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Chaotic sounds rang out, and the bulk of the ships sank down into the sea one by one. William, however, had a blank expression on his face while he watched the Scarlet Tiger sinking. The largest ship of them all was being swallowed by the merciless waves.
“Is this… victory?” This presented him with an even greater enigma, which was whether to proceed with ground warfare or not.
“What should we do now?” William turned to look at Boruj rather awkwardly.
“I can feel a huge amount of life energy on the island. If I’m not wrong, he should still be there. But I can’t probe further into the details, and there are also disturbances deterring my predictions. After all, they have a wizard with them too…” The radiance of spells shone over Boruk as he shook his head with a bitter smile.
“Why would we attack? We can just patiently surround the island here, it’ll be impossible for anyone there who isn’t of a high rank to survive the loss of the ships…” Crowe’s expression was specific to the craftiness of a pirate.
“That’s a pretty good idea, but there’s another thing we have to consider. They might be trying to stall us here, I’m worried about the other fleet…” As loyal as the bribed pirates could be, they were nothing compared to the dogs they raised. William was aware of that.
Moreover, loyalty and trust weren’t words in the pirates’ dictionaries anyway. They were merely instinctive loonies that sought refuge from the strong!
The sudden blinking of a communication spell cause Boruj’s face to drop.
“I’ve just received news that Pirates’ Cove is immensely determined this time, and they even sent out the Pirates’ Tide. The slaves’ fleet has suffered great losses, and a few high-ranking captains were even murdered. We suspect that the God of Murder’s organisation is behind it…”
“The God of Murder? Damn it!” Nobody who heard the name off this crazy deity would be too happy. William was about to implode. At the same time, he felt some sort of change in the eyes of the two bulky captains beside him.
The main reason why the Louis’ family could terrorise these pirates was because of their enormous military fleets. If they lost too much power now, even without the Scarlet Tiger keeping them in check it was possible that these pirates would mutiny. Common countermeasures were useless against the pirates if they were set on betrayal.
“My Lord! The pirates that we’ve sent out have come back!” A subordinate announced as he led in a rogue dressed in black skintight clothes.
“My Lord, this is the information from ‘Night Owl’!” The rogue presented a letter to them. William slightly jerked his head to the side, signaling for his grey-haired butler to receive the letter and put it through a thorough check.
“No anomalies,” the butler reported after scrutinising it. He then passed the letter to William, who took his time to absorb the information.
His expression grew progressively better, “I’ve decided! We’re gonna land immediately and ambush the Scarlet Tigers!”
‘Has he had a spy among the Scarlet Tigers for a while?’ Crowe watched everything quietly, but something flashed across his eye.
William looked at Crowe. “They have around 500 pirates, if we were to face them head on, do you have the confidence to defeat them all, Captain Crowe?”
“Without any confirmed numbers of professionals over there, they are just merely just 500 midgets to me! My subordinates can finish all of them by themselves!” A sinister smile flashed past Crowe’s face.
The look of bloodlust induced some fear inside of William, ‘It’s been rumoured that most bloodline holders are nuts, and are easily aggravated or have extreme bloodlust; seems like it’s true!’
“It’s decided then! Captain Crowe will bring some men alongside me to the land and Citamo will guard this place!” William commanded. Most of Citamo’s main power was still within the tigersharks, so only a small number of people could help on land.
‘I need some deeds to prove myself. As long as Master Boruj is here, everything should be alright!’ William glanced at the expressionless wizard at the side and cheered himself on.
Very quickly, an elite team led mostly by the Black Skeletons with some of William’s guards and the Tigershark Pirates reached the island.
The team had a manpower of around four to five hundred, but in terms of skills they were far better than whoever Leylin had under him.
“They’ve built a simple campsite here and stored a minimal amount of water and food, enough for more than two months. Also, they’ve also set up many traps, a majority of which are venomous snakes, in the canyon.”
William’s informant seemed to have given him more than enough intelligence, and he even provided a rough map.
“We’ll be fine as long as we have this!” Crowe’s bloodlust-filled smile widened, and it was indeed intimidating.
With the informant’s report and their own pirate scouts, they successfully passed the trap-filled canyon and arrived at the pirate campsite. The wooden fence was sharp, and in front of it were some ugly pagodas. Many were looking at these, secretly letting out fearful gasps every now and then.
Isabel walked into the center of the campsite, “The enemies have made it past the venomous snake canyon, I was right about them having a mole in us. And the spy is at least a middle-ranked one, god damn it!”
“This is nothing out of the ordinary. You can leave for now.” Leylin waved his arm, and a dispirited pirate leader walked out.
“You used Dominate Person?” Isabel asked. Although the pirate leader didn’t look like he was in his best condition, it didn’t look like he was controlled either.
“Nope, just a simple psychological hint. And with those kinds of spells, even if spell slots weren’t taken into account I don’t have enough power and spirit to control so many intelligent creatures right now.” Leylin shook his head. “Survival is the first instinct of all creatures, and to be able to leave a spiritual imprint on this base nature is very difficult. On the other hand, it’s easy to give them a lasting hint, furthermore…”
“My Lord!” Ronald came in on time, and knelt down respectfully, “All the preparations are done!”
“Great! Let us go welcome them, or else they wouldn’t launch the attack at all.” Leylin stood on top of the fort with Isabel and Ronald by his side, directly looking into the eye of a young aristocrat in the opposite force.
“Is that Leylin Faulen? The son of the the Baron?” William was looking at them too.
“Yes, I’ve checked! It isn’t any illusionary spell or camouflage. The Scarlet Witch is there as well.” Boruj confirmed.
“The rest is up to you, Captain Crowe!” William looked at Crowe beside him, the man’s eyes already filled with killing intent. Blood vessels were popping up on the man’s eyes.
“No problem, but that Scarlet Witch is mine!” Crowe growled, “Black Skeletons, follow me!”
“Animate Dead!” “Strengthen Undead!” “Skeleton Call!”
An array of spells launched from Crowe’s body, forming a bone armour around his body first of all. It caged him securely. The ground then bulged, small bones jutting out as skeletons crawled their way out. They seemed to come from hell, holding rusty axes and broken swords as they rushed towards the campsite.
“Undead creatures!” “It’s the undead!” The pirates in the campsite were in chaos. If it weren’t for Leylin’s early preparations, it might have sparked a rebellion.
“It has been rumoured that the Black Skeletons’ captain is a bloodline holder, and is able to call upon the dead, looks like the rumours are real!” Even though low-ranked skeletons like this would not cause much trouble, it was a huge blow to his men’s confidence. Leylin furrowed his brows, sending out a few spells.
“Berserk!” “Blizzard!” “Resist Energy!”
Under the influence of Berserk, many low-ranked pirates started yelling as if their bodies were filled with immense strength. Bows were continuously in action, the arrows they shot out turning the skeletons to dust.
“These spells, we can already confirm it’s him.” William nodded his head as he watched, feeling a little upset. Even though his opponent had a good affinity for spells, to waste his slots from the start made him no different from those stupid and rash bloodline holders.
‘Alright. We can end the war if we capture him, but on top of that we can even blackmail Baron Jonas for the refined sugar and fish floss techniques.’ William was extremely jealous of these two money-makers and started growling, “I will bestow 1000 coins upon anyone who’s able to capture that wizard. You can also do whatever you wish to the captured women!”
All the pirates got excited at the great rewards, and started charging madly towards the fences.
“Our low-ranked pirates are of such inferior quality, they couldn’t improve much even with the enhancement of the spells. And my spells are limited in time and scope.” Leylin laughed bitterly to Isabel as he looked at the pirates who were starting to give way. Both of them retreated from the frontline and came to the hall.
“Prepare to leave!” Leylin signalled with his hand, and Ronald started moving away the obstacles to reveal a passageway in the corner of the hall. This was a passageway that Leylin had made when he built the campsite back then, its existence was known to only about 3 people. Ronald had only found out about it today.
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