Duke Pendragon - Chapter 189

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“Fire!”

At the same time, Isla ordered in a thunderous shout.

Fwoosh!

Five riders, each of whom led a squadron of five griffons each, simultaneously shot their crossbow.

“Huh?”

At the sight of the quarrels hurling through the air, Griezmann let out an involuntary shout.

Then.

Boom!

Along with a deafening blast, dark red columns of fire shot up from various spots of the sea.

Fwaaaaaaah!

Dozens of fire pillars rose from the deep sea like the devil’s tongue. The strong winds quickly swirled around the flames like a whirlwind, and the tornadoes of fire beckoned towards the pirate like the devil’s hand. The sight seemed like the descent of the devil himself.

“Uwaahhhhh!”

Griezmann screamed.

The only thought he had was to stop the ship, but it was too late to slow the full sailing vessel travelling at more than 15 knots. In a blink of the eye, the devil’s tongue reached the tightly inflated sail.

Fwoosh!

In an instant, the entire sail went up in flames, and it quickly spread to the mast and deck. Humans weren’t immune to the smoldering flames either.

“Gwaah!”

“Help me!”

After being engulfed in flames from all sides, the pirates instinctively jumped into the sea. But as soon as their feet were in the air, the pirates cursed their instincts.

The sea itself was already a fiery hell.

“Kwaaaagh!”

Harrowing screams resounded from those that plummeted into the blazing waters.

“Kehuhuhuhu…. Kuhahahahaha!”

In the violent mixture of water, fire, oil, and wood, Griezmann burst into hysterical laughter. Slowly, Captain Griezmann and the Red Skull Pirates slowly disappeared into the flames.

***

“Uwahhh!”

The eyes of the Winter Storm Pirates aboard the John Myers were filled with fear. As soon as they saw the flames flare hundreds of yards in front of them, their minds went blank.

But one person was different.

“Jiving! Jiving! Wake up, you bastards!”

The loud shout brought them back.

“Heuk!”

After hearing their captain’s abusive language, the Winter Storm Pirates got their act together. It was rare to hear their captain swear, but it also meant that they were in deep trouble.

“Do you want to die here!? Come on, move it!”

John Myers roared while turning the helm with all his might.

“Guwaah!”

Pirates rushed to their stations in a frenzy. They weren’t in a state to even respond to their captain.

Kwaaah!

Soon, the John Myers tilted sharply to the side, and the ship resembled an abalone in its tilted state.

“C, captain! C… capsize…!”

“Shut your mouth! Who do you think I am!?”                                         

The elegant words and gentle smile could no longer be found. John Myers roared with the appearance of the devil.

But in the sudden change, the pirates felt a sense of relief.

They had seen the sight once before when they were being chased by the 7th regiment. Ultimately, the Winter Storm Pirate had become the only pirate to ever escape from the clutches of the 7th regiment in the waters of Merlade.

“Keuk!”

John Myers turned the helm so hard that blood vessels protruded from his neck and forearms.

100 yards, 90 yards, 80 yards…

The heat rose in proportion to the approaching pillars of fire.

“Pull the main sail! Tacking! Tacking!”

At the captain’s roar, the crew quickly rigged the rope to control the biggest sail.

Kwaaah!

A hot strong wind blew from the heat of the flames, and the sails swelled as if they were about to break. At the same time, the huge hull narrowly escaped the pillar of fire with around 10 yards to spare.

“Woaaaaaah!

The Winter Storm Pirates cheered in relief.

“I’m alive! We’re alive!”

“Motherfucker! Hahahahaha!”

They embraced each other with joy, their faces red with the heat of the flames.

“H, hey. O, over there…”

But at someone’s call, the pirates’ expressions turned blank.

“Uwah….”

Their lifeless eyes looked towards hell. In the black and red flames, all of the other pirate ships were burning. They were the only survivors.

***

“Hm…!”

The captain and the crew of the Irene looked at the sea with horrified expressions. What was once blue had turned red and black. Hell had descended on earth, or rather, the sea.

Only one person retained an impassive gaze as he looked towards the massacre. Raven spoke with his cold, subdued eyes.

“It is no time to be staring absent-mindedly. Get everybody ready for the second wave!”

“Ye, yes!”

The captain nodded hurriedly.

The pirates’ sailboats had been taken care of, but there were still dozens of galley ships left.

“Fold the sails! Anchor down!”

The crew moved in a hurry at the captain’s orders. Now that all the sailboats had been burned down, no other ships could threaten the merchant ships.

Kiyaaah!

Just in time, the griffons returned and circled the boat. They flapped their wings as they slowly descended to the deck. After a moment of pondering, Raven looked towards the captain and spoke.

“Captain, are the rowers of the galleys all pirates?”

“N, no. Usually, the inhabitants of occupied islands or captured men are used to row the boats.”

“Hm.”

Raven nodded lightly, then shouted towards Isla, who was just about to land.

“Elkin! Change of plans! Kill the head of each vessel and subdue the galley ships!”

“As you wish!”

Isla answered loudly, then took objects of blue and red out of the saddle. It was a set of signaling flags that were used to deliver orders during combat.

Whistle!

Kiyaaaaahk!

When Isla blew on the whistle on his neck, the griffons signaled to their comrades. Soon, ten riders led their squadrons near the Irene, and Isla used his red and blue flags to signal.

Seeing the flags, the riders took the crossbows out of their saddles as promised.

“Let’s go!”

Centering around the riders, the griffons once again rose in formations of five.

***

Woosh!

Dozens of griffons shot towards the dozens of galley boats frantically trying to flee from the coast of islands.

“Gwaaah!”

Those on the galleys became terrified at the sight of the Pendragon Duchy’s griffons flying over the sea of fire, towards them.

“You sons of bitches, row! Hurry up and row!”

Crrack!

The pirates foamed at their mouths and whipped the rowers.

“Ugh!”

The rowers gritted their teeth and rowed. Barely any fat could be seen on their skinny bodies, and their appearance was miserable. However, no matter how hard you rowed, one couldn’t move faster than flying griffons.

“F, fuck!”

The pirates jumped into the sea one by one.

They were less likely to be attacked in the sea, and since they were near the coast, they could swim towards the island to find safety.

In the end, all the pirates jumped into the sea, and only the rowers were left on the galleys. Since they were tied with chains to prevent them from fleeing, they could not escape into the sea.

Kwaaah!

“Guwaaaagh!”

As the dozens of roaring griffons neared the galleys, the slaves panicked.

“S, save me!”

“M, me too! Please!”

They tried their best with large tears and snot dripping down their face, but the chains did not budge. The griffons started to descend. They soiled their pants in fear, and finally resigned themselves to whatever fate awaited them.

But then,

Shhhh! Woosh!

“Gaaagh!”

Along with a sharp sound, dozens of objects struck the backs of the pirates that were swimming for their life. It didn’t take long for the rowers to confirm the situation.

“A, arrows?”

Papapat!

Once again, another round of volleys fired from the crossbows. The rowers were astonished at the rapid firing rates of the crossbows. What they didn’t know, however, was that the Pendragon Duchy had invested a huge sum to develop the special, rapid firing crossbows.

“Gah!”

Blood colored the water red, and the pirates sank down deep.

“Ugwahh!”

The remaining pirates attempted to dive. Surely, they would be able to avoid the arrows if they were invisible.

However, it was a huge mistake and the beginning of another nightmare.

Splash!

Just as the seabirds hunted for fish, the griffons without riders dove straight into the water.

Water columns soared everywhere, and the griffons’ sharp beaks literally tore apart the bodies of the pirates into chunks of meat. In an instant, more than half of the pirates that jumped in the sea were dead.

“Aaaaahh!”

The remaining pirates madly swam amidst their colleagues’ dead bodies. There was only a short distance to the beach. They would be able to survive…

“Kwagh!”

Something rose from the water with a big wave, and one pirate screamed horribly. The red water splashed everywhere, and the creature dove once again.

“S, shark!”

They were near the south, which meant that the water was quite warm. Moreover, all kinds of fish flocked near the coastline due to the storm from a few days ago. Naturally, there were sharks among them.

“Agh! Aghhh!”

Quarrels and griffons from the sky, and sharks from the sea…

Another hell unfolded along the red coast, the original color of the sea nowhere to be found…

“Uagh…”

Some pirates hurried back to the galleys to escape the hell. Even fools could tell that the ships were safer. But as they arrived at the boast, something was waiting for them…

Thud!

“Gah!”

A pirate sank into the sea right as he was about to climb onto the galley. He had been struck on the head with a row.

“Die! Die!”

“Fucking bastards! Die!”

The furious rowers started beating the returning pirates to death.

“Y, you bastards… Keuk!”

Thud! Bang!

Whenever a dull sound resounded, pirates who had finally returned to the boats sank back down below the red surface. The sharks ate their fill at the unexpected, but lucky encounter. All of the pirates ended up as fish food.

“S, save me… Argh!”

The screams sounded endless throughout the miserable sea. Hundreds of humans met their tragic end.

But the victims of hell were all evil men who deserved to die. As such, Isla maintained an apathetic expression as he observed the scene from the sky.

Beep!

Isla blew on the whistle once more. It signaled to the riders to blow on their own whistles, and the griffons withdrew to the skies.

The rowers finally raised their heads. Awe filled their eyes.

They were shocked and thrilled at the sight that unfolded before them. Under the backdrop of the dark, stormy clouds in the distance, fifty griffons floated above the sea that was cluttered red with the dead bodies of the pirates. It felt as if they were witnessing a legendary hero.

“Red… Storm…”

A low murmur leaked through the dried, cracked lips of a rower. Then, his words spread to others like an infectious disease.

“Red Storm!”

“Saviour! Our saviour!”

“The Ruler of Storms! Stormbringer!”

Elkin Isla, knight of the Pendragon Duchy.

He finally reclaimed his true title.

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