Chapter 15: The King of Legeon.
I woke up on the floor in my room about an hour after talking to April and the pirates. I was laying with my back against Shadow’s shoulder, her wing was wrapped around me and head on my lap. She lifted her head and licked my cheek.
“Sleep well?” She asked.
“Yeah,” I answered. “I guess we should get to work before the Old Man starts complaining,” I added getting to my feet.
“See you do love cooking too much to skip work just because a Royal is here,” She said as we left the room and entered the living room.
“I’ll just stay in the kitchen until he’s gone,” I replied walking down the stairs.
I could hear the King complaining about something. I ignored his yelling and continued towards the kitchen, without even taking a single glance in his direction. The Pirates, that April and I were talking to earlier, were sitting at a table in the corner of the dining area. Sora was talking to the archer and the other girl, though I couldn’t hear what they were saying. It amazed me how beautiful she was. I wasn’t trying to be a creep but I couldn’t take my eyes off her until I was in the kitchen with the wall and doors between us. I sighed.
“What’s wrong Sanji?”
“Nothing,” I lied.
My thoughts drifted away from the beautiful girl in the dining area. People can’t be trusted. Pirates can’t be trusted. Nobles can’t be trusted. Royals can’t be trusted…. Maybe I can’t be trusted…. I am a…. I vigorously shook my head. No, Sanji! Don’t think about that!
“Sanji! Stop staring off into space start helping us with the Kings food!”
“Shut up, Sam. I am getting to work.”
“Shadow, can you take these appetizers to the King and his family.”
“I guess, Damian. I’d rather not, especially after the last time.”
“Sanji, are you about done with that dish for the King?”
“It’s right here, Damian,” I said as I place fine cut and perfectly seasoned steak on plaits with a side of Aligot. One of the waitresses reached for it. “I’ll take it,” I smiled at her.
“Are you sure? I thought you disliked Royalty.”
“Yeah, but I’ll put up with them if it means helping out a pretty girl such as yourself, Violet. If I take it to him and something happens, then he can’t blame you,” I replied walking to the doors. She held the door for me and I thanked her.
I began to walk to the table surrounded by guards when the doors swung open. Two men, a bit older than me, were hunched over in the doorway. They appeared to be weak and dehydrated.
“Please. We need food. We haven’t eaten in a week. All we have is a few Gems. We know it’s not much but…” One of the men began. “Please, my younger brother he’s very sick, starving, and dehydrated.”
Walked over to the table closest to the doors and sat food meant for the King on it. I then walked over to the two men and helped them walk over to the table.
“Sit here. This food was meant for someone else but you need it more then they do right now. If they have any sympathy or a heart, they will wait patiently for me to prepare them a new dish. Please eat. I will bring you our some water in a moment.”
“Thank you, sir,” Said the younger brother before they both dug in.
“Don’t mention it. Just enjoy and let me know if you need anything else.”
Someone grabbed my arm when I passed the last row of tables, closest to the kitchen doors. I turned around to see that the King had ahold of me. Great, I forgot to avoid his table.
“That food was meant to be served to me and my family.”
“I can make you more. Those men haven’t eaten or had a drink in a while. If they didn’t get food and water now they would have died.”
“WHO CARES!!! I AM THE KING OF LEGEON! ME AND MY FAMILY SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO BE SERVED!!!!!”
“Bastard, have you no heart? Those men could have died. Do you not value life? Are the citizens of your country nothing but pawns that can be thrown away and replaced? Is it true that all you Royals are the same? Heartless, self-absorbed, arrogant. Do you people only care about yourselves? I hate Royals like you! I have never meant a good one and I know I never will. So back off, shut up and wait patiently, like every normal human being here!” I jerked my arm away from him and began walking away. Two of the guards crossed their swords in front of me.
“Sanji, what the hell did you do now? Must you tick off every Royal that comes here?” Sam said as he and Damian exited the kitchen.
“All I did was feed starving customers.”
“And be ‘feed’, you mean give them free food that was meant for other customers,” Damian replied.
“So what if I did? It isn’t like I can’t make more.”
“You know, it amazes me how this restaurant is still able to open every day with you around, giving away free food,” Sam stated.
“It sure is a miracle. I just don’t understand why Chef Zedd keeps you here.” Damian then turned to the King, “sorry about our new Sous Chef, your highness. We’ll get you a new dish right away.”
The guards lowered their swords, allowing me to get back to the kitchen.
I watched as Sanji walked past the guarded table, The king grabbed him by the arm. He turned to face him.
“That food was meant to be served to me and my family,” the King said, his eyes narrowed with rage.
“I can make you more. Those men haven’t eaten or had a drink in a while. If they didn’t get food and water now they would have died,” Sanji replied, his voice filled with concern and a hint of irritating.
“WHO CARES!!! I AM THE KING OF LEGEON! ME AND MY FAMILY SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO BE SERVED!!!!!”
“Bastard, have you no heart? Those men could have died. Do you not value life?”
“Shiro? Should we do something?” Seara asked.
Sirraco and Sora prepared to draw their swords and Ushio reached for her bow.
“Is it true that all you Royals are the same? Heartless, self-absorbed, arrogant... Do you people only care about yourselves?”
“Not yet guys. I wanna see how this plays out first,” I answered as I continued observing the situation between Sanji and the Royals.
“Shut up and wait patiently, like every normal human being here!” Sanji said before freeing his arm from the King’s grasp and turned back to the kitchen. Two of the guards crossed their swords in front of him
“Shiro, it’s not looking good… maybe we shou…”
“Not yet, Sirraco,” I repeated.
Two other chefs came out of the kitchen and walked to the King’s table.
“Sanji, what did you do now? Must you piss off every Royal that comes here?” one of them said.
“All I did was feed starving customers.”
“And by ‘feed’, you mean give them free food that was meant for other customers,” the other replied.
“So what if I did? It isn’t like I can’t make more.”
“You know, it amazes me how this restaurant is still able to open every day with you around, giving away free food,” stated the first chef.
“It sure is a miracle. I just don’t understand why Chef Zedd keeps you here.” the second added before turning to the King, “sorry about our new Sous Chef, your highness. We’ll get you a new dish right away.”
The guards lowered their sword.
“I knew I liked that guy for a reason,” I said watching Sanji and the other two cooks enter the kitchen. “I have to convince him to join us.”
“What is there to like?” Sirraco said.
“The fact that he just risked his job to feed two people with no money,” Sora answered.
“Who are you and what did you do with my money loving sister?”
“Not to mention he’s not afraid to stand up to people of a high class,” Seara added. “I agree with Shiro. We need to convince him to join.”
“Yes, I’ve never cared for cooking but someone has to and Sora will make us pay for her cooking.”
“Okay, but how are we going to do it?” Sirraco asked.
Ushio, Seara, and I looked at each other. Then as if a light bulb came on in each of our heads, the three of us slowly turned to Sora.
“What?” She asked raising a brow.
Sirraco looked at his sister, back to us, then his sister again, before realizing what we were thinking, “Oh no! No! Absolutely not! You are not using my sister as bait!”
“Don’t say it like that!” Ushio said.
“It’s just we couldn’t help but notice he seemed to be a bit… er… nicer towards her, then anyone else on our crew,” Seara added.
“You really want him on our crew? Even after what he said about you this morning?”
“Like I said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. And I agree with him and Shadow, for the most part. Their opinion just means that I’ll have to work a bit harder than you guys to gain their trust and change their minds, if even a little.”
“So is everyone, aside from Sirraco, in agreement, then?” I asked, looking around the table.
“Aye captain!” they said throwing a fist in the air.
“Wait! I thought we were ALL supposed to be in agreement! That’s what the condition was, wasn’t it?!”
“I’m revising that condition…. That condition does not apply to vote on new crew members…. Not to mention crew members should be picked by the captain, who may ask his crew for their opinions but when it comes to the final decisions, it’s entirely up to the captain.”
“Your sister has a point. Shiro’s the captain. If he wants someone specific to be in a certain position on the crew then we can’t complain,” Ushio agreed.
“If you guys want that idiot on the crew, fine. But don’t expect me to become friends with him.”
“Wait… there’s conditions?”
“Well explain that after we get Sanji and Shadow to join,” Sora replied.
I was in the kitchen, sitting by Sanji, and watching him and the others cook.
“Sanji, you need to be more careful when it comes to those Royals. You know that.”
“Sorry, Shadow,” he replied, chopping up carrots and dropping them into the pot of broth.
“Sanji, I mean it. I know it’s hard to bite your tongue when it comes to things like that. But one of these days it could get you in a lot of trouble.”
“Do you understand what kind of trouble I mean?”
I leaned over to lick his cheek, “I’m only telling you this because I care.”
“I know,” He said with a small smile while petting my head. “I’m going to take some water to those brothers. You going to come with me?”
“After, what almost happened earlier? Yes. I don’t feel it smart to leave you alone again.”
“Wow, glad to see you trust me,” he said sarcastically.
“It isn’t you I don’t trust, it’s those Royals Jerks.” I replied as we we entered the dining area.
He lightly pushed my head away with his fist, “I’m just picking on you.”
I nuzzled his cheek, “I know.”
“Enjoying your meal?” Sanji asked the two men.
“Yes. Thank you, sir,” the older brother said.
“It’s absolutely wonderful!” the younger brother added. He then looked at me. “Is that a…?”
Sanji’s eye narrowed. He interrupted the brother, “Yes.”
“No,” He interrupted the older brother. “Look you two. I don’t know who you are, or if you’re criminals or not, nor do I care. If you’re hungry, I’ll feed you. But if you start insulting Shadow and you’re no longer dying of starvation… well, don’t think of a second that I won’t kick your asses.” He’s expression darkened and his voice grew colder with each word. “You see, now that you’re up to full strength, I don’t feel one ounce of guilt.”
“Y-yes, sir,” They said.
“W-we’re sorry. We just heard roomers and…” The older brother started.
“Exactly, they’re roomers. Nothing more. You know, one of my favorite quotes goes, ’Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear,’ Do you know who said that?”
The two men shook their heads.
“No? You two don’t read much, do you?”
They shook their heads again. Fear covered their faces as Sanji continued to speak.
“Well, maybe you should. Here, why don’t I go get you a copy of a book that the owners wife wrote about this amazing animal? Give you a real lesson on how these animals are. Does that sound like a good idea?”
“Y-yes, sir,” They answered.
“Really, Sanji! First you give them the Kings food for free and now you’re threatening them!” Damian said, who was surviving another customer.
“Shut up Damian. I wasn’t threatening anyone, I was wearing them!”
“Same thang, Sanji!” Sam said poking his head out the kitchen door.
“The only thing animals are good for is food!” One of the Princes hollered from the Royal Family’s table.
Sanji’s face turned a dark red.
“That thing’s no animal. It’s a monster!” The Princess said which made the whole family laugh.
“Someone oughta put a bullet through its skull!” Said the other Prince.
The family laughed harder.
“You know how much that thing’s hide is worth?” The first Prince added.
“Oh Father! It’s hide would make such a marvelous coat! Can you please buy it for me?” The Princess said with a high pitched voice.
Sanji’s face got redder and redder with each word that came out of their mouths. He was beginning to look like he was going to explode. Shadow watched him with a cautious eye.
“Of course honey. Anything for you. Hey, boy, come here!”
Sanji walked over to the King’s table. Shadow followed, not allowing even a fraction of an inch to get between them.
“Yes,” Sanji said through clenched teeth.
“How much do you want for that beast?”
“Shadow, is not my property,” he growled slightly.
“Then who does it belong to? I’m willing to offer a lot of money.”
“I’m afraid you misunderstood me, your highness. Shadow is nobody’s property because she is my best friend and is not for sale.”
“That’s absurd! No animal can be a friend. Real men don’t need friends. How much do you want for it. I’ll pay whatever you want, Gems, Silver, Gold, Diamonds. Name your price.”
Shadow began to glare and just slightly bared her teeth at them. Her muscles tensed under her fur.
“I told you she’s not for sale. Especially not to some heartless bastard, who wants to buy her only to make a coat out of her!” Shadow turned to the side so Sanji could climb onto her back. “If you want to kill her, you’ll have to go through me first!” he added as Shadow flew up off the ground.
“Okay guys,” I said turning to the others. “Now we do something.”
“Took you long enough,” they said, taking out their weapons.
“Don’t be a fool, boy. A lousy animal, is not worth a fight that can be settled with a simple exchange of money,” the Queen said.
We walked over to the fight that was about to break out.
“You’re the fools! The only lousy thing in this world is the human raise, being filled with people like you! IT MAKE ME SIKE!”
“I think my entire crew would have to agree with you.” I said taking one step ahead of them. “People that would try to buy and kill another person’s best friend… it’s sickening.”
“You guys. What are you doing? This isn’t your fight!”
“Not our fight? You’re right. But for us to let a friend fight alone. Why, that would make us no better than these scume!”
“Friend?” I heard him silently repeat. “You don’t even know me! How can you call me a friend?!”
“I know enough to know that I’d trust you with my life. I like you, cook. You’re not afraid to stand up for your friends. That’s an amazing and rare quality to have. It’s the kind of quality I look for in a friend and crewmember.”
“I ALREADY TOLD YOU I’M NOT JOINING YOUR CREW!”
“Nor am I!”
“By the end of the day, we’ll have your minds changed.”
“This is ridiculous! Just sell us the creature and there will be no trouble! I AM A KING! IF I WANT TO BUY SOMETHING IT WILL BE SOLD TO ME!”
“Is that how you think a King should treat his people?” I asked. “There’s something wrong with people who think like you. You heard, Sanji. Shadow is not his pet, she is his friend. Friendship is not something that can be bought nor sold. Its nurtured, cultivated and earned over time and nothing in the world will break that unconditional bond. But I guess people like you can’t understand that because you’ve never known that kind of bond. It kind of makes me feel sorry for you.”
“Don’t make my mad, boy!”
“Have you ever heard the rule of life, ‘treat others how you want to be treated’? Well it appears to me that you want one of us to ask you to sell us one of your children.”
“What are you say! My children are royalty not slaves!”
“Well, are you not asking this man to sell his friend to you?”
“That is an animal! My children are royals! There’s a big difference!”
“Maybe in your blind eyes there is, but in the eyes of everyone else here it’s the exact same thing. Now I suggest you leave this man and wolf alone or get ready for a lesson to be branded into your mind, much like this star was branded on my right arm.”
“Why you arrogant brat! Guards!”
“Yes, your majesty,” they replied, preparing to fight.
“I’m afraid that’s where you’re wrong,” I said as the blue energy began to shape around my fist. The guards stepped between us and the Royal family. “I suggest that all the customers go to another ship for safety. If there are none at the moment feel free to board our ship until further notice, just as long as you don’t steal anything.” The customers staired in silence, not knowing what to do. “I SAID GET OUT OF HERE! DO YOU WANT TO GET HURT!” Finally they got up and ran out the doors. “Now, why don’t we take this to the deck, so we don’t damage the inside of this nice restaurant?” I said before using my telekinesis to move the guards and Royal family through the doors and onto the deck. Shadow and Sanji flew out the door and the rest of us followed.
“All you have to do is sell us that thing!” The Queen said when we were on the deck.
“I’m afraid zat won’t bé possibuhl,” April said coming onto the deck with Zedd following her. “I suggest zat la second you lose zis fight, you get off zis ship and nevair return to zis restaurent again.”
“We are high paying customers and Royalty! You will treat us with respect!”
“Money can’t feed the hungry,” Sanji said from above.
“What are you talking about?! If you have money you can buy food! Of course it can feed the hungry!” The Queen said.
Sanji closed his eye and shook his head, “Say you are in the middle a deasurt. There are no plants or water as far as the eye can see. The only thing you have with you is the cloths on your back and a large bag of money. You had food but you finished it three weeks ago. You ran out of water the day before. You are dehydrated and starving. You would break a cactus and get water from it, but then you remember there are no cactuses around. Where are you going to get food and water from?”
“Simple, you go to a restaurant and use the money in the large bag,” replied one of the Princes.
“Then you go to a store and buy some new clothes,” The Princess added.
“Yes, three weeks wearing the same clothes is absolutely disgusting!” The Queen agreed.
“Dumb asses! You are in the middle of nowhere! The answer is you die of starvation and dehydration! There is no place to buy food, water, or clothes! There for money can’t feed the hungry! Arrogant bastards!”
“Guards arrest them all! And bring the monster back to the kingdom for my daughter!”
“You’ll have to kill me first!” Sanji replied as the guards charged. Shadow dived at them as Sanji jumped off her back, doing a somersault in the air. He landed in a handstand and stopped one of the guard’s sword with his foot while kicking another in the face. He pushed off the ground, spined on his side, in the air in order to kick two more guards. The instant his feet hit the deck he broke into an all out sprint for the next group of guards.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not going to let him have all the fun,” Sirraco said, examining his sword.
“Agreed, brother,” Sora replied, twirling one of her swords.
At that, Sirraco and Sora jumped into the fight. Sirraco held a sword between his teeth and one in each hand. His fourth sword remained in its sheath. Three guards attempted to cut off his pursuit. Sirraco managed to blocked the attackers. Sora glided across the deck taking out each guard with surprising ease. The way she handled her swords so gracefully was astounding.
I was broken out of my watchful trance by an arrow flying past my, just inches from my face. I looked over to see it had pierced through a guard’s right shoulder.
“Might want to pay attention, Captain. Don’t want to lose your head before you get to the Grand Cross, do ya?” Ushio teased as she released an arrow into the leg of another guard.
“Ha, guess it’s time I join the fight too,” I laughed in agreement. I looked at the king, “You ready for that lesson I promised?”
“I’ll have your head for this!” the king replied taking a sword from a guard.
“Oh, so you do know how to fight. Yet, you chose to put your men’s lives in the line of danger before your own. What kind of leader are you?” I said forming energy into a blue sword. His sword collided with my energy. “Energy burst!” The force of my exploding energy caused me and the king to fly backward in opposite directions. knowing this was going to happen when I used ‘energy burst’ I was able to prepare myself and land on my feet. The king on the other hand fell flat on his back. I have to end this quick. Energy burst takes too much out of me, I thought as the king got to his feet. I was beginning to breath heavily as sweet welded up on my face. Well, I can’t use that again. What can I do? ...That might work… I rested my wrists against each other, held my hands at a ninety degree angle and spread my fingers apart. “Energy spark!” The energy flew out of my palms like blue sparks of fire. The little bits of energy hit the king with high force. They burnt through his clothing, leaving little senged holes. Doping his sword, he hollered and groaned in pain, as he rolled on the deck as if he were on fire.
The queen and her children rushed over to his side. The guards lost focus of their fights and some ran over to help while others got taken out by their opponents. My crew walked up and stood on either side of me, their weapons still in hand.
“Now… hu-hu… if you’ve… hu-hu… had enough. I suggest… hu-hu… you leave,” I panted.
“You alright, captain?” Sirraco asked.
“Yeah. Using my Hell Spring powers uses my energy, Guess I need to build up my stamina some more.”
“Hell Spring powers?!” the queen’s head snapped up.
“Father, this guy’s a demon,” one of the princes said.
“Their all monsters! Lets just leave.”
“Absolutely not! I will not leave without the hide of that creature for my daughter! What kind of example with that set for my people!” He said, finally able to speak as the energy sparks vanished along with the burning pain.
“Father please!” The princess pleaded. “It’s not worth it. We can find a different one, a prettier one. Just send some soldiers to the Northern Ocean to get me one. Lets just please leave.”
“All right,” he said to his family as he stumbled to his feet with the help of his sons. He turned to me, “You will rue this, boy! Mark my words! And you…!” He pointed at Sanji, now above us with Shadow, “You can keep that pathetic excuse for an animal! But I warn you, I will have this reachid place shut down!”
“Don’t you ever threaten this restaurant,” Sanji said in a manner so calm and cool it was almost intimidating. “As long as I’m alive no harm will ever come to this place. Your issue is with me, not The Galleon. If you really want revenge over something that you caused, then come after me, but don’t you ever turn you anger on this place.”
Glaring at Sanji, the Royal family of Legeon left The Galleon, returned to their ship and set sail.