As we headed for the ship, Valentsar loping ahead like a small child, gleeful at the thought of fulfilling his dream of being a pirate, the remaining pirates fell to the hands of the villagers. Destran spoke to them at the bottom of the steps to the ship, congratulating them on their strength and bravery.
"Rest assured that upon my return to the castle, the news of your bravery shall be heard throughout the land."
The villagers cheered, and I felt the corners of my mouth twitch in a proud smile to see the man Destran had become. Jack Valenstar was prancing around the ship when we boarded, singing a jig I had heard comng from the bows of pirate ships. There seemed to be a lot of a substance called rum involved in the pirating business.
"Taking the ship will allow us to pass the castle without being seen, and we will be able to visit the sievere caves and then go on to the marshes with ease." Destran announced, taking out his map. I watched him pouring over it with interest for a while, then went to join Lyra, who was staring out across the village.
"He will be along soon." I promised her, knowing she was anxious for Zahkon.
"I know." She stated, then turned to face a still jigging Jack. "I do believe our first impression of him was wrong you know." She said quietly.
"I admit that he will gain some of my respect for saving your life, but his lack of respect and general character continues to annoy me. This display however," I pointed to his strange song and dance, "is amusing."
Lyra smiled and squeezed my hand lightly.
"I wish you could find your soul mate Yara. Then you could know how happy the world seems. Perhaps it is Destran?" She said, looking over at him. My gaze also strayed to him but I only allowed myself a moments glance before turning to face the village again.
"I do not think so. There is too much history... we are so different. Besides, I have not thought about him like that, any more than I am sure he has about me." The slight lie was difficult to tell, but I could not allow Lyra to think that I had been imagining whether Destran and I would be together. My mind had simply considered that it might happen, but now I was sure that it had been the mountain air making me act that way.
Lyra sighed and shook her head, but turned to face the village with me once more. At that moment we both spotted Zahkon approaching, but he would not climb upon the boat. Lyra ran down to him, and after a few minutes, seemed to begin trying to persuade him of something.
"What is the matter?" I heard Destran call, and Zahkon answered immediately.
"I will not step foot on that strange object!"
I called down, attempting to encourage him. A thought had struck my mind.
"Zahkon, you must come on board. It is how we will travel, and Lyra will be on board. She will need you to protect her if we run across another pirate ship!"
Zahkon's face changed, and I saw that this possibility had not occured to him. Then he resumed his stony look.
"Then she shall travel with me on land."
"Oh no she won't." I cried, annoyed. "You must learn to like the water, if not love, because it is a large part of Lyra's life which you cannot ignore! The ship is made of wood, surely that will be comfort enough to you?"
"Trees were killed to make this abomination."
"Zahkon, please." I heard Lyra beg.
The change in Zahkon's face was noticeable, as his stony countenance that showed refusal changed, not without putting up a fight, in to one of resigned obedience. He allowed Lyra to pull him up the steps and on to the boat. Once he was on board, Jack began shouting.
"Ahoy mateys, let us be off, for the seven seas are to be explored and I'll wager me parrot that landlubber will be sick more times than I can count on me peg leg!"
"That made no sense." Destran said, while Brena giggled and allowed Jack to pull her in to his insane dance.
As we set sail I watched the land grow further away, felt the waves roll underneath, and heard the unpleasant sound of Zahkon wretching in to a bucket.