The Nagas in The Shining Sea was fairly infamous across the region, often attacking the merchant ships that were along the way from Ampere Seale to the Port of Grey Winds, and even at Port Gris! But the Nagas in the deep waters were not united as one, and was split into several different tribes, with the Kou Toas and the Shining Scale Nagas being the most famous amongst them. The Shining Scales did not only appear in the Shining Sea, and can be seen across the Seven Seas of Vaunte, and was the most badass pirate in all of history. It may seem that they closely resembled a Kingdom, with its culture, language, and traditions.
The underwater tribes survive by stealing and robbing, and the Nagas were no exception. Sometimes there would be tens of tribes having infighting. And in all of history, there had never been a case where these sorts of pirate fights did not bring trouble to the merchant ships that passed along the way. If anything, it troubled them.
To the sailors, the bandits were not as frightening as the Sirens from the legends, and with just Brendel’s warning, everyone regained their composure. “But it sure is mysterious. The Merfolk barely ever banded up with the Nagas to wreck a ship.” Despite all that, James asked doubtfully.
He pulled out his smokepipe and shook out the tobacco within it before stuffing it back into his bag. His longsword in his right arm, the captain ordered the other sailors to pull up the shields on the flank of the ship.
“Be careful of their javelins!” He roared.
In the game, the Merfolk had close ties to Nagas. They often participate in the internal conflicts of the Nagas, using their melodious voice to aid their comrades. Plainly speaking, they were the wandering poets of the battlefield, the underwater battlefield. However, they were kind creatures, and had always denied attacking the humans or the dwarves alongside the Nagas. That was why James found it odd when the two species had surfaced to attack them.
At that moment, the creatures broke the surface of the water. They held an uncanny resemblance to humans - except their blue skin and some other fishlike characteristics. Their skin was made of scales, and had gills under their breasts. They had nostrils and lungs to breathe in air, but with the dry air in the atmosphere, they rarely left the water.
The Nagas that surfaced did not have a head, and in its place was a stalk of blue nerves. It may seem odd at the beginning, but in time, it would be quite a pretty sight. Most of those who came out of the water were males. Males had two arms and non-obvious breasts. Their faces were chiseled and sharp, with waterproof battle prints on them. Their muscles were humongous, and had a barbaric aura to them.
Legends have it that the Nagas were the descendants of the Heavenly Snake, a half-human, half-snake. The female Nagas had one additional pair of arms. According to the legends, the god of Nagas wanted the females to be more creative than the males, who were only needed on the battlefield.
But that was only based on the legends. In reality, the Nagas and the Merfolk were good at throwing the javelins. The Nagas had two arms, one to wield the javelin, the other was meant for either a short sword or shield. The seas were rich in natural ores, and the Nagas used the iron and bronze there to enlarge their weaponry. Plus, they could use the volcanoes to forge them and even a method to preserve the weapons underwater. That explained why their weapons were not too bad compared to humans. But the biggest difference were the Nagas’ leaf-shaped shields. They were made for underwater combat to reduce water resistance.
Seeing that the Merfolk’s charming voice did not work as it was intended to, the Nagas floated up to the surface. This was their common tactic, to rain down javelins on the deck of the ship. Unfortunately for them, the captain James was really experienced and had ordered them to raise their shields. The shields were the ordinary ones seen on the battlefields of Vaunte, and they were commonly hung on the hull of the ship, and they would be pulled up when they were needed.
The metallic spears fell like raindrops, embedding themselves onto the shields or sliding back down into the water. The crew were safe, after all, the shields were invented as a countermeasure against the pirates. The Faraway was a huge ship, and was meant to take on any sort of situations.
After a while, Mephisto, Ciel, Andrea, Scarlet, Morpheus, Ropar and Medissa also appeared on the deck. Seeing them, Brendel sighed in relief. Although he was not informed about the strength of Brendel’s forces, he can see that at least Medissa and Ciel were gold-rankers. With the two powerhouses on the ship, it could be said that it was one of the most powerful ships in all of Vaunte.
“What’s going on?” Mephisto asked upon seeing the monsters when he appeared on the deck. James would not have guessed that the cold middle-aged man was actually Brendel’s most powerful asset, but with his calm composure, he was sure that the man must not be just cannon fodder.
However, there was a reason behind his calm demeanor. After all, it was the beginning of the year where everyone was really weak. Unlike back then, even a bandit had Elemental powers. Besides, don’t even mention the Aouine, Mephisto was ranked as one of the strongest even back when he served the Kirrlutz Empire. With just being slightly careful, he could eliminate just about anyone without even being figured out.
Just merely a few Nagas that were nothing but small fries in his eyes.
“It’s the Nagas.” Brendel held firmly onto his sword but did not make a move. He eyed the warrior on the surface, sensing a little familiarity. It may seem that all the Nagas looked alike, but there was actually a slight difference between each one of them, like the Shining Scales to have more striking scales. But the ones before them seemed to be the Grey Fined Nagas, with their slightly pale fins.
He shuddered. It cannot be that coincidental, can it?
“These are the Nagas?” Albeit knowing about them, Mephisto had never been to the sea and had obviously seen them before. He turned over to look at Brendel, “ How can you always meet up with trouble?”
“I…” Brendel had never dreamed of the day he would see this serious fellow diss him in such regard.
Only he would be that relaxed in such a situation anyways.
However, he did not expect Orthlyss to agree with the Grey Sword, “He is correct. How can you always be involved in trouble wherever you go?”
“Dear Marsha. I am innocent, okay?” Brendel muttered. Back when everything was just a game, he prayed so hard to be involved in some scenario, and yet when he came to this world, he could not help but be involved. Just as one ended, another will begin. All that has begun to stress him out, both mentally and physically. [T/L: Dude, you’re the MC of this story, ofc you’ll have drama arcs. HAHA]
Orthylss was just joking, however. Meeting bandits were common in the oceans. And not only on the waters, but it would be normal to see bandits in the mountains and plains as well. The feudal lords only cared for the capital of their lands. And the further one goes from the center, the higher the crime rates will become. And at those places where there was no government, it was a playland for the unruly.
The sailors counterattacked. Most of the ships on this route were weaponized merchant ships, so of course, the Faraway was no exception. They fired the arrows. Instead of calling it a counterattack, why not call it an attempt to force the enemy back? James’ crew had suffered a considerable amount of damage. Some of the javelins had pierced through the shields and had injured several of the men. And there were even two really unfortunate ones nailed onto the deck. The doctor on duty took a look at the two and shook his head, apparent that they would not survive.
Brendel took out several Holy Potions from his Dimension Space and handed them to Medissa. He had pilfered a lot of potions from Amman’s Dimension Space, and they were useless for him anyways. Plus, he could use them to make James owe him. Brendel knew that getting to know the merchants in Ampere Seale would aid him greatly in the future, especially someone like James with a really impressive background.
Holy Water was the world’s most effective cure. Their purpose being able to clot wounds and repair the body damage, or to heal the injuries from battle. As long as one did not lose too much blood, the Holy Potions would definitely work. But these sorts of things were rarely seen. Back in the Holy War, they were only given to the most elite squads.
The two sailors who were supposedly not gonna live, were healing at a frightening rate. Don’t even mention the doctor who was responsible for healing them, even James was shocked. Although his sailors’ death was not that important to him, as the people living in the oceans were not fearful of death, but to see the sight of his people reviving was really an impressive sight.
James was born a noble, and with the impressive knowledge he was entitled to, he could recognize what the healing fluid was. He was shocked, but not at how rich he was, but rather the generosity he displayed. To use such a precious treasure on just a mere sailor, it was either he was really rich and arrogant, or he was just that kind.
At this sight, James wavered. He began to consider dealing business this new lord of Trentheim. He looked at Brendel and thought to himself,
Can it be true that the rumors were true, that the man was born a kind-hearted noble? But in that case, why did he relocate to Trentheim, and decided to go against Count Radner for it?
With his keen instincts, he immediately thought of the infighting that was happening in the north.
Was he part of the Royal Faction? Or the private knight for the Princess? Or could it be that Karsuk’s Highland Knights were always part of the Princess Faction all along?
Multiple thoughts flashed through his mind. Comparingly, the two sailors who were saved had nothing but gratitude in their minds. They came from a poor family. If there were any other options, why would they even decide to become sailors? This era proved to be the most perilous era for seafaring. Sailor casualties were really high. According to his research, Brendel realized that it was only slightly better than the exploration age back in the fifteenth or sixteenth century back of his old world. He may have saved the lives of the two sailors, along with their starving families back home, but he was unwilling to accept the gratitude of the ones he rescued.
As a modern era civilian, doing that would be really awkward.
But in the eyes of everyone else, his generosity had made them respect and see him in a much better light. The White Lion Squad pulled out their bows. These were not the ordinary crossbows that most used, but a modified version with magic imbued into it. After all, the normal bows did not manage to fulfill the needs of these Iron rankers. However, each of these weapons was really costly to manufacture. Each one cost one gold bar, and Brendel could only produce fifty or so.
He had plans for the squad to use Magicite Powered Bows and not the current Magic SIgil Bows. Those only required a small Magicite contraption, which could be easily made by Amandina. It may be more complex to manufacture, but the price would definitely be multiple times cheaper. But of course, that was just a dream for the far future. But until then, the White Lion Squad would only use the normal plank wood crossbows that were really popular in Aouine. He did not have the money to supply each one of them with the Magic Sigil Bows, or else Romaine would have threw a tantrum.
Once the White Lion Squad joined in, the tides of battle turned. In this world, or even in all of Aouine’s history, there had never been a lord like Brendel who had invested so much into its military forces. He knew that to strengthen one‘s fief, the military should be developed. He set harsh training rules, and had a rigorous training regime for his soldiers. And all that training had led to Bosley and Amandina complain about the exorbitant costs that came along. The replacement cost of arrows and the repairs expenses of armory and weaponry had easily exceeded the normal expenses of other lords in Aouine by folds.
This made the Grandmaster from the palace state angrily, “If that money can be saved up to develop an army for the Princess, it would definitely be more beneficial.”
However, that integrity Brendel held towards his plans had come to bear fruit today.
The White Lion Squad fought like any other experienced veterans on the battlefield, their lack of experience made up with their involvement in the Calamity of Wolves. Even in the eyes of the most gallant warriors, they are really respectable. The veterans may have more experience, but compared to the teamwork the White Lion Squad, they were really far behind the latter.
The officers shot arrows that had pinpoint accuracy. Each shot the accumulation of a million shots in training, as well as tens of thousand Taels worth of arrows. But all this expenditure had bear fruit. Each arrow would one shot one kill, and a dozen Naga corpses sank in just a couple of minutes.
Even a God of Bow would not be that good.
Facing the enormous might of the Nagas, the crew would never have dreamt that they could be able to drive those creatures back. With the firepower of the White Lion Squad, they could even outclass the firepower of a third-grade battleship of the Kingdom. The only flaw they had was the lack of cannons and harpoons, or else they would have passed as an actual battleship.
The two factions fought for a while. The casualty on the White Lion Squad being an officer injuring his wrist when pulling back the crossbow, but there had been dozens of deaths on the side of the Nagas. The Nagas’ shocking cries from the beginning had turned to wails of despair. With a loud yelp, they all retreated.
The captain and Brendel were stunned. Their image of the Nagas being fearless warriors crumbled. The Nagas who would fight to the death even in an adverse position? They retreated?
Are these really the Nagas? Could they be Merfolk disguised to be them? The two exchanged doubtful looks.