That night, we built a shade to keep us warm and started a camp-fire somewhere nearby using sticks and twigs. We sat there side by side watching the fire ablaze as it was burning our fishes for our dinner. The awkwardness tangled our tongue and prevented us from talking to each other normally. This kind of situation usually occurred between Fredrick and Lilliana when they were left alone but this was way too awkward! I never thought it would feel this way. I yawned as my eyes felt heavy, feeling very sleepy due to the fatigue.
“You’re sleepy?” He questioned out of the blue.
I nodded as a reply.
“You can go ahead and sleep, I’ll guard from now on. The dinner will be our breakfast for tomorrow okay,” He assured.
I didn’t reply him. I snuggled nearer by his side for warmth and landed my head on his sturdy shoulder. He didn’t even say a word and just let me be.
“Are you asleep yet?” He took a slight peek at my resting stature that was now asleep. “I guess you are then,” He stared at the bluish starless night. He wondered how longer we would stick here and he couldn’t let his guard down. What if the island was inhabited by the cannibal tribe? He couldn’t care less. The wind blew mildly and my hair was brushing his neck but he didn’t budge even a muscle to make sure that he wouldn’t wake me up from my rest. He slowly shifted my hair from tickling his neck and caressed them lovingly. He was almost asleep and by the time he realised it, he slapped his cheek hardly and tried to stay focus.
“Her life might be in danger if you slack! Don’t you dare fall asleep!?” He motivated himself.
It was getting chilly and I snuggled nearer towards his side and he did notice it. He wrapped his arms around my shivering stature, whispering, “I’m sorry. This is the only thing that I can do right now. I don’t have my coat to cover you with.” His hold was warm enough to make me fall into a deep sleep. He couldn’t help himself from falling asleep by my side as well.
The next morning, we went for a tour on the island and couldn’t find any trace of living human. Captain Kenny concluded that it was the inhabitant island that he ordered the crew to settle down from the previous storm but the ship was swept away and that was exactly what had happened to us. We cooperated to make an S.O.S emergency help for the crew and maybe two or three days, they’ll be here to get us. Surely!
“What if they never come? What if I didn’t make it to the coronation?” I suddenly asked.
“I know we’ll make it. Trust me,” He convinced.
“Well, there’s still a probability that we might be marooned for the rest of our lives,” I replied.
“Well, we have Mammy, haven’t we? She’ll figure it soon enough and inform the crews that we’re here,” He assured calmly, holding my hand firmly in his hand.
“Well, I’m just asking. What if it is real then?” I uttered.
“If that happens, will you be my bride?” He blurted confidently.
“Are you sure you want me? I always give you troubles and always get on your nerve,” I confessed.
“Then how about you? Are you sure you want a guy that’s heartless and always end up making you cry?” He replied.
Now we’re facing at each other, staring deeply into each other’s eyes. Our heart raced two times louder and faster than the last time and we couldn’t stop blushing.
“If I am your wife then, what might happen next?” I questioned again.
“Hmm, I’d love to have a couple of children, a boy and a girl. I want my daughter to grow up just like her mother,” He suddenly grinned.
“Then, I want my son to be protective and strong just like his father,” I smiled at him back.
Enough with the words, he embraced me tightly as I hurled my arms behind his neck as we kissed beneath a shady tree. Suddenly, a group of armed men got out of nowhere and surrounded us with spears and sword firmly in their hold. The leader of the tribe got out and uttered, “You, what business you have here?”
Captain Kenny shielded me from them and answered boldly, “We meant no harm and you see, we’re stranded on this island and we’re waiting for our comrades to get us back. No worries, we will not bother this land and leave it just like how we see it.”
“That is not the answer I’m seeking,” The leader smirked. “This island is also known as ‘the love trial’ land to prove whether you two are really meant for each other. If you fail, you will have to separate right after you got into your next destination.”
“Huh?!” Both Captain Kenny and I retorted simultaneously.
“Follow us,” She ordered.
Without any hesitation, we followed them into their village which was located in a place where people could never think of! Inside a tunnel that leads under a lake and it was very deep.
“Why must there be something that distracted us every time we kissed?” I pouted.
“We’re not lucky enough I guess,” He answered nonchalantly.
“You love birds, how long have you been realising that you’re in love?” The tan-skinned woman finally stopped and stood in front of us.
“Uh, recently,” I answered timidly.
“Well, if that’s the case, I wouldn’t dare see it as ‘love’,” She uttered.
The whole tribe jumped and clapped their hands with their own way of agreeing her words just like what the red Indians usually did. She raised her right hand and everything remained silent again.
“How long have you known each other?” She asked again.
“Half a year,” Captain Kenny answered briefly.
“Nice. Now then, this is where everything will start,” She raised her right hand once again and suddenly, I was held a prisoner and been tied up.
Captain Kenny tried to help me but the people were too many for him. I was brought away from them as they continue their little conversation.
“What are you doing?! I said that we meant no harm here!!” He shouted fiercely.
“How obnoxious! Your incompetence will only make her suffer! Do you think that we do not know who she is?! We are the tribe that has been elected by the great wizard to test whether you are the one for her,” She explained briefly.
“What is it that I have to do?” He finally yielded.
“You must complete a quest,” She uttered.
“A quest?” He repeated.
“Yes boy, a quest. You must seek for her without any trace before the sunrise tomorrow or you’ll have to part in the end. Only true love will finally unite,” She grinned.
“A quest means a challenge. There’re traps waiting for me, are they not?” He replied.
“Yes boy. This bottle contains a remedy. She’ll be poisoned and if you didn’t manage to get to her before the appointed time, she’ll lose her heart from loving you.”
“YOU HEARTLESS CREATURE!!” Captain Kenny tried to attack her but she was faster and hit him hard on the head that made it bleed.
“Your princess awaits for her man. Don’t make her wait any longer than this,” She sneered at him.
“Lady Fasasha, it is time,” One of the men bowed upon her.
“I wish you all the luck, boy. Find her and your love will not perish. As you finish your quest, come back to me and give me back the bottle,” After saying her last sentence, she left the incident place without looking back.
“Damn it!” He barked angrily.
He drafted a map of the island on the ground with a twig and memorised every possibilities of the traps and where I might be. He hummed a bit, thinking hard and finally decided.
“Traps... If I encounter places with traps, that means that I’m on the right route but where would they set it? It’s hard to guess where a trap is set up...” He whispered to himself, taking a few more minutes for an answer. “Since this island is full of jungles, animals are everywhere and if the place is silent, that means they sense human’s presence or traps. So, I must find silent spots somewhere in the jungle. I must not make any noise since it might spoil the plan.” He paused. “I’ll try to be more alert and walk randomly. This island is not that big and maybe around 5 miles in radius. They might as well bring her away from their village but where? They must have hid her somewhere secluded where outsiders will not possibly think people can actually reach the place. This place is up north and the most heinous creatures here are the Siberian tigers and venomous snakes. There’s no cave and there’s no high lands here... the island’s ground is flat so the probability for them to hide her is to hide it somewhere dangerous. Of course they can survive since they usually walk in groups. They won’t hide her somewhere with the venomous snakes for cautious it might affect the poison they gave her so, the highest probability is somewhere where Siberian tigers lurk. Siberian tigers are not really dangerous unless provoked. They rarely attack people so the chance for me to be attacked by them is quite low. Even if I got attacked, I’ll use my prowess to stop them.”
Then he strode off for his quest in searching me who was hid somewhere in the island of jungle. There’d be numerous lethal traps awaits for him on the perilous path that he was going to take and even luck couldn’t help him as his wits would be the only one he could rely on. Pacing far in the jungle, he focused on the surrounding for the route. The place with animals sound would not be taken and usually, the birds’ chirps would help him recognise the right path.
Long had he walked and finally, the place he got into looked rather peculiar and somewhat a bit ‘out casted’. His cautiousness increased and he walked in alert, being careful in every step he took. He abruptly stepped on one of the strings that were prepared for a trap and deadly sharp knives flew in the air, aiming towards where he stood. He dodged all the knives and one of them had cut his left shoulder, leaving a bloody painful cut.
“I’m in the right path,” He grinned in satisfaction.
“I wonder which path I should go next... Will it be north, east or west side from where I stood...?” He swiftly shut his eyes and tried to focus more on the sound.
He could hear birds chirping on his west side and the rustles of bushes and broken twigs the north side which mean that the animals were in his front side and his left side. Now, he had to move due east. He took a few leaves and made them as poultice as a remedy for the cut on his shoulder. His pace was getting slower compared to when he first set foot on his journey for his quest. He had to endure the pricking pain on his left shoulder and must move as fast as possible or I would lose my love for him.
“Wait for me, my love. I will never let you down!” He whispered to himself.
Traps by traps he had encountered and he hadn’t slept at all and he had been using all of his energy to come and search for my presence somewhere in the Island. He had set his journey on sunset and now, it was already dawn. Would he really be able to come and aid me this time?