The Grand Cross: Forming the Shiro Pirates

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Chapter 2: The Boy and the Barrels


Two days after I meant Shiro, we were sleeping on his abnormally small sailboat, when all of a sudden I opened my eyes. Large clouds covered the night sky, prohibiting the moon from illuminating the darkness. I could smell a slight hint of rain, despite being surrounded by salt water. The cool night air washed over my face, blowing my hair behind me. I got up and shook Shiro’s shoulder, “Shiro. Wake up.”

Shiro only slightly opening his maroon eyes for a second, then complained, “What? It isn’t even morning yet.”

“There’s a storm coming.”

“S’okay go back to sleep.” He jumped up after about thirty seconds,”A storm!”

As soon as he said that, rain began to pour down on us.

“Why didn’t you say something?!” He asked, exasperated.

“I JUST DID!” I yelled as lightning flashed.

The calm waves began to thrash out on our little boat, as the wind began to howl and holler.

“Whatever, just help keep the bag of food from getting wet.”

I clenched my fists so tight it felt like my skin was going to rip around my knuckles as my face got hot. “IS THAT ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT?! WE’RE GOING TO CAPSIZE! BESIDES, WE DON’T HAVE ANY FOOD!”

“We don’t?” he asked, dumbstruck. He picked up the empty bag, held it upside down and shook it. “Where’d it all go? This was full yesterday!”

The thunder began to crash.


“Did I?”


Just then, his eyes widened as he slightly opened his mouth. His lip quivered and his body trembled. “What’s the matter?” I asked, skeptically.

He slowly raised an unsteady hand to point behind me. He then said with a shaky voice, “What’s that giant spiny thing heading towards us?”

Slowly I turned around to see what he was talking about, “What giant spi…?”


Eyes narrowing with confusion, Ushio slowly turned around to see what I was pointing at, “What giant spi…?” The next thing I knew we were death hugging each other and screaming in terror as the giant cyclone headed for our tiny boat.

I opened my eyes as I slowly sat up. My mind was hazy with exhaustion. I looked around, scratching the back of my head, to find myself on a vacated beach. Two seagulls were fighting over some soggy food they found on the ground, near some driftwood. Our boat was laying by a birch tree in the sand, upside down. Or what was left of it, anyway. I saw Ushio laying face down in the sand. I got up and ran over to her. I placed my hands on her shoulder to shake her awake.

“Ushio? Ushio, are you okay?”

To my relief, her eyelids slowly opened.

“Mmm… W-where are we?” She asked, in her tired state.

“Some island. Our boat is wrecked.” Right as I finished my sentence, she gasped, “MY BOW AND ARROWS! WHERE ARE MY BOW AND ARROWS!”

She pushed me down, out of her way, as she quickly stumbled to her feet. She ran over to the bag of arrows and bow laying in the sand, about twenty feet away. She hugged her possessions, with her cheek up against the bag of arrows. She said in a voice filled with relief, “Thank god you guys are safe!” Her bow appeared to be made of a dark wood, a pattern of twisting vines carved into it. The bag matched her outfit, green leather. The same vines as the bow wrapped around it, and spelled her name down the front. It had a piece on it that held her bow when she wasn’t using it.

“Yup. I was right... you’re weird,” I replied, not able to find a better response.

She turned quickly towards me with narrowed eyes. Her face turning red under her tan skin, “THIS BOW WAS A GIFT FROM MY LATE FATHER FOR MY FOURTH BIRTHDAY!” She was now no more than three inches from my face. “IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO IT SOMEONE’S GOING TO GET HURT!” she added as she cracked her knuckles.

Feeling bad for her, I replied, “Sorry, I had no idea. You don’t have to yell so much.”


Just then his stomach growled, “Hmmmm, man I’m hungry.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t have eaten all the food the other day,” I said with my arms folded across my chest, glaring at him.

“Come on, let’s go find somewhere to eat.”

“We don’t have any money!” I answered.

Ignoring me, he turned and ran for a stone path through some trees.

“SHIRO!” I yelled after him, but he was already gone. I sighed, “Why did I have to end up on a boat with this idiot?” I stood up, brushed off as much sand as I could with my now almost dry clothes, and followed Shiro.


The first thing you could see when you entered the town was…

“So many restaurants! Which one should we go to, Ushio?” When she didn’t respond I turned around to look behind me. She wasn’t there. “Ushio. Where’d you go?” I continued to look, when, finally, she came out from behind one of the trees. “There you are,” I said in relief.



Shiro looked at me, stars in his eyes, and asked, “Anyway, which restaurant should we go to?”

“We don’t have money,” I said with a dull voice.

Continuing to ignore me, he points to a restaurant. “Let’s go to that one!” he demanded, excitedly, then took off running towards that restaurant.

I swear he just picked a random restaurant and ran blindly towards food that we couldn’t afford, I thought following him “It smells amazing in here!” he exclaimed upon entering the restaurant.


The inside of the restaurant was spacious. It had about fifty round tables with four chairs around each of them. The floor was covered in an elegant scarlet carpet. The walls were tan with brown borders. Six chandeliers hung from the ceiling, each lit with white candles. There was a fireplace at the far end of the room.

Just then, out of nowhere, something hit me hard on the top of my head, causing me to fall to my knees. I looked up to see Ushio standing above me with her hand in a fist.

“What was that for?” I asked her, rubbing where she had punched me.

“How many times do I have to tell you that we don’t have any money?”

“Can we at least sit in here a while? It’s windy outside and my clothes are still wet from the storm.”

“Fine, but then we go map and compass hunting.”

“Okay.” We chose a table near the fireplace. Moments after we sat down, a waitress walked up to us.

“May I take your order?”

After asking us the typical question, Ushio responded, “No thank you.” As she began to explain our situation, a man walked by, “We’re just here to dry off a little before going to get a map.”

“But, Ushio, I’m hungry!” I complained, and as if on cue the man, that had just walked past us, stopped.

“We don’t have any money,” She repeated, glaring at me. The man then turned back around and began walking in our direction.

“Ushi-” I started to say, but then the man laid a small money bag on our table. Ushio and I both looking up at the man.

He had auburn hair that went down to his dark green eyes. A few strands stuck up here and there. He was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. Four swords were hanging from his left side.

“You travelers to?” The man asked.

“Y-yes,” Ushio replied.

“Then take this and get yourselves something to eat,” he said, then turned and walked away.

I stood up and called after the man, “Thanks, Mister!”

He stopped and turned back to me, “Don’t mention it.” He then turned and left the restaurant.


“I like that guy,” Shiro said as he sat back down.

More annoyed with this kid than ever, I said, “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW THE GUY!”

“But he just gave us money for food. So he can’t be a bad guy.”

It didn’t take long after that for our small table to be filled with food.

“How much food can you eat?”

“C-can I get you anything else?” asked the Waitress, her eyes widening as she watched Shiro shovel down his food, empty plates already beginning to pile up.

Shiro began to reply with a mouth full of food, “Yes ple-”

“NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!” I interrupted in a hurry.

After swallowing his food, he held up the bag of money. While taking another bite of meat, he said, “But we still have all this money left.”

“Yes, and it should be spent on a new boat and food for the trip! Or did you forget that our boat was wrecked in the storm last night?” I said.

“Oh yeah! I forgot.”


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