Three months later, when the port was beginning to take shape after all their hard work, Chief Oholohono invited Uungluk and his crew to join the Olo for the annual final harvest games that coming weekend. “What month are we in?” Uungluk asked.
“It is now the third week of Hildes,” Chief Oholohono answered.
“Then we must be somewhere near the equator,” Uungluk observed. “Up north it gets cold in the winter and down south it gets cold in the summer, but here it is warm all year long.” He thought for a moment. “It would seem that last week marked the twenty-first year of my life and I did not even realize it.”
Chief Oholohono smiled. “Then you must join us for the final harvest games and celebrate.”
“We will be there,” he agreed.
That weekend, the village of the Olo was packed with people, many of them visiting from other villages and outposts in the region. The first day started with a variety of games for the women and girls, mostly contests to see who could peel or chop a basket of fruit or vegetables the fastest, food that would then be cooked for the feast later in the day. There was also a contest to see which of the women could make the highest pile of hortetts in a basket without them rolling off the stack and out of the basket.
Uungluk noticed one of the young women taking part of the contest. She had brown hair and rosy cheeks. “There’s an attractive woman,” Uungluk whispered to Wet Zet.
“She’s too young for me, but the right age for you,” Wet Zet replied.
“I can only imagine what my father would think if I came home with a tribal wife,” Uungluk laughed.
“That’s assuming you ever do go home,” Wet Zet said. “Even then, I doubt your father would disapprove once he got to know her.”
A short while later, Wet Zet participated in an archery contest and won. Uungluk then competed in the spear throwing contest, and while he did not win, he still did very well.
When it was time to eat, Uungluk seated himself at a table where he had a good view of the attractive girl he had seen earlier that day. “You’re very smitten with her, aren’t you?” Wet Zet observed.
“The girls of Atalan were usually annoying when I was growing up,” Uungluk explained. “They were always trying to attract my brother and me, hoping to marry into the royal family. Here they hardly care that I exist.”
“Can you dance?” Wet Zet asked.
Uungluk looked at Wet Zet. “Not with you!”
“Definitely not with me,” Wet Zet said. “I heard there was going to be dancing tonight. You should ask that girl to join you.”
“I might consider it,” Uungluk decided.
“Excuse me, Captain,” Commander Onoromo said, walking up behind them. Uungluk and Wet Zet turned in their seats. “I couldn’t help but notice the direction of your gaze,” he said. “She’s probably the finest young lady in all of Olo.”
“Who is she?” Uungluk inquired.
Commander Onoromo knelt between Uungluk and Wet Zet. “Her name is Jo’Ana and she is the daughter of Chief Oholohono.”
“Captain Uungluk would like to know if she is taken,” Wet Zet told the Commander.
“I would have expected it by now, but most men ignore her because they fear angering her father.”
“Why would they be like that?” Uungluk asked.
“Because Chief Oholohono has no sons,” Commander Onoromo answered. “If a man marries a chief’s only daughter before that chief dies, then that man will become our next chief. Otherwise, there will be an election to decide our next chief. Unfortunately, any man that requested to marry Jo’Ana while Chief Oholohono still lives would, in effect, be claiming he is worthy of becoming our next chief, and grabbing power in that manner is frowned upon.”
Wet Zet leaned back in his seat. “Well, Captain Uungluk, it sounds as if Jo’Ana is yours for the taking.”
“That might not be the best idea,” Commander Onoromo said. “Captain Uungluk is destined for greater things than being the chief of our tribe.”
“And perhaps she is destined for greater things than just being the wife of the chief of your tribe,” Uungluk said. He looked at Commander Onoromo. “If she is not with anyone by the time of tonight’s dance, then I’ll go talk to her.”
“Well it sure won’t be me with her,” the Commander replied. “I’ve already got a wife. I should warn you though, there is also chance that she will turn you away because she knows her father would not want a pirate as the next chief.”
“I can’t imagine why she would refuse me,” Uungluk said confidently.
That evening, after the sun went down, the dance began. Most of the music was made with a variety of drums, but there were also a few pipe melodies worked into the rhythm. Uungluk slowly wandered along the sidelines as the various couples moved around in the center of the village courtyard. He eventually found the young woman he had been watching throughout the day. “Would you dance with me?” he asked her.
She looked at him, aghast at the audacity of his request. “I don’t dance with pirates like you,” she answered coldly.
Uungluk grinned. “There are no other pirates like me.”
She shook her head. “What makes you so different from a thousand others?” she asked, partly out of intrigue.
“I’m not afraid to ask you to dance,” he answered.
The young woman smiled. “You would be the first,” she admitted. “Are you always this bold with women?”
Uungluk shook his head. “You would be the first,” he answered. “Until now I have turned away all of the women I have met because they were only after the rewards of my position.”
“I don’t know why any woman would desire stolen goods from a pirate, but all the men who have approached me so far were only after my father’s power and did not care about me.”
“I’m a pirate,” Uungluk said with a shrug. “If I wanted power, I would sail the seas and commandeer ships to form my own fleet. They would call me Uungluk the Unstoppable, and my infamy would spread throughout the world. Instead, I am here, away from my ship, and all I want is to dance with you.” He held out his hand. “Jo’Ana, will you dance?”
She smiled and took his hand. “I will dance,” she agreed.
Uungluk led her into the courtyard and they began to dance.
When the festivities were ending for the night, the musicians announced that they would play one last song while everyone returned to their homes. Jo’Ana looked at Uungluk as the crowd began to disperse. “You’re a mysterious man, Captain Uungluk,” she said. “Your dancing is rough at best, but your words are more eloquent than I would expect from a pirate.”
“I used to be a scholar and a hunter,” he answered. “Today I am the captain of a ship. Tomorrow my destiny may take me to other things.”
“It must be nice having a life of adventure,” she said. “I have always been stuck here among the Olo.”
Uungluk shook his head. “I would not call my life an adventure, but it has been interesting.” He looked around at the nearly empty courtyard. He noticed a few people standing around the edges of the area frowning at him. “You should return to your home. It would not be proper for me to keep you after everyone has left.”
Jo’Ana smiled. “Let us listen to this last song and then depart.” He nodded his agreement and the two of them stood there listening to the rest of the song.
Early the next morning, Chief Oholohono and several of his soldiers crossed the Olo River and hurried to the entrance of the pirate stockade. He demanded to see Captain Uungluk immediately.
Uungluk hurried over. “It is a nice day,” he greeted. “What brings you to our base?” Wet Zet, guessing the reason for the confrontation, walked up and stood beside Uungluk, holding a long thin item covered with cloth.
“Don’t play the fool with me,” Chief Oholohono growled. “You know why I am here. You have come to take my power and enslave the Olo people by enchanting my daughter with your false charm.”
“Is it possible for a man to ask a beautiful girl to dance without being accused of ambition?” Uungluk asked. “I want nothing to do with your power, position, or influence, for my destiny will one day take me far from these lands and the Olo people.”
Chief Oholohono frowned. “What destiny do you speak of? You’re nothing more than a common pirate, a brigand of the seas that has come to take advantage of our hospitality with promises of future peace with the Overlord. You have no destiny, but a shameful life of crime. I forbid you from ever speaking with my daughter again.”
“Those are harsh words to speak against a man who has more than reimbursed you for even the least amount of assistance you have offered us,” Wet Zet said before Uungluk could respond. “I suggest you learn the origin of Captain Uungluk the Mighty before you question his integrity.”
Chief Oholohono glared at Wet Zet. “If you were not my brother-in-law, I would...”
Commander Onoromo ran up from the distance. “Chief Oholohono, this is all a misunderstanding!”
The Chief turned to face the Commander. “What do you mean this is a misunderstanding? This fool of a pirate thinks he can take my daughter and become the next chief of the Olo.”
“This is a matter best discussed in private,” the Commander said. “You know that I did not trust the word of this man when he arrived in our village, but now I would trust this man’s words without question. Send these soldiers out of earshot and let Captain Uungluk tell you of his destiny.”
“Very well,” Chief Oholohono agreed. He motioned for the soldiers to move back. When the soldiers were out of hearing, the Chief looked at Uungluk. “Tell me, Captain, what is so special about you?”
“When I first came to Olo, I told you that I had another name,” Uungluk began. “I also said to ask me sometime in private, but you never did.”
“I am a busy man and I don’t like to pry,” the Chief explained, “but now that we are here, what is your real name?”
“I am Prince Turos,” he answered. He took the long thin bundle from Wet Zet and handed it to the Chief. “Here are the arrows that were taken from my shoulder and thigh when I was found in the sea one year ago today. My future has been spoken by the Lunari, and by their words I will one day be the Great King.”
Chief Oholohono opened the bundle and saw the two arrows. He held up the one that was missing the feathers and most of the shaft. “The craftsmanship is far beyond anything I have seen from a pirate,” he acknowledged. “If you are Prince Turos, then how did you end up among pirates with a name like Uungluk?”
“A ship found me floating over a month away from shore as they were being pursued by the royal fleet. They pulled me from the water, cared for my wounds, and put me to work as one of their crew. I told them to call me Uungluk. It was a joke name my father used when he promoted Commander Kulgnu the week before and it was the first thing to come to mind when the pirates asked my name. It was not until we docked on the Isle of Kevek six months later that the crew I was with heard the news and realized who I was.”
Chief Oholohono put the piece of arrow back with the other and rolled up the bundle. “You have told a strong story, filled with information that can be verified. Prince Turos, I believe what you say is true, and that you are not here to worm your way into power over the Olo.”
Uungluk grinned. “Please, know me as Captain Uungluk until the time comes for me to be Prince Turos once more.”
“I will do that, Captain” the Chief agreed. He handed the bundled arrows back to Wet Zet. “I am curious; did you have to tell my daughter your true name in order for her to agree to dance?”
Uungluk shook his head. “She only knows me as Captain Uungluk, but I did say I was not like any other pirate.”
Chief Oholohono smiled. “Whatever you said, you intrigued her unlike any other man, and she is quite smitten by you. I will not stand between you. However, if you intend to pursue any further relationship with my daughter, there will be uprisings among the Olo unless you officially reject any claims to my power, and I demand that you tell her your real name.”
“I will do that,” Uungluk agreed. “I am sorry if I caused you any unnecessary grief. If there is any way I can make it up to you, let me know.”
“I think you should spend some more time with my family,” the Chief said. “We are planning a small visit to the peninsula northeast of our village and I would like you to come along.”
“I can fulfill your request,” Uungluk said, but it would be improper in the eyes of your people for me to be seen accompanying you if Wet Zet and Commander Onoromo did not also come along.”
“That would be fine,” the Chief agreed. “We will be leaving at the end of this week. It will be two days to walk there, four days to relax, and two days to walk back.”
“My ship can take us there in a day, and my crew needs a chance to sail,” Uungluk suggested.
Chief Oholohono shook his head. “It would not be a good idea for me to be seen sailing away unescorted on a ship full of pirates. The Olo people would be wondering if I would ever return.”
“I can understand that,” Uungluk said. “We can walk.”
Chief Oholohono gave a brief bow. “Then I will see you next weekend.” He turned and left, taking the Commander and his soldiers with him.
Wet Zet looked at Uungluk. “I bet you’re excited. It’s going to be a long week for you, waiting to see that girl again.” Uungluk smiled, but did not reply.