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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 8th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 128 > Continuing Series > Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Nine

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Nine

by ridergirl333

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 half-grown Shoyru."

     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 be safe.

     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 ye pay."

     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 breath mint."

     "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 him.

Epilogue

"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 from home?"

     "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 free will!"

     "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."

     "Yes."

     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 someone."

     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 divination."

     "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 type."

     "Do ye still think we've mangy villains?" Captain NightLupe asked.

     "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 as yerself."

     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.

The End

Previous Episodes

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part One

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Two

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Three

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Four

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Five

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Six

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Seven

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Eight


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