The sun crept over the horizon, sending light across the
sands. Dawn cast its flames upon the waters of the sea, making it look like it
was ablaze. The last stanza of Lily's poem rang like bells in my mind.
"Out of Fire comes the maid,
To wield the flower's battle blade.
Hence the Fire and Sea be one
Beneath the burning sun."
Truly, Fire and Sea were one. Not only in the
reflection of flames upon the waters, but in the flames of my destiny merging
with Lily's colossal tidal wave.
Captain Goldtooth raced aboard his ship. "Get
over here, lads! The Shoyru is takin' our boat!"
Then, "I've got a sword, lassie," Goldtooth
threatened. "And I keep me vows."
"You do?" I mocked the Krawk. "What a surprise.
I didn't know you had that much honor." I kept my voice cool and smooth, but
I was trembling inside. That Krawk scared me. It wasn't cowardice on my part;
it was fearsomeness on his. Anyone who isn't afraid of that beast is either
crazy or skilled at hiding emotions.
"Ye dare challenge me, liddle Shoyru?" Goldtooth
drew his sword. It was a pretty sword, but it didn't catch the light like mine.
In fact, it seemed to absorb it, to suck it into its bottomless depths. That
sword was touched by darkness.
"Gladly," I retorted. "I ought to win easily
against a coward like you."
"What does that mean?"
"It must take a lot of courage to threaten a
I swung my sword in a lame attempt to intimidate
Goldtooth. To my surprise, my threat actually worked! I sent the Krawk scurrying!
He used a rope to climb up the to the crow's nest where he thought he would
Unfortunately for him, Shoyrus have wings.
I flew to the crow's nest, landing at the same
time he reached the top. Swift as a wink, I cut the rope he had used to get
up. His escape was blocked. Then, an enraged Goldtooth decided to block my escape.
A searing pain shot up my wing! I couldn't think
straight for several moments.
Goldtooth had thrown his dagger at my wing,
breaking the bone with the handle.
Neither of us could get down the pole. Well,
we could get down, but it was a long, hard fall. A fall neither of us were willing
to take. A fall that can be taken only once.
"It comes down to battle up here. Aye, lass."
Then, quicker that the eye could follow, Goldtooth lashed at me with his sword.
I blocked, unwilling to throw my own attacks.
"Ye'll pay for yer insults, girl. I'll make
I kept my cool, blocking his thrusts.
Shifting, swerving, reflecting the sun and the
flames of the campfire, my blade appeared to be burning. I turned and circled
my opponent, doing a ritual dance of survival. Flashing, blocking, thrusting,
all fell into a pretty pattern like the one I had done on the decks of the Peophin
Lily before it sank. But now, the demons were real. They were real and they
were a Krawk with a golden fang in his mouth. They were real and they had imperiled
the lives of everyone on the Peophin Lily.
"Ye'll never win against me, no lassie ye won't."
I inhaled deeply and caught an odd stench. "Nice
breath. There's a revolutionary invention in Neopia Central. It's called the
"Ain't ye the funny one, girl?"
"I'm like Marcus that way."
"I'll tell ye what, lassie. Ye can kiss yer
Marcus goodbye, because I will destroy everyone and everythin' that was once,
or had anything to do with the Peophin Lily. Ye've my word on that."
That's when Goldtooth took the step backwards.
The last step he'd ever take.
He had fallen. And pirating for evil fell with
"Carolea! I've missed you so much!" The blond-haired human named Penelope
hugged Kara Lee the pirate Kyrii tightly. "What were you thinking, running away
"I needed adventure, Penny. You kept on saying
how I shouldn't get dirty and I can't do this or that or… I guess I just was
fed up with it."
"I searched high and low for you, Carolea! I
was so worried! Then I found out that you were with pirates and I thought they
had kidnapped you or something! I never dreamed you'd join them of your own
"I never knew you cared about me this much."
"But I do. So… will you come home? I'll give
you more freedom, more adventure."
More hugging and crying ensued. Weirdly enough,
Brenda did most of the crying. "I love happy endings!" she wailed.
"Be quiet, Brenda," I snapped. "I think I hear
Kauvara came crashing through the forests of
Mystery Island. "I knew you'd reach your destiny, Arielle!" The starry Kau hugged
me. "Now I have something to tell you about that sword.
"I recovered it off of the ocean floor. That
sword once belonged to the famous Peophin heroine Lily."
"But… how'd you know?" I asked, shocked.
"When I was studying magic at the Tower of the
Light Faerie, my nickname was the Prophetess. I had the most unbelievable hunches
about things. Most of the time, they came true. Not many people know that fact
Ari and I'd appreciate it if you kept it a secret. Not many people like or trust
"Your secret is safe with me, Kauvara."
Then, Captain NightLupe turned to me. "Ye know,
now that Kara Lee is leavin', the Peophin Lily III is goin' to need a
new first mate."
"The Peophin Lily III?" I asked, surprised.
"The unfinished Peophin Lily II was destroyed
by Goldtooth's pirates. So we're buildin' a new ship. But I like yer skill with
a sword, Ari."
"Wait… are you…"
"How'd ye like to be the first mate of the Peophin
Lily III? Ye may've saved our lives out there, and we owe ye."
I thought for a moment. Then, "Thanks, but no
thanks. My sword and I are needed elsewhere. Plus, I'm not really the pirating
"Do ye still think we've mangy villains?" Captain
"No." I said thoughtfully. "I understand now
that there's a difference between stealing to stay alive, like you have been
doing, and stealing for profit like Goldtooth did. You're as honest as anyone."
"'Tis a true compliment comin' from one as admirable
I felt myself blush bright red.
"I'm moving back to Rainbow Lane in Neopia Central,"
Kara Lee said proudly. "But I want too keep a piece of my past with me. So I'm
changing my name to Kara Lea Peolily in honor of the Peophin Lily and
her crew, especially Captain NightLupe."
"You live on Rainbow Lane?" Marcus asked. "We
live on Rainbow Lane too! Maybe we'll see each other in the near future."
"Maybe so," Kara Lea smiled.
Thus ended my first voyage at sea. It began
and ended quickly, and unexpectedly. But the memories and lessons I learned
will stay with me for a lifetime.
Never again did I see the flag of Goldtooth
wave above the seas. When I wrote letters to Captain NightLupe in later months,
he wrote back, "Life was more peaceful on the seven seas without having to worry
about those who steal for pleasure."
You know what? He's entirely right.
Carefully, I laid my sword upon a table. "I
hope I'll never have to use you again," I said to it. "But just in case, you
need a proper name. I dub thee Fireblade. And I'll never use you for anything
but to defend the helpless."
Then, I took a hard stone and scratched a flower
onto the hilt of the sword. A lily.
And in the center of that lily, I saw the reflection
of a Peophin.
A Peophin maiden who was very proud of me.