seemed to notice my low voice was mumbling something vaguely.
“Well uh... Umm.... Tha- Thank you for saving my life... You’ve been saving me ever since I came aboard,” I blushed and I could feel my heart was about to explode.
“As a captain, it is my responsibility to keep my crews safe from any mishaps,” His eyes were avoiding mine ever since I started to smile.
“Then, what if I didn’t get on board? What if I’m not one of your crews? Will you still be saving me?” I boldly asked without any hesitation.
“I will. I will always be ready for that. Can’t you see the difference of this pirate and any other pirates? We won’t attack people unless they’re the navies or greedy merchants with slaves on board. We were normal sailors until James proclaimed us as pirates. We have no choice but to go with the title,” He smirked as if he was seeing James’ figure somewhere inside the room.
“Then, why are you not being cold towards me anymore like you used too?” I bluntly asked again.
“Hmmm... I wonder why I am like this. Maybe it depends on situation I guess. I’m already over it already. Arguing with you won’t get me anywhere since in the end, I’ll just make you cry,” He sighed, scratching his hind head with his right hand.
“Can I ask you one thing?” Somehow, it was lingering in my mind ever since I came on board.
“Sure,” A short reply was enough to make me start my question.
“Where did you come from and how come you didn’t notice me when mammy already adopted me?” I finally let everything out of my head.
“It was a long story if I am to tell you.”
“Don’t worry. I’m a patient listener,” I gave him a childish grin.
“It’s so unfair,” He seemed to avoid his face from being seen by me.
“Huh?!” I grunted, rather puzzled.
“It was nothing,” He paused. “You said you’re 18, right?”
I nodded hastily.
“Well, to tell you the truth, you’re the first to know my real age besides Late Marcell. I’m actually 24.” My jaw dropped low as if I couldn’t believe my ears. Being able to conduct such a fine pirate ship in such a young age was quite awesome. “I’m 6 years older than you so, it’s normal for me to not noticing your existence back there. When I was 5, Maria asked a divorcement to my father and got married with James. My father grew weary of losing her and got himself drunk every night and starting from that, he had mentally and physically abused me until I turned 8, Mammy took me away right after my father committed a suicide after stabbing me on the stomach. Due to that, I had been hating women for fooling a man’s heart for her desire but unfortunately, I’ve got it all wrong. She wasn’t doing it for James’ property instead; she was doing it for the sake of my father and me. After a year being under mammy’s shelter, I decided to leave her at 9 and set sail to the wide blue sea which had been my route ever since then. I fought hard for my survival at the sea and finally managed to settle myself in the east where there, I met with Marcell’s father and was taken as one of the candidates to inherit the title ‘the Devil of the Sea’. I didn’t expect to get the title but then, I accepted it. I finally became one of mammy’s clients in recruiting people for the voyage. Since she’s a fortune teller, it’s easier to find trustworthy crews thought 3 of them betrayed me. The 3 of them were picked randomly and not under mammy’s supervision and it back-fired me. Mammy told me to find Chast at the desert and the other crews at random places where my ship couldn’t go. I had never been to her house except for 2 times.”
“When you mentioned the 3, you mean the incident before we met Marcell?” I asked.
“Yes,” His hazel eyes shone forlornly, as if he had lost something that was important to him.
“I see.... Marcell, Ronnald and Finn. They’re good people but because of jealousy and greed, they end up broken from within,” My eyes narrowed sadly. “Many things happened back then and I’m kind of glad that I can manage to understand what life is.”
Captain Kenny gave a slight grin; he took something on the table beside the bed and was examining the hairpin he gave me carefully, saying, “You still have it. I thought you might throw it away since that you hate me so much.” Somehow, his expression was a bit gloomier than usual as if something had torn him apart.
“No! I don’t hate you!”
He was somehow stunned by my impulsive reflex and was now staring at me with a bewildered look carved vividly on his face.
“Uh, no... I mean, of course I’d keep it since that it’s a gift right? And... and... I don’t hate you, somehow... Uh I mean, even though you always bully me with your words, somehow you’re kind... uhh... I mean... I like you... But, uh... I mean,” My head was spinning like mad and I lost track of what I was about to say.
He patted my head and was laughing at my own attitude. It was the first time for me to see that side of his, smiling and laughing. I had decided! I’ll work hard to make him smile and laugh more than what he had tonight.
“You scared me to death back then,” He finally gain his sanity again right after he satisfied laughing at me.
“It’s okay, I’m glad somehow. Well, it seems that night-time is about to yield for dawn. I’m quite sure that you still need your rest,” His face soothed a bit.
“It’s okay. The one who needs rest the most is you, captain. Go back and sleep,” I persuaded him.
“Nope, I only sleep not more than four hours a day,” He explained briefly.
“Yeah right, no one can survive that,” I mocked merrily.
“I did and in fact, it started ever since you came on board.”
“Why? You’re afraid that I might attack you during your slumber?” I uttered with a grin on my face.
“Nope. You can attack me all you want but I wonder whether you’ll be able to lay a scratch on me,” He smiled nonchalantly.
“Oh, you still know how to brag? You look a bit pale. Have you been sleeping?” Somehow, without him answering, I already knew the answer. Just who on earth could sleep peacefully when one of his comrades had an injury as the result from being shot by the navy? I took out my hand and lay it at his cheek, “Get your rest now, Captain.” I carved a smile, big enough to persuade him that I’m alright. Finally, he yielded. He closed his eyes and leaned his head on my shoulder, “Good night, Eleanor.” Soon, he fell into a deep sleep. Penelope came to me and handed me Captain Kenny’s coat from his mouth and I swiftly yet softly, wrapped him with it. He had been sleepless and restless nowadays and I didn’t want to be any more of a burden towards him.
Less than fifteen minutes, the bird signals were heard throughout the cellar and soon, our plotting for an escape would soon be replenished. Penelope was tailing us from behind while I supported Captain Kenny towards the backdoor where there, Randolph, Alfin, Thomas and Maria were waiting for our arrival. All of them gasped as loud as possible after they saw Captain Kenny’s figure that was quite a sight to even look at it.
“What a sight you have there, Captain,” Randolph exchange turn with me to support Captain Kenny on our way to the back gate.
“What do you expect from a navy? A king’s treatment?” He mocked even though he kept catching on his own breath for he had been tortured hard enough to gain consciousness.
“We might not be able to be revived if we are to be in your place, capt’n. What a strong lad you are,” Alfin praised his captain that it was from his heart solely for him to be his idol.
“You praise too much from what your mouth can really handle, my good man,” Captain Kenny giggled happily as we would soon reach the back gate for like two meters ahead.
A middle-aged man dressed in goods stopped us from pursuing any further than where we stood with his men, the navy soldiers, well-trained I presumed, were blocking the path towards the back gate, “Isn’t it too early to bid a farewell, my son? I see you have my wife with you there.”
“Your wife is my mother and she’s not your property, old pig. Now step aside where my eyes can’t see your filthy image,” As usual, Captain Kenny’s ear-irritating barks were no match for anyone.
“Ah, I wonder wherever you learnt that so-so attitude of yours, my son. I don’t expect my dear Maria who’s now betraying me taught you that nor did she?” He sneered, showing off his white teeth.
“Ah, I guess we have a bit in common. I never consider you as my father and please don’t call me your son because it’s suffocating, enough to make a chicken vomit,” He released Randolph and walked forward nearer towards James. “Giving preaches is not appropriate to be done by someone like you since that you, yourself are a demon inside with a human mask for the coating.”
“Please, preaches are not my thing and to know that we have something in common is quite absurd since we’re not related by blood,” He paused, giving a false shock. “I forgot! Your drunken father who felt abandoned who almost committed a homicide taught you that! Sorry, I should’ve known about it.”
“Well, if only you pig didn’t mess up with my family, I might be a good child to start up with. What am I kidding, thanks to you, I have this title and I am someone that my crews can rely on!” He took out the Excalibur and pointed it towards old James. “Penelope, shrink the number of weapons that’s being held by the soldiers.”
“You want me to boil it or freeze it?” He asked him back.
“Anything is fine; you just stick with the order,” Somehow, Captain Kenny’s tone turned rather serious this time.
“Aye, aye... uh... Dominion,” Without any delay, he blew his breath that boiled all the guns and swords on the soldiers’ hands and sat down upon Captain Kenny like a good dog. “How’s that for my first time following your order?”
He gave Penelope an ‘okay’ sign, “Better than a ‘certain’ person.” And I could see that he was referring it to me. He really had enough time to play around when we’re actually facing a heinous dictator with navy soldiers that were specialized in combat by his side.
“You sure know how to irritate people in this kind of situation, captain,” I uttered, kind of hurt.
“No offense, it’s the truth. Right, guys?” Captain Kenny turned towards the other three crews behind him and all of them replied him with nods and stern look on their faces.
“Do you not quite get what kind of situation you are in, Kenneth?” James finally made up a statement, seeming that his enemy had lost interest in him.
“It’s been a long time since anyone called me with that me. What a nostalgic,” He grinned scarcely.
“Less talk and fight,” His eyes widened, portraying someone’s crazy.
Captain Kenny marched ahead and before he took his third step, I grabbed his sleeve hastily since I didn’t want him to get hurt anymore than he already had. His hazel eyes locked at my timid stature with my violet eyes showing my fear to see him from getting hurt from the fight. His hazel eyes shone sadistically, ordering me to let him go and by the time my hand was about to release his sleeve, Randolph, Alfin and Thomas already attacked the soldiers with their guns and swords. The unarmed soldiers tried to defend themselves with martial arts but the pirate crews were faster than what they had expected. Martial arts were specialised in short-ranged combat unlike guns, it was for long ranged combat and due to that, Thomas took the opportunity in aiding both Alfin and Randolph sword fighting from afar without shooting them.
“Hey old-man, we’ve finished all your soldiers and you have none left to guard you. Should we take your life too?” Alfin gave a malicious grin towards James who was standing nearby, shivering with anger.
“Heh, you’re not smart enough to outsmart me,” He whistled and something big flew down to fetch him. “Bon-Voyage the Devil’s crews. Hope to see you soon ‘in prison’.” He gestured a wave and finally retreated by flying away with a gigantic bird that looked like a falcon.
“Shoot! We have less than a minute to get out of this place!” Thomas shrieked in alert.
All five of us including Penelope asked synchronically, “Why?”
“I’m not sure what’s Henry up to but he told us to get out from here less than an hour or else something bad might happen,” He explained briefly.
“Hmmm, no wonder I found this plan is quite similar to something,” Captain Kenny grunted with his expression grew intense. “He did ransacked my room and read my emergency plans. We better get out fast! The ship is somewhere with at least 10 metres in radius. I sense water in the southern side so we better head there fast!”
“Why?” Maria and I asked.
“Less talks and run!” He shouted.
As we finally left the back gate, the building exploded, making a very big explosion and finally, the building fell apart with fire engulfing it. Without him to explain anything, I finally understood the situation myself. A loud bang abruptly broke up the silence and made all five of their eyes widened to see me fell on the ground, lying unconscious. I was shot from afar. Captain Kenny went after me and shook my body slightly, “Eleanor! Hang in there!” Despite his own condition, he carried me all the way towards where the ship was parked. Everyone worked together even Maria and Penelope too, in order to set sail to the wide sea where the Navy’s Head-quarter could no longer be seen.
“How is she, Hardy?” Anxiously, Captain Kenny quickly went towards hardy figure that had finally got out of my room.
“She’ll wake up in no time. Right now, her heart needs to generate enough blood since she lost so many. It probably takes for about 4 or 5 days,” Hardy explained.
“I see,” He finally calmed a bit; relieved from the news he had heard.
“Oh and, her skin was soft though. No wonder you love to hold her,” Hardy grinned mockingly.
Captain Kenny grabbed Hardy’s collar as if to strangle him and warned, “I’m sure that you’re not doing anything unnecessary towards her instead of removing the bullet from her back right?”
“Well, I did remove her clothes to make the bullet’s removal easier though,” He gave a sneer towards him sadistically.
Without anymore delay, Captain Kenny swiftly punched him right on the face and shouted, “You perverted fiend!” and chocked him using his collar once again. His face was red from blushing.
“My, my... you’re growing into quite a violent delinquent I presume. If only I could bring you along with me that time,” Maria sighed heavily when she saw both Hardy and Captain Kenny in a fight. “By the way, I’ve changed her clothes and if you need anything, just ask. I’ll be the cook from now on until she’s finally healed.”
“My mother removed her clothes, didn’t she?” Captain Kenny’s face flushed bright red again, redder than the previous one.
“I don’t mind being punch by you. It’s fun to see you like this though. Ever since she came here, you’ve turned quite mild,” Hardy smiled.
“Yeah right,” Captain Kenny walked away and entered my room, facing towards where I was lying.
“You’ve done your best,” He patted my head gently.
Since I was unconscious, I couldn’t give any response at all instead of lying halted just like a dead person, though I was breathing by the time.
“We’ll meet up with Renka on our next port. I know that this time is not appropriate but if only you’re conscious, I might be telling you about your past. You poor princess, it must be hard to have someone try to assassinate you. We’re both unlucky, aren’t we?” He grinned. “I guess you win, tomboy. You’ve made this man fall for you.” He shoved away my hair from covering my forehead and kissed it and left me in peace.
That night, everyone gathered at the dining hall and Captain Kenny’s mother, Maria, was preparing ‘almost burnt’ meals for dinner. The dinner was a complete disaster not to mention the atmosphere was quite gloomy since every one of them was worrying about my current state.
“I wonder if she’ll be okay,” Fredrick finally broke up the silence.
“Sis is okay isn’t she, Hardy?” Chast, anxious as ever, asked with his tone trailed off.
“She won’t die just from that right?” Rio added.
“Don’t worry. She faced something that was harsher from that. She won’t die that easily,” Captain Kenny answered one refined statement.
Everyone was stiffened due to the astounded scene. Captain had always remained silent every time it was breakfast, lunch or dinner but this time, he actually spoken! For them, that day was a complete miracle or it was probably just a dream and lastly, it remained unknown by any of them to even cope with the fact.