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The Master Ship Builder

By Jacklyn Cole

Romance / Adventure


May twelfth 1896:

I had never predicted anything like this to happen so suddenly, but yet it did. My name is Lucy Heartfilia and I was born into a family of royalty that was honored by our little society. Our family lived in a secluded area, a place my father deemed worthy of our business and position. We lived near the edge of a short cliff that overlooked my father's successful business: ship making. Ship makers purchased the finest galleons and silver liners that could be found within Foire. Each was enchanted with a magic that only the master ship builder knew . . . well, that was until he met me. The master ship builder was skillful and had the most addictive personality, and soon, we became friends- although, I think he wanted to be more. He was tall, and had the lightest color of blonde hair that still haunts my memories today. His name was Laxus. Laxus showed me his craft. The spells he used to make the sails flourish with air, and to enchant the bow to bend with ease when under attack. Because we knew the secrets of craft making, we were considered valuable. I was allowed by my father to work with him; after all, royalty needed something to do once in a while. Everything was perfect, on that blue windy day until. . .

"Lucy! Get out of here!" Laxus shouted and shoved Lucy back on the dock to avoid the kicking flames of a nearby explosion from a cannon ball. She covered her ears as another crew mate lit the fuse and sent a returning cannon ball toward the enemy. Smoke bit at her eyes and clouded her vision. "Run Lucy!" Laxus voice chimed in her ears before another explosion sent several crew mates screaming in agony and pain. She ran down the deck, hiking up her skirts and nearly tripping over a body of another soldier. Tears steamed in her eyes when she noticed the puddles of blood that crept from his body and she screamed in terror. Another explosion hit the boat on her left, the wood creaking in response and chipping every which way. The sound deafened her ears and yet she continued to run. Sweat fell from her brow and loose curls fell from her pinned hairstyle. This was no time to worry, but a time to panic. She heard yelps and screams and continuous sounds of cannons that bellowed in the distance. The harbor was under attack, and they were all in danger. "Fire again!" Another soldier shouted from the Heartfilia harbor, Lucy ran past them just as the smell of gun powder hit her senses and she scaled the stairs one after the other. Her breathing in panted heaves, and only then, when she reached the top of the small cliff . . .did she turn around. Her arms fell to her side in disbelief. The ships in the harbor were destroyed and debris lay everywhere alongside the bodies that appeared in the smoke.

Lucy squinted her eyes to look off into the distance to see what was attacking. . .a fleet of ships. Upon the masts their sails blew proud, and the insignia upon their flags echoed pirates. "Sabertooth. . ." Lucy whispered and took a troubled step back. The fire in the harbor had ceased and what was left of the soldiers assembled to battle the attacking pirates.

"For the Heartfilias!" A rallying voice shouted, echoed by its followers. "Laxus. . ." She whispered and turned her back to run.

"Run Lucy!" His voice tormented her ears and she forced herself to return to the manor, she had to reach her family and bring them to safety. More importantly, she had to get to safety. She had a feeling that the pirates were here to plunder, and a young woman wouldn't stand well against them. She took the steps quickly and shoved the door open. The door nudged against something, and she pushed again and succeeded in opening it. The body of their family butler lay in front of the door, unconscious? Or dead? Her voice caught in her throat when she noticed the splotches of blood that continued from his body all the way up from the hall. Had he come to warn her? Or to escape?

Tears began to fall from her eyes when she thought of her family, and dashed from the door. "Father!" "Mother!" Lucy shouted and turned the corner into the library only to catch sight of a stranger. A stranger holding a gun to her mother's head.

"Mom. . ." her voice croaked from her lips and she weakly stepped forwards.

The smell of blood strong within the air hinted with the smell of a cigar. "Awh. .. Lucy Heartfilia!" The stranger questioned and looked her up and down before letting a contagious smile peel onto his lips. Lucy took a small step backwards until she heard footsteps behind her, and noticed that more men had assembled into the house. She was trapped.

"Lucy! Don't tell him anythi-" The stranger placed his hand up to her mother's lips to silence her and then proceeded in walking toward Lucy.

"Early on this month, I installed a spy within the Heartfilia business. . .and this little bird tells me that you happen to know the secrets of master ship building~" Lucy snorted at him and turned her head away in disgust.

"I wouldn't fix your ships even if you threatened my life." She challenged a twang of dread haunting her as the stranger then pointed the gun at her. At least he isn't aiming at mother. ..

"You see, you don't really have a choice. Laxus has already perished within the attack, my men accidentally rid of him. And besides, in exchange for your life, you can protect your mother and father." His blonde hair fell around his blue eyes in a teasing manor, he was making a deal with her.

He clicked the safety from his gun and held it loosely at his side. "Please choose quickly, because either way you will be accompanying me on my ship." A flare of anger shot through her being and she immediately charged toward him and pressed her finger to his chest. A startled look fell through his eyes. "I don't know who you think you are! But under no conditions will I be leaving with you willingly, whether you dispose of my parents or not!"

His eyes narrowed happily and he reached down to slowly take her hand within his and bring it to her lips. Lucy snapped her head downwards in displeasure. "Your beauty certainly matches that of a princess . . .perhaps once you've filled your purpose I won't dispose of you after all." He let her hand loose and bent down to scoop her up over his shoulder.
"Back to the ships men!" He shouted and the men chorused. "Take the plunder!" He commanded. Lucy kicked her feet and screeched several course words insulting the stranger. "Put me down this instance!"

Her mother watched Lucy be taken off and hung her head in horror. Her husband in the other room, dead upon the floor. She had nothing now.

Nothing but a broken harbor, filled with pictures that would haunt the rest of her existence.

"Put me down, put me down, put me down!" She shrieked into the stranger's ear, satisfied when he finally growled in irritation. "Would you shut up already!" He set her down upon the dock with a thud, her skirts ruffled around her against the wood. Another pirate lowered the wooden plank for him to aboard. He snatched Lucy's arm and yanked her after him, and she struggled the whole way. "Depart!" Sting shouted toward the crew and they persisted in assembling the ship. Lucy yanked away from Sting with all her effort and threw herself against the bow of the boat to look toward the harbor. A smoky mess was all that was left behind, from this pirate fleet. Tears threatened to leak from her eyes and she couldn't pull herself away from the side of the ship. "Let's go." The stranger's voice edged into her mind, but she pushed it away. She wanted to see Laxus, father, and mother again! And the staff and crew that took care of the estate and lost their lives to protect them. She sniffled and straightened her back when he yanked Lucy by the waist away from the edge. He tugged her toward a great wooden door in the center of the ship, which was tightly secured behind her. She suddenly felt herself being thrown, and she landed upon a springy couch with a 'thud'. The stranger sighed and removed his feathered hat from his head, and placed his gun upon the table. Maps sprawled upon the tabletops and accessories and unloaded guns lined the walls. Chests of plunder sat upon the floor, and a few pearls caught her attention. Fine silks hung from a rack in the corner, they looked foreign.

Lucy slowly set herself upright and continued to look around. The captain heavily sat himself down upon his wooden stool and charted the next route for plunder. They would soon be able to conquer that atrocious Fairy Tail guild if the girl eventually would help them. He noticed that her eyes were upon him and turned his head to look at her. She looked furious, but curious at the exact same time. She was beautiful, but seemed like too much work to chase after.
"You will be working on our ship, Lucy." He stated coldly "If you don't want to be thrown overboard."

She stood up abruptly and marched over to him, her cheeks burned with anger. She reached out her hand to slap him across the cheek, but he caught her fingertips within his strong grip. "If you think for one second that I would help someone like you destroy more people's land! Then forget it!" Her words growled from her lips and he smirked at that. "Call me Sting." He whispered and seemed entranced by her for just a moment. "Princess. . ." He smirked. "you'll be helping me with or without your consent." Smoke could have flared from her reddened ears, and she spat in his face. He narrowed his eyes at her, and pinched her face within his fingertips.

"You'll regret that." He threatened and took a look at her clothes. "You can't be wearing something so beautiful on my ship, Princess." He hissed and yanked at the pink material as she stepped away from him. "My dress!" Lucy growled as it tore partially down the middle, the fabric was ruined. "I'll kill you for this!" She screeched and immediately charged him and attempted to smack him with her fists. "You're funny." He snickered and tossed the extra material to the floor carelessly.

He pinned her arms to her side and held her tight to him so she didn't flail about so much. "Just calm down."

"calm!" She squeaked and squirmed her shoulders. "that was my favorite dress you scoundrel!"

He looked down, her dress was pretty torn. "hm, I'll get you some more clothes." He released her from his grip momentarily to rummage around within the silk pieces hanging from his closet. He tossed a white long sleeve shirt and pants in her direction. "That will have to do." Lucy held up the clothing to her body. "But these are men's clothes!"

He shrugged his shoulders and opened the door to head out into the ship. "Figure it out." He closed the door behind him, and Lucy fumed in anger. She removed her garments from her body quickly so thatSting wouldn't have the pleasure of seeing her change. She growled under her breath as she yanked the pants up her body and the white shirt over her body. She drew close to the mirror in the corner of the room. Lucy gasped at her appearance.

"I look like a man!" She complained and pat herself down. At least the pants kind of fit, but the top was baggy. She tucked the shirt into her pants and let her hair loose. Sting barged in just moments later, and she turned around to look at him. A smirk foiled across his lips.

"I could have mistaken you for one of my crew." Lucy narrowed her eyes at him and looked away. She hated him for everything he had done to her family. "I would never work for you." She spat and turned her body to face him challengingly. She leaned forward to snatch the gun from the table and pointed it directly at him, a growl creeping from her lips. "What had you done to my father!" She shouted furiously. She had not seen him by her mother. Sting smiled and walked forwards toward her slowly, her fingertips shook with the gun as he walked forwards to let the gun rest against his chest.

Lucy met his eyes, hers were fearful, and his were calm. Her hand shook.

Slowly he leaned forwards and pressed his lips against her ear "I killed him."

She growled in anger and pulled the trigger. Sting snickered and tilted his head down to her. "Do you really think I would leave a loaded gun in here?" Lucy pulled the trigger again and again, but it was full of blanks.

"Princess." He flicked her forehead with his finger.

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