DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this novel are purely fictional, and may or may not be the personal views of the author. They are not something shared by the members of OMA Translations.
An intense military discussion was taking place within the captain’s room of the Scarlet Tiger, with few participants.
Leylin, as the person in charge, naturally sat at the front of the table, with Isabel and Tiff by his side. At Isabel’s side were Robin Hood, Ronald, Karen, and the other leaders of the pirates. Next to Tiff was the organisation Leylin had run in the north. This included devil worshippers and real devils. Even if they concealed it, their aura still caused the pirates to feel a sense of danger and unease.
Next to the devil worshippers were a few priests, higher-ups with grim faces. These priests were seeds that Leylin had nurtured. Although they were young, they were already beginning to show merciful and kindly traits, and did not seem to be compatible with the devils. However, they still sat together, which created a rather interesting atmosphere.
These two groups were meeting for the first time, and could not help but size each other up curiously. These were all Leylin’s elite forces, as well as the fledgling form of his future church and army. They were also the capital Leylin was using on an expedition to the native empire, and he naturally had to integrate them well.
After the long self-introductions were completed, Leylin coughed softly. Immediately after, the area went quiet.
“Isabel, describe the current situation.” Leylin always called Isabel by name in official settings, and this was something that would continue even after he became a god. To long-lived beings like them, blood relations and the like were pointless. Their only interest lay in immortality.
“One of the pirate groups under me found the native empire. It’s on a large island the size of two or three kingdoms like Dambrath put together, and its vicinity is always filled with dangerous storms and ocean currents. There’s only a small period of time every year where ships can successfully sail past the area, which is why their contact with the outer world is minimal. My underlings now have a clear idea of the patterns of the currents, and have created an accurate shipping route…”
Identifying ocean currents and shipping routes was a fundamental skill for the pirates under Isabel. With their lives depending on the seas, their ability to navigate and determine their location based on the stars far exceeded that of the navigators of normal merchant ships.
As the greatest captain in the outer seas, Isabel naturally had many talented people at her disposal. Once they’d determined the location, identifying shipping routes was a simple task. It would take some time, though, and the many tests would have to come at the costs of lives.
“Hss!” Isabel’s speech immediately caused gasps to sound from Tiff’s underlings. “The size of two or three Dambrath Kingdoms? That area is akin to a small continent already!”
“The Dambrath Kingdom is made up of roughly a million people. Even the most conservative estimate puts the native population over 2 million. We have to face so many, how frightening!”
The simple ratio caused uneasy looks on some pirates’ faces. After all, they had less than ten thousand men, and they had to fight over a hundred each. If not for their naval advantage and the shipping route, they would have thought of escape already.
“Quiet!” Tiff yelled. “Are you trying to humiliate yourselves in front of our master? Or are your minds that weak?”
The strict questions combined with his legendary might immediately caused everyone to quiet down.
Leylin nonchalantly waved his arms. “Although there are many natives, it doesn’t mean much. You’ll know how things are once we get onshore.”
Even in Leylin’s previous world, the colonialists in the age of discovery had conquered the Americas using mere hundreds or even tens of people. With thousands of criminals, pirates and many others, they had taken over the whole continent. In the end, they had become the heroes of heroes, like Cortéz who used just a thousand people to take over the fifteen million Aztecs in just five years.
This native empire wasn’t much different from the Aztec Empire of his old world, a backwards civilisation full of savagery and ignorance. With their advancements in civilisation and technology, conquering some oversized land with a backwards people was no different from slaughtering a fat pig.
And most importantly, with a ‘god’ like Leylin on their side, what chance of failure was there? As a divine being, Leylin had an invisible aura that was greatly infectious. Seeing his confidence, the fears of the rest were allayed.
Leylin nodded at the result of the situation, allowing Isabel to continue the introduction of the native empire.
“Based on our usual practices, I call this newly discovered island Debanks Island. We know of a native empire at the very centre called Sakartes, translating to ‘the sun that never sets.’ It takes up most of the flatland on the island, with a population of about a million and a half. There are a few warring tribes around the Sakartes Empire, most subservient to it. Altogether, they add up to about five or six hundred thousand as well…”
Isabel evidently valued intelligence, being able to gather such definite information about the Sakartes Empire. It was pretty good. Although they were prepared for it, some of the people still gasped when they heard they would be declaring war on about two million people.
Looking at her subordinates’ actions, Isabel exclaimed coldly in a condescending tone, “Hehe… that’s nothing, you brainless things! They aren’t two million enemies, instead two million healthy slaves! There’s also countless treasures to be plundered and fertile land to be won!”
It was then that the rest of the pirates reacted, remembering the frail natives. They took these people as slaves, so they obviously knew that just the sight of their blades could scare them into subservience. They would not resist no matter how they were flogged, and sometimes a single supervisor could manage hundreds of them at a time. Now disregarding their numbers, the pirates finally reacted with a feeling of vast superiority.
“Exactly! Those natives are so frail. What’s there to be afraid of? Besides, we don’t have to declare war on all of them at once. We can work from the surrounding tribes and subdue a few groups to work for us and let them kill themselves…” Ronald spoke in a low voice, “If we conquer such a large land, or even just ten percent of it, all of you will be able to obtain unimaginable amounts of wealth and even become nobles who have land…”
Pirates always lived with their lives on the line. Hearing something so tempting, their breaths began to grow ragged as their eyes turned bloodshot.
“That’s right… With our Marquisdom, my family has the authority to confer titles. When the time comes, I definitely won’t be stingy…” Leylin’s promise immediately caused the pirates to cheer. The temptation of becoming nobles would convince these lowly pirates to work torturously.
The people at Tiff’s side began to grow a little restless. After all, the members of the clergy needed to eat and drink, and lead safe and comfortable lives.
“It is an order from our Lord, we are to take over the native empire and spread his faith there!” Tiff grimly announced.
“For our Master!” The rest began to pray devoutly.
Learning about each other, everyone left the room in succession. Only Tiff and Isabel were left behind.
“It doesn’t matter if there are ten times more natives than us, but… has Master ever thought about the possibility of them being protected by gods?” Tiff asked solemnly. This was also what Leylin had been trying his best to avoid.
“Mm, I also wanted to warn you about this. In the few native tribes of the outer seas, there are faith totems. Some were even comparable to legendaries or demigods…” Isabel spoke seriously. From their point of view, no matter how useless the natives could be, they could still have one or two true gods. That would be terrible.
After all, Leylin was merely a divine being. The cruelty of divine battles could be experienced from many historical poems and poetic sagas.
“You don’t have to worry about this. The Debanks Island does have a few native religions and divine beings, but at most, there’s only a demigod and not a true one… On top of that, the gods of the continent have no interest in the faith of the natives…” Leylin guaranteed.
When it came to gods, he obviously was the one with the biggest say. Upon hearing this, Isabel and Tiff relaxed. Although there was a large gap between him and true gods, there wasn’t as much of a difference between a divine being and a demigod. They still had the courage to risk their lives for this.
As for how Leylin knew about this, Isabel and Tiff sensibly did not ask more questions. Gods always had their own secrets…
Leylin too had no intention to share his plans. After they left, he went to the bottom of the hold of the ship and saw a group of native slaves cowering in fear. In preparations for this expedition, these natives would be the translators and communicators. This would reduce the natives’ hatred of this colonial invasion.
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