Chapter 14: A Silent Mystery
April led us up a set of stairs to a part of the ship that was set up much like a house. There was a living room. Off the right wall of the living room was a small hallway that led to two other rooms. To the front of the living room was sliding glass doors that led out to one of the upper decks.
“What did you mean when you said Sanji was… a mystery?” My eyes narrowed slightly as the words came out.
April turned to us. “Have a seat and I’ll tell you abut ze dai ai met Sanji,” she replied pointing to the couch in the corner of the room.
Ushio, Shiro, and I sat on the longer part of the ‘L’ shaped couch. Sirraco and Sora sat on the shorter section. April went and got some drinks for us before taking a seat in the chair across from us. We stared intently as April began her story.
“It was sevén yairs ago, on a dark and stairmy night...”
Eet was getteng close to closeng time. Ze on-lee customairs waire a couple zat was around zé same aje as me and mon ’usband. Ai was just finishéng up washeng lé unuséd tabuhls when ai noticéd zumthéng oot een ze ocean, thru le open doair. Ai walked oot onto le dek and saw zat eet was a small rowboat. Ai stood een le archwai and saw zat zere was a lit-tell boy laieng een eet, sleepeng undair la batwéng of a wulf. Hé was shivaireng.
“A Lupus Vespairtilio,” ai whispaired to mysélf.
Ze young dog liftéd its ’ead, which was résténg on zé boy’s nek. Eet looked at me, zen to le boys, et bak to me, wiv pléadeng eyés.
“What aré you doeng een la westairn ocean?” ai askéd le pup.
Its air twitched een response.
Ai reached down ét grabbed le boat to pull eet closair. Le dog growléd when ai went to touch le boy.
“I just went to ’élp. I’m not goéng to ’urt ’im,” ai reassuréd eet.
Eet touched its nosé to ’is cheek, zen liked ’is fairehead.
Ai cautiously, reached down to pik up la boy, ’openg ze wulf would let me. Ai pulled le boy oot of le boat and cradled ’im een mon arm.
“You’ré burneng up!” ai could feel ze ’eat from ’is body radiateng through ’is clutheng. Ai stood up et ran inside, ze dog fullowéd closé béhind. Ze boy slight-lee squirméd een mon arms. “ZEDD! COME QUIk!”
Zédd poked ’is ’ead oot of la kitchen. “What’s the matter, April?”
“Theré was a rowboat ootside, a lit-tell boy was een eet!. He’s extréme-lee sik et ’e looks lik ’é ’asn’t eaten een weeks! I’m takng ’im upstairs. Breng me a bowl of culd watair and a cluth.”
“What is a little boy doing in the middle of the ocean by himself?”
“That’s a questshé-on fair ’im, but ’e wasn’t éxact-lee alone. La pup was keepeng ’im wairm wiv its wéng,” ai repliéd ’eadeng towards la stairs.
Le dog ran to zé foot of la stairs. She turned towards mé, barkeng et growleng.
“I’m takeng ’im to a bed.”
Eet stopped barkéng. Watchéng me ze éntiyaire timé, eet stépped off to le sidé and fullowed me up lé stairs. Ai laid ’im on zé bed een ur éxtra ruhm and pulled la covairs ovair ’im. Le lit-tell wulf jumped up onto le béd wiv la boy. Eet laid on la sidé of la bed closést to zé wall, resteng its ’ead abové zé sleepeng boy’s ’ead. Zédd came into lé ruhm wiv le culd watair. La pup’s eyés fullowed mé as ai took le bowl from Zedd and walked bak. Ai sat le bowl on la nightstand and soaked la cluth. Ai rung oot le exes watair, fulded ze cluth and laid eet on le boy’s fairehéad. Le puppy lét oot a whimpair and likéd ze boy’s cheek.
“Hé’ll bé fine,” ai reassuréd le young wulf.
“You’re talking to a dog?”
“She undairstands, don’t you lit-tell girl?” ai said cautious-lee reacheng oot to pat hair ’ead. Ai bakéd mon ’and awai when she began growléng again.
“It’s a Lupus Vespertilio. They’re dangerous animals! Don’t try to touch it.”
“Oh, zey are not! Look at hair! Shé’s just tryeng to protect ’im. How can you call zat dangairous? Besidés she’s steehl just a puppy. Now keep eet down, zé boy needs to rest,” ai said as ai took ze boy’s tempairatuair. “130! How eez zis boy évén alivé?!”
“130 degrees!” the five of us stared wide-eyed at April.
“How is he not dead?!” Sirraco asked.
“Sirraco, where you not listening to her story? She asked that herself. If she knew she wouldn’t have asked,” Sora said.
“Yés, eet was quite ze surprize fair all of us,” April stated.
“Okay, but that still doesn’t explain why you said he was a mystery,” I replied narrowing my eyes.
“Well, ’e’s vairy sécrétive, trustwairthy, but steehl secrétivé.”
The rain had stopped just before Sanji and I left with the boy. The clouds had become thin, revealing what few stars were left in the night sky and the extravagant shades of orange, pink, red and purple as the sun began to rise in front of us. Its beautiful colours reflecting off of the endless blue ocean. I dived down to touch my paw to the cool water. The boy gasped, delighted, as the water splashed, spraying him and Sanji.
I turned my head just enough to see Sanji out of the corner of my eye. “Should we head back?”
Sanji sighed, “Yeah, We probably should.”
“Do we have to right now?” The boy asked.
“Afraid so. I don’t want your parents getting worried,” Sanji answered.
I turned and tilted my wings to rise. The cool air of dawn rushed through my fur and over my wings as memories came to mind.
I was laying with my head around Sanji’s. My wing laid over him like a blanket The lady had just left the room from changing the cloth on his forehead. It had been three weeks since the lady spotted mine and Sanji’s rowboat. Though the people here seemed nice, I still didn’t trust them. I lifted my head and licked Sanji’s cheek.
I could hear people talking on the floor below, the clinking of pots and pans, and the running of water. The smell of freshly cooked food drifted up the stairs and into the room.
The room we were in was small with soft, sky blue carpet and white walls. On the wall next to the twin sized bed Sanji was a window that looked out to the ocean.
I had just begun to fall asleep when Sanji rolled towards me.
“Sanji?” I whispered.
“Shadow?” He said in a week voice. “Where are we?”
“On a ship. We’ve been here for almost a month. How are you feeling?”
“Tired, hungry, cold,” he slowly listed off, pulling my wing up closer to his face.
“You still have a really high fever, so you’re going to feel cold.”
“I know,” he said before letting out a little cough. He moved my wing and began to get out of bed.
“Where are you going? You’re still sick, you need to stay in bed. Sanji!”
“April, it’s been three weeks. We need to notify the Navy so they can find his parents,” Zedd said as ai placed food on a customair’s tabuhl.
“He’s too sik. Besides, zat puppy won’t lét anyone gét nair ’im, nair weehl shé leave ’is side.”
“It lets you near him.”
“On-lee long enough to treat ’is févair. If ai stai any longair she gets réahl-lee anxious.”
le deux of us looked up at lé sound of zé bottom step créakeng. La young wulf was standéng een front of us.
“So much for it not leaving the boy’s side.”
Ai cautious-lee approached ze wulf. She bakéd into le wall. Ai réached oot et lowairéd un of hair wengs. Ze lit-tell boy was ’idéng behind eet.
“Hi zére. I’m glad to see you’re final-lee awake,” ai said offaireng ’im mon ‘and to shaké. His blue eye wént widé and ’é prezed ’is bak against zé wall. Ai lowaired mon ’and and turned to Zedd, “What was zat you said? ‘So much fair eet not leaveng ze boy’s side’.”
“I was supposed to see through its wing?”
““Zedd.” ai turned bak to ze boy, “ignairé ’im. He tends to be a bit sarcastic at timés. I’m April. What eez yur name?”
Not answairéng, ’e slow-lee reachéd oot to tak ze dog’s wéng et ’eld eet to ’is facé.
“You don’t ’ave to bé afraid, I’m not goéng to ’urt you.”
“Well, I’m going to the kitchen. I’ve got customers to surve.” Zedd said walkeng awai.
“Zedd, wait a momont. Would you lik zumtheng to éat?”
le boy ’esitent-lee nodded.
“Why don’t you come bak upstairs wiv me? I’ll mak you zumtheng to eat.”
He nodded again. Ai stood up and bégan ’éadeng up ze stairs. Both le boy and le puppy fullowéd, each takéng slow, cautious steps. Ze wulf ’ad hair wéng around le boy. Ai led zém to la, rare-lee used, dinéng ruhm and pulled oot a chair. He didn’t sit down until aftair ai bégan to leavé fair la kitchén.
I stood on my hind legs and rested my front paws on Sanji’s leg. “Sanji, you should be in bed,” I said in a concerned whisper.
“I don’t want to lay in a small room all day or any room for that matter. Besides this wouldn’t be the first time I stayed out of bed when I was sick.”
“Sanji,” I lifted my head to his cheek and liked it, “You didn’t have the choice then, you have that option now and I’m making it your only option.”
He patted me on the head, “I’m fine.”
I heard footsteps coming from the kitchen.
Ai finished le boy’s food and wént bak to la dineng ruhm. Lé Puppy ’ad hair front paws on la boy’s leg et zey both lookd towards mé. Ai placed la food on zé tabuhl een front of zé boy. Ze boy lookd at eet, zen bak to me, le chair next to ’im, ze puppy, and bak to la chair.
“Do you went yur puppy to sit een zat chair?”
Slowly, le boy nodded. Ai pulled oot le chair and ze puppy jumpéd on eet and sat down.
“What’s yur puppy’s namé?” He glanced at mé but didn’t answair. His ’ands wairé fulded on ’is lap.
“Would shé lik zum food too?”
He shrugged. “Shé’s a beautiful puppy. Whaire did you get hair?”
“You don’t need to be afraid.” ai reached oot to touch ’is ’and. He jumpéd et staiaiyaired at me wiv wide éyes. “Yur food eez goeng to gét culd. I’ll be right bak. I’m goeng to go gét yur puppy zumthéng to éat.”
When ai returned ze boy was scarféng down ’is food.
“Thére’s non need to éat zo fast. Nobody eez goeng to tak it,” ai tuld ’im, placeng lé puppy’s food on ze tabuhl. “Aftair you eat, you should go bak to bed. You’re steehl sik, you need rest.”
"Abut a month latair ’e final-lee recovaired from ’is fevair.”
“When did he finally start talking to you?” Le young girl wiv la purple and airange ’air askéd.
“It took ’im awhile but ’e final-lee startéd to trust us just enough to speak evairy now et thén.”
Eet was midnight, deux weeks aftair la boy woke.
“April, we really should contact the Navy about the boy.”
“I am not goeng to do zat. Ze boy eez zo tairrifiéd. Ai can on-lee think of un theng zat could possib-lee cause a child to be zat scaiaiyairéd. Now, keep eet down, ’e’s sleepeng.”
“The Navy can help find his parents.”
“We don’t even know if ’e ’as parents.”
“You’re right and we don’t know his name either.”
Wé turned around to la sound of la quiet voice. La lit-tell boy and ’is puppy waire standéng een le ’allwai just off ze liveng ruhm.
“What?” ai asked lé boy.
“M-my n-name… it’s S-Sanji.” He stuttaired. “Please don’t.”
“Tell th-the Navy.”
“I d-don’t trust th-them.”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Did that mutt just talk?” Zédd asked
“That’s rude! I am a purebred Lupus Vespertilio! Mutts are mixed breed!”
“That would be a yes, Zédd.”
“Aftair zat, wé askd ’im if ’e would lik to stai haire as ur fostair son, and ’é’s lived haire evair since.”
“So why are you telling us all this. You don’t even know us,” Sirraco pointed out.
“Well, if you’re pirates... Shiro, right?”
“Yes,” Shiro answered.
“You said you wented to ask ’im to join yur cru. Well, ai don’t know what ’é’ll decidé but as ’is fostair mothair and guardian, ai givé you mon pairmisshe-on to ask ’im.”
“Really?!” Shiro said excitedly.
“You don’t even know us!” The rest of us repeated.
“April, we’re back. What are they doing up here?”
“Wélcome bak Sanji, Shadow. Ai invited zem.”
“The ships to take the customers back home are here. Shadow and I are going to get some sleep before our next shift.”
“Isn’t ze Kéng of Legeon coméng todai?”
“Did you have to remind me? I despise that guy. Maybe we’ll just skip our next shift.”
“You’re not goéng to do zat and you know eet. You enjoy eet too much.”
“Not enough to deal with Royle Jerks like him, let alone cook for them. No pun intended.”
“You are not skipping work today! The king is expecting our absolute finest dishes! So I suggest that you be at work and don’t go flying off with that dog of yours if you want to remain the Sous Chef, ungrateful brat!” Zedd said, walking into the room.
“Shut up old man!” Sanji replied, heading to the hallway just off the living room.
“Wait! Mr. Sous Chef, Sanji, Sir! Join my crew! Become a pirate with us!”
Sanji froze, Shadow turned to face us. Sanji slowly looked towards us, “I’m a chef, not a pirate. Also, I’m not going anywhere without Shadow. Besides, why would you want someone like me on your crew?”
“I never said the wolf thang couldn’t come! She looks so cool!!!!!!” Shiro replied. “We’ve been talking about how we’ve been needing an actual cook.”
“Well, you’re just going to have to ask someone else. I’m not leaving this restaurant.”
“Here we go again,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Shiro leaves the guy alone, he said ‘no’.”
“But I asked nicely.”
“Asking nicely doesn’t always get you what you want,” I replied.
“Ushio, he’s been like that ever since we were kids,” Seara said.
“It got you three to join my crew, didn’t it?”
“NO!” Sirraco and I yelled.
“I joined to find my mom, after that, I’m leaving!”
“I joined because my sister joined!”
“Well, it got me to join,” Sora smiled.
“I joined because Shiro and I are old friends and I can’t stand Noberu Island.”
“Sora, you joined so you could have more treasure.”
“No, Sirraco. I joined because I thought it would be fun.”
“Well, I don’t care why any of you joined. There is no way Sanji is going to become a criminal!” Shadow barked. “Nor will I! Now if you excuse us, We’ll be in our room. Also, Zedd, as long as that so-called Royle is here neither of us will be at work. Let us know when he’s gone.”
They began to leave but then Sanji turned back to us, “Did you say you’re from Noberu?”
“Yes, why?” Seara answered.
His eyes narrowed, “being a Noble is almost as bad as being a Royle. You are rich and yet you chose the life of a lowly pirate. What does that benefit? You had everything anyone could have needed and more. Or so most people would say anyway.”
“Nobles are nothing but spoiled rich, rotten, scum. The world would be better off without them. Pirates to Nobles are like Angels to Demons.”
“I’m sorry but I just can’t see a Noble thinking like that. I don’t mean to sound rude or disrespect a girl, but if I were you guys, I wouldn’t care what she says, I’d keep a close eye on her. You never know when a Noble will go and stab you in the back. Their the ones that are eligible to marry Royals, thus becoming Royal themselves. Royal’s and Nobles aren’t to be trusted, under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them, they’re all the same. Come on, Shadow.”
“Yes, Sanji.” Before following Sanji she looked at us, “He’s right. I wish I could say otherwise but it’s sadly true.” She said that and then they both left the room.
“Sorry about that. They’ve never cared much for Royals,” April said, looking at Seara.
“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions,” Seara replied with a smile. “To be honest I have to agree with him.”
“Chef Zedd! The King of Legeon is here!” Someone hollered as they ran up the stairs.
“April, it’s time we get back to work.”