The Diary of Midshipman Deryn Sharp

Chapter 4: To Be A Samurai For A Day

Yay! New chapter! ;) So excited! I was originally going to have this be my second chapter, but the other stories got in the way! XD

So, onto this silly chapter!

I slide down the ratlines, my gloved hands feeling the heat of friction as the leather and rope rub together. I suddenly stop, pulling the rope taut, and land on Alek's window sill; I proceed to peer inside. His sleeping form rises and falls as he clutches his pearly colored sheets to his chest.

Grinning, my mouth twists into smirk as I reach into one of my many pockets, and retrieve a small cylinder of metal. I slip the piece into Alek's window, and pry it open with my smallish airman muscles. The window suddenly gives way, and I tip backwards, my arms flailing. I make no noise as my safety harness catches and holds me still.

Pausing, I wait to hear if Alek heard any of my mistakes; once I know for sure the daft prince is still in dream land, I reach my arms up and grasp the rusty windowsill with my slippery gloved hands, and curse softly under my breath about how much a wet morning dampers my day. Pulling myself onto the sill, I push the window to the side and am about to slip inside when something catches my eye.

A black speck flits across my peripheral vision. I crane my neck around to see what it could be and see that my trousers are flopping through the air on a gust of wind. I don't realize til it's too late that I'm leaning back a bit too far and tip over backwards yet again.

"Woah!" I yelp, and my safety harness catches my for a second time within five minutes.

"Damn my favorite trousers!" I hiss under my warm breath, and peak over the windowsill at Alek; he is still snoring softly, his form rising and falling calmly. I finally manage to get inside yet again, and let out a sigh of relief. Alek's room is more tidy than the last time I was here, and that was back when I'd been searching for him because he'd told the lady boffin off on me for ditching Tazza to eat something and I had wanted to give him a piece of my mind. I still haven't gotten to yelling at him yet...I keep forgetting.

I glance around the room, noting the chest of clothes on the left of the room, while Alek's small, twin sized bed is shoved against the wall on the right. I step forward and almost trip over Bovril, who, for some reason or another, is sleeping on the floor. Why does Alek keep stealing Bovril! It's my turn to take care of him! I frown irritably.

Tiptoeing away from the loris, I reach Alek's bed. His mouth is slightly parted as he breathes in and out through it instead of his nose.

His eyes are moving lazily in his sleep and I can't help staring at the lashes as they lie calmly on his pale face...wait a second...DUMMKOPF!

I face palm several times over. What is wrong with my attic?! I am here for other reasons, not to stare at this prince's facial features! UGH! I shake myself out of the bizarre thoughts and lean over Alek.

"WAKE UP!" I scream loudly in his face.

"AAIIIEEEE!" Alek shrieks immediately. He literally jumps two inches off the mattress and slams his head into mine. Not a very smart idea on my part—staying right above him when he wakes after being scared out of his wits. I step back and hold my head in agony.

"Deryn!?" Alek asks in bewilderment.

"You daft, daft prince..." I mutter under my breath. "Oh...this hurts!" I moan holding my aching face as Alek looks at me in amazement.

"What are you doing in here?" he inquires. I shake myself.

"I've come to tell you we're just over Japan, and we'll be landing soon to gather supplies at port," I inform him. Pushing his knuckles against the mattress, Alek gets off his bed and looks up at me. I smile wickedly in my mind, still basking in the glory of being taller than him.

"Couldn't you just knock on the door?" Alek asks, "instead of go to great lengths to scare me to death?" I chuckle.

"Aye, yes, I suppose. I could have," I agree. "But that was the point; I wanted to scare you like the ninny you are." Alek raises his eyebrows.

"Thanks," he says, then sighs. "Well, since you came all the way here, you have something important to say, am I correct? Or did you just come to wake me up from a pleasant dream?" I nod.

"Aye, I was going to ask you some questions," I respond. "And may I ask, what this dream was about?"

Alek turns red and clears his throat, then says-"So, let me guess, you have questions about Japan?" Alek turns away from me, changing the subject and begins to go through his desk. Stepping beside him, I nod.

"Exactly, I am wondering about Japanese Samurai." Alek glances at me, and pulls out a book on Asia.

"I don't have much information on Japan, but there should be a little in this book. Samurai are well known, so I suspect that there should be information in here. Just look in the index." Alek hands the book to me. Flipping through it, I skip past places such as China, and finally come across he Japanese chapter. I read it carefully, and my expression widens into a grin. Alek clears his throat.

", are you reading something you were looking for? Because your expression looks a little scary," he inquires. I push the book into Alek's chest.

"Thank you for your limited information!" I smile happily, and give him a quick kiss on the cheek before dashing to the door, leaving Alek frozen to the spot, his face as read as I've ever seen it.

I have to admit, it makes him look cute.

I walk down the ramp into the elegant streets of Japan, where merchants call out prices in thick Japanese accents. Alek stumbles along beside me, being extremely un-princely. I walk purposely down the dirt pathways, and head directly to a large Asian building. Alek stops beside me.

"Why are we at Dojo?" he asks; I grin.

"Why else?" I reply. "I want to become a Samurai." Alek looks at me, aghast.

"Are you crazy?!" Alek yelps. I nod.

"Barking insane," I correct him, and walk directly into the building.

We sit in a kneeling position in front of an aged man. He looks at us pensively.

"It is not possible," he says. I start to get up and yell, but Alek pulls me back into a sitting position by the back of my formal jacket. I pout irritatedly, and Alek bows to the master before us.

"We are sorry to disturb you," he says, and we get up to go.

"I can't believe that man!" I hiss. "Why wont he let me train for a day?!" Alek sighs.

"You can't just come and train for a day, people dedicate their lives to the Samurai code!"

I cross my arms. "Seems barking idiotic," I huff, and we exit the building.

"No, it's considered honorable," Alek retorts, causing me to sigh.

Suddenly, screaming pierces the air and the both of us whip around to see what the commotion is. Alek and I share a glance before running back into the Dojo.

"What's going on?!" I shout as a bunch of students rush by with their swords, half of them in armor, half not. Alek and I immediately follow behind them, but we lose them a few seconds later. I whip around a corner and catch my foot on a table, knocking a large, intricately painted vase off.

"UH OH!" I yelp, and reach my hands out to catch it.

"Deryn!" Alek calls, pointing down another hallway. "It's not the time to be playing with vases! Something bad is happening!" I hop around on one foot, lugging the enormous vase in my arms.

"I'm most certainly not playing with a vase you daft prince!" I snap back, but Alek continues running and I'm forced to try to follow. Instead, I trip on a rug on the floor; the strands of string get stuck on my shoe; I spin around, falling backwards and hit the ground with the vase landing on my stomach.

"Oh dummkopf," I grunt in pain. Managing to roll it off, I hop to my feet and dash off after Alek, hoping I'll be able to catch up soon enough.

"Deryn!" Alek calls from up ahead, and I reach him in a few more seconds. We pause, then turn to the door. Running out into the courtyard, we see a lot of student on the ground, bleeding profusely. I look around for the culprit to this devastating scene. The grounds are silent, even the air has stopped. I move away from Alek and move towards a small garden across from us. Alek goes to the students who are on the ground to figure out who is the most badly injured.

I head into the grove in the back, where the grounds to the Dojo end. Something rustles to my right.

"Hello?" I ask, knowing perfectly well that whatever, or whoever it is, will not respond, but hopefully they will attack me and show themselves—though...the prospect of being attacked isn't too pleasurable. I hear another noise behind me and something slams into my shoulder, knocking me to the dirt. Holding my shoulder blade, I eye my surroundings carefully.

I see a tree just a little ahead, leaning over heavily, along with a rake, that I bet some servant uses to sweep the leafs. I walk over to the tree first.

" know, you aren't that great of a fighter if you have to hide you know," I goad. "Airmen like me a much more honorable." I stay silent for a second, hoping to let this opponent allow the words to sink in.

"Though, I bet you didn't even understand a word of what I just said," I continue. "You must be really daft if you think you can beat me." I hear a bloody loud shout, and whirl around to see a man decked in full Samurai armor; it isn't exactly polished or well worn, since the chest-plate seems a size too small. I duck and make my way over to the rake.

The man pulls out his katana from its sheath. I gulp; not good. I hold the weather worn rake up and back up towards the leaning tree. The angry attacker slashes at me at lightening speed and I barely stop it from cutting me in half. The two of us move into a dance of parrying each others' blows, as well as trying not to get killed int the process.

I'm tiring out quickly from the man's precise blows, and I breathe in and out heavily. Oh...where is Alek at a time like this!?

The man in samurai armor raises his katana high, and I duck down onto one knee, holding onto my rake tightly. The katana misses me and gets lodged into the tree. He begins pulling on it roughly, but the blade is stuck tightly into the tough wood. I grin, knowing perfectly well that he was going to do that from the beginning.

Then something I'm not expecting happens. There is a loud crash, and I watch as a large rock lands on the man's helmet, and he topples over in a dead faint. Looking up, I see Alek is up in the tree, smiling down at me; he hops down and helps me up. I gulp for air.

"Remind me to never want to be a Samurai ever again," I instruct him. Alek laughs and pats me on the shoulder.

"Sure Deryn," he says, and we drag the attacker's body back to the Dojo.

I walk up the ramp to the Leviathan.

"You're barking joking!" I exclaim loudly as Alek grins.

"Yes, that man was a rogue who barely knew how to fight," he says for the second time. I sigh, my eyes wide in shock.

"And I thought that man was really tough to fight.." I murmur. Alek shrugs.

"He trained in fighting," Alek says. "You're an airmen, and therefore, you don't know combat like that." I turn to him, eyebrows raised.

"Oh, so you really think that, you barking daft prince," I say, crossing my arms. "Well, why don't we just have a little fight once we get inside." I stalk into the Leviathan. Alek blinks and starts after me.

"H-hold on Dylan!" he calls. "I don't want to go that far!" I snort.

"Too late your princely-ness." I grab a mop from Newkirk who is mobbing the deck, and turn on Alek.

"On guard," I say, then proceed to swing out the mop in an ark above my head.

Yay! Another chapter done! ^_^ Longer than the rest, actually. Oh well.

Please review!