The Dragon Flower: Part Seven
“You called me, Captain?” Amina asked as she knocked on the Captain’s cabin door.
“Come in, Amina.”
The ship had just docked in Altador, and Captain Mendanbar had ordered Amina to come and see him while the crew unloaded the cargo.
“I wanted to thank you for all the work that you have done while on this ship, especially for stepping up when Lopina was put into solitary confinement.”
“You are very welcome.” Amina smiled.
“As a token of my gratitude and because we are friends, I would like to give you this.” Captain Mendanbar stood and gave her the large belt buckle he always wore.
“Captain!? I can’t accept this. It is your belt buckle, you need that.”
“No, not really. Dragon Flower gave it to me before she left and got married. I want to give it to you.” The Captain smiled.
Amina took the belt buckle and admired it. The large triangle buckle was actually two smaller triangles that hooked together to hold the belt. When Amina turned it over, a brilliant spectrum faded from purple to yellow on the other side of both pieces. “Captain, are you sure? It’s so pretty and has special meaning to you.”
“I am quite sure. Besides, you can add it to the treasure you have found already. Think of it as a memento from your voyage with us.”
“Very well, I will take good care of it,” said Amina with a smile.
“Now, shall we go get your sister and let her out?” suggested the Captain.
“I am sure she would greatly appreciate it,” Amina replied with a nod.
As Captain Mendanbar and Amina were walking down the hall, they could hear Lopina from a great distance.
“Thank goodness, you two are here!” Po exclaimed in relief. “She has been talking and pounding on the door and walls since we docked. Please, please may I go now?”
“You are relieved from this post. Would you go on deck and monitor how things are progressing and report back to me?” Captain Mendanbar asked.
“Gladly, Captain!” Po answered and was out of sight as fast as possible.
“Please, let me out! I know we have docked! I will be good, I promise! Please, let me out!” Lopina bellowed through the door.
“All right, Lopina!” Captain Mendanbar chuckled and unlocked the door.
Lopina bounded out of the room the moment the door opened and hugged the Captain and Amina. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! I don’t ever want to see this room again!”
“Lopina, where is this chest that you found?” the Captain asked when Lopina gained some composure.
“It’s right here!” Lopina answered and pointed to the chest just inside the door.
“May I see what’s inside?”
Captain Mendanbar gazed into the chest and said, “Amazing! How did Dragon Flower get it on board without me knowing it? Well anyway, it is yours to keep because I don’t want my crew fighting over it!”
“Thank you, Captain!”
“Come on, you two, let’s get you on your way with your uncle,” Captain Mendanbar said and led the way out.
“Are we going to see you again, Captain Mendanbar?” Amina asked with a hint of sadness.
“I would think so. And you may call me Mendanbar,” Captain Mendanbar answered.
“But Captain, that would not be proper, for your title is Captain Mendanbar,” Amina protested.
“Come on, Amina!” Lopina chimed in. “You are being way too formal. Captain Mendanbar has been like a father or brother figure more than anyone else this entire trip. Even when I was in his Cabin after I climbed the mast, Mendanbar was sticking up for me. And when you were doing all those errands and duties, didn’t he treat you like you were his favorite?”
“Well, I guess you’re right,” Amina concluded. She turned towards the Captain and smiled. “All right, Mendanbar. We will see you again, won’t we?”
“I do a lot work for Mr. Coco, so yes we will see each other again.”
By this time, everything had been unloaded from the ship. Mr. Coco was waiting for the girls by the edge of the forest with a wagon filled with their belongings. “Come along, you two, it is time for us to get moving. We have a long way to go and we need to get home before dusk.”
The girls said their good-byes to the crew and Captain Mendanbar. Lopina insisted on hugging everyone, especially Captain Mendanbar, Po, and Rox. “Thank you again for that awesome ride! Next time I fall off a cliff I’ll call you... I’m KIDDING!!!” Lopina ran as the entire crew pretended to throw her off the ship.
After about a forty-five minute walk, during which Lopina chatted almost non-stop, they stopped in the middle the forest and gazed up at an enormous house.
“WOW!! It’s huge!” Lopina exclaimed. “This is where we are going to live?”
“Of course it is,” Mr. Coco replied. He turned and saw the two girls pulling the wagon containing their luggage, and told them, “You may leave the wagon here. The butler will take care of it.”
“Amina, did you hear that!? We have a butler!”
Amina nodded to her green sister, and had to admit that maybe Mr. Coco wasn’t too bad after all.
“Now if you two will follow me, I will give you a tour and introduce the staff to you,” the chocolate Pteri offered and gestured to the front door.
“Okay!” the twins agreed in unison.
Mr. Coco gave the young girls the grand tour, which included introductions to the staff, the upstairs, downstairs, attic, basement, garden and best of all (according to the girls) the playground!
After the tour Amina asked, “Mr. Coco, where is our room?”
“Ah! I was saving that for last,” Mr. Coco answered and smiled. “Follow me and I will show you.”
The twins followed the chocolate Pteri upstairs, down a hall to the right and stopped in front of the second door on the left.
“Here we are,” the Pteri said and opened the door.
The girls’ faces lit up like blazing fireworks when they walked into their room. Their room was bigger than the dining hall at the orphanage! They each had their own bed, one blue and one green. The window that was between the girls’ beds had a fluffy window seat with blue-green pillows laid across it. There was also a large table with lavender chairs, two large book shelves that were filled with books, a sofa with more pillows, a huge closet that was filled with new clothes and best of all, toys!
“This is our room!?” Amina gasped.
“Yes, this is your room,” Mr. Coco answered the stunned Xweetok.
“Thank you, Uncle Coco!” Lopina yelled. She hugged Mr. Coco and ran into the room.
“Yes, thank you very much, Uncle,” Amina agreed and walked over to their suitcases to start unpacking.
“I will be back in a couple of hours to get you two for dinner.” Having said that, Mr. Coco left the girls alone.
“Hey, Amina! Check out our awesome view!”
Amina set her stuff down and walked over to join her sister at the window. Amina was astonished and puzzled, as if she had seen this view once before.
“Amina, are you all right?” Lopina asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Yeah, I’m okay.” Amina shook her head and looked at Lopina. “It just looks familiar, like something I have seen somewhere before.”
KNOCK... KNOCK... KNOCK.
“Come in!” Lopina answered.
A faerie Ruki walked in the room and was carrying a silver platter. “Excuse me, my ladies, but Mr. Coco ordered you a snack after your long walk.”
“Thank you very much,” Amina said. Amina watched the Ruki set the platter on the table and Lopina bounding carelessly over. Amina slowly walked over and asked, “Who are you? We didn’t meet you with the other staff members.”
“My name is Delia. I am your maid. I will take care of your needs and wants and look after your room.”
“Awesome! Cookies!” Lopina exclaimed and began downing the cookies and lemonade.
“Hungry, Lopina?” Amina asked sarcastically.
“Mumph mfm mff... just a little,” Lopina smiled with a mouthful of cookies.
“If you ladies do not need anything, then please excuse me,” Delia said.
“I think we are good. Thank you,” Amina replied.
Delia bowed, turned and walked out the door.
Amina turned and looked at Lopina, who had eaten all the cookies and now was really pale. “Lopina, are you okay? You look awful!”
“Uh oh, I think I ate that a little fast. I feel really tired all of the sudden.”
“Well, go lie down. Maybe you will feel better after a nap.”
“Oh, okay,” said Lopina with a yawn.
As soon as Lopina laid her head down, she was snoring.
What kind of cookies were they anyway? Amina thought to herself. Since Lopina is out, literally, I think I will take a long stroll around and see this strange house again.
To be continued...