1. Rescue and Plunder! (part 3)

          “I can’t believe you!” Firious hissed in the young pirate’s ear. “Where did the lass come from? I do not recall her being part of the plan at all! We don’t even know who she is! How do we know we can trust her? What if she ─  ”

          “Firious, try to be reasonable. I couldn’t have just ─  ”

          “Oh, no! Not you and your heroics again! Every damsel in distress, every god-forsaken sailor, you have to endanger the mission to save them, don’t you? You truly are your father’s son! He drove me crazy doing the same thing when I served under him. (May he rest in peace.) Why I agreed to serve under you too, I have no idea.” Firious stomped off muttering complaints about teary-eyed dames and the multiple chests of gold he never got to open because of the captain.

          Less than twenty minutes later, they were inside the treasury, pocketing as many riches as they could carry. Abhorred, Hataru watched begrudgingly silent as they hid away every last coin, necklace, and jeweled crown within record time. She wanted to scream at the dirty thieves for pickpocketing her beloved father's ship, yet her thoughts of escaping her original captors kept her mouth shut.

          Sneaking back to the main deck was uneventfully boring, until they reached the dark mahogany door that opened up onto the main deck. Out in the open, the rest of Levi’s men were still locked in battle against Hataru’s captors. As if on cue, all of Levi Spry's men charged across the deck to the starboard side. A plank was lowered from their ship, Jupiter’s Revenge, onto the deck and they rushed aboard with their plundered goods. Captain Levi stood watch at the base of the makeshift ramp, making sure that all his crew was accounted for. Before he ran up, however, he extended his hand out to Hataru.

          “Aren’t you coming?” he asked generously, tilting his head. “I can’t believe that you’d want to stay on a ship with those thugs who locked you up for another minute.”

          Hesitant as ever, she slipped the chains from her wrists, trying to choose. Should she go, or should she stay? When she looked out on the deck of her father’s ship, she saw her captors’ unconscious bodies strewn in disarray. At some point they would wake up, and then where would she be? Back in the dusty closet with moldy food not even fit for rats. Her decision was made. Slowly reached out, accepting his offer, and allowed him to guide her up the plank. “Okay,” she said, her voice soft and unsure, still very skeptical. Hataru hadn’t asked for an adventure, but that is certainly what she had received.

The End

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