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‘Congregations are indeed a good way to embellish the atmosphere… No wonder the churches of my past preferred to hold worship on selected days each week…’ Leylin who had withdrawn his vision shook his head.
It was just a matter of time before the tribes of the Chihuahua Islands would come to his side. He believed that Tiff understood his intentions, and could exploit the worth of a saintess.
After all these matters were settled, Leylin’s gaze turned to Debanks Island. He did not have time to conquer all the tribes of the Chihuahua Islands. He had to conquer the few largest ones first, producing his own divinity and ascending to become a demigod before he could challenge the Sakartes Kingdom.
Once the internal affairs were taken care of, a new round of battle preparations was underway.
‘It isn’t just subjugating the tribes and killing them. The quest to conquer the natives has to be filled with death and plagues.’ To truly win with his small numbers, he had to regard those last two aspects as well.
If he wasn’t limited by secrecy from the outside world, Leylin would even have sent people to ask for help from the Goddess of Plagues. With her belonging to the evil alignment, she would definitely be glad to do it.
‘Forget it, they’d find out I can absorb the natives’ faith. Might as well do it myself.’ Pride welled within Leylin. As a Magus, he wouldn’t find it difficult to create a new plague if he spent some time. Moreover, being a bloodline Warlock he could even come up with one that was very infectious and fatal, capable of eliminating entire tribes.
While he did not have to resort to such extremes, it was still necessary to give them a good scare. Any tribes going against him would contact the plague. With people dying all the time, the only way to save themselves would be to pledge their faith to him. How much power would that produce?
While some clerics could use magic to resist the plague, how sparse were they amongst the commoners? With their limited spell slots, it would be great even if they could just save the nobility.
Furthermore, their gods were just earth-bound spirits or demigods at best. Their divine spells were rank 5 at most, and the number of casts paled in comparison to those of a real god. This was one major limitation.
Having conquered the Chihuahua Islands, Leylin’s army could finally plant their feet down firmly close to Debanks Islands. With the support of their warships, Debanks Island’s counterattacks would not amount to much. Even if they discovered Leylin now and took the most efficient course of action, they wouldn’t be able to chase Leylin away.
In addition, Chihuahua Islands was now a constant source of war supplies, warriors, and most importantly power of faith. The natives Leylin had brought on board were now released, acting as translators and mediators that aided his governance.
While high-ranking cleric spells like Language Proficiency did exist, the acolytes on the ground couldn’t use so many spell scrolls. The likes of translators were of paramount importance.
Of course, this was only the first wave, very soon a new civilisation would be introduced with the common language spoken on the continent. This was in fact how colonialism worked, Leylin had merely borrowed a page from its books. However, instead of harvesting resources he was harvesting power of faith…
Another month passed with this set in stone. Two fifths of the pirates Leylin had brought were now either injured or running operations on the ground. He brought the remaining three thousand on deck and headed for Debanks Island, and the true native empire.
This was three thousand against a million! It sounded extremely absurd, but after past events the crew had placed their utmost trust in Leylin. This fervent worship was the necessity for zealotry. Leylin believed that once he took these pirates through the unimaginable war, the survivors would definitely turn into fanatics.
Getting close to Debanks Island, Leylin passed down the orders for all ships to stop sailing. It was as if he was waiting for something.
To him, each and every one of his troops was extremely precious, so venturing in the dark would be too dangerous. According to his plan, what came next would be an effortless victory.
*Zoom!* Five hourglasses trickled by, and a red figure approached from the horizon and landed on Leylin’s deck.
“Here he is, just as planned.” Isabel was now in her draconic form. Crimson scales littered her body, and a pair of giant red wings protruded from her back. Her pupils had become vertical slits, as typical of dragons’.
However, Isabel seemed to be in a miserable state. The scales on her back were somewhat twisted.
“What happened? Is something wrong?” Leylin raised his hand, and an arcane healing spell covered her body. Large amounts of the shattered scales quickly regrew.
“While we were plundering others, we were discovered by the totem spirit and pursued. But it was like you said. It automatically backed off a certain distance from the tribe…” Isabel now looked much better as she tossed an unconscious native to the deck.
The captured native was dressed in bright robes. His rosy cheeks and exquisite skin showed that he’d been brought up in a great environment, and had at least as much power as the chief of the Chihuahua Islands.
“Good! Lock him up at the bottom of the ship and ensure that he doesn’t die. We can then happily blackmail the tribe and ask for a ransom…” Leylin waved his arms, and two pirates immediately went forward to carry the unconscious native chief down.
“This is such a crude plan. Will they fall for it?” Isabel asked. Tiff had no intentions of questioning him, as if Leylin’s word was gospel, but in spite of Leylin’s imposing divine aura Isabel was still his cousin.
“Who knows? We can’t go wrong with trying it…” Leylin rolled his shoulders back, feeling like there was a large possibility of this working out.
The natives were foolish, ignorant and naive, just like in the Americas of his previous world. The western colonialists had used extortion to gain countless riches.
While the situation was different, the natives here had sacrificial ceremonies for totem spirits and higher-ups like high priests. There was even a system of divine and royal power. This chief would have some descendants and faithful officials, no? Anyway, Leylin had made up his mind. If this didn’t work out, he could just kill the captive and capture a high priest or something.
Fortunately, the tribe did not seem to be able to bear the death of the chief. After Leylin sent out an emissary, the other party’s people quickly arrived. In the stipulated coastal waters, a large wave of natives rowing tens of canoes arrived under the Scarlet Tigers’ ship.
The pirates on the deck watched the canoes under them disdainfully. In their eyes, just a slight splash from their large ship could drown the entire army, capsizing their boats and killing the people.
After that, though, they could not shift their eyes away. Any teasing or attempts at attacking these natives’ canoes would result in a ruthless counterattack.
This was because they saw golden light! Golden light all over the canoes! Bright yellow gold household utensils and large chunks of gold nuggets were transported to the deck as a ransom for their chief! The dazzling colours immediately filled the pirates’ sights, and greed appeared on their expressions.
Was this not why they’d become pirates, and struggled with their lives on the line in the perilous deep seas against military and merchant ships?
‘While it doesn’t amount to much, having them piled together is quite eye-catching…’ Leylin knew that in reality Debanks Island didn’t have plentiful amounts of gold.
Gold and silver was currency on the mainland, but here it would be items like cocoa beans or obsidian. Gold was just for decoration. If Leylin’s emissary hadn’t specifically requested this, they could even have brought a pile of obsidian over as ransom. The natives saw being able to get their chief back by handing over a pile of useless decorations as striking it rich.
Leylin stroked his chin, watching the emissaries from the natives’ side crawling before him. From their point of view, this large ship was like a lofty mountain, no different from a miracle.
“Mighty beings with fair skin who traverse through the seas and possess tall and large ships, I have brought the items you wanted. Please let our chief go. From hereon, you will also have the friendship of our tribe…” a priest with status said while cowering, and Leylin had no trouble understanding him.
Regular divine beings couldn’t compare to him in comprehension ability. The moment he became a demigod, he would be able to understand all languages by instinct.
The priest was now showing cowardice before Leylin.
“I see the ransom, but that isn’t enough…” Leylin branded his meaning into the minds of the natives, “A king can only be redeemed by a king. You can meet your chief. After this, you are to declare war on the neighbouring Angodub. Bring their chief captive in exchange for your own!”
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