Chapter 183

Fwoosh!

The waves repeatedly washed ashore in the sea breeze originating from the south.

Although the wind was strong, the weather was pleasant and warm. It was quite hard to believe that it was mid-winter.

The tropical climate was due to the location of the island. Located about 150 nautical miles south of Leus, the uninhabited island, named Isu, was far from the mainland and expressed magnificent scenery.

Even though it was small and inconspicuous, the 7th regiment and the pirates of the sea knew the exact location of the small uninhabited island. It was even considered an important location.

Its significance was due to the fact that the island contained a drinkable water source.

Once, the 7th regiment attempted to build a fortress on Isu Island to create a strategic point in the inland seas. However, the plan was scrapped because the island was quite far from the mainland and the island itself was so small. It would have been difficult to erect a building that would accommodate hundreds of people.

Nevertheless, Isu Island was still considered an important location as a source of drinkable water and a strategic point between the southern and the central sea. The 7th regiment built a beacon station and temporary accommodation at the highest point of the island and came to the area once a month for inspection.

When the 7th regiment was absent, commercial vessels passing by and pirates ships operating in the area stopped to supply drinking water.

There was an interesting fact regarding the island. The merchants and pirates also utilized the temporary accommodations erected by the 7th regiment and even took it upon themselves to repair any damages.

In other words, Isu Island had become a ‘public island’ implicitly recognized by all who operated in the sea. However, no ships had dared to approach within a 10 nautical mile radius of the island since a while ago.

A total of five ships, including two 7th regiment combat ships, had been occupying the area for a month.

***

“Hmm…”

Swordfish, vice leader of the Winter Storm Pirates, narrowed his torn eyes and looked away from his telescope. It was a rare item he purchased with five gold coins.

“So, how is the trend?”

A curt man next to Swordfish asked in an urgent voice, and Swordfish answered with a shrug.

“It is the same. It’s no different than usual.”

“Dammit! What the fuck are they doing? It’s already been almost 15 days. Why are holing themselves in that damn island and not coming out!?”

The Pufferfish, Yusuf, raged at the answer of Swordfish.

“Well… How would I know?”

He smiled and shrugged once more, but Swordfish was also feeling the limits of his patience as well.

They had been hovering around this area for 15 days already.

They were starting to run out of water and food, and even though they were pirates, endlessly floating in the sea for 15 days was difficult. It wasn’t as if they were stranded or shipwrecked either.

Swordfish fared better, but the others were starting to become problematic.

“Oi, Brother Swordfish. Let’s just go back now, it’s starting to become annoying, huh?”

“Fucking hell. We’re already out of booze. I miss the taste of whores!”

“Fuck women and fuck booze. We are running out of things to eat. Are you telling us to starve to death on the ocean?”

One pirate’s complaint caused the others to chime in as well.

“No. Have you forgotten the orders of the captain?”

Swordfish glared with a fierce expression.

However, even though the pirates briefly flinched, they did not hide their disgruntled eyes. They were a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment.

Such actions and attitudes were unimaginable for a regular army, such as the imperial army or a territorial army, but they were pirates.

Moreover, their captain was not present.

The leader of the pirates, or the captain, was not the strongest of the pack. Nor was he the fiercest and the most vicious.

The pirates had no more discipline than a seagull’s shit, but they had a tradition that was kept for hundreds of years.

The captain was to be chosen through voting.

It held even truer for groups such as the Winter Storm Pirates. They were composed of several smaller pirate groups, so organization was immensely difficult without an elected captain.

The captain did not need to be strong or vicious. However, he needed to know the weather and the sea route well and distribute the loot fairly to calm the members’ complaints. Such a captain was needed to lead hundreds of dirty, free-spirited men.

But currently, John Myer, captain of the Winter Storm Pirates, was not present on the ship. Even if he had a good head and skills with a sword, Swordfish was just another member of the pirates. The title of vice captain held no true significance for the other members.

Therefore, the pirates were able to openly express their dissatisfaction with the tedious situation that had lasted for more than 15 days.

“Everybody, listen.”

Sensing that the atmosphere had changed drastically, Swordfish clicked his tongue and spoke in a calm voice.

“There are 300,000 gold coins resting on this plan. Do you know how much money that is?”

The pirates weren’t able to give a good response, only blinking blankly at the words of Swordfish. They spent their entire lives looting, but they only knew 300,000 coins to be a big amount. They were ignorant of the true value of such a large amount of coins.

“In terms of imperial gold coins, the income of our Winter Storm Pirates last year amounted to less than 3,000 coins. But in a little while, we will have our hands on a hundred times that amount.”

Not all of the 300,000 coins would fall to the Winter Storm Pirates. With the participation of all three major pirates and external forces, tens of thousands of gold coins would fall to the Winter Storm Pirates.

But even that was a huge amount of money.

“Ah, make it easier for us to understand. So how much money are we getting individually?”

A pirate spoke out. Clearly, he still did not have a clue.

Swordfish smirked and spoke while looking around the wild sea men who looked at him with curious eyes.

“Even a moron like you will be able to take at least 20 coins from this one operation.”

“Heuk!”

Everyone’s eyes widened in shock.

It was hard to get three or four gold coins after months of hard plundering, but they would receive almost ten times as much money at once?

“For those of you who have seawater for brains, for six gold imperial coins, you can do anything you want in the Moonlight Beach in Malanga Harbor for more than a month. What do you think? Do you get a hang of it now?”

“Uwooooahhh!”

The pirates roared with frenzied expressions.

The Moonlight Beach was one of the finest locations in the southern part of Malanga Harbor. Most of the famous and large brothels were concentrated in the Moonlight Beach, and it was a place that any sea man wanted to visit at least once before they died.

However, it was considered a pie in the sky because of its exorbitant prices, but with 20 gold coins, they could live like kings with countless naked beauties in their arms for a month.

“But.”

Swordfish’s cold voice penetrated the ears of the pirates. They had been drooling with bloodshot eyes with lustful desire at the thought of rolling around with high-class prostitutes in Moonlight Beach.

“It will only be possible if this plan is successful. That is why you and I are here to watch over those bastards for 15 days.”

“Hm…”

The pirates’ expressions finally loosened up.

Swordfish drove in the last wedge.

“Just wait a couple more days. They would not have brought an infinite supply of food. They must be running out of supplies, so they will have to set sail soon. As soon as they leave Isu Island, we need to escape quickly, so be prepared.”

“Keung! Got it.”

“Keuhuhuhuhu! Wait, Malanga whores. This brother is coming! I’ll eat you up!”

“My fucking ass. Who are you planning to eat with your pathetic tool?”

“Puhahahaha!”

The pirates burst into laughter and returned to their original positions.

“Haha! As expected of the Swordfish. You have a way with your words.”

Yusuf spoke with a sinister smile. He had been quietly observing the situation from the side.

“You do not have to invoke my nickname when I’m dealing with such ignorant, simple bastards. Anyways…”

Speaking in a slightly irritated voice, Swordfish once again peered into his telescope to observe Isu Island.

“It’s really a mystery. No benefit could occur from dragging this out longer, so why are they just staying there?”

Swordfish’s expression was distorted as he observed the flag of the Pendragon Duchy fluttering on the highest point of Isu Island through his telescope.

***

“Let’s leave right now.”

“Let us leave as soon as possible.”

The orc warrior and the human knight spoke at almost the same time. They turned their gazes toward each other in dismay. But after sharing a nod, they turned their face to the front again.

“Answer me.”

“Please give me an answer.”

The two had gazes contained a hint of insanity.

After receiving their questions, ‘he’, who had the command over the five sailboats and almost 700 troops, answered with an indifferent voice.  

“I told you. We are going to leave in four days.”

“Kuaahhh! Tell me the reason!”

Karuta growled, unable to hold back his urgent temper. Raven lifted his face with nonchalance.

“I told you several times already. You will see when we get there.”

Raven’s face was calm, but Karuta flinched at the cold light in his deep, blue eyes.

“Keugh….”

Unable to hold back, Viscount Moraine also joined in.

“Your Excellency, the longer we stay here, the more their forces will be united. Our forces are strong, but keep in mind that it will be difficult to guarantee a victory if we have to face the combined strength of the three major pirates, the island orcs, and the forces from the Arangis family.”

“That is why we will be leaving in four days. It will be best to have them gather their strength as much as possible.”

“Your Excellency, so what exactly… Phew!”

After a long sigh, Viscount Moraine no longer pursued the answer. 15 days ago, everything was well when they first set sail. The weather was ridiculously nice, and the operation was perfectly planned.

They would follow along the sea route for four days and crush the rats of the seas when they would definitely flock at the smell of gold. However, Commander-in-chief Pendragon changed course in just one day and set a destination for Isu Island.

After arriving at the island, he had been leisurely fishing or hunting birds with a bow for more than ten days. Moreover, he was accompanied by Baroness Conrad, and his two sisters – ‘for safety reasons’.

“The soldiers’ doubts and complaints are growing. Many people have been expressing their discontent for bringing women along on a boat heading towards a battlefield.”

It was an unwritten rule for sailors to not put a woman on a boat unless they were only heading a short distance away. Furthermore, the governor had brought three women on a military ship that was going to fight against pirates. Even Moraine found this hard to explain to his subordinates.

“That is why I put them on the merchant ships, not the battle ships. Hmm?”

Raven’s following words eventually caused Moraine’s eyebrows to soar.

“No, that’s not what I’m…”

Thump!

“It will be halved.”

Raven spoke coldly while lightly tapping the table with a baton.

“Keung?”

“….What?”

Karuta and Viscount Moraine showed confusion.

“No matter how many pirates and how many ships gather, they will be halved by the time they confront our fleet.”

“What are you…”

“If that does not happen, I will hand over the command of the ships when we confront the rats.”

“Hm!”

Viscount Moraine stiffened.

There must be a reason the governor was doing this even while risking the command of the fleet.

“So be patient for four days. The rats observing us should be beginning to run out of patience, so we will head out then.”

“…All right. I will follow your words.”

Viscount Moraine was forced to bow his head at Raven’s frightfully cold voice.

“Keung! Pendragon Scarecrow, is that true? How are you going to cut them in half?”

When Viscount Moraine went outside, Karuta asked with a grimace. Raven turned his head towards the sea chart on the wall with a smirk and spoke in a quiet voice.

“I won’t be reducing them, the sea will do it for us.”

“Kehmmm.”

“Hoohoo…”

Raven smiled coldly while observing Karuta’s confused expression. He already knew that history would not flow the same after he became Alan Pendragon. Count Sagunda, who was supposed to be alive, was now dead, and the coronation of the new crown prince was also in the fog.

It was obvious that many events would be twisted and newly established in the future.

But that was limited to human history.

‘The weather never changes.’

Raven’s eyes glimmered as he looked at the waters off the Island of Death on the chart, where Crete Island of the Arangis family and the orcs were concentrated.

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