The Boy and the Sea Dragon
Chapter Forty Two
Battle for the Serikua
Captain Ilawinsky stood on the deck of his ship. He barked, “Load the damn starboard cannons, men. We’re taking that damn ship. Prepare to fuckin’ fight!”
His crew, Shokura with them, rushed to load the cannons.
Captain Esiada noticed that the men on the new ship were preparing the cannons. He barked new orders. He told the crew to rush. The crew scrambled. They set some sails. The Serikua sailed from between the Jondarvale and Katendua.
Captain Sanjeng watched both ships. He barked orders to set sails and prepare the port cannons. Captain Ilawinsky barked orders to set sails. The Serikua’s crew kept setting sails. They worked as fast as they could. All the sails were finally set. The ship continued to get ahead of the other two. Captain Ilawinsky did not have a large enough crew to both set sails and man the cannons. The cannons were abandoned in favor of the sails. However, Captain Sanjeng did. Some crew set the sails. Other crew readied the cannons. Soon, all three ships were under full sail. The Serikua, being sleeker and faster than the other two, was out running them.
The Jondarvale’s crew manned the cannons. The crew finished readying the cannons. Captain Ilawinsky ordered the cannons fired.
The Serikua was hit along the main deck on the port side from the main mast sternward.
Shokura aimed his cannon for a shot on the main mast. He misjudged the angle. His shot hit the main top gallant mast about an inch above the topmast. The mast toppled over, snapping its stays, and took its sails with it. The stern cannons missed their targets. The shots landed in the water near the Katendua. Geysers of water flew into the air.
Captain Sanjeng ordered his stern cannons fired. The shots hit the Jondarvale along the starboard stern. One shot hit the mizzen mast about a foot above the deck. The mast toppled over into the sea. The stays and lower shrouds snapped. The mast took all its sails with it.
Ciyonaung and Xianjeng were flying over the ocean. They headed in the direction of Cinga, the main island of the archipelago.
They encountered the battle scene. They circled around it. They flew low. Ciyonaung recognized the clipper as his long lost home, the Serikua. He had never seen the ship from his current vantage point, about a yard above the tallest mast. He still recognized it. He was dismayed to see the damage it had sustained.
The Jondarvale’s crew reloaded the cannons. Shokura headed to the starboard main shrouds. Ciyonaung noticed him.
Ciyonaung dove into the ocean. He gulped down water. He flew back into the air. He came back to the ship.
Shokura had reached the lower yardarm. He reached up. He grabbed the mizzen topgallant stay that was hanging there. He shimmied up it to the top yardarm. He stood on the yardarm. While holding the stay, he sidled to the right. He pulled the stay up as he did. He reached the end of the yardarm. He pulled the stay up until he reached its end.
Ciyonaung circled the mast. He was a little above the top yardarm. He watched Shokura. As he circled, he heard Shokura yell, “Shoo, you damn stupid fuckin’ dragon!”
Shokura could have sworn that he heard the little dragon call his name. He heard, “Shoookuuuraaa.”
He felt that the dragon was taunting him, “Shoookuuuraa the Kiiillerrr.”
He felt that the voice was familiar. It sounded like Zuangeng. He said to himself, “No! It could not be damn Zuangeng! Zuangeng is a fuckin’ human! This is a damn dragon!”
He found a chance. He shoved off the yardarm. He held onto the stay. He fell and swung over to the Serikua. He aimed for the mizzen mast.
Ciyonaung flew right to Shokura. He came close. He opened his mouth. He shot a powerful stream of water. It was strong enough to knock Shokura off course.
Shokura hit the spar supporting the top of the mizzen sail. He was hit in the midriff. The wind was nearly knocked out of him. He kept hold of the stay. It swung back to its ship.
Ciyonaung returned to circling the main mast of the Jondarvale. He made a wide circle. The stay swung back and forth until it settled down. He spiraled in. He kept his eyes on Shokura. Shokura kept his eyes on the small dragon. He could have sworn that the dragon was laughing. That dragon most certainly had a big open mouthed grin.
The stay came to rest. Shokura shimmied up to the top yardarm again. He stood there holding the stay. He eyed the dragon. He contemplated another attempt to reach the Serikua. He was wanting to search the ship for Zuangeng. He did not believe its captain. The dragon kept circling with its mouth open. Shokura felt threatened with another water spray. He shook his left fist at the dragon. He said to the dragon, “I swear on my life! As soon as I fill that little fuckin’ twerp – Zuangeng, I’m going to hunt the fuck you down! I’ll kill fuckin’ you, you stupid damn dragon!”
He changed his mind about the Serikua. He climbed down the topmast shroud to the lower mast. Ciyonaung kept circling. He spiraled down with Shokura. He avoided the rigging. Shokura climbed onto the lower shrouds. Ciyonaung could not resist the fun of spraying Shokura, one more time. Shokura got drenched, again. Water dripped off him as he pulled out his gun. He aimed at the dragon. The dragon stopped circling and flew off. Shokura waved the gun at the retreating dragon. He climbed down to the deck.
The Jondarvale’s crew had reloaded the cannons. The Serikua had moved completely form between the two ships. The cannons were re-aimed. Captain Ilawinsky ordered the cannons fired. The shots wracked the Katendua’s port side. A couple shots managed to take out the mizzen mast.
Captain Sanjeng ordered the remaining port cannons fired. The Jondarvale’s starboard side was wracked with the shots. The fore mast toppled into the sea. The main mast was the only one remaining.
Captain Ilawinsky called for a cease fire. He called for a retreat. The Jondarvale left with the main mast sails alone. They limped back to Kulathra.
Ciyonaung and Xianjeng watched the pirates depart. Ciyonaung could swear he saw Shokura shake his fist at him. It seemed the man was mouthing a curse.