“On what occasion has made you summon us all here in this very hall, Captain Kenneth Rogers?” The king exclaimed in bewilderness.
“I’m sorry to call you all here but I have finally cracked the mystery of ‘the death of Queen Arianette Lieselotte,” He smirked.
The whole subjects including the royals were astounded by his bold proclamation. Their eyes widened in disbelieved and each one of them were looking at each other as if Captain Kenny had lost his mind.
“Let hear it out then,” Prince Airill uttered kind of interested with it.
“But before that, may I meet up with the Princess’s Caretaker, Miss Anna Hopperwine?” Captain Kenny called.
A woman, whose hair was half grey, stepped forward. It seemed that she had aged a lot from the last time I met her, which her hair was beautiful brunette. “If there’s anything you need my good lad?” Her smile was somehow crooked.
“Dear Mam, I have not wield any grudge to offense you nor the entire palace not even the Queen herself,” He bowed courteously towards the queen. “You had been Princess’s Eleanor’s Guardian for a long time now have you?”
The woman was agitated to answer but with a slight sigh, she replied his doubts with her refine statement, “Yes, indeed. Is there any argument about that?”
“It may or may not. It depends. What do you think about the late queen back then before she died?” He asked again, a bit monotonous.
“She was a fine queen and a fine mother or so at least, that’s what I’ve bear in mind,” She replied.
“Was she neither a good wife nor a good queen back then?” Captain Kenny questioned.
“I bear none of the right to judge,” She hissed angrily.
“You don’t but Ann A. Hopper does. That’s your real name isn’t it? The Dark Lord refers to the late Queen Arianette, Fredrick is the king and Lilliana is the current queen and the evil beauty is you! The proof is written inside the late queen’s journal,” Captain Kenny jumped into an astounding conclusion.
“And so? Does finding the real culprit behind the scene makes you a hero and changes the history and everyone will live happily ever after? It’s too late to change now, isn’t it?” She smirked.
“Guards! Seize her!” The King proclaimed the entire troop of army to arrest the old woman.
Soon, the old woman evolves herself into a beautiful, fine young lady far more beautiful than what she was when she first served the palace. She hurled herself out of the crowds and swiftly teleported herself at the window, “Insolent fool- traitor! You should have thanked me for releasing you from that horrifying curse!” She shrieked furiously.
“By curse, what did you mean?” The king asked.
“You love Queen Arabelle so much and yet you’re married with that fallen Goddess just for the exchange of peace of this land. She turned into a human just because of the contract that you made and in exchange, you need to marry her! Now that you’re by the side of the person you love most because of me and yet you do not know how to thank me?” She frowned as she turned herself into a hideous beast.
“How can I thank you for murdering the woman who saved the people of this land? He was dejected and was very pissed off by her foolishness.
“Or so must you pay for your incompetent.”
The Beast she had turned into attacked the king with her big claws that left him with a massive injury as she flew out of the palace, trying to run away.
“Penelope!” Captain Kenny shouted.
“Geez, no need to shout…” Penelope grew into the size of a full grown man and had Captain Kenny rode his back.
“Wait! You’ll be killed!” I called out for Captain Kenny.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back to marry you- I promise and this is the only way for me to avenge your mother,” He quickly pulled me into a kiss and flew up with Penelope in the air and chased after the wicked sorcerer, Ann A. Hopper.
“You foolish young lad! I should’ve destroyed you along with the queen years ago!”
“Then why not kill me now when you have the opportunity?” He smirked as he controlled Penelope and led her towards the sea.
“Oh, I’d be honoured!” She shrieked in excitement. “I’ll tear you pieces to pieces!”
“I’d love to see that but unfortunately, you have encountered my field, be prepared to face my judgement,” The Sea sprung in the air just like the glaciers.
“Ah, so this is the power of ‘The Devil of the Sea’. Fascinating! Fascinating!” She laughed hysterically.
“Capt’n, look out!” Penelope’s call wasn’t heard by him and ended up with Captain Kenny fell down towards the sea.
The evil witch followed him downwards in her beast form and tried to attack him but before she could do so, the devil disappeared as soon as his feet touched the sea. She exasperatedly searched for his stature but could find him until he dashed out of nowhere and slashed her bat-like wing and disappeared again.
“You cunning leg power is no match for my sorcery!” The air around her grew intense and Captain Kenny was taken aback, flown by the immense gush of wind into the air before falling back into the sea and vanished one more time. “Your little child play will not work twice against me.”
“We’ll see about that!” He suddenly appeared out of the blue and stabbed her with his sword. His calculation got it wrong, she deliberately took the pierce in order to put on an attack which finally hit his right chest that made him spurt out blood. He wiped the blood with his right hand and vanished once again on the surface of the sea, as if he and the sea were one.
“Fascinating! Fascinating! This prowess is far greater than what I have had in mind! More! More!” Ann howled, overwhelmed with excitement.
This time, Captain Kenny attacked from below and thrusts his sword directly into her heart. She licked the bloody sword that made him jolted backwards and rode on Penelope’s back once again, “What on earth are you?”
“Me? I’m just a human who had sold my soul in order to attain a massive power in order to fulfil my dearest’s wish. Do you know how much my twin sister had suffered in order to see her mentor, Queen Arabelle to get married with the King?! I thought that she might be able to fill her grudge to the fullest by killing the princess with her own hands but unfortunately, she raised her and even saved her from the illness! How stupid is that?!” She snapped furiously, fretting over the laments that she had been suffering.
“No, she did the right thing,” Captain Kenny withdrew his sword and put it back into its scabbard.
“What did you mean by ‘the right thing’? That late notorious queen had tarnished the purity of love!” She yelled angrily.
“No, you did. Love also requires sacrifice. She sacrificed herself for the sake of the love that she has not yet seen and wanted that love to grow more and more. Forget the agony, forget the grudge and you will eventually learn how to love,” He replied.
“Aren’t you the same as me?! We both have grudge on people! You hate your mom! She betrayed your love!” She argued persuasively.
“I’m sorry. I was wrong back then. When I finally overcome my grudge, I have finally found something deep inside me that grows bigger and bigger day by day. This is what we call love. I forget my hatred but I will never forget the pain. I will tell my descendants about the pain and tell them not to repeat the same mistake. If I can forgive people, why can’t you?” He slightly smiled.
“This is not fair! This is not fair!” She pulled out Captain Kenny’s sword and stabbed it right through her. “I cannot live in this filthy world!” Captain Kenny pulled out the sword out of her body and said, “This world is filthy, but, your actions made it filthier than it already is. This world is pure but it becomes filthy because of the content is filled with greedy people and people who do not know how to be thankful.”
“You… Why didn’t you appear before me before I made such predicaments?” Her eyes were filled with tears of regret.
“Blame the fate,” His hazel eyes were somewhat cold.
“Well then, I should get going to where my sister was. I bid my farewell and good night,” She finally smiled.
“Good night and farewell, Ann…” He gestured his hand and shut her eyes and let the sea engulfed the soulless body.
When he returned to the palace, the atmosphere was in complete silence and everyone’s gaze was pointed on him solely. He received an internal injury but it wasn’t fatal enough to kill him. “The great witch had committed a suicide after an argument. May her body will rest in peace for she had fight for the sake of her loved one,” He exclaimed. “Let there be no more treason against each other or murder in this palace.” Even when he said that, his face was pale as white as a sheet of paper. I wondered if Ann had attacked him that badly.
“Lad, you’ve opened my eyes. I will not doubt you anymore,” The king finally smiled despite the coughs he had. “But, I do not approve of you in marrying my daughter.”
Everyone especially the crew were astonished to hear such response from the king himself. The crew went berserk and started to attack the knights inside the palace.
“THE HELL WE’RE GONNA ACCEPT THAT!” Rio shouted furiously.
“After what they had encountered, how dare you give such judgement towards them!?” Sylvester fretted over such sad answer.
“Our Captain had officially proposed to her and she said yes! What else do you want more old man?!” Fredrick aroused from the crowds.
“Shut up all of you!” Captain Kenny ordered. His Hazel eyes gleamed with despair and he seemed to grit his teeth before finally saying his words, “What is there for me to do to attain your blessing over your daughter, your majesty?”
“As you can see, she’s the daughter of the fallen goddess and you- you are the ferocious Devil of the Sea. Do you think that the civilians will take it easy? If you ask for my blessing, I would’ve given it straight away but how are you to receive the blessings from the civilians? She’s the future queen,” The king answered briefly.
Everyone was dumbfounded because the king’s dictions had its point there. The crew stopped all the havoc and finally gained their consciousness and had deep thoughts together with their captain.
“I see. It seems that my existence is a sin itself. Don’t worry your majesty… I accept your judgement fairly. But, I have only one request before I go. Eleanor, I mean, Princess Eleanor,” He came nearer towards me and took my hand and kissed my finger where the ring was located. “I want you to keep this ring, the sign of our meeting. Knowing you is bliss in my life and I cannot ask more than that.”
I frowned. I shook my head slightly and slowly, he released my hand and averted his gaze away from me as he paced away little by little. Slowly, all the crew members joined him, including Chast and Keith. Penelope did turn back for a second or two but then, as what the members did, he averted his gaze and left me in the hold of the guards, preventing me from going with them. I wept and wept as much I could and I couldn’t accept the fate that we had to be separated just because of the peace of the land. And I had no power to oppose of it.
A few days later, it was finally the time for me to be crowned as the new queen.
“Captain, are you sure you want to leave this land today? You should at least see her coronation,” Hardy persuaded.
“Seeing her will only make me hard to leave this place. I must do what I have to,” He answered monotonously, his tone trailed off compared to his usual.
“Captain, it is not a sin to wait,” Henry tried to convince him.
“We set sail as I said so!” His voice went high with anger though deep inside him, he was crying so hard.
Hardy and Henry had no choice but to obey his orders since he was the captain of the ship. At the same time in a different place, I was dressed in pure white, beautifully that made me look just like a bride. My name had been summoned and today, I was to become the Queen of Ele Kingdom. The civilians stared at me amazingly and everyone revealed a wide smile on their happiness, the sign of happiness they had felt on that very day of my coronation. But, each step I took, a swift image of the sad face of Captain Kenny came rushing into my mind. His smile, his laughter, his gentleness towards me and the time when he protected me numerously, they all went back to me. As my father put on the crown and announced me as their new queen, tears began to stream down on my cheek. I went on my knees and sobbed hardly.
“I love him! I love him so much that it tears me apart to be apart from him! Father please, I want him! I want to be with him forever! I love the well-known devil of the sea, I love Captain Kenneth Rogers!” I broke down into tears in agony.
I could only hear chatters among the civilians. My father’s face went pale and the knights stood somewhere nearby just in case the worst was yet to come. And finally, a voice from below among the civilians finally uttered, “If you really love him that much princess, just go get him!”
I stopped my tears and got blurred from the sudden exclamation, “Huh?”
“Princess, please hurry! The Ship is about to depart!” A woman voice called out of nowhere.
“Don’t worry princess. We’ll help Prince Airill rule this land. Go and be with the one you love!” And so, the civilians began to give their blessings after seeing me in such pain.
“Thank you… Thank you everyone,” My tears flowed once again.
“There’s no time to thank us, princess! Hurry up or you’ll lose the ship!” The crowds shouted.
Without a second thought, I ran out of the palace and went right towards the harbour. The ship was departing as I ran towards the end of the jetty.
“CAPTAIN!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. He seemed to hear me and quickly ran off towards the back of the deck.
“Idiot! You should be at the palace right now!” He shouted.
“I don’t want to! Didn’t you promise to marry me?!” I cried so hard that I could see that he was thorn by it as well.
“For the sake of peace, I’m sorry,” He finally turned his back at me.
Without any delay, I jumped off of the jetty and tried to swim towards him. The civilians called for me but I ignored their callings. Captain Kenny faced me again and jumped off of the hind deck just to get me. Finally, he was able to get the half-drowned me.
“Stupid! Why did you do that?! You almost gave me a heart-attack!” He held me firmly in his hold and I could see that he was worried.
I quickly embraced him and said, “You’re the stupid one! You didn’t want to fulfil your promise when the civilians have finally given their blessings on us!” I sobbed.
“What?” He looked at the jetty and found out the whole civilians were witnessing their meeting with smiles carved on their faces.
“Take care of the princess, Captain!” One of the crowds shouted.
“Don’t you dare make the princess cry again, you hear me?!” Another voice struck our ears.
“Be sure to come and visit anytime soon!”
Captain Kenny gave his best smile and replied, “I will! Thank you and farewell!”
All of them gave a cheer and applaud over the touching scene. Everything went back to normal. I was still the cook but the difference was that I was finally married to him. Everyone was the witness and Chast and Keith were the flower boys. We finally exchanged our vows and continued our voyage to another land.
“So, how’s my beautiful wife’s been today?” Captain Kenny hugged me from behind.
“Fine. So, what is the name of our voyage this time?” I asked.
“Hmm… I wonder,” He answered.
“I know! I get it! I’ve finally got the name!” I shrieked in joy.
“What is it?” He asked, rather puzzled.
“This is an ‘Untitled Voyage’!” I smiled.
“And so it is,” We finally kissed.
This time, the sea felt warmer and gentler compared to the olden days. I had finally found my knight and now he was standing right next to me, protecting me till the end of my day. And years later, I had bear his child and finally gave birth to it which was a fine and handsome boy with caramel hair and hazel eyes, just the same complexion as his dad.