Doing my job at my very own pace, I couldn’t care less about the new-born infant of a water dragon who turned out to be under my care. Baby sitting a creature that was inhuman and what’s worse, could be lethal and could eliminate your existence in a blink of an eye was what I had never dreamt of. I wonder when it would talk again like it had once when it first hatched.
I was preparing breakfast when he came and entered the kitchen, acting like a dog and settled down at my feet. Captain Kenny entered the kitchen that morning that made me startled as if his presence in the kitchen in the morning when I was preparing breakfast was superstitious. I looked at him in disbelief. He strode off somewhere inside the kitchen, lingering and finally, pulled out a chair without a sound and kept his eyes on Penelope, as if he was a complete monster that he needed to protect me from. I crossed my hand and stood upon him with a funny look on my face. He looked back at me monotonously.
“Am I dreaming or fantasizing right now to find you in this kind of place during this hour?” My violet eyes locked at his sitting stature.
“Please none of those. I might end up in Hardy’s care if I am to know I’m in your dream or fantasy. It’s disgusting,” He paused. “I am checking whether that thingy could be fatal to all of us.”
“Why don’t you ask him instead? As far as I know, he won’t be attacking any of us who are not the enemy of yours,” I tucked out my tongue at him and headed back to prepare breakfast.
“I know that a dragon can talk to a human. But, don’t you think it’s too early for him to be able to talk?” He muttered.
“Well, it has come to my knowledge that the baby can speak as it hatched. It talks when it desires it to and it does what it feels like doing,” I had my back at him and continued with my task, making breakfast.
“Please address me properly by not adding ‘it’ instead of a ‘he’,” A voice retorted angrily beneath my feet.
“My bad, Penelope, sorry... Say, what do you eat?” I asked him without looking at his small stature.
“Who are you talking to, Eleanor?” Captain Kenny asked doubtfully.
“What? Didn’t you hear him talking just now?” I pointed a gesture towards Penelope who was swaying his tail like a good dog at my feet.
Captain Kenny rose up from his sitting posture and had his hand touching my forehead, “Hmmm, I’m not sure whether you should continue with your cooking.” His masculine voice somehow trailed off as if it had something behind it.
I shoved his hand hastily, with my temper rose up, I replied, “I’m fine! Can’t you hear him? You’re his master!”
“Milady, do not be angry to my dominion that I do not desire him to hear our conversation. Only you, solely, am I talking to, Milady,” He gave a slight bow towards the angry me. “Only those who I desire to talk to can hear me unless I vow an oath upon him that he can hear me without my desire in needing him knowing my private conversations. Oh, I eat flesh and mostly fish.”
“I see,” I answered.
“Eleanor, enough for today... I think your feelings are still intense and insecure,” Captain Kenny heaved a very heavy sigh, seeing me as a maniac who was talking alone.
“I’m fine! This is the only reason why I’m on board right?” I smiled wryly at him, trying to be as considerate as I can.
“Your statement makes me even worrier than what I was just now,” His hazel eyes shone brilliantly like those of the dictators. “I just can’t take my eyes off of you.”
“Then don’t. Watch me as much as you can and you’ll find nothing to worry about!”
I faced away from having him in my sight. I held the knife firmly in my hand and began to cut the beef slices by slices when Penelope abruptly jumped up beside me and had the knife I was holding flew in the air. I shut my eyes tightly and screamed at the top of my lungs. Captain Kenny swiftly captured the falling knife that was almost thrusting me and held me tightly in his hold.
“Are you alright? And Penelope, if you don’t wish to end up as tonight’s stew, please behave yourself!” He gaped furiously towards Penelope who was playing innocent in front of us.
“What was the ruckus all about?!” Hardy’s figure entered the kitchen and was followed by all the crews later on.
In their eyes, they saw it as if Captain Kenny was trying to harm me with the knife aiming right towards my position which was like a bull’s eye. All of their stature stiffened from the shock as their face grew pale and quickly attacked Captain Kenny’s knee to plead him to release me, “Please capt’n, she’s innocent! What sin has she done to deserve this?”
Hardy interrupted, “She obviously shows an image of a disobedient crew since she’s the only one who dares to rise up against him by arguing and never listens to his command for like, at all.”
Henry interrupted, “Yes, that makes sense for his anger but what is into my curiosity is to know whether hurting her is necessary for her disobedience?”
All of the other crew replied simultaneously, “OF COURSE NOT!”
“Are you deliberately plotting a rebel to go up against me for something that I will never do and in fact that it’s not true in your side of view? Please don’t judge a book without knowing the whole contents of it!” Ferociously, Captain Kenny’s hoarse voice was filled with anger and he was ‘literally’ angry. “And you little missy please oh please be careful with your surrounding! What if I wasn’t there to stop that knife from falling towards you?! And you little blue snake-like dragon thingy can you please behave yourself! I’m getting busier and busier since recently and am I a baby-sitter to babysit you two not including Chast?!”
I halted like a statue since it was the first time for me to be scolded by him and without me realising it, tears watered my eyes. I didn’t know why but seeing him being in that kind of state was heart-breaking. I didn’t like it and I didn’t want it! My heart suffocated and I was agitated for a word that was a ‘sorry’. The atmosphere turned intense with dark aura that was emitted from Captain’s body. He sighed and patted my head and had all the crew dismissed.
“Sorry, did I scare you?” The tensed voice turned tender as if the anger had flown away.
My mouth was muted. I couldn’t utter a word and was quite shock with it. I nodded swiftly as a reply for his earnest question. He turned away, facing Penelope who was still sitting at his previous place, remaining silent and just stared at us innocently and said, “Why haven’t you recite the oath yet? Do you not want to be under my commands that much?” The snake-like blue water dragon shook his head numerously as a ‘no’ and blinked his eyes several times before he started to pace nearer towards his master and finally settled down with his black eyes still staring at him.
“Then why is it that you still refused to recite the oath?” He knelt down to see the image of his minion clearly.
“Master, your filthy minion cannot break the protocol. The Dragon’s protocol is more important compared to your commands, Milord,” He bowed courteously upon him.
“What is this protocol that my eyes failed to read from the journal I had 3 years ago?”
“The protocol of a dragon to recite an oath upon his master is when the master’s holding the diamond sword and wields it out of its scabbard and points it at the dragon’s head,” He explained briefly. “By then will you be able to hear all of my private chatters among your crews or any other people.”
I who was standing somewhere nearby reckoned that they must have had a conversation regarding to something about an oath since he had been repeatedly saying the exact same word. I remained silent as the atmosphere itself began to turn into ‘master and minion’ like.
“Very well said,” Captain Kenny was now facing towards me. “And what’s with the sudden jump that almost killed the one who took care of you?”
Silence took place for quite some times and finally, the dragon sneered maliciously, “If I am not yet bounded by my master with the oath as the contract, I can be lethal to all of you.” He jumped off and ran outside the kitchen.
“That cunning little scumbag!” He shouted.
I held his sleeve tightly to prevent him from hurting the little dragon, “Let him be. He might as well just blurt out a joke.”
“Joke?! You see it as a joke?! What if he harms you? You’re the closest to him, right?!” His face was pale with anxiety.
“Why are you so concerned about my safety? I’m nobody to you,” The dictions slipped from my mouth.
“What makes you a ‘nobody’ when you’re one of my crewmates? And how am I going to answer Mammy for whatever mishaps that might happen unto you when you are my responsibility? Her pigeons are driving me crazy with all her letters asking whether you’re fine or not?” He replied.
“Letters?” I repeated his word once again.
“How come I received mountains of them while you did not receive any?” He asked.
“That’s so mammy! She never shows that she cares about me when she actually does! Please let me see those letters!” I begged him that I was greatly overwhelmed.
“Am I not scolding you just now?” His voice trailed off once again that he almost threw a tantrum.
“Sorry,” I looked at the floor and was literally feeling guilty.
He heaved a heavy sigh, stating, “There’s no choice then. Don’t scream when you read it.” He warned. I nodded as a yes of his statements.
Breakfast was somewhat like a graveyard although Captain Kenny ate his breakfast silently just like any other morning. The atmosphere was somewhat intense and a bit gloomy as if an evil spirit was lurking somewhere inside that dining hall where all twenty-one of us were feasting. I tried to say something to break the tense by adding, “I wonder where Penelope is...” Suddenly, Captain Kenny’s expression turned deadly, as fierce as that of a lion. His hazel eyes shone sadistically throughout the whole room as if I was saying a taboo. Everyone gulped simultaneously, knowing what their Captain’s current feeling was.
“Capt’n, we will arrive at a nearby harbour in less than 3 days from now. As what I’ve seen in the map, it’s...” before Scar, our boatswain, could finish his brief statement, Captain Kenny interrupted, “It’s been a long time since I’ve finally gone back to where I came from. It is the capital of the world, the infamous city of Abel.”
Every single person in the dining hall was stunned by his dictions which into our knowledge, never for once had we knew his birth place or where he came from. No one dared to even say a word nor could they come up with one with anything to cease the intense atmosphere which had turned into a total graveyard, soundless.
When we were about to finish our breakfast, a loud bang was heard from the cannon base where we kept all the cannons in order. Everyone rushed towards the incident place and saw Penelope was playing with it, aiming towards a Navy ship! My face grew pale as white as a sheet of a paper while Captain Kenny caught him by the tail and gave out orders to standby for a combat since we had been spotted by them.
“Stupid dragon! Look what you’ve done!” Captain Kenny shouted at the dragon’s ear. “I could not tolerate it any longer than this!” He took out the diamond sword and drew it on the dragon’s head, “As your Dominion, the Devil of the Sea, I hereby ORDER you to recite your oath!”
The blue snake-like water dragon gritted his teeth but then he let his tongue did his part as a minion, “It is me, Penelope, the water dragon is now the servant of the great he, the Devil of the Sea. I shall never betray my master for as long as I live and assist him with all I can until the day the sky calls for my soul for the eternity. If I am found a traitor towards my dominion, will I be slaughtered or be cursed for my eternal life.”
“By that you are bonded to me for eternity, with all my blessing, you are now my minion,” Captain Kenny shifted the sword from Penelope’s head and drew it back into its scabbard. He grabbed my hand as we fled towards a hiding room where there for sure, no one except for the crews themselves knows where the hiding place was.
“Penelope, what kind of prowess do you wield by now?” He asked.
“Master, though I am still an infant and not much can I do, I can freeze or boil anything in my sight unlike the fire-dragons who depend on their fire-breath. My breath can freeze or boil,” He replied.
“You talk more than what your tongue can hold. Be sure to guard her while all of us are fighting with the navy,” He proclaimed.
“I’m useless. Even Chast is allowed for the combat,” My tone sounded as if I was sulking.
“You still have Pappy’s dagger with you? Chast is under my custody for all these years, there’s no way I am going to let him go without learning the way of battlefield. His specialty is long-range combat.”
“Yes, I still have it with me. Well then, you might as well teach me later on. I might need to know how to use a blunderbuss, a flintlock pistol or a volley. Promise me you will still be alive till then,” I muttered.
“It seems that you’ve underestimated me as the Devil of the Sea, Eleanor. I won’t die that easily,” He grinned and by then he left the room for the battle.
“Good luck,” I mumbled slowly to myself.
I could hear sword fighting that clanked every time the sword met the sword, the shooting of the guns and pistols, the smell of the gunpowder arouse in the air and men’s voices who struggled for their lives. I prayed for their victory and safety that I didn’t wish any of them to be sacrificed during the combat. I knew I just had to be stronger than what I was right now. I hope all of them were doing well up there especially Chast since he was the youngest pirate I’ve ever known.