Review: Star Wars: LOST STARS Manga Vol 2 #StarWars #Review #Writing #Fantasy

 

The conclusion of the thrilling manga adaptation of Claudia Gray’s Star Wars Lost Stars novel! What does destiny have in store for Thane and Ciena?

  • Series: Star Wars Lost Stars (manga) (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press (September 3, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1975327543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1975327545
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches

 

Okay, you all know my love of Star Wars and how rarely I do book reviews. Let me preface this by saying that I am a fan of the Lost Stars story. I did a review of it previously which can be read here.

Though I did not do a review of the first Lost Stars Manga Volume, I will admit that I loved it. The story stayed true to the original novel, the art was well done, and for a fairly cheap price, it was a good buy and a good read… for the most part. Let’s get into the nitty gritty, shall we?

Setting:
As with the novel, the story takes place before, during, and after the events of the Trilogy. Key places include Jelucan, the Death Star, the Executor, Hoth, and the cruiser Liberty.
Cienna is a farmer from a fairly backwards area on the planet, while Thane is considered more of a noble birth from the same world.

What I liked:
It follow the story very closely, though I felt the characters’ affection for each other a lot more in this as you could actually see the emotion on their faces. Artist Yusaku Komiyama does an amazing job capturing facial features and emotions. One striking thing I did notice about the characters is that, while the images on StarWars.com and Wookiepiedia paint Ciena as closer to African American, the Manga… at least around her eyes and hair to an extent, make her look more like she originated in the Indian area on Earth. That’s my opinion anyway, but the shape of her eyes kind of match those that I’ve seen in both Indian/Arabian Cartoon characters.

What I didn’t like:
We don’t really spend a whole lot of time in various locations. I wish we got to explore some of them a little more, though to Lost Stars’ credit, in the first Volume, we did actually get to see the destruction of Alderaan from the perspective of people on the surface, which was an interesting touch.

Story:
Again, as with the Novel, the story revolves around two new Characters; Thane and Cienna. It surrounds their friendship and surrounds their thoughts on events from the original trilogy and how it affects them. They’re both assigned to posts either on or near the Death Star and when it’s destroyed, they both fear for each other’s safety. The story appears to be a round about   Romeo and Juliet style story where one character (Thane) becomes disillusioned with the Empire and joins the Rebellion, where Cienna is honor-bound by her oath to remain with the Empire. Eventually, they do have to come head to head, on more than one occasion, which makes the story even more interesting.

What I liked:
Here we see how Cienna has to decide what is more important to her; the Empire or Thane. We see her struggle with the conundrum and eventually chooses him. Though she says this will be the only time, we see her do it again in another instance where she could have killed him or turned him in.

What I didn’t like:
The Manga, especially Volume 2 suffers from the same problems as the main novel. Arguably worse so. The story jumps pretty quickly from the Death Star to Hoth with little breathing room or character development. What’s worse, it’s all over the place. The first volume deals with the Battle of Hoth while the second volume cuts it out. The editing and placement of these scenes seem somewhat sloppy and hard to follow. Again, places and events that should not be passed over, are either barely mentioned or not acknowledged at all.

Characters:

(See the book review, not much to add here)

My Overall Assessment:
3/5 Stars
I’ve waited months for this volume to come out and honestly… was somewhat disappointed. It was painfully short compared to the first one, and what’s worse, I find out that it’s a three-part story, which means I have to wait another month (hopefully no longer) for the next segment. I enjoyed it, I loved the artwork, and of course the story is great, but I can’t overlook the shortfalls of this book. Even so, I still recommend it to everyone. It is a great read for those who love anime and/or Star Wars.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 2, Chapter 4

IV

 

San Sebastián appeared on the horizon as the Sun reached its height. Baltazar watched as the port grew larger in the distance. He turned the wheel a few more degrees to port and headed straight in, “My lads, we’ve come home.”

The wind was at their backs as the Specter glided into the harbor. The ship was a recognizable sight in this port and was always celebrated when she docked. Melisande came up on deck and watched as a few small sailboats and fishing vessels lined up alongside the Specter to guide her into the harbor.

Papi was also on deck and smiled as she appeared, “Sleep well, Messy?”

She nodded, “Baltazar does pretty nicely for himself. His cabin is more comfortable than my cell in the abbey!”

“He does,” Papi agreed, “well he’s a rather… extraordinary man.”

Melisande noticed a huge commotion on the docks as the Specter made its way to the pier, “What’s going on?”

“There’s a big celebration every time the Specter comes home.” He replied. “This ship is rather well known here and Baltazar is considered a local hero.”

“Because of his charity?” She asked.

“Aye,” Papi nodded, “but also because of his… reputation with the womenfolk.”

Melisande rolled her eyes, “Wonderful…”

Baltazar looked at Melisande suspiciously. Her reaction wasn’t what he expected. Did she like him? Papi began to worry, but decided to address it later as he had other duties to perform.

As the ship closed on the dock, Baltazar turned to his men, “Tie up the sails, let the current bring us in nice and slow.”

Melchior nodded, “Aye sir, secure the rigging, bring up the sails.”

The Specter’s sails rolled up as the ship neared the dock. Baltazar turned his ship half a degree to port and brought her up to the dock as gently as he could. He then called out to the men on deck, “Mooring lines.”

There were men waiting on the dock to tie up the Specter as she neared. His crew threw a few ropes over the side and secured their ends. The men on the dock tied up the ship and then accepted the walk ways that the crew put over the side. Two of the men took the desk from the back of the ship and brought it down the ramp to the crowd. There was a large group of merchants awaiting the goods that the Specter brought in.

Baltazar smiled at them, “Welcome to each and every one of you, we’ve got a lot of things to offload today for the right price.”

The crew waited as Baltazar marched proudly down the ramp and sat on a post behind the desk. His men brought down everything that they had taken from the Cristobal. One by one, each item was auctioned off to the merchants. It was quite a sight as every merchant almost seemed to be fighting over the goods.

Once everything had been sold, the money was transferred to Baltazar. He smiled at the merchants as they collected their new found items, “Thank you all very much. Remember, there will be more to come!”

Melisande watched Baltazar work. She couldn’t explain it, but she found something appealing about this childish rogue. He was fit, charming, and a fair man, but then she snapped out of it, and there are probably an uncountable number of other women who thought the same thing… and many foolish ones that still do!

Baltazar walked back aboard followed by crewmen carrying large chests full of coins that had paid for the goods. Melchior sat down at his desk and began to count the money. He was meticulous as he went through every jewel and every coin that they had received. Gilles went wide eyed at the size of the treasure.

After it had been gone over entirely, Gilles could wait no longer, “Well?”

Melchior looked up, “50 pieces a share.”

The men cheered as they lined up to receive the money. Each share was placed in a small leather pouch and handed to every member of the crew. Once they had their money, Baltazar smiled, “All shares have been well-earned and I am very proud of each of you. For those of you who have either signed on for one voyage or joined from other ships, good luck to you and I hope to see you back aboard at some point. Those of you who choose to stay with me, you have five days to enjoy your earnings as you see fit, then I want you back here to help get the Specter seaworthy again.”

Shouts went up from the deck and hats flew into the air as the crew cheered. Melisande stood against the railing away from the crew. She had a saddened look on her face as she watched the rest of the men celebrate.

Papi walked up next to her, “I will speak to the captain and see if we can get some supplies so that we can start our journey.”

She shook her head, “I’m going to miss this ship… This was an incredible ride. I wish I could stay onboard… more than anything…”

“You don’t mean that,” he replied sternly, “and you stand a better chance of living if we leave now.”

“I do mean it, Papi.” Melisande replied. “It just feels right…”

“What do you mean?” Papi asked.

She shook her head, “I… I don’t know, but for the first time, I feel like this is where I belong.”

Papi shook his head, “Well, unfortunately, it’s not up to us…”

Once Baltazar received his captain’s share, he made his way off of the aft castle and walked down to the main deck. Papi stopped him before he could disembark, “We’re ready to depart, Captain. I’m taking Messy out of here. I was hoping that you could provide us with some supplies before we go?”

Baltazar shrugged, “Yes, I could do that… yes… but, I’m afraid there’s a problem, old friend.”

“Captain?” Papi asked in a nervous tone.

Baltazar smiled, “I can’t let her leave.”

Papi glared at him, “Captain, with all due respect, this is not one of your mindless tavern wenches! She is important to me! I’ll not let any harm come to her, even if it means going against someone I respect as a friend.”

“You wound me, Mr. Clement.” Baltazar replied as a hurt look appeared on his face. “That you think I would be so blind as to not see that this woman is very special, far too much so to treat as a port of call.”

“Then what is the problem?” Papi asked. “Why won’t you let us leave?”

Melisande looked quizzically at Baltazar as she waited for his response. He returned her gaze, “If I just let you go, my crew might mutiny.”

“What?” Papi asked in a confused tone.

Baltazar sighed, “They spoke to me in open council, which as you know Papi, is every man’s legal right aboard this ship. They requested that I offer Melisande a position aboard ship as a full-share member of the crew.”

Melisande’s eyes lit up as she looked at Baltazar. Papi stepped in front of her and shook his head, “No, it’s far too dangerous, I can’t allow that!”

Baltazar smiled, “I know that, my old friend, but would you have me face a mutiny if I didn’t at least make the offer?”

“The crew really asked?” Papi asked.

“As I said, the crew has spoken in open council about her.”  Baltazar replied as he turned to Melisande. “It seems your ability to treat injuries, and your work ethic, trumps your gender. They have voted unanimously to invite you to remain on if you want to.”

Tears formed in Melisande’s eyes as a bright smile formed on her lips. Her eyes lit up even more than usual and shined brightly. She could not believe what she was hearing.

Baltazar reached into his sack, “Which reminds me…”

He pulled out one last leather pouch and handed it to her, “I believe this belongs to you.”

Melisande opened the bag to see 50 coins inside, a full share. Papi shook his head, “Her, a member of the crew? You can’t be serious! Before she came onboard, she’s never lived a day outside of the abbey!”

“But I am,” Baltazar replied, “She’ll serve as cabin… boy and healer. She’s already proven to be competent at both.”

He looked into her eyes as he continued, “That is of course… if you wish to sign on properly this time?”

The entire crew overheard their conversation, stopped, and looked to see what Melisande’s answer would be. They all looked on anxiously as Baltazar asked. Overwhelmed with joy, she grabbed Baltazar, hugged him tightly, and kissed him on the cheek.

Then, realizing what just happened, she pushed away from him with a nervous grin, “Um… it would be my honor to serve aboard the Specter. It’s all I ever wanted!”

Cheers went up from the men onboard. Baltazar smiled, “Excellent, that’s settled then.”

Morgan came up next to them and bowed his bandaged head to Melisande, “Milady, I be wanting to apologize for the way I been treating ye when ye first came aboard. Ye saved me life.”

She smiled, “All is forgiven. I got what I wanted. Perhaps we can be friends now?”

“Aye,” Morgan replied, “I’d like nothing better.”

He gave her a small salute as he turned to some fouled rigging. Gilles was tending to the helm, with a huge smile on his face from her reaction. Everything appeared to be coming together for all parties involved.

The celebration quickly ended when three lavishly dressed men accompanied by a battalion of soldiers approached the Specter, “Captain, we’ve got company, looks like they’ve got the king’s crest on their banner!”

Papi narrowed his eyes, “The king of Spain, what is he doing in San Sebastián?”

Baltazar turned his attention to the three men as they approached. He walked down ramp and on to the dock to meet them. The first man bowed to Baltazar, “Captain Baltazar de la Fuente, I presume?”

Baltazar returned the gesture, “You are correct good sir.”

The man smiled as he looked Baltazar over, “Your brother requests an audience with you, as soon as possible.”

The crew glanced at each other and whispered back and forth. Baltazar frowned, “You must be mistaken sir. I have no brother. I was orphaned at birth.”

“I see.” the man said with a smug frown. “Well then I shall have to tell King Philip, that he is mistaken about who he believes his brother to be.”

Louder gasps came from the crew. Melisande joined him on the dock, “Baltazar, King Philip?”

The man nodded, “Yes milady, your captain is the half brother of King Philip III of Spain.”

Melisande went wide eyed and she slowly backed away from Baltazar. Gilles walked down to the rail, unable to believe what he was hearing, “I don’t believe it, our captain is royalty?”

“Silence!” Baltazar shouted before turning back to the messenger. “Sir, I do not hold anyone from the House of Habsburg as blood and you would do well to remember that.”

Baltazar paused as he looked over the guards,” If however, the King would like an audience with me… I’d be happy to oblige.”

The man nodded, “Excellent, please accompany us.”

Baltazar bowed again, “Lead the way, milord.”

He turned back to his men, “Secure the ship.”

His men tended to the ship as he was lead away. Melisande watched until he was out of sight, “What does this mean, our captain is a prince?”

“If it’s true,” Papi replied, “then he is a member of the House of Habsburg… which makes him royalty…”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 2, Chapter 2

II

 

As Baltazar predicted, within two hours, the storm hit. Waves crashed over the deck and rain poured down on the crew. Though the ship was secured to prevent it from taking on water, they were still struggling to tie down the cannons on deck. The men had gotten the sails up and the cabins were secure, but a loose cannon could do serious damage.

Papi and Melisande were on deck trying to help out as much as they could. Mel stood with Gilles as they tried to push the number two deck cannon back into position. The cannon by itself was heavy and water crashing over it, made pushing it into place even more difficult.

Once the cannon was back on its blocks, Gilles reached out to Melisande, “Quick hand me the line and secure it!”

She struggled to reach him, but didn’t make it in time. The cannon broke loose and rolled forward, sending Gilles flying over the side. Melisande screamed, “Gilles! Man overboard!”

Every crewman who had already finished securing their lines ran to the side of the boat. Melisande watched as they tried to throw him a line, but the force of the waves crashing over his head made it impossible. His head disappeared beneath the surface every time a wave hit.

Melisande knew that he would drown if they didn’t do something quick. She called out to him, “Come on Gilles, swim, swim man!”

Another wave crashed over his head and she could hear him struggling to breath. Without thinking, she stripped off the vest that she’d been wearing, leaving only her shirt and undershirt on, and jumped overboard. Papi saw her and cried out, “Messy, no!”

He was too late to grab her as she jumped over the railing and plunged into the ocean. She swam towards Gilles as quickly as she could. It took all of her strength to reach him as the waves crashed over her.

Within moments, Melisande grabbed him by the arm and held him above the water. The dirt washed off her face and the hat that had protected her hair fell off. She pulled on Gilles as she swam, “Its ok, Gilles, I have you.”

Gilles opened his eyes and looked at her strangely, like he had never seen her before. They swam back to the ship where the crew pulled Gilles back on board and tended to him. Half drowned, he was taken down below to rest. He didn’t say anything and just lay there with a confused look on his face. As the men returned to their duties.

Meanwhile, Melisande was struggling to climb back on board. Baltazar had been called out to the deck and was watching as the group pulled his new cabin boy up. When she was finally up to the railing, two men grabbed her and pulled her over the side. She lay on her hands and knees coughing for a few moments before standing up. She was surrounded by crewmen and Papi was unable to get to her. Her clothing stuck to her skin, revealing her figure.

Gasps could be heard from the crew as they realized what she was. Baltazar’s eyes went wide and he pointed at her, “You there, stand fast!”

He then turned to the two sailors nearest to her, “Bring her astern!”

Papi began breathing quickly and struggled to get passed the crowd. Two sailors grabbed Melisande and brought her to Baltazar. He looked her over for a few moments and smiled, “Well, well, Melisande is it? I should have recognized you sooner.”

Melchior appeared next to them, “You know this woman captain?”

“Aye,” he replied with a wide grin, “she kept me from falling into a puddle of mud and I saved her from some local ruffians.”

Melisande stood in front of him with a defiant look on her face as Papi came up behind them, “Captain… sir, I can explain!”

Baltazar turned to his cook, “You can explain this Mr. Clement, I belive that I would enjoy such a story. Why is there a woman on my ship?”

Papi nodded, “Sir she lives at Mont St. Michel, she was an orphan placed in the charge of the church. She must have snuck out and travelled to Gransville.”

“I see…” Baltazar replied. “So you know this girl.”

“Yes sir,” he replied, “a long time now.”

Shouts errupted from the crew as one large man with a thick black beard and matching locks of hair called out, “Having a woman onboard is a black mark on a ship! I say we throw her overboard.”

Melisande reached behind her back with both hands and pulled out a pistol and a knife. She turned the knife on the large sailor and pointed the gun at Baltazar’s forehead, “No one is throwing me over the side!”

Scattered laughs came from the crew as she stood with her hands shaking. Baltazar narrowed his eyes, “Easy there Mel, where did you get that pistol?”

She breathed deeply, “I stole it from the hold, just in case something like this happened.”

The quartermaster came up next to Baltazar, “Sir, be careful, those pistols were loaded, I saw to that.”

“Well, looks you thought of everything Mel,” Baltazar said with a smile, “but I wonder, how do you intend to shoot me with wet powder?”

She looked at the gun and was about to respond when Baltazar grabbed it from her hand. Two crewmen grabbed her from behind and ripped the knife away from her. Baltazar shook his head, “It never work have worked anyway.”

He then turned to the quartermaster, “Put this back in the hold, and this time, see to it the weapons are secured.”

The quartermaster nodded and took the pistol, “Aye, aye sir.”

Baltazar turned back and looked at Melisande. There was a lot of worry in her eyes as she waited to hear her fate. He smiled as he spoke, “Our former cabin boy will have my cabin. We’ll set her ashore once we’ve completed our mission.”

A look of relief and gratitude came over Melisande’s face as the crew protested, “You would risk a black mark on us?”

Another crewman spoke up, “Aye, looks like the captain may have actually taken a shine to this tavern whore! I say we throw her overboard.”

Baltazar grabbed her, pulled her away from his men, pushing her towards the cabin, “And I say she stays aboard.”

Baltazar faced the angry stares of his men and drew his rapier, “Or would any man jack here dare challenge my orders?”

The looks on the crews’ faces turned from anger to fear. One by one, they slowly began to back away. Baltazar nodded as he put his sword away and stabbed the knife they had taken from Melisande into the mast, “No one, no one is going to challenge me? Disappointing… at least the tavern whore was willing to put up a fight, back to work, all of you then!”

The men grumbled as they returned to their posts. Baltazar snorted and turned his cabin. Melisande had already gone inside and shut the door. Baltazar opened it and walked in.

Melisande was sitting at his desk with her face in her hands. She was clearly upset. Baltazar pulled up another chair and sat down next to her. He grabbed a towel and began wiping her face to help her dry off, “Why the tears?”

“All I wanted,” She replied, “was a life of adventure. I was so tired of living behind the abbey walls. I wanted something more for myself. I wanted to find out about my family, where I come from, and who I am.”

Baltazar smiled, “So you escaped the abbey and came all the way out here.”

She nodded, “I was desperate to get away.”

“Was anything you told me about your family true?” Baltazar asked.

“My father wasn’t a blacksmith.” She said quietly. “I’ve spent most of my life studying and reading, that’s how I know so much. I was taught how by the church, but what I told you about them dying when I was young was true. I don’t even know my family name.”

Baltazar frowned, “I am sorry for you. I can sympathize, believe me. My family and I have a… troubled history. I haven’t spoken to any of them in years. My father denied that I was even his son. So I can understand what that’s like.”

She looked up at him, “More than anything, I was hoping to find some answers. There has to be evidence out there. I need to know where I come from.”

“Take it from someone who knows,” Baltazar replied, “sometimes ignorance can be bliss. If you keep this up, you may find out that you were happier before knowing.”

“It doesn’t matter… That’s all over with now isn’t it?” She asked sadly. “What do you intend to do, kill me?”

“Are you joking,” Baltazar replied, “you saved my best helmsman. In return I’ll give you safe passage to our next port. Once there, you can do what you want. If you want to try your luck on another ship, all power to you.”

Melisande nodded, “I thank you for that…. Captain.”

“You’re quite welcome,” Baltazar said as he got up and left the cabin.

Papi was waiting outside, “Captain, please don’t hurt her. She’s an innocent soul. I swear she never intended to hurt a fly.”

“Relax man,” Baltazar replied, “pull yourself together. I have no intention of harming her in any way. I swear it on my family name.”

Papi nodded, “Then please turn us around and return her to the abbey.”

“Put about?” Baltazar scoffed. “Have you gone mad? We’re out at sea. Going home now would not be good for business. I will set her ashore after our voyage.”

Papi looked at him concerned, “But where sir?”

Baltazar placed his hand on Papi’s shoulder, “Relax my friend, I promise you that she will be cared for. For the time being, just know that she is well protected in my cabin.”

Papi sighed, “Very well sir.”

“Thank you.” Baltazar replied. “Now return to your duties.”

“Aye, aye sir,” Papi said, not at all convinced that his captain wouldn’t defile her at the first chance he got.

Baltazar felt the rain begin to slow and looked up. The clouds were beginning to break and the storm was passing them by. He smiled and turned to the helmsman that had replaced Gilles, “Steady as she goes, helm! We’ll beat this storm yet!”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

A2Z Challenge: U is for Unicorn — Our Literary Journey

Nice to see other people who love a Fantastic species as much as I love elves!

I am reluctant to attempt to write anything about these beautiful, almost sadly mythological creatures. However, I know some people who read this blog are expecting (perhaps demanding) them for the letter U. They have told me so. There are two reasons for my insecurity. One reason is that I am pretty sure they do […]

via A2Z Challenge: U is for Unicorn — Our Literary Journey

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 2, Chapter 4

IV

 

San Sebastián appeared on the horizon as the Sun reached its height. Baltazar watched as the port grew larger in the distance. He turned the wheel a few more degrees to port and headed straight in, “My lads, we’ve come home.”

The wind was at their backs as the Specter glided into the harbor. The ship was a recognizable sight in this port and was always celebrated when she docked. Melisande came up on deck and watched as a few small sailboats and fishing vessels lined up alongside the Specter to guide her into the harbor.

Papi was also on deck and smiled as she appeared, “Sleep well, Messy?”

She nodded, “Baltazar does pretty nicely for himself. His cabin is more comfortable than my cell in the abbey!”

“He does,” Papi agreed, “well he’s a rather… extraordinary man.”

Melisande noticed a huge commotion on the docks as the Specter made its way to the pier, “What’s going on?”

“There’s a big celebration every time the Specter comes home.” He replied. “This ship is rather well known here and Baltazar is considered a local hero.”

“Because of his charity?” She asked.

“Aye,” Papi nodded, “but also because of his… reputation with the womenfolk.”

Melisande rolled her eyes, “Wonderful…”

Baltazar looked at Melisande suspiciously. Her reaction wasn’t what he expected. Did she like him? Papi began to worry, but decided to address it later as he had other duties to perform.

As the ship closed on the dock, Baltazar turned to his men, “Tie up the sails, let the current bring us in nice and slow.”

Melchior nodded, “Aye sir, secure the rigging, bring up the sails.”

The Specter’s sails rolled up as the ship neared the dock. Baltazar turned his ship half a degree to port and brought her up to the dock as gently as he could. He then called out to the men on deck, “Mooring lines.”

There were men waiting on the dock to tie up the Specter as she neared. His crew threw a few ropes over the side and secured their ends. The men on the dock tied up the ship and then accepted the walk ways that the crew put over the side. Two of the men took the desk from the back of the ship and brought it down the ramp to the crowd. There was a large group of merchants awaiting the goods that the Specter brought in.

Baltazar smiled at them, “Welcome to each and every one of you, we’ve got a lot of things to offload today for the right price.”

The crew waited as Baltazar marched proudly down the ramp and sat on a post behind the desk. His men brought down everything that they had taken from the Cristobal. One by one, each item was auctioned off to the merchants. It was quite a sight as every merchant almost seemed to be fighting over the goods.

Once everything had been sold, the money was transferred to Baltazar. He smiled at the merchants as they collected their new found items, “Thank you all very much. Remember, there will be more to come!”

Melisande watched Baltazar work. She couldn’t explain it, but she found something appealing about this childish rogue. He was fit, charming, and a fair man, but then she snapped out of it, and there are probably an uncountable number of other women who thought the same thing… and many foolish ones that still do!

Baltazar walked back aboard followed by crewmen carrying large chests full of coins that had paid for the goods. Melchior sat down at his desk and began to count the money. He was meticulous as he went through every jewel and every coin that they had received. Gilles went wide eyed at the size of the treasure.

After it had been gone over entirely, Gilles could wait no longer, “Well?”

Melchior looked up, “50 pieces a share.”

The men cheered as they lined up to receive the money. Each share was placed in a small leather pouch and handed to every member of the crew. Once they had their money, Baltazar smiled, “All shares have been well-earned and I am very proud of each of you. For those of you who have either signed on for one voyage or joined from other ships, good luck to you and I hope to see you back aboard at some point. Those of you who choose to stay with me, you have five days to enjoy your earnings as you see fit, then I want you back here to help get the Specter seaworthy again.”

Shouts went up from the deck and hats flew into the air as the crew cheered. Melisande stood against the railing away from the crew. She had a saddened look on her face as she watched the rest of the men celebrate.

Papi walked up next to her, “I will speak to the captain and see if we can get some supplies so that we can start our journey.”

She shook her head, “I’m going to miss this ship… This was an incredible ride. I wish I could stay onboard… more than anything…”

“You don’t mean that,” he replied sternly, “and you stand a better chance of living if we leave now.”

“I do mean it, Papi.” Melisande replied. “It just feels right…”

“What do you mean?” Papi asked.

She shook her head, “I… I don’t know, but for the first time, I feel like this is where I belong.”

Papi shook his head, “Well, unfortunately, it’s not up to us…”

Once Baltazar received his captain’s share, he made his way off of the aft castle and walked down to the main deck. Papi stopped him before he could disembark, “We’re ready to depart, Captain. I’m taking Messy out of here. I was hoping that you could provide us with some supplies before we go?”

Baltazar shrugged, “Yes, I could do that… yes… but, I’m afraid there’s a problem, old friend.”

“Captain?” Papi asked in a nervous tone.

Baltazar smiled, “I can’t let her leave.”

Papi glared at him, “Captain, with all due respect, this is not one of your mindless tavern wenches! She is important to me! I’ll not let any harm come to her, even if it means going against someone I respect as a friend.”

“You wound me, Mr. Clement.” Baltazar replied as a hurt look appeared on his face. “That you think I would be so blind as to not see that this woman is very special, far too much so to treat as a port of call.”

“Then what is the problem?” Papi asked. “Why won’t you let us leave?”

Melisande looked quizzically at Baltazar as she waited for his response. He returned her gaze, “If I just let you go, my crew might mutiny.”

“What?” Papi asked in a confused tone.

Baltazar sighed, “They spoke to me in open council, which as you know Papi, is every man’s legal right aboard this ship. They requested that I offer Melisande a position aboard ship as a full-share member of the crew.”

Melisande’s eyes lit up as she looked at Baltazar. Papi stepped in front of her and shook his head, “No, it’s far too dangerous, I can’t allow that!”

Baltazar smiled, “I know that, my old friend, but would you have me face a mutiny if I didn’t at least make the offer?”

“The crew really asked?” Papi asked.

“As I said, the crew has spoken in open council about her.”  Baltazar replied as he turned to Melisande. “It seems your ability to treat injuries, and your work ethic, trumps your gender. They have voted unanimously to invite you to remain on if you want to.”

Tears formed in Melisande’s eyes as a bright smile formed on her lips. Her eyes lit up even more than usual and shined brightly. She could not believe what she was hearing.

Baltazar reached into his sack, “Which reminds me…”

He pulled out one last leather pouch and handed it to her, “I believe this belongs to you.”

Melisande opened the bag to see 50 coins inside, a full share. Papi shook his head, “Her, a member of the crew? You can’t be serious! Before she came onboard, she’s never lived a day outside of the abbey!”

“But I am,” Baltazar replied, “She’ll serve as cabin… boy and healer. She’s already proven to be competent at both.”

He looked into her eyes as he continued, “That is of course… if you wish to sign on properly this time?”

The entire crew overheard their conversation, stopped, and looked to see what Melisande’s answer would be. They all looked on anxiously as Baltazar asked. Overwhelmed with joy, she grabbed Baltazar, hugged him tightly, and kissed him on the cheek.

Then, realizing what just happened, she pushed away from him with a nervous grin, “Um… it would be my honor to serve aboard the Specter. It’s all I ever wanted!”

Cheers went up from the men onboard. Baltazar smiled, “Excellent, that’s settled then.”

Morgan came up next to them and bowed his bandaged head to Melisande, “Milady, I be wanting to apologize for the way I been treating ye when ye first came aboard. Ye saved me life.”

She smiled, “All is forgiven. I got what I wanted. Perhaps we can be friends now?”

“Aye,” Morgan replied, “I’d like nothing better.”

He gave her a small salute as he turned to some fouled rigging. Gilles was tending to the helm, with a huge smile on his face from her reaction. Everything appeared to be coming together for all parties involved.

The celebration quickly ended when three lavishly dressed men accompanied by a battalion of soldiers approached the Specter, “Captain, we’ve got company, looks like they’ve got the king’s crest on their banner!”

Papi narrowed his eyes, “The king of Spain, what is he doing in San Sebastián?”

Baltazar turned his attention to the three men as they approached. He walked down ramp and on to the dock to meet them. The first man bowed to Baltazar, “Captain Baltazar de la Fuente, I presume?”

Baltazar returned the gesture, “You are correct good sir.”

The man smiled as he looked Baltazar over, “Your brother requests an audience with you, as soon as possible.”

The crew glanced at each other and whispered back and forth. Baltazar frowned, “You must be mistaken sir. I have no brother. I was orphaned at birth.”

“I see.” the man said with a smug frown. “Well then I shall have to tell King Philip, that he is mistaken about who he believes his brother to be.”

Louder gasps came from the crew. Melisande joined him on the dock, “Baltazar, King Philip?”

The man nodded, “Yes milady, your captain is the half brother of King Philip III of Spain.”

Melisande went wide eyed and she slowly backed away from Baltazar. Gilles walked down to the rail, unable to believe what he was hearing, “I don’t believe it, our captain is royalty?”

“Silence!” Baltazar shouted before turning back to the messenger. “Sir, I do not hold anyone from the House of Habsburg as blood and you would do well to remember that.”

Baltazar paused as he looked over the guards,” If however, the King would like an audience with me… I’d be happy to oblige.”

The man nodded, “Excellent, please accompany us.”

Baltazar bowed again, “Lead the way, milord.”

He turned back to his men, “Secure the ship.”

His men tended to the ship as he was lead away. Melisande watched until he was out of sight, “What does this mean, our captain is a prince?”

“If it’s true,” Papi replied, “then he is a member of the House of Habsburg… which makes him royalty…”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 2, Chapter 2

II

 

As Baltazar predicted, within two hours, the storm hit. Waves crashed over the deck and rain poured down on the crew. Though the ship was secured to prevent it from taking on water, they were still struggling to tie down the cannons on deck. The men had gotten the sails up and the cabins were secure, but a loose cannon could do serious damage.

Papi and Melisande were on deck trying to help out as much as they could. Mel stood with Gilles as they tried to push the number two deck cannon back into position. The cannon by itself was heavy and water crashing over it, made pushing it into place even more difficult.

Once the cannon was back on its blocks, Gilles reached out to Melisande, “Quick hand me the line and secure it!”

She struggled to reach him, but didn’t make it in time. The cannon broke loose and rolled forward, sending Gilles flying over the side. Melisande screamed, “Gilles! Man overboard!”

Every crewman who had already finished securing their lines ran to the side of the boat. Melisande watched as they tried to throw him a line, but the force of the waves crashing over his head made it impossible. His head disappeared beneath the surface every time a wave hit.

Melisande knew that he would drown if they didn’t do something quick. She called out to him, “Come on Gilles, swim, swim man!”

Another wave crashed over his head and she could hear him struggling to breath. Without thinking, she stripped off the vest that she’d been wearing, leaving only her shirt and undershirt on, and jumped overboard. Papi saw her and cried out, “Messy, no!”

He was too late to grab her as she jumped over the railing and plunged into the ocean. She swam towards Gilles as quickly as she could. It took all of her strength to reach him as the waves crashed over her.

Within moments, Melisande grabbed him by the arm and held him above the water. The dirt washed off her face and the hat that had protected her hair fell off. She pulled on Gilles as she swam, “Its ok, Gilles, I have you.”

Gilles opened his eyes and looked at her strangely, like he had never seen her before. They swam back to the ship where the crew pulled Gilles back on board and tended to him. Half drowned, he was taken down below to rest. He didn’t say anything and just lay there with a confused look on his face. As the men returned to their duties.

Meanwhile, Melisande was struggling to climb back on board. Baltazar had been called out to the deck and was watching as the group pulled his new cabin boy up. When she was finally up to the railing, two men grabbed her and pulled her over the side. She lay on her hands and knees coughing for a few moments before standing up. She was surrounded by crewmen and Papi was unable to get to her. Her clothing stuck to her skin, revealing her figure.

Gasps could be heard from the crew as they realized what she was. Baltazar’s eyes went wide and he pointed at her, “You there, stand fast!”

He then turned to the two sailors nearest to her, “Bring her astern!”

Papi began breathing quickly and struggled to get passed the crowd. Two sailors grabbed Melisande and brought her to Baltazar. He looked her over for a few moments and smiled, “Well, well, Melisande is it? I should have recognized you sooner.”

Melchior appeared next to them, “You know this woman captain?”

“Aye,” he replied with a wide grin, “she kept me from falling into a puddle of mud and I saved her from some local ruffians.”

Melisande stood in front of him with a defiant look on her face as Papi came up behind them, “Captain… sir, I can explain!”

Baltazar turned to his cook, “You can explain this Mr. Clement, I belive that I would enjoy such a story. Why is there a woman on my ship?”

Papi nodded, “Sir she lives at Mont St. Michel, she was an orphan placed in the charge of the church. She must have snuck out and travelled to Gransville.”

“I see…” Baltazar replied. “So you know this girl.”

“Yes sir,” he replied, “a long time now.”

Shouts errupted from the crew as one large man with a thick black beard and matching locks of hair called out, “Having a woman onboard is a black mark on a ship! I say we throw her overboard.”

Melisande reached behind her back with both hands and pulled out a pistol and a knife. She turned the knife on the large sailor and pointed the gun at Baltazar’s forehead, “No one is throwing me over the side!”

Scattered laughs came from the crew as she stood with her hands shaking. Baltazar narrowed his eyes, “Easy there Mel, where did you get that pistol?”

She breathed deeply, “I stole it from the hold, just in case something like this happened.”

The quartermaster came up next to Baltazar, “Sir, be careful, those pistols were loaded, I saw to that.”

“Well, looks you thought of everything Mel,” Baltazar said with a smile, “but I wonder, how do you intend to shoot me with wet powder?”

She looked at the gun and was about to respond when Baltazar grabbed it from her hand. Two crewmen grabbed her from behind and ripped the knife away from her. Baltazar shook his head, “It never work have worked anyway.”

He then turned to the quartermaster, “Put this back in the hold, and this time, see to it the weapons are secured.”

The quartermaster nodded and took the pistol, “Aye, aye sir.”

Baltazar turned back and looked at Melisande. There was a lot of worry in her eyes as she waited to hear her fate. He smiled as he spoke, “Our former cabin boy will have my cabin. We’ll set her ashore once we’ve completed our mission.”

A look of relief and gratitude came over Melisande’s face as the crew protested, “You would risk a black mark on us?”

Another crewman spoke up, “Aye, looks like the captain may have actually taken a shine to this tavern whore! I say we throw her overboard.”

Baltazar grabbed her, pulled her away from his men, pushing her towards the cabin, “And I say she stays aboard.”

Baltazar faced the angry stares of his men and drew his rapier, “Or would any man jack here dare challenge my orders?”

The looks on the crews’ faces turned from anger to fear. One by one, they slowly began to back away. Baltazar nodded as he put his sword away and stabbed the knife they had taken from Melisande into the mast, “No one, no one is going to challenge me? Disappointing… at least the tavern whore was willing to put up a fight, back to work, all of you then!”

The men grumbled as they returned to their posts. Baltazar snorted and turned his cabin. Melisande had already gone inside and shut the door. Baltazar opened it and walked in.

Melisande was sitting at his desk with her face in her hands. She was clearly upset. Baltazar pulled up another chair and sat down next to her. He grabbed a towel and began wiping her face to help her dry off, “Why the tears?”

“All I wanted,” She replied, “was a life of adventure. I was so tired of living behind the abbey walls. I wanted something more for myself. I wanted to find out about my family, where I come from, and who I am.”

Baltazar smiled, “So you escaped the abbey and came all the way out here.”

She nodded, “I was desperate to get away.”

“Was anything you told me about your family true?” Baltazar asked.

“My father wasn’t a blacksmith.” She said quietly. “I’ve spent most of my life studying and reading, that’s how I know so much. I was taught how by the church, but what I told you about them dying when I was young was true. I don’t even know my family name.”

Baltazar frowned, “I am sorry for you. I can sympathize, believe me. My family and I have a… troubled history. I haven’t spoken to any of them in years. My father denied that I was even his son. So I can understand what that’s like.”

She looked up at him, “More than anything, I was hoping to find some answers. There has to be evidence out there. I need to know where I come from.”

“Take it from someone who knows,” Baltazar replied, “sometimes ignorance can be bliss. If you keep this up, you may find out that you were happier before knowing.”

“It doesn’t matter… That’s all over with now isn’t it?” She asked sadly. “What do you intend to do, kill me?”

“Are you joking,” Baltazar replied, “you saved my best helmsman. In return I’ll give you safe passage to our next port. Once there, you can do what you want. If you want to try your luck on another ship, all power to you.”

Melisande nodded, “I thank you for that…. Captain.”

“You’re quite welcome,” Baltazar said as he got up and left the cabin.

Papi was waiting outside, “Captain, please don’t hurt her. She’s an innocent soul. I swear she never intended to hurt a fly.”

“Relax man,” Baltazar replied, “pull yourself together. I have no intention of harming her in any way. I swear it on my family name.”

Papi nodded, “Then please turn us around and return her to the abbey.”

“Put about?” Baltazar scoffed. “Have you gone mad? We’re out at sea. Going home now would not be good for business. I will set her ashore after our voyage.”

Papi looked at him concerned, “But where sir?”

Baltazar placed his hand on Papi’s shoulder, “Relax my friend, I promise you that she will be cared for. For the time being, just know that she is well protected in my cabin.”

Papi sighed, “Very well sir.”

“Thank you.” Baltazar replied. “Now return to your duties.”

“Aye, aye sir,” Papi said, not at all convinced that his captain wouldn’t defile her at the first chance he got.

Baltazar felt the rain begin to slow and looked up. The clouds were beginning to break and the storm was passing them by. He smiled and turned to the helmsman that had replaced Gilles, “Steady as she goes, helm! We’ll beat this storm yet!”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 2, Chapter 4

IV

 

San Sebastián appeared on the horizon as the Sun reached its height. Baltazar watched as the port grew larger in the distance. He turned the wheel a few more degrees to port and headed straight in, “My lads, we’ve come home.”

The wind was at their backs as the Specter glided into the harbor. The ship was a recognizable sight in this port and was always celebrated when she docked. Melisande came up on deck and watched as a few small sailboats and fishing vessels lined up alongside the Specter to guide her into the harbor.

Papi was also on deck and smiled as she appeared, “Sleep well, Messy?”

She nodded, “Baltazar does pretty nicely for himself. His cabin is more comfortable than my cell in the abbey!”

“He does,” Papi agreed, “well he’s a rather… extraordinary man.”

Melisande noticed a huge commotion on the docks as the Specter made its way to the pier, “What’s going on?”

“There’s a big celebration every time the Specter comes home.” He replied. “This ship is rather well known here and Baltazar is considered a local hero.”

“Because of his charity?” She asked.

“Aye,” Papi nodded, “but also because of his… reputation with the womenfolk.”

Melisande rolled her eyes, “Wonderful…”

Baltazar looked at Melisande suspiciously. Her reaction wasn’t what he expected. Did she like him? Papi began to worry, but decided to address it later as he had other duties to perform.

As the ship closed on the dock, Baltazar turned to his men, “Tie up the sails, let the current bring us in nice and slow.”

Melchior nodded, “Aye sir, secure the rigging, bring up the sails.”

The Specter’s sails rolled up as the ship neared the dock. Baltazar turned his ship half a degree to port and brought her up to the dock as gently as he could. He then called out to the men on deck, “Mooring lines.”

There were men waiting on the dock to tie up the Specter as she neared. His crew threw a few ropes over the side and secured their ends. The men on the dock tied up the ship and then accepted the walk ways that the crew put over the side. Two of the men took the desk from the back of the ship and brought it down the ramp to the crowd. There was a large group of merchants awaiting the goods that the Specter brought in.

Baltazar smiled at them, “Welcome to each and every one of you, we’ve got a lot of things to offload today for the right price.”

The crew waited as Baltazar marched proudly down the ramp and sat on a post behind the desk. His men brought down everything that they had taken from the Cristobal. One by one, each item was auctioned off to the merchants. It was quite a sight as every merchant almost seemed to be fighting over the goods.

Once everything had been sold, the money was transferred to Baltazar. He smiled at the merchants as they collected their new found items, “Thank you all very much. Remember, there will be more to come!”

Melisande watched Baltazar work. She couldn’t explain it, but she found something appealing about this childish rogue. He was fit, charming, and a fair man, but then she snapped out of it, and there are probably an uncountable number of other women who thought the same thing… and many foolish ones that still do!

Baltazar walked back aboard followed by crewmen carrying large chests full of coins that had paid for the goods. Melchior sat down at his desk and began to count the money. He was meticulous as he went through every jewel and every coin that they had received. Gilles went wide eyed at the size of the treasure.

After it had been gone over entirely, Gilles could wait no longer, “Well?”

Melchior looked up, “50 pieces a share.”

The men cheered as they lined up to receive the money. Each share was placed in a small leather pouch and handed to every member of the crew. Once they had their money, Baltazar smiled, “All shares have been well-earned and I am very proud of each of you. For those of you who have either signed on for one voyage or joined from other ships, good luck to you and I hope to see you back aboard at some point. Those of you who choose to stay with me, you have five days to enjoy your earnings as you see fit, then I want you back here to help get the Specter seaworthy again.”

Shouts went up from the deck and hats flew into the air as the crew cheered. Melisande stood against the railing away from the crew. She had a saddened look on her face as she watched the rest of the men celebrate.

Papi walked up next to her, “I will speak to the captain and see if we can get some supplies so that we can start our journey.”

She shook her head, “I’m going to miss this ship… This was an incredible ride. I wish I could stay onboard… more than anything…”

“You don’t mean that,” he replied sternly, “and you stand a better chance of living if we leave now.”

“I do mean it, Papi.” Melisande replied. “It just feels right…”

“What do you mean?” Papi asked.

She shook her head, “I… I don’t know, but for the first time, I feel like this is where I belong.”

Papi shook his head, “Well, unfortunately, it’s not up to us…”

Once Baltazar received his captain’s share, he made his way off of the aft castle and walked down to the main deck. Papi stopped him before he could disembark, “We’re ready to depart, Captain. I’m taking Messy out of here. I was hoping that you could provide us with some supplies before we go?”

Baltazar shrugged, “Yes, I could do that… yes… but, I’m afraid there’s a problem, old friend.”

“Captain?” Papi asked in a nervous tone.

Baltazar smiled, “I can’t let her leave.”

Papi glared at him, “Captain, with all due respect, this is not one of your mindless tavern wenches! She is important to me! I’ll not let any harm come to her, even if it means going against someone I respect as a friend.”

“You wound me, Mr. Clement.” Baltazar replied as a hurt look appeared on his face. “That you think I would be so blind as to not see that this woman is very special, far too much so to treat as a port of call.”

“Then what is the problem?” Papi asked. “Why won’t you let us leave?”

Melisande looked quizzically at Baltazar as she waited for his response. He returned her gaze, “If I just let you go, my crew might mutiny.”

“What?” Papi asked in a confused tone.

Baltazar sighed, “They spoke to me in open council, which as you know Papi, is every man’s legal right aboard this ship. They requested that I offer Melisande a position aboard ship as a full-share member of the crew.”

Melisande’s eyes lit up as she looked at Baltazar. Papi stepped in front of her and shook his head, “No, it’s far too dangerous, I can’t allow that!”

Baltazar smiled, “I know that, my old friend, but would you have me face a mutiny if I didn’t at least make the offer?”

“The crew really asked?” Papi asked.

“As I said, the crew has spoken in open council about her.”  Baltazar replied as he turned to Melisande. “It seems your ability to treat injuries, and your work ethic, trumps your gender. They have voted unanimously to invite you to remain on if you want to.”

Tears formed in Melisande’s eyes as a bright smile formed on her lips. Her eyes lit up even more than usual and shined brightly. She could not believe what she was hearing.

Baltazar reached into his sack, “Which reminds me…”

He pulled out one last leather pouch and handed it to her, “I believe this belongs to you.”

Melisande opened the bag to see 50 coins inside, a full share. Papi shook his head, “Her, a member of the crew? You can’t be serious! Before she came onboard, she’s never lived a day outside of the abbey!”

“But I am,” Baltazar replied, “She’ll serve as cabin… boy and healer. She’s already proven to be competent at both.”

He looked into her eyes as he continued, “That is of course… if you wish to sign on properly this time?”

The entire crew overheard their conversation, stopped, and looked to see what Melisande’s answer would be. They all looked on anxiously as Baltazar asked. Overwhelmed with joy, she grabbed Baltazar, hugged him tightly, and kissed him on the cheek.

Then, realizing what just happened, she pushed away from him with a nervous grin, “Um… it would be my honor to serve aboard the Specter. It’s all I ever wanted!”

Cheers went up from the men onboard. Baltazar smiled, “Excellent, that’s settled then.”

Morgan came up next to them and bowed his bandaged head to Melisande, “Milady, I be wanting to apologize for the way I been treating ye when ye first came aboard. Ye saved me life.”

She smiled, “All is forgiven. I got what I wanted. Perhaps we can be friends now?”

“Aye,” Morgan replied, “I’d like nothing better.”

He gave her a small salute as he turned to some fouled rigging. Gilles was tending to the helm, with a huge smile on his face from her reaction. Everything appeared to be coming together for all parties involved.

The celebration quickly ended when three lavishly dressed men accompanied by a battalion of soldiers approached the Specter, “Captain, we’ve got company, looks like they’ve got the king’s crest on their banner!”

Papi narrowed his eyes, “The king of Spain, what is he doing in San Sebastián?”

Baltazar turned his attention to the three men as they approached. He walked down ramp and on to the dock to meet them. The first man bowed to Baltazar, “Captain Baltazar de la Fuente, I presume?”

Baltazar returned the gesture, “You are correct good sir.”

The man smiled as he looked Baltazar over, “Your brother requests an audience with you, as soon as possible.”

The crew glanced at each other and whispered back and forth. Baltazar frowned, “You must be mistaken sir. I have no brother. I was orphaned at birth.”

“I see.” the man said with a smug frown. “Well then I shall have to tell King Philip, that he is mistaken about who he believes his brother to be.”

Louder gasps came from the crew. Melisande joined him on the dock, “Baltazar, King Philip?”

The man nodded, “Yes milady, your captain is the half brother of King Philip III of Spain.”

Melisande went wide eyed and she slowly backed away from Baltazar. Gilles walked down to the rail, unable to believe what he was hearing, “I don’t believe it, our captain is royalty?”

“Silence!” Baltazar shouted before turning back to the messenger. “Sir, I do not hold anyone from the House of Habsburg as blood and you would do well to remember that.”

Baltazar paused as he looked over the guards,” If however, the King would like an audience with me… I’d be happy to oblige.”

The man nodded, “Excellent, please accompany us.”

Baltazar bowed again, “Lead the way, milord.”

He turned back to his men, “Secure the ship.”

His men tended to the ship as he was lead away. Melisande watched until he was out of sight, “What does this mean, our captain is a prince?”

“If it’s true,” Papi replied, “then he is a member of the House of Habsburg… which makes him royalty…”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim