14. Leap of Faith (Page 2)

“There, there. Calm down.” Antenor patted her back lightly.

Levi’s airmen began emerging from their sleeping places, woken by the roar of their now monstrous captain. Firious ran over to them and demanded, “What in gill-grated night is going on?”

“The Kresreb has taken hold of the captain. Go get as many men as you can and prepare them for battle. Things could get ugly, real soon.”

The first mate darted away, sounding off orders, “Martin! Grab your sword! Torian, wake up your brother…”

“I should have realized what was going on earlier,” Antenor sighed, “Now due to my ignorance, the ship is in a lot of trouble. I’m afraid, Miss Hataru, that you might be the only person who can help him.”

“Why's that? What’s a Kresreb?” she sniffed.

“We have a few moments before the beast returns. Let me explain,” They slumped together against the banister, “There was once a magician-warrior named Ursine Kresreb who lived in a far off land. He used his talents to serve his kingdom, but that often caused him to neglect his personal life. One night, he found his sweetheart, Bicarra, in the arms of another man, and in his rage, he mistakenly cast a spell upon himself, transforming him into a wild beast.”

“Are you implying that the captain has become this Kresreb monster?”

“That’s right.”

“But Captain Spry isn’t a magician! …right?

“Oh, no. Captain Spry is many things, but he is most definitely not a magician.”

“Okay, well then how does this Kresreb guy relate? What happened to him anyway?”

“The monster practically consumed poor Ursine from the inside out, and it quickly slaughtered Bicarra and her secret lover. The village folk were forced to slay the beast, killing Ursine as well.”

“How sad… but I still don’t understand how the captain turned into this monster.”

“Apparently, when Ursine cast his final hex, he did not cast it upon himself, but on his shirt. Levi must have found it up in Nosa’s cave.”

“Why would it have been up there?”

“Well,” Antenor scratched his neck, “I bought it. The man who sold it to me told me it’s tale, but I didn’t believe him. It was Nosa’s favorite color, you see, and that was before we were anything more than captain and first mate. But I knew from the moment I saw her that I would love her for all eternity, so I wanted to impress her in any way that I could. I don’t think it had the exact effect I wanted, but turning into that monster might have been the best thing that ever happened to me. It definitely brought us together.”

“Wait. You have become the Kresreb? How?

“While I was wearing the shirt, I saw her talking with one of the crewmen one evening, and,” he wrung his hands, “I was jealous. I didn’t like the thought of her with anyone else, and the beast immediately took control. I think that’s all it takes to activate the spell ─ that burning emotion of envy; it’s what sparked it for both Ursine and myself, and I’m sure that must be it for Captain Levi as well.”

“But… what could he possibly be jealous about?”

The End

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