A woman with shoulder length light purple hair, and navy blue eyes who was dressed in a white gown sat down on the couch and stared at the easel. Her mouth twisted downward into a frown as she eyed it. Something wasn’t quite right. If the easel was there so should the artist, but the artist showed no sign of showing up.
"Weird." She muttered as she grabbed her cup of tea. "What is keeping her so long. Not like her to be more than half an hour late." Had something gone wrong? She hoped nothing happened. "It’s just like her to stick her head and have fun with that …I just hope she knows that she shouldn’t toy too much with her luck."
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. "Come in." At her voice, a girl with brown hair in a braid entered the room(No, it’s not Sheela). She wore a navy blue dress with a white apron over it.
"Lady Luna, I have received mail for you." The maid said as she carried a letter to Luna. Luna looked at it for a second and saw that it was addressed to her personally, that was no big deal. She flipped it over and gasped. There in neat cursive it wrote Zelas Metalium.
"What is Zelas doing sending a letter?" Then was it that Luna noticed there was no stamp on it. It must have been put in there by Zelas herself. Zelas was Luna Inverse’s personal artist, as well as best friend, and it was weird for Zelas not to tell her things personally. Sending a letter just wasn’t Zelas’s so called ‘style.’
"Thank you. You may leave now." Luna dismissed the maid, and once she was sure she was alone, she tore open the letter. "Zelas…you’re starting to get too weird even for me…" Luna muttered when she finished reading the letter.
"You can be using this room while you stay here." Xelloss said as he opened the door to a compartment. Lina’s mouth dropped open. Even in Amelia’s dad’s mansion there wasn’t a room as grand as this that ‘guests’ were allowed to stay at. Especially not captives.
"It was my sister’s room when she used to be the leader of us." Xelloss informed her. "Don’t look in the desk draws, those are strictly off limits by her orders. For change of clothes my sister liked to keep a few in the closet draws, they should be in good shape, she checks them every time we return and every time we leave. You’ll have a maid attend to you if needs be. We should be arriving to land in a week."
"…..You’re sure I can stay here?" Lina asked, still gaping at the room. The sheets on the bed were obviously silk, the furniture made from the finest of all woods, and there were gold etched into them.
"Yes, only people who I give permission to are allowed to enter this room, you shouldn’t be disturbed. Lin may occasionally come in here, for finding peace and calm, but she shouldn’t be of a disturbance."
"How about…Filia and Amelia? Do all your captives get treated as royalty on this ship?"
Xelloss smiled and replied. "Only the ones that catch my attention long enough to be led here." He turned her so she was facing him. "You’re friends should be treated adequately. Lin would never mistreat someone I told her to let live. For Val I can not tell, he does everything he thinks is right at that moment, only occasionally considering the consequences. But Shilfiel would make sure she is treated correctly."
"…She is the girl that works as a maid around here. She is in love with Gaury." Xelloss stated.
"Does she deserve him?"
"I would say she does. She is caring and very tactful on most things, a little giggly but perfect for Gaury."
"…Why is Gaury with you guys?" Lina asked the question that had been disturbing her since she saw Gaury on this ship. "He said he would find a fortune…but why is he a pirate?"
"…..Gaury came to our village one day, Shilfiel was literally close to dead in his arms. I don’t know much of the details but Shilfiel was attacked by some out laws and wasn’t able to defend herself when Gaury appeared. He found out where she lived and led her back. Shilfiel literally begged him to stay. Then, he found out about this and…before we knew he was on this ship."
"…Sounds like Gaury, getting his head stuck in everything." Lina sighed happily. "I’m glad though he has a girl, I was wondering if he’d ever make one, being…well, the way he is."
"I can see why you were a little bit worried. How about yourself." Xelloss followed Lina as she walked into the room.
"I’m not interested in settling down….just yet. I am perfectly satisfied with living a life with out getting married and having kids." Lina replied as she sat down on the bed. "Besides, all your life if you’ve been told that marriages were just a way of social advancement, you’d lose the idea that it’s ‘suppose’ to be holy and romantic." Lina emphasized the words ‘suppose’
"Is that what you have been told all your life?" Lina nodded.
"Since I can remember mom and dad have been fighting with each other. Dad would blame all of his mishaps on mom and vice versa. I never trusted anyone in my family for anything." She hugged her knees, trying to block out the memories of the unpleasant days. "But Neechan was always around…" She whispered trying to make a light out of her ‘not-so-happy-days’. "She’s not the best sister, but still, she was there. Then there was Gaury, I mean until he ran off, but you know, he was my first friend. I didn’t need a family, really." Lina laughed and tried to appear cheerful.
"…Why do you laugh?" Xelloss asked her, his eyes opening.
"What’s the point in crying?" Lina shrugged and replied. "If I had time to cry, then I would try to figure out and do something about the situation. Besides, it’s pitiful to cry. Especially in front of others." Lina’s voice was set hard and deep. Different from the other side that tried to be optimistic about things.
"…Laughing when you really want to cry sounds more pitiful to me." Xelloss replied as he looked straight at the girl.
"…It’s not." Lina clenched her teeth. "It’s called being optimistic and happy." Lina thought she sounded like Gaury.
"What ever you say." Was all Xelloss said as he sat down on the bed.
"Look, I’m not the master at these things, that’s Neechan’s field. But crying never helped me, just got me in worse situations. Got it?"
Xelloss just nodded and smiled at her. "You seem to be very attached to your sister." He observed. "Why is that?"
"Like I said she was the only one around me when I needed someone to lean on. She’d listen to me." Lina replied. Suddenly a thought hit her. "Why am I telling you all this!?" She asked aloud.
Xelloss shrugged. "I don’t know." He replied truthfully, which was unusual for him.
Just then there was a knock on the door.
"Xelloss, there’s something Lin needs to talk to you about." A monotone voice said from the other side of the door.
"Do you know what it is about?" He asked turning to the door.
"She said it was urgent and required you and Gaury’s attendance." The voice replied. Xelloss sighed and turned to Lina.
Xelloss sighed and then smiled at her. "I guess this thing can wait a while. Is that fine with you Lina-san?" He smiled and kissed her hand. "See you later Lina." He then walked towards the door and opened it. Out side stood the man which had hold of Filia’s fate.
"Lin’s in the study with Gaury" He informed Xelloss as Xelloss came out. "Want me to keep an eye on her?" He moved his head indicating at Lina. "A bunch of the guys had been waiting for you to leave her side."
"Worry about that blonde of yours." Xelloss replied. "She’s quite good looking."
"And she nearly killed Gaury with a mace she keeps hidden under her skirt. The whole crew except for you saw it. Trust me, they won’t mess with her, and she can protect herself."
"I can protect myself." Lina declared from where she sat on the bed. "That’s what I’ve been doing all my life."
"You were no match to Lin." Val declared.
"I’m equal to Gaury!!" Lina replied.
"She’s safe. The crew knows that if they dared entered this room with out my permission that Neesan would kill them. And trust me, if they dared to even touch my ‘treasure’, I’d be happy to help her."
"If that’s what you say." Val replied. "I’m still watching her though, she seems interesting, and don’t worry, I won’t dare to touch her." Val then walked into the room, closing the door behind him.
"Okay… ‘Lina’, right?" Lina nodded. "I’m Valtierra, most call me Val. So, you aren’t a pirate?"
"Huh? Pirate? Who?"
"Me?! No, Neechan would kill me if I even dared to become one. I swear, I’d die before I do something Neechan would disapprove of!!"
"…You fear your sister?" Val asked, genuinely surprised.
"If you meet her, you’ll understand why." Lina replied as she sat on the desk. "She’s very strict, doesn’t like others contradicting her. But…it’s not like she’s not caring. I mean she’s mean but she can be nice if she want’s to."
"…what’s her name?"
"Luna. She was born on the day of a Lunar Eclipse."
"Lunar, Luna." Val smiled. "Well, you and Lin would get along well. Lin already developed a liking to you. She’s never met a girl that is as high spirited as her, excluding her sister Zelas."
"…How long have you guys been pirating?"
"…..My dad, Garv did it before me with Xelloss’s parents and Zel’s parents."
"Zelgadiss Graywords, our engineer." Val replied. "Back to the explanation. Xelloss’s parents died right after Lin was born. Zelas took over for her parents. She raised Lin and Xelloss, who was at the time only four, pretty hard burden on someone who was only seven. Dad died a few years later in a huge battle, so did Zel’s parents. We all became orphans. Zelas was the only survivor, no so was Shilfiel. Shilfiel was the child of the one that fought us, but she too was orphaned. Zelas raised us all. She’s strict and all but, nice when she want’s to be. We’ve been pirating since our parents died. Xelloss was ten, Zel was eight and I was nine. We’ve gotten pretty good. Most of the crew our either survivors of other pirates we won against, or some others from our humble old town."
"…I heard Xelloss’s sister doesn’t use this room any more."
"She doesn’t come out with us any more. She’s started drawing and painting. She really enjoys it. She goes out to town and draws for some rich guys, maybe getting some useful information for us. She claims she’s had enough with excitement to last her a life time. You’ll see her when we dock."
Lina nodded. "So, why did you ask I was a pirate?"
"…we are only suppose to attack pirates. Zelgadiss uses Zelas’s information into good use. He calculates things and accurately predicts when pirate ships are coming. Xelloss can do that too if he wants to but he’s too lazy to do something that takes time, which that process does. But this time Zel was busy this time so we had Gaury do it."
"That’s a huge mistake." Lina declared. Gaury’s brain equaled that of a jelly fish.
"I know. So, we attacked the wrong ship. I guess I’m sorry about that. Didn’t mean to attack you guys. Although there were a bunch of treasures…why?"
"Oh, those are Amelia’s. Ever heard of the Seyluun Family?" Val shook his head. "Well, it’s this wealthy family that owns 1/5th of this world. Amelia is to inherit some of that land and she bought a few of her possessions along with her."
"Why are you traveling with her? Are you her maid or something?"
"No, no!!" Lina laughed out loud. "Amelia promised me a portion of the land. I’ve been her friend for a few years now. My family goes back pretty far with hers. Besides, it was either I go with her or be married off to some snob in the city."
"You were raised as a lady weren’t you?"
"My family tried to, didn’t exactly work the way they dreamed it to be though. They imagined me to be attending balls and social events willingly. But I turned out HATING them!!" Lina jumped off the desk.
"Well, you are one heck of a woman. I’ll give you that much. …I’ll also warn you about Xelloss. I know that guy, I’m his friend, for some god known reason, for crying out loud. Don’t get involved with him, worse yet, don’t fall in love with him. He’s really merciless. I’ve seen him with a bunch of women but never did one keep his interest for more than a night. Just don’t get involved, keep your distance."
"…I thought you said you were his friend."
"I AM!! But I know him all too well. He doesn’t believe in loving someone else, with the exception of Lin. But that’s because he grew up with her. He doesn’t know how to…I think. That’s what I wanted to tell you. It was probably my only chance to."
"…Don’t worry. I plan on getting away from this place soon. Besides, if I’m not a pirate, Xelloss doesn’t have my fate, I’m not his ‘treasure’. He’d release me soon."
"don’t be so sure of that. Well, I’ll get going. Bye Lina."
"See you Val."
Lina sat down on the bed. What she said was true. Once Xelloss found out she wasn’t his ‘treasure’ he’d probably be more than happy to let her go. But did she want that? She wanted to start a new life in a new land. That was something she knew for sure. Still…still.
"So, that’s the story." Lin finished as she sat down on the desk in the room. It wasn’t as fancy as the one Lina was in, all the furniture was made out of plain brown wood. And there were a lot of books aboard. It was the room primarily that Zelgadiss, Xelloss and Shilfiel used. Mainly as a study, but Lin would come in here when she wanted to discuss important matters with Xelloss.
Gaury was currently in the room as well though. Not because he wanted to be there but more because he was out of choice. His face told everything. He was uncomfortable and wanted to leave.
"Ah, I’m sorry for what I did…" He said and stole a glance at Xelloss who had his eyes closed and his mouth set in a straight line. "I mean…I know that I made a mess out of things… so what’s my punishment. I want to get it over and done with."
"None." Xelloss stated. "There is no punishment for you."
Gaury’s eyes opened wide and his mouth dropped open. He pointed at Xelloss and then looked at Lin, who was equally shocked.
"Why?" Gaury finally managed after he got over his initial shock.
"At least for now. Neesan can decide what your punishment is. I have no desire to inflict one on you." Xelloss then started to leave the room and stopped at the door, remembering something. "Don’t tell this to Lina-san or the others. Neesan will be the one to chose."
"…But if Lina is not a pirate then you don’t have her fate, and she isn’t your treasure." Lin replied. "Plus Amelia knows, that’s how I found out."
"Correction Lin. It may not be right to have her fate, but I plan on keeping it, as for her being my treasure, she still is. Don’t tell too much of this to Amelia-san then, and make sure to tell Val to not tell it to the other one." Xelloss smiled at his younger sister before he left the room.
His mind focused on the girl that had so many emotions running through her mind. Xelloss doubted he would ever find another as interesting as she was. He planned on keeping her his, no matter what the price.