The Grand Cross: Forming the Shiro Pirates

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Chapter 7: The meaning of "pirate" and Ushio's shocking past


I walked onto the deck from the cabin. Shiro and Sirraco are sitting on the deck playing “King in the Corner”

“Okay boys, we should reach Koaneichy Island sometime tomorrow afternoon.”

“Cool,” they both said.

“Let us know when dinner is done,” Shiro said.

They were both clearly paying more attention to their game then what I was saying.

“Are you two even listening?”


“Sorry, what did you say?” Shiro said, turning his head to look up at me.


“Ushio, it’s a beautiful day. Sit down and play a card game with us or something,”

“I don’t feel like playing cards with a pirate.”

“You’re no fun.”

“I have you know I am a lot of fun.”

“That’s what all the boring people say.”

“I’ll put an arrow threw your foot if you don’t-”

“Hay guys?! Speaking of Pirates. I think we’ve got a problem,” Sirraco said, interrupted our little argument.

Shiro and I look out to the ocean. A pirate ship was heading in our direction.

“That Ship belongs to the Pirate Thieving Duo! Attack!” We could hear the captain say.

Sirraco grabbed his swords and prepared to fight.

“Sirraco wait! I got this one. You stop the cannon balls from damaging the ship.”

“Alright.” I took my bow off my arrow bag and aimed it at the ship, “Wind, north west. Distance, 30 yards. Angle, 45 degrees. Speed, 33% max. Secret attack: Flaming Arrow!”


Her arrow flew threw the air. As it angled down words for the ship’s deck it bursts into flames. It hit the center of the deck.

The pirates began hollering in shock and disbelief.


“Get water!”

“Status: Direct hit,” Ushio said, her bow still in front of her face.

“How could a single arrow do that much damage?!”

“How can an arrow just catch fire?!”

“Don’t let your guard down! Keep attacking! Sink that ship!

“Aye Captain!”

“So you want more, hu? Alright, fine. Secret attack: exploding arrow.”

The arrow hit the Wall of the cabin.

“Arrows shouldn’t be able to do that!”

“Captain, let’s retreat!”

“Alright men! RETREAT!”

“Aw man. And I was just getting started too. Weaklings, left after two arrows! That sucks!”

“You. Are. So. COOL!,” I said, emphasizing each word.

“I DIDN’T KNOW ARROWS COULD DO THAT!!!” Sirraco yelled, clearly stunned.

“Well, most don’t. Mine are the only ones that can. My mom’s a scientist. She taught me everything I know about science and I started doing experiments on my arrows. I have five different kinds so far, normal arrows, flaming arrows, phoenix arrows, arctic arrows, and exploding arrows.



“Come on! Why won’t you join my crew? It’ll be fun!” I said to Ushio.

“I said no!”


“How many times do I have to tell you, I HATE PIRATES!”

“Lay off Shiro, or I’ll cut you. We don’t want to become Pirates. How stubborn can you possibly be.

“I think I finally figured you two out!”

“What?!” They both said surprised.

“You guys don’t want to become pirates because you just don’t know what it means to be a pirate.”

“Of course we do! Wreaking havoc…” Sirraco began.

“Ripping off everyone you meet...”

“Abandoning families…”

“Stabbing your allies in the back…”

“Abandoning your humanity…”

“Murdering innocent people…”

“NO! Being a pirate is about excitement, adventure, following dreams, discovering new things! But most importantly it’s about freedom! Not the kind of freedom so many countries claim to give their citizens but true freedom! A freedom without rules, laws, or regulations! A freedom where nobody can tell you what to do, how to act, where to go, or who to be. A freedom where you can truly be yourself. That’s what it means to be a pirate. Not all that BS the government and Navy feeds everyone.”

Ushio and Sirraco looked at each other than back at me and laughed.

“That’s what you think the mean of pirate is,” Ushio replied.

“Yes, yes it is.”

She jabbed a finger at my chest and took deliberate steps with each word, “Pirates are cold blooded, vicious, treacherous, inhuman, murders!

“While I’ll admit that some of us are yes, I just can’t fully agree with you. Not all of us are like that.”

“I can not and will not agree with you.”

“And Sirraco called me the stubborn one.”

“MY FATHER WAS KILLED BY PIRATES OKAY!!!!” Ushio looked like she was going to be sick, as the shock from what she had said spread across her face.

Sirraco and I stared at her, almost as shocked as she was.

“I was five. My dad and I was at a beach on Turtle Cove, target practicing.”

“Awww I misted the sender ring again! Daddy why can you hit the target every time but I can’t,” My five year old self asked my father.

“You’ll get it someday Ushio. Just keep practicing shoot another one and let me see if I can help you.”


I aimed my arrow at the target and released it. The arrow hits the lower section of the outer ring.


“I see exactly what’s wrong. Here is a very important lesson Ushio.”


“To hit your target you have to take into account three different key factors. First off, take a look at this compass. Which way is the arrow pointing?

“North, like all compasses, in the direction of the target.”

“Correct. Now what direction is the wind blowing in?”

I puts my finger in my mouth, pulled it out, and held it in the air.

“West. It’s blowing towards the west.”

“Correct again.”

“Daddy, what does this have to do with archery?”

“Please allow me to demonstrate, little lady,” He said standing up. “Key factor number one: never aim straight for you target, always aim above it. The farther your target the higher you aim. In this case to hit the center ring I need to aim about ten degrees above the target,” He added aiming the arrow ten degrees above the center of the target. “You, my darling, were aiming….”

“Parallel to the ground, straight from the center.”

“Exactly. Now judging by the speed and direction of the wind, I don’t want to aim straight in the direction of the target but about fifteen degree to the east. And now for the third and final key factor, determining how for to pull the arrow back. If you don’t pull it back far enough then the arrow won’t fly far enough. If you pull it back to far then the arrow flies to far. That part will come with practice and experience. And then finally you let ’er fly.”

The arrow flew in an arc and hit the target in the dead center

“Now you try.”

“O-okay. Angle: Ten degrees. Wind: west. Wind speed: decent. Distance: fifteen yards. Let ’er fly.”

The arrow hit the center, splitting my dad’s arrow in half.


There was a gunshot.

“Yes Ush-”

The bullet shot into Dad’s back and he fell forward onto the ground.


Terrified, I turned and ran for help.


Mark’s father stepped out in front of me and grabbed me by the shoulders.

“Ushio, what’s the matter? What happened?” he asked.

Painting, I tried to answer him, “It’s Daddy. He’s been... he’s been shot. Someone shot Daddy.”

“Where is he.”

“At the beach. We were target practicing.”

“Your mother is in the store, get her. Tell her to meet me at the beach okay.”


I entered the store, “Mommy! Mommy!”

“What is it Ushio?” My mother asked.

“Daddy’s been shot Mommy! You need to go to the beach and help him!”


“Daddy’s been shot!”

“Ushio, I want you to go home and stay there okay. I’m going to go help your father.”

“I want to go with you!”

“NO! Go home! I’ll come and get you when I know it’s safe!”


“Later that day when Mother finally came home. She said that Father had died. She said it was a pirate that shot him. So I refuse to believe that a pirate saved you because all they are are cold blooded murders.

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