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Chapter 138: 138
Early the following morning, Guild Invictus arrived at the docks to see off Dragan Ashlord and Kimura Taree . Their mission was to inform the Gatekeepers of the incursion attempt by the Flamebriar Monarch . The fate of the world would be decided by an existence beyond that of the Iron-Rank adventuring guild, Sol Invictus .
High-Captain Lang Hai agreed that it would be best to send the Calypso towards Bael Turath . The Elizabeth Dare and the other two Sea Wolf ships would be enough to hunt for the slavers, the Saltspray Kings .
Tycondrius, Pale, the Lone Shadowdark, and even Levi Wolfrider accompanied their allies to see their departure .
"We still thinkin' Flamescars for the girl's development, Boss?" Dragan asked with a grin . The "new" curved blade Dragan wore on his back was as tall as Lone .
Tycon nodded, "The Flamescarred Martialists should be more suitable for the young lady's offensive fighting style . Why do you ask?"
Dragan smirked, "Ehh . I might have another idea . But it depends on what the girl wants . "
Tycon pursed his lips, "Agreed . Most conducive to growth is desire . Whether the girl wants to develop her Skills, her raw power, or even her paltry intelligence-- as long as she grows, so too will Sol Invictus . "
Dragan saluted with his fist to his chest, "Sounds good, Boss . "
Tycon returned the salute, "Where is that little whelpling, anyroad?"
"Ehehe," Dragan grimaced, "It looks like she and Bucket got in a fight . She's already on the boat . "
"Tss . Of course, they did . " Tycon scoffed, "I'll reprimand the boy with some training . "
. . .
Taree huddled behind a barrel, hugging her knees . She felt so betrayed . She still couldn't believe that Pale knew they were being sent on different missions and didn't tell her .
Stupid! Stupid stupid stupid! Why did she like such a stupid boy?!
A shadow loomed over her and her barrel, but Taree only curled up tighter .
"Heyyyy . . . What'cha doin' there?" Dragan's curious voice boomed .
"Go away, Mister Dragan . . . " Taree felt her own voice crack, sounding pathetic . She really didn't want to talk to anyone, so she buried her face in her knees .
The t.i.tanblood squatted down, his great height still towering over her, "I know you're pretty upset right now, but you're not gonna see Bucket and the rest of 'em for a while . "
Taree peeked her head out, revealing a pouty, tear-filled face .
Dragan gave a broad smile and offered the girl his humongous hand, "You gotta say what you need to say, while you can say it, kid . "
With some difficulty, Taree nodded and took Dragan's hand . She rushed to the railing to see Pale still on the docks-- the ship had lifted its anchor and it was beginning to sail away .
She cupped her hands over her mouth and yelled . Even though she cried and sobbed and sniffled and coughed, she needed to say everything she needed to say . She needed Pale to know how she felt .
Pale yelled back . . . but he was too far away and she couldn't hear his response .
She felt Dragan place a comforting hand on her back . She looked back to see the gentle t.i.tanblood nod stoically .
She hugged him and cried .
. . .
"Mister Dragan?" Taree asked .
"What's up, kiddo?" Dragan asked, as cheerful as ever .
"I want to be strong . "
The t.i.tanblood chuckled softly, "I know . "
"Will you . . . help me?" the silver-haired girl looked up, trying her best to keep the strength in her voice .
Dragan smirked, "Y'know, Boss had a plan for you to follow . And he's a real smart guy . Heh . And it probably won't be as painful or as difficult . "
Taree hesitated . . . but only for a moment, "I want to be stronger than anyone else . . . Stronger than Pale . . . Even stronger than you . "
"Hahaha!" Dragan laughed, "You serious? You with me, then? You can't change your mind after you decide . "
Taree nodded, resolve clear in her eyes .
Dragan grinned, his eyes flashing red with mana, "Don't say I didn't warn you . "
. . .
The rest of Guild Invictus sailed on the Elizabeth Dare towards the pirate base of the Saltspray Kings .
Tycondrius of Charm . Invictus Pale .
Lone Shadowdark and Levi Wolfrider .
The voyage was relatively uneventful . The Sea Wolves were incredibly adept at hunting large and varied fish for food . Tycon remained in good spirits .
The gentle rocking of the Elizabeth Dare inflicted Levi Wolfrider with a horrible nausea . Tycon a.s.sured him that the effects were temporary and he'd grow used to it . . . That was what he hoped, anyroad .
In an ironic twist of fate, Pale, the prodigious spearman was . . . not good at being on a ship . The boy's sense of balance became nonexistent, and he constantly tripped and fell . Every time the Sea Wolves would cast their nets to catch fish, any fish that dropped onto the deck would somehow manage to bite him . He even dropped his water canteen overboard when a high wave splashed him and . . . only him .
The superst.i.tious Sea Wolves said that the sea G.o.d hated him .
Tycon was tempted to agree .
As for Tycon's experiences, he spent his days trying to decode Eilean's speech and playing games suitable for children with Rico . . . The girl was remarkably astute for a 3-year-old .
The Lone Shadowdark had become suspiciously good friends with the Sea Wolf Sergeant named Garret, a man who Tycon had previously identified as 'Hammer' . Captain Lang Hai had informed Tycon that Garret was their newest, youngest Sergeant .
The two were rather alike, both of them being idiots . But if Sergeant Garret was capable of melting b.u.t.ter, he'd rate the Sea Wolf as superior .
As the Elizabeth Dare sailed closer to the island identified on the map, Hai maneuvered the ship to approach with vision blocked by some steep cliffs . As they set anchor, the sun began to set off the starboard bow .
. . .
A team of Sea Wolf scouts climbed aboard the ship, dripping wet . A gaunt, familiar man with daggers strapped to his belt saluted Lang Hai .
"Cap'n . "
"Welcome back, Corporal Jacque . " Hai nodded, "Report . "
The man saluted, "Aye, Cap'n . 3 frigates and 6 corvettes in port, a seventh corvette out in the waters-- probably as a scout . We spotted a walled camp and a fortified structure beyond . . . They're flyin' the flag of the Seaspray Kings, Cap'n . "
Lang Hai whistled, "If those ships have full crews, we're looking at 1,500 men, at least . We've got less than a third of that . "
"Is that a problem, Sea Wolf?" Tycon smirked .
Hai scoffed, "Tch . Yeah . We only need 3 kills per Marine? My men are gonna be bored . "
He turned to Jacque, "Good job, Corporal . Prepare a team . Two bells 'till dawn, I want every pirate on that scout ship dead . "
"Aye aye, Cap'n," Jacque saluted before hurrying off .
"Lieutenant," Hai called .
"Here, Cap'n!" Eilean saluted sharply . Tycon was both surprised and respectful of the woman's sudden lack of coquetry .
"Once dawn hits, I want to be on that beach while the tide is rising . Inform the men . "
"Aye aye, Cap'n," the Sea Witch grinned .
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"Invictus?" Hai looked up at Tycon, smirking derisively, "You gonna help out? Not that it matters if you do or don't . "
Tycon scoffed, "Tss . Of course, we will . Lone Shadowdark, you're on the a.s.sault team . "
Hearing his name, Lone suddenly began to pay attention, dropping a hand of cards onto the deck, "Wait, what?"
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