Rieker and some of his pirate crew glanced over the side port to be sure the bubbles had ceased to come up from the girl, and when they had, all of them erupted in laughter. Nielsen was kneeling with his head in his legs, praying that it was a swift death for the girl. Elliot and Simone remained silent as they stared ahead where the stars had begun to rise.
“I will not be tormented anymore by those past shadows. Men, prepare your swords. While Zaine has told us to take our captives alive to the facilities, I’m done toying around. Kill them.”
The men all roared in agreement as they withdrew their swords from their scabbards. The full moon was bright as the men watched their shadows danced together in one fluid motion. When all the shadows matched up on the westward hull of their ship did something interesting happen. All men who were about to swing their blades down had frozen. They were shaking, trying to get their bodies to move, but no one could move.
“What . . . is . . . going . . . on?” grunted the men, and Rieker stared in surprise. There was a squall from a hawk in the crow’s nest that diverted Rieker’s attention long enough to see what had temporarily halted his men’s movements.
“That was a melodramatic way of throwing a tiny girl off the ship, wouldn’t you say, Damien?” a man with the beanie and star tattoo smirked with his fist clenching tightly around something in his hand while the one presumed as Damien held a ring the hawk was holding in its claw.
“Xavier, the pirate’s a sadist, it appears. I feel kind of bad for Lionsheart.” The blond stared down before jumping out of the nest.
Xavier merely shrugged as he interlaced his fingers together.
“I think she’ll be fine. She’s strong enough.” He concentrated on pulling all the men’s shadows to one central point before tying them all together around the mast. Rieker’s men all panicked as they all snapped from their current spots and up against the mast, yanking and pulling to no avail.
“I can’t move!”
“Your foot is in my face!”
“Ahhhh, my arm is gonna snap in half!”
The pirate fleet started their fits of complaints while Xavier just smirked in the distance.
Rieker slid his rapier out angrily from his sheath, spitting out his next words in rage, “Who are you? How dare you defy Zaine’s star crew!”
Damien landed stealthily on the ground beside Elliot’s crew and worked on cutting the ropes off their hands.
“Like we give two shits about Zaine’s star crew,” Xavier darkly replied before flashing his own blade. When Damien came by to cut Elliot’s and Simone’s ropes, the two merely nodded their appreciation to the blond before helping to cut the rest of their crew out.
“Warning, Drummond, he has a petrifying Relic.”
A floating scooter appeared in the air with an extremely irritated Olivia, holding what seemed to be a bazooka. “His petrifying Relic can eat my bazooka’s dust,” she icily replied before firing it down toward the deck. Rieker had to jump out of the way and into the rail as the floor where he was standing collapsed.
“Olivia,” Elliot replied in a dull voice. “I would appreciate it if you didn’t destroy my ship in your thirst for revenge.”
The girl of eighteen merely smiled as she aimed her bazooka again. “I’m only thinking of your good health, brother dear.” She fired once again, and Elliot sighed. He knew his sister was saying it just to annoy him as well as paying Rieker back for all he had done to Charlotte.
“You’ll repay me for the damages, won’t you, sweet sister?”
Olivia merely tutted her tongue as she pulled back her bazooka from firing upon his ship. “You still owe me a keg of root beer. I say we’re even.”
Rieker got sick of the jump-and-dodge routines and focused all his energy on the first person he could see. The blond boy, who had appeared with the hawk, was first on his agenda to assault. Only, before he could charge the male, he didn’t have a chance to use his power.
“What the—” he muttered before collapsing on the deck. Blood oozed from an open wound on his back where his main internal organs were located. Behind him stood a menacing-looking Nielsen. The civility that he had displayed earlier that day was long gone and was accompanied by the stern, cold, dark glare he gave.
“That’s for Lessye and Charlotte, you son of a bitch.” And for good measure, he spat on him.
Rieker was having difficulty breathing and clenching to anything that could support him up, but Nielsen watched with cold eyes as he finally bled out.
“You okay, Andy?” Xavier slid down his sword back into its sheath and grabbed Nielsen’s shaking shoulder. The male teacher merely nodded and stared over the rail.
“Yeah, I’m okay. What about Charlotte?”
When Olivia landed her scooter on the Lodger, she walked over to the corpse of Rieker and uncharacteristically kicked it. Normally, she wasn’t a vengeful person herself, but the man had provoked her. No one made her best friend cry—ever.
“Aden has her,” Damien stated as he rubbed the hawk’s feathers in its sweet spot. “He jumped in as soon as Lionsheart was shoved off.”
Nielsen nodded before falling to his knees himself. “I totally thought I was going to lose her for a second.”
Simone nodded in agreement. “She was lucky the Phoenix was even here. How did you find us?”
Olivia pulled out a compass that looked similar to that of an azimuth compass, only this particular compass could find Relic stones.
“I invented the Relic location compass—or the RLC for short—to pick up strong signals of the Relic stones. If Petrifying Man here didn’t have such a dangerous and powerful Relic like he had, we may have not noticed him.”
“It appears you’ve also found your share of Relic stones as well, sister,” Elliot commented on the abundance of new functional devices around them as well as Drummond’s strange new powers.
“As if you can talk, dear brother.” She smiled, and Elliot merely shrugged.
“I was hoping it would have stayed a secret for longer, but I can’t appear to hide anything from my little sister.”
Simone also shrugged before looking at their disheveled sailors. “Men, gather the squawkers and take them to the brig of the Phoenix. We will bring them port side to Admiral Chief Julian when we arrive at the Cheric estate.”
The command made everyone besides Elliot’s crew squirm with the mentioning of the Cheric estate. It didn’t take a genius to figure something had gone terribly wrong since their last transmission. “What happened?” Elliot gravely asked while Olivia sighed.
“Zaine attacked the estate two months ago after the rats revealed we had Relic stones. We barely had enough time to leave port with our supplies. Admiral Chief Julian covered our flank as we went out on stormy waters.”
Simone clucked his tongue. “Well, what shall we do with these men?”
Elliot looked at his ship and then at the pirate’s vessel before clicking his tongue himself. There was a chance to just leave them on their ship and sail away with the Lodger and the Phoenix, but then they would run into the chance of being chased after again. If these men were found by Zaine, then he would have two targets to chase rather than just one.
He turned to his sister with a disdainful expression. It looked like he was clearly not happy with the way things had played out in the last five minutes of their conversation. He plotted out all the possible solutions before heaving a long sigh. His expressions changed from critical to plain discontentment as only one option was available to survive longer. If he kept his state-ordained vessel, there might be a chance of them being found and assaulted once again. While he was all right with combat at sea, he did not want to chance running into Zaine. Pain from that man was far more fearful that death itself.
“I expect a detailed report on the schematics of the Phoenix.” Elliot turned to his men at last to give his final order on his vessel. With a long sigh, he rounded up the squads remaining. “Take the Lodger alongside their pirate ship and prepare an axial fire on both vessels. Let them sink with pride of pirates.”
Olivia had nothing more to say while Damien grimaced. The blond Demeuillieun understood the gravity of the situation when someone had to set their ships asunder with flames.
“We leave. All men abandon ship to the Phoenix.”
۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞
Authoress’ Note: Good Morning everyone! It’s been a busy last few weeks getting things stable and back to normal. This weekend I upload two parts instead of my normal 1 post. Hope you all enjoy! 😀 -TR