The Boy and the Sea Dragon
Chapter Forty Three
Ciyonaung and Xianjeng circled the remaining ships a few more times. The crew of both ships watched them. Xianjeng, finally, descended to the ocean surface. He landed in the water on the starboard side of the Serikua. Water sprayed from the landing site.
Ciyonaung, on the other hand, descended toward the Serikua. The crew watched with curiosity and apprehension. The little dragon landed on the deck between the main and mizzen masts.
“Eh! A baby dragon!” Iyoseching cried in Cingalia. He confronted the little dragon. He wore a sword in its scabbard strapped around his waist. He pulled the sword out of its scabbard. He held the sword up as if to strike.
Ciyonaung lowered his head. He covered it with his right front leg. He pleaded in Cingalia, “Please, don’t hurt me, Iyoseching.”
Iyoseching hesitated. He said, “How do you know my name, dragon?”
Xianjeng came along side of the ship. He found what was happening. He snarled and growled at Iyoseching.
Ciyonaung heard the growling. He removed his leg. He looked up. Iyoseching was looking starboard. Captain Esiada had come up behind Iyoseching. Ciyonaung cried, “Esaida, please, stop him!”
“Stay your hand, Iyose! Let’s hear out this dragon, first,” Captain Esiada commanded him in Cingalia. He turned his attention back to the little dragon. Xianjeng continued growling his threat.
Captain Esiada said, “Dragon, why should we spare your life? We don’t know you. How do you know our names? We have never seen you before! You do seem to be small even for a baby dragon. However, you do sound familiar. As if we do know you.”
Ciyonaung looked at Captain Esiada. He said, “You do know me as a human. It is I, Zuangeng! Let me prove it.”
He looked from Captain Esiada to Iyoseching and back. Disbelief was in their faces.
Captain Esiada said, “Then, prove it!”
Ciyonaung said, “Please, have Iyoseching lower his sword. It’s making me nervous.”
Captain Esiada motioned Iyoseching to lower the sword. Iyoseching complied. He lowered the sword. He kept it in his hand.
Ciyonaung spoke the transformation spell. Captain Esiada and Iyoseching watched in amazement. The dragon became the naked Zuangeng. They immediately recognized him. Iyoseching sheathed his sword. Xianjeng ceased his growling and smiled.
Captain Esiada gleefully said, “Zuangeng! You’re alive and back! I missed you so much! I thought I had lost you!”
He knelt down. He held his arms out. Zuangeng rushed into them. They wrapped their arms around each other in warm embraces. Zuangeng rested his head on Captain Esiada’s left shoulder. Captain Esiada stood up, picking Zuangeng up. Captain Esiada softly said, “Welcome back. I love you.”
Zuangeng softly said, “I love you, too. I deeply missed you. I deeply missed the ship and crew as well.”
Captain Esiada let Zuangeng down to his feet. He let go of him. Zuangeng turned around. He looked starboard. Xianjeng was there grinning. The Katendua had caught up.
Xianjeng was about to leave. He turned his head forward. Zuangeng spoke Dragonese, “Wait, Xianjeng. Please, don’t go yet. I want to introduce you.”
“Okay,” Xianjeng said as he returned to facing the ship. He waited.
“Esiada, Iyoseching, I want you to meet him,” Zuangeng said. He led them to the railing.
He spoke Dragonese, “This is Xianjeng. He saved me. He took care of me most of the time I was gone.”
He took Captain Esiada’s right hand in his. He continued, “Xianjeng, this is Esiada. I consider him to be my father.”
He took Iyoseching’s hand, next. He continued, “This is Iyoseching, my godfather.”
Captain Esiada spoke Dragonese, “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Xianjeng. Thank you for taking care of my boy.”
Xianjeng spoke Cingalia, “It was my pleasure. We had some adventures together. Maybe Zuangeng will tell you about them. Take care of him. He might be destined to greatness.”
“I sure will,” Captain Esiada said.
Xianjeng submerged under water. He flew under the Serikua. He flew on to other business.
Captain Esiada, Iyoseching and Zuangeng remained at the railing. Captain Esiada spoke Cingalia, “Zuangeng, you seem to have learned some Dragonese.”
Zuangeng spoke Cingalia, “Xianjeng taught me. I, also, learned two other languages.”
That night, they had a party to celebrate Zuangeng’s homecoming. They had it on the main deck. All the crew, even the night crew, were present.
They brought tables and chairs from below. They lit all the deck lamps. The cook made Zuangeng’s favorite meal: shark, rice, etc. He baked a special cake for him. It was his favorite: chocolate with almonds covered with mango and coconut icing.
After the meal, Captain Esiada gave a short speech.
They cleared the tables. They shoved them and chairs aside to make a dance floor.
Some crew struck up a band. They played while others sang and danced. There was a break. Everybody, except Zuangeng sat. He stood alone. He said, “While I was gone, I came up with a song. I wish to share it with you.”
He sang it in Cingalia, the only language he knew it in. He stood singing.
The next day, the sun was out. A few wispy clouds floated in the sky. The wind was in their favor. Captain Esiada and Zuangeng were on deck. They stood at the starboard railing close to the mizzen mast. Zuangeng as usual was naked. They looked out over the ocean. The Katendua was visible a little behind them. The waves were gentle. Otherwise, the ocean was all there was to be seen.
Captain Esiada remembered something. He said, “Yesterday – the day you came back, a guy came over asking about you.”
“What did you tell him,” Zuangeng asked.
Captain Esiada said, “That I did not know you. He claimed that you were his friend. Were you?”
“Who was he,” Zuangeng asked.
“A man calling himself Shokura,” Captain Esiada said.
Zuangeng adamantly said, “It was good that you said you didn’t know me! Don’t ever trust him! He is no friend of mine!”
He emphasized the word ‘no’. He continued, “He’s a liar, murderer and dangerous!”
Captain Esiada admitted, “I thought he was no friend. I never did trust him! I do not want you hanging with the likes of him!”
“Yes, sir! Anyway, Shokura is not interested in my well being. He is out to kill me,” Zuangeng said.
“Why,” Captain Esiada asked.
“He killed a man. I saw him do it. I helped to get him convicted for it. He is under the death penalty,” Zuangeng said.