Legend of Mana

Chapter Nine: Pirate Penguin in Love

By Delphine

As Delphine and Lisa first set foot upon the sands of Mandora Beach, they saw two penguins: a male and a female. The two flightless birds seemed to be having a serious conversation of sorts.

"Valerie, my love…I can't leave the Cap'n and me shipmates," the male penguin was saying

"Must you return to the ship, my darling David?" Valerie asked, despair in her voice.

David sighed. "There ain't no such thing as freedom for us henchmen, love…"

"I…I know. I should never have fallen in love with a pirate." Delphine felt her heart reach out in sympathy. Not to long ago, before she and Elazul had become a couple, she had fallen in love with him and sunk into a depression at the thought of never being together.

The female penguin regarded some hard-shelled creatures scuttling across the sand. "Oh look, David! Cute little crabs are running around!"

David shrugged. "So they're crabs!" –he snorted at the name-"Gee, they don't look as crabby today!"

An expression crossed Valerie's face. If she had been human, she would have been biting her lower lip. "David, I have…," she said, hesitantly.

"Huh?" David looked back at her. "What's up?"

"Nevermind…You should get going! I'll hatch it myself!" As soon as she spoke her words, Valerie took off into the Mandora caverns.

"Hatch…" he said, stunned. "Valerie! Did you lay an egg!" David ran off, following his upset mate.

"Should we follow them?" Lisa wondered.

Delphine glanced at the elf girl. "Yes, if only to make sure they aren't attacked by monsters known to dwell here."

"Okay."

As they headed toward the entrance to the caverns, a group of crabs began attacking Delphine and Lisa. They were unfortunately forced to stomp on the critters. This is the way it went as they traveled through the caverns until they were attacked by a huge crab creature. "This is getting ridiculous," Delphine stated, as she dodged a pincer.

Twirling her staff, she counter attacked. A loud clang sounded as the staff hit the hard shell of the monster. Lisa took this opportunity to send out a fire spell, softening the monster's shell. The human girl threw her staff as she yelled, "Paint-It-Black!" The creature was sucked into a black vortex. When it reappeared it was dead.

"I hate sea food," Delphine grumbled as they once again started up their trek.

"At least it wasn't a spider," Lisa pointed out.

Her mistress shuddered at the thought of a giant arachnid.

They finally came out the caverns and immediately spotted Valerie and David.

"Valerie!" David had just tackled his girlfriend. "I ain't gonna leave you alone anymore! We'll be together forever!"

"David, my love!" she cried in shock. "You must go back to your ship!"

"But Valerie, if I quit bein' a pirate, we can be together! My heart's all set to give it all up for you!"

"No, you can't!" she cried. "Go back to your ship. You used to talk about how you wanted to see the world. Don't you remember saying that when we were kids?"

"I remember," he told her, soberly, "But I was to young to know any better."

" 'I'll bring back see monster treasure!' 'I'll beat up all monsters so they won't attack Val!'" she quoted.

David's shoulders slumped as he looked at her with desperate eyes. "I did say that, but you said somethin' about an egg!"

"No, I was talking about laying an egg sometime in the future. Aren't I silly? I'm only dreaming about having an egg."

"Valerie…"

"Now go!" she ordered. "I'm going to hate you if you don't! Go back to your ship!"

"Valerie…"-he started to leave-"I…I'll come back to you! 10 years later…No, even if it be 100 years later…I'll come back as a Cap'n, with 100 penguins under my wing! Don't forget this, it's a vow to you! Aye, I'll be back when all monsters are gone from ever sea! So long, love!" He left.

"David…" Valerie stared at the spot her mate had been standing on. "I won't be able to live with a pirate. I'll hatch the egg myself. That's what's best for our happiness."

"Are you sure?" Delphine spoke up.

Valerie looked at the two girls, startled. "So you heard everything?"

"We did. I think you were wrong to lie to him."

"What else could I do? If he had stayed with me, he would have been miserable."

The human girl looked at the penguin thoughtfully. "You're a lot braver then I am then. I don't think I would be able to give up on the one I loved."

Valerie crossed the distance separating them. "You're brave enough. There is great courage in you, that you are blind to." She handed Delphine the Rust Anchor and Moon's Mirror. "Good luck." She left.

"I didn't understand a word you all were talking about and I don't think I want to," stated Lisa. "Anyway I think its time we head to Gato Grotto."

"You're right, let's go."