Kazeriu Wind: Part Three
Another clap of thunder and the main mast was struck by lightning. As the mast caught fire and tipped over the entire crew jumped ship. Seana grabbed hold of a piece of wood and floated off in an unknown direction.
“Wow, you look like a mess.” Seana heard a familiar voice that she couldn’t place and felt something pulling on her wrist. It was Rae, Fion and the princess on a makeshift raft. Seana dragged herself up onto the raft and spat out salt water.
“Ooh, I’m so cold and wet; I want to go home right now!” the princess complained.
“Well, if you haven’t noticed, your highness, we’re all stranded in the middle of the ocean on a raft with only two crates of supplies,” Rae said bitterly.
“So where do we go now?” Fion asked.
“If my calculations are right, we’re somewhere east of Tyrannia still heading east,” Rae replied. “We should probably turn around and head back to Tyrannia.”
“No, you have to take me back to Shenkuu. I’m a princess; I order you to!” the princess screamed.
“You have no authority out here,” Seana snapped.
“She is a princess, though,” Fion said.
“That’s pretty cold, not sticking up for your best friend,” Rae whispered, a disapproving gleam in her eye. “Especially since you didn’t save her when she fell overboard.”
“Ah-I don’t think that has anything to do with that,” Fion muttered.
“Seana’s right, though, we’re all in this predicament together, so everyone’s vote is the same; I say we should go back to Tyrannia. What do you think, Seana?”
“I think we should go ahead and continue onto Shenkuu; we’d probably get a reward if we take that one back,” Seana replied and pointed to the princess.
“Excuse me? That one? I expect you to refer to me by my title,” the princess hissed.
“Well, princess, your title doesn’t mean anything here, especially since we’ve just voted to take you home.” Rae narrowed her eyes and paddled slowly. “Fion, why don’t you paddle on the other side with the princess, and Seana and I will paddle on this side.”
“When are we going to eat breakfast? I haven’t eaten since last night,” the princess grumbled and pouted.
“I’ve rationed the food and we should be alright if we only eat once a day. We’ll be fine,” Rae replied and kept paddling. After a short bout of protesting, the princess started paddling as well.
“My poor soft hands will get blisters on them, though,” she whined, but when she got no response she stopped complaining. They fell into a slow and steady rhythm of paddling until nightfall when they took a break to eat a small amount of fruit from Mystery Island.
“We should make a sail so that we can move faster,” Rae speculated. “We’ll need to use your dress, princess.”
“But I like this dress,” the princess sniffled.
“I’m sure you have plenty of other dresses at home that you won’t be able to get to unless you give us that one. Hand it over.” The princess reluctantly handed her shawl and gown for Rae’s sail. Rae took two of the paddles and lashed them in a triangle shape above the raft using strips of the shawl, spread the fabric between them and tied it in place. “From now on, two will paddle and two will sleep. The wind will help us move faster,” Rae declared. “I’ll take the first shift with the princess and I’ll wake you two up later.”
Seana expected the princess to complain, but she was silent. Seana speculated that perhaps she was finally realizing their situation. While Rae and the princess paddled, she curled up with her tail covering her nose and slept.
Around midnight, Rae shook Fion and Seana awake. “It’s been about six hours, it’s your turn now,” she whispered. The princess was already fast asleep.
“I guess we got our adventure then,” Seana commented as Rae also fell asleep.
“Didn’t turn out quite how I expected, though.” Fion sighed and rubbed his paws together.
“I’ll just be glad when we get back home,” Seana said. Fion just nodded.
“You know, about yesterday, I didn’t know that you had fallen over until after I brought the princess back, and by then the whole ship was falling apart,” Fion said sheepishly.
“Did Rae tell you when to wake her up for the next shift?”
“She told me to wake her just after dawn.”
“Why?” Fion asked and turned around to face Seana.
“Because that way I can see the sunrise because at home I’m never up early enough,” Seana replied and grinned up at the stars. “Even if we’ve had to work a lot, it’s been fun, hasn’t it, Fion? Aren’t you glad that we got on the Kazeriu Wind?”
“Yeah, I guess it has been a little interesting, except I had to be working for the horrible princess,” Fion chuckled.
“What did she make you do? You never told me,” Seana asked.
“She told me to wash her room, but when I was finished she kept saying it wasn’t clean enough. The same went for polishing her jewels, washing her clothes and dusting her books. What kind of person brings those things on a ship anyway?” Fion laughed and Seana joined him. The princess really was a ridiculous person.
“Hey, Seana, we’ve spotted an island,” the princess whispered excitedly. It had been two days of paddling day and night and they were all exhausted. Seana just grumbled and rolled over, but then she realized what the princess had said.
“What? An island? Where? How big?” Seana asked.
“Rae spotted it just on the horizon. She thinks we’re almost there, but we can stop and get more food there,” the princess answered.
“That’s wonderful; all we’ve had left to eat has been dried crackers. Have you told Fion yet?” Seana asked.
“He’s came down with Neezles last night. We’ll have to get him medicine once we get to Shenkuu,” the princess replied sadly.
“He’s sick? We don’t have time to stop for more food then, we have to make it to Shenkuu as soon as possible,” Seana said determinedly.
“No, Rae and I both want to stop for a few days to stock up and get some fresh water. I’m sorry, Seana, but we’re out voting you,” the princess said firmly. Seana turned to Rae for help but she only nodded her agreement. Seana said nothing and sat silently until they got to the island.
“Um, we’re going to go look for food, okay?” Rae said, sounding almost apologetic. Seana nodded and watched them walk across the sand of the unknown island. As soon as they disappeared into the jungle, Seana pushed the raft back off shore and paddled towards Shenkuu. It was much harder work without help, but the wind helped push them along.
“Seana, where are we going?” Fion opened his eyes and muttered.
“We’re going to Shenkuu. We’re almost there, then we’ll get you some medicine,” Seana replied.
“But Seana, we don’t have any money,” Fion said. As much as Seana wanted to deny it, they needed the princess for the reward, so, Seana reluctantly returned to the island and hoped that Rae and the princess would not have returned yet. When she paddled into shore, the two Aishas were waiting angrily to pull the raft up onto the beach.
“So, you decided to come back, did you?” Rae called out.
“Hahaha,” Seana laughed nervously, “I fell asleep and the raft floated away while I was sleeping, so I had to paddle back here.”
“Yes, of course. I’m sure that’s exactly what happened,” the princess said, smiling slightly.
“Seana, it’s just Neezles. He’ll be fine for another day. Have some fruit.” Rae tossed Seana a tropical fruit and, after looking at it skeptically for a moment, she ate it and forgot that they were stranded on an unknown island.
The next day they pushed off the shores and sailed to Shenkuu. At the base of the waterfalls they abandoned the raft and started the treacherous climb, taking turns carrying Fion. When they finally reached the merchant town, Seana looked around, astonished. The delicate bridges and intricate architecture perched on the craggy mountains made for a breathtaking picture. Red and gold flags decorated the temple and the shops.
“We can take him to the lunar temple; perhaps the old Gnorbu will have something to give him,” the princess suggested.
On their way up to the temple they got a few strange looks from passers by; they were a grimy bunch. However, when they pushed open the doors to the temple, the Gnorbu inside recognized the princess immediately.
“Princess! They said that your ship had been lost at sea. I’m glad to see you’ve returned to us safely.” The Gnorbu grinned and the corners of his eyes twinkled merrily.
“You shouldn’t be worried about me. This Lutari is sick; do you have any medicine for him?” the princes replied.
“How unlike you; worrying about someone else. I have some medicine that just might do the trick.” The Gnorbu pulled out a syringe and gave Fion a Neezles jab.
“Thank you very much, sir,” Seana said gleefully.
“It was no effort for me, won’t you stay a few days and rest after returning our princess?” the Gnorbu asked kindly.
“It would be my pleasure, but I think it’s time for us to go home,” Seana replied and they started the long walk back.