For years hope filled the citizens hearts.

”The army will surely win! ”

”Their downfall is inevitable! ”

Happy cheers and chants infiltrated conversations.

But all the king could do was scoff.

Our fall is inevitable, our army will be annihilated, destroyed, wiped off the face of the earth.

The king, in his sleeping robes, laughed like a lunatic underneath the crescent moons.

The kingdom was already in chaos. No single person or group could save them from the fate awaiting them, unless it was an army of 50,000 armoured and trained soldiers they would stand no chance.

The king looked once again at his papers containing important information. The last he could do was save his familys lives, but that was selfish of him. From a young age, he learned to love. Like one big family, and he did his best to keep his citizens happy.

The citizens of the Mahn kingdom knew of the inevitable end of their kingdom, whether during their lives or after, they wished to at least live their lives to the fullest.

*

A man who sat at the edge of a dock hummed quietly as a festival behind him occurred.

His eyes were closed as the sun was the bright sun it was.

He sighed as he heard a bell ringing in the distance.

Took them long enough.

”Aha ha! ” A drunk voice laughed.

Darn, its that old man again, out of anyone!

A sailboat came to shore, and inside were 3 men.

One was a big burly man who stood 6.8ft (204cm), next to him sat a lean friendly-looking man who was 5.10ft. The last sat behind the sails, controlling the sailboat, standing at 6ft, he was the captain. The captain had a moustache and was a rather muscular person, much like the first man.

”Oi, Yuki! Ready to catch some fish! ”

Yuki nodded. He would turn 18 this fall. This year would be the last year he would see these people.

”Of course Burns, Ive been dreaming of this moment for the whole year, ” Yuki replied in a monotone voice, giving the expression that he wasn excited; his eyes expressed a completely different emotion, excitement.

The lean man laughed. ”Well, I hope youve brought everything, cause itll be a long trip, ” he said as Yuki jumped in the boat with only his backpack.

”Of course, I brought everything necessary. ” He replied bluntly.

Will, the lean man, inspecting the insides of Yukis backpack spoke, ”Alright, no need to borrow any clothes, huh? ”

”Mhm, I had to sleep in the slums and ask for money, and managed to buy- ahem, and orrow a few things. ”

The men in the boat laughed, at some point in their lives, they all had done the same.

”Welcome back Yu, ” The last man welcomed.

”Thank you, Captain. ”

And so the small sailboat went sailing away.

Will was a handsome man as he was strong. (So pretty strong) He had a rich, strong voice.

Burns was… also handsome as he was weak. He was big and strong, the most noticeable about him was the infamous burns on his face and body.

Captain was also handsome, his appearance seemed to rival that of the emperors. He had a noble-like appearance and was classy.

”Hey, howd you guys get past the navy? ” Yuki asked a few minutes later.

”Faked it. We
e surprisingly got in. ” Captain answered. He had a noticeable accent. He sat down comfortably, his hands off the steering wheel of the sailboat.

”Really? What were you going to do if you didn get in. ”

”Hah, thats funny… ” Will chuckled.

”… ”

Awkward silence replaced the questions along with the gratifying wind.

Yuki sighed deeply. ”…No backup plans… again…? ”

***

”All light, crew, ” the captain spoke with an accent. ”Time for dinner! ”

For dinner, they had 4 loaves of bread with beer, or for Yuki, lemonade.

The journey continued at a slow pace.

***

”Oi, I see fish! ” Burns exclaimed like a child.

He pointed at something in the distance.

The fish, however, wasn exactly fish.

”Thats a **ing navy warship! ” The captain yelled, his accent completely disappearing.

”Damn, we were only about 20 miles from the location… maybe they know- ”

”We need no such thoughts. ” Will interrupted Burns.

Yuki grinned. ”Prepare the fishing nets. ”

In other cases, the words, ”prepare the fishing nets ”, would mean a completely different thing, but in this situation, it meant to prepare actual fishing nets.

-Fwoosh!

The faint fog in the air thickened vastly.

”Do we at least know what kingdom the warships from? ” The captain asked.

”Seemed like the Psy Kingdom, I only saw the colour gold. ”

All 3 men on the sailboat grimaced.

The Psy Kingdoms navy was known as the second strongest in the sea, second only to the Empire.

-Boom!

A cannon fired.

-Fwoosh

-Splash!

A cannonball swirled towards them, missing only by a few yards.

Their eyes widened at the close call.

-Fwoosh

No navy would spend a single cannonball just to get rid of a suspicious group of sailors. Especially the Psy Navy, where money problems proliferated. The only reason they were able to even HAVE a navy was because of their monopoly of secret mana stones which they couldn use openly.

The realization struck everyone on the sailboat. Even if it was only a small clue, the answer was obvious.

”Caps… ” Yuku started but stopped.

No yell or plea was needed. Everyone already knew what was needed. They had gone over this a million times.

*

The captain of the ship stared through his spyglass.

”Yes, just one, as a warning. ”

-Boom!

-Splash!

The small sailboat suddenly slowed down to half its speed.

”Theyve learned their place. Send a small rowboat there and identify them, ask why they
e so far from the islands, and report any suspicious behaviour or items. ”

The chief officer nodded.

”Mhm, and- ” A sudden realization hit the captain like a cannon. ”Wait- set them free, follow them with mediums, preferably fishes. ”

A smile crept on the captains face.

The small sailboat slowly accelerated and turned right after no other interactions.

***

Yuki peacefully lay down some thick blankets and pillows, inside a small roof-like structure for his three seniors as they worked.

The sailboat accelerated and turned left. The allusion would slowly disappear in the sun, but since Will controlled some water and turned it into the thick fog surrounding the allusion, it would last at least 4 minutes longer.

The difficulty level increase exponentially, as the illusion was being done on an especially fast object and a whim.

However, Captain wasn weak, doing this illusion would be a breeze for him, except that they would quickly find out because of a few missing details.

That was why he was at the helm of the ship, sailing the boat, everyone else was simply… occupied.

Burns, on the other hand, was using the machinery behind the boat to good use. With Protarchikos fire, he used his own fire to accelerate the boat even more.

Protarchikos fire was a special kind of fire which clung to an enemys flesh and could not be extinguished with water.

However, with a nifty invention, Yuki made called a rocket engine, the Protarchikos fire was sealed in a liquid form combined with other elements in a combustion chamber, creating greater thrust, accelerating the small sailboat to an astounding speed of around 300 miles per hour! (482 kph)

However, the chances of an unexpected explosion could occur, which was why Burns was also taking good care in his work. And because of the extreme speeds, it was common sense for Yuki to create a barrier using wind, to reduce damage to the group and the sailboat.

-FWOOSH!

The sailboat zoomed past everything in its sight.

***

Upon the group of 4 was a colossal sight.

A whole city was on an island, a literal island, 1,000 square miles.

A whole government seemingly subsisted. ”Officers ” checked boats and patrolled in smaller boats around the island, people trading could be seen from on the sailboat.

This was Katoikía Vasiliá Peiratón, Residence of the Pirate King, also called Kato.

This was the capital of the pirate cities, one of three. This was where the least amount of pirate forces was but was also where the pirate king lived.

Yuki and Burns slowed down, Burns switched from manning the thrusters to fanning the engine, as it was heating.

The positions in the pirates ships were:

Captain(1), Chief Officers(1~4), second mates(4~12), and crewmate(s).

Captain was the captain of the Petagma Anemos, also called Anemos. The Anemos crew was what they were called.

***

[ 3 hours later… In a local tavern… ]

”We
e all exhausted… we don need beer right now… ”

”Ahah, its fine, kid…Gulp gulp… Aaahh…That was good… ” Burns patted his stomach in satisfaction as the other two adults drank their cups like drunkards.

”You sure you don want any? ” Will asked, feeling bad for the young man who drank his lemonade.

”Yuh. ”

Captain scoffed. ”Ill pay for everything, so eat till yer full. ”

Burns and Wills eyes twinkled like coins.

”Thank you, Captain!

***

”Fuck, this was why I didn want them to drink… ” Yuki groaned as he cast a gaze full of pain and resentment at the passed-out Burns and Will.

Captain nodded. ”At least it wasn wine, theyd be drunker and it wouldve been more expensive. ”

The beer and steak they ordered cost a total of 11 gold(+1,100),4 silver(+40), and 7 copper coins(7), reaching a total of 1,147 coins.

Since Captain didn have platinum on him (1,000 each) it was a bit of a hassle for him to find everything in that deep pocket of his.

The most painful part was that they now had to carry Will and Burns.

***

[After a long night in Captains residence…]

Yuki stared at the large ship in front of him. It was beautifully made, the cannons were loaded and ready for action, the sails were large and elegant, and a flag hung on the top.

Burns, Yuki, and Will were awed at the sight.

Captain nonchalantly stared at the ship before speaking. ”Nice ship, huh? ”

”Yuh… The pirate king really is generous… ” Will replied.

”No, the king isn generous, it is because Captain is special. ”

Indeed, what Burns said was true. Captain had reached the level of 1st High-Grade Illusionist at the age of 43, which is how old he is right now. He had only a small bit more to reach Master-Grade, perhaps only 2 to 4 more years.

It was also because of his 4 accomplished chief officers he was able to reach this high of a position too.

The 4 chief officers were Burns, Will, Yuki, and another esteemed sailor. Captain had 4 chief officers and 8-second mates, two for each chief officer.

The very ship in front of them was from the pirate king himself. After completing tasks successfully time and time again, Captains presence was taken notice of. And as a ”thank you ” gift, the pirate king had given him, and his crew, the very ship in front of them.

=

Anemos II

=

Was written on the front, as agreed by Captain.

”With a greater ship, well have greater adventures. ”

Will said as he followed Captain onboard.

Yuki followed with a sword which hung on his side and the others brought their own weapons. Burns brought his battle axe and shield, Will brought his spear and sword, and Captain brought his greatsword.

The three older adults all brought their personal weapons but Yuki had brought a random sword he jokingly deemed worthy to be in the hands of a great swordsman.

The group inspected the spacious ship.

”As expected of the craftsmen, this ship is one of the best Ive ever seen! ” Will complimented.

”To think they only made this in 14 months… ” Burns mused.

Yuki spoke. ”Hope there aren any flaws, holes, or any weak spots. ”

Captain silently inspected his new ship before muttering, ”I sure owe him quite a bit… ”

Burns chuckled. ”Only a few hundred thousand more before you can repay him. ”

Will frowned. ”He said you didn have to pay him back. ”

”But alas, our Captain was a person who repaid all his dept in the cleanest, innocent ways… ”

Yuki coughed and smiled wryly.

***

-Ding!

”Ahaha! Yuki, Burns, Will! Welcome back! ” A cheery voice welcomed them as the door opened.

The three of them were dressed in casual clothes and their weapons.

Yuki slightly bowed his head in respect. ”Good morning maam its been a while. ”

The woman behind the reception desk was a frail white-haired woman. She had a friendly and bright smile which brought customers and guests back to her store and Inn over and over again.

”Wheres Captain? ” She couldn help but ask.

”Captain got a summon real quick, hell be back in two days. ”

”Oh, hope he comes back safe. So what are you here for? ”

”Oh nothing, Ms May, we
e just here to come over and see how everyones doin, ” Will replied as Burns excitedly looked around.

Ms May sighed as the group hurried next to a bulletin full of papers.

”Don think therell be anything good… ”

*

[Reward: 500 coins. Kill 100 Bullet frogs in… ]

[Reward: 100 coins. Destroy 1 elemental golem in… ]

[Reward: 200 coins. Kill one tunnel viper in… ]

The group of 3 sighed.

”Nothing good, ” Burns said the obvious.

The reward was low but the risk was high for Yuki. For the others, however, the reward was very low but the risk was low. It just wasn worth their time.

”Why can we ask the king to give us a mission again? ” Yuki asked.

Will mused. ”Huh, thats an interesting idea… ”

*

”Nothing good this time? ” Ms May asked.

”For now, things seem down for the moment. ”

Indeed. The stronger pirates were stationed in the capital for the month because of a special mission. Burns, Will, Captain, and Yuki weren involved in the event, so, could go wherever they wanted.

And since the stronger pirates were there, that meant fewer harder, more rewarding tasks.

After saying their goodbyes, the trio left The Bell and Dragon.

==

REWARD: 50,000 in gold (PG.6)

Yuki Luo

[A] rank mercenary

Age: 17, born on 10/24/1035, place, unknown

Height: 5.7 ~ 5.11ft (173 ~ 155cm)

Weight: 120 ~ 140 lb (54 ~ 63kg)

Hair: Black

Eye Color: Black

Complexion: Light brown

[PHOTO]

Is known to use a variety of weapons, mainly the sword and crossbow. (See more details on pg 7)

Starting at the age of 16, he quickly amassed battle prowess and experience and rose to the rank of [B-] adventurer at the age of 17. (See more details on pg 7)

He is also a mage in the 2nd Intermediate-grade mage. His main elements are air and water.

His sword art is still unknown. He is usually seen surrounded by stronger individuals such as…

==

”Huh, fifty thousand? Look more into this group, perhaps they
e the ones. ”

Pages flipping could be heard.

The slight shaking of the boat continued.

The captain of The 55th Warship from the Kyria Empire hummed quietly as a sailor quickly flipped through pages of information.

Unbeknownst to them, a fleet of ships was headed their way.

***

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