This was Pirates' Cove!
It was rumoured to be the holy land of pirates on the outer seas, where one could dispose of any problematic goods in exchange for attractive gold, or anything else your heart desired. They had the best women and the best rum, but only if one had enough gold. If anyone dared to cause trouble in the port, the enforcers would make them rue the day they were born!
As the most diverse place in the sea, where honest men and crooks mixed with each other, it was awash with information.
Quite often, a plump and juicy target passed by and one could see the magnificent sight of thousands of sails spreading open.
Many pirates spontaneously formed privateering operations, and disguised among the myriads of ships were a few powerful battleships armoured with magic. There were also a few unsinkable ships blessed by the Emperor of the Sea. Naturally, there were also much smaller boats that could only accommodate a dozen people, and even a few small canoes owned by the pirates.
The Pirates’ Tide had occurred once, over 50 years ago, and they’d damaged a duchy’s navy in the process of plundering a massive amount of wealth. The story became an excellent way of enticing ignorant fishermen’s children into become pirates.
However, once Marquis Louis’ Baltic archipelago rose in power, Pirates’ Cove had grown weaker day by day. Once two of the great pirate crews were roped in by the marquis, the place grew to no longer be as prosperous as before. It slowly turned into an ordinary den of pirates, where they fenced their stolen goods.
Even though it had become like this, the background of the port was still extremely important. Not only had it established a town with an air of importance, they had won over many churches as even pirates needed the healing of the gods or the comfort of a priest.
Furthermore, the evil gods would not deny pirate believers; some perhaps even schemed to become the gods of piracy...
One morning, a fleet with a bizarre flag entered the docks. The crew could be considered large for its kind, and they seemed to have experienced many intense battles. The hull still had marks of battle, slashed by swords.
‘This looks like the main battleship of a crew… Why don’t I recognise the flag?’ The clerk who was responsible for registering ships on the dock rubbed his eyes in disbelief. He could confirm that he’d never seen that bright scarlet flag in his career, with its sinister lifelike skull and dagger.
It was at this moment that a group of pirates came down from the pirate ship, and the clerk welcomed them with a professional smile, “Welcome to Pirates' Cove, here we have—”
Before the clerk could finish speaking, the young man just waved him away with the toss of a golden coin.
The gold coin that the young pirate had used wasn’t a Dambrath coin, but it was the even more valuable gold krona!
‘Is this youth the captain of these pirates? What a dangerous man…’ The pirates standing behind the young man had an aura of death about them, especially the giant who was over two metres tall. He could’ve been mistaken for a small mountain.
However, these fearsome fellows all acted like fluffy little white rabbits behind the young man, which made the clerk’s heart jump into his mouth. He came to realise that the man he faced was possibly a very extraordinary person.
“I know all the rules of this place, isn’t it 5 coins to anchor our fleet here for a day?”
The clerk was a former pirate himself, and subconsciously assessed others in strength. The internal injuries which forced him to retire still persisted, forcing him to take up clerical work.
In truth, Leylin felt like the clerk was a very interesting person. Very few in the World of Gods received an education, and a pirate who could write was as rare as the mythical phoenix. Still, he didn’t have the heart to discuss anything with him after the long journey. They violent storms and sneak attacks from the other races had fatigued him a little.
“Recommend the best inn, and tell me where I can recruit some sailors. You see the ship behind me, no? It needs to be reworked heavily.” Leylin immediately tossed out these requests, and before the clerk could show his dissatisfaction, he immediately added, “If your recommendations are good, then this will be yours.”
Another gold krona glowed brightly in his palm.
“Aye, your lordship! There is no one more familiar with Pirates’ Cove than me!” The clerk unwittingly swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat.
He simultaneously shot a glance at the signature that Leylin had left, the beautiful cursive making his heart jump, before he noted the information written. ‘Scarlet Tiger pirate crew? I’ve never heard of it before, has it just sprung up out of nowhere?’
Small pirate crews were born frequently in these waters, and death was frequent as well. Nobody would raise an eyebrow at a new pirate crew that relied on fishing to make a living in peacetime, only turning to amateur piracy when their options ran out. These weaker pirate crews were like ants and could perish at any time, but more pirates would emerge the next year.
The treasures of the outer sea, the frequent wars on the continent and its politics, as well as the persecution from the church… All these caused many adventurers, unbelievers, and even those faithful to demons and devils stream into these seas.
The sea was a place where good Gods had little influence, and the few strong evil gods did not mind them. It only rendered the place even more complicated.
The Dambrath area was only a tiny part of the outer seas, and it was still in the early years of development. As a result, no especially strong organisations had formed, and Marquis Louis, with the kingdom’s support, had become the strongest person here.
“If you would like me to recommend an inn, then the ones opened by the Barbarians are the best choice!” The clerk immediately answered without hesitation.
“Barbarians…” Leylin’s mouth curved into a smile as he thought of the crew. They were part of the big three.
The Barbarians were different from the other two crews, the organisation was made up purely of a single race. Made of barbarian warriors and priests, they were the only ones who had not been reined in by Marquis Louis.
The Barbarian crew shared a deeply hostile relationship with the Black Skeletons and the Tigersharks, and seemed to launch a large-scale battle with them every few years. They were the current head of Pirates’ Cove, and the other free crews had formed the Dark World organisation to protect them. There was nothing wrong in saying that this place was the base camp of organisations who opposed Marquis Louis.
The inn opened by the secret master of Pirates' Cove was naturally the safest place in the whole area.
“As for sailors, just shout out in any random tavern and ten pirates will run up to you. How you choose them is up to you, and of course you need to settle the tabs of those you hire at the bars…” As expected, the clerk was extremely familiar with the Pirates' Cove, and he even fervently recommended a certain shipyard to Leylin. That shipyard may not have a high degree of credibility, but they were certainly good enough to do some routine maintenance on a pirate ship.
Leylin silently remembered the address of the shipyard, but he did not choose to go there directly. Instead, he brought his men to the barbarian inn recommended by the clerk.
On the way, Leylin wordlessly assessed those around him.
Most of the people who were able to live in Pirates' Cove were retired pirates or others of that ilk. Although some were too weak to even stand up to the wind, and some were even disabled, they all had one or two skills that kept them going.
Of course, many more were prostitutes in revealing clothing, directly soliciting customers. Although Leylin didn’t think much of them, there were a bunch of animals following behind him who were clearly unable to hold back. If it wasn’t for Leylin’s command, a majority of them would have broken formation.
‘They even have a Thieves’ Guild!’ Leylin looked at the crossed dagger symbol on a street corner thoughtfully. He did not feel worried as he had plenty of time left, and still needed to arrange a place for a large group of men.
The barbarians’ inn was in a prime portion of Pirates’ Cove, and there were even two armed barbarian warriors standing guard at the door. It made everyone feel exceptionally safe.
Leylin did not trust in the law and security of Pirates' Cove, and did not want to cause any trouble. Even if it cost a bit more money, staying there was an excellent decision.
‘They’re actually using two rank 5 Professionals to guard the place— is this pirate crew very strong? It’s not surprising that they can contend against the two large pirate crews propped up by Marquis Louis,’ Leylin assessed the two barbarian guards with interest.
The barbarians were scattered throughout the World of Gods, much taller than ordinary humans with light green skin and muscles that were as solid as granite. Whether male or female, they were all muscle maniacs.
Rumour had it that they were mentally challenged and were even more stupid than orcs. As a result, only a few uncivilised gods preferred to favour them, and they occupied a weak position in the civilised world. In many places, mercenary associations were periodically tasked with clearing up barbarian bandits and tribes.
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