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The Thirteenth Key: Part Three

by writer190


A boot dug into my side from where I was lying on the deck at a harbor in Krawk Island. "Hey, you feelin' all right, there, matey?"

      I opened my blurry eyes and saw a Pirate Krawk standing over me. I hurriedly stood up, brushing the dirt off of my shirt. "Just, ah, had a tough year - I mean, I, ah, had a tricky time, matey, on the seas!"

      "Uh-huh," grunted the Krawk, not looking too convinced. "Alright then, matey. I suppose yer off to the Golden Dubloon, am I right?"

      I nodded, and he helped me to my paws. One of my long ears flopped over my eyes, and I brushed it away. The Krawk looked at me, amused. But I was a pirate now. I couldn't take any nonsense.

      "Avast! Matey, are you goin' to th' Golden Dubloon, too?" I asked him, trying to talk like a pirate. Alas, I should have read that book written to help you learn pirate talk. Oh, well, I hoped I could pick it up easily enough. Really, how hard could it be? I'd just have to mix it a few Arghs, Avasts, and Mateys into my vocabulary, and I'd be okay.

      "That I am," the Krawk nodded. His accent was very heavy. I tried to imitate it as we made our way to the Golden Dubloon.

      "So, erm, where 'bouts do you fare from?" I asked him, my false accent heavy with deceit.

      "Born and raised a true pirate, here on Krawk Island. My father was sea-farin', too, but his ship was taken down by Morgan. My brother swore revenge on that deadly beauty o' the seas, and now he spends his days on th' water, too."

      "Ah," I said, careful to play my cards right. "So, you know 'bout the Thirteenth Key?"

      "Well, I mean, sure, if you believe in such. My brother's spent a year lookin' for it. It's supposed to give the clues to Morgan's lifetime of treasures, or somethin' like that." He looked up at the decaying ship of the Golden Dubloon as we approached.

      "You got some dubloons?" the Krawk asked me.

      I fished in my pockets. Of course I had some dubloons. My dubloons were always close at hand in case Lexi had a very sudden change of heart and decided to move us to Krawk Island. Of course, that never happened, but it always pays to be prepared, right?

      I fished out a ten dubloon coin and a five dubloon coin. I had more in my pockets, but I thought it wise not to pull out all my dubloons right now. Pirates were not honest fellows, and I didn't want the Krawk seeing how rich I was.

      "Well, nice seein' you. If you see my brother, tell him Lito said hi, okay?" Lito started to turn around.

      "Wait, who's your brother?" I called after him, but he was gone. Oh, well, what were the chances I'd see Lito's brother out of the millions of Neopets on Neopia. About a million to one.

      The Golden Dubloon was full of swaying pets holding bottles and glasses to their lips. Some were handing dubloons to each other (perhaps a debt or something). Some were talking, sharing stories of their adventures at sea. Others were just enjoying a good meal with some drinks to go around.

      I went to the Lupe behind the counter and ordered a bottle of soda. When it came, I took a long, thirsty sip. It was quite good. Suddenly, my eye caught sight of something. It was a flash of red. There was a lot of red and white in the Golden Dubloon, but this red bandana was tied around a Kyrii's head. Below the bandana were two golden-brown eyes. They were the 'eyes like golden treasures,' belonging to the 'prettiest gal on the seas,' as the old Draik from Yuri's ship had said. This was who I was looking for. I had never imagined to see her here. She was astonishingly beautiful, but I remembered the Draik's words, as well as what the Krawk had said, about how dangerous she was. At the moment, a large Skeith was regretfully pawing over many silver dubloon coins to her petite form. She looked up, her expression saying she had done this a million times before, and she caught my eyes. She knew I had been looking at her.

      When the Skeith finished giving her the dubloons with a big sigh, she made her way through the rough crowd over to me.

      "What 'cha lookin' at, pirate boy?" she asked me, her eyes bored.

      "Are you Morgan?" I asked, my voice choked.

      "Yes, your worst nightmare, now what do you want?" she asked me. I slowly pulled the Thirteenth Key from under my bandana, uncertain about what she would do next.

      I had caught her by surprise. She paused, flexing her paw.

      "You play it tough, don't you, kid?" she asked me. "I have to say, I never thought anyone would find my key!"

      I didn't say anything, waiting for her to keep talking. The other noises in the Golden Dubloon seemed to fade out as I listened raptly for her next words.

      "I'm not gonna grab it from ya," she told me honestly. "You won it from me fair and square. But what do you want from me now?"

      My idea hit me all of a sudden. I pulled out my drawing of my cabin from earlier and showed it to her. I pointed to the chest on the floor, the letters MS half colored in with silver pencil.

      "Is that your chest?" I asked her bluntly.

      "Well, pirate boy, you sure don't like to take yer time being subtle, huh? I'll admit it, I never, ever thought someone would find both my key and my treasure!"

      "Well, I did." I wasn't sure what to do next.

      "Well, you got me. You've won my treasure. Good job, kid. I'm impressed!"

      "You don't seem like the kind of person who would take no survivors," I thought out loud, my fake accent long forgotten.

      "I'm surprised ya haven't heard this before. If there's no survivors, where'd th' stories come from? Oh, everyone survives my ship, matey. I only take the treasures, not th' people. Argh, except for that one time..."

      She looked off into the distance, then snapped back to attention. "Well, pirate boy, I can't have rumors flying that I've gone soft all th' sudden, now can I? Matey, you never saw me here."

      With that, she was gone, disappeared into the crowd, leaving me with a key, a picture, and a racing mind.

      I made my way back to the ship slowly, when the sun was setting. Without looking down, I scaled the rope ladder, my fear forgotten in the recent chain of events. The key was hidden safely under my bandana again, completely hidden from view.

      When I reached the deck, Yuri was waiting for me.

      "All right, where's the key?" he asked. I was taken aback. His voice was rough, like sandpaper, and the friendly tone he had earlier was gone.

      "What? I don't know--"

      "Where's the key?!" he roared, sending me teetering on the edge of the deck. I gripped the side of the ship tightly. He kept going, his face turning red. "You can't fool me, Zachary! I knew you had the key all along! Your face said it all! You are horrible at lying!"

      "But..." I fumbled for words, shocked at my sudden loss of ground. I thought I was ahead of him, but all this time, he knew I had the key. "Why didn't you take it?"

      "I wanted to see what you'd do, wanted to see you play your cards, wanted to see you attempt to be a pirate. I wanted a challenge, but I've lost my patience completely. Give. Me. The. Key. I've waited a year, Zachary, a long year wanting revenge. Now, I can have it!"

      His breathing was harsh and ragged as he stepped towards me. From his pocket, he pulled out the same knife he had shown me in the Ye Olde Ship Inn. That was only one night ago, but it felt like an eternity before.

      I had no choice. With shaking paws, I untied my key, and handed it over. I felt like crying. I had been so close. I almost had Morgan's treasure. I was the one who had figured it out, fair and square, just like Morgan said, but all this time, Yuri was just using me to find this treasure.

      "Yes! Yes! FINALLY!" His eyes gleamed as he ran down to my cabin, and I followed at his heels.

      He burst into my room and ran for the chest.

      "My revenge," he said, turning on me suddenly. "Morgan took down my father's ship, and now I can finally get my revenge! Yes!"

      "Wait!" I called, my confusion doubling. "Hold up a second. Are you Lito's brother?"

      "You know Lito?" Yuri looked confused. Then he smiled. "Yes! I wanted to avenge my father. And finally! Finally I can! Yes!"

      He whirled around and stuck the Thirteenth Key into the chest's lock. My heart gave a jolt as I noticed something. The chest was different. The letters MS were in gold now, instead of silver. How had that happened?

      The lock clicked and Yuri giggled nervously. He threw open the chest with a flourish.

      We both stared at the contents.

      Neither of us moved.

      The chest was empty. Totally spotless. At once, we heard a cackle and a chuckle from the side of the room. We turned around together and saw Morgan, coming out triumphantly from under my desk where she had been hiding. In her arms, she carried the real treasure chest, with silver lettering on the top. Her treasure colored eyes glinted happily as she took our shock as time to bound out the door and race to the deck.

      Yuri and I snapped out of our stunned silence and chased after her. Yuri was running for the treasure, but I wasn't. I wanted to see what happened next. Deep inside me, I knew the treasure belonged to Morgan, and only Morgan. I was also happy Yuri didn't get it, seeing as his attempt was unfair.

      Morgan bounded across the deck and took a flying leap into the air. Her ship had pulled along next to Yuri's. She leaped onto a rope hanging from a boom and swung onto her ship. Her ship began to pull away from Yuri's. The aggravated Kougra wailed in frustration.

      "NO!!" he cried. He jumped off the deck, landing with a splash in the water below us. Then he started to swim toward Morgan's ship. Somehow I knew the next time anyone would see him would be washed up on an island, with no money. Who knows? Maybe if he was lucky, he'd be sent to the pound where he could retry his psychotic pirating plans again. Not that they would ever work.

      I looked at Morgan's ship sailing away, a tug of sadness in my heart to see her go. She was definitely the best pirate I would ever see. I squinted at her ship and saw her climbing the ratlines. With incredible strength, she threw something at the ship I was on.

      The small coin landed with a clatter at my paws. I bent over and picked it up to examine it. It was a 200 dubloon coin. Shocked, I watched as Morgan waved a final goodbye and sailed into the horizon.

      Andy stood next to me, calmly awaited orders from his new captain.

      "Take us to the Ye Olde Ship Inn, please, Andy," I told him. It had been a fun adventure, but I was ready to go home, deciding to wait for the next thrilling adventure to find me on its own.

The End

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Other Episodes

» The Thirteenth Key: Part One
» The Thirteenth Key: Part Two

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