While travelling back to Crescent isle, Vyse, Aika and Fina gets stranded on a deserted isle. For how long will they have to endure... and will they be saved?
And so the days passed, with some fruit-gathering, fishing, cooking, checking the sky for ships, and an occasional friendly scuffle. These often concluded in Vyse’s victory, unless Aika and Fina stuck together against him.
One day it had rained. They were all set-up for a moonstone hunt. Unfortunately they didn’t find a single one. However, they had taken the occasion to collect more water. The pond wouldn’t last forever. They also had to ration the food, and only had one meal every day.
When three days had gone, both Fina and Aika became disheartened. Not that they were in despair, but they grow more accustomed to the thought that perhaps their visit would be a long one. Vyse was determined to not have Aika and Fina’s spirits go down.
“We will get through this, one way or another,” he said, while they were sitting around their campfire, “We’ve been through harder times than these. And the company sure couldn’t get worse… I mean bette….”
“What did you just say there!?” Aika snarled.
“No, I meant…”
“Now that’s it! For that, we’ll put you in the pot and cook you!”
“No,” Fina said, “Better let him do something practical. Make us dinner for the rest of our stay.“
“Good thinking,” Vyse said. “I've always wanted to put you two on a diet.”
Their reaction didn’t surprise him a bit. If his common sense didn’t tell him, the killer-eyes Aika and even Fina (to a slight degree) gave him spoke their clear meaning. No mercy would be given.
“Battle-posts, Fina,” Aika said, “Take the left side.”
“There will be nothing left,” Fina said, perfectly demonstrating that she knew what a pun was, “I’m locked and loaded.”
“Okay!” Vyse said and stood up, preparing himself, “Bring it on!”
Aika and Fina flung themselves upon him from either side. It didn’t take long until he started to loose his balance, and only having one pair of arms to fend them away with didn’t help much either. Vyse moved his left foot backward to get a more stable foothold; he could already feel the beginning of a tripping up. Luckily, he was prepared for this. Vyse evaded the trap, got a better grip around Fina and Aika and pushed them together. Split up, they were dangerous. A one-front war was preferable; he might even get a chance.
Aika then slipped behind him and tried to lock his arms. Vyse wriggled loose at the last moment, but meanwhile Fina had grabbed him around his waist, trying to shove him over her outstretched foot. Vyse swiftly jumped over, turned around, and immediately got a whole load of Aika and Fina to deal with.
Aika suddenly thrust out with her hand straight into Vyse’s face. Not to injure him, but to cover his eyes. Fina followed up with a hard push. But as Vyse held on to them, both Fina and Aika joined their captain on his stumbling backward trip. He started to fall, but at the last moment he twisted around so that his opponents hit the ground before he did. On the impact, both Aika and Fina tried to wring loose from Vyse’s grip, but he had them pinned down.
“Hah, that was easy,” Vyse said triumphantly. “Taught you a lesson, didn’t I?”
“Yeah,” Aika said, “That you weigh a ton, you’re squashing us.”
“It’s all muscle, if you know what that is.”
“Was that a question?” Fina said, puzzled, “You really shouldn’t ask me for definitions.”
“At least you’ve been taught what oppression means,” Aika said.
“Pay no attention to her,” Vyse said. “I never do…”
“Neither do I,” Fina filled in.
“What!?” Aika exclaimed, “Whose side are you on, anyway!?”
“The one that won, of course.”
Vyse grinned widely, loosened the grip around them both and stood up. Small playful disputes like these made their stay more bearable. It gave them something else to focus on. Just for a moment, they could forget that they were stranded. If they felt better using him as some sort of punching-bag, it was worth it… as long as he won of course.
As usual, Aika woke first. She didn’t sleep unnecessarily long, and now she had additional reasons; if any ships passed them by, it wouldn’t be because they slept in.
She jumped out of bed, made a quick fix with her braids, and gathered her other accessories. She was already dressed. Not because of lack of a nightgown, but if she needed to rush out and light up the signal-fire it would take too long to dress. And if they wanted to reward the one who might save them, the reward should not consist of seeing Aika in her lingerie. If anyone did, they would get a close-up of her boomerang. Before they conked out.
Fina and Vyse were fast asleep. Vyse’s bare foot hung teasingly out from his hammock. The temptation was big indeed, Aika could already feel her fingertips tingle, and her wrist almost by reflexes started to twist in his direction. Tempting, but she decided to let him remain sleeping.
On the way out, she stopped by the pantry to make a sandwich. Breakfast was not to be missed. After that, she pondered on whether to go get a praline. Just for once her better self won; after all it was Vyse who had bought them in the first place.
When she had everything she needed, she went to the lookout, where their signal-fire awaited. She sat down, with her gaze towards the west, her thoughts wandering.
How would things be if no one would pass by? What if they remained here for the rest of their lives? No, just like Vyse had said, there was hope for rescue. But if no rescue would come for them, wasn’t there anything they could do? Sending Cupil away was maybe a bit risky. Or they could wait for Vyse to grow a beard, and then use it to twine a rope-bridge. Only problem with that was that they would have to wait several years for it to grow long enough to make it over to Valua. Plus, Aika could already imagine Vyse’s reaction to her suggestion. He’d probably stare at her like she was crazy and then say something mean about her little head.
Yeah, sounds funny coming from Mr-nothing’s- impossible. Hey, not bad! Gotta remember to say that!
Vyse would sure have a hard time arguing against her proposal, beaten by his own words like that. Being the eternal optimist that he was. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It was great to have someone who never stopped fighting. Thanks to him and his attitude, firm resolve and refusal to give up; Galcian had been defeated and the world saved.
Even if no rescue came, well, Aika was together with her two best friends in the whole world, so it wouldn’t be all too bad.
No ships arrived. The sky lay bare. The day passed, and it became dinnertime.
“I never thought I’d say this,” Aika sighed, “But I’m starting to loose my appetite for apples.”
With wide eyes, Vyse stared at Aika just like he had seen a ghost. Even Fina seemed amazed. Vyse leaned forward and carefully tugged Aika’s braids.
“It IS really her,” Vyse said, “But I still can’t believe it. Fina, you heard that too, right?"”
“Shaddap with you!” Aika snarled, grabbed an apple and threw it at Vyse’s forehead.
Aika had thrown loose enough so that Vyse wouldn’t get hurt. He caught the fruit on the return-bounce and started to devour it.
“I’m almost agreeing with you,” Fina said, “Even though they are very healthy.”
“Maybe not. Eating a whole lot of fruit isn’t really good for ya. I’ve heard that the pips of the apples can take root inside your body, and a fruit-tree will grow up from your head, and after that… hey, why are you at me looking so strange!?”
Vyse tried to imagine a tree growing out of Aika’s head, and branches through her ears, without any success. It was all too weird. Just like usual.
“You and your little head,” Vyse said, resigned, ”That’s impossible.”
“Hah! ‘Impossible is only a word’ and all that! Sounds familiar, does it? Does it?”
”Okay, it’s very farfetched.”
”Farfetched? Look, when Fina and I pick fruit from you, don’t come crying to me! Just hope we'll plant you someplace nice!”
Vyse shook his head. He said to Fina:
“She was just the same when she was a kid. See what I had to put up with?”
“Yeah, back then you actually believed all that,” Aika said, “Like the grimaces we thought would stick, remember that?”
“Sure, but I just wanted to see if it really worked.”
“It would have. If we just hadn’t been forced to go home and eat.”
“Didn’t we continue? Mum did tell us to stop.”
“Ha-ha, they must’ve been real saints for being able to put up with us!”
Fina collected her bowl and cutlery and started to get back to the Wave Line.
“I’ll go and scout,” she said over her shoulder.
“Okay,” Vyse replied. “Just tell me when you want a change.”
The silvite didn’t answer. Then again, looking into the skies was an easy task that didn’t call for linguistic skills or deep understanding in the acquisition and spending of money.
The day passed, and soon it was evening. Vyse and Aika retired back to the ship. Fina seemed to have settled for scouting a bit longer, even if the skies now were too dark to spot any ships.
An hour had passed, yet Fina still hadn’t showed up. Aika had dazed off pretty early, but Vyse remained awake. It wasn’t easy to rest knowing that someone still did her chores. Having settled his mind; he got out of his hammock, got dressed, and went out of the ship, to the lookout.
Fina sat there, just like when they had left her. Her face was turned towards the west. Cupil floated around her.
Fina turned. She smiled quickly, but only with her mouth. In her eyes laid a gaze that Vyse wasn’t really used to. But he didn’t like it. Cupil looked at Vyse with an expression that seemed to be almost concerned.
“What’s wrong?” Vyse asked.
“You seem a bit down.”
“I’m not,” Fina answered, “I’m just worried that maybe no one will come and save us. We could be stuck here for a long time.”
“Is that all?”
Fina’s weak smile was now gone. She turned down her gaze, and let it wander westward.
“No,” she said, “But at any rate, it was a long time ago, and it was not a big deal.”
“Anything that makes you sad is not ‘little’ for me,” Vyse said, and he really meant it.
“Thank you,” Fina said, “I appreciate your concern, but I’d rather not talk about it, because…” She seemed to get stuck.
“Because of what?”
“… because you would just feel guilty.”
Vyse had expected a lot, but not this. Whatever did Fina mean by that?
“What have I done?” he managed to say.
“Nothing,” Fina said, “I said you would feel guilty, but I don’t hold you responsible.”
“Then who is?” Aika’s voice said.
Vyse turned around, and saw Aika walking towards them. Apparently he hadn’t made such a quiet walk away after all. She stopped when she reached Vyse.
“Are you really sure it wasn’t that ‘big’ after all?” Aika said, “If there is something, you know you can tell us.”
These were well-put words, and Vyse settled for just nodding in agreement. Fina herself seemed to be lost in thought. It seemed as she was on the verge of speaking, but she kept quiet.
“Alright,” Fina said finally, “I’ll tell you.”
Aika and Vyse walked up to the little lookout and sat down on either side of Fina. Cupil floated right above their heads. Usually, the three of them were pretty open-minded around each other, and there were very few things they kept private. So this was not a usual occasion, and it was best that Fina was the one to start.
“First of all” she began, “I do enjoy hearing about your old memories, I really do. But today, I… It made me think of old times, when I was of that age as you were, back at the shrine. And eventually all bad things that happened after.”
So that’s why Fina thought they would feel guilty. Fina was selfless and dearly devoted to her two friends. But if it meant that she would have to keep her troubles locked up inside herself, it was no good. Friendship worked in both directions.
“Do you often think of it?” Aika asked.
“Sometimes,” Fina replied, ”At that time, it was my home. But it never felt like a home is supposed to, like Crescent. And up there, I never had the chance to… I feel I’ve missed so much.”
It would be a lie to assert that she hadn’t. Growing up at the silver shrine, isolated and alone, there were so many things she hadn’t had the chance to do, to have a normal life. All in all, it was far from perfect.
“I understand that they were hard times for you,” Vyse said. “They’re over now. You’ve had a bad start, but as every day passes, you’re catching up.”
“You do,” Aika said, “And you remember what I told you after the Battle of Soltis? When you asked if you could continue sailing with us?”
“Yes,” Fina replied, “I'll never forget it. You said: ‘We wouldn’t have it any other way’.”
“Yep. And that’s still on. It is possible to leave bad stuff behind, maybe not everything. It’s hard to do it on your own, but together. I've had bad things happen to me too. But I'm through with it now. Of course, it's not wrong to be sad, but there is a way out. Maybe I'm just rambling but… well. I just don't want you to feel low.”
“Even if you can’t forget, you can live with it,” Vyse said. ”But for all that it matters, Fina, don’t let it weigh you down. But if it does, we’ll be there.”
”I know," Fina answered, faintly, and then her face was lit up by a warm smile. "I know you will, and I’m so glad to have you with me."
“The feeling’s mutual,” Aika said.
This is happiness, Fina thought.
Indeed it was. Having two wonderful friends who would always stay by her side. They would always be there for her, without any other reason than it was her. They wanted to do that, just as much and for the same reason Fina wanted to be there for them. Together through thick and thin.
Always… Many years from now, she would’ve spent more time with Vyse and Aika than being alone. Would they still be together that long? Fina had learned the hard way that all things you held for eternally granted could crash down. But still… Fina knew that their fellowship was something special.
And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Vyse sat up at the lookout. He was all alone since Aika and Fina were at the pond to fresh themselves up. That meant that Vyse was, in Aika’s words, “extremely very much banned” from the east part of the isle, unless he wanted his “knees kicked in and jaw twisted out of joint”.
“What if I want to go blind?” had Vyse asked.
Fina had misunderstood Vyse’s teasing, and answered that Cupil might peck out his eyes.
“At least your last sight would be a lovely one,” Aika had grinned.
No thanks, he needed his eyes to keep watch. Several times he had thought he saw something, but they had all been false alarms. Away at the horizon, a flock of birds could be seen. At this distance, they only looked like black marks. Birds had it easy, Vyse thought. They didn’t need moonstones to stay in the air.
From the pond, splashes and shouts could be heard. Vyse shook his head to clear out the involuntary mental picture that suddenly appeared in his mind, but he wasn’t even tempted to turn his head. They were permanently banned from his already empty list on allowable-peeping-objects.
One of the birds seemed to have changed course, and flew towards the isle. It had separated totally from its flock. Also, it sailed very stiffly, just like a…
Vyse quickly reached for the binoculars and had a look. Yes! Sails, bulkheads, ship wings. Add all that and you got a ship. It was still a bit unclear, so Vyse tuned his eye-patch and watched through the binoculars one more time. Now he saw black sails and a flag with Jolly Roger.
If trouble could be smelled, it would stink.
Out here they were sitting koketas. He must warn Aika and Fina before…
Suddenly something jumped upon him from behind with such power he fell straight down. When he tried to stand up, he found his legs and arms pinned down.
“Ha-ha! We got him!” Aika shouted happily.
”Just like you said,” Fina said, ”Now, Vyse, will you make us dinner for the rest of our stay?”
“Else ye’ll get spanked like no tomorrow been ever seen!”
“Cut it out!!” Vyse snarled. ”We got Black Pirates coming in!!”
Two terrified gasps were heard. Aika and Fina immediately got off from Vyse and looked towards the west.
“Are you really sure?” Fina asked, worried,”Did you really see them?”
“And are they really coming this way?” Aika said.
This was no good. Even if it was a dire situation, they had to act. The odds weren’t on their side, but they had to do the best they could.
“Listen up,” Vyse said, decisively. “We’ll still have time before they come in range. Until then we should load the cannons and arm the torpedoes. But before that, strengthen the signal-fire.”
“That’ll just give them even more clues on how to get here!” Aika said.
”They’ll get here anyway,” Vyse said. “But we’ll need all help we can get, the more the better.”
Fina had already started to add more logs to the fire. The smoke pillar arose with greater intensity and height. With the fire fixed, the three Blue Rogues went into the ship and prepared both cannons and torpedoes. The Wave Line wasn’t really a powerhouse, thus any help could mean the difference between win or loss, or even life or death. Maybe they would fare better off in a fight on the ground? But it was not very like Black Pirates to avoid shooting a stranded bird.
Using barrels from the cargo, they managed to make a barricade at the ship's entrance. The Wave Line was a big target, but they’d last longer in here, rather than out in the open.
“Bring up all the ammunition,” Vyse said. “It’s no use for us in the cargo bay.”
Meanwhile, Fina had hatched a plan of her own. It sure sounded good, but it would leave her defenceless. Well, the Black Pirates had to be delayed for as long as possible.
Outside, the sounds of cannons could be heard. Fortunately none of the shots made it to the isle. They were still relatively safe.
“Be ready to fire,” Vyse said. “Let’s show them who they’re dealing with!”
There were no doubt Vyse was certain of his words. His courage and determination was like a beacon in darkness. The Black Pirates couldn’t have wished for a worse enemy. Only trouble was that he had no ship on his own.
“Aim at the helm,” Vyse said, “At the same time.”
Aiming cannons from a ship that was still on the ground was a different experience. At the exact moment, they lit the fuse and soon three cannon-balls raced across the skies. Straight at their target. The projectiles smashed into their target with great force.
“Ha-ha!” Aika shouted, ”Didn’t expect that, did ya!?”
“Great shots!” Vyse said, ”Now, take their sails!”
“No!” Fina almost shouted.
Vyse and Aika turned to Fina.
“Why not?” Vyse said.
“You don’t need to.
Vyse was just about to ask Fina what in the six moons she meant by that when he looked out from the cannon-port and saw that the enemy ship was soon to be sail-less. Its sails hung loosely at the starboard side, and then fell down on the deck. It could easily be seen that the Black Pirates lost speed.
“I sent Cupil on an errand,” Fina said.
“Great, Fina,” Vyse said, “But let’s keep it up.”
With or without sails, the ship was hell-bent on its way to the isle. They kept coming closer and closer. Several cannonballs were fired. Some hit the Wave Line. Each shot came closer to the cannons themselves. The Blue Rogues answered as best as they could. But it was not enough to drive the Black Pirates back. All they could do was stall them.
“Oh, no!” Aika shouted, “Vyse, they’re moving to higher levels!”
Had it been a regular battle, Vyse would’ve just moved after them. But that was impossible now. The Black Pirates would move up and then let loose all they had in gunpowder and cannonballs, while he and his friends sat down on the ground. Down…
“Fina, keep them busy as long as you can with the cannons. If they go out of range, keep loading. Aika, get up to the bridge!”
“What will you do?” Aika asked.
“Sink ‘em, but I need your help. On my mark, fire the torpedoes.”
A booming crash was heard outside, and then the sound of the mast clattering down on the deck. While the silvite remained at the cannons, Aika rushed away to the bridge itself. The torpedoes could only be launched from up there.
“That seems to do it,” Vyse shouted, “Now, fire away!”
“You kiddin’ me!?” Aika said and pushed the button.
The torpedo was rocketed up from its tube and was already on its way to the Black Pirates.
“Be ready to launch one more!” she heard Vyse calling, “This will take them down!”
“It’s only a torpedo!” Aika yelled back, “It’ll take much more than that!”
“No! It’s gonna sink them! Now, fire!!”
With no clue to what Vyse meant with that, Aika pressed the button, sending one more torpedo on a one-way trip towards the Black Pirates.
“Good, now get back down here!”
Aika hurried down from the bridge to the cannons. Fina was in the middle of reloading the cannons, while Vyse looked out from the gunport.
"You made it just in time," Vyse said, "Alright, be ready to shoot them as soon as they've hit our level."
"Like how!?" Aika said, a bit angry. "Did you loose your brain somewhere or what! One or two torpedoes won't be enough!"
"Not to scuttle them, but… oh here they come! Look!"
Now the torpedoes fell from the skies, straight at the Black Pirates. Then they saw that the projectiles would pass, or maybe…
They could clearly hear the thundering crack as the torpedoes hit the target. The ship rapidly started to loose altitude.
"Bu.. but how…" was all Aika managed to say.
"Oh," Vyse said. "What I did back there was that I did some last-minute adjustment to the tubes. Basically, I increased the launching mechanism for the first torpedo. And they're archwale model. You know, the big, heavy ones."
"I see," Fina nodded, "And you managed to make both torpedoes hit at the same time?"
"It was hard, but yes. Though I've thought about it previously."
Aika couldn't help but agree that it sounded like a good plan. The ship was still sinking, however at less velocity. Soon it came down to their level. A hundred meters had never felt so short until now.
"Alright," Vyse said. "Be ready to…"
There, some distance away a new ship had appeared. Sleek, yet heavily armed. They recognised the flag at once. It was from the Valuan armada. Its smoking cannons told them that they were out for Black Pirates. And the direct hits told that there were good shooters aboard.
"Yaaaaaaay!!" Aika shouted, her clenched fist in the air.
"About time they come to our help," Vyse said.
Fina said nothing. In fact, she seemed nervous. That the armada had arrived was great, but there was one thing...
"What's the matter with you?" Aika asked.
"They're still close to us," Fina said. "And it's far longer between them and the armada rather than us."
"And the fastest way through would be…"
The fastest way for the Black Pirates to escape was to follow their course, since the Valuan ship lay behind. And that course would take them straight over the island. Maybe to three hostages…
"Prepare for ground assault," Vyse said, "Fina, you go get the handgun up at the bridge."
Fina darted away. Having no weapon on her own, she felt helpless. Hopefully Cupil was still alive.
Finding the gun wasn't hard, thankfully it was loaded already. It was one of these models that was armed with two bullets at the same time. Its weight felt comforting at this time of crisis, but still… With this weapon she would probably be forced to snuff out the fire of life for at least one person, maybe more. A human being in his best years who maybe didn't have any other choice but to sign up as a Black Pirate.
But if Fina's friends were in peril, and if they depended on her, she would do what was necessary.
When Fina got back down, she was greeted with a surprising sight.
"Pretty neat, eh?" Aika said, "Now THIS will amaze 'em!"
"It's unexpected, yes," Vyse said.
What Vyse and Aika had been doing was loosening one of the cannons and putting it out on the floor. Its gunpoint was aimed straight at the door. Aika stood ready with both her boomerang and a torch to light the fuse.
They were ready.
The rumbling sounds of ship-engines came closer and closer. Ship wings flapped rhythmically in the wind. The whole Wave Line seemed to vibrate and shake. Then they heard the swiiiish of something falling.
Only to be interrupted by a booming explosion. The whole ship shook, almost getting lopsided. The Blue Rogues had to struggle to keep on their feet. Unfortunately, the torch Aika held mistakenly swept past the fuse, igniting it.
"Dodge!!" Aika screamed.
The three Rogues threw themselves out of the way. The gunpowder was lit, and the cannon-ball flew out straight at the door. The cannon itself thrust backwards all the way across the room, and hit the wall with a loud crack. The door had been blown off its hinges.
"Whoopsie," Aika said, quite guilty. "That backfired, didn't it?"
No one answered her, since they noticed the sound of the Black Pirate ship. Or, the absence of it. Were they already gone? Or did they lie out, waiting?
"Maybe they just passed over us," Vyse said.
"I'll go and have a look," Fina said.
They saw Fina crossing the room, making her way to the door, having her weapon ready. She popped out her head, and had a look outside.
"It's alright," Fina said. "They're…"
She didn't get much further, until she gave up a yelp of shock, and staggered backwards. Without thinking, Vyse bolted forward with his cutlasses in hands. His only thoughts at that moment were: Stop him! But when he reached her, he saw that it was just…
"Oh, Cupil," Fina said, holding the small creature, "You scared me there, but I'm glad you're back."
Cupil beeped contentedly. Vyse exhaled in relief. Aika came out after him and patted Cupil. To the south, the Black Pirate ship could be seen. With smoking engines, they sailed on. Good riddance.
The Wave Line's exterior was badly damaged. The mast laid broken in half, black soot and shrapnel confirmed Vyse's feeling that the pirates had dropped a bomb on them. The ship was down, but not out. And they had made it through. As far as Vyse was concerned, they had won.
"Good thing he could slow them down," Vyse said, and lightly boxed Cupil, "I'm never gonna get angry at Cupil again for stealing my socks."
"What!?" Aika said, "Does he?"
"You can't do that, they're not yours," Fina said to Cupil, without thinking of the slight absurdity in the ‘crime’, "No, it doesn't matter if you like them or not. You didn’t take them when he was wearing them?"
"He likes them!?" Aika exclaimed, "Fina, whatever did you do wrong when you raised him?"
"What's so wrong with my socks, if I may ask?" Vyse said, mildly offended.
"Nothing, it's just… I mean, after the MoonStone cannon, your socks are the most hazardous weapons we ever have at our disposal. If you just threw them on Reccumen, we wouldn't have to bail."
"Ha! It's not gonna be that easy! Anyway, he's gone and done for anyway."
The Valuan ship had now arrived to their isle. After checking through the ship, and finding out just who it was that had been marooned, Vyse managed to get the Wave Line partly repaired and stocked up on fuel. And finally, after many days of being stranded, Vyse, Aika and Fina left the island with the course set on Crescent Isle.
Finally home again! As the three Blue Rogues had left the ship, they decided to leave the unloading for tomorrow. Dinner seemed more tempting. Eventually, Vyse’s past plan on how to leave the isle had crept out. Aika and Fina were not exactly joyous about the fact that Vyse had deliberately decided to keep his plan away from them. But after he had explained his reasons, and that his plan wouldn’t have worked anyway, they brightened up. At that moment, Aika seemingly hatched a plan for a “combined punishment and reward” and managed to talk Fina into it. Vyse had been caught totally off guard. Unexpected, but not too bad actually. Just one each… on the cheek.
After their dinner, they took a swim in the pool. Aika could sure work on her swimming-skills, but she had become better. Limits were meant to be overcome, as Vyse always said.
At the evening they sat up at the meeting-room, watching the sun set. All past worriness and tension were gone. It felt so nice to just sit back and relax.
“Maybe we got a little side-tracked there,” Vyse said, “But we fixed it together. Not even a whole ship of Black Pirates can stop us.”
“We are like we are,” Aika said, “That’s why we made it through. And it’s darn good being home again.”
“Home is where your heart is,” Fina said.
All three of them thought that if it were really so, no one of them had been very far from home at all. But no one said it out loud. It was obvious. And also, a bit cheesy.
Many, many thanks to ff.net user Kkcty for proofreading.