“My Lord, there seems to be an issue,” Carglise said as he, as well as the officer accompanying him, walked close to Brendel and whispered to his ear.
“Eh?” Brendel his head to look at the Captain. Carglise and the officer were tasked to make sure the “cargo” was safe today. Brendel had brought a large quantity of White Lion Armour, the brainchild of Master Bosley and Tharma. These armors were different from the ones provided by the Kingdom meant for the Royal Faction’s White Lion Swordsmen. It contained the input of Brendel himself, making it superior to the original.
The White Lion Armors were originally modeled from the Wind Elves’ Half-plate Wind Armour, albeit lower in quality as they were made by the humans. King Erik had once improved the Armors and the White Lion Battle Tactics. And in the earlier times, the White-Lion Swordsmen were also known as the White Lion Guards as well. There was a frequent saying in the historical manuscripts, “The King Leads his Knights and Dominated the South”. The “King” in the phrase meant King Erik, while the “Knights” were, of course, the White-Lion Guards. This group, along with the Silver Elves Pantheon Sentinels were the two main forces in the land. It was a myth that they were even comparable to the White Winged Knights. However, they have perished in the past battles, and the improved White-Lion Battle Tactics were lost, along with the manufacturing methods of the White Lion Armors.
And even Brendel and Orthlyss were unable to replicate this sort of information. There was a saying that every warrior is half a forger. Although the two of them are clueless about the original White Lion Armor, they were really informative about the White Winged Knights armor, the Half-plate Wind Armour. It was a really common defensive equipment back in the game and Sophie was really lucky to get a set of it. And Orthylss was an original White Winged Knight in the past, and a high officer among the Wind Elves, so it was really natural for her to understand it like the back of her mind.
The upgraded White Lion Armour was more closely resembling the Half-plate Wind Armour rather than the original White Lion Armour. It was also imbued with the Magical Formation of the Wind Elves’ special Wind Formation, making it lighter than usual without losing on durability. The Wind Barrier on it can defend a Piercing Arrow from 100 meters away. In the current world, it would be an easy feat for an experienced warrior to battle ten at once with this armor on.
Besides, the armor also was also made to be always dry, reducing the chances of the user getting fatigued. But of course, this does not come without a price. It was literally worth several ten thousand dollars for just a set. And with his wealth right now, it was impossible to supply the entire squad with it. It was ridiculously expensive.
But after some consideration, he decided to provide it to those with the rank of Officer within his troops. As for the normal troops, they used the simplified version of it. Bosley was currently trying to take off some of the more expensive parts on the set, like the magical crystal that powered the Formation. The old man promised that he will be done with the price once Brendel came back from this trip.
Brendel knew that the craftsman was just testing him, to check out the decisions that he will make once he reached for Ampere Seale. Will he aid the Princess or will he help Duke Arreck? Does he have the same thoughts as the old man? Only time would tell.
Brendel was unsure that there would be any problems leaving such a treasure in the storage room of the ship. He believed that it was enough to just ask some people to patrol the area routinely. But hearing Carglise saying in such a tone startled him a little.
But the young officer continued, “ Jordan had heard some strange noises in the place. And it seemed to be coming from outside the ship.” Brendel was relieved to hear that there was no problem with the Armours. He looked back and eyed James with a questioning look, and the latter replied, “There’s nothing there besides cargo and rats. If anything, the noises must have come from other sources.”
It would not be a problem if it was just some rats, but it was from outside the hull? That might be catastrophic. Sound radiates differently in water than it did in the air. There was a layer of vacuum between the walls as well, so if the source was not from a close place, it must be from something big.
“Where did it come from?” The young captain asked immediately.
Brendel cast a glance at his own subordinate and Carglise answered quickly, “It should be on the left hull.” The young captain was quick to react. With a wave of his hand, “Crystal Chains to the left!” Not far away, a sailor saw his gestures and ran to get a coil of rope, with crystal-like stuff stuck on its ends. He threw it into the left flank of the boat. The crew had always used such a method to check out if there was a sea creature attacking. It was said that the most experienced sailors can guess the type of monster just based on the vibration of the rope.
But the sailor who threw it this time did not have such a skill. He just threw the chain and could not help but yell, “There are so many creatures down there!”
“Strike the alarm! Prepare for battle!” James grimaced. It was so calm on the ocean’s surface, and yet they were surrounded by a group of unknown creatures. It seemed like they had some intelligence, and they did not come in peace. It was Brendel who reacted the quickest. Before James could say anything, he had gone over to cut down the rope in the sailor’s hand. The sailor was startled, but upon seeing how the rope was tugged with such a tremendous force, he was really thankful for Brendel’s actions.
His face was pale, and he even forgot to thank his savior. Brendel looked down and said back, “It’s a humanoid lifeform.”
In the Shining Sea, there were only several types of humanoid creatures. Besides the Merfolk, there were only the Nagas and the Lizardmen Bandits. But the Lizardmen Bandits do not stay in the water, while the Merfolk do not attack the humans. For them to sneak in so secretively, it would only be the Nagas.
James could not believe that Brendel had figured out his enemies in such a short period of time. But the enemies down there, they had already revealed their violent intentions.
A sailor went to sound the alarm, and those down the deck had already rushed out in full battle gear.
There were forty sailors on board. And add to the numbers the Major Officer, The Vice Officer, and the White-Lion Squad that Brendel led, the entire upper deck was full of people, ready for combat.
Brendel was much more composed than the captain at this point. He had full knowledge of his men’s abilities. Plus, The Faraway is at best slightly weaker than the third class warship that the Kingdom uses, so it would be a bad idea for a bandit troupe to mess with them. He was staring at the water surface, suddenly remembering the submarine-hunting boats back in his old world and compared it to his situation.
But it was slightly different this time.
At that moment, a dark shadow appeared just beneath the surface of the water. Its triangle tail broke the water surface, forming a white streak of waves.
It’s a shark?
There were about six to seven underwater tribes that tamed the sharks. The situation was similar to how the people on land taming the wolves to do their biddings. However, it would be hard to determine who their opponent was just based on this information.
James came to the same conclusion. He stuffed the smokepipe into his bag and pulled out his sword.
It was at this time that a melodic voice radiated across the place.
“It’s the sirens.”
The White Lion Squad was still fine, but the sailors all went mad upon hearing the voices. The sirens were mythical creatures and legend had it that they would charm sailors to go on the wrong route. They were depicted to be a demon with the face of a human and the body of a bird in the Kirrlutz books, but Brendel knew they were unrelated to the Eagle Demons from the Jorgendy Ridge.
The real sirens were truly a mythical creature. Their upper bodies resembled a female, but below the knees, they had bird claws instead. They were said to be more beautiful than any mortal humans, and their songs could easily claim the souls of anyone who heard it. It was said that there was a ship crew that was lured in by them, leaving the boat to travel on itself, becoming the ghost ship that was very popular amongst the beach folk. That was why, upon hearing these noises, everyone began to panic. Everyone besides Brendel and his subordinates.
“Plug your ears!” James ordered. The sailors were really superstitious. Although the sirens had never made any contact with the humans in the past one thousand years, all the ship’s crew had pulled their earplugs out and prepared to stuff them into their ears.
The White Lion Squad followed their lead and pulled out their earmuffs as well.
Brendel had a lot of experience out in the sea and head even ventured into the deep waters before, so he was confident he knew much more of the things out there than James. But at that moment, he did not stop the captain’s actions. He was captivated by the sound. It did not allure him, but rather made him realize that it was not the sea demons that they are facing. He took off his earplugs and handed them to Amandina, who stared at him in doubt, fearing that he was entranced by the siren’s call. She knew her lord was not someone who was superstitious, yet it did not stop worrying her that he was such a reckless guy.
Everyone there was shocked when they noticed that their leader was not wearing any earplugs, and yet was unfazed by the song. They knew that he was a Highland Knight, and thought that it was all a magic that he was safe. But they did not know that he had a high level in Willpower. Don’t even mention these callings, not even an actual Siren can lure him.
He looked back at the captain and said, “They’re not the sirens. They’re the Merfolk.”
“Nani!” The captain was holding on to his earplugs, thinking he misunderstood.
“They’re the Merfolk.” He repeated. “It’s the Nagas down there. And they’re working with the Merfolk.”