And She Said She Loved Me... Chapter 3
Ronland looked forward and saw the rising green ahead. They would reach shore in under an hour. He didn't have the man power to take on unknown enemies in international land, so he would make it quick. Snatch the first cute little Jowston girl he sees, get back to the ship and get home as soon as he could.
Ronland felt a tug on his tunic. He turned around to meet his advisor, Braja.
"If you touch me like that again you're spending the night in the dungeon when we get home."
"Please sire, not with the lepers!"
"Quit your complaining. What do you want?"
"I have come again to dissuade you from your course of action. I think kidnapping women from alien territory is a new low, even for Mooranjra. Couldn't you just have a woman grow her hair back, have all those unsightly metals, as you call them, removed? She'd look like any girl you'd find here."
"I could do that. But I couldn't change her heart. It's bad enough I'm getting married. I'm not gonna end up with some prostitute like any other in Mooranjra. I'm different from the Mooranjrans, and I demand a different wife!"
"Civilians would probably kill her out of jealousy.."
Braja knew this meant the final word, and kept his mouth shut till they landed.
It was nearly mid afternoon before Jan and Kasumi decided to get up from bed and get dressed. They went down to Marie's inn, which was still open in Toran Castle until Gregminster was fully restored. They had Antonio make some of his finest meals and pack them in a sturdy basket. They got aboard Jan's private ship and set off to the western coast, where they would have a romantic picnic on the beach while the sunset.
Jan loved all the rebuilding that was going on; Gregminster, Village of the Elves, all of it. He wouldn't serve as the country's leader until the capital was revived. This gave him about another year before he had to live the life of a politician. Maybe he could appoint Lepant as president and live the rest of his life in Toran Castle...with Kasumi.
It hadn't even been twenty-four hours since they became involved with each other, but both of them were young,, lust filled, and didn't care. They had both yearned for each other for a long time, and that surely counted for something.
The river flowed straight into the ocean, so all they needed to do was dock and find a comfortable spot.
When the settled down, they could see a ship in the far distance.
"What's that?" Kasumi asked.
"It must be a trade ship. There's a port town not too far from here which imports plenty of lumber."
Jan opened up the basket with their food the same as when Antonio had made it. Of course, Antonio hadn't made any hot food, for if he did, it would be cold by the time they were ready to eat. So he made food which can be enjoyed when not warm. It was mainly different kinds of breads, some dried venison, and the land's finest wine.
They discussed childhood and family over the venison and bread. When they started their wine it was beginning to get dark. They didn't care. They were on no deadline.
The ship was about a mile from reaching the port.
Ronland stared over the deck and looked at the beautiful beach. Moonranjra didn't have nice scenery like this. Perhaps they would someday invade this land and claim it as their own, when Ronland was king.
"Braja! Bring me the eye-piece!"
Braja, a short, fat man with shaved off hair and slightly lighter skin than most people of their country, hurried up from his cabin bringing a long telescope. He handed it to his future king.
Ronland peered through, scanning the layout and looking for a camp sight for the night. He spotted a man and a woman sitting on the beach, drinking wine.
"Braja, tell the captain to anchor near that beach, our men will row to shore. I've found my wife."
"Today has been magical..." Kasumi said.
"Yes...it has." Jan smiled.
"Why is that boat turning?" Kasumi asked, gesturing toward the ship.
"The port is closed for the night and they're just docking to set up camp. They were probably expecting to complete their delivery before it got too late."
"Can you hold me tight? I want nothing more right now than to be held in your strong arms, and watch as the day fades into night...did you just call me love!?"
Jan, not realizing what he had said, was at full attention, but was soon at ease again.
"Yes...I..I guess I did.."
"I love you, too...."
"We've only been together for a day..."
"Love can't tell time." Kasumi said and gave Jan a deep, lingering kiss.
The ship was now docked and rowboats were coming to shore. If Jan had bothered to pay heed, he would've recognized the curious features of a Mooranjran, but all he cared about was his first love, Kasumi. He could hear the men climbing out of their boats and walking on the shore. Jan pushed Kasumi away for a second to notice a dozen figures forming a disarrayed circle around them. He suddenly wish he still had his rune. A figure that didn't quite look like the others stepped forth and offered his hand.
Jan looked puzzled. Who are you?
"I'm the future king of a country named Mooranjra. It is far to the west. I don't know if you've heard of it. We have isolated away from Jowston due to certain differences, but as king I want to get rid of such prejudices. I have come seeking the Emperor of Jowston for an alliance."
"Jowston is but a small land mass. All this land belongs to President Jan McDohl, leader of the new Toran Republic. My name is Ryu. I am just traveling with my wife, Soia. We would like to enjoy our romance in peace, if we may."
Jan felt a sudden rush of pain from behind. He could feel blood trickle out of the back of his head before he collapsed onto the sandy ground.
"Jan, huh? Men, get the girl onto the ship. I would like to get out of here before anyone else other than our little silent witness here sees us!"
Kasumi grabbed the man and jumped high in the air, then came down slamming him hard into the ground. All of his men immediately rushed forth, and finally managed to bind Kasumi without suffering serious injuries.
"Witch!" Ronland said, getting to his feet. He slapped her hard across the face.
"Sir, perhaps we should leave these two alone. They seem so happy, and there are plenty of fish in the sea."
"Fool! If we let them go about their business they would alert their navy and our route would be cut off. We would be fed to the beasts or whatever sort of punishment they offer in this strange country. And most importantly, I wouldn't rule over Mooranjra!"
"Sorry, sir. Perhaps it would be wiser for me to keep quiet the rest of our journey."
"That's another thing! I am soon to be king. 'Your Mastership' or another suiting title would be more respectful."
"Yes, master." Braja replied, trying to conceal the sarcasm.
"Now, men, get the girl on the ship."
Kasumi made no effort to resist. She feared the worst for Jan. Was he dead? Oh God...the thought made her sick. Her face was a ghostly white, and her lips were slowly fading to an icy blue.
She was thrown roughly into a crude, wooden boat.
"Don't rough her! She is to be your Queen!" Ronland shouted fiercely.
"Yes, your kingship."
Kasumi wondered about Jan on her short trip to the boat. Please, God. Let him be alive!
When the Mooranjrans finally reached the ship, Kasumi was gently lead to Ronland's cabin, and was soon joined by Ronland himself.
"Don't look so sad. You are soon to be the wife of the most powerful man in Mooranjra."
His bald head, dark skin, and black eyes gave Kasumi the creeps.
"You shall be queen! Do you not understand that!?"
Kasumi gave no reply. She stared blankly at the wall.
The man delivered a painful punch to Kasumi's lip. She touched a finger to her mouth and saw drops of blood when lifting her hand up. She sat down and said nothing.
"Guards!" he screamed. Three men ran in brandishing scimitars. Kasumi realized she was at their mercy.
"Alright, heathen! You shall return to Mooranjra with me, but not as my wife, you will return as my slave! Braja, stay here with the girl and don't let your sight off her. I wish to be alone for the remainder of our journey."
An enraged Ronland left the room in a huff and the three guards returned to their posts.
"I'm sorry, Miss Soia. Ronland...isn't a good man."
"What was that?"
"My name's Kasumi."
"Oh.." replied Braja.
"His ancestor was once a noble of Jowston, as well as several others. The others changed their names, but not the first Ronland Korsair. He bore that name proudly. But I fear our new master shall not have any children, or if he does he won't let them continue the name of Ronland Korsair."
"I'd like to have five minutes alone with him." Kasumi said half to herself.
"Yes, at times I'm displeased with the young master."
'Young master..' Kasumi thought, remembering Jan.
"Braja, is that your name?"
"Yes, it is."
"I would like to get off this ship."
"Ha! Not even I refuse to betray his kingship! Anyone who betrays the king gets a public execution."
"What kind of execution?" Kasumi asked, curious.
"We throw traitors into a chamber filled with monstrous beasts!" Braja replied, and remained silent, letting his words sink in.
"Well, you know what Ronland plans to do with you, since you're his slave now...don't you?"
"The last woman who defied him and was made his slave, was constantly beaten, raped, and burdened with an impossible amount of work. Every day she pleaded for death, but it never came. We last saw her motionless body on the streets. We believe she jumped to her death, or was thrown by Ronland."
"Jan will come for me."
"Oh no, I'm afraid he's quite dead. When I aim to kill, I kill!"
"I'm terribly sorry. I was only obeying his majesty."
"What kind of beastly country is this? Jan will come for me! If not, then Fuma and Hanzo, and the ninjas of Rokkaku will come, or somebody will, and your little country shall fall before the hand of the Toran Republic. None of you will be spared, for when you kill somebody's leader and enslave his love, you can only expect vengeance, and nothing else!"
"If I was up to it, I could kill you, Ronland, and everybody on this ship before you could scream for help. I am a skilled ninja trained in stealth tactics."
"Then why don't you? You said you wanted off this ship. Nobody's stopping you from killing us all."
"I was also taught to avoid bloodshed at all costs."
Braja remained silent.
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