"Kara Lee! Report to my cabin immediately!" I called.
My name is Captain NightLupe the black Lupe.
To my crew, I'm the strongest of the strong and the bravest of the brave. I've
gotten them through thick and thin and they'd follow me anywhere. To merchant
ships, I'm the most fearsome robber to roam the seven seas. To most others on
Krawk Island, I'm the Lupe they call "The bearer of the Tales."
Some say that the Tales are as old as the sea
itself. Some say that they originated in Maraqua. Still others say that the
Tales are bogus, fairy tales to frighten children.
Only I know the truth. Yet, I'm forbidden to
The Tales are a heavy leather-bound book written
in an ancient code. My family holds the translation key. We've passed it down
from generation to generation, from Lupe to Lupe, from eldest child to eldest
child. I inherited the key from my father who got it from his mother, and so
on for uncountable decades.
"You needed me, Captain? Er… Cap'n."
"Kara me lass, look at this map. I know we were
originally going on our usual raids, but take a look at this map."
"Where did you get this, Cap'n?"
"I bought it. Ten dubloons. Got it from me old
mate Cap'n Goldtooth the Krawk." I traced my paw on the map. "Take a look at
this city. Coconut Bay. The busiest port city on Mystery Island. Or so Goldtooth
"You don't believe Cap'n Goldtooth, sir?" Kara
"I'm just sayin', he's a crafty character when
he wants to be. Now what do ye say we turn this ship around and make a nice
liddle raidin' stop at Coconut Bay?"
"Maybe." Kara seemed lost in thought. I ignored
"Good. Give the orders to turn around."
Kara nodded at me. Then, she left.
I returned to my work: translating one of the
Tales. It was father's wish that I should uncover the meaning behind this poem
in particular. I've been trying to make sense of it, but I haven't had much
success. I looked again at the ancient riddle.
"Sea and Air is a pirate's domain,
Yet another comes to meet again,
That Land and Sea may then unite
To end the bitter fight.
"Then, lo! Beneath the seabirds' call,
Comes the one to make wickedness fall.
Lily's tale again unfolds,
Her secrets to behold.
"Out of Fire comes the maid,
To wield the flower's battle blade.
Hence the Fire and Sea be one
Beneath the burning sun."
"This is your destiny." My father had said. "Follow
it true, NightLupe."
The night after my father had died, I was visited
by a Faerie in a dream. I don't know who she was, but she told me that, "The
Peophins are the key." The next morning, I saw Marcus and Arielle at the Golden
Dubloon. I was only half-conscious as to who they really were. In my mind, I
kept seeing two Peophins. But that can't be possible. Can it?
"See that fog, Kara me lass?" Cap'n NightLupe asked Kara Lee.
"'Tis settlin' o'er Mystery Island. We should be landin' in Coconut Bay this
"With all due respect Captain," she said. "You're
incorrect. See the redness of the horizon over yonder? Red sky in the morning,
sailors take warning."
"Aye, and ye're a sailor after me own heart,
Kara. Now go and alert the crew. We'll soon be in for a storm, the like of which
ain't been seen in decades."
She decided not to ask the Captain how he knew
that. After all, he has been a Captain for years. Instead, Kara Lee followed
his orders without question. "Crew, hearken to me! A storm is coming! A terrible
storm, worse than any of you has ever seen before! Prepare!"
Pirates scrambled to furl the sails and check
the boat for leaks. I was crying in fear. My human, Jessica was trying to comfort
me. Arielle the Shoyru was halfway up the crow's nest, alerting the lookout
of the danger. Marcus was helping the crew roll up the sails. Sammy was in the
sickbeds, getting seasick.
Yes, a seasick Koi. It's hard to believe.
The crew spent the whole day preparing for the
storm. The wind was starting to pick up and I felt the first drops of rain splatter
on the deck. "Get inside! Everyone! I'll take the helm!" The Captain roared.
Then, he turned to Kara. "I'm trusting you to keep our guests safe, Kara Lee.
And if anythin' happens to me on deck, the Peophin Lily and her crew
are yours to command. Don't let me down."
"Never have before, sir," Kara Lee said dutifully.
"Don't plan on starting now."
Kara took the crew and the guests below decks.
I served everyone hot, fresh muffins. The pirates played card games to keep
themselves entertained. After the muffins were passed out, I joined them.
"Do you have any twos?" I asked Flapp the pirate
"Go fish," he growled.
Flapp's friend Flubb the Blumaroo asked me,
"Do ye have any Queens?"
Reluctantly, I handed him two Queens from my
Then, I thought of the Captain, alone and cold
in the raging thunderstorm. "I'm going to see if the Captain wants a muffin,
okay? Flubb, you can play for me," I gestured towards my cards.
The wind was colder than I thought it would
be. It howled like a wounded wolf and tossed about, this way and that way. Rain
blinded me to anything more than a couple of feet in front of me. Rain soaked
my fur, making it a heavy burden to carry. Thunder rolled oppressively in the
background. The occasional streak of lightning lit the scene in front of me.
A lone black Lupe, operating the helm. Defying
the storm casually, like this isn't worse than anything he had ever done before.
Like he had seen a thousand storms of this magnitude. Which, I reminded myself,
he probably had.
"Captain NightLupe, sir?" I cautiously approached
the Captain and offered him a muffin. Then, something strange happened.
Another ship loomed through the foggy seas.
It was huge! Nearly twice the size of the Peophin Lily. It's sails were blacker
than the clouds overhead, nearly as black as the Captain's fur. And it had a
traditional skull-and-crossbones pirate's flag flying from the flagpole. With
one twist. The skull on the flag had a single gold tooth in its mouth.
"Cap'n Goldtooth," NightLupe whispered.
"Ahoy there me old shipmate!" called a Krawk
Captain with a gold fang. "Storm's got ye a bit weathered, eh?"
"Goldtooth, please don't distract me. I'm trying
to sail," NightLupe growled.
"Not so fast, me matey. I got a pretty liddle
lass by the name of Penelope. She'd like to talk to ye about one named Carolea
you're keepin' hostage on yer boat."
"Carolea? I never heard of the name. Tell yer
Penelope to look elsewhere."
"Oh, the lass is certain she's on yer boat.
She said she'd bet every Neopoint she has."
"She's losin' an awful lot of Neopoints then."
Then, a tall, blonde human walked to the edge
of Goldtooth's ship. "I want my Carolea back! I don't know what you pirates
have done to her, but give her back! Now!"
"Yer human has a temper, don't she?" Captain
"A temper and a cannon." Then, the human stepped
aside to reveal a shiny black cannon. "Give me my Carolea or the entire Peophin
Lily will pay."
"I can't give what I don't have. But I'd advise
ye not to sink a ship with children aboard it." NightLupe held his paws akimbo,
so he looked quite fearsome. Yet I could tell that inside, he was despairing.
He really didn't know who Carolea was. So now, he'd lose everything for it.
Yet he stood, valiant and proud, defending his ship to the last.
"Very well then." The human Penelope lit the
I heard a BOOM! A giant wave. Then, all went
To be continued...