Chapter 2! I’ll be trying to post all the chapters now.
“We should celebrate that old man Hamutaro and you joined my crew,” Subaru said.
“His name is Kantaro,” Sara corrected him.
“Yeah, whatever, Clara. Let’s celebrate!” Subaru cheered. The crew raised their cups filled with sake and wine.
After drinking and eating together, the crew goes to sleep. Sara didn’t feel like sleeping at that moment, and just looks at the starry sky and the blue sea from the bulwark.
“The sea is beautiful, don’t you think?” Iris approached her.
“Oh, Iris… I always wanted to leave home and travel around the world,” Sara replied, she looked really happy.
“After I met Subaru, I have always felt this happy when we sail. The sea is my home,” Iris explained.
“Why are you a pirate?” Sara asked.
“Well, after I married Subaru, I just had to follow him.”
“You are married?!” Sara was shocked to hear that. Iris just laughed. Sephtis watches them silently from the watchtower.
The new day arrived, and Saint Marina follows its course.
“By the way, captain. I remember reading on the newspaper about an incident two years ago…” Kantaro mentioned.
“We don’t talk about that on this ship,” Subaru stated in a serious tone. His face changed from his typical dumb and joyful expression to a really serious, somewhat angry one.
“Sorry, captain. I won’t talk about that again.”
Sara was really intrigued. What could have happened?
The young wizard took a closer look at the ship. It had a beautiful mermaid figurehead, and the classic black pirate flag had a mermaid reaching for a skull in flames as the Jolly Roger.
After a long and boring night, a new dawn bathes the ocean with a beautiful shade of blue. Sara was already helping to clean the deck.
“Land in sight!” Akio shouted. The crew runs outside and watches a big forest in the horizon.
“It looks so green, and pretty. I wonder how it is,” Sara said.
“I read that the Kingdom of Terranide is known to be proud of its brave knights in shiny metal armors. The knights protect the citizens and their King, and apparently they don’t practice magic and they hate dragons living on their forests. So uncivilized,” Iris said. She was clearly upset about the part that involved dragons.
They disembark on that majestic forest land. Lots of birds chirping and fresh air greet them.
“Ronin, Akio, Sephtis, and Momotaro will stay on the ship. Yara and Iris will go with me. Let’s try to get supplies and identify the gemstone whereabouts,” the captain commanded. Sara is a little bit upset about the name change, and takes the compass with her.
“Be careful with it. We can’t let it fall in wrong hands,” Kantaro warned.
“Understood. The compass points to the southwest,” Sara said.
The young wizard follows the pirate couple.
“What a pretty forest! I hope to meet dragons here,” Iris said.
“Oh! I wanted to ask something. Dragons are big, so you must need space. It doesn’t seem possible to keep them in a ship.”
“Good question, Sara. Magic is the answer to that problem. Look,” Iris said. She takes out a deck of cards from her pocket. One side of the cards was blank, and the reverse of it had a mysterious pattern drawn in blue. “These are Storage Cards. I have fifty-two cards that send whatever I want to my own magical dimension. I can store weapons, dragons, food, and whatever you can think of.”
“Are those actual Storage Cards?! I thought they were just a rumor! I read somewhere they were created for royalty. How did you get them?” Sara was really impressed.
“We stole them. We are pirates after all,” Subaru had an angry look.
“Don’t worry. I am a bit bipolar, you may say,” Subaru said He was laughing. Sara thought about what an odd man she had met.
Suddenly, there was an odd silence, and an odd flapping sound was heard.
“What was that?” Sara asked. A shadow flies right above them in amazing speed.
“Something’s coming from the sky!” Iris pointed out.
Subaru unsheathes his sword. A metal crashing sound booms the scene, and Subaru’s sword is sent flying far from him.
“What the hell?!” Subaru was shocked. His hand was almost broken. A tall man who just fell from the sky was standing right in front of him, with a sword in his hand.
“My name is Eric de Castella, a proud knight of Terranide. I have been watching you since you entered the forest, and I will not allow you to proceed further and loot the land I was born. I also want to let you know I am an honorary Triple S,” Eric mentions. Subaru and Iris seemed to be nervous. He wore a shiny silver armor, he had short green hair, and green eyes. He was an eighteen years old white man. Sara was nervous as well, but it was because she felt like she knew him somehow.
Eric moves forward and tries to attack Subaru once more, but Sara gets in the way with her magic wand.
“Ice Spell: Frozen!” Sara pronounced, as she swung the magic wand. A white light makes the knight stop.
“Please don’t get in the way, milady. I almost hurt you,” Eric said, and he lowered his face because he blushed a little.
“Why didn’t my spell work?” Sara was shocked.
“Wait a second, please! We don’t mean to cause any problem in this land!” Iris stated.
“Light Spell: Flash!” Sara pronounced, and aims for Eric’s eyes. A blinding flash hurts the knight.
“My eyes!” Eric yelled.
“I always have an ace up my sleeve,” Sara said.
“Sara, if we attack him, he will always see us as enemies. Please excuse her. I will bring you some water,” Iris said.
The knight washes his face and his sight is refreshed.
“I am sorry, Eric… I mean, knight,” Sara apologized.
“Don’t worry, I attacked first after all. If you truly were evil people, you would have attacked me while I was blinded.”
The pirates walk with him through the forest.
“I won’t lie to you, Eric. We are looking for something here,” Iris said.
“Have you heard about a sacred gemstone?” Subaru asked.
“So you were looking to loot this land after all. Typical of pirates. Raising your weapons and casting magic against defenseless people in order to get treasures. We hate dragons and magic in this kingdom, and of course we hate awful people like you.”
“Liar… If you actually hated magic, you wouldn’t wear that armor,” Sara said.
“What do you mean?” Eric asked.
“It’s not like I’m an expert wizard, but it’s clear that your armor has powerful magic cast on it,” Sara explained.
“It’s true!” Eric was shocked.
“Pitiful. So you say you hate dragons, huh? Yet you rode one here…” Iris mentioned.
“But how did you know?” Eric’s lie was exposed.
“What a bad liar,” Subaru laughed.
“I guess I should tell you the truth. I am the proud owner of the Armadura Tierra,” Eric said.
“Armadura Tierra?” Sara asked.
“It is a powerful armor forged with a rare and legendary material: Metalio. It is one species of tree that is as hard as steel, and it repels basic magic,” the knight explained.
“How can something like that even exist?” Iris said.
“A long time ago, kings were chosen by a council of sage wizards. They helped people and protected their crops. It is said that those sages created that plant. Then, one of those wizards forged a sword with it, the Espada Roca de Rey. He then sealed it in a rock, and it is said that whoever manages to pull the sword out of it would be worthy of being the new king. The sage probably thought it was a good idea to keep choosing the kings that way, but the kings chosen by the sword stopped listening to the council since they thought they had all the right to rule as they wanted. The council disbanded, wizardry decreased, and the few wizards that remained used their power for evil. Since then, the kingdom started to hate magic. This armor was made as well by that sage, and his blessing grants its owner the strength of ten men,” Eric explained.
“Ten men? So that’s why my hand hurts so much. Damn it!”
“Every knight wants to own this armor, but only a knight chosen by the king himself has the right to wear this legacy. I was chosen when I turned sixteen by our former king, and I wear it with pride since then.”
“You don’t look that old. I bet it was just a couple years ago,” Subaru said.
“In fact, two years have passed. But it feels like it has been an eternity. The current king, son of the former one, is a tyrant. He established a law that forces every citizen to pay really high taxes. Otherwise, they would be imprisoned or killed,” Eric added.
“That’s terrible. How could the sword choose him king?”
“I heard about that. A year ago, the current king of Terranide stole a legendary sword and killed his own father. No one dares to stand against him because he has the sword,” Iris said.
“That is not true. I stood against his tyranny, but I am a wanted man now. I still see myself as a knight, and I swear to protect my village because that is my duty as a knight.”
“You scared me a bit when you said you were a Triple S,” Subaru said.
“And what about the dragon?” Iris asked
Eric looks at the sky and whistles loud. A shadow approaches the group at an impressive speed.
“It’s beautiful! A forest dragon!” Iris loved its sight.
“This is the first time I see a dragon! But it looks like a giant insect…” Sara said, with a puzzled look.
“This is just one species of dragon. They all come in different shapes and colors,” Subaru said.
The beast was just like a huge dragonfly posed with its big six legs on a rock. Its body was green, thin and long, but as sturdy as every other dragon. Its compound eyes were blue, and its four wings were transparent with thin blue veins all over them. Mystic marks glowing in a beautiful emerald tone covered his body.
“This is Sir Dragonfly. Somehow, knights have always seen dragons as a threat, but I know it since I was a child.”
“I haven’t seen dragons in a while!” Iris exclaimed. She took out her cards and shuffled them quickly.
“Wait! It’s not a wild dragon! Well, it technically is wild, but… You know what I mean!” Subaru explained.
“Sure, don’t worry! Diana, the guide to dragons, I summon you!” Iris exclaimed. She threw a card to the ground and quickly touched it with her right hand. A blue light orb got out from the card.
“What is that?” Sara asked.
“It’s a fairy. Her name is Diana. She knows everything about dragons, and she has the skill to forge a bond between people and dragons,” Subaru explained.
Sara took a closer look at the light orb. There was a miniature humanoid creature with butterfly wings. Her hair, her eyes, her clothes, her body… All of her was blue.
“This is a Meganeura Dragon. It usually hides in deep forests, and its dragon breath is corrosive. It is peaceful, so it won’t attack unless it is cornered. I detect it already has a bond with that armored idiot, though,” the fairy said. She had a really serious face and a bitter attitude and voice.
“Did she just call me an idiot?” Eric asked, confused.
“Congratulations, knight! It’s hard to forge a bond with a dragon, even for experienced dragon tamers. Thanks, Diana,” Iku said with a smile, returning Diana to her card. A fairy drawing appears in the blank side of the card.
“To forge a bond between a dragon and a human means that the dragon recognizes the human and it responds to his or her voice,” Subaru explained.
“Well, I knew him when I was a child. I still remember that day. It was raining…”
“Yeah, whatever. We heard enough about you and this kingdom, and we aren’t here for that,” Sara interrupted him. She was upset for no apparent reason.
“I am sorry, milady,” Eric said.
“What’s wrong with you, Sara? That was rude. I actually wanted to hear his story,” Iris said.
“Fine, fine… We have talked too much, and we still need to find the gemstone as soon as possible,” she said. She was clearly annoyed somehow.
The group kept advancing.
“When I was six years old, I found an emerald green egg in the forest. At first, I wanted to kill it, but a friend made me change my opinion about it. I started hunting insects and small animals to feed it, and we eventually became friends. Even after I became a knight, I just was unable to hate it.”
“I see some ruins in front of us, I think,” Subaru said, looking through his binoculars.
“That is actually Aldea Petálea, the village I live in. It is in bad shape because the king ruined our lives. He sends his knights to collect his dirty money, but people here is really poor to afford such high taxes. They sometimes attack the village, but I always send them back running. At least we have Andrés, an amazing carpenter, who is helping us repair the damage they cause.”
“What? How can people live there? Wait a second… I see fire! It seems someone is attacking your village!” Subaru warned.
“This is bad! I spent too much time talking…” Eric said, and he got on Sir Dragonfly and flew straight to the village.
“Let’s follow him,” Subaru commanded.
Eric reaches the village. He could hear people screaming, and a house was engulfed by flames.
“I knew it was you because of the flames! What are you doing here, Isaac?!” Eric yelled, furious.
“But you already know it. You are a wanted man because of treason,” Isaac de Volcania said. He was a tall white man with bright red hair and bright red eyes. He wore a crimson armor, and he had a black sword with red marks all over its blade. A blaze bracelet was part of his armor.
“I don’t care! Why do you attack this village?” Eric asked.
“First of all, the king is tired of waiting for you to surrender. Besides, people here don’t pay taxes. It’s the law, whether we like it or not.”
“I’ll make the king pay for this!” Eric exclaimed.
“I don’t think so,” a man said, with a deep, sinister voice.
“Alfonso… You bastard! How do you dare to come back?!” Eric’s rage built. He rushed towards the new mysterious character until he noticed something that paralyzed him with fear.
“That’s right. You can’t do anything now,” Alfonso de Luna said, another knight. He looked pretty similar to Eric, but his face was paler, and his black hair and eyes were as sinister as his voice. He was carrying a little girl with long lime green hair, and she was unconscious. He wore a white armor.
“Sophie! Release my sister!” Eric demanded.
“We are just following orders,” Alfonso said.
“What’s going on?” Subaru asked, as he just reached the village.
“The royal knights are attacking the village because of me. But this time, the king sent two of his strongest men to capture me, and they have my sister now,” Eric explained.
Subaru unsheathes his sword, but Eric extends his arm to stop him.
“I beg you not to involve yourself. This is personal,” Eric said.
Isaac takes the girl and starts to slowly walk away. Alfonso smiles, and unsheathes his sword. Eric couldn’t believe what he saw.
“You can be really arrogant with that armor of yours, but take a look at this. It is the legendary Espada Roca de Rey,” Alfonso showed off the Metalio sword, with a hilt made of gold. Eric felt the powerful presence of another sacred legacy from the sages of ancient times.
“How did you get that?” Eric questioned him.
“The king lent it to me because of my achievements.”
“Achievements? You were my best friend, you encouraged me to become a knight. I always thought of you as my brother, but… I can’t believe you killed my parents! I will not forgive you!” Eric rose his voice like it was a war scream, and he rushes straight to Alfonso. Their swords collide, followed by a metallic sound.
“The sword!” Subaru exclaimed in disbelief.
Iris and Sara reunite with Subaru.
“We just helped the villagers and put out the flames as you told us, Subaru. What’s going on?” Sara asks.
“Eric’s sword was cut in half… And he is coughing blood!” Iris pointed out. Eric’s armor wasn’t damaged, but he still had a deep wound in his torso.
“This sword might not make me as strong as you are, but it is the strongest relic from the ancient sages. Besides choosing a worthy king, it creates an air wave that slices and pierces through anything, even your magic armor. It cut you without even damaging it.” Alfonso explained.
“But I thought that only the king could wield it,” Eric said.
“The current king has many secrets,” Alfonso replied.
“Who is that guy? Why is he attacking Eric?” Iris asked.
“Crap! I forgot! Where did he go?” Subaru started looking around like crazy.
“Who?” Sara asked.
“There was another knight. He has Eric’s sister hostage!”
“This is terrible! I’ll go help Eric!” Sara exclaims, and runs towards him. Subaru runs after her and stops her.
“Don’t be stupid! That’s a personal duel between men. Don’t get in his way!” Subaru stated. He was really serious.
“Please excuse him, Sara. You’ll get used to this,” Iris said.
“But he is going to get killed!” Sara wanted to help.
“Don’t worry. Subaru won’t let him die. Let’s look for the other knight,” Iris suggested.
Sara follows her while Subaru keeps looking at the knights’ fight. Iris inspects some damaged buildings and sees someone hiding. As she tries to approach it, a fire ball is shot straight at her. Iris takes cover.
“That must be the other knight,” Iris thought, while shuffling her deck of cards. She takes out one card.
Alfonso attacks Eric with several cutting waves. Eric tries to stop the sword with his armor gauntlets, but his hands were getting deep cuts just by getting close to it.
“Alfonso!” Eric yells, in pain.
“What is that? An egg?”
A boy with black hair was looking at a green egg the size of a bowling ball. He was all wet because of the rain.
“Yes! And it is huge! This must be a dragon’s egg!”
A boy with green hair was holding the egg in his hands.
“Then kill it after it hatches. Dragons are bad, Eric.”
“No, Alfonso, I should break it and kill it now.”
Little Alfonso punches little Eric in the face.
“Hey! What was that for?!” Eric claimed, upset.
“A knight who kills a defenseless being does not deserve to live!” Alfonso exclaimed.
Eric reflected on his friend’s words.
“You are right, Alfonso. I will wait until the dragon can fight back. Thanks for helping me become a better knight.”
“We both know I will be the best. I will enter the royal knights first, and protect everyone in this kingdom! You will not have to become a knight, then. You should probably become a carpenter, or a farmer.”
“You are mean, Alfonso!”
Eric coughs blood once more. His wounds are worse than they actually seem, despite his armor is still intact. Eric manages to overcome the pain for just a second and delivers an incredibly powerful punch to Alfonso’s armor. The knight is sent flying away several meters. Eric runs towards him, and he tries to deliver the final blow. Alfonso manages to recover quickly, and rejects him with a cutting wave.
“That punch could have killed me if not for my sturdy armor.”
Alfonso swings the sword back and forth and gets close to Eric. He is too wounded to even stand.
“I should do something,” Subaru said. He was worried.
Suddenly, Sara exits from the burnt building. She never meant to help Iris look for the other knight, and hid there to wait for a chance to assist Eric.
“Ice Spell: Frozen!” Sara casted right in front of Alfonso. The knight is bathed by a white light as the mage smiles. A layer of ice covers his whole body and captured his surprised look.
“What the…?! Sara!” the captain claimed.
“Sorry. My spell had to work someday.”