Hello, everyone! In commemoration of my return here in the Gakuen Alice community, I'm going to start a new chaptered fanfiction. Embarrassingly, I've got other stories to update but then I can't help but launch a new one. Yesterday, one of my best friends and I watched Pirates of the Caribbean and I personally think that it is the best out of all its movies! I was highly inspired to write a fan fiction so I really hope this story is successful and that you guys like it!
Everything in the story belongs to me, except for the characters, who were conceived by the genius, Higuchi Tachibana.
The Dragon's Sanctum
By Keiko Oda
Inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean
A Gakuen Alice "Pirates" Rendition
On some nights, when the winds would howl and beat against the window like a cold, savage spirit, I would crawl into my grandfather's bed and ask him for a story to help me get back to sleep. That was how we bonded, Jii-chan – that was what my five year old self used to endear towards him – and I would spend hours on end creating amazing epics on heroes, thieves, kings and queens. He'd light the oil lamp next to his bed and play with shadows, and he'd ask me what story was my favourite, even though he very quite well knew that my answer would never change. It was of the pirates.
I was never scared of Davey Jones, or the See-Reek, or even the Kraken. I told my grandfather that I wanted to catch the mermaids and the sea-serpents, the harpies and the great Zaratan. I'd stand up on the bed, dressed in my pyjamas, pumping my fists into the air while announcing that I was going to braver than Sinbad and Arrow-Odd, and that someday, I was going to be a sailor like my grandpa was, and sail the seven seas and slay all of those menacing pirates. "Captain Hook will be kissing my feet!" I proclaimed, before collapsing beside my papa and finally falling asleep just before sunrise.
That was before, when Jii-chan was still alive. He passed away a few years ago, and I, along with a caretaker, manage the lighthouse I still live in. It stands on the coast of Kasumi, a small town in the district of Hyogo, a prefecture in the island of Kyushu peppered with tiny blue houses and viewing the Sea of Japan. Though steep, craggy cliffs with lush greenery encompass the coast, the coast of Kasumi was once upon a time a port for travel and trade, which made my grandfather's job in his latter days a big task – the keeper of the lighthouse. And I used to sit on the edge of lighthouse, ignoring my grandfather's shrill screams telling me to "Get off the damned railings, Mikan Sakura!"; hoping that one day I could become a pirate.
But that was before. They invented airplanes, trains and cargo ships, and the lighthouse serves no purpose but my home.
"Listen, Cho-sama," I said, one day to my guardian, as I sat down by the hardwood table, sketching a vase of flowers for my art project while she silently swept the floor. "The seagulls are noisy again!"
"They are always noisy," she said brusquely, "Blasted creatures can't get off the stupid porch! Hafta keep –
She never finished her sentences. She was a knobbly, middle-aged woman that didn't like talking much.
But I was bothered by the seagulls. I could see them from the kitchen window, their wings flailing about as if something frightening was about to happen. I put down my charcoal and went out the door, coming to find dozens of them sitting on the porch, their wet, mottled, feet leaving sticky prints everywhere. They stared at me with their curious bird eyes and kept cawing alarmingly.
I remembered how Jii-chan used to tell me that the seagulls brought omens to sailors, oftentimes of surprising news.
"Miss Mikan!" Cho called. When I didn't reply, she came out with her broomstick and started swatting at the birds. "Get outta here, ya stupid animals!"
There was not much to say of my grandpa's humble library, a small room across his bedroom, that had only a few dozen books and a musty worktable where he used to pour over his collection of tomes. I didn't read much as a child. I never found any fulfilment in books, only drawings & paintings, which a few of my proudest hung in frames on the sides of Jii-chan's bookcases.
Ever since Jii-chan died I spent a lot of my time in his library. Not reading, but working on my art. I found comfort in the smell of the stale, mildewed pages of his books, or that of the stingy dried-up pots of writing ink. Sometimes, I worked by candlelight only for the sentimental memory of Jii-chan's stories that the electric could never bring.
And as I worked that night, still on the sketch of the flower vase, I sang the pirate song he used to sing to me "Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me...yo-ho, yo-ho...a pirate's life for me..."
The entire lighthouse was quiet. I could only hear the faint creaking of metal coming from the roof above, and the soft sound of the wintry waves crashing. The air in the room hung like a dismal wet blanket. I had made sure the shutters were shut and lock so the cold wouldn't come in, but when my eyes glanced at the window, I saw that it had been opened. The curtains were gently swaying in symphony with the wind.
I was not superstitious, but I could've sworn that I had locked those windows.
I stood up and went to lock the casement. As I peered down at the shore, I saw that the seagulls had not left. They were still cawing and flapping stupidly, and pecking at each other's beady eyes.
Once I was done, I turned around to get back to my artwork. To my shock, I found a small monkey sitting on the desk, holding up my sketchbook as if it was studying my drawing. What in the world was a monkey, of all animals, doing in my grandfather's library? I was not certain if I was dreaming, but the monkey's cheeps to itself were undeniably audible.
I stood there, surprised, as the monkey put my sketchbook down and hopped onto the floor and scrambled up to my grandfather's bookshelf. It started pulling out books, each manuscript hitting the floor with a loud Thump!
"Hey!" I shouted, but the monkey simply ignored me. "Hey, what the heck do you think you're doing?"
I grabbed the monkey's tail and, disgusted, threw it to the side of the room. The monkey immediately turned to me with rabid eyes, baring its teeth. I grabbed one of my grandfather's biggest books – Mythologies and Monsters – and held it up like a weapon. I felt like a complete idiot, but this monkey was scaring me. "Cho! Cho-sama!" I shouted, hoping my believe caretaker would come running into the room with her blasphemous broomstick.
"She can't hear you," came an unfamiliar voice from the door. It was a silky, serpentine voice, but when I turned around, there was nobody there.
My hairs were tingling on my skin and my heart slammed against my ribcage in full horsepower. I wanted to retreat, but my body was frozen in place. My eyes darted from one corner of the room to the other, trying to figure out who beheld that voice.
"Sakura Mikan," it spoke up again, "Do you have an idea of what you possess?"
Suddenly, the speaker revealed itself. It was a tall slender man clad in a dark, midnight blue overcoat. On his head of wispy, dark hair sat a black felt cocked hat with deep red lining. His fingers wove around the books like pale serpents fingering through the pages of my grandfather's books, and then affixed a black mask upon his eyes.
What sort of ridiculous horror is this?
"I asked you a question," he slurred, "Are you not mute?"
"Who are you?" I managed to say.
"Ah," he laughed, and then pointed a finger at the chair I was sitting on earlier. It obediently slid behind him as he took a seat and crossed his legs. "So you want to play games now?"
I was beginning to grow ridiculously scared of this man. He looked inhuman with his paper-white skin and glossy sharp teeth. He obviously possessed some sort of power, for I still seemed to be fastened into place.
The man unsheathed a pearl white sword from his side and began stroking it gently. He smiled at me tentatively. "Haven't you always wanted to be a pirate?"
I could not believe my ears.
He laughed at my appalled expression, and I was suddenly freed from my position and pushed, by some invisible force, to the window, which was suddenly unshackled once again. "Behold," he declared.
Standing majestically on the waters of the beach was a massive vessel, its giant, black sails bellowing in the wind. On its sable black hull were marble torches brilliantly aflame with white fire, while its sharp turquoise masts spiralled icily into the cold. There were people on deck, but I could not see them well, as they traversed the quarterdeck and scaled the nettled shrouds. On the figurehead was the sculpture of a silver dragon, glittering under the moonlight in sinister splendour.
I was thrilled and terrified at the same time. I could feel the blood rush through my body as I took in the valiant image of the ship.
All of a sudden, I realized that the mysterious man was no longer beside me, but back by the shelf. He was going through one of my grandfather's books – one I had never seen before, with loose, brown leather binding – looking absolutely distressed. He flipped through the pages rapidly, his expression growing more and more distraught. His hands clenched violently on the book, and he threw it down, almost hitting his pet monkey and in minutes, his hands were clasped around my neck and I could not breathe.
"Where did you put it, wretched child?" He shouted, his voice vibrating across the room, "Where did your thief of a grandfather hide it?"
I felt my body grow numb in fear. "I – I don't know what you're talking about"
He grabbed his sword and pressed against me in the wall, pointing its sharp tip at my neck. His sharp fangs glowered at me. "You liar! Let me ask you one more time! Where did you put it?"
Before I had time to make out what he meant, he grabbed me by my collar and shook it violently. He spat at my face, his saliva spewing out like acid "You answer me, girl, or you answer to death!"
All of a sudden, another man appeared in the window. He wore a velveteen feathered hat and a scarlet vest. "Persona, that is enough!"
The blonde man unsheathed a sword and pointed it at him. "Release this girl or you'll have to respond to the Captain"
Persona put down his sword and retreated. For a moment, a rush of relief fell upon my anxious body, but it was only a heartbeat until the baleful pirate took out his mask and glared at me and in that instant, I fell into the other man's arms and blacked out.
To Be Updated