"I give up," Dahlia complained. "I'm tired and I'm hungry and I wanna sit down," he whined.

Rolff an Flario let out an annoyed sigh.

They had been searching for a ship to sail them across the Great Ocean for a good two hours now, but still no luck. Either the ships were too much of a wreck or they were way to fancy. To board the fancy ships a ton of money was required and since they were in disguise, Flario and Dahlia could not make use of their royalty.

There was one ship that offered food and shelter for a reasonable price. They stood on deck and inspected the ship to see if it were safe.

"What about safety?" Rolff asked the captain.

That's when they heard a frightened yell and heavy grunting from below the deck. The captain stomped on the wooden floor and yelled for the poor woman to keep quiet. When he turned his attention to the others, they had vanished.

Now they had to listen to Dahlia's constant whining. Seriously, it was like he was a little kid again. He demonstratively sat down on the wooden surface of the pier and refused to move.

"Get off the ground, Dahlia," Flario groaned.

"No." Dahlia crossed his arms over his chest and turned his face away.

"Young man, don't make throw you over my shoulder," Rolff threatened.

"If you touch me, I will scream," Dahlia fired back.

"Hey, hey," Flario butted in, "nobody's doing any touching here!"

And soon it was a mess overlapping shouts and complaints between the three. People stopped dead in their tracks to see what was going on.

"So, you three land-lovers looking for a ship to sail 'cross the Great Ocean?"

The three friends stopped their quarrelling and turned to the person who had spoken. The man standing in front of them was old, gray and as skinny as a bone. Seriously, the man was so skinny you could clearly see his ribs as they pressed outward against his pale skin. He had a cadaverous face, which made him look ghost-like.

"Listen, grandpa," Dahlia started.

"As a matter of fact, we are," Flario quickly said before Dahlia could ruin their chances of getting a across.

"What ya got to offer?" the man asked raising one of his white bushy eyebrows. He looked at the three young men standing in front of him.

Flario's hands caught on fire and Rolff flexed his muscles.

"So we got ourselves a flamethrower and a muscle-man." The man gave an approving nod. Then he brought his attention to Dahlia. "What can you do?" he asked him.

Dahlia refused to speak to the man.

"I get it," the man said as he nodded understandingly. "You be the pretty weakling of the crew."

Rolff and Flario stifled a laugh.

"Wha...?" Dahlia protested, a dumbfound look on his face.

"Ah, yes," the man continued, chuckling as he did so, "every traveling party must have pretty weakling. It ain't a party without a pretty laddy." He laughed at his own joke.

Rolff and Flario started to laugh as well.

Dahlia's face became red with embarrassment mixed with anger.

"Come along." The man motioned for the boys to follow him. "The ship be not so far away."

Rolff was the first to follow the old man. Flario stuck out his hand to Dahlia, who was still sitting on the floor. Dahlia took the hand and Flario pulled him up and into an embrace. He held Dahlia there and looked into his eyes.

"The man is right about one thing," Flario whispered, "but wrong about the other. Yes, you are pretty, but you are not a weakling."

Flario was just about to kiss Dahlia, when he realized that they were in public. He simply smiled and gently let Dahlia go.

"Let's go." Flario stuck out his hand for Dahlia to take it.

But Dahlia ignored it and walked passed Flario, leaving him confused once again.

A few moments later they arrived at the ship. She was a beauty. Not as beautiful as the fancy ones but still very impressive.

"Behold the Naked Sword," the old man proclaimed, spreading his arms out as if to embrace the ship.

"It's beautiful," Dahlia softly said.

"She is beautiful," the old man corrected him.

Dahlia scoffed and looked the other way.

Then a tall man with long blonde hair made his way over to them. "What have we here, Mokk," he wanted to know from the old man.

"These here land-lovers wanna sail 'cross the Great Ocean with us," Mokk answered, then he whispered: "They offer us firepower and a great deal of strength." He then nodded to Dahlia. "Don't mind the pretty one, he's harmless..."

"I am not..." Dahlia couldn't finish, because Flario's hand was covering his mouth, disabling him once again from ruining their one chance to get across the Great Ocean.

The blonde man nodded. "I'm Charles al Oba," he said, holding out his hand, "captain of the Naked Sword."

"Pleasure to meet you," Rolff said, shaking Charles' hand. "I'm Rolff and these are..." He stopped and shot Flario and Dahlia a frightened look. They had no aliases! "Umm.. these are..."

"I'm Lolil," Dahlia quickly said.

"And I'm Brad," Flario said in suave voice, while shaking Charles' hand.

Rolff and Dahlia looked at him.

"What," he defended himself, "it's a cool name."

"Sure," Rolff and Dahlia both snickered.

"Nice to meet you all," Charles said, smiling at the three boys. "Come, let us board the ship. Mokk here will show you to your cabins. We'll be setting sail soon."

Mokk brought them to their cabins then took it upon himself to show them around. He introduced them to the chef and some of the other crewmembers. They were all dressed in proper sailor clothing and were all incredibly handsome.

They even passed a big black guy. His face was decorated with many scars, which made all the more attractive. It seemed as if he didn't fit in his outfit. Rolff noticed a large bulge in the man's pants. It was like he was hiding a large banana in there.

"This is nice," Rolff whistled after tearing his eyes off of the black man, "and all we had to do was offer our services."

"Well, I offered my 'pretty face'," Dahlia grumbled.

"There's nothing wrong with that," Flario hushed him, "your blood may be the only thing that can help when one of the crewmembers gets hurt or falls victim to a fatal disease."

"Nope," Mokk grinned, "we got three docs."

"Sorry, babe," Flario apologized.

"Well, I can still..." But Dahlia was cut off by an announcement.

The Naked Sword was about to set sail.

Before long the ship sailed out of the harbor. Flario watched as the harbor grew smaller as they drifted further and further from the mainland. Then he turned to the open sea. There he noticed a glimmer upon the horizon. As they got closer, he could make out a wall made out of many colorful lights.

"Wow," he whispered, "what's that?"

Rolff and Dahlia joined him and they stared at the wall in awe.

"That's the border," someone next to them said. It was a young black woman wearing a white dress. She had a scar on her left cheek. Her hair was dark and braided in one long plait. "Once we cross the border, we're in international waters," she continued. "The laws of Shiran can't touch us over there."

Flario, Dahlia and Rolff shot her an astonished look. "Really?!" all three of them asked in unison.

"You never been outside of Shiran," the woman asked, a surprised look on her face.

"No." Again they had answered in unison.

"Well, you're in for a treat," the woman chuckled, "coz once we sail through those lights..." Her smile broadened, but she didn't finish. "I'm Haría*," she then said, jumping onto another topic.

The others also introduced themselves. When she heard Flario's alias, she burst out in laughing, almost rolling over the ground, tears rolling down her cheeks.

"Brad," she uttered, still laughing hysterically, "what the hell kinda name is that?!" She held her stomach and continued laughing. She gasped for breath, while saying: "Brad. That's a good one, red eyes!"

"It's a cool name," Flario shrieked.

"Yeah," Haría said, ignoring Flario and focusing her attention on Rolff. "So," she said, looking him up and down and nodding approvingly, "Rolff is it?"

Rolff nodded with a smile.

"Aren't you hunk of sexy just asking to be fucked like an underpaid prostitute," she continued, her eyes resting on Rolff's crotch. "You seem to be packing some serious meat, baby." She then looked up at him. "I look forward to seeing you in my cabin." She blew him a kiss, turned around and walked away.

Rolff just stood there, his face as red as tomato. "Wha...?"

"Underpaid prostitute," Dahlia repeated, stifling a chuckle.

"Serious meat," Flario said, trying his best not to burst in laughing.

"Not cool, guys," Rolff said and turned away.

"Look," Dahlia yelled, "we're getting closer. Isn't it beautiful?"

Not as beautiful as you, is what Flario wanted to reply, but he didn't, knowing it would only lead to one of Dahlia's silent treatments.

The ship got closer and as it passed through the border, the Naked Sword and its crew got bathed in a wave of colorful lights. None of them moved a muscle. They all just stared up at the lights.

The moment the ship crossed the border, it was as if a curse had been lifted. The properly dressed sailors were bare-chested all of sudden. They all carried swords, knives and guns. And even though they were still handsome and even more sexy looking now, they all looked very threatening.

Tattoo's were plastered all over their well-defined muscles and faces. There was no doubt that they all had at least one tattoo on their cocks. They were also heavily pierced. They had piercings in their nose, ears, nipples, eyebrows and, even though not visible, their cocks.

Flario looked around, not knowing if he should be turned on or frightened. Dahlia had the same expression on his face. Rolff on the other hand had a serious look on his face, as if he was thinking which one of these hunky sailors he was gonna take to his cabin for a little fun.

Then three of them hoisted a black flag. As the flag reached the top of the pole, the strong winds of the ocean blew it open and as it flapped in the wind, a white grinning skull was revealed.

Dahlia was the first to see it, his eyes grew wide with terror as the two black holes, where once eyes had been, stared at him from above. Then Rolff and Flario also caught sight of the flag. Flario could feel his knees grow weak. But Rolff's look grew even more serious as he looked up at the flag.

"Umm, guys," Dahlia squeaked, almost unable to speak, "is it just me or..."

Flario and Rolff didn't answer. They hoped to the Mother that it was just Dahlia. They both hoped that they had not boarded a pirate ship by mistake...



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