Translated by Tianic, edited by MadSnail.
Note 1: Please click on the character name for their illustrations.
Note 2: Recommended reading music of this chapter ‘Rakan And Xayah – The Charmer And The Rebel’, from League of Legends.
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Sander: Leader of the Aqua Clan.
- Marfa, Jack, Wilder, Moya: Cohen’s childhood friends and firm supports.
- Forenar: An aqua girl who was good at singing.
- Arethusa: The worshipping God of the Aqua Clan, also known as God of Water.
- Dior Merlin: One of Cohen’s wives.
- Fischer Summers: Cohen’s friend and the prince of the Swabia Empire.
The last beam of sunlight disappeared on the horizon as the darkness dawned.
A short distance from coastline located the largest and most smooth beach in this island. Currently, this beach was lit up by piles of campfires that reddened everybody’s face as if to witness and memorize moments of tonight’s grand celebration forever in this night. And I was sort of part of the event.
The clan people have gathered on the beach early. They were all dressed in Sunday clothes and put on big smiles. Today was their festival, moreover, they had enough food, which were all things to be enjoyed.
One of the real reason this celebration was held was known to only three persons. Me as well as Sander and the Chief Elder who sat with me. Since today, the Aqua Clan will be officially part of the Dark City reign. We have decided to hold back this new for the time being.
I was seated between two of the most important persons among the Aqua Clan. In front of me, a short table was set with full of fruit which they thought ‘delicious’. Most of the aqua people were staring at me in curiosity.
What I was staring at curiously was the girl who sat beside the Chief Elder. She was the one I ran into by the pond.
Sander told me she was the Elder’s maidservant. However, the Elder had treated her like his very own grand-daughter. He not only devoted to teaching her magic and culture but also never interfered with her personal life.
I watched carefully to find that this girl was not bad, at least for her face.
What impressed me the most was her skin. It resembled that of a newborn baby, blonde and pinky. By the campfire, the whole of her revealed a healthy white touch with red as if her body was emitting a delicious scent, giving me an impulse to swallow her.
I had to admit that I was a man who cannot stand temptation, and as of now, I was not in a position to force anything. Thus I forced myself to look at somewhere else.
The center of the celebration ground was surrounded by crowds. While I was faced by the sea, I felt lucky ‘cuz if the show did not work out for me, at least I have the ocean to watch.
Sounds of drumbeat came in by the sea breeze.
Sander whispered, “It’s starting!”
I turned away to keep an eye on Marfa and the other guys, telling them to act polite. Which meant to applaud when others applauded and to cheer when others cheered. I also told by hem to avoid unnecessary movements. I intended to show them enough respect to the aqua people. What a nice thing, respect, as it was both placatory and free.
The Chief Elder rose and strolled to the center. He waved his cane then instantly, the venue became silently still.
The Elder looked up at the starry sky, then a piece of melodious chanting came into being.
“What’s that?” I asked Sander, “Sounds like a spell.”
“What the Elder is chanting is an ancient aqua language specially dedicated to praising Arethusa.” Sander said in a low voice, “It’s a must procedure in every celebration.”
“Why don’t you do it?” I said, “Aren’t you the chief leader?”
“I can’t yet. I’ve just succeeded my father’s throne.” Sander’s voice revealed his sorrow, “I must prove to my people that I’m capable of being a leader in order to host such ritual.”
“I see! Then what’s her name?” I aimed at that girl and asked.
“Her? She’s Forenar.” Sander watched me as he said, “She’s like a sister to me. Leave her alone!”
“Oh, yeah?” I said absolutely.
This moment, the Elder’s holy words were almost finished. Then Forenar approached him with a bunch of other aqua girls at about the same age.
By the time the Elder had finished his last word, Forenar sounded her first piece of melody with the lyre in her hand. The instrument’s pleasingly plinky-plunky sounds filled in my ears.
The Elder retired to sit by my side.
Forenar began her singing accompanied by other unnamable instruments. Her song was a million time pleasant than the Elder’s.
“Forenar is singing…”
“Shut up!” I stopped Sander’s commentary soundtrack roughly in order to listen carefully to Forenar’s song, unaware of my rude behavior.
Forenar’s voice was like streams in quiet mountains babbled to flow through the distant night and reached by my side. It surrounded me, cared for me and unwilling to leave. The sounds have brought a tiny sense of cool water drops and placed them into my heard that eased all my anxiety, concerns without a trace.
I closed my eyes to enjoy this moment that was brought to me by the song, Forenar’s voice suddenly altered.
It became as the deep and serene as lake water. While it was too deep to reach its bottom, the lake was never feeling cold. It surrounded me with gentle arms, and by its graceful surf, it took me up to make me rise and fall by this soft waves. All the evil thoughts were as if they were cleansed.
I was not a man to be moved so easily. However, at this moment, I was at least a bit moved.
When I thought that she has given us her best work, she brought even more.
Her voice altered yet again.
This time, the sounds were full of torrent rivers that took me forward. She passed on with passion like the rivers in the song will break all ties and binds then restlessly went into the ocean. I sensed the feelings as I went down with the water like no one other!
I have heard lots of noble bards, as well as the Temple choirs, sang. But if they were faced with Forenar’s voice, those gorgeous and magnificent and blunt tones will look pale and weak.
Forenar used her finger to finish the last note, then the music seized.
Everyone presented offered their hottest claps and cheers, even Marfa and my IGTs(Imperial Guard Troops) who came along were deeply attracted. They wagged their heads and cheered as if they have forgotten where they were.
All but two there: the Chief Elder and I were not part of this crazy act. I did not even clap.
Because I instinctively felt that Forenar has not finished the singing. Nevertheless, an incomplete thing did not deserve to cheer at.
Forenar took her lyre then bowed deeply to her audiences. She returned to her seat bashfully to the Elder’s side.
The celebration continued. The battle drums echoed, a group of aqua warriors appeared without a warning and danced a kind of aqua-style battle movement on the beach. Their masculinity and the aquatic femininity combined just perfectly.
I had no intention to enjoy the dance, since my previous life. I laid my eyes more on the aqua girl called Forenar, while she whispered something to the Elder and left.
I watched as she went away then an extremely bold idea came into being.
“Chief Elder.” I sat beside him and said, “I need someone from you.”
“Who is it? When do you want her?” The Elder was careless.
“I want Forenar, but not now.” I said, “When the time is right, I’ll send my men to pick her up.”
“You are asking too much, she’s a good kid… however.” The Elder said, “Please be kind to her.”
“I won’t let you down.” I raised my goblet, “Promise!”
At this moment, the battle dance was almost over. The beach was overwhelmed by a carnival.
The all-night celebration had finished. My slightly weary body took me onto the ship. Sander will come back with us. We talked and laughed and got along well.
As for me, I took the days to crazily instill Sander about all the necessary strategic ideas to build a mighty fleet as well as the tactics and equipment. My thorough, detailed and targeted explanation had once again made Sander Orz(note: Orz is better in here than painful words, though I tried to be as a serious translator as possible).
Though he insisted on calling me ‘Devil’.
Due to the headwind on our returning, the fleet had to spend more time. I, on the other hand, was happy to take a few free days.
One day, in the afternoon, while I was nagging to Sander about ‘amphibious army transportation’, my cabin door was blown off open.
“BOSS!” Marfa yelled, “There’s a thing in the sky!”
Before he finished, I heard a giant explosion from the deck.
I darted onto the deck and eager to inquire the current situation, a green energy sphere came down quickly.
“Watch out!” Sander yelled as he threw his body into us.
The green ball skimmed closely over our heads and exploded at the stern. A few sailors who were too late in dodging were instantly swallowed by it, left with mere skeletons.
I watched over and found in the sky not far away, a creature with a pair of wings was hovering above our ship while constantly spurring our green energy balls.
“What is that thing?”
“A siren! A magic creature that lives in the ocean.” Sander said, “They fly fast and are difficult to deal with. They are sailors’ natural enemies!”
I watched carefully the siren’s movements and found he had to take advantage of a short period to steady itself every time it used magic.”
“I’ll lure the siren in, Sander and Marfa, you two find something to take it down!”
I cast a floating and flying spell then my body rose by the magic power. Soon afterward, I began approaching the siren.
The siren was not flurried at all. It opened its mouth then another energy ball came into being.
I summoned enough battle aura then roared to drive them out. My Machete slashed with golden color towards the green sphere.
After a huge blast, the green energy ball collapsed. Then I engaged in a battle with the siren.
It flew quickly and intended to slash me open with its strong claws and dirty fangs. Compared to that, my floating spell had left me in disadvantage so that I could only persist and defend.
Marfa’s Enchanted Crystal Arrow and Sander’s water spells followed continuously to support me. Nevertheless, their attacks were barely threats to the siren. Instead, I, who fought closely with the siren, was falling into a vicious circle.
I was distracted then suddenly the siren’s claw slashed, ripping my clothes open. I did not have time to put on my armor before going up thus my left waist was gashed open widely.
Though my martial and magic skill were not the best, I had a huge advantage since my previous life: my endurance was extremely strong.
I rolled to cancel the impact power when landing then supported myself up. I looked up and found that Marfa has already floated up and was fighting with the siren.
“Mother fucker, that’s some deep skin!” I spat and cursed.
“Well, that’s siren.” Sander said, “That’s why I called it natural enemy!”
“I don’t believe it I can’t beat it down!” I rolled my eyes and started to search anything that was useful. Then a something like a giant crossbow on the prow caught my attention.
I dashed towards it and examined carefully. It was indeed a giant crossbow. The steel-made arrow was tied with a long rope on the other end.
“What’s this for?” I asked a sailor.
“For fishing, the big ones.”
“Sander! Here!” I adjusted the crossbow and yelled.
Sander came nearer. I told him, “I’ll kill it, are you able to enchant this arrow?”
I nodded, then I yelled at Marfa in the sky, “Keep your distance, get it to use magic!”
Marfa’s body swirled and dashed away. He made a huge distance between him and the siren and in the meantime, he lowered his altitude. The white light indicating emerging spell started to show around his body.
The siren roared lowly in the sky. His body scrolled in the sky, looking for Marfa’s weak points.
Sander chanted quietly beside me, then the arrow in my hand started to show faint white light.
The siren’s scrolling range was becoming smaller. I knew that once his body was steady, that fearful green energy will come out immediately!
“Distance, angle, wind speed, deviation…” I murmured, trying really hard to steady myself on the deck. The crossbow in my hand was being slightly adjusted. I’ve got only one shot in hand!
The moment the siren froze its body, I determinedly pulled the trigger, making the heavy arrow launch. It made an astonishing curve in the air and flew accurately into the siren’s wide opened mouth.
By a stuffy sound, the spell Sander had enchanted on the arrow worked! The siren cried in lament. It struggled to flap its wings then fell into the water.
All people cheered. I also clapped with Sander!
“Ah?” Sander pointed at my waist, “Devil, you are hurt!”
I then felt a strong pain from my button left waist, a weird pain.
“You can’t!” I rejected Sander who tried to cure me with spells, “Siren’s claws are dirty. I have to clean my wound.”
“No problem!” Sander signed his men, “We have the best Shaman.”
An aqua man trotted over and squatted in front of me. He examined the wound carefully while filling strange stuff into his mouth, chewing hard.
Looking at the red liquid streaming down from his mouth corner, I went cold feet.
“No hurry! Just use some strong alcohol to clean…” I said pieces of knowledge about trauma cleaning and how to wrap up wounds.
When all necessary things were well-prepared, I wiped down the forehead sweat then held the Shaman’s both ears.
“Mr. Shaman, you’re not going to make me hurt, are you?” I said, “I have a bad habit that when getting hurt I’ll grab a guy’s ear. Once I grab it I’ll be tough. I’ve got a lot of servants missing an ear or two. I’ll let you begin!”
The shaman looked at me in sincerity. Maybe he wanted me to let go of his ears. Then I gazed back in the same sincere look without letting go.
He blinked then pondered and suddenly poured a potful of strong alcohol onto my wound!
After a sense of cold came overwhelming pain.
“HA! HA! HA!” I was too embarrassed to cry in front of so many people, thus I made laughter. I certainly cannot let this mediocre shaman have a good time. I told him how I felt by twisting a half circle on his ears.
“Ohhhhh!” The shaman sided his head then poured another half pot of alcohol. He then took the thing he was chewing in his mouth and mixed them with a bunch of other stuff, and applied on my wound.
“Hehhe! Hehhe! Hehhe!” My eyes were wide open. My smile was stiff. I made another twist on his ears.
“Ohhh!” The shaman gazed at me from downward. He tried hard again to apply yet more things on my wound. An even more severe pain came in. This time, the pain was hot and pure.
“Hey… heyhey!” I could not twist his ears any longer. Because my brain has initiated self-protection under such acute pain. Though it was shameful, I undoubtedly passed out.
By the time I woke up, it was a starry sky outside.
“Boss, we are almost there.” Marfa noticed I woke up, he smiled and said, “How do you feel now?”
“En, not bad. This shaman was so-so.” I check the wound, “It’s good now.”
Marfa said, “Oh, by the way, he said that your wound is a bit serious. You’d better lay in bed for a few days. Try not wandering about. You should just take a rest, that’s good for recovery.”
“Really? Where is this shaman?” I asked, “I wanna thank him.”
“He?” Marfa chuckled, “His ears are severely wounded and resting!”
“Oh, yeah? Haha!” I laughed and said, “Never mind. We’ll get off at the wharf. Get someone for Fischer.”
“Roger!” Marfa exited and closed the door.
I was carried by a stretcher and greeted ty my men on the way to the castle. I was missing for days, but my smuggling business was even more flourishing. The wharf was speckled with packing straw ropes and paper scraps.
“Boss, you are back!” Jack jumped out from a carriage that just arrived, “What’s up? Are you hurt?”
“Boo-boo, nothing serious.” I said with a smile, “Come and meet Sander! He’ll join us for the fun since then!”
After the greeting, a few IGTs carried me to my room.
“Boss, you know?” Jack said excitedly beside, “We’ve got the right guy! Mrs. Merlin has maximized every of our business profit! Five times! Mrs. Merlin has instructed us to take preorders. Even those Asmodian businessmen praised highly her methods. Though pre-order price will be very high, still they are willing to take it!”
“Really? Where is she now?” This good news made me thrilled, “This Mr. Sander can guarantee our ships go safely to any ports in the Asmodian Allied empires!”
“Mrs. Merlin and Fischer went to Winper these days. They are on their way back! By the way, we were discussing setting up strongholds in Asmodian countries.” Jack lowered his voice, “We need to consider both our smuggling business and long-term development, so there are few dilemmas.”
I nodded, “I’ll come back to this later, how about Dior these days…”
“She was very good to us!” Jack said, “After you left, all businesses were taken up by her. She’s really into it!”
“Has she… ever mentioned me, or anything about me from before?”
“No, boss!” Jack comforts, “I think, things will get better. Don’t worry too much…”
Looking at Jack acting mature, I can’t help taunted him, “Get lost, ya think you know it? Off you go get Sander’s room ready!”
“Yessssss, sir! Boss’ angry, big time!” Then Jack dashed out with Sander.