Chapter 27 – On the Pirate Ship (2)
“Do you have any idea where it is you are talking about?”
Mary looked at me with utter disbelief.
“I do. That’s why I said its name.”
I sipped on my wine, looking at her with a questioning face in return.
“Hey Aris, I will drop you off wherever you want to go. Let’s just call off the treasure hunting.”
Mary suggested that she would just drop us off wherever, showing that she didn’t want to go there.
“Anywhere? Anywhere I want?”
Then Mary smiled from ear to ear.
“Of course! Where? Where do you want me to take you? This ship can take you anywhere.”
Then there was only one place.
“Yes. I will then choose the island of lost souls.”
Mary’s smile dissipated again.
“You really want to go there?”
Mary made a serious expression for the first time since I had seen her.
“To be honest, it was a bait to just get away from the elf, but now it’s different. I really want to find the treasure with you.”
As I pinpointed ‘with you,’ Mary flinched a bit.
“You might die. Actually, there will be a greater pain than death awaiting us.”
Mary tried to scare me until the end, but I had no worries since I already knew how to find the treasure, and what the treasure was.
“What? The greatest pirate of all time, Mary, is scared?”
I started to tease Mary to provoke her to take us.
“Scared? Who? Me? Of course not.”
She caught my bait due to her pride. I still needed to reel in more.
“No, you do seem scared to death. Nevermind, just drop us off at a nearby port. I will go look for Bonnie, who wouldn’t be scared of such adventures.”
It was a very childish and purposeful provocation, but
“Do you think that scaredy-cat can make it there? Probably will look for mommy and shiver.”
Mary banged the table as soon as the name ‘Bonnie’ was mentioned.
“So, you are going, then?”
Mary made a ‘a-ha’ face after realizing that she had fallen into my trap. But then she immediately seized the wine bottle with an affirmative face, and
She drank the entire bottle in one go.
“Phhhh! Great! A true pirate never backs down! I will go! But we will split it half and half!”
She was caught completely.
“I look forward to working with you, Mary.”
So on the next day after I convinced Mary,
“..and so us pirates will head towards the island of lost souls.”
She announced to the other sailors that we will be going to the island.
The other pirates froze in place.
“Captain, I think we heard you wrong. Could you repeat?”
“Are you all deaf? The destination is the island of lost souls.”
Then, the pirates dropped their jaws.
“You’re not saying that the treasure the bunny mentioned was at that place, right?”
He pointed towards my direction and asked.
“It is true. She caught an elf. That island will be a piece of cake!”
Mary promoted me very much, but the expressions of the crew was not welcoming.
“But it’s the island of lost souls, not some elf. I heard that when you die there, you cannot go to God but become stuck for eternity as a soul.”
Mary made an annoyed face.
“So, you are not going? Since when did you all filter out places to which you would go as if you were shopping?”
The sailors scratched their head or turned their eyes away at her comment.
“Fine, if you don’t want to do, you are on your own. I will only take ones who will. The scaredy-pants who want to leave can take the small boat and just go now.”
Mary just pointed at the ones who wanted to leave and waved them away.
“In the middle of the ocean?”
The ship was in the middle of nothing at this point. Taking the small boat would be a death sentence.
“Captain, let’s rethink this through. That place is…”
Mary didn’t want to go at first as well, but I managed to convince her in the end. I had to step in this time again.
“You may die from leaving on the small boat, but you will live if you get lucky.”
Mary and others who were starting to raise their voices became quiet again as I started talking.
“But if you follow me to the island of the lost souls, you may live, or die if you are unlucky.”
Mary and the others looked at each other, and then towards me again.
“What are you saying?”
Mary asked, representing the crowd. I shrugged.
“It’s just as I have said. If you all follow me to the island of lost souls, you will all live unless you are really unlucky. In other words: if you leave now, you will definitely regret it later.”
The sailors looked at me filled with doubt.
“How do we believe you?”
I thought for a moment about that question. They wouldn’t believe me if I used regular logic.
“Do you see these ears?”
I took off my hat, then played around with my ears. The crowd had no idea where I was getting.
“Us rabbitmen have ears that move in accordance with our emotions. I am not lying to you right now. When I lie, these ears fold in half.”
As I explained, I tried to come up with more lies to convince them.
“I am an unskilled swordsman.”
Then I talked inside my head ‘the ears will fold’ again and again.
“Look, the ears folded!”
Did my trick work? Mary announced the state of my folded ears.
“See? I didn’t lie just now.”
Although I said it confidently, I had no idea how my ears really worked. Arje did tell me that my ears move when I lied, but hadn’t mentioned just how they moved. But I was glad that the ears folded as I predicted.
“Is she for real?”
“That, I’m not sure. I have never seen a race of rabbitmen.”
“Still, that seems to be good enough evidence.”
The sailors seemed to buy in, since they had no knowledge of rabbitmen. On top of that, they would have to row until they found a habitable place on that tiny boat, if they didn’t agree.
“Okay then! No one is leaving, right?”
Mary shouted boldly, thinking that things had settled down. No one spoke back.
“What are you fools just staring at? Turn the ship to the North!”
The pirates just returned to their positions from her yelling.
“Aris, you are great. You are suited for a pirate.”
Mary complimented me with her arms crossed.
The effects were quite successful for just saying whatever I made up in my head. I should start using my ears more to trick the kids. They have no idea how rabbitmen are.
“So we just head on straight? We don’t need to take anything to the island?”
I shook my head.
“There is a place we need to go before we go to the island.”
“A place to stop? Where?”
“A city in the North. Profin.”
And so we kept heading North. The place I used to be had great weather and sunshine suited as the home of the god of Sun, but the Northern area became colder the closer we got. It wasn’t enough to freeze me to death, but it was chilly.
I was cold, especially in my thin attire.
“Aren’t rabbits covered in fur? You’re still cold?”
Mary made fun of me in her thick coat.
“Fur? Only the men look like actual bunnies, not the women. We have smooth skin.”
I became jealous of the male rabbitmen for the first time in the cold.”
“Aris, come close. If you are near my magic, you will be warmer.”
I thought her balls of light were just bright, but they became warm like a fireplace when I went near.
“Arje, aren’t you cold?”
“No, I can endure the cold pretty well.”
On top of that, she had this magic skill that would make her invincible to the cold. I should stay close to her.
“Do you want to borrow my winter coat?”
Mary offered one of her coats.
“No, it’s fine.”
Mary was surprised that I refused.
“Why? You just talked about how cold you were.”
But there was a reason.
“It’s not cool. Those thick coats.”
That was, the pride of a swordsman.
“What? You are just going to fight through this cold to look pretty?”
Mary was out of words.
“I understand. She’s still young, you know?”
Arje said that she understood me. It’s not about being pretty, but being cool. Anyways..
“That makes you seem like you are older than me.”
Arje was puzzled, although I used sarcasm.
“Isn’t it true? Aris, you are not possibly telling me that you are older than I am, right?”
No, I should be right. Unlike my looks, I was reaching my late 20s before my death.
“By the way, how old are you, Arje? I never asked.”
I never asked because I had no need, but I decided to ask since it came up. She better not be younger than me.
“Me? I am…”
When Arje was about to talk about her age,
“We are almost reaching Profin!”
A pirate on the lookout announced that we are close to Profin.
“We have reached Profin, Aris.”
It felt like she rambled over the topic of her age, but it didn’t really matter. There were plenty of chances to ask later on.
“So, why did we come to Profin out of all the numerous cities in the North? Did you have someone you need to see?”
I nodded at Mary’s question.
“Yes, I do.”
There was someone I needed to enter the island. Someone who knows the island and its curse well, can solve the curse, and is crazy enough to go solve it.
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