Seren had already boarded this ship before so though she was curious about their journey, she didn’t have to be told about the basics again. She saw the sailors on the ship were almost finished preparing the ship to sail and most of them were fixing some ropes; in fact, there were many ropes that were tied to three tall wooden poles placed at specific distances within the ship.
On the white sails attached on the mast was the dragon insignia symbolizing the King of Megaris, as well as the sun crest that symbolized the Ivanov Royal Family.
As the sails fluttered along with the strong wind, Seren noticed that some men had climbed those huge wooden poles using the ladder-like ropes, with a handful standing high up at small horizontal wooden poles attached to those long ones.
“That looks dangerous. Won’t they fall down?” Seren asked.
“They won’t. They are used to climbing the shrouds–those standing rigging attached to the mast–and they have been doing this for decades, they can even do that with their eyes closed,” he answered as he observed her gaze.
“My Queen, see those curtain-like fabrics? Those are sails and there are four of them. Once all those are unfurled, the wind will help propel the ship,” he explained to her what those men were doing with the ropes and what those huge white fabrics were meant for. Seren was of course impressed by her husband’s vast knowledge.
“Hmm, I think I have read about those in one pirate book. I remember that the pirates aimed to destroy the main mast or something so the cargo ship can’t escape,” she commented as they both walked the stairs on the ship that led to the tall platform which had a large wooden wheel.
Her purple eyes lit up once more. “Dray, do you know how to sail? Have you tried steering this wheel?”
Drayce smiled and led her closer to the helm of the ship. He made her stand in front of it and put her hands on the handle of that wheel and then placed his hands over hers. “How about today, my Queen experiences how to be a ship captain?”
It shocked her and she turned her head to look at him. “I…can’t…”
“You can, my Queen, when I am with you,” he said as he tilted his head a little to look at her.
She gulped at the thought of it as this was a huge ship and not a small boat. Even if it was a small boat, she had no sailing knowledge; she knew she would never dare try steering any kind of marine vessel.
While she showed great reluctance, Slayer appeared beside them with his head lowered. “Your Majesty, we are ready to leave.”
“I will take a charge then,” Drayce replied.
Slayer understood and walked down the stairs of that elevated platform and went to the man who was waiting for him.
“Captain Benett, His Majesty will take care of your work for a while,” Slayer informed him.
Benett, the captain of the royal ship, was a middle-aged man with a robust build, his weathered face showing much of his experience as a veteran sailor.
The captain nodded, as if that was something he already expected. “I will look after other things then,” he said and looked at his men who had secured everything perfectly.
“Pull the anchors! We are leaving!” the captain said in a loud voice and everyone cheered just like how they cheered before every journey.
Seren heard his command and the cheers that followed, and she could not help but look at the other side of the ship. A group of sailors were letting out loud shouts while pulling a mechanism with thick iron chains, and she guessed they were pulling the anchors up, as the captain ordered.
Seeing them making noises, she asked, “What are they doing?”
“It’s their usual way of cheering before the journey,” Drayce answered and asked, “Are you ready, my Queen?”
“Ready for what…?” and she found the wheel in front of her moving. Her hands that were holding those handles were pressed firmly by Drayce’s hands, and with his guidance, their hands helped keep the wheel steady, as the breeze from the sea continued to play with her loose hair strands gently.
The nervous feeling of going back to Abetha was replaced by the feeling of thrill as the ship started to move slowly. It was as if the pounding in her heart was in sync with the happy cheers of the sailors. With a smile, she continued to hold the handle tightly, making sure that her feet were firmly planted on the wooden floor. She heard the sound of bells ringing which she knew was a signal to say that the ship had successfully left the dock.
“Whoa! Have we really moved the ship?” she asked, barely able to keep her excitement down.
Drayce chuckled as he tightened the grip on her hands and moved the wheel further to slowly guide the ship away from the dock.
“Do you believe it now, my Queen?” Drayce asked like a whisper to her ears in that breeze coming from the sea.
She nodded happily. “We really did it!”
Leaving the King and the Queen alone, others simply focused on their work. The captain of the ship didn’t have to worry as he knew their young king could do the captain’s work really well as it was not the first time he had taken charge of a ship.
Sailing along the calm waves of the sea, the huge royal ship silently coursed through the waters following the designated sea route. Seren turned her head to look at the dock which was getting farther away from them and then looked ahead which had nothing but the vast blue sea in front of her.
The strong salty wind, the sound of water splashing, the sight of seagulls flying everywhere, everything was amazing. It still felt all like a dream to her.